Tag Archives: Bullying

Irish Education Minister: ‘Education plays a key role in tackling homophobia and transphobia’

The Irish Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn TD today opened a European Union conference on homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools, and emphasised the importance education plays in reducing such prejudice.

Ruairi Quinn opened the conference which aimed to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools
Mr Quinn opened the conference, which was organised by the European region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), and Irish organisations GLEN, and BeLonG To.
It is the first ever EU-level conference on homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
The aim of the conference was to bring together national policy makers, teachers, school leaders and NGOs, in order to debate, and tackle the issue of bullying, reports GCN.
The Minister for Education said: “Education plays a key role in supporting LGBT young people and also tackling the underlying prejudices which can lead to homophobic and transphobic bullying”.
Michael Barron, Director of BeLonG To Youth Services said: “There is a growing understanding of the seriousness of the issues for young LGBT people, both in Ireland and across Europe. The Department of Education has recently published a national Action Plan on Bullying that fully integrates measures to tackle prejudice, including homophobia and transphobia which are the root causes of much bullying.
“The lessons being learned in Ireland can contribute to further developments across Europe, much as we can learn from innovative and successful practices in other countries.”
Kerry County Council passed a motion in support of equal marriage on Monday, becoming the latest local authority in Ireland to vote in favour of marriage equality.
The motion was tabled by Labour Councillor, Gillian Wharton-Slattery, after she was approached by members of the gay community, asking why the motion had not been passed yet.
A study published last week suggested that many gay and bisexual teenagers who are bullied at a younger age – are picked on less by the time they reach 19 – but they still remain disproportionately affected by the problem.
Anna Grodzka, Europe’s first transgender MP spoke out about poverty and social exclusion in the LGBT community last Sunday at the National Lesbian and Gay Federation Conference in Dublin.

// //

Advent: Prepare Ye A Way For Inclusion

Advent is a solemn time of anticipation, preparing for the festive celebration of the Nativity. Christmas though, is much more than just the infant Jesus that is the focus of so many family Christmases: it is much more a celebration of the incarnation of Christ, a constant making real His presence in the world. That presence is marked by a pronounced emphasis on love, justice, and inclusion of all – including sexual minorities as well as all manner of marginalized people of His day.

In our world, that same openness and inclusion for all does not exist, not in the secular sphere, and not in the Church. If we are truly to participate in preparing for the incarnation, to contribute to building God’s Kingdom on earth, it is appropriate for this season of advent that we should reflect on the ways in which we personally can participate in preparing for this inclusion in Church.

Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholic ministries to LGBT Catholics, has released an Advent statement with some suggestions, specifically geared to ending the oppression of queer youth:

Equally Blessed Advent 2010 Statement

 

This Advent season, join the progressive Catholic movement in wearing a rainbow ribbon to church as a public symbol of justice and solidarity with our LGBT youth in this time of increased awareness about youth suicides.

Do you feel called to do more for our youth? Here are some other ways you can make a difference:

  • Pledge to have a conversation about LGBT justice issues with a family member, colleague, neighbor, member of your parish or faith community, or with a public official
  • Volunteer for an LGBT organization, maybe one that works with LGBT or questioning youth.
  • Help create a safe space or anti-bullying policy to support LGBT youth in your local school or faith community.
  • If you know a Knight of Columbus, ask them if they know how their money is being spent on anti-gay campaigns.
  • Help pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act
  • Adopt a bishop this season and make a contribution in his name to an LGBT rights organization and then send a letter to the bishop letting him know of your gift

Check local fabric/ribbon stores or the internet for the rainbow ribbon. The preferred width size is 7/8″. One place that sells rainbow is Artistic Ribbon.  Minimum orders may apply.  There are several places on the web to purchase safety pins (size: #1 in either brass or silver).

We have included a PDF version of the statement for reproducing and distribution.

If you find other sources, etc., email secretary@dignityusa.org.

To stay connected, order ribbons or learn more, visit The Trevor Project or our websites at Call to ActionDignityUSAFortunate Families and New Ways Ministry.

Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support fully equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 112 years working on behalf of LGBT people and their families: Call To ActionDignityUSAFortunate Families and New Ways Ministry.

Related articles