Irish MEPs Sign Pledge to Support LGBTI Rights

Independent MEP, Marian Harkin (Ireland North-West) signs the Come Out pledge. [Image: Twitter / Marian Harkin]

Independent MEP, Marian Harkin (Ireland North-West) signs the Come Out pledge. [Image: Twitter / Marian Harkin]

Irish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have signed a pledge to support LGBTI rights on an EU-wide level.

Nessa Childers (Ind.; Ireland East), Emer Costello (Labour; Dublin) Marian Harkin (Ind.; Ireland North-West) and Phil Prendergast (Labour; Ireland South) have all signed the ILGA-Europe ‘Come Out’ 2014 European Election Pledge, which states that the politician will “stand up for human rights and equality in Europe as a member of the European Parliament, including the human rights of LGBTI people”.

The Come Out 2014 European Election Pledge summarises the key issues that ILGA-Europe wants to see advanced at the EU level over the next five years. Amongst the issues are homophobic and transphobia violence, the inclusion of LGBT families in EU policies, protecting transgender citizens, and “effective protection” of LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers.

Commenting on her signing the pledge, Phil Prendergast said:

“I am absolutely delighted to support the Come Out Pledge. I believe the 10 specific pledges will make a difference to the lives of LGBTI individuals and families across the European Union and as such I am happy, as a member of the LGBT Intergroup, to commit to working to achieve these aims.”

The four ladies were joined by their colleague, Martina Anderson (Sinn Féin) as the only MEP from Northern Ireland to also sign the Come Out pledge. Ms Anderson said she signed the pledge as part of her ongoing support for human rights and equality for all sections of society.

“The international community must send the strongest message possible,” Ms. Anderson said, “that discrimination against anyone on the grounds of sexuality, religion or ethnicity is wrong and unacceptable.”

IGLA-Europe’s Come Out pledge can be read in full here.

About Scott De Buitléir

Scott De Buitléir is an author and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He is founder of EILE Magazine, a digital publication for the Irish LGBT community, and has published several works of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. He lives in Cork with his partner.
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