Hate kills. It was at Tepláreň bar, once a safe space in Slovakia's capital Bratislava, where the LGBTI+ community suffered its most recent attack, resulting in the loss of two more lives. A venue once filled with joy and life turned into a devastating scene following the homophobic murder of Matusz and Juraj on October 13th.
The gunman responsible for those deaths was motivated by far-right ideology, which has been fuelled by the reckless and irresponsible statements of some politicians. The reality is that Europe’s LGBTI community increasingly living in fear and experiencing high levels of verbal and physical violence. Words prompt actions and rhetoric incites hatred.
We unequivocally condemn the attack in Slovakia and we will continue our work for equality in their name. We must condemn all forms of attacks against our LGBTI community from the most violent and extreme to the more subtle discriminatory measures.
Unfortunately, backsliding on LGBTI+ rights is a growing issue within the EU. Some EU countries are backtracking on the work done, actively writing discrimination into national laws on women’s rights and on LGBTI rights. These are deliberate strategies aimed at weakening fundamental rights. It is our duty and responsibility to stand firmly with our citizens. It is also our duty and responsibility to ensure that the fundamental rights of all our citizens are protected.
We work for a European Union that upholds human rights, respects the dignity of all individuals, is inclusive and embraces the richness of our diversity across all Member States. We cannot accept any erosion of our fundamental rights. EU values – including equality – must always be our guiding light.
My work in the European Parliament on equality:
- Upholding human rights across the EU
- Advocating for equality, diversity and inclusion in society and at work
- Promoting the work of the EPP Group to strengthen equality laws
Maria Walsh MEP
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States