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Famous Irish Drag Queen Panti Bliss Blasts Homophobia on Stage of National Theatre: VIDEO

P_bliss

On Saturday night, Rory O'Neill, also known as drag queen and activist Panti Bliss, took the stage after a performance of James Plunkett’s 1913 Lockout drama The Risen People in the national theatre, and gave an impassioned speech on homophobia that is making headlines across Ireland.

Our tipster Hugh F. explains:

Last night, on the Abbey Theatre stage, the national theatre of Ireland, Ms. Panti Bliss (Rory O'Neill), Ireland's most celebrated drag queen and gay rights activist made an impassioned speech about the oppression of homophobia. Appearing as Rory O'Neill a few weeks earlier on the Saturday Night show, he called out a number of public figures who he deemed homophobic because of their active campaigning to treat homosexuals differently. Those people threatened legal action against O'Neill and RTÉ (the national broadcaster) and a large sum of money was paid out in settlement. Ms. Panti Bliss took to the stage of the national theatre to set the record "straight".

Watch Panti Bliss's speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Famous Irish Drag Queen Panti Bliss Blasts Homophobia on Stage of National Theatre: VIDEO" »


Irish Hurler Conor Cusack Comes Out

Cusack

In a lengthy blog post published on Monday, Irish hurler Conor Cusack, came out of the closet. Cusack played the Gaelic sport of hurling with the Cork senior inter-county team in 2006 and now plays with the local club in Cloyne. He has made national headlines in Ireland for his devotion to helping others battle depression, which he has battled his whole life.

Cusack writes, in part:

I’ve known for a good while now that I have been sexually attracted to men. In that time, I’ve had relationships with women, and enjoyed them immensely but I’ve always had more fulfilment from being with a man. I’m not sure what label society would categorise me under. I remember a doctor one time telling me I was a bi-polar depressive and a different guy a few weeks later telling me I was a manic depressive. Go figure that one out! Life for me is never black or white (though I know a lot about the blackness) but more about different shades of grey....

...I have been comfortable with this area of my life and I never felt the need to discuss it with anyone. That is until recently. As I crossed the border from Galway into Clare and then back home to Cork and through the towns of Buttevant, Charleville and Mallow, I thought strongly about the current Mental Health work I am involved with. I thought about all the different people that I have spoken to and about all the upcoming events that I have committed to. I asked myself the question ‘Do I need to talk and discuss this aspect and area of my life?

Cusack is the brother of hurler Donal Og Cusack, who came out as gay in 2009.


Ireland's Trinity College to Ban Coca-Cola, P&G Products During Sochi Games

Citing Coca-Cola's refusal to denounce Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws, Ireland’s Trinity College has announced that products by the Olympic sponsor will be banned from the campus during the upcoming Sochi Games. Products made by Proctor & Gamble, also a sponsor, will be banned as well.

Trinity collegeTheJournal.ie reports that LGBTQ Rights Officer for Trinity College Dublin Students' Union, Stephen Hatton wrote a letter to Coca-Cola announcing their school's intent to boycott the company:

"Your company had an unparalleled opportunity to denounce the vulgar and inhumane Anti-Gay Laws of Russia on a worldwide stage, an action which, if made, would have undoubtedly sparked global awareness and positive change for the LGBTQ community in Russia and beyond."

Leanna Byrne, Communications Officer with TCDSU, says the ban “sends our a strong message”

“We’ve been mandated by the students to do this,” she said. “I think it’s very important that we stand by our minority groups. People might think it is not a student issue, but it it certainly is for a lot of  the people in college.”

She added: “There seems to be a lot of positive reaction from LGBT societies and organisations throughout the country.

TCDSU has also written to Coca-Cola about the company’s recent removal of a gay marriage scene from an Irish TV advertisement, saying that the omission is “an open insult to the LGBTQ community in Ireland and further adds to Coca-Cola’s complete disregard for LGBTQ people on an international level. 


Coca-Cola Removes Gay Marriage Scene From Irish TV Ad: VIDEO

Wedding

Coca-Cola has stirred a bit of controversy across the pond after the beverage company omitted a scene that depicts two men getting married for the Irish broadcast of a new commercial launched across Europe, according to TheJournal.ie. The ad is said to be tailored slightly to each country in which it is shown. Coca-Cola says that since gay marriage is not yet legal in Ireland, the scene in question was left out whereas it was left in for audiences in the UK, Norway, and Holland as those countries all allow same-sex marriage. However, many took to Twitter to share their displeasure over the omission.

The LGBT publication Eile.ie said that the ad campaign titled Reasons To Believe, leaves the scene out of the Irish version of the new advert.

Highlighting the differences between the Dutch, Norwegian and British versions the new Reasons To Believe advertisement for the other countries shows the scene where two men are getting married.

The Coca-Cola adverts do include different images in each advert depending on the country they are being shown in.

In response to a query from TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the company said the advertisement has been tailored for each market where it will be shown and has been informed by consumer research in each individual market.

“The core objective is that the vignettes in the ad resonate with people in each country and that they are truly representative of cultural issues that they are familiar with and value,” they said. “You will note for example that the St Patrick’s Day scene is only included in the Irish version as it is only here that it is truly relevant from a cultural perspective.”

 As you rightly say, the wedding images used in the ad for the UK and in other parts of Europe show two men getting married. The reason that this was changed for Ireland is that while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not. This will be the subject of a referendum (2015).

 “We wanted each ad to be relevant and valid for its own market,” they added.

You can watch the Norwegian version of the commercial (which contains the gay marriage scene) and the Irish one (which does not) AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Coca-Cola Removes Gay Marriage Scene From Irish TV Ad: VIDEO" »


Ireland to Hold Public Referendum on Same-Sex Marriage

Ireland plans to hold a public referendum on same-sex marriage before the summer of 2015, the Irish Times reports:

IrelandAt their meeting today, Ministers accepted the recommendation of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter that they should follow the advice of the Constitutional Referendum and put the issue of same-sex marriage to the people.

It is now expected that same sex marriage and a number of other proposed constitutional changes including a reduction in the voting age to 17 will be put to the electorate in May 2015.

This morning, Tanáiste Eamon Gilmore said it was important that the Government “win” any referendum on same-sex marriage.

“It is important that we win this referendum. It is an important issue and we know from referenda on social issues before that it is important to do some preparation before the referendum is held,” he said on his way into the Cabinet meeting this morning.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he also supported the principle of gay marriage and had no objection to it. “If we’ve learned anything we’ve learned that different lifestyles should not only be accepted but celebrated,” he told reporters today.

Ireland legalized same-sex civil partnerships in July 2010.


93-Year-Old Gay Irishman Marries 57-Year-Old Partner of 37 Years

Pearce

Cork, Ireland-born artist Patrick Scott married his companion of 37 years, 57-year-old Eric Pearce this week, the Irish Examiner reports:

A long-running love story culminated yesterday in the marriage of Cork-born artist Patrick Scott, at the ripe old age of 93, to 57-year-old Eric Pearce, his companion of 37 years. The two, whom Eric says met many years ago "in Dublin at a party, across a crowded room", wed in a civil ceremony at the registry office on Lower Grand Canal St.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Eric said there was a "deep, abiding love between them" and they had wanted to marry for some time.

On why they were doing it now in the autumn of Patrick’s life, Eric said the union was a "completion of a life and a celebration of a life that has been intensely private, like the man himself."

Dubliner Pearce, who has three daughters by a previous marriage during which time he lived in Cork, said he had his children’s full support.  "They are three wonderful women. They are so delighted for me. They regard it as a cause for celebration. I am very lucky to have such broadminded children" he said.

Congrats to the happy couple.

(via rukkle)


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