The leader of the Sinn Féin group on Waterford Council Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that Waterford should be formally declared an ‘LGBT+ Freedom Zone’.
Cllr McGuinness said:
“Waterford is an open, welcoming and tolerant place. The strong stand by the LGBT community itself as well as the outpouring of solidarity and support over recent weeks has shown that. As Pride month comes to close I think it is fitting that we formally declare our City and County to be an ‘LGBT Freedom Zone’.
“Over the past month my abiding concern about the taking down of the pride flags and the appearance of homophobic posters has been the impact on young people that are coming to terms with their identity, or who are finding their place in society. We need to send a strong message to them – to tell them that we’ve got their back, and that we will face down hate and discrimination.
“The idea of ‘freedom zones’ began earlier this year as a way for towns and cities to demonstrate their support for LGBT+ members of society and their opposition to homophobia and discrimination.They stand in contrast to the homophobic ‘LGBT-free zones’ that have appeared in parts of Poland and Hungary, where rights for same-sex couples are under attack.
“We people of Waterford have strongly rejected the recent cowardly manifestations of intolerance and homophobia in the City. The declaration of Waterford as an ‘LGBT Freedom Zone’ allows us to re-state our conviction that we are a safe, tolerant and welcoming place for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender.”