Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, today launched the party’s LGBT rights document, Equality, Diversity, Solidarity – Fighting with PRIDE for LGBT rights in Ireland, and outlined its commitment to LGBT equality in Ireland.
Speaking after the event, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
“Sinn Féin is an Irish republican party and equality is at the core of all that we represent.
“Nothing less than full equality of rights and opportunities under law for the LGBT community should be tolerated in a modern, progressive and inclusive society.
“Sinn Féin has and will continue to work in solidarity with the LGBT community to create positive change in our society that will activate public and political support for full equal rights.
“Today, we have outlined 10 Proposals for LGBT equality that we believe will lead to a more tolerant, rights based and equal society.
“The right to marry is a key issue and one of huge significance so we again call on the Government to set a date in 2015 for a constitutional referendum on marriage equality.
“Among the proposals, Sinn Féin aims to tackle work place discrimination against the LGBT community by amending Section 37 of the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011 to eliminate legalised discrimination against LGBT education and healthcare workers in the 26 Counties.
“My colleague, Jonathan O' Brien TD, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson put forward a Private Members Bill last year seeking to achieve this goal.
“My party colleague Aengus O' Snodaigh TD launched a comprehensive Gender Recognitionin Bill last year. Our party seek to enable transgender citizens to acquire a birth certificate appropriate to their gender identity as the foundation for a wider suite of rights.
“It is pivotal to legislate north and south for equal treatment of prospective LGBT parents in reproductive and adoptive services, and in related social and other public services to ensure the law treats all children equally regardless of family status or the sexual orientation or gender identity of their parents.
“To combat homophobic and transphobic violence, bullying and abuse we would seek to introduce into criminal law a provision that makes committing an offence with a homophobic or transphobic motivation or aim an aggravating circumstance allowing for a more severe penalty and update the incitement to hatred laws to address the use of the internet and social media to promote homophobic and transphobic messages.
“It is important that all political parties work together on this issue as the promotion and implementation of legislative changes for the rights of LGBT citizens is an urgent requirement for an equal society.”