Irish Government launches National LGBT+ Inclusion Strategy

Following on from the public consultation phase, the Irish Government have officially launched Ireland's National LGBT+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021.

Minister Stanton and Minister Flanagan and other representatives holding a LGBT+ Inclusion Strategy sign

Ireland’s National LGBT+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021 has been launched by the Department for Justice and Equality today. 

As part of the new Strategy, there are over 100 actions prepared to promote inclusion, ensure the protection of rights, and provide for the wellbeing of the LGBT+ community.

Funding of nearly €1m has been secured in order to implement the initiatives, which will be allocated towards ensuring that LGBT+ people feel included and visible in environments such as the workplace, education, and family life. 

Public consultation played a key role in the development process. Through workshops and over 30 written submissions, four key concerns emerged which related to visibility, being treated equally, health, and safety. 

During the launch, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, said, “We have worked closely with the LGBTI+ community to identify the barriers to full participation in Irish society that remain, and it is clear that we have more work to do. […] Most importantly, our focus must now turn to implementation, the Strategy’s success will depend on the shared engagement of all stakeholders in building a fairer society that allows everyone to flourish.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadker described the Strategy as “another step on Ireland’s journey towards accepting everyone.” In his statement, he brought up the recent BeLonG To School Climate Survey 2019 findings, which state that 73% of students feel unsafe in secondary school. 

Ireland’s National LGBT+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021 aims to include LGBT+ relationships in the school curriculum review, ensure community support is more widely available for the community and circulation of information around identity and sexuality.

Within the new Strategy, there are proposed measures to provide protection to transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex people by undergoing a review of current equality legislation and “streamlining administrative processes for people who have obtained gender recognition certificates.” It also sets out plans to make sure LGBT+ parents are treated equally under the Assisted Human Reproduction legislation.

Under the Safe and Supported section, there are proposals to strengthen An Garda Siochana’s support for LGBT+ people reporting crime. The Strategy made a commitment to assist LGBT+ asylum seekers living in Direct Provision Centres

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, said at the launch, “When my Department began the process of developing this Strategy, my overriding priority was that it must speak to the Irish society of today. This is a National Strategy because it speaks to Ireland – to the society we are, and the society we aspire to be. It is of the utmost importance that the Strategy clearly responds to key issues facing the LGBTI+ community.”

Rural community services will be examined to analyse gaps which require further work and prevent isolation faced by the community. LGBT+ tourism will also be developed further according to the Strategy.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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