president higgins

Ireland’s President Celebrates Trans Rights Organisation

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins today welcomed members of the trans community to Áras an Uachtaráin to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI)


Acknowledging the support TENI has povided to Ireland’s transgender people and their families since 2016, President Higgins said the occasion provided a “welcome opportunity” to look back at the significant advances in rights for LGBTI people living in Ireland, particularly the Gender Recognition Act, which he signed into law in June 2015, and which enables transgender people to achieve full legal recognition of their preferred gender identity and acquire a new birth certificate that reflects this identity.

Since the passing of the legislation, 149 new certificates have been granted and four of those were to applicants under 18 years of age.

Paying tribute to all who campagined for the legislation, President Higgins gave special mention to Dr Lydia Foy, who was present for the celebration, and whose long running action against the Irish state, in a bid to have her female identity recognised on her birth certificate, lasted for 20 years.

President Higgins Lydia Foy

President Higgins in conversation with Dr Lydia Foy

He added that while legislation protecting LGBTI rights is in place in Ireland, a public discourse must be crafted to effectively eliminate all forms of discrimination in our society, be they based on gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, cultural history, physical appearance or mental abilities.

Read President Michael D. Higgins’ full speech from the ceremony on the next page.

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