Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (160)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

160. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to extend the protections of equality legislation enshrined in the programme for Government to the Irish transgender and intersex community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29480/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Equality Tribunal and the Courts have interpreted the existing equality legislation prohibiting gender discrimination as applying also to the situation of transgender persons. Therefore, amendment to these Acts is not necessary to ensure that the desired protections are in place in law for this group in society. I am, however, considering whether addition of an explicit reference in the legislation might be beneficial, particularly in raising awareness of equality issues affecting transgender persons in employment. Application of the prohibition on gender discrimination under equality legislation to the situation of intersex persons has not been considered to date in Ireland by the Equality Tribunal or the courts, or by the Court of Justice of the European Union. I am open to looking at any particular difficulties that arise for intersex persons in this regard, with due consideration to the role and expertise that may be provided by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission on its establishment.