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04/19/2007


Irish Town Goes Berserk After Female Boxer Wins Country's First Gold Medal of the 2012 Olympics: VIDEO

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Boxer Katie Taylor of Bray in County Wicklow, Ireland won the country's first gold medal of the London Olympics. Her hometown went appropriately nuts!

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Writes the videographer: "Prior to this, Katie Taylor has won 4 World Amateur Championship titles, 5 European Amateur Championship titles and 4 European Union Amateur Championship titles. But, the one she always wanted, Olympic Champion, was only made possible this year with the inclusion of Women's boxing in London2012."

(via reddit)

Continue reading "Irish Town Goes Berserk After Female Boxer Wins Country's First Gold Medal of the 2012 Olympics: VIDEO" »


Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Supports Marriage Equality

Ff45ca6b0e1c6228b22c4c0c91ff7426EamonGilmore

Yesterday was Dublin Pride, and it wasn't just a good time. It was an historic time. As revelers reveled from the Garden of Remembrance through Merrion Square, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister, became the most senior member of the Irish government ever to endorse marriage equality, which he called the "civil rights issue of our time."

Gilmore spoke just as the Dublin festivities were dying down. Here's a transcript of his remarks:

As the event draws to a conclusion today, I would like to congratulate the organisers of Dublin Pride 2012 for a very successful week.

Dublin Pride dates back to 1983 and has become an important part of the city's social calendar. It is also becoming an increasingly important attraction, bringing thousands of people to the city, and I would like to warmly welcome these visitors to our capital.

But while the event is primarily a social and cultural one, it also has a political dimension.

As leader of Labour, a Party for whom the politics of personal freedom is so central, I acknowledge that when it comes to promoting understanding and respect, progress has been made in recent years. However, there are some outstanding matters, and if we as a Party are serious about building a new progressive society, these are matters that we will have to resolve.

I believe that in certain key areas, our laws are out of step with public opinion. I don't believe for example, that it should ever be the role of the State to pass judgement on whom a person falls in love with, or whom they want to spend their life with.

That is why the issue of same-sex marriage is to be included for consideration by the Constitutional Convention. I believe in gay marriage. The right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation, and, in my opinion, its time has come.

No similar declaration was forthcoming from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ireland's Prime Minister and head of the center-right Fine Gael party (which was nevertheless represented by a float at the Pride Parade). It shouldn't be long, now: Fine Gael has officially supported civil unions since 2003, and party leaders hope to make marriage equality a platform plank in 2012. 


NEWS: The Enterprise And The Big Apple; Tea Party Underground; Egyptian Deathsex; Barack Obama's Cali Killing Spree

MidtownShuttle

ROADICON Space Shuttle Enterprise, meet Midtown

ROADICON Do some Egyptians really want to legalize postmortem intercourse? Now it's unclear:

Alleged proposals to allow Egyptian husbands to legally have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after their death have been branded a 'complete nonsense'.

The controversial new 'farewell intercourse' law was claimed, in Arab media, to be part of a raft of measures being introduced by the Islamist-dominated parliament.

... The initial report, published on reputable English language website alarabiya.net, claimed Egypt's National Council for Women was reportedly campaigning against the changes.

It said the group said that 'marginalising and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country's human development'.

Dr Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, wrote to the Egyptian People’s Assembly Speaker Dr Saad al-Katatni addressing her concerns.

Egyptian journalist Amro Abdul Samea reported in the al-Ahram newspaper that Talawi complained about the legislations which are being introduced under 'alleged religious interpretations'.

The subject of a husband having sex with his dead wife arose in May 2011 when Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari said marriage remains valid even after death.

He also said that women have the right to have sex with her dead husband.

ROADICON Clerics join forces to fight marriage equality in Scotland

ROADICON The Times reiterates: homophobes are gay.

ROADICON Priest in porn probe departs parish:

An Irish priest at the center of a gay porn controversy has asked to leave his parish and take sabbatical leave from the priesthood, he said Sunday.

Father Martin McVeigh has admitted he destroyed a memory stick containing "inappropriate imagery" ahead of a church investigation into reports he accidentally showed pictures of naked men to parents of children preparing for their First Holy Communion.

The incident happened at the start of a PowerPoint presentation at a grade school in Pomeroy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in March, said the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady.

Parents said in a statement they were "horrified" by what they saw and called for action to be taken against the priest.

The church reported the incident to police, who said no crime had been committed.

ROADICON The Williams Institute investigates "racial" diversity among same-sex couples:

Newly released Census 2010 data, analyzed by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, highlight unique aspects of racial and ethnic diversity within same-sex couples. They are more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be interracial or interethnic, and couples that include a racial or ethnic minority are more likely to be raising children. Fully a third of same-sex couples that include an Hispanic partner are raising children.

“This is our first 2010 glimpse of the racial and ethnic compositions of U.S. households headed by couples, including same-sex couples,” said Gary Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar at UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. “The new Census data help provide a fuller picture of the diversity within the LGBT community,” said Gates

The US Census Bureau recently released the research brief Households and Families: 2010, which includes data on the racial and ethnic compositions of households headed by couples in the United States, including same-sex couples.

ROADICON The new, improved Tea Party:

... it isn't the kind of activity that makes the press," Fabretti continued. "I mean, when you put 5,000 people at an event, you know, everybody shows up with their cameras. You have 10 meetings with different legislators on [Capitol] Hill -- nobody knows about it."

ROADICON The overwhelming whiteness of TV, and what it does to your brain

ROADICON Some plants possess memory, the ability to communicate, and the ability to respond to communication. The Times wonders if it's still okay to eat them.

ROADICON Not only did Barack Obama kill Andrew Breitbart -- he murdered murdered his coroner with arsenic! (HT: JoeMyGod.)


Seventeen Year Old Irish Dancer's 'Only In America' Story

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And now, a nice St. Paddy's Day story.

If you haven't already, meet Drew Lovejoy. He's 17. He lives in rural Ohio. He's half black, half Jewish. And he's the best traditional Irish dancer of his age in the world. In February, for the third consecutive year, he placed first in hs age group at the All Irish Dancing Championship, in Dublin. A profile of Lovejoy in today's New York Times (whence I borrowed the above pic) calls his an "only in America story" -- a notion which makes me feel rather patriotic.

But Lovejoy's American story is tinged with typically American tragedy. From the Times:

In the dance world, his unusual background was a plus ... But it has served him less well here in his hometown, where a rural stretch of road bisects sweeping pastures dotted with aging barns. He moved here when he was 9, after his mother married Donald Goldberg, a Greenville resident she met at a nearby synagogue. (She had parted with Drew’s biological father, Terrance Lovejoy, when Drew was still a baby, though she remains on good terms with him, and says he sometimes rides to Drew’s competitions with her husband.)

It was not easy. Drew was a dancer, unusual for boys here, and black in a mostly white town. Bullying eventually prompted his mother to pull him out of school and start him in an online education program. He is still there today.

While most townspeople accept him, with some going out of their way to make him feel comfortable, Drew said he still does not feel entirely at ease. He does not walk the dog after dark.

“I feel like I have to watch my back,” he said, his hands resting flat on the green kitchen tablecloth.

I can't find any recordings of Lovejoy's recent performances, but here you can view a vid shot shortly after his first Dublin championship. (I'd post it to the blog, but the "embed" function's been disabled.)


Colin Farrell Speaks Out Against Homophobic Bullying

Colin Farrell has released a statement in support of 'Stand Up! Don’t Stand for Homophobic Bullying' and a school awareness campaign launched last Friday by BeLonG To, an Irish LGBT youth organisation.

Said Farrell:

Farrell"If there was one great wish I have for my country - for a land that I love and a people I so revere, it would be that school bullying were a thing of our past.

So much has befallen us in our shared history as a people. The harshest of these times have threatened to take our dignity, or scald our hearts into closing.

“Most of our great trials, from soiled land to the institutionalized abuse of trust and power, were inflicted upon us, whether by nature or the power corrupt. Now with bullying, there is a clear choice and the choice is ours.

“Each individual, as a member of his and her community, must Stand Up! In the face of this appalling brutality that plagues our schools. In effect, bullying is no less than the systematic doling out of pain upon the innocent.  It is literally laughing in the face of somebody as they fall into increasingly grave danger. It's not my place to draw parallels, but we have had enough of such hardships. The world has.

“Whether it be the attacking of Gay students, which I witnessed first hand happening to my own brother, or students who are in the minority as a result of race or religious beliefs or any other such characteristic that separates them from 'the norm', it is all wrong and has no place in a just and compassionate country such as I know Ireland to be.  We have always been praised as being the friendliest and most welcoming race in the world.  My wish is for us to prove it daily, in the school yards and playgrounds across this Great Land of Ours."


Gay Malaysian Man's Wedding in Ireland Sparks Fury at Home, Government Action

Rosli

Ariff Alfian Rosli, a Malaysian national who has been studying in Ireland for eight years, is under fire from his home country after photos were published showing his wedding to his civil partner (identified only as Jonathan) at Dublin City Hall, the Irish Times reports:

The pictures were published on the front pages of some local newspapers and have been the source of criticism from numerous political groups in Malaysia, where same-sex sexual relationships are illegal and punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The Malaysian police have been urged by Muslim groups to investigate the issue on the basis that Mr Rosli has failed to adhere to the country’s Islamic laws. The controversy has prompted the Malaysian prime minister’s office to issue a statement pledging to investigate the matter.

An official from Malaysia’s ruling political party is reportedly due to arrive in Dublin later this week to convince Mr Rosli to return home.

AriffSaid Rosli:

“I am not missing. The Irish authorities know I am legally resident here. The Malaysian embassy has also been aware for several years that I am residing here legally. I feel I have have been inadvertently thrust into the public eye. I just want to get by without upsetting anyone or causing any trouble. My overriding concern is for my family.”

The Malaysian Insider reports:

Local criticism of the same-sex union has been swift and harsh, with mainly Muslim users attacking Ariff Alfian on Twitter for straying from Islam and dishonouring his family.

“Ariff Alfian Rosli is a disgrace! Rot in hell!” user @DTOTHEZAK wrote on the popular micro-blogging site.

Another user, @shkyla, wrote: “Looking at those wedding pictures of Ariff Alfian, makes me want to vomit. Blergh, disgusting.”

Muslim groups have also been quick to condemn Ariff Alfian, with the Kepong Islamic Youth Organisation (PBIK) lodging a police report yesterday over his alleged failure to adhere to Malaysia’s Islamic laws. Other critics have taken a different tack, preferring instead to “rehabilitate” what they saw as a Muslim who had strayed far from the teachings of Islam. This includes the Facebook group, “The Campaign to Bring Ariff Alfian Rosli Home to Malaysia to Save His Faith”, which was set up on Saturday.


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