Non-gender specific birth certificates to be used for same-sex couples in Ireland

A mother and son

Same-sex parents in Ireland will be able to list themselves as ‘parent’ on their child’s birth certificate.

This amendment to the law is designed to accommodate to same-sex couples, allowing both partners to register on their child’s birth certificate.

Under the current system, birth certificates only include the categories ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’.

Birth certificates for donor-assisted children born to same-sex couples currently only allow one mother to be listed.

‘Introduced as soon as possible’

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said that allowing to the option of ‘parent’ would resolve such issues, saying implementing the bill would be prioritized.

‘While the changes proposed will affect a relatively small number of people, they touch on matters that are very sensitive and of great importance to those families affected,’ Doherty said.

‘I have met with and spoken to many affected by this issue and I am now very pleased to be able to bring these changes forward as a priority to ensure that they can be introduced as soon as possible.’

The case had been raised in the Dáil (the Lower House of the Irish parliament) last year, according to TheJournal.ie.

Politician Richard Boyd Barrett said that a pregnant woman had contacted him with concerns about her wife not being able to register on their child’s birth certificate.

The completed bill will go before the Houses of the Oireachtas in the spring.

Increase in LGBTI rights in Ireland

Ireland has seen a vast increase in LGBTI rights over past years, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015.

In 2016, the Irish government published a bill which allows same-sex partners to adopt, which was signed into law the following year.

Politicians in the country have also become increasingly vocal in support LGBTI rights.

In August 2018, Ireland’s former president and ardent LGBTI rights supporter Mary McAleese condemned the Catholic Church for its ’emotional torture’ of LGBTI youths.

In the same month, Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar, lambasted the Catholic Church for its child abuse scandal during a visit by the pope.

Varadkar is Ireland’s first openly gay leader.

Author: Calum Stuart

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Abortion is now legal in Ireland as president signs bill

Irland is once again, going #HomeToVote – but this time they could repeal laws that make abortion illegal | Photo: Instagram/Twitter

The Republic of Ireland’s president has signed a bill which legalizes abortion on the Emerald Isle.

President Michael D Higgins signed the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill into law today (21 December).

The Irish people voted to legalize abortion in a referendum earlier this year. But the bill didn’t pass into law without some hurdles.

Following a nine hour debate in the senate, some minor changes were made to the bill.

Lawmakers agreed to allow a review of the legislation after three years as opposed to the originally proposed five years.

Two doctors will assess a woman seeking abortion in early pregnancy and ‘the offences section has been moved from the front of the bill’, according to the BBC.

From today pregnant people will be able to  get an ‘on demand’ abortion up to the 12th week of a pregnancy. Abortions will also be legal in the case of fatal foetal abnormality or where the physical or mental health of the mother is in danger.

LGBTI people and abortion

Abortion is also an important issue for LGBTI people who can get pregnant (lesbians, bisexual, trans men and intersex people).

A 2015 study found that LBTI women were twice as likely as straight-identifying women to get pregnant before the age of 20.

More recent a study conducted at multiple US universities found: ‘young women who are sexual minorities may try to avoid or cope with the stigma related to their sexual orientation’ by having sex with men. This then puts themselves at risk for pregnancy.

Author: Shannon Power

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Catholic schools in Ireland may have to include LGBTI topics in sex ed

Block letters spelling the word 'teach'

According to a new report on sex education in Ireland, Catholic schools in the country may have to start including LGBTI topics.

The Oireachtas Education Committee released a draft of the report. It reveals some dramatic changes in the country’s sex edu, such as including LGBTI relationships in the curriculum.

The report applies to both primary and secondary schools.

According to its wording, as described by the Irish Independent, LGBTI relationships would be taught in schools ‘without distinction as to their heterosexual counterparts’.

It also recommends new legislation requiring that even Catholic schools must implement the new guidelines. For these schools, the Department of Education should give ‘directions’.

Per the report, sex ed programs going forward should be ‘fully inclusive of LGBT relationships and experiences, including sexual orientation, gender identity and the spectrums thereof’.

For primary schools, the report recommends the new curriculum be taught in an ‘age and developmentally appropriate manner’.

Other proposed changes

The report suggests other changes to such education, both related to LGBTI concerns and broader topics.

One of the changes is a new system to monitor and record instances of homophobic and transphobic bullying. Another calls for a slightly modified curriculum for those with intellectual disabilities.

Topics referenced in the report to be taught include consent, contraception, and sexuality.

It is not known if or when this report will become policy in Ireland.

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Author: Anya Crittenton

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