Ireland should have a monument to honour the LGBT movement

05 May 2016

Following the news that President Obama is considering establishing a national monument to honour the LGBT movement in America, I believe the Irish government should follow suit.

It would be a fitting tribute to the hardship and discrimination LGBT people in Ireland have suffered in their fight for equality and serve as a call to action to tackle the remaining injustices LGBT people still face.

As we approach the first anniversary of when Ireland became the first country in the world to achieve marriage equality by popular vote, a national monument for the LGBT movement would be a way to celebrate this magnificent achievement for our Republic.

The Irish State used to treat LGBT people as second class citizens. Labour in government made it a priority to advance LGBT rights. We secured a referendum on marriage equality, passed the Children and Family Relationships Bill, amended Section 37 and implemented a comprehensive LGBT anti-bullying strategy.

A national monument for the LGBT movement will be a symbol of society’s recognition of the campaigning zeal of the LGBT movement and the hurt they have suffered.

It is right and proper to recognise the path that has been travelled to advance LGBT rights but also to redouble our efforts so that all LGBT rights are realised.

I believe Dublin Castle, the location where the result of the marriage referendum was announced, would be an ideal location for such a monument. This will be one of the first issues I hope to raise as a Senator.

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