The manifesto was read out in Plaza Félix Sáenz in Malaga city. / I.G.

LGBT associations say many people in Malaga fail to report hate crimes against them

The most recent figures are for 2021 and they show an increase of 8% in these offences compared with the previous year

Ivan Gelibter

It is 32 years since homosexuality was taken off the list of mental illnesses by the General Assembly of the World Health Organisation. Since then, 17 May has been the day chosen to campaign against LGBTphobia; a day which, despite the progress achieved, serves as a reminder of the imbalance in different countries.

On Tuesday, LGBT associations in Malaga read out a manifesto, saying LGBTphobia is one of the most widespread forms of hatred, which is even reflected in the legislation in most countries of the world, with discriminatory rules for lesbians, gays and transgender people.

“Although nowadays in countries like Spain, the efforts of citizens movements, social maturity and political will have made it possible to eliminate discriminatory rules through the legal system, the pressure of LGBTphobia restricts the freedom of many lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-sexuals, leading to problems with self-acceptance or persuading them that they cannot live with their sexual orientation and gender identity naturally,” they said.

They believe that society must tackle an even more ambitious challenge: education, in terms of teaching respect for sexual, gender and family diversity, and against bullying and all discrimination.

According to data from the Observatory against LGTBIphobia, hate speech motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity rose by 8% in Andalucía last year, compared with 2020. During the year, there were 367 recorded incidents against the rights of the LGBT collective.

Many people don’t report it

“Regrettably, the worst part of this data is what you don’t see, what is not recorded because so many people don’t report it, and that is one of the biggest problems. But we have to continue to make legal equality real equality, and for that we need all Andalusian MPs to support and approve the Law for Real and Effective Equality for transgender people and guarantee LGBT rights as soon as possible,” they said.

The associations have been calling out public and private behaviour that “feeds, justifies or expands discrimination”, especially in EU countries which still do not respect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-sexuals. “We want a European Union which is committed to the advance of legal and social equality, and we call on the United Nations to be one of the guarantors of LGBT rights, which are human rights, in countries where being homosexual and trans means a death sentence,” they added.

“LGBTphobia cannot be a series of attitudes which are condoned, which can be exercised freely under cover of freedom of opinion. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are intolerable behaviours which cause pain and suffering,” they insisted.