Date: Sun 17th May, 2020
“Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we are invited to renew our resolve to combat the violence and hate that homosexual and transgender people continue to experience.
On this special day, we are all to join the great movement of people who advocate and campaign for, and seek to achieve the vindication of, the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people.
It should concern us all that many LGBTI+ people in Ireland continue to experience stigma and discrimination on a daily basis. Equally concerning are new reports which have highlighted the fact that some countries in Europe are falling behind in their commitments to equality for LGBTI people.
The Covid-19 crisis has also affected the LGBTI+ community, deepening a sense of isolation and marginalisation that many members of that community already experience.
The Irish people have, in recent years, shown their support for LGBTI+ equality. Many support structures have been put in place, legal obstacles have been gradually removed, and awareness of LGBTI+ rights has increased significantly.
As President of Ireland I invited all of our citizens to support and build on these initiatives.
However more can, and must, be done if we are to craft an Ireland in which there is real equality. A real republic is one where no-one is in danger of being humiliated, vulnerable or threatened because of their identity.
So today is a day for renewed commitment to working together towards a peaceful, just and inclusive society shaped to fit our citizens in all their wonderful diversity.”