IRELAND HAS DROPPED five places in terms of legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Europe.
Ireland is now 22nd in Europe, dropping from 17th last year.
We have been passed out by countries like Malta and Montenegro who are making significant strides in achieving legal equality for LGBTI people.
The annual International Lesbian and Gay Association-Europe map was published today in Malta to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).
The rainbow map shows the legal status of LGBTI people in the 49 countries of Europe with the UK ranking 1st.
Minister of State with responsibility for Equality Kathleen Lynch signed a ‘Declaration of Intent’ on behalf of Ireland at the intergovernmental IDAHOT forum in Malta.
It prioritises key areas of LGBTI equality, including:
- tackling hate crimes
- ensuring schools are free from bullying and stereotyping
- guaranteeing the fully legal recognition of a person’s gender identity
- supporting LGBTI equality at an European and International level
Speaking from the IDAHO Forum in Malta, director of GLEN Brian Sheehan said:
While Ireland has made very significant legal progress over the last 20 years for LGBTI people, other countries are moving at a quicker pace than Ireland towards equality.
“It is clear from the analysis in the Rainbow Map that we still have some way to go to provide full legal protection and equality for LGBTI people in Ireland, in particular for transgender people”.
The ILGA-Europe map highlighted that Ireland needs to make progress in the legal recognition and support of lesbian and gay families and gender recognition legislation.
Sheehan said: “We would encourage the Government and the new Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald, to keep the momentum going on legislative reform through the Children and Families Bill and in the forthcoming referendum on marriage.
There is a strong momentum for further progress in Ireland. Ireland is generally a good place to be LGBTI and Irish people are supportive of LGBTI people.
“However, it could be much better, and there are still serious issues to address to ensure that Ireland is one of the best countries in the world to be LGBTI.”
The Map also shows that while many countries are progressing towards legal equality for LGBTI people, some other countries are introducing restrictive and discriminatory provisions.
Sheehan concluded that “In many countries in Europe, LGBTI people continue to struggle for the fundamental civil and political rights that most of us living in democratic societies take for granted.”