Kate Feeney: improving the rights of Rainbow Families across Europe

Raising and discussing the issue of the rights of rainbow families in cross-border movement within the EU, councillor Kate Feeney focused on how local authorities can rise above and beyond of existing national laws.

Through a video message, Kate Feeney, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (Fianna Fáil) and rapporteur on the LGBTIQ strategy in the European Committee of the Regions, highlighted the regional and local perspective of the issue of rainbow families.

These families face many difficulties when moving to another Member State; due to difference in family law their ties might not be recognized when crossing internal EU borders since family law is a Member State competence, except when it concerns measures concerning family law ‘having cross-border implications’. And more than 150 million citizens live in these border regions!

Addressing Renew Europe MEPs, Kate Feeney noticed regional discrepancies on top of national differences in the treatment of rainbow families:

We as decision-makers shouldn’t shy away from these discussions, we can’t be shy in saying that this isn’t good enough. We’re all part of a European community and family, which brings freedom, rights, but also responsibilities – it’s on all of us to call out actions that we deem below the European standards. And Local authorities don’t have to wait for national parliaments, we can take actions on our own!

She compared best practices of cities such as Turin, to what happens in countries with LGBT-free zones:

Look at cities like Turin, which went above and beyond of what their national parliaments were legislating by recognizing same sex couples before parliament did. Rather than looking at countries like Poland and Hungary leading in LGBT-free zones, let’s look at Turin: this is the way forward

The webinar in which Kate Feeney participated is part of the Renew4Equality working programme with a monthly webinar on LGBTI-related issues.


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