RTÉ will not appear before Oireachtas to discuss anti-trans speech on Liveline

After enormous repercussions due to "anti-trans discussions", RTÉ was invited to appear before the Oireachtas to talk about the situation.

A close up of a microphone in a recording studio

RTÉ will not appear before the Oireachtas tomorrow, June 22, to address the anti-Trans discussions that took place for several days on Joe Duffy’s Liveline show. The Oireachtas Media and Culture Committee invited them to address the occurrence after the enormous repercussions surrounding the radio show, including Dublin Pride’s decision to terminate its partnership with the broadcast outlet.

To recap – three weeks ago, listeners started to call out the Liveline show for enabling transphobic speech after people called to protest against changing the wording of maternity legislation to achieve a more LGBTQ+ inclusive approach. 

A few days later, Dublin Pride announced they were terminating their partnership with RTÉ as the programmes aired were “unacceptable, triggering and extremely harmful anti-Trans ‘discussions'”. This happened ten days before the Dublin Pride Parade, which takes place this Saturday, June 25. 

The LGBTQ+ community in Ireland warmly received their decision. Other organisations, such as the Trans Equality Together coalition, run by TENI, LGBT Ireland and BeLonG To, also put out statements condemning the show. 

Then, a day after Dublin Pride released their statement, the Oireachtas Media and Culture Committee invited RTÉ to appear before them to address the occurrence. Senator Malcolm Byrne, a committee member, said to The Journal: “I think it important that Dublin Pride and RTÉ would engage and talk to each other. The way to achieve change is through understanding and dialogue”.

RTÉ’s choice to not attend the meeting with the Oireachtas tomorrow to discuss the anti-Trans discussions resulted from an internal decision to “[deal] with under the relevant statutory and regulatory provisions underpinning broadcasting standards in the State”. Besides that, the chair of the committee, Niamh Smyth, assures that the committee is working alongside RTÉ to ensure that diversity and inclusion policies are taken into consideration.

GCN carried out an exclusive interview with Dublin Pride representatives after the Oireachtas invited RTÉ to appear before them, in order to hear what they had to say about the anti-Trans speech and their decision to end their partnership with the broadcast.

Jed Dowling, the organisation’s CEO, stated that, “we believe that fundamental human rights should not be debated, and we believe that every one of us, especially state-sponsored organisations, have a duty and a responsibility to protect and safeguard the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our society.”

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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