Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Marriage not so much a Burning Issue?

November 12th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Equality, Equality Authority, Gay, Homophobia, Irish Politics, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Same Sex Partnerships

The Burning Issues research launched today by the National Lesbian and Gay Federation comes shortly before the debating of the Civil Partnership Bill. Yesterday evening a number of LGBT organisations were invited to the Equality Authority for a briefing on the Bill. As Tipster says it’s a bit odd that GLEN could not/did not want to get all the players into the room themselves and a state agency had to do the calling!  I wonder what the tunes from the Hymm sheets to be sung to are going to sound like. (Stay tuned for news on coverage of the CP bill debates.)

Back to this research which was a survey of over 1100 people using online non random methods. Funded by the European Commission and SIPTU it was conducted earlier this year and is launched tomorrow along with a report of a conference on Marriage Matters hosted by the NLGF in May.  The NLGF have stated that they are using this research to establish their mandate in influencing policy in national and international spheres – ooh a consultation!  To be followed by meetings around the country!  Good to see talking and listening to people is suddenly in vogue!

..the NLGF decided to consult with LGBT individuals and organisations nationwide, on what they consider to be the most important policy areas affecting them. The first stage of this was undertaking an online survey of the community. We were delighted to receive over 1100 responses to the survey, which makes it one of the largest consultation exercises ever undertaken with the LGBT community. The results of the survey form the basis of this report.
The next stage will be a number of meetings with people and organisations across the country to discuss the issues and plot the way forward. This will help us prioritise our future work, and inform us as to how we may best continue to support the LGBT community.

The Key Research Findings on the main issues concerning the LGBT community rank as follows

1. Equal Rights at Work

2. Personal Security

3. Marriage Equality

4. Support for younger LGBT people

5. Supporting people coming out

The Age and Gender split on the issues is very interesting and there is a strong emphasis in the report on the issues affecting people outside of Dublin and the difference between rural and urban respondents.

Marriage equality ranks highest for women under 35 and only 5th highest for women over 35. It does not rank at in the top five issues for Men over 35 and is third important for younger men.

It is to the Qualitative Data that the researchers are asked to turn to to drag up the Marriage Equality ranking.  Put simply respondents said more in open answers as a Burning Issue Priority on Marriage Equality issues than any other. So that makes it important again.  This blog’s resident sociologists can interpret this further if they wish! (Question 4a in the questionnaire and page 24 and 25 of the report)

Respect and dignity at work and safety in the streets coming higher than marriage in this research may serve as an important reminder to those recognised as commentators and consulted on LGBT issues.  But then again a few of them are busy talking up the LGBT community as confident actors in the economy.  Oops that was before the recession, I don’t know what the spin will be now.  Maybe the vulnerable and socially excluded drums will start beating soon enough as the money runs out.

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