‘Supporting the Equality Agenda’ and working towards a fairer Ireland
Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy and Chair of the Party’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Group, Jerry Buttimer, has this evening (Tuesday) welcomed an address by the Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence, Alan Shatter TD, to a meeting of the FG LGBT Group.
Speaking before the meeting, Deputy Buttimer said: ‘The mood in Ireland, where the LGBT community is concerned, is changing. We have become a more tolerant society but there is still a considerable way to go before all citizens are treated equally. Progress has been slow but it has also been steady, and that is to be welcomed’.
“I am delighted that Minister Shatter has agreed to address tonight’s meeting of the LGBT Group, ‘Supporting the Equality Agenda’. The aim of the Group, which was established last April, is to promote full equality for members of the LGBT community.
“Coming to terms with being gay is never easy and coming out to family and friends even less so, with some taking longer to get to there than others. Thankfully, we now live in a more accepting Ireland than ever before, but the fear experienced by many young people in coming to terms with their sexuality, and expressing it openly, is still often widespread. It is incumbent on us as legislators to move the equality agenda forward and on all of us to work towards an Ireland that does not discriminate against one person based who they love.”
Addressing the meeting, Minister Shatter said: ‘The point of departure and the aspired-to destination for the struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons against discrimination is equal citizenship, pure and simple. Securing and protecting the human rights of people, irrespective of their sexual orientation, should be a central objective of any civilised democratic state in the 21st Century’.
“We can work together to achieve the fundamentals of equal citizenship. Every act of reform we make sends out a ripple of hope, and, as the late Senator Robert Kennedy said: ‘Ripples of hope can build a current that sweeps in the equality and justice that is every human person’s birthright’.”