Think Ireland has LGBT equality now? Think again

Nick Duffy May 27, 2015
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Activists are celebrating equality in Ireland with the passage of same-sex marriage – but the country still discriminates against transgender people.

LGBT activists have been celebrating after the landslide referendum victory last week, which approved civil same-sex marriage in the state. Separate legislation for same-sex adoption also passed earlier this year.

However, despite leaders hailing the new era of equality in the country, there have been calls to make sure the momentum also brings equality to the transgender community.

The Republic of Ireland is currently the only country in the EU that has legal no gender recognition laws – preventing the legal recognition and protection of those who have transitioned.

The country drew up draft legislation to address the hole last year when compelled to do so by a court settlement, but it is has been met with criticism from trans activists.

Though the bill will afford trans people legal recognition, it contains no provision for transgender youth, requires medical evaluation prior to transition, and currently forces trans people to divorce in order to gain gender recognition.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has previously attacked the “disgraceful” bill, while Amnesty Ireland warned that it is “short-changing” trans people.

One trans activist said in a video produced by the Transgender Equality Network Ireland: “We are delighted that it’s moving, but it’s still very disappointing that they are not listening to us, when we say this legislation they are proposing is not inclusive, is not progressive.

“It’s behind other parts of Europe, and it will very quickly be eclipsed by other countries in Europe.”

Broden Giambrone of TENI added: “Transgender rights are a natural next step in our quest for equality. I hope that the incredible momentum achieved by the marriage equality movement and LGBT community will translate into support for trans rights.

“Trans people still face significant discrimination and marginalisation and are still not legally recognised in Ireland today.

“We hope that there continues to be progress for all members of our community and that the Gender Recognition Bill is swiftly passed.”

Watch a clip via TENI below:

More: Equality, Europe, Gay, Ireland, Ireland, LGBT, marriage, referendum, Rights, Trans, Transgender

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