Updates

Warfield welcomes landmark PrEP ruling

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI Rights Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the case ruling today that has allowed generically manufactured PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) to be made available within the state. PrEP is the pre-emptive use of drugs which reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%.

Senator Warfield said:

“PrEP is currently being analysed by the HSE and NCPE for cost-effectiveness. The decision made by the High Court today will mean that more cost-effective generic versions could be the difference in making PrEP available through the HSE.

Warfield supports calls for Irish AIDS Memorial

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has backed the proposal by activist Tonie Walsh for a memorial that commemorates those who have died from AIDS in Ireland, as well as their caregivers and activists. This proposal is being presented at HIV Ireland’s National Conference on HIV and Stigma today in Smock Alley, Dublin.

Senator Warfield said:

“The proposal made by Mr. Walsh is a great initiative. People who are HIV positive still face massive stigma and prejudice today and this gesture by the state could go a long way to break down some of that stigma.

Government are failing to implement basics of sexual health strategy

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield speaking in reaction to a HSE internal document that shows the Gay Men’s Health Service (GMHS) is operating out of a “run-down, condemned building”, has said it further highlights to Sexual Health Strategy’s failure to prioritise effective sexual health services.

Senator Warfield said:

“We are halfway through the Sexual Health Strategy‘s timeline and yet, the only tangible and targeted response for MSM (men who have sex with men) sexual heath is the GMHS. While the GMHS is exceptionally run despite limited resources, it is a Dublin centric response and can only do so much. This report highlights that even the narrow responses to the strategy that are being delivered are done so without vigorous support from our institutions.

Marriage Equality campaign will not be deterred by decision in Belfast High Court

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield, in reaction to the dismissal of the ‘Equal Marriage Petition’ in the Belfast High Court today, has said the decision is a ‘disappointment’ but the vibrant and growing campaign for Civil Marriage Equality will continue regardless.

Senator Warfield said:

“It is unfortunate that the case was not successful today but I am certain that the campaign for Marriage Equality will remain as focused, vibrant, and energetic as ever.

Taoiseach’s attendance of Belfast Pride event ‘significant’

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI Rights Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the announcement by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that he plans to attend an event on the morning of Belfast Pride Parade.

Senator Warfield said:

“When the Taoiseach spoke at Dublin Pride in June, he committed to press for all-Ireland marriage equality. The reality of partition is a disparity of rights on this island where citizens can lawfully and equally marry in Dundalk but not Newry, Monaghan but not Armagh, Buncrana but not Derry.

MSM need certainty regarding HIV prevention

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has urged the government to take affirmative action on rising HIV transmission rates in light of the customs seizures of large quantities of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), a contraceptive drug taken daily by MSM (men who have sex with men) to prevent HIV infection.

Senator Warfield said:

“Over 500 new diagnoses of HIV were recorded in 2016 while the rate of transmission has been growing steadily for the last five years. PrEP has been proven to combat these rates in other states successfully.

Trump’s decision regarding transgender community is abhorrent

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has condemned the announcement made by US President Donald Trump outlining his intention to ban all transgender persons from serving in the US military.

Senator Warfield said:

“The tweets by President Trump will do incalculable damage to the cause of LGBTQI equality both in the US and further afield. It serves only to further institutional stigmatisation and discrimination of the transgender community.

Sinn Féin condemn homophobic abuse of County Councillor

Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson for the LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has condemned the homophobic slurs sent in form of a letter to Francis Timmons, an independent South Dublin county councillor.

Senator Warfield said:

“As a former mayor of South Dublin county council, I am disgusted to see one of its elected representatives being subjected to such a craven act. Ireland has only recently entered an era in which elected representatives can freely identify as LGBTQI publicly and the actions of one coward should never serve to reverse that.

“Sinn Féin sends it solidarity to Councillor Timmons and further calls for robust hate crime legislation to be enacted without delay.”

Government must intervene to ensure LGBTQI students are taught sex education

Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI Rights, Senator Fintan Warfield speaking in the Seanad today raised the issue of ethos-based schools not teaching their pupils LGBTQI aspects of the Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) curriculums.

The Education Act 1998 provides that an ethos-based school can derogate from aspects of curriculum in order to uphold the “characteristic spirit” of said school.

Anti-HIV drug availability must not be affected by ongoing legal action

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs, and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield, has called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to ensure that the potential availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not hindered by Truvada’s injunction action to prevent generic sale of the drug. Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a preemptive drug taken by persons to prevent the contraction of HIV.

Senator Warfield said

“PrEP is currently going through the necessary HSE approval processes to assess its feasibility, acceptability, and uptake. I fear that the reports today of Truvada planning injunctive action over alleged plans to sell a cheaper generic version of the drug in Ireland means that the potential cost of PrEP may remain relatively high to its users and may affect its availability.

LGBTQI community has a role to play in shaping Ireland’s response to a fractured world

Speaking today from the platform at Dublin Pride 2017, Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield said:

“A chairde,

“I am honoured to have been invited to speak today by the organisers of Dublin Pride. Sinn Féin commend your voluntary effort, today and all of the other days.

“I am mindful that many of our brothers and sisters right across the globe still literally put their lives on the line to celebrate Pride.

Seanad supports passing of Gender Recognition Bill

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI Rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the unanimous passing of Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017 in the Seanad. The Bill, if enacted, will allow young transgender people to be legally recognised by their true gender.

The Bill amends the Gender Recognition Act 2015 in three ways:

  • Removes the arduous process for young people between 16 – 17 to receive gender recognition putting them on equal (informed consent) criteria to those over 18.
  • Allows for young people under 16 to receive gender recognition with parental consent.
  • Allows for non-binary and intersex persons to be specifically considered in the review of the Gender Recognition Act.

Seanad to debate Sinn Féin’s Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI Rights Senator Fintan Warfield said that his Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017 which is to be debated in the Seanad tomorrow has the potential to enhance the lives of many in the Trans community.

The Bill is co-signed by Senators Grace O’Sullivan and David Norris and, if passed through the Houses of the Oireachtas, will allow young trans people to be legally recognised by their true gender.

Sinn Féin express deep concern for the safety of gay men in Chechnya

Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBT rights Senator Fintan Warfield has expressed horror, and deep concern for the safety of gay men in Chechnya.

Speaking from Leinster House today, Senator Warfield said:

“Over a number of days, there have been reports that hundreds of men believed to be gay have been abducted and/or tortured as part of a co-ordinated campaign involving internment camps in Chechnya. Reports also state that a number of individuals believed to be gay have been killed.

Sinn Féin launch Gender Recognition Bill on Trans Day of Visibility

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Youth, Arts, and LGBTQI+ Rights Senator Fintan Warfield has this afternoon announced that he has moved legislation in the Seanad that will amend the Gender Recognition Act 2015.

The Bill, proposed by Senator Warfield, and co-signed by Independent Senator David Norris and Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan, seeks to allow for self-determination for Trans people aged 16 and 17 and opens a legal pathway for Trans people under the age of 16 to recognise their true gender. Sinn Féin’s Amendment Bill will also legally ensure that non-binary persons are considered in the review of the 2015 Act.