A Gay Weekend in Ireland

There were two events held over the weekend involving the Gay Population in Ireland. One was a great success, the other a waste of time.

Lets start with the success, Northwest pride held an event in a town called Easkey. The village in Co. Sligo has a population of 250 and it went gay for the day with local people and businesses taking part in the event. Reading the coverage in the Guardian though really brought it home for me about how much rural Ireland has changed, and changed for the better.

What really sent that home was the quotes from a few of the locals such as this one from Michael Gordon who manages the village shop

“Gay people are the same as every body else.” He has lived in Easkey all his life, helped rebuild two churches in the area and knows everyone in the town. “Ireland is a tolerant place now, thank God,” he said. “Rural Ireland has grown up.”

Or this one from a local mother Linda O’Dowd

“I have no idea if any of my kids are gay, but I would totally support them,” she said. “I don’t see anything wrong with it whatsoever.

Fair play to Easkey, but they do prove their point.

Now the second event, the LGBT Noise march in Dublin which saw 5,000 people marching for Gay Marriage. Why bother? I mean we have a civil partnership bill that will be passed, shouldn’t we be focusing on that making sure that it is the best possible, rather then focusing on this pie in the sky aim, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon?

We have to be realists, we have to get on with it. Why scrifice what we can have now, for what we might get in ten years when there is polical will for it? We can still get it in future, but why sacrifice what we have in front of us?

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Who Represents Me?

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Yesterday I was invited to become “a fan” of yet another Irish LGBT group. This time it was EQUALS, which is a direct action group.

Everyone seems to think that every LGBT person supports LGBT Noise, EQUALS, Marriage Equality etc, but we don’t.

Firstly lets look at LGBT Noise. They have the T in their for Transgendered yet I never heard them ever calling for a change in the law in relation to Transgendered issues. So they are a single issue group focused on Gay Marriage.

Secondly all these groups are trying to create awareness and create pressure. Pressure only works where their is some political will. In Ireland in the two major parties, there is no will for Gay Marriage. So in this Government and the next, and maybe the one after their will be no chance of Gay Marriage.

To be honest I don’t want Gay Marriage. And I am not alone. I updated my facebook status to the following

People please stop suggesting that I become a fan of EQUALS cause I wont…

A fairly reasonable request in my opinion. The comments showed plenty of people thought I was wrong to think that. An argument about Gay Marriage ensued and what it actually showed to me was how strong headed Gay Marriage Activists are. They will not tolerate dissent from within the “gay ranks”.

This is why the Gay Marriage cause will not succeed. If the cause itself is not willing be broad and accept criticism, and stop comparing this “struggle” with apartheid and religious discrimination they might actually get somewhere and get the backing of those withe the LGB community not so pushed about gay marriage. (Note I left out the T on purpose)

If the campaign cant convince those it has something in common with, how is it to convince those against it?

Chaining yourself to the Dáil, ripping up Bills may get you some attention, but will it change anything? No.

I think the LGB community need to adopt a strategy like the one adopted by GLEN. They think the bill in general is good, but needs improvement. That’s what I think. This bill glaringly leaves out anything to do with children. That needs to be sorted. Some will argue that Gay Marriage will sort that straight away, but its time to smell the bacon and get real, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

So with all these LGBT Groups that are out their that claim to represent me, you don’t. I know I am not alone on this. Friends have agreed with me, both straight and gay that they think that Civil Partnerships is the way to go for now. So why don’t we concentrate on getting the Bill we having coming to the Oireachtas the best one we can, rather then trying to argue for something we won’t get.

So those who want Gay Marriage, please think of us who don’t. You could be loosing an ally. Try to engage rather then argue. Then you might get us onside.

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