Dublin Gay Pride 2014!

Loving the sunglasses ladies!

Loving the sunglasses ladies!

Around 40,000 people took to the streets for the Dublin Pride parade this year and Marriage Equality, the amazing group campaigning for civil marriage rights for gay and lesbian people in Ireland were out in force encouraging people to register to vote.

Andrew Hyland, the director of Marriage Equality, said,

“It’s about Irish society evolving into a more progressive and inclusive State. The referendum is about saying yes to the full rights and equality of your family members and friends.”

Brian Sheehan, director of Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen), said how Ireland,

“Has come an awful long way in a relatively short space of time. We’ve come from people tut-tutting at [the Pride parade] participants in the streets in the 1990s to recent years where people are bringing in their families to see the parade. It’s a great time to celebrate the visibility of LGBT people right across Irish life.”

If the referendum is passed, he said, it

“Would ensure that lesbian and gay people are treated equally under the Irish Constitution for the very first time”.

Jason Flynn, the chair of Dublin Pride said that this year’s parade came 40 years and a day after Irish Gay Pride Day when Irish gay and lesbian people demonstrated outside the Department of Justice for a change to anti-gay laws.

The annual gay pride celebrations started in Dublin in 1979, with the founding of the Hirschfeld Centre, but the beginnings of today’s Dublin Pride began in 1983 after the brutal and violent killing of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park who was just 31-years-old.

“The outrage and political will at the time really gathered and formed. Pride has a political origin and until we achieve something resembling full equality, Pride will always have that dimension.”

He also said how the referendum on same-sex marriage in early 2015 was a key political factor this year.

Broden Giambrone, chief executive of Transgender Equality Network Ireland (Teni), said,

“We’re really looking forward to it as an opportunity to promote the rights of trans people, specifically through the promotion of the upcoming gender recognition Bill.”

While David Carroll, the director of BeLonGTo, a youth group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people, said,

“There is an . . . incredible excitement and energy around the parade. While it is political in its origins . . . and while we still deal with . . . people who experience isolation and homophobic bullying, ultimately what Pride has become is a real day of celebration and affirmation.”

Jason Flynn agrees,

“Often the parade is a person’s first experience of being out there and being visible, it’s often people’s first expression of their true selves and that has a momentum all of its own.”

He also encouraged family, friends and the entire population to join in saying:

“We want Pride to be for everybody.”

The Dublin Pride parade started on the 28th of June at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square at midday and ended at Merrion Square.

The wonderful Conchita Wurst with lucky fans in Ireland!

The wonderful Conchita Wurst with lucky fans in Ireland!

Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst performed at The George, in Dublin, on Friday 27th June, to celebrate this year’s Dublin Pride Festival in her first live performance in Ireland since her Eurovision win.

Darragh Flynn from The George said in the run-up to her much-anticipated performance,

“Since her win at Eurovision, Conchita has become a worldwide sensation. We are thrilled to have her perform again at the George and share in our Pride celebrations. Conchita embodies what The George is all about – acceptance, respect and fun – it’s going to be some party!”

While Conchita herself said,

“I’m really looking forward to performing at The George and being part of the Dublin Pride Festival. I want to spread my message of tolerance, acceptance and respect for people who are different – I know my Irish supporters will help me do just that.”

‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, her winning Eurovision entry was part of her set and Conchita said of the song’s important message,

“‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ is a powerful song that makes a strong statement, one that I can support 100%. No matter how hard things are, you can learn from these times and grow.”

Tom Neuwirth, as Conchita is known personally, created Conchita after his lifelong struggle against discrimination to encourage discussions on words like ‘different’ and ‘normal’.

“Only the person counts. Everyone should be allowed to live their lives as they see fit, as long as nobody else suffers for it.”

The George has been an important feature in the lives of the LGBT community in Ireland for over 25 years and has had many amazing perform including Alexandra Burke, Danyl Johnson, Diva Fever, Rylan, The Saturdays and Bananarama.

The event was presented by Shirley Temple Bar.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Pride! 🙂

Rest in peace Declan Flynn.

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England and Wales Legalize Same-Sex Marriage!

Marriage is now legalized for gay couples in Wales and England. Yay!

Marriage is now legalized for gay couples in Wales and England. Yay!

The world is moving further in the direction of been a much better world with the UK having its first marriage ceremonies for gay people on Saturday when a law authorising same-sex marriage came into effect at midnight after the last stage in a long campaign for equality.

David Cameron, the prime minister said it was an “important moment for our country”, and a rainbow flag flew above government offices in London to celebrate.

Cameron gave his backing to the change in law despite strong opposition from members of his Conservative party and the established Church of England and wrote in an article in Pink News,

“This weekend is an important moment for our country.”

He said,

“Put simply, in Britain it will no longer matter whether you are straight or gay – the state will recognise your relationship as equal.”

Civil partnerships have been legal since 2005 and marriage brings no new rights. For example the ability to adopt was introduced in 2002 but campaigners rightly say that only the right to marry gives them full equality with straight couples.

Teresa Millward, 37, who married her long-term girlfriend on Saturday said,

“We didn’t want to get married until it was a marriage that my mum and dad could have.”

The gay marriage law is the last victory in a long battle going back to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England in 1967.

However there is also some to try to spoil the apple cart. The Church of England had opposed same-sex marriage, saying that weddings should only take place between a man and a woman, and secured an exemption from the new law while the House of Bishops last month also warned clergy they should not bless married gay couples and a poll for BBC radio said 20 percent of British adults would turn down an invitation to a same-sex wedding.

But the survey also found that 68 percent agreed gay marriage should be permitted, with 26 percent opposing it and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, said the Church had accepted the new law and would continue to demonstrate “the love of Christ for every human being”.

Andrew Wale, a writer and actor and his partner, Neil Allard, a guesthouse owner were among the first couples to marry after the law came into effect. The couple have long waited for this day.

Wale, 49, said,

“When we were born, it was illegal to be gay, let alone get married. I didn’t think about the possibility for most of my life. It is only really recently that suddenly the option seemed to be on its way.”

Donning velvet-collared three-piece suits with white flowers in their buttonholes, the smiling, happy couple of seven years hugged and kissed after they became husband and husband in the Royal Pavilion in the English city of Brighton. The pair won a competition by the local council to find the right couple for the historic occasion and they exchanged vows not long after midnight under the nine lotus-shaped chandeliers which hung down from the gilded cockleshell domed ceiling of the music room.

England and Wales are among 15 countries as well as parts of the United States and Mexico that authorised same-sex marriage. The Netherlands was the first in 2001, and last year Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand and France also did the right thing. Scotland last month became the latest to give the green light to gay marriage. However, the other British country, Northern Ireland, has said it does not intend to introduce same-sex marriage legislation.

I want to see a day when all of Ireland, both South and North, introduces same-sex marriage. In fact I want to see a day when the entire world does. However this is another massive step forward and I must say well done to the campaigners and government. It is so sweet seeing all the happy couples getting married and I’d like to congratulate each and every one of them.

Glee’s Bill A. Jones Sings Marsha Hunt’s “Here’s To All Who Love”

The amazing Marsha Hunt!

This fabulous 95-year-old woman Marsha Hunt has wrote a song called “Here’s To All Who Love” which is a love song  about love, acceptance and marriage equality. It is a song for changing times. The song is sung by Bill A. Jones from Glee.

Please watch here and share:

http://vimeo.com/83788657

Well done Marsha. Absolute inspiration! I salute you! 🙂