• Ban the practice of conversion therapy on the island of Ireland!
    Conversion therapy is an inhumane practice, based on the belief that being gay or transgender is something that can ‘be cured’. Since we launched, survivors have been sharing their stories of suffering at the hands of conversion therapy and the adverse effect it has had on them. This is still going on, it is still ruining lives. It has to stop. Members of the LGBTQ+ community have suffered trauma and developed serious mental health problems as a result of experiences of conversion therapy, and some have taken their lives as a result of their experiences. This is a tragedy. We in the ACTC want to ensure that conversion therapy, both in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland, is relegated to history. We hope that you can sign our petition today as a showing of support for all those in the LGBTQ+ community, and all of those who are no longer with us as a result of conversion therapy. Your signature will send a clear message to our politicians that we want to see this reprehensible practice outlawed without exception. Go raibh míle maith agaibh. Thank you all very much. Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition. Twitter- @antictcoalition Facebook- Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition Instagram- @antictcoalition Email- anticonversiontherapycoalition@gmail.com
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  • Equality for Children NOW!
    Last week, the Irish Government published a report on children’s rights and best interests in the context of assisted human reproduction, written by the Special Rapporteur for Child Protection, Professor Conor O’ Mahony. If adopted, the recommendations contained in this report would address numerous legislative gaps that prevent children conceived through AHR, from having a legal parent-child relationship with both the parents, who love and care for them on a daily basis. Equality for Children are calling on the Government and Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to immediately adopt and implement the recommendations made in this report. We urge you to sign our petition in order to push the Irish government to take the actions our children need! More information about the report: The report by Professor O’Mahony provides clear, practical solutions, which uphold the rights and best interests of children including their right to family life, identity and non-discrimination. The report recognises the reality of AHR treatment, which can often involve needing to access services abroad. The report also highlights the need for legislation to address the real-life circumstances of individual children including those already born, so they can establish a legal parental relationship to the parents who love and care for them daily. It highlights the need to provide comprehensive legislation to cover areas such as; altruistic surrogacy in Ireland, the recognition of the rights of children born through international surrogacy, and crucially addressing the gaps in both the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 and the drafted Assisted Human Reproduction Bill by including children already born through surrogacy, children conceived using a known donor and children conceived outside of clinical settings. The report acknowledges the distress caused to children born through assisted human reproduction and their families due to the absence of appropriate legislation “Children have been left in vulnerable legal positions for lengthy periods of time due to the failure of the Oireachtas to legislate to address their status.” Ranae von Meding, CEO of Equality for Children says, “Last week’s launch represents another crucial step forward in our campaign. By adopting all of the recommendations in Professor O’ Mahony’s report, thousands of children in Ireland will finally be able to have a legal parent-child relationship with both of their parents, something that has been denied to them to date. This includes children born to gay dads through surrogacy, children conceived using known donors and those conceived outside of clinical settings left behind in the Children and Family Relationships Act, 2015”. “Significantly, the report recognises the uneven impact the CFRA has had on children conceived outside of clinical settings and born to LGBT+ parents who cannot rely on the presumption of paternity/maternity as male-female couples can. This very principle has been a significant pillar of our campaign at Equality for Children, as it has effectively resulted in children of LGBT+ parents being discriminated against based on the sexual orientation of their parents.” “We urge the Government to act swiftly and adopt all of these recommendations into legislation governing assisted human reproduction. It is almost 6 years since our country voted for marriage equality. We are still waiting for the legislation that will allow the children of LGBT+ parents to be treated equally." “As it stands currently , in the vast majority of LGBT+ families, only one parent can be a legal parent. This must change. It’s not equal and it’s not what we voted for.”
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  • Vocalise gay rights in GAA community
    Men playing for GAA are often subject to discrimination, rumours, harassment, abuse and bullying as old-fashioned club and Gaelic values like to hyper-masculinise Gaelic sports, leaving little room for the openness and encouragement of actively “out” (or closeted) homosexual/gay GAA players, clubs should adapt morally and respectfully to the ever changing world and stop hiding in the shadows of “Old Ireland” ‘s tradition of hyper-masculine, “strong men only” in GAA and widen their eyes to the recognition and importance that sexuality does not halt talent, and that players will feel emotionally more comfortable being recognised in their club for who they are, not just what they can achieve on the field. Proof of fear of being LGBT+ in the Gaelic community are players who have came out after they retire due to stigma during their playing career, e.g. Valerie Mulcahy, possibly the most successful Cork GAA ladies player winning at least 10+ All-Irelands; didn’t come out until she retired, Donal Og Cusack, Kilkenny hurling goalkeeper, didn’t come out until he retired and many more
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    Created by Sarah Rankin
  • Support the Economic, Social & Cultural Rights Referendum Bill
    The Thirty-Seventh Amendment Of The Constitution (Economic, Social And Cultural Rights) Bill 2018 would call for a referendum to have these human rights enshrined in our Constitution. They would encompass a right to adequate housing, a right to join a trade union of your choice, a right to physical and mental health and a right to enjoy scientific progress. All of which have become more important during this global pandemic.
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  • Take the Angelus off RTÉ
    It's time that the Angelus was taken off RTÉ. It's time Ireland moved past it's dark past of Church and State being so intrinsically linked. We need to focus on bringing a new, inclusive and secular Ireland forward and it starts by separating Church and State on our public broadcaster.
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  • Make Free At-Home STI Testing Pilot Permanent
    The HSE and SH:24 partnered to offer free STI home test kits as part of a pilot project, to find out how online services can help support people’s sexual health. These at-home STI tests were LGBT+ inclusive and available to order online for residents of County Dublin, Cork and Kerry, however, as of January 6th - less than one day after the pilot launched, the service was shut due to the unprecedented high demand. The high number of sign-ups clearly illustrates the strong support for continuing and expanding this service nationwide. This scheme is particularly necessary at present as STI clinics are closed due to COVID-19, risking long waiting lists upon re-opening, and worsened health outcomes for those who could not access testing and treatment. At-home STI tests shift those with less complex sexual health needs from clinics to an online service thus reducing clinic waiting times, is safer during COVID-19, removes transportation barriers and encourages more people to get tested due to easier access. Free STI tests removes the financial barriers to testing services. Sign the petition to show your support for continuing & expanding this scheme!
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  • Stop putting victims addresses on certain protection orders
    Under the Domestic Violence Act 2018, there are three different orders that victims of abuse can apply at the District Court. These are; Barring Orders, Safety Orders, and Temporary Protection Orders. In many cases, the perpetrator must be notified of an order against them - either orally by the applicant or Gardaí, or they will be notified of the order by post. An order does not take effect until it is served to the respondent. In the case of a protection order, or an interim barring order, the court usually directs that order to be served on the respondent by An Garda Síochána. . The Orders that cause the most issue are Barring or Safety orders as these have both the victims and the abusers addresses on them.
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    Created by Linda Hayden
  • Protect trans and intersex people from social media harassment
    It is vital that tran* and intersex people are not subject to abuse and harassment. Twitter should be a safe and supportive platform for all to use. At present, abuse is poorly moderated, with abusive accounts running rampant. Reports are not adequately handled and in the rare occasions reports are taken seriously, banned accounts return using VPNs. Rules around restricting permissions of new accounts for a period of a month when they are first created would deter abusers. All in all, action is needed to make Twitter safe for all and to rid it of toxicity.
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    Created by Ailbhe Ní Nualláin
  • Urgent Support for Trans Communities
    Since the start of 2018, no new patients have been seen in the Northern Ireland adult gender identity clinic. There are now over 400 on the waiting list, some of whom have been on this list for over 4 years. While a review of these services was commissioned late last year, progress has been slow, and the Department and HSCB have been unwilling to meaningfully include and consult with trans communities. As a result, the majority of trans people in Northern Ireland who are currently accessing gender affirming care are doing so through private services, including those in England and further afield, or through self-medication. Those who self-medicate have been doing so to reduce the harm that is being done to them by the failure of statutory services to provide support and care while this review is ongoing and in the two years before it was commissioned. There is a mental health crisis in trans communities; while trans-led support groups and advocacy organisations are doing our best to support our communities, these groups are chronically under-funded and under-staffed. There is an urgent need for statutory services to step up and provide support to trans communities who have waited years for action.
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  • Amend the Harassment & Harmful Communications Bill
    The bill was categorised by the Law Reform Commission in 2016 after focus groups of young teens identified it as a privacy issue. However on greater examination it is clear that this should fall under sexual violence laws. It is important that people who engage in image based crime should face serious implications for sharing inappropriate images without consent. Also it is important that judges and barristers should understand the full impact on victims lives from the sharing of these images, and be trained up to deal with what is a reasonably new crime, with the age of smart phones and widespread internet access.
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    Created by Linda Hayden
  • Tackle Human Trafficking NOT Consenting Sex Workers.
    The review of this legislation is accepting submissions until September 11th 2020. The Criminal Justice Act 2017 Part 4 was put in place after lobbying by individuals and groups, some of whom were founded by and still have members of religious orders who ran Magdalene Laundries in their organisations, who believe all sex work is exploitation. This is not the case. This stance means ALL sex workers are being classified as exploited which in turn is distracting efforts from identifying real human trafficking victims. Human trafficking victims exist in many industries in Ireland including agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and many more. Child trafficking is also a problem in Ireland. Yet, we are targeting consenting sex workers. The belief was that the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services would end the demand for sexual services. This has not come into fruition. Ireland has been downgraded to Tier Two Watch List in the latest Trafficking in Persons Report and there have been NO PROSECUTIONS for human trafficking in Ireland EVER. Consensual sex workers exist in Ireland and will always exist in Ireland. This legislation has unfairly targeted their earnings, their safety and their autonomy rather than tackling human traffickers. These people and organisations have had very little communication with sex workers or experience in investigating cases of sex trafficking or other forms of human trafficking. This means there are victims of trafficking who are not even being looked for. This law has cut the flow of information to Gardaí from sex workers about real trafficking victims and children being requested for exploitation. Not only that but violence against sex workers has increased to dangerous levels because clients are afraid to get caught and sex workers are stigmatised to the point where abuse is deemed a natural part of their work - which should never be the case. Nicer clients have been scared away by the illegality of purchasing of sexual services and many who are still buying sex are the ones who take risks, putting sex workers in Ireland in serious danger. Sex workers report more issues with clients regarding safe sex. Sex workers in Ireland are not legally allowed to work together for safety under Ireland ‘Brothel Keeping’ legislation so they do not even have that comfort. To make buying sex illegal On top of the Brothel Keeping legislation, without first ensuring sex workers have access to social services and housing and all the other things they need to survive is horrific. For these reasons we are demanding an end to the Criminal Justice Act Section 27 part 4! TACKLE HUMAN TRAFFICKERS NOT WORKING PEOPLE!
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    Created by Emma-Jane Dempsey
  • Appoint a Senior Minister for Women and Equalities
    A long-term solution to remove systemic blocks to equality, for Women, girls and minorities in Ireland, is needed. The UK, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark and Canada have a Minister for Women or similar. It is time for the Irish government to consider a Minister for Women, like other countries. A Minister for Women and Equalities would need to do the job full-time, with enough resources, time and authority to do the work. A Minister for Women could look at systemic, policy blocks to equal opportunities in employment, education, housing and other areas for all people in Ireland, regardless of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, socioeconomic status and membership of the Traveller community. Enquires Twitter: @zoehealy3
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