May 18, 2022 8:05 pm

Varapalo to Foreign Affairs: a report denounces an anti-trans discourse at “the highest political levels” in Spain




The image of Spain goes wrong again by an initiative of the Council of Europe. This is the body that last June approved a report that questioned the sentences imposed on those convicted of the ‘procès’, after considering them the result of a “persecution”.

Next Tuesday, seven months later, the Plenary Assembly of this council will debate the approval of the report ‘Combat the growing hatred against LGTBI people in Europe’ in which its author, the Belgian parliamentarian Fourat Ben Chikha, maintains that in our country an “extremely hostile” discourse against ‘trans’ has emerged “recently” and from “the highest political levels” which, according to activists of this group , “has legitimized violence” against them.

The text continues to include former Vice President Carmen Calvo in this accusation.

“He described legal gender recognition based on self-determination as something that put the identity criteria of 47 million Spaniards at risk”, says this parliamentarian about the current president of the Equality Commission of Congress. Ben Chikha belongs to the Green Party of Belgium which, to make matters worse, is within the group of Socialists. Boris Cilevics, the author of the report in favor of those convicted of the procès, was, directly, a socialist.

“constant problem”

Spain has a permanent representative ambassador in the Council of Europe, Manuel Montobbio de Balanza, among whose functions is to ensure the interests of our country in the body. Despite this, Ben Chikha goes so far as to maintain that “transspecific and non-binary organizations have been excluded from political debates”, despite the recent approval of the ‘trans’ law less than a year ago. And he describes as “overwhelming” the support of Spanish society for gender self-determination “for all people of all ages” and consensus between parliamentary formations.

The assessments of the Belgian parliamentarian go beyond the socialist wing of the Government and continue to portray Spain as a country where the dissemination of messages of hate against the LGBTI community “through the media, the internet, video games and music” is a “present problem”.

“A gay man was beaten to death in July 2021 and there have been violent attacks against LGTBI people in several cities in recent months,” he adds, citing the complaint filed in September by the young man who said he had been attacked in Malasaña and who later was proven false.

To top it off, the memo charges what it calls “anti-trans feminists” whom it accuses of promoting hate. “They portray ‘trans’ people as a threat to society, and in particular to women, deny the identities of ‘trans’ and non-binary people, suggest that their word cannot be accepted in deciding their identity, and brand as criminals to parents who support their ‘trans’ children, “accuses the Belgian.

ABC has wanted to know if Montobbio de Balanzó has taken any action to defend Calvo, the Government itself and the image of Spain against criticism from the Belgian. Not in vain, Ben Chikha’s report reaches the plenary session having been approved in committee last September, which makes it difficult for the different delegations to now change the direction of their vote. However, Foreign Affairs did not want to make any statements.

For their part, PSOE sources fully reject the conclusions of the Belgian deputy. “We disagre. And this will be stated by Senator María Fernández when she intervenes in the Plenary through the private vote formula,” they point out, also emphasizing that Calvo’s statements have been “taken out of context.” “Fernández will defend that Spain has been and continues to be a pioneer in LGTBI policies, an example of this is the law that is being processed in parliament,” they stress, in a speech that Foreign Affairs should have previously defended to prevent this report from going so far.

The vote threatens to divide the Government’s partners again since Podemos reserves the possibility of supporting the report. “We have not yet decided what our vote will be, but in principle we could vote in favor,” says the formation. This difference in positions once again reflects the strong battle between Calvo and the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, on account of the ‘trans’ law.

immovable memorandum

The memorandum is one of the three parts of the report, along with the draft resolution and the proposed recommendation. These last two will be put to the vote and admit amendments. The memorandum, on the other hand, is immovable because it constitutes the author’s explanation and is not put to the vote. Sources of the Council of Europe remark it. “That the report is approved does not mean that the Parliamentary Assembly supports everything the author says,” they stress. We will know the result on Tuesday.

A non-EU body

The Council of Europe It is an organization outside the Union and made up of parliamentarians from 47 states of the Old Continent, including Russia. Its purpose is to strengthen the union of these countries “to safeguard and promote the ideals and principles that constitute their common heritage and promote their economic and social progress.”

Its headquarters are in Strasbourg (France) and it is necessary to belong to this organization to enter the EU. Its focuses of work are Human Rights, the rule of law and democracy as it encourages the transition towards all of these. Its resolutions are not binding on the member countries, but they have the political value of indicating what majorities exist around an issue.

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