Alan Hughes has spoken out on Ireland’s lack of hate crime legislation to protect minorities while mentioning that for many, homophobic harassment is a regular occurrence.
“It does happen every day,” he told RSVP Live. “People are being called queer or gay and things like that in schools, in restaurants, in streets every day of the week.” He even admits, “People have shouted slurs at me leaving bars or walking down the street – ‘there’s the queer off the telly’ sort of thing.”
As the Dail returns today, we are calling for robust Hate Crime legislation to be prioritised, as per Minister @HMcEntee commitment following the brutal murders in Sligo.
— NXF (@nxfie) April 26, 2022
The popular Ireland AM host did not overlook the recent attacks in Ireland which have left members of our community badly injured or killed, but he encourages people to consider these crimes “isolated situations”.
“There are going to be homophobic or racist people in the world for all time, but things like this are isolated incidences,” he said. “All we can do is hope that things will improve – and we are living in a country that is brilliant for the LGBTQ+ community, it just needs to be better.”
I joined @IrelandAMVMTV this morning to chat about how comprehensive hate crime legislation could make people from marginalised communities feel safer, protected and more valued within our society. https://t.co/XvD2rZvlju
— James O’Hagan (@jameso_hagan) April 19, 2022
One way in which Ireland can be a better place for the LGBTQ+ community, Hughes points out, is by implementing hate crime legislation that protects minorities.
“It’s about time it’s been put in place, we’ve been waiting on it far too long and it should have been in place years ago,” said Alan. “It needs to show that these crimes will not be stood for and you will get jailed for it or taken to court for verbal abuse because it shouldn’t be stood for. I wouldn’t do it to anybody.”
Gay Irish politician Conor Sheehan has urged the Government to pass hate crimes legislation. “First and foremost we need strong hate crime legalisation to be brought forward by the Government. We need stronger action from the top down”. #gaynews https://t.co/tTVsw0kQWq
— James McKenzie (@JMcKMelbourne) April 19, 2022
Hughes is not the only one advocating for protective legislation.
“I – along with other sectoral representatives – will be speaking with lawmakers over the coming days to stress the need for them to redouble their efforts and ensure the forthcoming legislation is effective, comprehensive and enacted with urgency,” said Paula Fagan, CEO of LGBT Ireland, following recent attacks.
“The LGBTI+ community has the right to feel and be safe on our streets, and online.”
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