Junior Minister, Megan Fearon has congratulated former President of Ireland Mary McAleese on receiving a European Tolerantia Award.
The Tolerantia Awards recognise the contributions individuals have made to promote equality and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
The Minister, who was a guest at the award ceremony in Titanic Belfast tonight, said Mary McAleese is truly deserving of the award.
Junior Minister, Megan Fearon said: “Mary has long supported the LGBT community, promoting their equality of rights and social inclusion, and highlighting the barriers they still face. I’m delighted Mary has been recognised tonight and it is made even more special with the awards being held in the North of Ireland for the first time.”
The Minister emphasised the need for the LGBT community to be fully accepted in all aspects of society.
Megan Fearon said: “Diversity should not just be respected, it should be celebrated. We must create and foster a community which promotes mutual respect and understanding; a community which celebrates and gains strength from its diversity. To do this we need to tackle the barriers that arise for people as a result of aspects of their identity, including sexual orientation and gender.
“I commend the work of the Rainbow Project and its membership of the Berlin Alliance which organises the Tolerantia awards. Tonight’s awards help bring these important issues to the fore and hosting them here delivers a strong message we support and value the LGBT community.”
Notes to editors:
- The Rainbow Project is a member of the Berlin Alliance, a coalition of LGBT anti-violence projects across Europe. The Berlin Alliance works to co-ordinate the efforts of LGBT anti-violence projects in Europe and organises an annual awards ceremony, the Tolerantia Awards
- The member countries of the European Tolerantia Awards are the North of Ireland, Germany, France, Poland and Switzerland.
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