The new Taoiseach and government must spearhead changes to deliver real equality for LGBTI people, the Social Democrats said today.

Speaking ahead of the annual Pride Parade, the party’s co-leaders Catherine Murphy TD and Róisín Shortall TD said the struggle for equality is not complete and it is vitally important to build on recent progress.

Deputy Murphy, who is attending today’s Pride Parade in Dublin along with Social Democrats members said:

“There has been enormous positive change for LGBTI people and their families in Ireland over the last number of years. Increasingly LGBTI people can live their lives openly, valued and accepted by their families, friends and communities. But the struggle for equality is not done yet. Ireland still has a long way to go to ensure that the reality of being an LGBTI person is positive and valued.”

Ireland currently ranks just 15th in Europe for LGBTI rights, registering 52% on the 2017 ILGA-Europe map of legal rights. The top-ranking country is Malta at 88% with the UK on 76%.

Party co-leader Deputy Shortall added:

“The Programme for Government calls for an integrated framework to tackle any persisting discrimination because of a person’s LGBTI status. It has not yet been delivered.

“Schools need to step up their work to provide safe spaces for LGBTI young people. The law recognising and supporting LGBTI-headed families also needs to be implemented urgently. We need new legislation to support young trans people and people who are intersex, including updating of equality legislation. The diversity of LGBTI people must become central to our work to achieve real equality.

“There is much more to be done to ensure that we complete the task started decades ago – the full inclusion and acceptance of LGBTI people across every aspect of Irish society. Today we call on the new government and Taoiseach to spearhead the effort to deliver the urgently needed change.”

ENDS

24 June 2017