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Irish Prime Minister Visits Gay Bar For LGBT Christmas Party

Gaybar

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny attended an event last night in a gay bar in Dublin, reports the Irish Independent.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c70e8bfa970b-800wiKenny showed up at Pantibar - which is owned by LGBT activist Panti Bliss - for Christmas drinks for his party’s LGBT group.

Kenny is leader of conservatives Fine Gael and has in the past been reluctant to state his position on the issue of same-sex marriage. However, he told Gay and Lesbian Equality Network director Brian Sheehan that he would be campaigning for a referendum on the issue to be passed. The referendum is expected to take place in early 2015.

The chairman of Fine Gael LGBT said the Taoiseach dropped in to show his support for the LGBT group and recognize its work on the gender recognition bill, the family relationship legislation and the same-sex marriage referendum. Panti Bliss herself tweeted out the above picture of Kenny with the caption: "So there's An Taoiseach (for the foreigners, that's the Prime Minister of Ireland) in Pantibar."


Panti Bliss Erupts Over Anti-Gay Abuse Of Friend In Dublin Store - VIDEO

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Irish drag artist Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, has shared on Facebook how a heroic shop assistant in Dublin dealt with one customer hurling anti-gay slurs at another, reports The Journal.

 

Panti came to worldwide attention earlier this year when she made an impassioned speech at the Abbey Theatre against homophobia. That speech came about after O’Neill called out a number of well known Irish figures who he said are homophobes because of their anti-gay activism. The activists sued state broadcaster RTE and were awarded damages.

There’s been an inevitable backlash against the story of the shop assistant leaping to the defense of Rory’s friend but Panti has softened their coughs as only she can.

Wrote Bliss on Facebook:

So the story of my friend Colm who was called a 'faggot' in Spar yesterday has gone viral overnight, and while the vast majority of the responses have been lovely and positive, poor Colm has also had to deal with lots of abuse online - from people calling him a liar, to the people who claim it's his own fault for not dressing how they think he should. Because apparently the problem isn't that some asshole called him a faggot while he was minding his own business in his local shop, but that some faggots refuse to dress how assholes in shops think they should.
Dolly give me strength!

Heroic #SparGuy as yet remains unidentified.
 
Watch Panti's Abbey Theatre speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Panti Bliss Erupts Over Anti-Gay Abuse Of Friend In Dublin Store - VIDEO" »


Dublin Supports Motion in Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO

Fintan warfield

A motion supporting same-sex marriage was passed on June 14th in South County Dublin, Ireland.

The vote comes following last month's announcement by the Irish government that under an employment law amendment to be passed shortly, schools will no longer be allowed to fire teachers based on family status or sexual orientation.

Openly gay mayor of South County Dublin Councillor Fintan Warfield received support for his motion to extend marriage rights to include gay and lesbian couples in next year's referendum on marriage equality, reports Pink News.

The motion was passed by 34 votes to 1.

After the vote, Warfield said:

“The LGBT community is still marginalised in the Ireland of today and we must work towards changing that. Support for marriage equality and for the passing of the referendum next spring is pivotal. This referendum is about...the LGBT community being afforded the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. This referendum is about love. It is about two people sharing in the ups and downs of life."

Civil partnerships were introduced in Ireland in 2011.

Watch Fintan Warfield speak in favor of same-sex marriage at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis last year, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dublin Supports Motion in Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO" »


Irish Government To End Discrimination Against LGBT Teachers - VIDEO

Irish Minister For Education Ruairi Quinn

The Irish government announced on June 28th that under an employment law amendment to be passed shortly, schools will no longer be allowed to fire teachers based on family status or sexual orientation.

The news came on the same day as Dublin’s biggest ever Pride Parade, with an estimated attendance of 40,000.

The amendment, jointly submitted by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, will repeal section 37 of the Employment Equality Act of 1998, which currently allows religious institutions to discriminate “where it is reasonable to do so in order to maintain the religious ethos of the institution”.

Speaking to The Journal, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik said that there were delays in the repeal of section 37 of the Employment Equality Act in order to ensure that the legislation was “robust enough":

“The Department of Education have been keen to progress it as it affects teachers in their everyday work. Teachers unions have been campaigning for this for a long time. While it has never been used to dismiss someone, it has still been present for teachers. It struck fear in teachers who were fearful of sharing personal details about their personal lives with colleagues and that really is unsatisfactory.”

According to the Irish Times, the proposal to repeal Section 37 will come before government ministers today.  Following approval, the proposals will be passed on to the lower and upper houses of the Irish legislature.

The change in legislation has had cross-party support within the Irish legislature.

Wath Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst perform at Dublin Pride, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Irish Government To End Discrimination Against LGBT Teachers - VIDEO" »


Dublin City Council Approves Marriage Equality 38-4

DublinPicAfter much campaigning, equality activists in Dublin got their wish yesterday as the Irish city's council voted 38-4 to allow same-sex civil marriage there.

From a celebratory press release via Joe.My.God:

Two motions in support of marriage equality were put forward - by councillors from Labour and Sinn Féin - and passed at last night's council meeting, having been considered jointly. Dublin City Council joins Cork City Council and Belfast City Council, who passed similar motions in June, as well as Omagh, Down, Moyle and Magherafelt District Councils who passed motions during the summer months.

"This is a wonderful step by Dublin City Council to raise awareness of this important issue at a local level. We'd like to thank the councillors from both Labour and Sinn Féin for their initiative, and our supporters in Dublin who spoke to their councillors over the last few months about raising the issue," said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith.

"Marriage equality is not just a national issue, it's a local one. It's about respecting and protecting loving couples and families who are part of our communities and treating them as equal. That is why putting the issue on the agenda at local level is so important."

A lot of Irish lads and lasses are no doubt pretty pleased at the moment.


Seventeen Year Old Irish Dancer's 'Only In America' Story

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And now, a nice St. Paddy's Day story.

If you haven't already, meet Drew Lovejoy. He's 17. He lives in rural Ohio. He's half black, half Jewish. And he's the best traditional Irish dancer of his age in the world. In February, for the third consecutive year, he placed first in hs age group at the All Irish Dancing Championship, in Dublin. A profile of Lovejoy in today's New York Times (whence I borrowed the above pic) calls his an "only in America story" -- a notion which makes me feel rather patriotic.

But Lovejoy's American story is tinged with typically American tragedy. From the Times:

In the dance world, his unusual background was a plus ... But it has served him less well here in his hometown, where a rural stretch of road bisects sweeping pastures dotted with aging barns. He moved here when he was 9, after his mother married Donald Goldberg, a Greenville resident she met at a nearby synagogue. (She had parted with Drew’s biological father, Terrance Lovejoy, when Drew was still a baby, though she remains on good terms with him, and says he sometimes rides to Drew’s competitions with her husband.)

It was not easy. Drew was a dancer, unusual for boys here, and black in a mostly white town. Bullying eventually prompted his mother to pull him out of school and start him in an online education program. He is still there today.

While most townspeople accept him, with some going out of their way to make him feel comfortable, Drew said he still does not feel entirely at ease. He does not walk the dog after dark.

“I feel like I have to watch my back,” he said, his hands resting flat on the green kitchen tablecloth.

I can't find any recordings of Lovejoy's recent performances, but here you can view a vid shot shortly after his first Dublin championship. (I'd post it to the blog, but the "embed" function's been disabled.)


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