Ireland ranked only 16th in Europe when it comes to rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

16 May 2011

Publication cover - Side A - Rainbow Europe Map May 2011 Cover image for Side A - Rainbow Europe Map May 2011

17 May 2011

To mark this year's International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, Marriage Equality has welcomed the publication of new research by the International Lesbian and Gay Association of Europe (ILGA-Europe). The Rainbow Europe Map and Index rates each European country's laws and administrative practices according to 24 categories including relationship recognition and parenting rights of same sex couples, and ranks countries on a scale between 17 (highest - full legal equality) and -7 (lowest - gross violations of human rights for LGBT people).

Ireland was ranked 16th of 50 European countries (with only 5 points), behind countries such as Croatia, Finland and Hungary. Topping the Index this year was the UK, with 12.5 points.

Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality, said "The results of this research may seem shocking, but it is important to note that the Index does NOT capture the reality of public support for equality for LGBT people in Ireland. What it shows is that there is a lot of work left to be done to change our laws to ensure equality for everyone in Ireland."

Ireland lost points in the European ranking for not introducing marriage equality legislation, and for failing to provide parenting rights for same-sex couples, including joint adoption, second parent adoption, and fertility treatments, as well as issues surrounding the recognition of transgender people.

Ms Griffith highlighted the potential for the Government to act on today's results: "We hope that the Government will take these results on board, and use them to evaluate the progress that has been made, in terms of the recent civil partnership legislation. We would ask them to acknowledge unresolved problems with the current legislation, like the lack of equality for children with lesbian and gay parents, and to reaffirm their commitment to setting up a constitutional convention to look at the provision of equal marriage rights for same sex couples."

Ms Griffith added that there was no reason for Ireland not to improve its rating: "In Ireland today we have 73% of Irish people who support the provision of marriage rights for same sex couples. That is a clear majority of Irish people who believe in equality for same sex families, but this is not being reflected in our legislation. We would urge the Government to listen to the will of the people on this important issue, and make marriage equality a reality for same sex couples all over Ireland."


Notes to the Editors:

Download Rainbow Europe Map 2011 here (side A, A3 size)

Download Rainbow Europe Index 2011 here (side B, A3 size)

ILGA-Europe is the European Region of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans & intersex people in Europe: