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Ireland's Former Equality Minister Pat Carey Comes Out As Gay

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Pat Carey, the former minister of Ireland’s center-right party Fianna Fáil has come at as gay. Carey was appointed as a parliamentary member and the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs in 1997. According to Carey his decision to reveal his sexuality to the public was inspired by Leo Varadkar who currently serves as Ireland’s health minister and came out earlier this year.

“When I look back it’s an awful pity I didn’t feel able to do that. Nobody stopped me, but I wasn’t sure how it would be received,” Carey told the Irish Times. “I never had the confidence or the courage to do it, and it gets to a stage where you probably say to yourself ‘it’s too late for me to start talking about it now.”

Carey’s is the latest in a series of high-profile Irish public figures coming out at a critical time for LGBT rights in Ireland. The country is set to vote on the future of marriage equality later on this year in a nationwide referendum. Despite the outpouring of support from Irish celebrities and clergy members alike, those in favor of gay marriage for Ireland are still concerned at the idea of the LGBT minority’s rights being put up for popular vote.


NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to Boycott St. Patrick's Day Parade Over Gay Group Exclusion: VIDEO

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) is likely to boycott the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade again this year because of the lack of LGBT groups taking part, reports Irish Central.

Bill_de_Blasio_InaugurationIt has also been confirmed that a majority of City Council members, including Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, will not take part. The council boycotted last year’s event and withdrew its banner in protest.

Council member Daniel Dromm said:

“I won’t march until an Irish gay group can march. And there will be no council banner in this year’s parade – of course there won’t.”

Dromm added that the decision to allow non-Irish LGBT group OUT@NBCUniversal to take part in this year’s parade came about purely for corporate reasons.

Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer joined Dromm in highlighting the parade’s non-inclusive stance:

“Once again I will not march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This parade is still not fully inclusive of the thousands of New Yorkers who have been turned away for decades from representing their heritage.

"Until all New Yorkers are able to represent themselves freely and march as proud members of our city’s vibrant Irish and Irish American LGBT community I will continue to boycott this parade.”

De Blasio will march in the St. Pat’s for All parade in Queens on Sunday, March 1st.  Brendan Fay, a co-founder of the alternative parade, welcomed the decision to allow OUT@NBCUniversal to take part in the main parade but agreed with Dromm that it “is looking increasingly like a trick to maintain the parade’s corporate sponsors and ensure that NBC continues to broadcast the parade.”

Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny will not be taking part in this year's New York parade.

Following a boycott by several of NYC's prominent gay bars, last year Guinness announced that it had dropped sponsorship of the parade.

Watch a report on LGBT protests at the 2014 parade, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to Boycott St. Patrick's Day Parade Over Gay Group Exclusion: VIDEO" »


Irish Bigot Flubs On-Air, Anti-gay Rant Yelling 'We Don't Want to See Men and Women Getting Married!' - VIDEO

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Irish broadcast journalist Vincent Browne held a "People's Debate" in Charleville last week and got an unexpected kick out of one man who flubbed up his rant against gay marriage by mistakenly (and emphatically) yelling into the microphone "We want family values, and we don't want to see men and women getting married!"

The audience and Browne quickly exploded into laughter. 

The Independent reports:

The man, who was initially bewildered by the laughter, soon had it explained to him by another audience member what he had said.

He then demanded the microphone back, and continued on a rant against the majority of Ireland’s political parties, including Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and the Greens.

Ireland is set to hold a public referendum on same-sex marriage in May.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Irish Bigot Flubs On-Air, Anti-gay Rant Yelling 'We Don't Want to See Men and Women Getting Married!' - VIDEO" »


Dublin Catholic School Cancels Anti-Homophobia Workshop Over Parental Concerns

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High school students in Dublin, Ireland are planning a protest after the all-boys school Coláiste Eoin cancelled a workshop on homophobic bullying, reports The Journal.

On Tuesday, voluntary organization ShoutOut turned up at Coláiste Eoin to hold the workshop but were told it would not be going ahead because the board of management had decided that “both sides of the argument should be represented”.

There'll always be parents who object 2 their kids learning to respect minorities. Are we really going to give them a veto? #ColaisteEoin Co

— Izzy Kamikaze (@IzzyKamikaze) January 28, 2015

Shout outThe workshop, which has been given in schools all over Ireland and in Coláiste Eoin in 2012 and 2013, focuses on encouraging students not to discriminate against gay people.

In a statement this week, the school said "on this particular occasion however the Board of Management have received written communications from a number of parents outlining their concerns regarding the workshop. In this context it was incumbent on the Board to address all issues and to seek the advice available from Catholic management representative bodies available to secondary schools."

The school has also “proposed” that the ShoutOut workshops would be held “at a future date”.

Nuff said.... #ColaisteEoin pic.twitter.com/DwE9GkSUyF

— James Aherne (@jaherne94) January 28, 2015

Students began organizing a protest yesterday to make it known that the decision does not represent their views.

@mitchellnicola @BocktheRobber I'm sure the 2 sets of #ColaisteEoin parents who complained want to ensure #PureInHeart get equal opportunity

— John (@AnGobanSaor) January 28, 2015

Commentators including Bock The Robber have queried if parents will now be consulted before Catholic activist groups including Pure In Heart are allowed to present at the school.

Very important to ensure that #PureInHeart don't get at our children in schools without parents being asked. #ColaisteEoin

— Bock the Robber (@BocktheRobber) January 28, 2015

Speaking on Newstalk yesterday on the need for "balance", LGBT activist Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss, said

Bliss"I think it's pretty clear cut. There's nothing wrong with it at all. Are we going to suggest that bullying is alright? I don't think so. I think it's very rare to come across an LGBT person who'll tell you they had a great time in school. It's a difficult time. Anything we can do to help make it better for them can only be a good thing. When it comes to bullying, I don't think there needs to be a balance."

Earlier this week, Ireland’s Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin confirmed that religious-run schools and hospitals will by Easter be prevented from firing staff for being gay, divorced or an unmarried parent.


Irish Government to Ban Religious-Run Schools and Hospitals From Discriminating Against Gays: VIDEO

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Ireland’s Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (below right) has confirmed that religious-run schools and hospitals will by Easter be prevented from firing staff for being gay, divorced or an unmarried parent, reports The Examiner.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6dd61ae970b-800wiMoves to change the discriminatory law were announced by the Irish government last June.

According to Ó Ríordáin, as the law currently stands gay teachers can be fired under Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act.

The minister told The Examiner:

“They can be sacked, technically, if a board manager felt that someone was actively undermining the ethos of their school by their private life.

“It has a chilling effect when people feel they can’t be themselves. In the staff room they have to hide their private lives; they have to hide the fact that they’re gay, or that they are divorced, or in a second relationship, or that they’re an unmarried parent.”

He also accused former Justice Minister Alan Shatter of dragging his feet over the reform when he was in office.

However, opposition senator Averil Power, whose 2012 bill to ban discrimination under Section 37 was blocked by Government, said:

“I’ll believe it when I see it. The Bill that Labour brought out last year kept in discrimination - it just moved the onus on to employers to be able to justify that discrimination.”

VaradkarAiming to end another discriminatory practice, Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who last week came out as gay, has since referred recommendations to revise restrictions on gay men donating blood. Varadkar is the first openly gay cabinet member in Irish government history.

Listen to Varadkar coming out on live radio, AFTER THE JUMP...

Ireland will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in May.

Continue reading "Irish Government to Ban Religious-Run Schools and Hospitals From Discriminating Against Gays: VIDEO" »


Irish LGBT Visibility Rises With Public Comings Out Of High Court Judge And Football Legend

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On the heels of Irish Health Minister Leo Varadkar's public coming out, an Irish Courts Service spokesperson revealed that Justice Aileen Donnelly (above left) is Ireland's first openly gay serving member of the High Court reports Irish News. Justice Donnelly has been openly gay for many years, and earlier this week she was publicly named on blog theoutmost.com as openly gay, bringing public attention to her orientation. Donnelly's partner, Susan, was present at Donnelly's appointment in July. "Justice Donnelly is in a very happy relationship with her partner Susan," the Irish Courts Service spokesperson said.

Donnelly was educated at UCD and the King's Inn before being called to the Bar in 1988, and later called to the Inner Bar in 2004. She is also a board member and co-chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties between 1996 and 2002.

Additionally, Cork ladies football legend Valerie Mulcahy became the first female GAA player to publicly reveal that she is gay. Mulcahy, a schoolteacher with nine All-Ireland titles and five Allstar titles to her name, is featured on the RTE documentary Coming out of the Curve, hosted by former Rebel goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack. Mulcahy discussed her coming out with the public at the launch of the new Women's Gaelic Players Association, which she happens to be the founder of.

Said Mulcahy:

"Anyone who knows me knows that my sexual orientation is not everything about me. They know who I am, they know I'm an athlete and that I'd rather they'd talk about my skills and football expertise.

"We are female, we are athletes, it's just one small part of us. For some people it's important, but it doesn't necessarily have to define everything that I am."

The increase of LGBT visibility among Irish government officials, including Varadkar, and public figures could prove crucial in the country's upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage in May. Irish Labour Party member Dominic Hannigan expressed that disaffected voters, mainly those who don't know or interact with LGBT people, present the biggest challenge in getting same-sex marriage passed in the country and believes that increased LGBT visibility is the key to tipping the scales in same-sex marriage's favor.


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