The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has been drawing attention to gender-based violence and discrimination for many years. The Assembly is now working on a report titled “The fight for a level playing field – ending discrimination against women in the world of sport”, which will result in a resolution to be adopted by the Assembly in 2021.
Inputs can be:
The format for submissions is informal, and can include individual testimonies, statistical data, or descriptions of situations and practices affecting these communities.
Inputs are due by 31 January 2021.
The questions on your email address and inclusion of reference to you or your organisation in the survey are mandatory; all other questions may be skipped if you choose.
Cianán B. Russell, Ph.D. (EN: they/them, ES: elle/le/*e)
Senior Policy Officer
Mobile/WhatsApp: +32 478 12 0076
Rue du Trône 60, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 609 54 10 • Fax: +32 2 609 54 19 • www.ilga-europe.org
Earlier this month I wrote an article (Gay Conversion Therapy – Government Cop Out) reflecting back on how long we have been raising this issue and why was the government dragging its feet over putting in place measure to stop young LGBTQ people from being mentally tortured?
I reflected back on Dr Paul Miller, on Stormont’s intransigence, and how the Westminster bullies (those in a position of power and trust) seemed to feel that LGBTQ people do not count and do not need to be protected.
So I welcome that the Northern Ireland Executive is going to take the lead and develop a strategy across a number of Departments to have legislation put in place to place a ban on reparative or conversion therapy by private operations.
As I said in my previous article, conversion therapy is nothing short of ‘brain washing’, the LGBTQ community and the people in it do not need to be converted, they need to be made to feel equal within society in all aspects!
- Northern Ireland just committed to banning traumatising conversion therapy in a groundbreaking move
- Gay conversion therapy “very much a reality in Northern Ireland”, say advocates
The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
requests the pleasure of the company of
Cllr Jeffrey Dudgeon MBE
at a screening of Against the Law
at 10 Downing Street
on Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm
Against the Law tells the story of Peter Wildeblood and one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu trial.
Along with the Conservative peer Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and their friend Michael Pitt-Rivers, Wildeblood was imprisoned for homosexual offences after his lover gave evidence against him under pressure from the authorities.
With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the laws against homosexuality.
His high-profile trial led the way to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform which eventually resulted in the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 – changing the lives of thousands of gay men with its partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts.
This powerful new drama forms part of a season of BBC programmes marking the fiftieth anniversary of that landmark change in the law. Starring Daniel Mays and directed by Fergus O’Brien, it is interspersed with moving testimonies from a chorus of men whose love and lives were against the law.
Over the last 40+ years that I have been involved in the LGBTQ community, I have been privileged to witness the acceptance of gay people into the general community – young and old, we now have more freedoms; however this has only come about through the continued pressure from individuals, groups through lobbying and through legal cases. We have in most parts of the UK an acceptance and understanding that being ‘gay’ is normal, that it does not require “treatment” to correct an illness! Again I said in most parts, there are however still some groups and individuals who wish us to disappear or receive corrective treatment – in most companies LGBTQ rights are now accepted; but we cannot sit back on our backsides; if we do not keep monitoring and interacting with government (both local and national) then the rights that we have fought so hard to achieve will be taken away again.
What are your thoughts on this article; I would really like to hear what you think. Comment now or email us.
Source: Old and young see LGBT rights in contrast
Items for further reading:
How we should get ready for 2017!
In America we have seen Donald Trump’s election win, and in the UK we have seen Brexit win out. Whilst we don’t know what the courts will say in terms of the Prime Minister’s rights, it is clear that the referendum has been taken and won and that the New Year will bring many changes, and that the far right seems to have gained ascendancy in terms of leaving Europe and also in terms of how we are supposed to ‘handle’ immigrants and other minorities.
President Elect ‘Trump’ has through his cabinet choices shown that he and his cronies are completely anti-LGBTQ, as all of them have either voted for some bill that denied the LGBTQ community one or all of the following:
- job protections
- right to marry
- health services
In the UK we have seen the backlashes and phobias starting with people being beaten up because ‘they are not British’. Taunts like ‘ go back from where you came from’, ‘go back into the closet’, ‘your are not normal’.
It is obvious that things will get worse, especially if the Prime Minister, Theresa May, decides to push the removal of the Human Rights Act and replace with a Britsh Bill of Rights, which in all probability will be of no use at all, and probably only protect the rich and business.
So what can we do about it?
Firstly, we need to make certain that our LGBTQ organisations are actually working for our community, and not just fund raising to ensure there existence. But also, we as a community need to be involved with these organisations – they cannot exist in a vacuum. And it is pretty obvious that funding is drying up from government and other sources.
Secondly, we need to remember that back in the 60s and 70s, whilst we did have some problems regarding personalities, we all realised that we needed to work together to achieve the common goal. This is even more relevant in the light of the attacks that are being made on our community from so many directions. We need to work together in the New Year to achieve our common goals.
Thirdly, we need to channel our voting power in the New Year. No longer should politicians of any ilk or cloth assume because they say they support they support the LGBTQ that they will automatically get our vote – they must prove they are more than fair-weather friends.
Lastly, we need to work with other groups who have experience and knowledge; they can help us develop our policies and mechanisms, the same as they can learn from us. There is strength in numbers, as well as that feeling of not being alone.
We need only look back in our history to discover how we in the past have come together and fought and won. Don’t stand alone, find friends, gather together in groups and support and learn to fight within the bounds of the law to get our rights and those of the future community
Let us be clear about this headline ‘Christian schools downgraded by Ofsted over homophobic teachings’, it is ill conceived and really sensationalism at its worse; the report clearly states that the downgrade is about the curriculum, and it is illustrated in the following paragraph:
Concerns have been repeatedly flagged about the use of ACE in British schools in the past, with an investigation in 2014 raising concerns about ACE textbooks teaching that homosexuality is a choice, evolution is a lie, abortion is wrong, and AIDS can be avoided by following the Bible.
not just about homophobic teachings. This is a long running problem between Ofsted and schools which are following the ACE curriculum, an import from the USA, and very obviously very right wing in its beliefs and teachings.
A Balanced Curriculum
I have no objections to any curriculum as long as it is balanced and fair, and importantly accurate and factual. Our country has a long history of adjusting its curriculum as things have been found out that change our concepts and thoughts – we must not allow bigots to control the educational system and the lives of our children
A number of private Christian schools have threatened legal action after having their status downgraded by education watchdog Ofsted, partly for failing to “promote respect” for LGBT people and British values.
Now I know that quoting Wikipedia is so blase, however in this case I feel the definition is worth looking at: Wikipedia defines “Traditional Values” as “those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community.”
However on investigation, Wikipedia cannot define where those beliefs, moral codes etc come from. There is no defining text, and what is also interesting is that this cultural phenomena is wildly held as fact, when even within family to family said ideas can be wildly different.
A colleague of mine, put his thoughts as:
Clearly this moron hasn’t heard of New Orleans – though as it is French / Irish / Italian Catholic maybe he is going to allow it to secede from the secession.
A right-wing author has a plan for people who aren’t happy about shifting attitudes about LGBT rights.
Northern Ireland’s gay history is slowly coming to light in our national institutions. Recently we spotted the Northern Gay and block mounted Paisley ayatollah on display at the Ulster Museum.
This is only part of some of our history, but the museums and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) have more, and indeed are always looking for more material to add to their archives and develop their ability to reflect everyone’s history and in particular those of the minority groups which are often under represented.
A quick search on the PRONI websites brought up 15 distinct areas:
- Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Advocate
…If you think you’re gay or a lesbian, you may be worried about how people will react if you tell them…
- Sexual orientation discrimination
…It’s against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your sexual orientation. You’re also protected against harassment or bullying at work…
- Information and support for people with HIV and AIDS
…There are support services, information and advice available across Northern Ireland for people newly diagnosed or living with HIV…
- Support services for victims
…If you have been a victim of crime or abuse in Northern Ireland, there are organisation and groups who can give you free advice, support and practical help to help you deal with the impact of…
- Hate crime
…Hate crime is a crime against a person usually because of their race, religious belief, sexual orientation, political opinion, gender identity or disability. Hate crime can take many forms…
- Pushing the boundaries: Society & law
…A Series of talks exploring society and the law which consider broad areas relating to the changing perception of what constitutes acceptable behaviour within society…
- Rainbow Project
- Human rights in the workplace
…Your human rights are protected by the law. If your employer is a public authority, they must follow the principles of the Human Rights Act…
- Equal State Pension rights for transsexual people
…Transsexual people can apply for equal treatment rights for social security purposes. This could mean getting the State Pension paid early, or having some National Insurance contributions…
- Easter Rising: ‘Irish volunteers centenary project’
…PRONI was pleased to host ‘Irish Volunteers Centenary Project’, a talk by Donal McAnallen about experiences in the Easter Rising…
- Talking to your child about sex and teenage pregnancy
…Young people who can talk about sex with their parents tend to delay having sex and are more likely to use contraception when they do. However, you may find the idea slightly awkward, or you…
- Religion or belief discrimination
…It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your religion or certain beliefs. Find out about your rights and what you can do if you’re worried about religion…
An important thing for all of us in the LGBT community of Northern Ireland is our history, but unfortunately a lot of it has been forgotten, or not written down, or in some cases is still hidden away in individuals homes. We would like to develop further our access to our history, by asking everyone to dig our their history and by contacting us we will work with the museums and PRONI to develop a central resource.
Please do contact us with details of what you have and we will then arrange with the correct repository. All information will remain confidential regarding your personal details, unless yu expressly give us permission to disclose them when lodging the items on your behalf.
- Jake O’Kane – Ulster Museum Picture – Ulster Museum picture of Northern Ireland Tourist Board stand from 1964 promoting a ‘Gay Friendly NI’. If only.
- Gay life in Northern Ireland is under threat – time to act
The ‘Church’ professes to be accepting of all, but it is becoming obvious that this is normally paid lip service to rather than in reality. Being narrow minded is almost a perquisite for being conservative these days, and with Marcelo Crivella, as the mayor of Rio de Janeiro it may well be that that wonderful place for fun and frolics is slowly going to die, and obviously if the fun stops so will the money coming into the country from visitors. Surprisngly enough, this has occurred occur in other locations eg. the states of South Dakota, Georgia,Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississipi in the USA.
The Revel & Riot website’s article on LGBTQ PEOPLE AND RELIGION, states that…
Worldwide, fundamentalists of every major religion promote discrimination, hatred and often violence towards LGBTQ people. Because of religion, families are torn apart when misguided teachings conflict with the biologically determined sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a child or parent. Countless LGBTQ people are raised in religious families and experience a great deal of internal conflict and pain as they try to reconcile their own learned beliefs with the reality of who they are.
Religion is supposed to be a refuge from oppression, not to implement it or to condone it because some tennet written by a person in the past said that that kind of person was bad, or evil, or indeed sub-human – wasn’t that what occurred in relation to slaves (and does still today in some countries)!
I would be the first to fight and stand up for everyone to have the right to voice their opinion, but I will not stand by and allow any minority to be oppressed because they don’t fit into the perscribed norm!
- Revel and Riot – LGBTQ PEOPLE AND RELIGION
- MSNBC – The Best and Worst States for LGBTQ Equality
- State-by-State History of Banning and Legalizing Gay Marriage, 1994-2015
- Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage
This article is a concise and accurate report on the law surrounding the case known as the ‘Gay Cake’ case. It wasn’t prosecutorial zeal which led to the court case, it was a company which failed understand the basic tenets of law and in particular contract law.
The court case was not brought by Gareth Lee, all he wanted was a cake, the case was taken up by the Equality Commission as it believed that the baker had broken the law. Subsequently, this has been proved correct by the original judgement and the Appeal Court.
No one is above the law, if we are to be a fair and equitable society we must ‘ALL’ comply with and live by the law. If we don’t like a law, then we have legal remedies, and in the final resort, we can challenge the government.
Less prosecutorial zeal may be the easiest way to address such issues
Source: The great Belfast bake-off: Asher’s ‘gay cake’ decision