LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

First referendum on the European Constitution in EU

This Sunday, 20 February 2005, Spain will have the first referendum among the EU member states on the future European Constitution.

If ratified by all EU member states, A Constitution for Europe will become the first international legally binding document explicitly banning sexual orientation discrimination.

Last October heads of the EU member states signed the Constitution in Rome but it will only come into force after each individual EU member state approves it either by referendum or by an act of national parliament. National parliaments in three countries already ratified the Constitution – Lithuania, Hungary and Slovenia. Spain is the first EU member states where the faith of the Constitution will be decided by the voters.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“I really hope Spanish people will endorse this historic document which is of great significance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the European Union. The European Constitution will be the first legally binding and enforceable international document banning sexual orientation discrimination. This means that neither EU institution nor EU member states will be allowed to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens when implementing EU law.”

For more information please contact Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16

Notes for editors:

  • (1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and works against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination on European level.
  • (2) Sex discrimination is explicitly banned by the European Constitution and this is likely to be interpreted as covering gender identity discrimination.
  • (3) Additional information about the Constitution is on our website: