Government proposals not to pursue transgender equality lack the courage required – Senator Fintan Warfield
Sinn Féin spokesperson on LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has slammed the new Government Report on the Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015, calling it a “missed opportunity”.
He has called on the government take the pursuit of LGBTQI rights seriously.
Senator Warfield said:
“Today, the government has failed to propose an extension of gender recognition to young people under sixteen years of age and to the non-binary community.
“The vast majority of submissions to the Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 reflected a need for an extension of these rights, as did the group’s final report.
“Furthermore, my own legislation, the Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017, which furnishes these rights to transgender young people was passed unanimously by the Seanad in March 2017. Senators from all parties and none agreed in principle that gender recognition should be extended this way.
“The fault that has led to these glaring omissions lies at the door of government. They should stop denying the right of trans youth to be themselves and to have the basic human requirements of their peers. If this Government had even an ounce of the courage of trans young people, the review today would look very different.
“I am calling on Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty to publish legislation that stays true to the report of the review group and that continues the progress that Ireland has made in the past.
“Additionally, I will be writing to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to outline how today’s announcement is one of a long line of failures of this government to adequately pursue LGBTQI equality.
“Whether it be a response to incidents of hate crime, properly equipping same sex parents with equal rights or responding to our wholly inadequate transgender healthcare system - I have lost count of how many times the government has failed to act and to legislate when necessary.
“In the absence of government leadership on these issues, the National LGBTI Inclusion Strategy that was launched yesterday is merely a long list of issues that the Fine Gael government have failed to act upon.”