According to the 2023 report published on May 11, Ireland has once again ranked 16th out of the 49 countries included in the annual Rainbow Europe Map and Index by LGBTQ+ umbrella organisation ILGA-Europe. Although Ireland’s position in the ranking represents an encouraging sign of the country’s commitment to the protection of LGBTQ+ rights, little seems to have changed in the last year.
With an overall score of 54% in the legal and policy situation in regard to LGBTQ+ rights, Ireland has only marginally improved last year’s score of 53% in the Rainbow Europe ranking. A breakdown of the score shows that Ireland is strongest in the categories of civil society space, legal gender recognition and family legislation. Particularly noteworthy is Ireland’s 0% score on intersex bodily integrity, which according to the parameters used by ILGA-Europe, represents a gross violation of human rights.
Reviewing the LGBTQ+ rights situation for 2022, ILGA’s 2023 report highlighted that Ireland took some positive steps to improve legal protections for queer folks living in the country. One of them was the adoption of a new scheme in January 2022 enabling undocumented migrants to apply for residence, which will positively impact LGBTQ+ refugees.
Moreover, Ireland was also commended for introducing the ‘disregard scheme’ plan, which will disregard the historic convictions of gay and bisexual men who were prosecuted when homosexuality was still illegal in the country.
Encouraging signs of progress even as extremist forces target ?️??️⚧️ rights as part of wider attack on democratic values.
?? once again ranked 16th.
— NXF (@nxfie) May 11, 2023
However, the report also highlighted a few negative changes in the country, mentioning a study that recently identified 12 far-right groups active in Ireland that employ anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric. Moreover, the report denounced the rise in transphobic speech, remembering how last year Dublin Pride decided to end its partnership with national broadcaster RTÉ after they streamed an “extremely harmful anti-trans ‘discussions’”.
ILGA-Europe also highlighted how hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community continue to be a serious issue in Ireland, as they remembered the two brutal murders of Irish men Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, who were targeted in separate homophobic attacks. Although the new hate crime bill passed two readings in the Dáil, the Irish LGBTQ+ community still remains unprotected against hate violence at a time when homophobic and transphobic attacks appear to be on the rise.
Other legislation that continues to be stalled, although the government has expressed a clear commitment to it, is the ban on so-called “conversion therapy” practices. Furthermore, the repeated calls from Intersex Ireland for a ban on medically unnecessary and non-consensual surgeries on intersex children still remain unheard, despite the fact that the UN Human Rights Committee also highlighted the need for such legislation in July last year.
To read the full Rainbow Europe report, click here.
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