Issues for LGBT people in Northern Ireland by gej18123

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									  Issues for LGBT people
    in Northern Ireland
     Barry Fitzpatrick

CoSO Management Committee




                         Coalition on Sexual Orientation
             CoSO’s remit
CoSO was established in late 1998 to bring
   together LGBT groups in NI
a) To represent LGB +T issues in
   consultative processes surrounding
   section 75
b) To campaign for LGBT rights in the Bill of
   Rights
c) To campaign for LGBT rights in single
   equality legislation

                Coalition on Sexual Orientation
    The state of play in 2001
SO in section 75 – equality schemes
  being approved
ECNI producing 1st paper on SEA
NIHRC producing 1st Consultation
  Document on BoR



              Coalition on Sexual Orientation
 The state of LGBT rights in 2001-
                06
Equality schemes in operation for 6 years –
    Effectiveness Review by ECNI
SO discrimination law in employment and
    training but also GFS, education,
    housing, performance of public functions
Civil Partnership Act
Specific homophobic hate crime law


                Coalition on Sexual Orientation
         The BoR agenda
From seeking rights to underpinning
   rights
Inspiration from Yogyakarta Principles
Inclusion of trans people – definition of
   „gender identity‟
Key issues: discrimination & abuse,
   protection of privacy, protection of
   civil partnerships
               Coalition on Sexual Orientation
        The BoR agenda
CoSO strategy: Mainstream LGBT rights
  into public policy and into BoR
Mainstream SO equality, protect
  against homophobic abuse and
  promote specific provisions of
  relevance to LGBTs


             Coalition on Sexual Orientation
            Specific issues
Children & Young People: Formal
recognition of the UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child, including provisions on
the „voice of the child‟, in the Bill of Rights.
Victims: A definition of „victims‟ wide
enough to include victims of homophobic
hate crime and other abuses of the human
rights of LGBT people.



                Coalition on Sexual Orientation
           Specific issues

Economic & social rights: inclusion of
education, housing, right to work, social
protection
Education: A „child-centred‟ approach
towards education rights, including
recognition of the „voice of the child‟. We
do not want parents to be entitled to
impose a homophobic environment on
LGBT children and young people in the
education system.
               Coalition on Sexual Orientation
           Specific issues

Culture & Identity: Recognition of SO
and gender identity in the Bill‟s definition
of „identity‟.
Inclusion of „cultural communities‟.
Democratic rights: which include full
respect for the identity of all citizens,
including in relation to SO and gender
identity.

               Coalition on Sexual Orientation
            Specific issues

Family law: Inclusion of civil partnerships (and
other partnerships) in right to marry.
Inclusion of „right to found a family‟.
Freedom of religion and expression: A
supplementary provision providing that freedom
of religion also involves “…to be free from
coercion or imposition of beliefs”.
That freedom of thought and expression is not
used to discriminate against LGBT people
through discrimination and abuse
                Coalition on Sexual Orientation
          Specific issues

Preamble and Implementation:
1) Every person has the right to
independent, impartial and confidential
information, support and advice.
2) Every person has the right to advocacy
and representation.



              Coalition on Sexual Orientation
           Specific issues

Preamble and Implementation:
 3) Government has a duty to provide
resources to support access to
information, support, advocacy and
representation services for every citizen.
4) NGOs and trade unions, as well as the
NIHRC, should be able to bring cases in
their own name in cases of human rights
abuses.
               Coalition on Sexual Orientation
           LGBT equality

Equality clause: includes SO and gender
identity (beyond gender reassignment)
Section 75 – Framework Directive – EU
Charter of Fundamental Rights –
Yogyakarta principles – SO discrimination
law in employment & GFS – recognition of
SO as „other status‟ non-discrimination
ground by European Court of Human
Rights
              Coalition on Sexual Orientation
           LGBT equality

Equality clause:
Mainstream equality clause into other
provisions, eg criminal justice
Possible inclusion of equality clause in
Preamble
Balance between LGBT rights and rights of
others - that the case law of the European
Court of Human Rights, on „strict scrutiny‟
of measures which discriminate, is
respected.
              Coalition on Sexual Orientation
Protection from homophobic abuse

 On the basis of harassment provisions
 or a right to dignity and physical
 integrity
 It is most important that environments
 such as the workplace, education, housing
 and care homes are covered. If necessary,
 the more serious examples of abuse,
 harassment and bullying, defined as being
 „degrading, threatening or intimidating
 behaviour‟, must be included.
               Coalition on Sexual Orientation
           From 2001-06
Formal rights but practical reality?
Little prospect of SEA
Judicial review of SO GFS Regs &
resistance to LGBT rights in BoR
No formal investigations in relation to SO
and section 75 but significant impact on
public policy
Some SO cases but issues of anonymity in
tribunals and courts
Advocacy capacity in LGBT communities
              Coalition on Sexual Orientation
True and Substantive Equality &
  Human Rights for all People.




          Coalition on Sexual Orientation

								
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