Senator say Ireland has work to do to achieve equality

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Commenting in advance of Dublin Pride Weekend, Senator Regina Doherty said: “Ireland has come on a transformative journey when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues.

“This was encapsulated by that proud day in May 2015, when we became the first country to grant same-sex couples the right to marry by popular vote.

“But despite making history, it was far from the end of the fight for full equality. We still have work to do.”

The senator said underscored that, thirty years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993, the government is disregarding historical convictions for sexual activity between gay and bisexual men.

“We’re finally going to criminalise so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in Ireland, once and for all. Nobody should live in shame over their sexual orientation or gender identity, and such a barbaric practice, which has no effect other than to cause harm to vulnerable people – has no place here or anywhere,” said Senator Doherty.

“Following on from the tireless work of the Oireachtas Committee on surrogacy, we are progressing inclusive legislation with a view to significantly easing the pathway to parenthood for same-sex couples through assisted human reproduction.

“At a time when the LGBTQ+ community faces heightened threats of violence, we are swiftly implementing robust hate crime legislation which will ensure that homophobic or transphobic motivations behind such attacks are accounted for during sentencing, as an aggravating factor.

“I’m proud of the progress we have made, from Marriage Equality to the Gender Recognition Act, and I’m hopeful that we will continue to make progress.”

Senator Doherty acknowledged that Ireland ranks bottom of the list when it comes to transgender healthcare, calling on the minister to make advancements in this area.

“A general transgender health  policy, based on a best-practice model for care, is demanded by trans people right across the country, and really is not much to ask,” she said.

“As a start, the Department of Health must guarantee access to regular blood tests for trans people who are self-medicating, and I’m calling on the Minister to do that.

“The theme of this year’s Dublin Pride celebration is ‘Protest, Remember, Celebrate’ and until we achieve full equality for LGBTQ+ people everywhere, Pride will continue to be a protest.”

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