NXF share concerns over LGBTQ+ equality following ILGA Europe’s alarming report

The National LGBT Federation share how the report is a timely reminder of the issues still affecting the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland.

A group of protestors at night with a rainbow flag held high
Image: Lauren Mitchell

A recently published report highlighted how the LGBTQ+ community has been pushed to the brink after an unprecedented year. Now, the NXF has added its voice to concerns raised by the ILGA Europe findings.

Executive Director of ILGA Europe, Evelyne Paradis, shared that the Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of LGBTQ+ People in Europe and Central Asia 2021 report showed “a stark rise in abuse and hate speech against LGBTI people; many of whom became vulnerable to homelessness and have been forced to move back into hostile family and community situations. LGBTI organisations have had to skew their work towards the provision of basic necessities like food and shelter as many governments left LGBTI people out of their relief packages, and there has been a resurgence of authorities and officials using LGBTQ+ people as scapegoats while authoritarian regimes are empowered to isolate and legislate without due process.”

Adam Long, Advocacy and Communications for the NXF, stated, “The annual ILGA Europe Review published this week serves as a timely reminder that further social and legislative change concerning LGBTQ+ equality is required in Ireland. The need to deliver an updated and fully LGBTQ+ inclusive national curriculum is underlined by the Report’s coverage of homophobic bullying and the negative experiences of Trans students. 

“It is also clear that the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ youth must be prioritised in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic as this cohort is facing especially difficult challenges in home environments that may be hostile and unsupportive.” 

Long continued, “We also note the Report’s findings on bias-realted crimes and its drawing attention to a particularly violent homophobic assault. The enactment of robust LGBTQ+ inclusive Hate Crime legislation is a priority for the National LGBT Federation and we are determined that 2021 will be the year when Ireland joins the vast majority of other European countries in finally passing such a law.” 

“Of course, a major highlight of 2020 was the arrival of marriage equality in Northern Ireland. However, the news is not so positive for Britain, as the Report chronicles the disturbing rise of transphobia which has seriously damaged the UK’s global reputation on LGBTQ+ rights. As with the notorious homophobia of recent decades, much of the anti-Trans discourse is being fuelled by large sections of that country’s media, and not helped by a government that has turned its face against progress and reform. And while Ireland has thankfully avoided much of the toxicity seen across the Irish Sea, we have no room for complacency.” 

Long concluded, “Finally, the ILGA Europe Review paints a disturbing picture of state sanctioned homophobia by the governments of Poland and Hungary. It is time their actions – so at odds with the fundamental values of the EU itself – were met with a zero tolerance response from the EU Commission. It is time these States faced infringement proceedings.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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