LGBT News

October 7th, News Roundup

Rally For Recognition

The Trans Education and Advocacy Group, or the TEA, have announced that they will be holding a Rally for Recognition on Saturday, October 20th outside Dail Eireann at 2.30pm to mark International Day of Action for Trans* Depathologisation. For those who aren’t in the know, being gay used to be a mental illness but if you’re trans this is still considered a mental illness and are still not recognised by the Irish State. Speakers will include a number of activists from Ireland and Europe.

www.transgender.ie  

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In more Trans news, a recent Trans Survey has revealed that 40 Percent of Trans people have Attempted Suicide.

The survey conducted on the mental health and well-being of members of the trans community discovered the saddening figure and was conducted in Ireland and the UK between June and August 2012.

Among the findings of the survey: 78% of trans respondents said they had thought about ending their life, with 63% of respondents saying they thought about attempting suicide in the last year.

40% of respondents said they had attempted suicide in their life. 12% attempted once, 22% attempted 2-5 times and 6% attempted suicide more than 5 times.

TENI Director Broden Giambrone said “These are very disturbing statistics, Trans people are part of the fabric of Irish society – we pay taxes, go to school, have families. Yet many of us feel excluded and there is still significant stigmatisation and marginalisation of trans people.”

He also went on to say that “Despite a High Court ruling, Ireland is one of the last countries in the European Union that does not allow trans people to be legally recognised in their preferred gender. The lack of legal gender recognition means that trans people are invisible in the eyes of the Irish State which makes us even more vulnerable.”

For more on this visit www.teni.ie

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Civil Partnership Popularity

Did you know that on average two civil partnerships have taken place a day since the introduction of the legislation.

According to the statistics, released yesterday by GLEN, it shows that civil partnerships have happened in every county of Ireland. With Civil Partnership figures to the end of September this year showing that 862 couples entered civil partnerships in Ireland. Of that, 528 were male couples and 334 were female couples.

The statistics also showed that Dublin 8 is the most popular metropolitan area, with 60 couples from there having civil partnerships. Outside of the Pale, Cork is the most popular area in Munster, in Connaught, it’s Galway, and in Ulster it’s Donegal.

Kieran Rose, the Chairperson of GLEN  said “Civil Partnerships are a resounding success. Over 1,700 lesbian and gay people have entered civil partnerships in Ireland since they became available little more than a year ago, in April 2011. Based on this success, Ireland is rapidly evolving to supporting civil marriage as the next step for lesbian and gay couples.

For more on this story visit www.glen.ie

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Stephen Fry has attacked Church of England ‘extremists’ who oppose marriage equality in @Out4Marriage video

Gay TV presenter Stephen Fry has slammed the Church of England for spreading lies about marriage equality.

The actor, has followed in the footsteps of Hugh Grand in calling on the UK government to allow faith groups to provide marriage ceremonies to same-sex couples, in a video for the Out4Marriage campaign.

The gay author and TV star said it was “unfair” of the Church of England to oppose same-sex weddings to appease “the more extreme end” of their membership.

Fry ended his message by telling those undecided on the case for equal marriage that:

“At least 260 species of animal have been noted exhibiting homosexual behaviour but only 1 species of animal ever, so far as we know… has exhibited homophobic behaviour… And that’s the human being. So ask yourself which is really natural.”

The UK government will issue its official response to this year’s equal marriage public consultation before Christmas.

You can check out the video on Youtube.

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So you might remember the recent story of a billionaire businessman offering millions for a man to woo his lesbian daughter. Well if things weren’t bad enough for his daughter Gigi Chao, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has signed up to make new film called The Lesbian, based on the story.

In a move that is likely to anger many in the gay community, Mr Chao said that he is eager for his daughter to marry any man who can win her heart.

Baron Cohen previously starred as Bruno, a gay character in one of his own films and his next comic character is to be based on the billionaire businessman.

Paramount Pictures, along with Baron Cohen will develop the comedy, which has been given the working title, The Lesbian, and which will be loosely based on Cecil Chao.

The 76-year-old, Cecil Chao, had offered a $65m dowry to any man who could win the heart of his lesbian daughter and had announced the financial reward after his daughter, Gigi, had a church blessing ceremony with her female partner Sean Eav in France earlier this year.

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September 30th, News Roundup

Ahmadinejad: Gays are Ugly

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Western countries shouldn’t expect Iran to recognise homosexuality as “normal”.

Ahmadinejad – who claimed in 2005 that homosexuality “doesn’t exist” in Iran – made the comments during an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, reports Gay Star News.

Ahmadinejad suggested that if a country wished to legalise stealing, no other country would be expected to agree with them.

“If you, if a group recognises an ugly behaviour or ugly deed as legitimate, you must not expect other countries or other groups to give it the same recognition,” he said.

When Morgan asked the Iranian leader how great it would be if he supported gay rights, Ahmadinejad responded, “I’m sorry. Let me ask you this, do you believe anyone has given birth through homosexuality? Homosexuality ceases procreation.

“Who has said that if you like or you believe in doing something ugly and others do not accept your behaviour, they’re denying your freedom. Who says that?”

www.gcn.ie

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Hong Kong billionaire’s gay daughter Gigi Chao laughs off €50m bounty

In a move that is likely to anger many in the gay community, Mr Chao said that he is eager for his daughter to marry any man who can win her heart.
 By Richard Hall Hong Kong
A BILLIONAIRE is offering a $65m (€50m) reward to any man who can win the heart of his lesbian daughter.

Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, a Hong Kong shipping magnate and property developer, announced the “marriage bounty” for his daughter following reports that she had married her female partner of seven years.

In a move that is likely to anger many in the gay community, Mr Chao said that he is eager for his daughter to marry any man who can win her heart.

“I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted,” he said.

The 76-year-old tycoon said he hoped his daughter’s prospective husband would use the money to start a business, describing the offer as “an inducement to attract someone who has the talent but not the capital”.

Gigi Chao, a 33-year-old graduate of the University of Manchester and director in her father’s company, was reported to have married Sean Eav, her partner earlier this year.

Mr Chao described these reports as “false” as he enthused about his daughter’s best qualities: “Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks.

“She is devoted, generous and does volunteer work,” he told the ‘South China Morning Post’.

Many comments posted by readers of newspaper’s website were critical of what they saw as Mr Chao’s “indecent proposal”.

“How humiliating for this poor girl,” wrote one reader. “Mr Chao needs to come out of denial.”

– Richard Hall Hong Kong

Irish Independent

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Faggot Used 2.5 Million Times On Twitter Since July

A website measuring the instances of homophobic language on Twitter has reported that the most common word – ‘faggot’ – has been used 2.5 million times since July.

The site, NoHomophobes, which reportedly measures the number of instances commonly-used anti-gay terms, including “faggot” and “dyke”, are used daily, weekly and yearly on Twitter, reports The Huffington Post.

The term “so gay” was used in a total of 832,309 tweets since July, “faggot” was used 2.5 million times, “dyke” was used 351,206 and the phrase “so gay” 906,664 times.

Visitors to the site can see a live feed of Twitter users using anti-gay phrases and terms on NoHomophobes.com.

www.gcn.ie

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GLEN strongly welcomes comments by former President Mary McAleese on gay suicide.


Mary McAleese, former president of Ireland, today highlighted the critical issue of suicide amongst young men in Ireland, in particular young gay men in her interview on The Pat Kenny Show on RTE Radio One.

“Mrs McAleese as president continually highlighted the difficulties experienced by young lesbian and gay people as they discovered their sexual
orientation. Today Ms McAleese reiterated that concern, and highlighted the consequences for young gay people who make that discovery against a background of challenges such as homophobic bullying in schools and church attitudes towards homosexuality” said Odhrán Allen, Director of Mental Health with GLEN.

“We know from Irish research that the most common age to know you are gay is 12 but you don’t tell the first person until you are 17. This shows that for most young gay people there is a period of 5 years of isolation and fear of telling others before coming out”, said Odhrán Allen, GLEN Director of Mental Health. “This research also shows that more than one in four LGBT people had self-harmed and almost one in five has attempted suicide at least once”, continued Allen.

Mrs. McAleese noted that many young gay people go to Catholic or Christian schools where they hear negative comments about homosexuality and where they may not get the support they need. An “internal conflict of appalling proportions” can open up before them as they discover their sexual orientation in such an environment, she noted.

58% of Irish gay people reported homophobic bullying in their schools and over half were called homophobic names by fellow students with 34% reporting homophobic comments by teachers. “The climate in a school when young LGBT people discover their orientation is critical to their well being. Supportive schools and families have a positive protective effect on their mental health” said Allen.

“There has been a huge positive shift in attitudes to lesbian and gay people in Ireland over the last two decades, though there still remain some
significant challenges” said Allen. “Through the recent Civil Partnership Act the State for the first time recognised the love and commitment of
lesbian and gay couples. The success of civil partnerships throughout the country has meant, as the Longford Leader recently noted, that the tide of public opinion has just shifted towards an acceptance of gay marriage” said Allen.

We echo and agree with Mrs. McAleese’s statement that what gay people want is “the joy of an open, happy family”, concluded Allen.

www.glen.ie

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September 16th, News Roundup

Musicians Lend Their Support To Marriage Equality!

Some of Ireland’s top musicians will come together on Bank Holiday Sunday, October 28th for a fundraiser in support of Marriage Equality’s campaign for civil marriage rights for same sex couples.  The gig, called Just Love: The Gig For Marriage Equality, will be held at the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin, and features artists such as Royseven, This Club, Bitches With Wolves, Element, Brian Kennedy, and The Heathers.  MC for the evening is Sean Munsanje.

“We are absolutely delighted to have the support of everyone involved in this incredible event to help us raise not only funds for our campaign, but awareness of the continued, urgent need for equality for all Irish families,” said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith.  “With a fantastic line up of the cream of Ireland’s talent and a beautiful venue to boot, we know this event will be a huge success. This is another step towards changing Ireland for the better, to make it a fairer place for all families, a place which cherishes love between two people irrespective of gender or sexuality.”

Singer and The Voice of Ireland judge Brian Kennedy said he was very happy to be part of the event: “I am a supporter of Marriage Equality, because the clue is in the title. Civil partnership is anything but equal and a loving couple, be it two women or two men deserve the right to marry if they wish. It’s a basic human right as far as I’m concerned.”

Band Royseven also lent their support commenting: “At its core it must be remembered that the Marriage Equality movement is about the importance of living in a world where all humans are considered equal. We are all different, so let’s treat each other the same.”

James O’Neill, Bitches with Wolves said: “As a proudly gay man, Marriage Equality and equal rights for all are two causes that I hold very deep. I am over the moon to be able to do my part to help such a worthy cause and look forward to whipping up a storm in the Mansion House.”

“We are delighted with the support we have received from all the performers who have so generously offered their services free of charge,” added Ms Griffith.  “It’s events like this that really make a difference to our fund-raising efforts and enable us to continue to fight for equality for same sex couples and families”

Tickets for the gig will go on sale from Ticketmaster next week and cost €35 (excluding booking fee).  Doors at the Mansion House will open at 7.30pm.

www.marriagequality.ie

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September 11th, News Roundup

South Dublin County Council Votes Unanimously In Favour of Marriage Equality!

Today Marriage Equality welcomed news that South Dublin County Council unanimously passed two motions in support of civil marriage for same sex couples.  The motions were proposed by Labour and Sinn Fein councillors, including the Mayor of South Dublin County Council,
Cathal King. The council joins Dublin City Council, who passed a similar motion last week; Cork and Belfast City Councils, who passed similar
motions in June; as well as Omagh, Down, Moyle, Newry and Magherafelt District Councils who passed motions during the summer months.

“This is a wonderful step by South Dublin County Council to raise awareness of this important issue at a local level. We’d like to thank all
councillors involved for their initiative, and our supporters in South Dublin who spoke to their councillors over the last few months about
raising the issue,” said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith. “Marriage equality is not just a national issue, it’s a local one. It’s
about respecting and protecting loving couples and families who are  part of our communities and treating them as equal. That is why putting the issue on the agenda at local level is so important.”

Last week, Dublin City councillors voted in favour of a motion supporting  marriage equality by a total of 38 votes to 4, while Cork City Council’s
motion passed unanimously in June. Local authorities across Ireland have resumed their sessions this month. During the summer, councillors from city and county councils around Ireland were in contact with Marriage Equality about plans to bring their own motions of support forward in the coming months.

“We are delighted at the response we’ve received from councils around the country,” added Ms Griffith. “In the coming weeks, we look forward to seeing a dramatic rise in the number of local authorities voicing their support for marriage equality, and sending a powerful message from their communities to the Government that same sex couples, our families and our children deserve equality. With 73% popular support, including TDs,  government ministers and local authorities, the time for marriage equality is now.”

www.marriagequality.ie

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September 7th, News Roundup

Minister Burton commits to further dialogue on Ireland’s gender recognition legislation
This morning at the opening ceremony of the 4th European Transgender Council, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD committed to further dialogue on Ireland’s upcoming gender recognition legislation. She marked the dramatic shift in society’s attitudes towards women and LGBT diversity over the last 30 years, and marked the change in the principles of legislating for gender recognition that have taken place in the two years since the interdepartmental Gender Recognition Advisory Group was established. The Minister announced that a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Social Protection and Education will examine the issue of gender recognition in October or November. The committee will be seeking feedback and opinions on the proposed legislation.The three keynote speakers at the ceremony highlighted their commitment to dignity and respect for all identities, and all recognised the need for immediate action. Michael Farrell, senior solicitor at Free Legal Advice Centres, referenced Dr Lydia Foy’s long-standing struggle to be recognised in her true gender by the State. Dr Foy, who was present, received a standing ovation from the gathering of more than 200 human rights activists from across Europe and Turkey. Senator Katherine Zappone delivered a strident call to arms for our lawmakers to enact legislation that accords dignity and respect to all transgender identities.TENI Director Broden Giambrone said, “This is a moment where we can and must influence the legislation to be the best that it can be. We need legislation that respects the diversity of our community, that does not pathologise us and does not tear our families apart. And we need it now.”TGEU co-chair Maria Sundin said, “We are here to send a strong signal to Ireland but also to other policymakers that denying us our basic human rights in inacceptable. Ireland fails to meet its obligation to adapt legislation that recognises transgender identities in full respect of human rights.”Giambrone concluded, “This is a watershed moment in Ireland. It is critical that we educate and energise the government to make this legislation a priority. Dr Foy and the trans community have been waiting for nineteen years for this. Now is the time.”FOR FURTHER INFORMATIONContact TENI on (01) 873 3575 or email news@teni.ie

ABOUT TENI

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families. TENI works in four main areas: support, education, advocacy and capacity building.
www.teni.ie

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Delegates Protest Ministers Speech

LGBT Noise logo

Delegates of a transgender Human Rights conference protested during  Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton?s keynote speech this  morning.  Delegates stood holding placards saying ‘No Forced Divorce’,  ‘Not Good Enough’, ‘My Identity, My Right’, ‘Minister Burton Hurry Up’ as Minister Burton concluded her address to the 4th European  Transgender Council taking place in Dublin City University.The protesters expressed anger and frustration at the ongoing delay  hindering the introduction of Gender Recognition Legislation in  Ireland.  Such legislation would facilitate trans people to have their  birth certificates amended to reflect their gender identity.  For the  past five years, Ireland has been in breach of its obligations under  the European Convention on Human Rights to introduce Gender  Recognition Legislation and is one of the only remaining countries in  the European Union without such legislation.Noise Organiser Cat McIlroy criticised, ‘Current government proposals  would violate the dignity, autonomy and human rights of trans people.   Requiring individuals to be diagnosed with a mental disorder to access  a legal right is humiliating and degrading.  Also proposed is the  requirement that individuals not be married or civilly partnered, thus  forcing people to divorce or dissolve supportive relationships.  These  proposals would enshrine in legislation further shame, stigma and  discrimination of an already marginalised group.’Noise welcomes Minister Burton’s promise to refer the proposals to the  Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Social Protection and Education for  further consultation with trans people and families.Noise will be joining with trans activists and conference delegates at  a Rally for Recognition in response to Minister Burton’s speech at 7pm  tonight on the President’s Lawn in Dublin City University.Noise calls on Minister Burton to ensure that the legislation respects  and upholds the dignity and human rights of trans people.

LGBT Noise
www.lgbtnoise.ie

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MARRIAGE EQUALITY WELCOMES COMMITMENT TO GENDER RECOGNITION LEGISLATION

07.09.2012 – Dublin:  Today Marriage Equality welcomed a commitment by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to closely examine the issue of gender recognition for transgender people this autumn.  The minister was speaking at the opening of the 4th European Transgender Council in Dublin, hosted by the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI).

Speaking from today’s launch, Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith welcomed the minister’s comments, but expressed reservations: “Although we are delighted to hear that Minister Burton intends to closely examine the issue of gender recognition, the proposed Gender Recognition Scheme published in July last year excludes candidates who are married or in a civil partnership.  This means that transgender individuals in loving marriages, civil partnerships and families could be forced to make the agonising choice between having their true gender recognised, or their relationship.”

“For these individuals, official recognition of their true gender will mean separation, divorce, and splitting up families.  No one should ever have to make that choice.  We are calling on the Government to begin the Constitutional Convention without delay, so that the issue of marriage equality can be addressed, and same sex couples and families can be protected equally under the law.”

Marriage Equality have worked with TENI to highlight the ways in which allowing same sex couples access to civil marriage would benefit couples and families in Ireland.  TENI had previously argued that the proposed Gender Recognition Scheme was contrary to a recent Council of Europe report dealing with gender recognition that encourages the separation of marriage from the legal recognition process.

“We have seen such amazing progress in the past few years on the issue of marriage equality,” added Ms Griffith. “In the case of transgender people, it is more important than ever that the marriage ban for same sex couples is removed without delay.  In modern Ireland, with 73% of the public in support of marriage equality, no one should be forced to choose between having their
true gender recognised, and their family.”

www.marriagequality.ie

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Minister Joan Burton to address European human rights conference

4th European Transgender Council – Dublin, 2012

Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton will open the 4th European Transgender Council at Dublin City University on 7 September 2012.

More than 200 human rights activists have travelled from across Europe and Turkey to meet in Dublin for the three-day conference. Messages of welcome have come from President Michael D. Higgins and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí.

The opening will highlight Ireland’s human rights record and discuss the lengthy struggle to recognise transgender people in this country. The Minister will deliver a keynote address at 10am. Other keynote speakers will be Michael Farrell, senior solicitor at FLAC and Senator Katherine Zappone.

“We are delighted that the Minister is part of this conference,” said TENI Director Broden Giambrone. “Gender recognition for transgender people is a basic human right, and Ireland – one of the last EU States to legislate – has an opportunity to lead Europe in drafting inclusive, marriage-friendly legislation. We are looking forward to hearing from the Minister.”

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD said: “I want to pay tribute to Dr Lydia Foy for her long and tenacious battle to have her true gender and identity recognised by the State and her human rights vindicated. As a result of the High Court’s ruling in Dr Foy’s case, the State now has an obligation to put a process in place to legally recognise the acquired gender of transgender people. I am very anxious to make progress on this matter; I want to ensure that transgender people will have legal recognition and to extend the protections of the equality legislation to them.”
I intend to request that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Social Protection and Education examine the issue of gender recognition in October or November. I would like all groups with an interest in this area to engage with the Committee on this important issue, which will then assist my Department in drafting the legislation,” concluded the Minister.

It has been five years since Ireland was declared to be in breach of the EU Convention on Human Rights in this respect. The proposals for Ireland’s legislation would controversially force people to divorce before their true gender would be recognized. There is also a proposal forcing people to be diagnosed with a mental illness in order to gain recognition.

The conference is programmed by Transgender Europe and will feature their fourth biannual Council. It will be hosted in Ireland due to last year’s successful bid from Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). TENI have worked in partnership with Dublin City University, whose research group EROSS (Expressions, Research, Orientations: Sexuality Studies) investigates sexual identities and gender role formation. Dr Mel Duffy from EROSS said, “This is not about individualism. This is about human rights and equality. This is about acceptance.”

The theme of the conference is Trans Rights Now! – Realizing Respect, Recognition and Equality

The conference details are as follows:

Dates

7-9 September 2012

Venue

The School of Nursing

Dublin City University

Collins Avenue

Dublin, 9

Photo Call: 9.45am Friday 7 September, The School of Nursing, DCU

Due to the sensitive nature of the event, photo opportunities will be restricted or by prior arrangement with TENI. There will be a photo opportunity, for press and television, with Minister Burton as she arrives at the venue at 9.45am.

FURTHER DETAILS

Please contact Dr Orlaith O’Sullivan, TENI Communications Officer on 087 2140488 for photography or interview arrangements.

Broden Giambrone is available for interview.

The TENI office is closed until Tuesday 11 September.

Transgender Equality Network Ireland, Carmichael Centre, Brunswick Street North, Dublin 7

(01) 8733 575. ● info@teni.iewww.teni.iefacebook.com/TransEqualitytwitter.com/TENl_Tweets

For details on DCU’s EROSS see: http://www.dcu.ie/eross/

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September 4th, News Roundup

*DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL VOTES IN FAVOUR OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY*

Today Marriage Equality welcomes the news that Dublin City Council has passed a motion in support of civil marriage for same sex couples.  Two motions in support of marriage equality were put forward – by councillors from Labour and Sinn Féin – and passed at last night’s council meeting, having been considered jointly.  Dublin City Council joins Cork City Council and Belfast City Council, who passed similar motions in June, as well as Omagh, Down, Moyle and Magherafelt District Councils who passed motions during the summer months.

“This is a wonderful step by Dublin City Council to raise awareness of this important issue at a local level.  We’d like to thank the councillors from both Labour and Sinn Féin for their initiative, and our supporters in Dublin who spoke to their councillors over the last few months about
raising the issue,” said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith. “Marriage equality is not just a national issue, it’s a local one. It’s
about respecting and protecting loving couples and families who are part of our communities and treating them as equal. That is why putting the issue on the agenda at local level is so important.”

In June, Cork City Council became the first local authority in the Republic to openly support marriage equality when a motion, put forward by Sinn Féin councillor Michael Nugent, was passed unanimously.   Local authorities across Ireland are resuming their sessions this month.  During the summer, councillors from city and county councils around Ireland were in contact with Marriage Equality about plans to bring their own motions of support forward in the coming months.

“We are delighted at the response we’ve received from councils around the country,” added Ms Griffith. “In the coming weeks, we look forward to seeing a dramatic rise in the number of local authorities voicing their support for marriage equality, and sending a powerful message from their communities to the Government that same sex couples, our families and our children deserve equality.  With 73% popular support, including TDs, government ministers and local authorities, the time for marriage equality is now.”

www.marriagequality.ie

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Dublin City Council passes Motion supporting Marriage for  Lesbian and Gay couples.

Tonight, Sept 3rd, Dublin City Council overwhelmingly passed motions which support the opening up of civil marriage to all citizens ‘regardless of sexuality’.

GLEN strongly welcomes the Dublin City Council motions.  “This is another welcome demonstration of the transformation in attitudes to lesbian and gay people in Ireland. Based on the success of civil partnerships, political and public support for civil marriage is growing rapidly” said Brian Sheehan, Director of GLEN.

“Today’s motions in Dublin City Council are further evidence that the tide of public and political opinion has shifted towards an acceptance of
marriage for same-sex couples. We commend the Councillors on passing the motions.” continued Brian Sheehan.

Over 400 lesbian and gay couples from Dublin have entered civil partnerships since they first became available in April 2011. This is more than half of the 750 couples that entered civil partnerships up to June 2012. These figures do not take account of the hundreds of lesbian and gay couples living in Dublin who have had civil marriages or civil partnerships abroad that are now recognised in Ireland as civil partnerships.

“Civil partnership delivers almost all the rights and obligations of civil marriage to lesbian and gay couples.  Civil marriage would achieve full
constitutional equality for lesbian and gay couples, and would send out a powerful message that same-sex relationships are equal to others” said
Sheehan.

Dublin City Council has strongly supported lesbian and gay inclusion in the City over many years. They support the second biggest public parade – the Pride Parade – each year, and support many other LGBT cultural events.

Two motions were debated together in Dublin City Council chambers tonight. One was from the Labour Party the other from Sinn Fein. Both proposed that the Council support civil marriage for all citizens, ‘regardless of race, religion or sexuality’.

“Dublin City Council, in passing motions on equal access to marriage for lesbian and gay couples, continues to demonstrate that equality, respect and progress are at the heart of a welcoming Dublin” said Sheehan.

“With the success of civil partnership in Ireland, the next step for Ireland is to move to full Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people by
providing access to civil marriage. This is not a massive legislative leap; it is the next step building on marriage-like civil partnership” concluded
Sheehan.

www.glen.ie

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August 25th, News Roundup

Limerick bids to host Gay Games in 2018

LIMERICK is bidding to be the host city of the 2018 Gay Games, which could see around 12,000 athletes descend on the city for the 10-day event if its bid is successful.

Limerick is up against big name cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Orlando, Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro to host the games, under the first phase of the selection process by the Federation of the Gay Games (FGG).

Only three of these cities will make it to the site selection meeting in late 2013, the Federation has confirmed. A number of representatives for Limerick’s bid are currently in Sofia, Bulgaria, to highlight the benefits of holding the event in Limerick.

If successful, this would be the first time that any Irish city has hosted the games in their 30 year history.

Cillian Flynn, spokesperson for Limerick Pride, said huge efforts are being made to push Limerick for this event. He also said “It’s a massive bid process that’s going on. We have sporting facilities that are world class. When people look at the [short] list they say we don’t have a chance, but when you look at the facilities and what we have on offer, yes, we can do it,” he said.

The next Gay Games are due to be held in Cleveland in 2014, and it is expected that the host for 2018 will be announced closer to that time.

From everyone here at GTalk, we wish you all the best with the bid. To find out more on this story head over to http://www.limerickleader.ie

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Senator David Norris is to publish his autobiography in October this year.

Senator Norris, who ran for president in last year’s election, has spent the last few months writing the book which will be published by Transworld Ireland on October 11th.

The book will be expected to cover the long time senator’s political career as the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland as well as his activism which has included his fight to decriminalise homosexuality at the European Court of Human Rights.

The Senator will also likely cover his controversial presidential campaign last year which he withdrew from over revelations that he sought clemency for his former partner who had been convicted of statutory rape in Israel and later re-entered the campaign coming fifth out of the seven candidates, receiving 6.2 per cent of the first preference votes.

For more on this story visit thejournal.ie

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A retired senior Church of Ireland cleric in Northern Ireland has called for marriage equality to be made legal. 

Canon Charles Kenny, who retired from St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast in 2000, told the Belfast Telegraph that the Church of Ireland was clouding the Christian message with “bias and literalism”, just as their previous actions had led to sectarianism.

Canon Kenny, 73, said: “The same failings of the Christian Church, and the presentation of the Gospel, which led to sectarianism in the past are playing again now in relation to homophobia.”

He added that many devotees to the Church of Ireland were privately “pro gay”.

As reported by Northern Ireland News, in a statement to the Church of Ireland Gazette, Canon Kenny wrote: “Once again the church is behaving as it did when the issue was slavery, or racialism, the cruel treatment of children born out of wedlock or what amounted to denial of full humanity to the female half of homo sapiens, lack of sympathy for the lower orders, a suspicion of the new ideas of science, and so forth.

“People are puzzled that all this was done in the name of Christ; but many suspect it was more to do with earthly power and control.”

Earlier this year, the Church of Ireland synod opposed marriage equality and said that same-sex partnerships were “not normative”.

For more on this check out pinknews.co.uk

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Indonesian LBT Women Exposed To A Fundamentalist Backlash [www.awid.org] 21/08/2012

Lesbians, bisexual women and transgender (LBT) people in Indonesia have been part of the women’s movement for over a decade, fighting for equality for all Indonesian women.

Yet because LBT rights are not seen as women’s rights by the Indonesian state, the global beacon for women’s rights, the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), does not apply to LBT people in the country.

At the Committee’s review of Indonesia held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City they were reluctant to raise LBT issues, stating

“The fundamentalists are saying that when we push for women’s rights we are pushing for same-sex marriage, if we bring up LBT, it will weaken our advocacy.”

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has been aware over time,  through activists reports, that since 2008 fundamentalist thugs have been leaving threatening phone messages for LBT groups in Indonesia. They are stalking LBT activists and violently disrupting human rights workshops. They are using the conservative media to incite violence against LBT people.

With the LGBT community exposed to vigilante attacks resulting in cancellations or early closures of gatherings, including the International Lesbian and Gay Asia Conference, the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission’s training for transgender women and the Indonesian Q Film Festival in four of its seven locations. Indonesia’s LGBT activists are maintaining the fight to retain their freedom of association and assembly.

For more on this story head over to www.awid.org

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Snoop: Hip-hop is more accepting

Snoop Dogg thinks hip-hop culture is becoming more open-minded, accepting and less homophobic.

Anti-gay sentiments and misogyny have long been a part of the hip-hop and rap culture, but since R&B singer Frank Ocean, who has collaborated with Jay-Z & Kanye West, came out on his blog last month, Snoop thinks it is a sign of change.

Snoop said: “People are learning how to live and get along more, and accept people for who they are and not bash them or hurt them because they’re different.”

Snoop went on to say of Ocean’s revelation: “When I was growing up, you could never do that and announce that. There would be so much scrutiny and hate and negativity, and no one would step (forward) to support you because that’s what we were brainwashed and trained to know.”

Meanwhile, rapper Ice-T said he could see a gay rapper on the scene, depending on what kind of rap he or she performed.

Snoop added: “There might be some openly gay rappers in hip-hop that (are) having success – for real. You never know. There might be some(one) right now that hasn’t pulled a Frank Ocean yet, that hasn’t jumped out of the closet to the living room to make that announcement.”

Baby steps so then!

For more on this story head over to www.independent.ie

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July 1st 2012

* HISTORIC MARRIAGE EQUALITY SUPPORT FROM TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE TD*

Below follows a statement by Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality, a national not for profit organisation working for equality for same sex couples, families and their children through access to civil marriage welcoming Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s statement of support for marriage equality today.

“Today the Tánaiste, the second most senior politician in Ireland, became the first government minister to publically add his voice to the 73% of
Irish people who believe that same sex couples, our families and our children deserve equality.  With today’s statement, he joins the growing
majority of Irish people who believe in truly Irish values of justice, equality, fairness, and respect for difference and diversity.”

“As the most senior member of Government to declare marriage equality an important issue, the Tánaiste’s full public support marks an historic point in our campaign for equality.  But we have a lot of work ahead of us.  The Government will soon be launching its Constitutional Convention, to look at, amongst other issues, the provision of same-sex marriage.

“We look forward to having the full support of the Tánaiste as we work with the Constitutional Convention to protect same sex couples and families, and to ensure that they are treated equally under the law by enshrining marriage equality in the Irish Constitution.”

For more information please visit www.marriagequality.ie

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April 30th 2012

Fine Gael Progress for Gay People: Jerry Buttimer TD, and new LGBT Group

Fine Gael Jerry Buttimer TD in his interview today in the Cork Examiner talked about being a TD who is gay.

Jerry Buttimer TD has been an eloquent advocate for equality for lesbian and gay people in the Oireachtas. We would like to congratulate Jerry for his interview in the Examiner, for his courage and integrity in being forthright about all aspects of his life. Jerry has given great leadership and shown that any lesbian or gay person can aspire to be a leading member of the Oireachtas” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.

There is an increasing number of our elected representatives who are open about their sexual orientation; we look forward to more and more coming out; and being in leadership positions, including at Cabinet level” said Rose.

In his interview Deputy Buttimer advocates for gay marriage saying “I have always viewed civil partnership as a stepping stone, a platform from which to build gay marriage” and welcomes the forthcoming constitutional convention as the forum to debate this issue.

Deputy Buttimer, who talks about being a TD who also happens to be gay, highlights the issues faced by young gay people saying that “if we can ensure that no young person is bullied, no young person is attacked because of their sexual  orientation, then it has been a good day”.

GLEN strongly welcomes the establishment of the Fine Gael LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Group. The Group, whose inaugural event was held on Saturday evening, aims to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people within the Party, including promoting the adoption of equality policies as Party and Government policy.

“The establishment of this Group is symbolic of the great progress Ireland has made over the last 20 years for LGBT people, and of the support of Fine Gael to ensure that LGBT people are fully included in Irish society” continued Rose.

“The new Fine Gael group is an indicator of how equality for LGBT people is becoming integrated across all aspects of Irish society, and across all political parties. It is also a clear signal that being lesbian or gay is increasingly less of a barrier to participation in politics at all levels” said Rose.

“We know that despite the progress in Ireland there remains many unresolved issues for LGBT people, including safe and supportive schools for young LGBT people; access to civil marriage and legal recognition and support of same-sex headed families. We look forward to working with this new group to advance solutions to those issues” concluded Rose

For further information:

Brian Sheehan                   (086) 2330417

Sandra Irwin-Gowran     (087) 7960615

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April 20th 2012

New Human Rights Commission Proposals Important for Lesbian and Gay People

Today, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD published the report of the ‘Working Group on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC)’. The report sets out recommendations to the Minister on the establishment of a new body to replace the Equality Authority and the Irish Human Rights Commission.

“Many of the proposals in the report have a direct impact on lesbian, gay and bisexual people. In particular, GLEN strongly welcomes the proposal that the definition of human rights for the new body would take into account ‘new and emerging human rights’,” said Brian Sheehan of GLEN.

“This new definition would enable the new IHREC to support access to civil marriage for same sex couples which the Equality Authority has consistently called for, following the principle of equality on the basis of sexual orientation” said Sheehan.

“The Equality Authority has played a very important proactive role in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. We strongly welcome the proposals that the new body will retain that promotional and development role, and the proposal that the functions of both organisations are being carried forward.” continued Sheehan.

“Meaningful equality for lesbian and gay people will be significantly enhanced by the proposal for a positive duty on public bodies to have regard to equality and human rights. This could mean that, for example, schools would be obliged to consider how young LGBT people are treated in schools and to put in places measures to ensure that they are safe, supported and affirmed.  This proposal offers the possibility to mainstream provision for LGBT people across a very wide area of public service provision, and is
strongly welcomed” said Sheehan

The Working Group also recommended that the new IHREC consider changes in other areas of legislation, including in Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act (EEA) and the inclusion of gender identity as a new discrimination ground. Section 37 of the EEA may allow for the possibility of lesbian and gay employees of religious controlled institutions to be discriminated against in access to or in employment and has acted as a ‘chill factor’ for lesbian and gay teachers. A Bill to amend Section 37 is currently before the Seanad.

For further information:
Brian Sheehan (086) 2330417

Editors Notes:
1. The report of the Working Group is available at:
<http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/JELR/20120419-WorkingGroupRpt-HumanRightsEqualityCommission.pdf/Files/20120419-WorkingGroupRpt-HumanRightsEqualityCommission.pdf>
http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/JELR/20120419-WorkingGroupRpt-HumanRightsEqualityCommission.pdf/Files/20120419-WorkingGroupRpt-HumanRightsEqualityCommission.pdf

2. GLEN’s Submission to the Working Group is at:
http://www.glen.ie/attachments/Submission_to_Working_Goup_on_HREC.PDF

GLEN – Gay and Lesbian Equality Network
2 Exchange Street Upper, Dublin 8
t; + 353 1 6728650 m: + 353 86 2330417
http://www.glen.ie; info@glen.ie

GLEN – Working for Equality for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People.

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April 18th 2012

 Do Your Cakes Have The Cake Factor?

Emerald Warriors Annual Fundraising Tea Dance and Bake Off

 

This April, Ireland’s gay rugby club the Emerald Warriors (EWRFC) will swap rugby balls for Victoria sponges as they host their annual fundraising ‘Tea Dance’ and ‘Bake Off’. Now in its fifth year the event will take place on Sunday 29th April in the clubs de facto club house, The George Bar and Nightclub from 3pm-6pm.

Hosted by The George’s resident drag queens, Shirley Temple Bar, Veda Beaux Reves and Davina Devine, tea and rugby fans can expect an afternoon of high jinx and fun as the ladies don their pinnies and twin set and pearls to serve up a delicious selection of home baked treats on dainty doilies. Guests will also enjoy a variety of entertainment in the form of a Make & Do Corner, a ‘Bake Off’ and old style ceili dancing all washed down with lashings tea.

As part of the event the club is calling on amateur bakers to don their aprons for the annual ‘Bake Off’ competition. Contestants are invited to offer up a tasty baked treat which will be served on the day and judged by The George’s drag queens in a Cake Factor meets X Factor style competition. Contestants will have to present their cakes to the judging panel who will determine if their offerings are worthy of the cake table. A selection of prizes are up for grabs for the best and worst cakes.

A fun day out for all ages, tickets for the event are priced at €10 and are available directly from The George bar or they can be booked online be emailing The Emerald Warriors Club events@ewrfc.ie   All funds raised will go to supporting the Emerald Warriors Rugby Club.

For more information on the event visit www.thegeorge.ie or  www.ewrfc.iefollow the action on Twitter @Thegeorgebar or @ewrfcand Facebook www.facebook.com/TheGeorgeBar or www.facebook.com/groups/19289066680/

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March 31st 2012

GLEN welcomes Fine Gael approval of motion on same-sex marriage

The Fine Gael Ard Fheis this afternoon approved a motion calling on the Government to prioritise consideration of same-sex marriage in the Constitutional Convention.

“The passing of today’s motion is a great step forwards in further building a political consensus for civil marriage for same-sex couples. All political parties have now taken policy positions supportive of civil marriage for same-sex couples. This is a very welcome development and builds on the widespread acceptance and support for the Civil Partnerships that are taking place all across the country”, said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.

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March 31st 2012

Fine Gael votes to prioritise marriage equality in the Constitutional Convention
Marriage Equality have welcomed news that Fine Gael delegates at this weekend’s Ard Fheis have voted in favour of ensuring that the upcoming Constitutional Convention “prioritises an analysis of the proposals for same-sex marriage in Ireland.”  The motion was put forward by Mark O’Meara of Young Fine Gael.  Speeches in favour of the motion were given by Catherine Byrne, TD for Dublin South Central, and Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence.

“We are delighted that Fine Gael delegates have voted to prioritise marriage equality in the Constitutional Convention,” said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith, speaking from the Fine Gael Ard Fheis.  “73% of Irish people recently said they are in favour of marriage equality being enshrined in the Constitution – all we need now is for the legislation to catch up to public opinion. We will be engaging in debate with the members of the Convention, and other stakeholders, as to how marriage equality can be introduced as quickly as possible.”

The Government recently published its proposals for the Constitutional Convention, which will be made up of 66 members of the general public, 33 Oireachtas members and parliamentarians from Northern Ireland, and one chairperson.  Marriage Equality is committed to fully engaging with the Constitutional Convention, and has urged supporters to contact their elected representatives to ensure that the voices of those affected by the marriage ban – gay and lesbian couples, their families and children – are heard
during the process.

The marriage ban in Ireland currently affects up to 10% of the population in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.  Initial census figures released on Thursday found over 4000 cohabiting same sex couples, including 230 same sex couples with children, though these figures are thought to be under-representative.  With over 160 differences between civil
partnership and civil marriage, these inequalities are having a real impact on same sex couples, our families and our children.  The Constitutional Convention presents an important opportunity to protect these couples and families, and to ensure that they are treated equally under the law by enshrining marriage equality in the Irish Constitution.

“The Constitutional Convention is our chance to set out our values as Irish people, and to ensure that they are enshrined in the Constitution.  This is our chance to show that we believe in equality, fairness, doing the right thing, and respect for difference and diversity, and to have these values protected in the Constitution,” added Ms Griffith.  “73% of the population in favour of marriage rights for same sex couples – that is a strong majority of people who believe that denying someone the right to marry the person they love is wrong.  With FG members now calling on Government to make marriage equality a priority issue, these next few months will be critical for our campaign, as we move closer to achieving equality for same-sex couples, our families and our children.  We’re looking forward to the day – hopefully in the near future – when Ireland joins countries such as Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal in legalising marriage equality for same-sex couples, our families and our children.”

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March 29th 2012

Census shows almost 100% increase in cohabiting Same-Sex couples

The Census 2011 results published today show an almost 100% increase in the number of same-sex couples living together since the previous Census in 2006.

“It is great to see the increasing confidence of lesbian and gay people leading to greater numbers recording their relationships in the Census, even though these figures are likely to be an undercount” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.

The 93% increase in Census 2011 to 4,042 cohabiting same-sex couples, mirrors the scale of increases across previous censuses. One hundred and fifty same-sex cohabiting couples were counted in the 1996 census; 1,300 couples in the 2002 census and 2,090 couples in the 2006 census.

Since civil partnership became available in 2011, 536 couples, across all counties in Ireland, entered a civil partnership in the nine months to the end of December 2011.

www.glen.ie

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March 26th 2012

 

Senator Katherine Zappone to launch programme of 9th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, now in it’s 9th year, will from the 7th – 20th of May host 147 performances, by 83 performers in 22 new plays and 16 free events, over 14 days, in 8 Dublin venues, from 7 countries, in two new weekly programmes. All this to entertain, educate and (occasionally) challenge one great diverse audience – that should include you.

Senator Katherine Zappone, Ireland’s first openly gay female member of parliament, will officially launch this remarkable programme at 1pm on March 28th in the Arlington Hotel, Temple Bar. Zappone, alongside her spouse Anne Louise Gilligan, stood up to challenge the law as it continued to discriminate against gay people who are married.

The festival’s founding Artistic Director, Brian Merriman, explains “We are extremely grateful to Senator Zappone for showing her support of the festival in such a wonderful way. Her leadership and courage is typical of the open and generous contribution gay people are making to the human rights agenda, which does, and will, make Ireland a good place to live. Actions like hers are beyond bravery – they bring about change – allowing public enquiry into ones individuality is deeply personal, but the result is generously beneficial to all.”

This year the festival nears its 1800th performance as next year will see their 2,000th, just in time for the tenth anniversary year in 2013 – a truly impressive landmark and testament to the festival’s resilience through thick and thin.

The festival has provided a platform for stories to be written, told, heard and discussed within the safety of theatre. These stories, match the diversity of the festival’s participants, both cast and crew; they are told by men and women, young and old, straight and gay, Irish and international.

Merriman explains: “Foreign nationals make up over 25% of our audience and are a valued, hard working cohort of our volunteers corps. We have a German, Belgian and Pole on our Executive Committee as well as a guy from Galway!”

In fact this ethnic diversity is no more apparent than in the companies hosted by the festival over the years. This May, Dublin will host professional theatre makers from Ireland, UK, Germany, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia. The international programme is carefully designed from over 80 worldwide submissions.

Merriman continues: “About half of our audience and of our performers, writers and crew are gay – the rest share our requirement for good theatre and are most welcome. This is not an exclusive event for our wonderful supporters in the LGBT community, and they respect that. This is an artistic event for theatre lovers at home and abroad – it is for Dublin, our arts, our city and all its people and beyond.”

As the largest event of its kind in the world, the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has helped Dublin become the centre for gay theatre and has placed gay theatre itself on the map as a concept and a valid theatrical and social identity. Alongside the festival, Dublin City Council has evolved from trying to shut down the Project Arts centre for showing a gay play in the 1970s to being the best City Council to support the holding of such an event in the 21st century. The festival’s flags will once again grace the quays this year, flying high for all to see.

And that is just who the festival wish to entice, doing so with a programme containing something for everyone. In Artscape’s production of Mary & The Conqueror (South Africa) the lives of inspiring South African writer Mary Renault and her lover Julie Mullard are paralleled with those of Alexander the Great and his lover Hephaistion. From history to stand-up with The F*cking World According to Molly, to love uncovered through violence in Stop Kiss, to cabaret as filmstar Lionel Jeffries’ son Ty performs as Miss Hope Springs, to the challenges that face many who try to endure depression prompted by constructed shame in Half a Person, to comedy in Womb Service. Through iconic music from female vocal legends in The Queen B’s, to a magical wand bringing a family of women together in Outlook, the HIV stories of families and friends in Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens and the world premiere coming out story of TV star Eilish O Carroll (Mrs. Brown’s Boys), daughter of a Labour party TD in Live, Love, Laugh.

This year marks the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity Between Generations. So in the generous and inclusive ethos of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, grab your mum, your son, your sister and your lover and visit www.gaytheatre.ie for more information.

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March 3rd 2012


Marriage Equality welcomes Fianna Fáil commitment to equality for same-sex couples

Marriage Equality have welcomed news that Fianna Fáil delegates at this weekend’s Ard Fheis have voted in favour of giving equal marriage rights to all people, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, as well as backing a motion calling for same-sex couples to be given full adoption rights as heterosexual couples.

“The importance of today’s vote cannot be overstated,” said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith.  “We are delighted that Fianna Fáil
delegates agree with the majority of Irish people who support marriage equality, and voted in favour of equal rights for same-sex couples, our
families and our children.”

Delegates at the Ard Fheis supported both motions, reportedly despite Fianna Fáil’s Justice Spokesperson Dara Calleary’s recommendation that the issues be left under the remit of the Government’s upcoming Constitutional Convention.  Marriage Equality is committed to fully engaging with the Constitutional Convention, and has urged supporters to contact their elected representatives to ensure that the voices of those affected by the marriage ban – gay and lesbian couples, their families and children – are heard during the process.

“We look forward to having the support of Fianna Fáil during these next few critical months for the marriage equality campaign.  We will be engaging in debate with the members of the Convention, and other stakeholders, as to how marriage equality can be introduced as quickly as possible,” added Ms Griffith.  “With 73% of the population in favour of marriage rights for same sex couples, and now with today’s pledged support of Fianna Fáil delegates, Ireland could soon be joining countries such as Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal in legalising marriage equality for same-sex couples, our families and our children.”

For more information please visit  www.marriagequality.ie

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27th February 2012

Dublin Schools To ‘Stand Up’ Against Homophobic Bullying

Stand Up! Awareness Week on Homophobic Bullying 5th-11th March

Almost 300 Dublin secondary schools and youth organisations are expected to join thousands of young people across Ireland when they ‘Stand Up’ to raise awareness of homophobic bullying during Stand Up! Awareness Week on Homophobic Bullying 5th – 11th March 2012.  Organised by BeLonG To youth services, the annual campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic bullying and the issues that affect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender young people (LGBT).

As part of the campaign more than 1,400 secondary schools and youth organisations throughout Ireland were issued with Stand Up! Packs which include background information on homophobic bullying for teachers and youth workers, educational DVDs, a discussion guide, posters, stickers and fundraising activity suggestions to support BeLonG To, which is a registered charity that supports LGBT young people age 14-23 years of age. Michael Barron, Director of BeLonG To said, “Homophobic bullying is the most common form of harassment experienced by young people. A recent study funded by the *HSE found that 50% of LGBT people under 25 have seriously thought about ending their life; 20% of LGBT people under 25 have attempted suicide at least once; and 27% have self-harmed at least once. LGBT people were found to be at risk, not because they are LGBT, but because of homophobia and discrimination they face. Stand Up! Awareness Week creates positive understanding of LGBT young people and their issues. It is the perfect opportunity for secondary schools and youth organisations in Dublin to play a major role in addressing homophobia, not just in the classroom but in the wider community.

“Stand Up! is about supporting everyone – gay and straight, to take a stand against homophobic bullying. This year we have the Minister for Education and two giants of the sports world – one gay and one straight, championing the cause! We can all do something during Stand Up! Week to show LGBT young people that we care.”

On Friday the 2nd of March the campaign, which is supported by the National Association of Principals & Deputy Principals, will be officially launched in Dublin by Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, England Rugby World Champion and international anti-bullying campaigner, Ben Cohen and Irish GAA Star, Donal Og Cusack.

For more information on the Stand Up! Awareness Week on Homophobic Bullying 5th – 11th March 2012 campaign visit  www.belongto.org
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February 23rd 2012

Well Done TENI, People Power & Perseverance Has Paid Off! Paddy Power Forced to Pull Transphobic Advert

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) strongly welcomes the decision of the British TV advertising regulator and television broadcasters to suspend the transphobic “Lady’s day” advert.

“We are thrilled to hear that this ad will no longer be shown. This is a victory for transgender people in Ireland and the UK,” said TENI Director Broden Giambrone. “This sends a clear message that this type of offensive and dehumanising advertising has no place in our society.”

TENI would like to thank everyone who kept the pressure on over the last few days.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM PADDY POWER

RE: DECISION BY REGULATOR AND BROADCASTERS
TO REVOKE PADDY POWER TV COMMERCIAL

(23 Feb. 12)

We were surprised and disappointed to learn today of the decision by the British TV advertising regulator along with television broadcasters to suspend our “Lady’s Day” commercial from airing in the UK.

This decision is especially frustrating given that the commercial was already pre-approved by British television advertising clearance body Clearcast, just one week ago, who then considered the humour in the advert, while not to everyone’s taste, fell short of causing offence.

Additionally, we reached out to leading UK transgender group, The Beaumont Society, for feedback on the script.

The Beaumont Society stated there was “nothing untoward with the advert concept” and felt it was not inappropriate since “the entire campaign would be a tongue-in-cheek look at the Ladies Day’s at race meeting where these day’s a large number of cross dresser’s make a day of it”

Furthermore, we exclusively cast members of the Trans community in the various transgender roles in the commercial.

Given the attention and diligence we demonstrated throughout the development of this commercial, we are very disappointed by today’s decision.

Finally it is worth pointing out that the commercial, which went live on YouTube less than one week ago, has almost 250,000 views with more ‘likes’ than ‘dislikes’.

The next commercial in Paddy Power’s “We Hear You” advertising campaign “CHAVS” will be broadcast on the company’s YouTube channel later today.

— Ends—

For more information contact;
Ken Robertson, Head of Comms, Paddy Power plc,
++353 87 8528718

 http://www.teni.ie/news-post.aspx?contentid=398

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February 23rd 2012

Poll Results Show 73% in Favour of Same-Sex Marriage

A Red C poll shows that 73% of those polled are in agreement with the statement “same sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution”. The poll was presented to the Oireachtas yesterday in a report prepared for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the last Constitutional referendum.

“The poll confirms the openness of Irish people and their support for further critically important progress to achieving equality for lesbian and gay people” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.

“GLEN’s goal, and that of lesbian and gay people, is access to civil marriage which is the only option that will achieve equality of status with opposite-sex couples and which would underpin a wider equality for lesbian and gay people.” said Rose

“The proposed Constitutional Convention provides the opportunity to build on the progress of Civil Partnership and provide constitutional protection for our relationships. It also offers a very important opportunity to protect all families equally, including lesbian and gay headed families” said Rose.

Civil Partnership has been very widely welcomed across Ireland, with over 500 couples entering civil partnerships since last April, when civil partnership first became available.

www.glen.ie

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February 22nd 2012

Transgender woman in civil partnership

A transgender woman has officially entered a civil partnership with her female partner in Ireland. The registration ceremony, which took place some time ago, amounts to legal recognition of the woman’s acquired gender because the Civil Partnership Act requires that civil partners must be legally of the same sex. We will refer to the woman as Maria.

The Civil Registration Service officially recognised Maria as female even though the Government has not yet introduced legislation to legally recognise transgender persons.

FLAC, the Free Legal Advice Centres, assisted Maria in her correspondence with the registration authorities, which resulted in her being allowed to register her civil partnership. Maria is a citizen of another EU state who is working here. She is fully recognised as a female in her own country and has a birth certificate and identity documents, all showing her gender as female.

Maria is covered by EU law on free movement for workers and under that law the Irish authorities must accept her in the gender recognised by her home country. So when she met and formed a relationship with her female partner, the Civil Registration Service had to accept that they were of the same gender and could enter into a civil partnership.

However, an Irish citizen in Maria’s position cannot enter into a civil partnership because Irish law still does not provide for recognition of transgender persons. Nearly five years after the High Court decided in the Lydia Foy case in 2007 that Irish law was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights over its attitude to transgender persons, the law has still not been changed.

It can only be a matter of time before a transgender Irish citizen applies for a civil partnership with her or his same-sex partner – or applies to get married to an opposite-sex partner. As the law stands at the moment, they are likely to be refused and the matter will end up in the courts again.

http://www.flac.ie/news/2012/02/22/transgender-woman-in-civil-partnership/

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February 22nd 2012

Marriage Equality welcomes progress on Constitutional Convention

Marriage Equality today welcomed reports in the media that the Cabinet will soon issue draft proposals for the make-up of the Constitutional Convention pledged in the Programme for Government last year.  The Convention will consider, among other issues, the provision of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Marriage Equality’s Moninne Griffith stated that the campaign group would fully engage with the Constitutional Convention which will report within 12 months on the legislative and/or constitutional options to provide for marriage equality for same sex couples.  The make up of the Convention has yet to be finalised, but it is expected to include lawyers, politicians and
members of the public.

Ms Griffith went on to urge the Government and the members of the Constitutional Convention to take steps to ensure that the voices of those affected by the marriage ban – including same sex couples and their children – are heard during the Convention.  Marriage Equality also encouraged participants to take public opinion into account when considering the issue of equality for same sex couples.

“We look forward to engaging in debate with the members of the Convention, and other stakeholders, as to how marriage equality can be introduced as quickly as possible. With 73% of the population in favour of marriage rights for same sex couples, the Irish people are clearly ready for marriage equality.”

http://www.marriagequality.ie

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January 18th 2012

 

Marriage Equality launches Civil Partnership Supplier Directory

Today marks the official launch of Marriage Equality’s new Civil Partnership Supplier Directory – an online resource for same sex couples planning their civil partnership ceremonies.  The new section of the Marriage Equality website – which went live on December 1st last year – features a directory of gay-friendly venues, photographers and jewellers, as well as links to information on the legalities of civil partnerships in Ireland.

Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality, said “We decided to set up our Civil Partnership Supplier Directory because we wanted to match gay and lesbian couples with suppliers who actively support LGBT rights and freedoms, including marriage equality.  According to a survey of same sex couples carried out last year by wedding website Mrs2be.ie, many of our own supporters are planning to register Civil Partnerships in the near future, but nearly 1/3 of them have had difficulties finding LGBT friendly suppliers for their big day.  At the same time, we’ve had many calls and emails from vendors and suppliers who are keen to reach same sex couples, but aren’t sure how to go about it.”

The organisation, which campaigns for equality for same sex couples and families in Ireland, also features information on charity favour cards and “Registering for Equality” – in which couples can set up a personalised page on MyCharity.ie to request donations to Marriage Equality in lieu of (or as well as) gifts.  All proceeds go to support Marriage Equality’s campaign for equality, which includes two highly successful viral videos – Rory’s Story and Sinead’s Hand – as well as a recent billboard campaign featuring same sex couples and families, and highlighting the ongoing inequalities and legal difficulties faced by same sex couples and their families despite the progress made with the Civil Partnership scheme.

“Many couples out there are still committed to fighting for equality,” said Ms Griffith, “but, understandably, they want to avail of the rights and entitlements available at the moment to same sex couples by registering a Civil Partnership.  By asking guests to consider making a donation to Marriage Equality, or by using our charity favour cards, they are able to support our work and raise awareness of the continued, urgent need for equality, while also celebrating their big day.”

Marriage Equality believes that Civil Partnership is an important stepping stone on the way to full equality.  Their recent report, “Missing Pieces” – an in-depth comparison of the current Civil Partnership Act and the various laws governing marriage in Ireland – found 169 legislative differences between civil partnership and civil marriage, most notably around the rights of children of same sex couples, who are left in legal limbo under the Civil Partnership Act.

Marriage Equality’s Civil Partnership Directory can be viewed online at:

http://www.marriagequality.ie/getinformed/cpresources.html

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January 12th 2012

Gender reassignment surgery is ‘valid and necessary’ — GDI

Chairperson of Gay Doctors Ireland (GDI) Dr Conor Malone will tell students in Cork next week that gender reassignment surgery is a valid and necessary medical procedure that should be financed by the HSE.

The University College Cork (UCC) Philosophical Society, one of Europe’s oldest and largest student societies, has invited Dr Malone to speak at a joint meeting of the Society, UCC LGBT Society and the UCC Surgical Society.

Each of the three societies is inviting someone to talk next Monday, January 16, on a different aspect of gender reassignment surgery during Rainbow Week, which attempts to raise awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement in Ireland and of gay rights.

Last September, Dr Malone challenged remarks made by Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh on gender reassignment surgery. In an Irish Times article on September 14, Deputy Walsh called on the HSE to cease provision of the surgery for transgender patients.

“Deputy Walsh’s comments were ill-informed and inflammatory,” Dr Malone suggested. “Gender reassignment surgery is a perfectly valid and necessary medical procedure. It is a core treatment of a well-recognised condition.”

According to the UCC Philosophical Society, the idea behind the talk is to create an understanding of why people feel it is necessary to undergo the surgery and to inform people about an issue that is not widely discussed. Over the course of Rainbow Week, various workshops, plays, film screenings, debates and talks — all addressing issues related to the LGBT movement — are set to take place at the College.

Over the past few years, the Society has had speakers such as Baroness Mary Warnock, General John De Chastelain, former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox.

With thanks to Irish Medical Times, see full story here

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January 11th 2012

Senator Katherine Zappone and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan honoured among top inspirational female role models in Europe

Following a successful nomination to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) by Marriage Equality, Senator Katherine Zappone and her partner Dr Ann Louise Gilligan have been featured in the EU organisation’s “Women Inspiring Europe” 2012 calendar.  With the publication of the calendar, currently in its second year, EIGE aims to give visibility and pay homage to some of Europe’s most remarkable women, by highlighting their achievements and success stories.

Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality, said “We’re absolutely delighted that Senator Zappone and Dr Gilligan have been featured in the ‘Women Inspiring Europe’ calendar.  They are hugely inspirational women for the marriage equality movement – not only in Ireland, but around the world. Their struggle to have their Canadian marriage recognised here is a huge
part of the reason that we have Civil Partnership legislation in Ireland today.  While Civil Partnership is an important step on the road to equality, there is still much work to be done before equality is achieved. Senator Zappone and Dr Gilligan’s continued challenge has inspired people from all across the country to join the campaign for equality for same-sex couples, our families and our children.”

Marriage Equality nominated Senator Zappone and Dr Gilligan not only for their work with the marriage equality movement, but also for their tireless dedication to women’s rights.  In 1986 they founded The Shanty (An Cosán) – a distinctive model of community-based education aimed at tackling poverty, isolation, inequality and disadvantage that played a key role in crystallising women’s community education in Ireland and worked to gain recognition of women’s community education as deserving a state-supported role within the education system.  They have also established the Centre for Progressive Change, which aims to respond to the crisis of the breakdown of financial and social systems that Ireland is facing by promoting an ethical
vision that puts community at the heart of public life.  The CPC offers services and training to individuals and organisations aiming to implement progressive change in the development of public policies and laws, and the design and delivery of public services.

Senator Zappone and Dr Gilligan are featured in the month of May, which coincides with the International Day of Families (May 15th) and the International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th).  The 2012 calendar is the first time a lesbian couple has been highlighted as an inspirational feature.  The text accompanying their photo praises their courage and devotion as an inspiration to others who encounter a violation of their rights to fight for them.

Speaking at the launch of the calendar, EIGE Director Virginija Langbakk said “So many women across Europe could be promoted as great examples of their career and actions.  We selected 12 women… just to give Europe a glimpse of their potential and to demonstrate that people can make a difference – if they act, and in particular, if they act different.”

The “Women Inspiring Europe” calendar will be widely distributed in EU policy making circles.  A copy of the calendar can be found online at http://eige.europa.eu/sites/default/files/women_of_europe/Women_Inspiring_Europe_calendar_2012.pdf

With thanks to MarriageEquality.ie, see full story here

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December 19th 2011

News from Irish Department of Justice!

Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence announces recognition of additional foreign registered relationships under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., has made an Order under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 prescribing certain registered relationships entered into by same sex couples in other jurisdictions as entitled to be treated as equivalent to civil partnership under Irish law. The registered relationships now being afforded recognition are:

Ø      Civil Partnerships from the Isle of Man,

Ø      Civil Partnerships from South Africa,

Ø      Civil Unions from Illinois, USA,

Ø      Marriages from New York, USA,

Ø      Domestic Partnerships from Oregon, USA, and

Ø      Civil Unions from Rhode Island, USA.

The Order will come into effect on 25 December 2011.

Irish-based couples in any of these relationships will, from that date, be subject to the same legal regime and the same rights and obligations as a couple who register a civil partnership in Ireland. This includes rights and obligations in relation to shared property, pensions, inheritance and on break-up of the relationship. Civil partners are also treated in the same way as spouses under the tax, social welfare and domestic violence codes.

The making of this order brings the number of categories of recognised registered relationships to 39, from 32 jurisdictions.

Announcing the making of the order, the Minister said “This Order shows the Government’s commitment to ensuring that same-sex couples who register their relationships in other jurisdictions may enjoy the full protections and benefits of the civil partnership legislation. Reform of the law in this area in other countries is ongoing, and we are ensuring that registered partners will enjoy recognition and protection of the law on return or relocation to Ireland.”

 Note to Editors

An initial order under section 5 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 was made on 23 December 2010. The relationships recognised under that order and the new order made on 4 December 2011 are listed below (newly recognised relationships are marked with an asterisk):

Jurisdiction

Title of Relationship

Argentina Marriage
Austria Eingetragene Partnerschaft-Gesetz
Belgium Marriage
Canada Marriage
Czech Republic Registrované partnerství
Denmark Registreret partnerskab
Finland Rekisteröity parisuhde
Germany Eingetragene lebenspartnerschaft
Iceland (a) Staðfest samvist(b) Marriage
Isle of Man Civil Partnership*
Mexico City Marriage
Netherlands Marriage
New Zealand Civil Union
Norway (a) Registrert partnerskap(b) Marriage
Portugal Marriage
South Africa (a)    Marriage(b)   Civil Partnership*
Spain Marriage
Sweden (a) Registrerat partnerskap(b) Marriage
Switzerland Eingetragene Partnerschaft / Partenariat enregistré
United Kingdom Civil Partnership
California (United States of America) Marriage
Connecticut (United States of America) (a) Civil Union(b) Marriage
Illinois (United States of America) Civil Union*
Iowa (United States of America) Marriage
Massachusetts (United States of America) Marriage
New Hampshire (United States of America) (a) Civil Union(b) Marriage
New Jersey (United States of America) Civil Union
New York (United States of America) Marriage*
Oregon (United States of America) Domestic Partnership*
Rhode Island (United States of America) Civil Union*
Vermont (United States of America) (a) Civil Union(b) Marriage
Washington D.C. (United States of America) Marriage

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December 14th 2011

News from Gay Switchboard Dublin!

Our volunteers will be shaking their buckets this Friday (16th) and Saturday (17th) evening in Dublin’s gay bars raising much needed funds to keep our service going into 2012!

So if you see us about this weekend please give what you can it will go to a great cause.

Tis the season!

Gay Switchboard Dublin

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December 7th 2011

News from Marriage Equality!

1.  GET SHOPPING! Marriage Equality Christmas cards
http://www.marriagequality.ie/fundraising/christmascards.html
Spread some cheer this holiday season with Christmas cards from Marriage Equality – featuring adorable same-sex snow couples and families!  10 cards (2 each of 5 designs) for €10.

2.  NOW GET WINNING! Winter Warm Up Raffle
http://www.marriagequality.ie/fundraising/winterwarmup.html
Cold and rain got you down? Dreaming of white sandy beaches and cocktails with umbrellas? Get your tickets for Marriage Equality’s Winter Warm Up Raffle and you could be on your way to Orlando, Florida!  Tickets are €5 each or 3 for €10.

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December 6th 2011

Message from the Dublin City University (DCU) LGBTA Society

Tomorrow, DCU LGBTA will be holding their very own LGBTA day.

Start time is 10.30am with their ‘What Defines You’ campaign – upstairs in the DCU Student Centre – The Hub.

From 2pm-3 pmthey will have a gay in the media talk, with prominent celebs 🙂

Then from 3pm onwards .. there’ll be loads of sports and the craic 🙂 (with a few surprises thrown in…)

Don’t forget to check it out!

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December 5th 2011

Gay Switchboard Dublin, as a member of Gay Health Network is proud to support the new HIV and Sexual Health Awareness campaign.
Check out this short 30 second video:

For further information click on:
http://www.gayswitchboard.ie
http://www.man2man.ie
http://www.dublinaidsalliance.ie

or ring their trained volunteers on: 01-872 1055 (7 days a week)

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