Irish LGBT+ community invited to have their say on Hate Speech legislation

LGBT+ Ireland are organising a public event to feed in with the Department of Justice consultation on Hate Speech.

Hands holding a cardboard sign with the word Hate crossed out

As part of the upcoming review of Hate Speech legislation, the Department of Justice and Equality is consulting the public about how Ireland’s law can be improved. As well as an online survey by the Department, LGBT Ireland are organising a public event with members of the LGBT+ community, the results of which will feed into the consultation.

Taking place on December 11 in Outhouse on Capel St in Dublin, the public event welcomes those who may have been a victim of hate speech and those who have a view on how legislation can protect members of the LGBT+ community against it.

Tickets to the event are limited, so those who wish to be involved are urged to mail [email protected].

This public consultation is the first phase in relation to the introduction of Hate Crime legislation in Ireland, which at present does not have a law dealing with hate crimes. In 2020, the second phase will be launched.

This consultation forms part of the review of existing law in this area – the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, and aims to ensure that Ireland’s legislation on hate speech is fit for purpose and is effective in meeting the real needs of communities and individuals who experience its impact.

At the launch of the first phase, Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, stated, “This abuse can take place anywhere – on the street, on public transport, on the sports field, online and everywhere in between. I want to make clear that this is not acceptable to the Government and not acceptable to the people of Ireland.”

Flanagan continued, “This entire process is to ensure that anyone who is subject to hate speech, or indeed an incident of hate crime, can be clear that they are fully supported by the laws of the land.

“Hearing of people’s direct personal experiences will help the legislative and policy experts in my Department to draft new laws that are robust, clearly understood and capable of delivering justice where these unacceptable incidents occur. Importantly, the consultation will also explore people’s attitudes to the responsibilities of those who play an active part in spreading or distributing hate speech.”

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

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