The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr. Charlie Flanagan, TD and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, Mr David Stanton, TD, launched Ireland’s National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019 – 2021 on 28th November 2019.
The Strategy contains over 100 actions that are aimed at promoting inclusion, protecting rights and improving the quality of life and wellbeing of LGBTI+ people. It reflects the commitment in the Programme for Government to create an equal, fair and inclusive society for all, target discrimination and enable LGBTI+ people to overcome the barriers they face.
Minister Flanagan secured additional funding of €700,000 in the Justice and Equality budgetary allocation for 2020, to support equality and LGBTI+ initiatives, bringing the total funding available to over €900,000.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Flanagan said:
“When my Department began the process of developing this Strategy, my overriding priority was that it must speak to the Irish society of today. This is a National Strategy because it speaks to Ireland – to the society we are, and the society we aspire to be. It is of the utmost importance that the Strategy clearly responds to key issues facing the LGBTI+ community.
I want to set an ambitious vision for Ireland, where the end goal is full equality for LGBTI+ people. The aim is for Ireland to be a place where everyone, regardless of their sexuality, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, can reach their full potential to live healthy, safe and fulfilling lives and participate fully in Ireland's social, economic, cultural, and political life.”
To support the development of the Strategy, a series of thematic public consultations took place nationwide from November 2018 to February 2019. These consultations took the form of dynamic and interactive workshops facilitated by key LGBTI+ experts and researchers including Dr Gráinne Healy, Ms Denise Charlton and Dr Kathy Walsh, in partnership with LGBT Ireland. Sessions took place in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway and Limerick. Over 30 written submissions were also received.
Minister Stanton played a key role in the public consultation phase, and paid tribute to the commitment, hard work and efforts of everyone who contributed to the development of the Strategy.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Stanton said:
“We have worked closely with the LGBTI+ community to identify the barriers to full participation in Irish society that remain, and it is clear that we have more work to do. This Government is committed to making Ireland a country in which everyone can safely live, work and enjoy their lives without barriers, discrimination and intolerance. Most importantly, our focus must now turn to implementation, the Strategy’s success will depend on the shared engagement of all stakeholders in building a fairer society that allows everyone to flourish.”