Monday, 21 June 2021
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
The Cathaoirleach celebrated Luxembourg. I wish to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, which takes place every year in the month of June. Traditionally, people across the world celebrate with joyful and colourful abandon.However, because of a combination of Covid-19 and some draconian laws that have been passed, to which I will come in a minute, there is some fear and retraction of celebration. I ask that we have a debate in the House on the matter. I congratulate An Post, which has set a precedent with its beautiful commemorative Pride and Bród stamps and commemorative kit to remember and celebrate Pride.
In this Gay Pride month, we cannot take things for granted. In Waterford, the Pride flag was twice taken down. I commend the mayor of Waterford, Councillor Damien Geoghegan, for his alacrity and enthusiasm in putting it back up. In Dublin, graffiti was written on the wall of the iconic Pantibar. I commend Councillor Ray McAdam for his wonderful work in dealing with that. Dublin City Council adopted the policy put forward by the former president of Young Fine Gael, Dale McDermott, and installed a rainbow walk across from Pantibar. Unfortunately, there is a retraction in some parts of the world, but especially in Europe, where Hungary passed legislation making it illegal to show any material relating to gay people to people under 18 and linking it to paedophilia. Why are we allowing parliaments and parliamentarians around the world to continue passing these laws and expressing these views, which condemn people and create fear? There has also been a retraction of rights in Poland. I could list other countries across the world where the same thing is going on. Ministers have down huge work in our country, of which we could all speak. I would like a debate in the House on the full implementation of human rights in our country but also on the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community.