Irish LGBT community says hate crime is its biggest concern
The largest ever national survey of Irish LGBT people finds their top priority is the introduction of hate crime legislation.
The National LGBT Federation study surveyed over 2,600 LGBT Irish people and ten nationwide focus groups in seven cities and towns across the Republic of Ireland.
As the prevention of bullying and violence is the main concern of the LGBT community in Ireland, the Government is required to introduce hate crimes legislation to protect minority groups.
The report, Burning Issues 2, was launched by the Irish deputy prime minister and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald.
According to Olivia McEvoy, Chair of the National LGBT Federation: “Burning Issues 2 now makes it crystal clear that we still have a long journey to travel before we end sexual and gender oppression in Ireland.”
The study found that only 25% of transgender people feel comfortable being out in public, while access to healthcare for trans people is also said to be high on the agenda.
Broden Giambrone, of the Transgender Equality Network in Ireland, is urging the Irish Government to act on the report’s findings.
“Access to healthcare is probably one of the biggest priorities for the transgender community in Ireland,” he said.
“People face huge barriers in terms of accessing the healthcare that they need, whether that’s mental health services or access to a medical transition pathway.
“So for instance being able to change your body in terms of hormones or surgery, there’s huge barriers for people to be able to attain the type of care they really need.”
On 22 May 2015, the Irish public overwhelmingly voted to bring in equal marriage – with 62% of voters backing equality, and just 38% against despite strong lobbying from the Catholic Church in the country.