06 December 2016

Labour LGBT has warmly welcomed the two Bills that were launched today by the Labour Party to address ongoing discrimination being faced by members of the LGBT community.

Co-Chair of Labour LGBT Niamh Hayes commented: ‘Today two Bills were launched by Senators Ged Nash and Ivana Bacik to address two outstanding issues being faced by the LGBT community today –to apologise to and exonerate those who were convicted of sexual offences before 1993; and also to address the situation whereby gay and lesbian couples who were not legally able to marry before a certain age can no longer be blocked from receiving normal pension rights.

‘Young LGBT people today are growing up in a country where they are treated as equal citizens – but as we well know this was not always the case. Up until 1993 many LGBT people were criminalised simply for being themselves – acknowledging that how they lived their lives and who they loved was not wrong and apologising for their treatment is of the utmost importance to all involved, and is vital in showing that Ireland truly is a changed country in this regard.

‘We saw the recent case whereby a college lecturer was unsuccessful in his attempt to ensure that his partner of 30 years would have access to his pension after his death, despite it being the State’s delay in legislating for equal marriage that prevented them from marrying before the required age. This is an issue that undoubtedly affects many LGBT couples nationwide.

‘Over a year since the passing of the Marriage Equality referendum and the overwhelming support it received it is incumbent that all parties and none get behind both of these Bills and right the wrongs of the past’.

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