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Anti-Gay Activists Pay Close Attention To Ireland In Run-Up To Marriage Referendum: VIDEO


Ireland’s upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage is attracting international attention from many international anti-gay activists.

On May 22nd, Ireland will become the first country in the world to vote on same-sex marriage. The latest poll shows 78% of voters are in favor of passing the amendment.

In a wide-ranging article, BuzzFeed's J Lester Feder says that anti-equality activists have been paying close attention to the referendum, including Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage. Brown has apparently discussed the situation with the leader of Ireland’s ‘No’ campaign and U.S. activist Frank Schubert.

A strong network of anti-gay European groups has also been involved in the campaign, including French group Manif Pour Tous (MPT) and Italian activist Luca Volante.

Volante and MPT have also been involved with Brown’s attempts to create an International Organization for Marriage.

BuzzFeed reports:

David Quinn“The tactics of the No campaign — which is built around the argument that children will be harmed if same-sex couples are allowed to wed — look disturbingly familiar for American LGBT rights advocates, who are watching the Irish vote carefully. This is exactly the kind of messaging that ate away at support for marriage equality in the Proposition 8 campaign, and they believe it has the fingerprints of the conservative group that pulled off that upset victory, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

“The No side denies that it is borrowing tactics from California, saying it’s learned more from campaigns in eastern European countries like Slovenia in 2012 or Croatia in 2013, where referendums were passed curtailing partnership rights for same-sex couples.

“‘We wouldn’t be taking too many more lessons from Prop 8 than from elsewhere,’ said David Quinn [above right], head of the Iona Institute and adviser to Mothers and Fathers Matter.

“But the No camp has gotten some input from veterans of the California campaign and other marriage fights abroad. Frank Schubert, the conservative political consultant credited with the Proposition 8 victory, told BuzzFeed News before an NOM rally in Washington earlier this month that he has sent private polling, focus-group work, and other messaging guidance to activists on the No side. NOM President Brian Brown also said he had ‘talked a lot’ to Quinn periodically over the past few years, though they hadn’t communicated in over a year.

“Quinn said the Iona Institute’s only substantial international funding has been €24,000 over the past few years from an Italian foundation headed by a former member of the European Parliament, Luca Volonté, who sits on the board of the conservative online campaign platform CitizenGo along with NOM’s Brian Brown. But none of that money has gone to the referendum campaign, Quinn said.”

Watch the Iona Institute’s most recent anti-equality video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Among Six English-Speaking Countries, Study Finds American Sports Are Most Homophobic

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A new study titled "Out On The Fields," which is considered the first international study on homophobia in sport, found that the U.S. ranks the worst in sports homophobia reports TIME. The study, which surveyed 9,500 people from six different countries (U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand), found that LGB people in U.S. sports report the most instances of receiving verbal threats and homophobic slurs because of their sexual orientation.

Researchers found that 82 percent of LGB participants either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports with 84 percent of gay men and 82 percent of lesbians claiming they were targets of homophobic slurs. Half of the gay men polled along with 32 percent of lesbians noted they hid their sexuality while playing sports in their youth because they feared rejection from their teammates. 

However, the survey is not a peer-reviewed paper published in an established journal; the head author behind the study is a former journalist turned member of Australia's first gay rugby team - the Sydney Convicts Rugby Union Club. A sports sociologist from Florida State University who examined the study's findings found that even though the sampling results ended up with significant over-representation of pro-LGBT respondents, the study clearly and accurately illustrates the pervasive homophobia that permeates sports.

Although homophobia may be pervasive on the field, it looks like attitudes are slowly beginning to change in sports stands.

Irish Catholic Bishops Ramp Up Campaign Against Marriage Equality: VIDEO

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With Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage just 11 days away, the Catholic church is unsurprisingly upping their campaign for a 'No' vote, reports the Independent.

Although a priest from Donegal announced last week that he intends to vote in favor of same-sex marriage, six bishops have made public statements arguing against marriage equality.

Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, the most senior prelate in the west of Ireland, said the bishops were "not disparaging anyone" or being "disrespectful to same-sex relationships".

In a statement read out to congregations on Sunday, Neary incorrectly told the congregation that the referendum is about the family and not gay marriage.

The wording of the referendum is clearly stated:

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

Neary insisted that he is neither being conservative or “mean spirited” in his opposition, arguing - again, incorrectly - that civil partnerships give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Neary’s views were echoed by Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick, Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert, Bishop Ray Browne of Kerry, Bishop Phonsie Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore and Bishop Leo O'Reilly of Kilmore.

Last week, anti-gay activist group The Iona Institute released a deliberately misleading video arguing for a No vote in the May 22nd referendum, which you can watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Desperate Irish Anti-gay Activists Release Misleading Animated Video Ahead of Marriage Referendum: VIDEO


Irish anti-gay activist group The Iona Institute has produced a new animated clip arguing for a No vote in the May 22nd referendum on same sex marriage, reports The Journal.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d104076b970c-200wiThe factually incorrect new video claims that the referendum is about children rather than same-sex marriage.

According to the Referendum Commission, Irish citizens will be asked to vote on "the proposal to include a new clause about marriage in the Constitution. This new clause provides that two people may marry each other regardless of their sex."

Last month, Iona Institute mouthpiece, Irish Times columnist and teacher Breda O’Brien (right) attacked Ireland’s former President Mary McAleese for announcing her support for marriage equality.

Read a brilliant exposé of the Iona Institute and watch the new video along with a parody of Iona's 2012 The Case For Man/Woman Marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ireland's Oldest Gay Bar Closes Within Weeks Of Crucial Vote On Marriage Referendum

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With the vote for Irish marriage equality just weeks away, Cork residents found themselves shocked when the proprietor of the historic gay bar Loafers announced that it's closing its doors reports Evening Echo. Loafers is considered a major part of the Irish gay rights movement when it was the first gay bar established within the country in 1983, 10 years before the country officially decriminalized homosexual acts. 

Proprietor Ted O'Connell said that economic factors severely affected the bar in the last few years; an Irish bank now wants to have vacant possession of the bar. O’Connell explained the bar’s situation and expressed sadness that the iconic bar is closing within weeks of the marriage referendum vote:

"It's very, very sad but today is the last day. We had hoped to be able to host a referendum celebration party later this month as we fight for a Yes Vote but it will have to be somewhere else.

"We have just had one of our busiest weekends with the Women's Fun Weekend but overall I would say we are down 35 to 40 percent from when I first took over six years ago. It’s the same for gay bars everywhere, in London, New York, everywhere. I suppose in a way it is a positive thing that gay people do not feel ghettoised (sic) to drink in certain premises."

O'Connell didn’t clarify if Loafers would move to a new location except that Loafers on Douglas Street would officially close Monday night. However, O'Connell believes a yes vote on Ireland's marriage referendum is a perfect way to pay tribute to Loafer's legacy.

WATCH: Ireland's Ruling Political Party Fine Gael Urges Yes Vote on Marriage Equality in New Ad

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Ireland’s Fine Gael party released a new marriage equality advocacy video on Friday, urging Irish voters to vote yes for marriage equality on May 22. Fine Gael party members Eoghan Murphy, Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Simon Coveney along with singer-songwriter Jack O’Rourke appear in the video, explaining why Irish voters should vote yes on the marriage referendum and support their fellow LGBT citizens.

Fine Gael is the largest political party in the legislature of Ireland and its leader Enda Kenny currently serves as Taoiseach (prime minister).

Watch Fine Gael make its' case for marriage equality, AFTER THE JUMP

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Irish marriage equality proponents have recently stepped up their advocacy game with politicians and Irish pop culture figures releasing marriage equality ads.

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