Proud to be part of Equal Rights: FLAC officially launches LGBTQI+ Clinic
30 May 2022
FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) officially launches their pilot LGBTQI+ legal clinic in Dublin today, Monday May 30 2022.
Eilis Barry CE of FLAC, speaking in advance of the official launch said;
“FLAC is very proud to stand for equality and continue to work for the LGBTQI+ community in Ireland by establishing this LGBTQI+ service where lesbian, gay, non-binary and trans individuals can access high quality legal advice in a safe, and supportive environment.
“FLAC is keenly aware from the legal services we provide that people in the LGBTQI+ community still experience discrimination and stigmatisation - and this negative experience can be exacerbated by the absence of access to legal advice and representation.
“Hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity are not considered an aggravating factor in sentencing - all the more shocking given the recent cases of acts of violence against LGBTQI+ individuals seen in Ireland. There is still no explicit prohibition of discrimination in employment or the provision of goods and services based on gender identity, or legal recognition of non-binary gender. Further compounding this equality crisis is the lack of legal aid in discrimination claims.
We are also seeing increasing discrimination against trans people in contemporary discourse, and to invoke the words of Marsha P. Johnson - there cannot be pride for some, without liberation for all.
We are delighted that Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O'Gorman TD will today officially launch the clinic.
Speaking ahead of the launch event, Minister O’Gorman said,
“I and the Government are fully committed to improving the lives of members of the LGBTI+ Community in Ireland. We know that, unfortunately, members of the LGBTI+ Community are often disproportionately impacted by discrimination. This project will provide tailored legal advice and advocacy to LGBTI+ people through a specialised legal advice clinic. I am delighted that my Department could provide financial support to FLAC towards the development of such an important service.”
FLAC CE Eilis Barry stated;
“We have little data about unmet legal need, or the social and financial consequences of this. It is for this reason that FLAC has started a project exploring unmet legal needs in the LGBTQI+ community, including this pilot LGBTQI+ legal clinic, where people can seek access free legal advice on issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity.”
FLAC established a Steering Group including several LGBTQI+ organisations to advise the project on issues affecting the LGBTQI+ community. This plays an important role in ensuring that the project reaches the target group. The current members of the Steering Group are The Switchboard, The Gay Project, Dundalk Outcomers, Amach LGBT, GOSHH, Intersex Ireland, LINC, Lesbian Lawyers, LGBT Ireland, TENI, HIV Ireland.
“FLAC is especially pleased to officially launch this legal clinic as Pride celebrations begin. We look forward to continuing to provide legal services to those who are marginalised and vulnerable, building on our work towards access to justice for all.”
Notes to the Editor:
FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) is an Irish human rights organisation, which exists to promote equal access to justice. As an NGO, FLAC relies on a combination of statutory funding, contributions from the legal professions and donations from individuals and grant-making foundations to support its work.
FLAC offers basic legal information through its telephone information line on 01 906 10 10.
Our phone line operates Monday to Friday from 9.30am-1pm. With an additional phone line information service on Monday evenings from 7-9pm for callers who cannot call during the morning.
FLAC provides legal advice directly to members of both the Roma Community, The Irish Traveller Community and most recently the LGBTQI+ Community via specialist legal clinics. FLAC also campaigns on a range of issues including consumer credit, personal debt, and fairness in social welfare law, public interest law and civil legal aid.
FLAC LGBTQI+ Legal Clinic
FLAC is committed to providing a welcome and confidential environment for LGBTQI+ people seeking legal advice. Building on previous initiatives, FLAC has established a pilot LGBTQI+ free legal clinic in order to meet the specific needs of the gay and trans community. This clinic is funded until the end of August 2022.
This weekly clinic is appointment only, and can provide advice on a wide range of legal issues where gender and sexuality are a factor, including discrimination matters, equality, family law, gender identity, immigration, hate crimes, and access to healthcare. Consultations may be held remotely or in-person in our Dublin office.
If you have a legal query and wish to speak to a legal practitioner in the FLAC LGBTQI+ clinic, please send an email to email@example.com including your full name, phone number and a brief description of your query and a FLAC representative will be in touch. FLAC is also currently conducting research on unmet legal needs in the LGBTQI+ community so our representative may ask if you wish to participate in this research.
Joining us at the launch will be Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O'Gorman TD, along with guest speakers Dr Mary McAuliffe (Director of Gender Studies UCD) and Paula Fagan (LGBT Ireland) to discuss contemporary and historic legal issues facing the LGBTQI+ community in Ireland. We will also hear from Cillian Bracken BL and James Rooney BL, who will give an overview of the work of the clinic to date.
To join us online please register via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/launch-of-flac-lgbtqi-legal-clinic-tickets-345550359427
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth made a one-off funding award to FLAC through the LGBTQI+ funding scheme to identify the extent of unmet legal need and to prepare a report into how this could be addressed through the provision of dedicated legal services, information and training.