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…
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.”
“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.
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..
Roisin 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.
"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.
A series of premeditated attacks against gay men have caught the attention of the LGBT community living in Cork, the second largest city in Ireland. During the past week a number of people have come forward with accounts of gay men being “catfished,” or lured into unwitting meetings, only to find themselves accosted by bigots looking to cause them physical harm. The attackers, it would seem, are using social networks and hook-up apps like Grindr to target their potential victims.
“Unfortunately, there is a group or groups of young people in Cork carrying out organised beatings against members of this community,” Cork local Louise O’Donnell explained in a Facebook post. “Posing as young men and women on different sites including Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Grindr, they aim to get young gay and lesbians alone in secluded areas of the city to carry out vicious assaults.”
Speaking to the Irish Examiner O’Donnell went on to say that after posting her warning, she received word of similar attacks happening throughout Cork. Though homophobia is nothing new to Ireland, it’s thought that this most recent bout of attacks are tied to Ireland’s upcoming referendum on gay marriage set to take place in May.
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.