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Sinn Féin calls for an island wide strategy to combat homophobia

25 June, 2005


Sinn Féin Equality spokespersons Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Catríona Ruane MLA called have for an island wide strategy to combat homophobia. They also offered their best wishes to Ireland's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities for Pride Day 2005.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "I would like to give my best wishes to Ireland's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities for Pride Day 2005. Sinn Fein activists will be joining in the celebrations in Belfast and Dublin.

"While being a lesbian, gay or bisexual person is no longer a crime in itself, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are still treated as second-class citizens in that they do not enjoy the same rights to marry, to form partnerships, and to have families as their heterosexual counterparts. That is wrong.

"Homophobic hate crime has a devastating impact, as does homophobic bullying in schools and in the workplace, which is a contributing factor to the high rate of suicide among Ireland's young men."

Catríona Ruane said, "Political leaders on this island have a responsibility to speak out for equality. We are calling for an island-wide strategy to combat homophobia. This will require strengthening and harmonising the hate crime legislation and ending all remaining discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in law.

This will also require harmonising civil partnership rights on this island. If we fail to do so, then as of December 2005 we will have a crazy situation where lesbian and gay partnerships will be recognised in law in the Six Counties but not in the 26 Counties." ENDS

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