Updates

Warfield welcomes positive development for the availability of PrEP

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI Rights Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed today’s announcement by HIQA that they are starting a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) of a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) programme to be rolled out in 2019.

Senator Warfield said:

“It is encouraging to see that such forthright moves are being made toward the availability of PrEP in Ireland.

“The response to rising HIV rates in recent years has not had an effect in bringing down transmission rates. Therefore, a programme in which PrEP is accessible to those at risk of HIV is urgently required.

“I look forward to seeing the results of this assessment. A PrEP programme must also address under resourced testing services.”

Have a safe, happy and healthy trans pride

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Youth, Arts and LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield wishes the trans community, allies and friends a safe, happy and healthy trans pride as the first protest march takes place in Dublin today.

Marching with Sinn Féin at the Dublin trans pride march today, Senator Warfield said:

“Today’s march is a special event that celebrates trans and non-binary identities.

“While the Gender Recognition laws look set to become one of the most progressive models in the world, there are still an array of issues that need action immediately.

“Issues such as a trans healthcare system that works off a medical-diagnostic model which doesn’t comply with WHO or WPATH guidelines, or our response to trans people’s mental health, where 78% of the Irish trans community have had suicidal thoughts.

“Our Government can do such much more in their response to meeting the needs of the transgender community and I call on government ministers to further engage with the trans community regarding meeting those needs.”

Senator Warfield welcomes release of Gender Recognition Review

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield, has welcomed the publication of the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 which has recommended a number of measures including extending gender recognition rights for trans youth and non-binary persons.

Senator Warfield said:

“I am pleased with the report which is ambitious in its recommendations but absolutely necessary as the law progresses to a place that embraces LGBTQI identities.

“The primary recommendations were also a core tenant of the Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017 which I tabled in the Seanad and unanimously passed second stage in March last year and I am glad that this legislation formed a framework for the Gender Recognition Review.

Warfield welcomes passing of Children and Family Relationships Amendment

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has welcoming the passing of Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018 through the Oireachtas today. This legislation will allow for commencement of parts 2 and 3 of the primary legislation, which will give shared parental rights to certain same sex parents and give recognition to their families.

Senator Warfield said:

“Today is a really important day in the lives of many LGBTQ parents and their families and a proud day for those who vigorously campaigned to that end. It has been hard fought for and long overdue.

“Three years on from marriage equality, Government have finally corrected technical errors that left legal uncertainties for parents and their children.

Government needs to exonerate gay/bi men after state apology

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has submitted amendments to a motion before the Dáil and Seanad today that apologises to men convicted under the anti-homosexuality laws pre-1993.

Sinn Féin’s amendments, if accepted, commit the government to initiate legislation that will also exonerate those convicted by the same laws.

Senator Warfield said:

“An apology on the part of the state for the treatment towards the LGBTI community is welcome.

“It is more than appropriate that the state should apologise for institutional discrimination and admit that it has historically mistreated the LGBTI community.

Apology without exoneration would mean little to convicted LGBT people

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to not stifle efforts to vindicate the LGBT people convicted under anti-homosexuality laws, and that a simple apology will not be enough if LGBT people will still hold wrongful criminal records.

Senator Warfield said:

“The Taoiseach and Micheal Martin TD exchanged views today in the Dáil on the potential state apology before the 25th anniversary of decriminalisation of homosexuality.

“The Taoiseach asserted the view that a cross party motion may go before the Dáil beforehand to allow for this but relented on the calls to exonerate, stating that there may be difficulties establishing the facts of certain cases.

Sinn Féin calls for hate crime legislation on International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has called on Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan to bring forward robust hate crime legislation as a matter of urgency.

Senator Warfield said:

“I’d like to commend the LGBTQI activists and our allies across Ireland in their efforts in eradicating Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia this year. However, this state remains the only western European jurisdiction without standard hate crime legislation.

“Hate crime is a manifestation of prejudice and bigotry amongst a society and it’s no longer acceptable to leave LGBTQI people or other marginalised communities in Ireland vulnerable.  

Seanad passes Bill to ban LGBTQ conversion therapies

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the passing of the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 through second stage in the Seanad today.

Senator Warfield said:

“This bill not only bans the deceptive and discredited practice of LGBTQI conversion therapy, but it sends a message from this State that we consider sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to be inherent to a person and as such, cannot be ‘changed’ or ‘converted’.

Seanad to debate Bill to ban LGBTQ conversion therapies

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield will table the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 in the Seanad for second stage on Wednesday 12.45pm.

The bill aims to make the practice of performing so called ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapies illegal in this State. ‘Conversion therapy’ means any practice or treatment that aims to change, repress and, or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression. Additionally, it will make removing a person from the State for the purposes of conversion therapy an offence.

Senator Warfield said;

“I am pleased to be able to bring this bill to the Seanad. The practice of conversion therapy has been condemned and discredited worldwide by institutions such as the UN Committee against Torture, the European Parliament and by the Irish Council for Psychotherapy.

Hate crime report shows Ireland is far behind European counterparts in protecting minorities

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed a comparative report published today by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties entitled ‘Lifecycle of Hate Crime’ that highlights the fact that the state is falling behind our European counterparts, in terms of protecting vulnerable communities from crimes motivated by prejudice.

Senator Warfield said:

“The state is the only western European jurisdiction without standard hate crime legislation. This means, in reality, we have no way of bringing specified charges against individuals who target minorities with racist, homophobic or bigoted biases. 

Equal parental status still not in place three years on from marriage equality

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI Rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has criticised Minister for Health Simon Harris TD for failing to commence key equal status legislation granting equal parental rights to families who conceive through assisted human reproduction, three years on from its passage through the Oireachtas.

Senator Warfield said:

“Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 give equal parental rights to families who conceive through assisted human reproduction.

“Three years on from the passing of civil marriage equality, it is unacceptable that these aspects of the legislation have yet to be commenced by Government. In many cases, Government are leaving only one parent with legal rights.

Sinn Féin launch new LGBTQI policy

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI Rights Senator Fintan Warfield has launched the party’s new LGBTQI policy paper ‘On Your Side’. This paper comprises of a number of different initiatives that a Sinn Féin government would undertake in the struggle for full LGBTQI equality.

Senator Warfield said:

“In this paper, we have outlined a number of measures that need to be addressed in the immediate future as the next steps to realise full and equal rights for the LGBTQI community. This ranges from marriage equality in the north to tackling rising HIV rates.

“Last night in the Outhouse in Dublin city centre, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD, Megan Fearon MLA, and I held a public meeting with the LGBTQI community who made it very clear that there is still an extensive body of work for our institutions to undertake.

It is time for an outright ban on so called conversion therapies

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield, has today launched the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018.

The bill aims to make the practice of performing so called ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapies illegal in this state. ‘Conversion therapy’ means any practice or treatment that aims to change, repress and, or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression.

Senator Warfield said:

“Today, I am introducing a piece of legislation which aims to prohibit conversion therapy, as a deceptive and harmful act or practice against a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression.

Senator Warfield welcomes UCD’s transgender inclusion policy

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the news today that University College Dublin will launch a number of initiatives that accommodate transgender and gender-fluid students and staff.

Senator Warfield said:

“Our third level institutions should be places of inclusion and diversity. The measures announced today will make UCD a more welcoming campus for those who wish to study, work or visit. “Some measures are practical such as ‘gender-neutral’ bathrooms and changing facilities, which allow people to use facilities without fear of prejudice or judgement.”

PPS numbers must not be used as patient identifiers by the HSE

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to suspend any plans to use PPS numbers as patient identifiers as it would severely compromise their privacy and would be intended to be shared with third parties.

Senator Warfield said:

“In November 2017, a number of hospitals received correspondence from the HSE that a patient’s PPS number must be provided as their unique identifier. The correspondence went onto say that this is a requirement for all transactions processed for reimbursement through the PCRS, as required by the Comptroller and Auditor General.