Marriage Equality and Belong To Youth Services Welcome Press Ombudsman Decision

10 Oct 2012

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Today, Marriage Equality and BeLonG To Youth Services welcomed the Press Ombudsman's decision to uphold a complaint in respect of an article which appeared in the Irish Independent on 14 March 2012. The article, entitled "Every single human decision has a consequence - so remember that the next time you vote for someone's rights" was found to be in breach of Principles 2 (Distinguishing Fact and Comment) and Principle 8 (Prejudice) of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines. Three other individuals also filed complaints about the article, and these were also upheld by the Press Ombudsman.

Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith welcomed the Press Ombudsman's decision, saying, "We've seen a lot of discussion about marriage equality in recent months, as politicians and local authorities declare their views on this issue, including yesterday's positive statement of support by former President Mary McAleese. Marriage equality is an emotional issue for all involved and we think it's essential that we have open and inclusive discussions about this issue, which affects couples and families all over Ireland. Whether you are in favour or against marriage for same sex couples, all debate on this issue has to be based on fact, rather than on rumour, conjecture or unconfirmed reports. We all have to make sure that in modern Ireland the conversation about marriage equality is genuine and inclusive. It's too important an issue for it not to be."

Executive Director of BeLonG To Youth Services, Michael Barron said. "We all too often see the terrible impact that prejudice can have on Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) young people in Ireland. A recent study sponsored by the HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention found that one in five LGBT young people have attempted suicide, a situation which is directly linked to their experiences of homophobia and prejudice against the LGBT community. We welcome the Press Ombudsman's decision to uphold our complaint on the grounds of not distinguishing fact from comment, and on the grounds of prejudice. No young person should be made suffer by having their identities stigmatised in the media. All our young people deserve to grow up safely in a country which respects them for who they are."


Full text of the Press Ombudsman's decision can be found here: