With the unacceptable lack of support for LGBT+ parents by the Government, a new task group – Equality For Children – has been formed with the intention of raising awareness of the inequalities faced by families and demanding those inequalities be changed.
The recent announcement of the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 disappointed the community when it was shown to have omitted a section allowing for better protection of LGBT+ parents, something which it had been widely expected to include.
In reaction, LGBT Ireland shared that they were “bitterly disappointed” that same sex male married couples were not included and that they would “hold the Government to account” when the Minister stated “that the provision to address this inequality will be contained in the forthcoming Social Welfare Number 2 Bill” due before the Oireachtas in November.
CEO Paula Fagan continued, “The Social Welfare Number 2 Bill in the main concerns the legislative changes from Budget 2019 but Minister Stanton stated on the record ‘that a provision to deal with the omission of same sex male couples will be part of this Bill’ and we will hold him to that commitment on the Dail record.
“The Minster cited time pressures as to the reason to this omission and we at LGBT Ireland clearly stated that the Government cannot discriminate against same sex male married couples and the provisions in the bill due before the Dail in November can address this inequality and provide equality for all families.”
Tired of the continued inaction, mother-of-two and activist Ranae von Meding, who recently penned a poem about the inequalities LGBT+ parents faced, with the help of others has created a task group with the sole purpose of lobbying for increased parental rights amongst people of the LGBT+ community, aptly named Equality for Children.
Ranae shared, “We’re tired of sitting idly on an unfulfilled promise by the State which has spanned years, and we’re calling out for help in making our point. Many people think that because we have marriage equality, that everything is sorted out – but it is not.
“We saw how YesEquality brought people together in 2015, because love wins. Now we’re calling on the people of Ireland to get behind us to make magic happen once more,” she added.
Sarah Stone McDevitt, another member of Equality For Children, said: “We started our family in 2017. We followed all the government’s rules, rules that excluded so many other LGBTQ+ families in the hope it would ensure our family would have protection. At the end of 2019 as a married couple with two children, we still don’t have the protection promised.”
Ranae continued, “As it stands, in most cases only one parent in an LGBTQ+ relationship can be a legal parent, which of course is perilous in the event of bereavement, illness and more.
“The reason why this campaign is so important is because LGBTQ+ parents are currently on the dangerous sidelines of grey legislation. We are #StillNotEqual, and our children ultimately suffer the most, unless something changes.”
There will be a demonstration about the inequalities faced by LGBT+ parents held outside the Department of Health at 11.30am on Monday 21st October, the same date Ranae is due to meet Minister for Health Simon Harris.
For more information on Equality For Children, visit their social media page here.
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