Ireland tied for 11th in Europe for rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

16 May 2012

Publication cover - ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map side A Cover image for ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map side A

To mark 2012'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 30 (highest - full legal equality) and -12 (lowest - gross violations of human rights for LGBT people).

Last year Ireland was ranked 16th, with only 5 points, behind countries such as Croatia, Finland and Hungary. This year Ireland scored 9 points, and tied for 11th place with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia and Slovenia. Topping the poll was the UK, with 21 points, followed by Germany and Spain.

Speaking before the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality tomorrow to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Marriage Equality Moninne Griffith will highlight the continued, urgent need for equality for same-sex couples, their families and their children: "73% of Irish people do not want to deny LGBT people the right to marry. They know that denying friends and family members the freedom to marry is wrong, is not fair and has no place in today's Ireland. This reflects Ireland today - our capacity, our understanding, our empathy."

Ms Griffith drew a comparison between the marriage ban for same-sex couples in Ireland, and the presence of homophobia and transphobia in the country. Drawing on research from the American Psychologist published in 2006, she said: "Denying same-sex couples the label of marriage - even if they receive all the other rights and privileges conferred by marriage - arguably devalues and delegitimises these relationships. It conveys a societal judgment that committed intimate relationships with people of the same sex are inferior to heterosexual relationships, and that the participants in a same sex relationship are less deserving of society's recognition than heterosexual couples."

Marriage Equality has called on the Government to convene the Constitutional Convention without delay, to begin to address the possibility of removing the marriage ban for same sex couples in Ireland.

Download the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map and Index 2012 (PDF)

Publication cover - Side A - Rainbow Europe Map May 2011 Publication cover - Side B - Rainbow Eurpe Index May 2011