Senator Fintan Warfield has renewed calls for action on legislation on homophobic and transphobic hate crime following an attack on a gay man in Dublin.
Danilo Matta was on his way home from a night out with friends when he was the victim of a homophobic attack outside his Dublin flat in the early hours of Saturday morning. The 28 year-old was brutally beaten with a steel bar after saying goodbye to his boyfriend.
Speaking in the Seanad, Warfield said: “These attacks are still common. My own experiences are similar, and I have raised similar attacks in this chamber.
“They often go unreported, but in this case, he had to go to Kilmainham Garda Station himself to make a statement.
“I have called numerous times in this chamber for robust hate crime legislation, yet for some reason, the Department of Justice are sitting on their hands this term despite it being the number one priority in the LGBT community.”
He said that the Department of Justice are just “sitting on their hands” on an issue that is the “number one priority for the LGBT+ community.
“We know it’s the number one priority because the most comprehensive report of the LGBT community [Burning Issues 2] showed that.
“David Stanton launched that report a few years ago. He, alongside Charlie Flanagan, is now the minister who has the responsibility to do something about this.
“How many times do I have to come in here and talk about these attacks? How many more attacks must the LGBT community face?
“We have hate problems. He has the power to deal with it, rather than sit on his hands, and I want to see action.”
In May 2018, Senator Warfield called on Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan to bring forward robust hate crime legislation as a matter of urgency.
Senator Warfield said:
“I’d like to commend the LGBTQI activists and our allies across Ireland in their efforts in eradicating Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia this year. However, this state remains the only western European jurisdiction without standard hate crime legislation.
“Hate crime is a manifestation of prejudice and bigotry amongst a society and it’s no longer acceptable to leave LGBTQI people or other marginalised communities in Ireland vulnerable.”
Ireland dropped two places in this year’s Rainbow Rankings to 17. ILGA-Europe warned that LGBT+ rights are stagnating and in some cases regressing for the first time in in the ten years they have conducted an annual review.
Earlier this week, an EU-wide survey revealed that support for the LGBT+ community in Ireland has dropped for the first time since the marriage referendum four years ago.
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