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Celebrating Pride weekend, Bacik calls for targeted LGBTQ+ strategy

25 June 2021

Statement by Ivana Bacik TD
Spokesperson on the Enviroment and Climate; Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Celebrating Dublin Pride weekend, Labour equality spokesperson Senator Ivana Bacik said that events marking the weekend should inspire reflection and renewed determination to ensure full equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Senator Bacik said:

“I am looking forward to celebrating Dublin’s Digital Pride this weekend. Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and also celebrates the campaign for full equality to be realised globally. I am proud to have been an ally and activist on LGBTQ+ campaigns over many years and to have played a strong role in the campaign for Marriage Equality. Indeed, the LGBTQ community in Ireland have fought and won many battles in recent years to have rights recognised and protected. That, however, does not mean that we live in a country in which homophobia and transphobia are absent. We still have unfinished business to ensure full equality.

“I am a proud co-sponsor of Senator Fintan Warfield’s Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill. I find it alarming that in 2021 we are still hearing reports that organisations in Ireland may exist which are seeking to suppress the identities of many people. The sort of practice that we seek to prohibit in the Bill is not 'therapy' in any sense of the term. It is essentially brainwashing and manipulation. Vulnerable LGBTQ+ people should not be subjected to these practices, which pose a threat to their wellbeing and fundamentally repress an integral element of their identity.

“Banning these practices is just one step in making Ireland a more equal society. We also need to develop a much stronger national LGBTQ+ strategy to focus on tackling hate crimes, discrimination in schools and workplaces and improving the mental and sexual health of LGBTQ+ people.

“There are many sections of society that require targeted inclusivity campaigns, such as in sport. We saw the misjudged decision of UEFA this week, opting not to stand in solidarity with the community by illuminating the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours during the Germany v Hungary game. Symbols are important; they send an important message of inclusivity and acceptance. We need to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community across the world, which includes members of the sporting community.

“Through the tireless works of LGBTQ+ campaigners, Ireland has been made a better place. We must continue working to make Ireland a more inclusive and pluralist society. As we enjoy Pride weekend, let us celebrate our diversity in solidarity.”