A reflection of our times:
The following two motions were put forward to the Assembly in December 2012, both motions highlight just how the assembly still is failing the LGBT part of the community, because both motions have still be acted upon.
- Lifting the Ban on Homosexual Men Donating Blood
That this Assembly notes that Northern Ireland is now the only region in the United Kingdom where homosexual men are banned from donating blood; further notes the findings of the report on Blood Donor Selection Criteria Review in April 2011; considers it to be unreasonable and intolerant to continue to turn away suitable donors; and calls on the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to lift the ban and to adopt the same safeguards as those that have been implemented across the rest of the United Kingdom.
[Mr J McCallister]
[Mr S Gardiner]
- Bullying in Schools
That this Assembly acknowledges the negative impacts of bullying in schools; recognises the increase in cyber bullying and the endemic nature of homophobic bullying in schools in Northern Ireland; notes that bullying is linked to an increased risk of isolation, depression, self harm and suicidal ideation among young people; calls on the Minister of Education to acknowledge the particular issue of homophobic bullying; and further calls on the Minister to develop immediately a comprehensive and wide ranging anti-bullying action plan and to begin a programme of work, with schools, to make them safe and welcoming environments for all our young people.
[Mr S Rogers]
[Mrs D Kelly]
[04 September 2012]
An article by Eamonn McCann ‘Stormon in Dark Ages over homosexuality’, published in the Belfast Telegraph 18 July 2013, would seem to give further evidence towards this in a small way, but what was more enlightening was the off-the-cuff comment by the young woman at the desk of the British Museum on being told that there was little represenation of the Celts or the Ulsters Scots in the British Museum’s sumptuous collection of gay artifacts from civilisations across the globe and down the ages – “Well, they’ve always been a bit odd over there, haven’t they?”
In July 2011, Dolores Kelly said ‘…members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community must “push” to make their voice heard.
“I think they need to push hard and hold to account their political representatives,” Ms Kelly said.
“Particularly the leader of the biggest party here in the north which is of course the DUP and I think they have to be challenged on all fronts.”
Politics in Northern Ireland is not just about religion, it is about bias and ignorance on many fronts, The LGBT community needs to organise itself and to communicate with and pursue its local and national representatives into supporting the needs of our community. (UTV Report)
Just after I wrote this piece, I was forwarded an notification on the
UN Human Rights Office Launches Unprecedented Global Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality
I am attaching a copy of the document for information and look forward to our community being actively involved in delivering ‘Equality for the LGBT Community’