The European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association staged an exhibition about same-sex families in the main building of the European Commission in Brussels May 10-20.
The "Different Families, Same Love" exhibit highlighted "the issues of same-sex families and the legal obstacles that they face due to the lack of legal recognition in Europe," ILGA-Europe said.
European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding served as the show's patron. The commission is the European Union's executive body.
On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, ILGA-Europe hosted a reception in the commission's central building, the Berlaymont, and launched its new video, "Legal Jungle: Same-Sex Families Trapped Between EU Countries."
According to the group, even European nations that legally recognize same-sex families and their children do not necessarily recognize similar families from other EU countries.
"All EU countries automatically recognize each other's different-sex marriages," the group said. "ILGA-Europe considers this to be a case of direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and calls for the European Commission to remedy such discrimination by introducing legal measures to facilitate the mutual recognition of all civil documents across the EU."
ILGA-Europe Board Co-Chair Linda Freimane commented: "It is very symbolic that our exhibition ... is being hosted in the very heart of the EU lawmaking institution. The European Union is not only about the common market and economic growth. The European Union also holds its citizens and their welfare and well-being at the heart of its values and aims. Therefore it is paramount that the very institution that has a power to initiate new legislation hears directly from people who are currently being discriminated against and face unjust hardship."