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Irish Senator Says Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Money 'Would Be Better Spent On HIV Testing' For Gay Men: VIDEO

Jim Walsh

Irish Senator Jim Walsh has suggested that the money being spent on the May referendum on same-sex marriage would be better used on HIV testing for gay people, reports the Independent.

Walsh resigned from opposition party Fianna Fail last week after attacking sections of the Children and Family Relationships Bill which extends guardianship and adoption rights to same sex couples and others.  The bill passed on Tuesday with 122 amendments. Walsh had tabled a failed amendment calling for IVF methods to be primarily made available to married heterosexual couples.

Following his resignation on May 25th, Walsh said that he could not support Fianna Fail’s stance on sex marriage referendum and legislation allowing gay couples to adopt.

Speaking in government upper house prior to resigning, Walsh said he had recently met a gay man who suggested that government spending in support of same-sex marriage referendum should instead “be used to provide free HIV testing to people who are homosexual, where there’s an increase now in the numbers affected by HIV, it would be far better expenditure of money.”

Earlier this year, Walsh said there are “dangerous, vicious elements within the gay ideological movement”.

Watch Walsh talk about homophobia and his fantasy "gay ideological movement," AFTER THE JUMP...

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Irish Government Clarifies There Will Be No 'Right to Discriminate' Following Marriage Referendum Vote

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The Irish government has indicated that there will be no religious opt-out clause for businesses that do not want to provide goods and services for same-sex weddings, reports the Independent.

A referendum on same-sex marriage will take place on May 22nd.

Labour leader Joan Burton (right) was responding to a call by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, for a religious “right to discriminate” for business people who had "problems of conscience" about gay marriage.

Although religious ministers will be allowed to refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, Burton was emphatic that this could not be extended to business people who refused to sell goods or services to gay couples.

Earlier this month, a priest in the west of Ireland broke ranks with the Catholic church's anti-gay agenda by announcing that he will vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

In December of last year, the Catholic Church in Ireland released a manifesto explaining exactly why it is opposed to marriage equality.

Watch Burton explain why she supports marriage equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

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#Ringyourgranny Campaign Aims To Get Older Voters To Support Marriage Equality In Ireland

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As Ireland’s Marriage Equality referendum vote approaches in May, a group of Irish Trinity students started the #Ringyourgranny campaign to garner support from older Irish people to vote for marriage equality. Although young people are most likely to support marriage equality, there is low voter turnout amongst youth compared with older people, making the older demographic a key component in bringing marriage equality to Ireland. The campaign features Trinity students calling their parents and grandparents to see what way they’ll be voting in the upcoming referendum, what their thoughts are regarding marriage equality and urge people to use the #Ringyourgranny hashtag to help spread the message. Watch the video, posted just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, AFTER THE JUMP

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Irish Catholic Priest Calls For Yes Vote In Marriage Equality Referendum: VIDEO

A priest in the west of Ireland has broken ranks with the Catholic church's anti-gay agenda by announcing that he will vote in favor of May’s marriage equality referendum, reports IrishCentral.

Igg o'donovanLimerick-based Iggy O’Donovan (right) wrote in the Irish Times that he will vote on the grounds of “respect for the freedom of others who differ from us.”

O’Donovan explained that churches “have views, ideals and laws about the family, and they quite properly teach their members about those views… But when we become legislators, as we do when we vote in referendums, we legislate as citizens for all our fellow citizens.”

He continued:

“It is possible to have deep and passionately-held convictions without seeking to have those convictions imposed by the state on fellow citizens who do not share them….Respect for the freedom of others who differ from us is part and parcel of the faith we profess. For these and for other reasons I will be voting Yes.”

The priest’s comments came the day after the homophobic Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran told broadcaster Chris O’Donoghue that gay couples with children “are not parents." In the same interview, Doran compared homosexuality with down syndrome and spina bifida.

You can listen to the full interview with Doran or read a transcript.

Watch Irish grandparents Brighid and Paddy join the #VoteWithUs campaign in support of same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Don't Panic: Heterosexual Marriage In Ireland Won't Be Banned If Gay Marriage is Legalized - VIDEO

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Ireland’s government has changed the Irish-language version of the wording on the upcoming May referendum on same-sex marriage following fears that heterosexual marriage could have been found unconstitutional, reports the Irish Times.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny (above, right) confirmed earlier this week the Irish-language version of the amendment has been changed to bring clarity to the amendment.

The English version of the original text is:

“Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

When directly translated back into English, the original Irish translation “Féadfaidh beirt, cibé acu is fir nó mná iad, conradh a dhéanamh i leith pósadh de réir dlí” reads:

“A couple may, whether they are men or women, make a contract of marriage in accordance with law.”

The use of the plural allowed for an interpretation of the wording that it distinguished only between female couples and male couples, but not between same-sex and heterosexual couples.

The new wording in Irish is "Féadfaidh beirt gan beann ar a gnéis conradh pósta a dhéanamh de reir dlí”, which is a more literal translation of the original English version.

Watch a very sweet Irish pro-marriage equality ad, AFTER THE JUMP..

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Lesbian Couple Beaten Unconscious In Homophobic Attack in Ireland

Limerick attack

A lesbian couple in Limerick, Ireland were left bleeding and unconscious following a homophobic attack last Sunday, reports the Independent.

Map-limerickRoisin Prendergast (above, left) and Ciara Murphy (above, right) were walking in the direction of a food outlet at around 2am when two men began "firing homophobic slurs" at them.

Prendergast said:

"We had literally left our apartment only minutes before when these two grown men started shouting abuse at us about being lesbians. Initially we shouted back as we are used to this kind of abuse - but then they walked back towards us and started shoving us roughly."

Following a ten-minute attack, one of the men returned and “threw Ciara against a shop window.”

When the men finally left the scene, Murphy lay unconscious following a knock to her head, while Prendergast had been beaten and was in a state of shock.

The day after the attack, Prendergast wrote on Facebook:

“I know our bruises will heal, I know we will be okay but this is not something I am going to let go. Watching someone you love getting hurt while you yourself are getting hurt is not something anyone should ever have to endure straight or gay. This to me was a hate crime. I am finished crying, today starts the first of many actions which will be taken to get justice.”

Police have launched an investigation but say that the CCTV footage is of too poor quality to be used for identification purposes.

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