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Labour LGBT launch Lisbon Leaflet

September 16th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Irish Politics, LGBT, Lisbon

Today Labour LGBT launches a leaflet on why LGBT people should vote yes to the Lisbon Treaty. You can see the leaflet here and here.

The leaflet says that Lisbon is ‘Good for Gays’ (Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered people disappear again for the sake of alliteration) and makes three points


Ireland’s involvement in Europe lead to the decriminialisation of homosexuality. Lisbon will make it illegal to discriminate against someone because of sexual orientation against Europe.

Problem one – It was the European Court of Human Rights which ruled against Ireland in the Norris vs. Ireland case. This court and the Convention of Human Rights are not EU institutions – but are part of the Council of Europe. It was the Council of Europe’s committee of ministers/minister’s representatives which on a six monthly basis following the Norris ruling asked the Irish Government when it was going to decriminalise homosexuality. While the ECHR is now acceded to by the EU it’s a pity other more current events where the EU has been important for LGBT’s were not highlighted. The Treaty does reinforce principles of Equality gained in other treaties and that’s what Lisbon is about – making the other treaties and reforms work.

If Labour LGBT were trying to say queers are safer in a fully functioning EU than outside with Cóir or the neo liberals or indeed a morality police pulling the nations strings why not just say it!

Point two

Equal pay for women was introduced because of Ireland’s involvement with Europe. This treaty will make it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their gender identity across Europe.

No problems there

Point three –

This treaty guarantees the right to assemble, helping to support pride organisations and marches across Europe.

Shh don’t mention Poland’s opt out from the Charter of Fundamental Freedoms, in fact the Polish LGBT movement are concerned at the opt out and the mention of public morality as one of the areas the Polish government want to maintain legislative responsibility for.

There are far stronger reasons why the Lisbon Treaty is good for LGBT’s – the citizens initiatives, developments on freedom of movement, the increased participation of MEP’s in policy making (there is an informal but effective intergroup in the European Parliament on LGBT rights which does positive cross party work). In fact more mention should be made of The Treaties of Amsterdam,. Nice etc and that Lisbon is just making these workable!

There is no doubt that Cóir will be pointing to this leaflet as an example of the fall of Ireland and I look forward to hearing Labour Party spokespeople explaining it further and standing up to the bigots. I hear that some people are saying lgbt’s should vote no because there is no hope of gay marriage being brought into law given the guarantees pertaining to family life sought by the Irish government. Maybe the Yes activists could put that self absorbed and flawed excuse for a reason to vote no in the rubbish pile?

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