Ylva Johansson is no longer a government minister, Minister for Employment


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Statement from Ministry of Employment

Statement by Swedish Minister for Employment and Integration Ylva Johansson, on the adoption of Council Conclusions on LGBTI rights, EPSCO 16 June 2016


People's love for each other is a force that cannot be restricted. But the brutal attack in Orlando, Florida, has shocked us all and reminded us in the most horrific way that the hatred against LGBTI people has no limits. We cannot ignore the fact that this hatred exists in each of our respective countries. The attack in Orlando shows the need to continue to stand up for the values on which the Union is founded and we must never quit challenging those who propagate intolerance and oppression. Together, we must combat hate, violence and terror and fight for human rights for all.

We welcome the fact that the Council has for the first time adopted Conclusions concerning equal rights for LGBTI persons within the EU. However, we would have preferred a more ambitious and stronger message concerning the enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI-persons.

Therefore, on the basis of these Conclusions, it is even more important than before to continue to work within and outside the EU for equal rights and opportunities for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and to ensure that cultural, traditional or religious values cannot be invoked to justify any form of discrimination, including discrimination against LGBTI persons.

Together with Denmark, Belgium and Austria we have issued a statement on the Conclusions, and we hope to continue this struggle together with other member states.