Gay rights groups have extended best wishes to Minister Frances Fitzgerald TD on her appointment as Minister for Justice and Equality
Minister Fitzgerald is a long-time advocate of legislative reform and equality for lesbian and gay people.
Kieran Rose, chair of GLEN, congratulated the new Minister after Alan Shatter T.D., stepped down from office on Wednesday, May 7. Rose said “We warmly congratulate Minister Fitzgerald on her appointment. We look forward to working with her to achieve equality for lesbian and gay people in Ireland and in particular on the Government priority issue of family law reform, on which so much work has already been done by the previous Minister and the Department of Justice and Equality”.
National LGBT Federation Chair, Olivia McEvoy welcomed the appointment of Minister Fitzgerald, taking the opportunity to call for renewed focus on equality reform.
“Frances Fitzgerald has shown herself to be a progressive, forward thinking politician,” McEvoy said. “As she now takes on responsibility for one of the most senior portfolios in government, we look forward to her implementing the key equality reforms initiated by her predecessor, Alan Shatter TD.
“It is particularly important that the changes outlined in the draft Family & Relationships Bill, which was led by Shatter, are put on the statute books this year, so that the many diverse family forms that exist all over Ireland, including families headed up by same-sex parents, are finally afforded legal equality and recognition. Along with the enactment of marriage equality, these legislative reforms are crucial to ending the discrimination that LGBT people and our loved ones continue to experience in Irish society.”
Both organisations paid tribute to Alan Shatter TD. “As Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter was instrumental in delivering very significant progress for lesbian and gay people across a broad range of areas, for which we express our deep appreciation and thanks,” said Rose.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank former Minister Alan Shatter for the strong commitment he showed to advancing LGBT rights,” said McEvoy. “We must certainly not allow any of the clear momentum behind the reforms he put in place to be lost. Indeed now is the time for a renewed determination from government, the new Minister, and wider civil society to ensure that the remaining inequalities experienced by the LGBT community are overcome and consigned to history as quickly as possible.”
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