LGBT culture in Ireland
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LGBT life on the island of Ireland is made up of persons who are either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender/transsexual.
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.
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 is the named plaintiff in an ongoing case to seek legal recognition of her marriage and is the first openly gay Oireachtas member who is married.
- 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's LGBT group.
Ireland's longest running LGBT publication is Gay Community News, which was first published in 1988 before homosexuality was legal in Ireland.
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.
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. It is more than likely the smallest city in the world with its own gay pride parade.
As in many other countries around the world, the Bear Community has taken hold in Ireland and continues to grow. The bear movement is a counter culture to the mainstream gay scene and challenges the stereotypes of gay men. Everything masculine is celebrated within the Bear community. There are Bear events held monthly in Belfast and in Dublin. An all Ireland Bear Event called Béar Feíle is due to take place on the 25–28 March 2010. Béar Feíle is the first event of its kind to take place in Ireland.
St. Patrick's day
Saint Patrick's Day is another occasion for gays 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 Fanstasy 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|
|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|
- 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.
- "bubu - Belfast's Monthly Bear Night.". www.bububelfast.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- McCann, Martin. "The Furry Glen - Dublin Bears.". www.thefurryglen.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- O'Connor, Tom. "Béar Feíle - Ireland's Bear Festival.". www.bearfeile.ie. Retrieved 2009-10-20.