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Irish Labour Party Member Dominic Hannigan Reveals He Got Married In London On New Year's Eve

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Openly gay Labour Party TD (Teachta Dála) member Dominic Hannigan revealed that he married his partner of two decades, Chris, on New Year's Eve in London reports Irish NewsHannigan is the first deputy to disclose a same-sex marriage and the announcement comes ahead of a referendum in Ireland on the issue of same-sex marriage set to occur in May. Hannigan told TheJournal.ie that the process of marriage in London was rather simple.

Said Hannigan:

"The marriage was just the two of us. Because we were in a civil partnership it was very straightforward, paying four quid and signing some papers.

"There was no cake or anything. The wedding was a very straightforward exchange of papers. When we had our civil partnership ceremony we did a cake and all that kind of stuff. That was the event if you like."

Hannigan decided not to let his marriage hinge on Ireland's referendum decision, and took the opportunity to marry in London although he wishes that they could've held it in Ireland. On Sunday, Irish Health Minister Leo Varadkar came out to the public and Hannigan congratulated him on it.

Said Hannigan:

"Leo will be a very positive role model for them. It will help kids to come to terms with themselves. It will make a lot of people much happier in themselves and it will lead to better mental health.

"When you have made the decision to come out, that it what you have to do. There is no point in doing it on a small scale – get it done and dusted and then it ceases to be an issue."

Hannigan publicly came out 10 years ago when he was a local councillor. Although Hannigan believes Varadkar's recent announcement helps the cause for same-marriage, there are other challenges in getting marriage equality in Ireland. Hannigan warns that complacency is the main enemy in the referendum on marriage in May, and getting complacent voters to the polls presents a unique challenge.

Said Hannigan:

"It will be a very difficult referendum to win. The enemy is complacency. No doubt, family and friends of the LGBT community will come out in force.

"But my worry is that people who do not know many people affected, getting them out to vote might be difficult."


Irish Students Union Launches 'Vote For Love' Marriage Equality Campaign: VIDEO

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With a referendum on same-sex marriage due in May, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) yesterday launched a campaign for a “yes” vote.

The USI has had a unanimous mandate to campaign for marriage equality since 2012.

Reland gay marriage pollThe student group’s Vote For Love campaign notes that over 90% of students are in favor of marriage equality - compared with 79% of the Irish population as a whole.

It also points out that there are 169 points of difference between civil marriage and Ireland’s civil partnership legislation.

USI President, Laura Harmon, said:

“Students have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make Ireland more equal in the upcoming referendum on marriage equality.

"It is clear that students want to live in a more inclusive and egalitarian society. Access to marriage equality is a crucial part of this. USI has registered over 20,000 students to vote, and we plan to add to this number over the coming months. We know students are excited by the referendum and anxious to have their voices heard on the issue of marriage equality in Ireland.”

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07d2bbfc970d-200wiHowever, the USI also warns that a vote for marriage equality is not “just going to happen” and recommends that students register to vote and campaign for a yes vote.

The Irish government - including Prime Minister Enda Kenny (right) supports the referendum but has recently voiced concerns over complacency amongst voters.

As expected, the Catholic Church in Ireland has thus far been particularly vocal in its opposition to equality.

Watch a USI Students For Marriage Equality video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier this week, Colin Farrell spoke on prime time Irish TV about his passionate support for same-sex marriage. On Sunday, Ireland's health minister Leo Varadkar came out as gay.

Continue reading "Irish Students Union Launches 'Vote For Love' Marriage Equality Campaign: VIDEO" »


Ireland To Introduce Gay Adoption Law Prior To Same-Sex Marriage Referendum: VIDEO

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The Irish government has announced that legislation providing for adoption by gay couples will be enacted before the forthcoming referendum on same-sex marriage, reports the Irish Times.

The government also today announced the exact wording that people will vote on in the May referendum: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

The announcement in relation to adoption by gay couples comes following the first televised debate earlier this week on the same-sex marriage referendum during which potential pitfalls on the issue of gay adoption were revealed.

Actor Colin Farrell had pre-recorded an interview with host Claire Byrne in which he spoke passionately about his support for equal rights and how growing up with a gay brother and seeing him be at "the tail end of the whip of intolerance" left an indelible impression on him.

Frances_Fitzgerald_2014Whereas existing laws state that only married couples or sole applicants can seek to adopt a child, proposed changes would extend the right to adopt to same-sex partners. The reform will be part of the Children and Family Relationships Bill, the general scheme of which was published early last year, with a revised version published last September by current minister for justice Frances Fitzgerald (right).

The bill on same-sex marriage - along with a bill dealing with another referendum on reducing the age at which an individual can contest the presidential election from 35 to 21 - is expected to be published shortly and to be debated by both Houses of the Oireachtas in the coming weeks.

Earlier today we reported that the Union of Students in Ireland has launched the Vote For Love campaign in support of same-sex marriage. Watch the campaign video, AFTER THE JUMP...

In December, the Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran (above) released a manifesto outlining the reasons behind the Catholic Church's continuing war against equal rights for gay people.

Last weekend, Ireland's health minister Leo Varadkar announced that he is gay. Earlier today, Labour politician Dominic Hannigan announced that he married his partner of 20 years Chris, in London on New Year's Eve.

Continue reading "Ireland To Introduce Gay Adoption Law Prior To Same-Sex Marriage Referendum: VIDEO" »


Colin Farrell Passionately Advocates For Gay Marriage In Ireland: VIDEO

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As we told you yesterday, actor Collin Farrell spoke out on Irish TV network RTE about why he supports a referendum currently up for consideration that would legalize same-sex marriage in Ireland. Video of his remarks has now been released. In an interview with Claire Byrne, Farrell speaks passionately about his adamant support for equal rights and how growing up with a gay brother and seeing him be at "the tail end of the whip of intolerance" left an indelible impression on him: "They are his battles, and his wounds and his traumas but bearing witness to them in close quarters caring for him as much as I do of course had an effect on me." Though he lives away from Ireland now, Farrell says, "I carry Ireland with me everywhere I go, and I love my country deeply. This is my coming out of the closet as it were publicly and saying that I support this vote with every fibre of my being."

Watch Farrell's eloquent remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Colin Farrell Passionately Advocates For Gay Marriage In Ireland: VIDEO" »


Colin Farrell: My Brother Suffered 'Absolute Shameful Cruelty' Because of Anti-gay Hate

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Colin Farrell is to appear on Irish state broadcaster RTE this evening to discuss the issue of same-sex marriage, reports The Journal.

Farrell’s brother Eamon (above left) married his partner Stephen Mannion in Canada.

In a pre-recorded section to be aired tonight on Claire Byrne Live, the actor - who has long been a supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage - says:

“I remember [my brother] coming home with blood on his shirt, and he got plenty of beatings and he got just called names continuously…so he had a very, very, very tough time, a lot of cruelty, like real, absolute shameful cruelty that was placed upon him.

“To see [Eamon and Stephen] every day live their lives as a happily married couple is an amazing thing.

“To think that they had to leave their own country to do that is sad and disappointing and just grossly unfair I feel.

“It’s too easy for heterosexuals to be parents, if you want the truth. It’s too easy. There are too many of us who find it too easy to have a kid.

“Too many parents around the world don’t parent their kids, because it was a five minute thing…and there it is. We’re talking about Irish society being the best version in any referendum, divorce, same sex marriage, being the best version of ourselves that we can be.

“I carry Ireland with me everywhere I go, and I love my country deeply.

“This is my coming out of the closet as it were publicly and saying that I support this vote with every fibre of my being.”

The decision by Irish health minister Leo Varadkar to come out yesterday has been regarded by many as a boon to the “yes” campaign in a referendum this May on same-sex marriage. 


#SexualOrientation Trends In Ireland After Senator Sends Clumsy Tweet in Support of Gay Health Minister

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Ireland’s minister for health Leo Varadkar coming out yesterday caused a healthy dose of “so what?” and “can you still fix the health system?” from Twitter users in the country.

However, Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames raised some eyebrows with her of use of the hashtag #sexualorientation in her tweet of support to Leo. Soon afterwards the hastag was trending in Ireland as locals reacted in humor to the awkward phrase.


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