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LGBT+ community still doesn’t have equal rights in Ireland

SIXTEEN countries have ranked above Ireland in the annual Rainbow Europe report on LGBT+ people’s human rights.

The Rainbow Europe gives Ireland an overall score of 47 per cent in achieving LGBT+ rights.

This places us behind Portugal, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, amongst others.

Malta received the highest score of all European countries, at 90 per cent.

European election candidate Dominic Hannigan highlighted the ranking yesterday, saying Ireland still has “some way to go before LGBT+ people enjoy equal rights”.

Dominic Hannigan – who is the Labour Party’s European candidate in the Midlands North West constituency – was one of the first two openly gay TDs elected to the Dáil.

Commenting on the Rainbow Europe report today, he said: “This report shows Ireland still has a considerable way to go in achieving full equality for the LGBT+ community.

“Post-marriage equality, we like to think we are international leaders in affording full and equal rights to all people, no matter what their sexual orientation.  But this is clearly not the case.

“The Rainbow Europe report highlights that, while we have made massive strides with marriage equality and legal gender recognition, we cannot afford to sit back and become complacent.

“Areas for improvement highlighted in the report included services provided to transgender people; tackling hate crime and speech; and discrimination.”

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, but the Labour Party candidate says we have a long way to go to tackle discrimination.

“Discrimination and stigma still exist for LGBT+ people in Ireland,” said Hannigan. “It didn’t just disappear once the Marriage Equality referendum passed.

“I came out publicly in 2006 and, at the time, my sexuality was called a ‘perversion’, and gay marriage an ‘abnormality’ in a letter to the editor of my local newspaper.

“There were subsequent public letters – all referring to my sexuality, something I never felt was a topic for public debate.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen way in the past – it was little more than a decade ago.

“We are seeing human rights being rowed back in other European countries and across the world at present.  We need to make sure that LGBT+ rights continue to be preserved and progressed in Ireland.”

In the Rainbow Europe report, Ireland scored:

  • 13 per cent for tackling hate crime and hate speech;
  • 17 per cent for supporting the rights of LGBT+ asylum-seekers;
  • 24 per cent for equality and non-discrimination;
  • 69 per cent in the “Legal gender recognition and bodily integrity” category;
  • 76 per cent for marriage equality and the rights of LGBT+ families; and
  • 100 per cent for ‘Civil Society Space’.

Michael Malone
Email me at editor@galwaydaily.com
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