Human Rights & Reconciliation LGBT

Helping the LBGT Community Secure What’s Rightfully Theirs

Republic of Ireland | South Africa | 2004 - 2013

Few social issues have progressed over the course of history faster than equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Atlantic’s investments over 9 years provided crucial support to organizations in the Republic of Ireland and South Africa working to change laws and attitudes and remove other barriers so that LGBT people could enjoy the same rights and protections as their fellow citizens.

What We Learned From This Work

  1. Personal stories can be a key to changing a narrative. Innovative use of video and other social media can play a big role in changing public conversation and attract a younger generation of activists.

  2. It is possible to change how policymakers and the general public perceive an issue through support for large-scale efforts that mobilize constituents to take action.

  3. Coming at an issue with a diversity of approaches can create power, energy and opportunity, but it calls for sustained investment in building strong relationships and partnerships, and not uniformity and constraint.

Creating More Inclusive Societies

Grantees in South Africa and the Republic of Ireland helped lay the foundation to secure important rights for LGBT people.

From Partnerships to Right to Marry

Passage of a landmark 2010 civil partnership law in the Republic of Ireland was followed five years later by a nationwide ballot measure legalizing gay marriage that voters approved by a wide margin.

Winning in the Courts

The Free Legal Advice Centres successfully challenged the Irish Government’s refusal to grant Dr. Lydia Foy, a transgender woman, a birth certificate to reflect her gender change to female.

Opening Doors

Atlantic grantees in South Africa secured LGBT people the right to adopt, access to employment and partners’ benefits and employment equity in the workplace and the military.

Summaries of Case Studies, Evaluations & Reports

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