25 organisations sign statement addressing anti-trans article published by the Sunday Independent

The document which was released by the Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition responds to an article written by Eilis O’Hanlon in November.

Left: A stack of newspapers similar to the Sunday Independent, Right: an anti-trans protester holding a sign that reads
Image: Pexels

LGBTQ+ organisations have been responding to an anti-trans article published in the Sunday Independent last month entitled ‘It’s time to say no to extremists who want to let children pick their gender.’ The latest statement has come from the Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition, and has been signed by a number of leading LGBTQ+ and ally organisations that are similarly offended by the column.

The statement reads: “On the 14th of November 2021, the Sunday Independent published a piece entitled “It’s Time to Say No to Extremists Who Want [to] Let Children Pick Their Gender” by Eilis O’Hanlon. This piece contained unsubstantiated allegations that transgender women transition in order to access women-only spaces to commit sexual assault. The article also takes issue with the fact that the government intends to carry out research to facilitate the protection of children who may be transgender.”

The organisation continues by saying, “To publish an article like this, which implies that trans people are a threat and seek gender recognition with malicious intent, is dangerous, irresponsible, and adds to the growing issue of public misinformation. It incites hatred towards transgender people, an already vulnerable group.

“As such, we condemn the publishing of such a piece in a major national news outlet and giving these hateful views a significant platform.

“It is one of the foremost duties of the Irish Government to legislate to protect children, and this is what the current research into gender recognition legislation intends to do. O’Hanlon is actively undermining one of the founding principles of our state with this piece – we must cherish all the children of the nation equally,” the statement concludes.

Along with the Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition, the letter has been signed by DCU LGBTA, Trans Writers Union, Intersex Ireland, Gay Project, Out in UL, TENI, LGBT Ireland, BeLonG To, Disabled Women Ireland, LINC, Bi+ Ireland, Rainbow Autistics Ireland, Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin, ShoutOut, Together For Safety, Abortion Rights Campaign, Bród Soc NUIG, UCD LGBTQ+ Society, Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride, OutWest, Gender Rebels Cork, USI, IADT Queer Straight Alliance, and GCN.

This statement follows a response from The Coalition Against Transphobia who also expressed their opposition to the anti-trans rhetoric in the Sunday Independent. Having been granted a 400-word right to reply by the publisher, The Coalition Against Transphobia stated, “We are appalled that the Sunday Independent would publish an article […] that is blatantly transphobic and factually inaccurate.

“The Irish media hold significant sway over public opinion and have a duty to avoid publishing inflammatory and irresponsible statements.”

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