LGBT culture in Ireland
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Queer culture and history
There was all-party support in 2010 for the Civil Partnership Bill which provided for legal recognition for the relationships of same-sex couples.
In December 2006 the Labour Party reintroduced a civil unions bill which they brought before the Dáil in March 2007. The bill was supported by Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, the Green Party and the majority of independents, however it was opposed by the two Government Parties of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats which lead to its defeat. The Labour Party, promised that a bill legalising gay adoption would be on the top of their priorities should they assume control of the Government in the 2007 general election, but they did not manage to do so. In the aftermath of the General Election, the Labour Party reintroduced their Civil Unions Bill, which was supported by Sinn Féin and Fine Gael. The Green Party, then part of the governing coalition, voted against the bill, favouring their continued advocacy for same-sex partnership rights from within the government.
Before the 2011 general election, the Labour Party manifesto included a commitment to a referendum to allow same-sex couples to marry. This was mentioned as an item for the Constitutional Convention in the Programme for Government between Labour and Fine Gael after the election.
|“||Our sexual orientation is not an incidental attribute. It is an essential part of who and what we are. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, stand equal in the eyes of our laws. Sexual orientation cannot, and must not, be the basis of a second-class citizenship.||”|
The only Irish political party that has officially come out in opposition to LGBT rights is the small Christian Solidarity Party, which has never been successful electorally, at either local or national level.
As of May 23, 2015 Ireland has become the first country to legalise same sex marriage through nationwide referendum in favour of allowing same sex couples to wed.
Openly gay Oireachtas members
- David Norris, elected as an Independent Senator for Dublin University at each election since 1987, and was the first openly gay member of the Oireachtas.
- Colm O'Gorman served as a Senator from May to July 2007. He was appointed as a Taoiseach's nominee representing the Progressive Democrats.
- Dominic Hannigan, was elected as a Labour Party Senator in 2007, and was elected to the Dáil in 2011 for Meath East, becoming the first openly gay person elected as a TD.
- John Lyons, was elected in 2011 for Dublin North-West for the Labour Party.
- Katherine Zappone, was appointed to the Seanad as a Taoiseach's nominee in May 2007. She was the named plaintiff in a case to seek legal recognition of her marriage and was the first openly gay Oireachtas member to also be married. She was elected as a TD at the 2016 general election.
- Jerry Buttimer, was elected as TD for the Cork South-Central constituency in the 2011 general election for Fine Gael. In April 2012, he became the first Fine Gael TD to come out, doing so after the party announced a new forum for gay equality. He is the chairman of Fine Gael LGBT.
- Leo Varadkar, first elected in 2007, and appointed to Government in 2011. He served as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport from 2011 to 2014, and served as Minister for Health since July 2014. In January 2015, he told Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ radio that he is gay. In 2017 he became Taoiseach (Head of Government).
- Fintan Warfield is a former Sinn Féin Mayor of South County Dublin, who is currently a Senator. He is a relation of Derek Warfield, a musician with The Wolfe Tones.
- Emma Murphy is an elected councillor for Cabra and Finglas (Dublin) for Sinn Féin.
- Chris Curran of Sinn Féin is an elected councillor on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council and represents the Glencullen Sandyford Local Election Area.
Ireland's longest running LGBT publication is Gay Community News, which was first published in 1988 before homosexuality was legal in Ireland. In April 2013, EILE Magazine was launched, serving as a new platform for Ireland's LGBT community.
The national broadcaster RTÉ provides various LGBT related programming, such as the television documentary Growing Up Gay or the drama series Raw, which contained gay characters and gay-related storylines. The RTÉ programme Telly Bingo was presented from 2001–2004 by drag queen Shirley Temple Bar. The radio station RTÉ Pulse schedules Wednesday nights as Gay Wednesday where they broadcast programming related to the gay community. Drag queen Joanna Ryde is a presenter on regional youth station Beat 102 103.
Gay life in the country
Cities and towns
The gay scene in Ireland is quite developed and Irish society has become more open and tolerant as a result of increased levels of prosperity and rising liberal attitudes. Indeed, many foreigners comment that for such a small island nation of 6 million, there's so much going on, with vibrant gay scenes in all Irish cities Dublin (2 superpubs, 2 gay bars + 13 club venues), Belfast (1 superpub, 3 gay bars + 5 club venues), Cork (4 bars + 5 club venues), Limerick, Derry, Galway and Waterford. There are 8 Gay Lesbian Resource centres in Ireland, 1 LGBT centre in Dublin, 1 LGBT centre in Belfast, 1 gay centre and 1 lesbian centre in Cork, 1 LGBT drop-in centre in Limerick, 1 LGBT centre in Derry, 1 LGBT centre in Waterford and 1 LGBT drop-in centre in Dundalk.
There are also some gay communities in the smaller towns in Ireland. Strabane has a gay bar, and Castlebar, Dundalk, Drogheda, Ennis, Kilkenny Newry, Sligo and Tullamore have occasional gay club nights.
All Irish cities and many smaller towns celebrate Gay Pride with parades and festivals.
The town of Sligo with less than 20,000 inhabitants has its own annual Gay Pride parade and festival and is warmly received and supported by the local population, something which is becoming increasingly common in rural Ireland.
As in many other countries around the world, the Bear Community has taken hold in Ireland and continues to grow. The bear movement considers itself a counter culture to the mainstream gay scene and works toward challenging the single archetype of the effeminate gay man. Most things traditionally considered masculine are celebrated within the Bear community, and Bears identify as a large subset of an already diverse demographic of gay men in Ireland. There are Bear events held monthly in Belfast and in Dublin. An all Ireland Bear Event called Béar Féile is due to take place on the 25–28 March 2010. Béar Féile is the first event of its kind to take place in Ireland.
St. Patrick's day
Saint Patrick's Day is another occasion for gay people to celebrate, as all of Ireland's ethnically diverse population including the gay community take an active part in the St. Patrick's Day parades and celebrations across the island in cities such as Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Derry, Galway and Waterford
|Alternative Miss Ireland||Dublin/Ireland||All island contest; includes various regional heats||March|
|Mr Gay Ireland||Dublin/Ireland||All island contest; includes various regional heats||October|
|Ms Gay Ireland||Ireland||All island contest; includes various regional heats||November|
|Saint Patrick's Day||Ireland||LGBT section of main parades||17 March|
|World AIDS Day||Ireland||Charity event||1 December|
|Dublin Pride||Dublin||Parade and 10-day festival||June|
|GAZE||Dublin||Dublin International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival||late July–early August|
|Dublin Gay Theatre Festival||Dublin||Presentation of works by gay authors and performers or that contain LGBT themes||early May|
|Béar Féile||Dublin||Festival celebrating the Bear community||late March|
|aLAF||Dublin||Lesbian Arts Festival||Spring|
|Lesbian Lives||Dublin||Conference organised by the Women's Studies Centre at UCD||February|
|Belfast Pride Festival||Belfast||Parade and week-long festival||July/August|
|Outburst||Belfast||Queer Arts Festival||November|
|Cork Pride Festival||Cork||Parade and week-long festival||August|
|OutLook||Cork||Cork Film Festival programme dedicated to LGBT films and shorts||November|
|Lesbian Fantasy Ball||Cork|
|Cork Women's Fun Weekend||Cork|
|Limerick Pride Festival||Limerick||Parade and 8-day festival||September|
|Foyle Pride Festival||Derry||Parade and 4-day festival||August|
|Pride in Newry||Newry||Parade and 5-day festival||August|
|Galway Community Pride||Galway||Parade and 3-day festival||August|
|Waterford Pride Mardi Gras||Waterford||Parade and 7-day festival||May/June|
|Northwest LGBT Pride||Sligo||Parade and 4-day festival for north-west Ireland||August|
- LGBT rights in the Republic of Ireland
- Recognition of same-sex unions in the Republic of Ireland
- List of laws and reports on LGBT rights in the Republic of Ireland
- "Labour's goal is full equality for gay citizens, Gilmore tells symposium" (Press release). Labour Party. 7 May 2009. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010.
- "Providing for Same-Sex Marriage". Green Party. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- "Pride 09 – Full Same Sex Marriage Rights Now!". Socialist Party. 30 June 2009.[dead link]
- "Recognition of same sex marriage long overdue". Sinn Féin. 31 March 2004.
- "FF delegates back equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples". Irish Examiner. 3 March 2012.
- "Fianna Fail Passes Motion On Same Sex Marriage". 98fm.com. 28 September 2012. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- Sheahan, Fionnan (5 November 2013). "Government to call for Yes vote for gay marriage". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- Grew, Tony (2007-07-17). "Ireland to get civil partnerships". Pink News. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
- Connolly, Shaun (30 April 2012). "Buttimer: I am a TD who also just happens to be gay". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Minister for Health Leo Varadkar says he is gay". 18 January 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "bubu - Belfast's Monthly Bear Night". www.bububelfast.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- McCann, Martin. "The Furry Glen - Dublin Bears". www.thefurryglen.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- O'Connor, Tom. "Béar Féile - Ireland's Bear Festival". www.bearfeile.ie. Retrieved 2009-10-20.