While the debate rages about the pros and cons of gay marriage in Australia during the election campaign, it has been announced that record numbers of young gay people have come out since Ireland voted yes to marriage equality one year ago.
Irish LGBT youth council BeLong To have released findings showing 53% of 14 to 23-year-olds say they know someone who has opened up about their true sexuality since the referendum.
Of the 1,300 people surveyed, over one-third of respondents who identify as LGBT+ said they confided in someone for the first time because of the confidence the historic Yes vote gave them.
Even though the figures are encouraging BeLong To say the Yes vote has created a mistaken impression among some heterosexual young people that life is better for LGBT+ young people now.
Some 31% of heterosexual young people believe equality between the groupings has been achieved and we should move on to other issues.
In comparison, only 7% of LGBT+ young people agree. And 55% revealed their daily life hasn’t changed much since the referendum and 35% agree it helped LGBT adults but not them.
Tanaiste and Justice and Equality Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: “I stand proud of the Irish people who came together and voted with their hearts last summer and changed Ireland forever.
“We took an extraordinary step forward for justice and equality for all citizens. However, we cannot assume equality has been achieved and the job is done.
“While the future is secured, the present can still be a frightening place for LGBT+ young people. We need to keep saying Yes to supporting young LGBT+ people.”
Executive Director of BeLong To Moninne Griffith said there is more work to do to achieve the Ireland we voted for last May.
“It is about equality in our everyday lives, it is about a change in our culture. We celebrate along with the happy couples who have benefited from marriage equality so far this year and their families and friends,” Griffith said to News Talk 106FM.
“However, we know from the young people we work with every day, that sadly their daily lives are broadly unaffected by the referendum”.
“They are still experiencing bullying, isolation, mental health issues and are struggling without the right support. We need to keep saying YES to young people who need support services and make sure those services are well funded”, she added.
Last Updated on May 23, 2016