NORTHERN IRELAND: Ireland’s Gay Prime Minister Calls For Marriage Equality At Belfast Pride Event

Reuters reports:

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar attended a gay rights event on Saturday during his first official visit to Northern Ireland, upsetting some social conservatives in the only region of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is still illegal. Varadkar, who became Ireland’s first openly gay leader when he took office in June, joined activists preparing for Northern Ireland’s largest gay pride parade for a “Pride Breakfast” in a Belfast pub. He said he was unable to attend the actual parade due to a prior commitment in Dublin.

His attendance was criticized by some members of Northern Ireland’s largest party, the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 seats in the British parliament prop up the government of Prime Minister Theresa May. The DUP has repeatedly blocked attempts to allow same-sex marriage despite opinion polls that indicate it is supported by a significant majority in Northern Ireland.

More from the BBC:

Leo Varadkar has said it is “only a matter of time” before same-sex marriage is introduced in Northern Ireland. The Irish prime minister was speaking at a Belfast Pride breakfast event in the city on Saturday morning. The Republic of Ireland’s first openly gay leader, said he was attending the event as a “gesture of solidarity”. Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK where a ban on same-sex marriage still exists.

Mr Varadkar told crowds outside the Northern Whig in Belfast that he was not “here to unsettle anyone”. “But I am here to state my support and my government’s support for equality before the law and individual freedom for all citizens wherever they may reside,” he said. “Difference makes us stronger and that’s something I believe in and something that I think can mark Northern Ireland out in the future.


RELATED: In late June, Serbia’s Ana Brnabic became the world’s fifth-ever openly gay prime minister. Ireland’s Leo Varadkar took office in May. Luxembourgian Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who is married, took office in late 2013. Icelandic Prime Minister JΓ³hanna SigurΓ°ardΓ³ttir (also married) was in office from 2009 to 2013. Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was in office from 2011 to 2014.

  • Sam_Handwich

    A poll in May 2015 found that 68% of the population supported same-sex marriage, with support rising to 75% in Belfast.[159]…. A June 2016 poll gave support for same-sex marriage at 70%, while those opposing it at 22%.[162]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_Kingdom#Northern_Ireland

    just do it already

    • ChrisMorley

      It’s impossible to make any progress at the moment. Government in Northern Ireland is in complete hiatus.
      The legally required (under the Good Friday Agreement) Power-Sharing Executive of catholic and protestant parties is in suspension and because of that the Assembly can’t sit or do anything. It’s a long complex story about Democratic Unionist corruption regarding a green energy scam.

      In practice we have gone back to Direct Rule from Westminster. Britain and Ireland are trying to push Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists to quit squabbling and reform the governing Executive. Nothing will change on marriage equality (or abortion reform) until that is done.
      It’s all got very messy because of Brexit which is a major preoccupation for both the Dublin government and for Westmister.

  • Dramphooey

    The jerks have a great acronym. I pronounce it “DUhhhhhP.”

    • Dagoril

      I met a DUP member online in a game I used to play. He was absolutely the worst person I’ve ever had to interact with in an online game. (And for gamers reading this, much, much worse than the ubiquitous pk’ers of WoW or EQ). Small minded, evil-spirited, just a horrible person. DUhhhP sums him up perfectly. Trump voters with British accents, who’ve been forced to read a little Shakespeare.

  • bkmn

    Contrary to the word of people like Tony PerKKKins marriage equality has not brought about a collapse of society, Fox did that.

    • RidingTheLine

      Equal marriage is about the renewal of society. It was not homosexuality that brought down the Roman Empire; it was Christianity. Once they ended the games, forbade homosexuality in the military, closed the taverns and the theatres, even doubling the public food ration did not animate Romans to successfully defend their own city against invaders. The Christians had sapped Roman of every reason to fight. Resistance against Perkins and his ilk will only make the free world stronger.

      • Galvestonian

        It could’ve been that all their piping. where it existed, was made up of lead and the fact that all of their household pottery had lead glazes and this stuff had been in use for well over 500 to possibly close to 1,000 years (753 B.C.– to sometime around 470 A.D). If you look at their sculpture you can clearly see the decline in their artistry – at first imitating the Greeks and then onto an overblown stiff clumsiness (statue of Constantine) The empire once smart, dumbed down over the centuries but this is only my opinion.

        • RidingTheLine

          That’s nonsense. The Romans were always imitators and borrowers of the culture and advancements of others. It added to their glory as they saw it. Your disapproval after the fact is silly at best.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    OT: If you want to figure out why Heller voted the way he did. It’s because he’s a million dollar whore.

    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/mcconnell-linked-superpac-says-its-all-in-for-heller

    “Fresh off Sen. Dean Heller’s vote for the so-called skinny Obamacare repeal, a SuperPAC linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it will spend seven figures to defend him β€” including fending off any primary challenge.”

    • Sam_Handwich

      this is an interesting read:

      Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell,
      Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain
      accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch
      who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s
      favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.

      https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/03/tangled-web-connects-russian-oligarch-money-gop-campaigns

      • bkmn

        I sent that link to Joe this morning. Now that some news sources are airing out the GOP’s dirty laundry they are going to really get nasty.

    • bkmn

      I read somewhere that Steve Wynn (of casino fame) put a lot of pressure on him too, with threats to finance someone to oppose him next time he runs.

      • Skeptical_Inquirer

        Is there a list of who runs the hotels of Vegas so people can avoid putting money in the pockets of assholes like him? Or are they all run by assholes?

        • bkmn

          With the history of mob involvement in Vegas I just assume they are all tied to dirty money and therefore to be avoided, plus I don’t gamble.

  • Jacob

    Maybe his time would be better spent at home working to provide safe, legal abortions and, ya know, killing fewer women. If you don’t know that the only way we got this far is by holding EVERYONES feet to the fire your either young and ungrateful or old and ignorant. Ed Koch much?

    • worstcultever

      Absolutely. Who has beleaguered and oppressed that little island more than the Catholic Church? I’d say no one, not even England. Total ground zero of Catlick fuckery, death, and oppression. (Read Leon Uris’s great novel “Trinity.”) Women’s rights and gay rights are extremely intertwined, which is why religio-fascists hate them both equally.

    • j.martindale

      Ed Koch wasn’t out in his lifetime. That is not a fair comparison to this man. Also, abortion is permitted in Ireland when the life of a woman is endangered. There is nothing like to support for all abortions in Ireland like there was for LGBT rights. The fact that he supports the feasible is not a mark against him in my book.

      “An October 2016 Irish Times/Ipsos
      MRBI poll found that, regarding the Eighth Amendment, 18% said it
      should not be repealed; 55% said it should be repealed to allow for
      limited access to abortion in the cases of rape and fatal foetal
      abnormality; 19% said it should be repealed to allow for abortion in all
      cases requested, and 8% had no opinion. Support for a more liberal
      regime was strongest in Dublin and among younger people.”

  • Jacob

    Will his partner be there. Oh no! Too shameful.

    • worstcultever

      I’m a fan of any and all baby steps, but I also like your impatient cynicism. Come sit by me.

  • bambinoitaliano
    • worstcultever

      kitty looks like he started out with too many cannabis edibles πŸ™‚

      • bambinoitaliano

        It’s natural herbal stuff that is good for your body.

      • ohbear1957
        • OdieDenCO
        • bkmn

          When we got our current cat he was four years old (family had to get rid of him due to allergies/asthma, tho I think mom just didn’t want her kids to have a cat) we introduced him to catnip. He is a regular user and know which drawer the stash is kept in.

          • 2guysnamedjoe

            We thought we’d save a few bucks on catnip by buying a catnip plant for our li’l stoner Delores. Alone one afternoon, she ate the whole plant, leaving nothing but a little stump sticking out of the flowerpot. She was out cold, limp as a dishrag for a few hours. I held a mirror in front of her nostrils, just to make sure she was still with us.

            “Did you learn your lesson, young lady?” we asked her when she came to.

            “Nope,” she meowed in reply.

        • greenmanTN

          Piffle! Every cat owner knows that cats are secretly thinking, “If I was bigger or you were smaller things would change around here tout de suite, bucko! But until them, keep the cat food coming.”

          You get used to that attitude eventually.

        • greenmanTN

          Eating your face is my guess.

      • ChrisMorley

        Marijuana Intoxication in Cats and Dogs
        Kitty can’t get stoned:
        ‘Animals Affected: Primarily dogs; rarely cats’

        http://www.drbarchas.com/marijuana

      • katkelly57

        Kitty needs to share dammit.

  • TrueWords
    • RidingTheLine

      While both of those guys were smoking hot, I would never be able to live with either of them. I keep the essentials very clean and always have little piles of mail and receipts to shred that pile up before I do, which would put me somewhere in between. If I had to choose, the clean freak would get my vote, however.

  • bambinoitaliano

    Sugar Daddy Putin keep reminding the White House whore what he is slave for.
    https://twitter.com/Chris_Meloni/status/893804069512519680

    • ohbear1957

      As long as Donald tRump is wearing the chaps, they will never be ass-less.

      • OdieDenCO

        they would be the most biggly assed chaps in the world

    • Todd20036

      And that’s another reason why Meloni has such a gay following.

      He gets it.

    • katkelly57

      Can’t unsee that disasster….keep yer khakis on fat ass.

  • band

    Clearly, he must recuse himself.

  • TrueWords
    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Thanks. I just read Borstal Boy a few years ago; I never knew it was made into a movie. And it’s on YouTube!

      • TrueWords

        I so love that movie…

  • TrueWords
    • OdieDenCO

      what, exactly is “dame-sex” marriage and why are 71% for it? πŸ™‚

    • Friday

      So, as always, Christianists in government to ‘represent’ the people instead manage to impose the hater minority’s wills over the rights of others and the actual wills of the actual voters.

  • Lazycrockett

    Yay! Joy is gonna talk bout the left attacking Kamala next segment!!

    • worstcultever

      So weird how the Bernie movement has morphed into the No Icky Girls Ever movement ..

      • SoCalGal20

        Unless they’re Nina Turner, Tulsi Gabbard, or Nomiki Konst. They will ALWAYS throw at least one of those names out if you call them misogynists or call them out for having issues with WOC. Then they’ll dimiss you by calling you a neoliberal shill for the coporatist Dem elite.

      • bkmn

        And that Putin has been planting the seeds of it for a long time.

    • another_steve

      I caught Joy’s segment this morning during which her guests were discussing that scumbucket Alan Dershowitz’s comments to the effect that the D.C. grand jury impaneled by Mueller is bad news for, and unfair to, Trump because it’ll be “racially and ethnically stacked against him.” A variation of Trump’s comments re how he wouldn’t be able to receive a fair hearing before a Mexican judge.

      Joy and her panel did an exquisite job of revealing Dershowitz’s comments for what they are: vile and disgusting race-baiting.

      • Hank

        Interestingly, over the last 20 years, DC has been evolving, with more and more Upscale people relocating from the DC suburbs to DC proper. To live in DC you need to have $$$. Especially to afford housing, and the taxes! DC is STILL a Democratic enclave!!!
        Check out this link….
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Washington,_D.C.

        • another_steve

          My man and I live roughly midway between Baltimore and D.C. and spend considerable time in both cities. They’re both among the most racially and ethnically segregated cities in the country.

          Driving through the various neighborhoods of the two cities, one could easily reach the conclusion that apartheid is alive and well in the United States.

          • Hank

            Steve, I lived in DC for over 10 years, and I completely agree, with you about both of the cities being segregated. However, as the wealthy keep moving in from the suburbs, with prices on housing going up, especially, and the African -Americans move into MD from the SE of DC… PG County, for example, it is unfortunately inevitable. While I lived, there, I saw U Street go from completely Black to pretty much completely gay.

          • another_steve

            The U Street corridor is still a neighborhood in transition. The Gay Men’s Chorus of D.C. holds some of its concerts in the famous Lincoln Theater on U Street (next to the equally famous “Ben’s Chili Bowl” there).

            I’m not really familiar with the dynamics of the neighborhood, but walking through it I get the impression that lower-income people are definitely being pushed out of the area.

          • RidingTheLine

            Sometime you need to venture west and see Lavender Heights in Sacramento. They even have rainbow crosswalks. Fun place.

          • another_steve

            I’ve been to San Francisco (made the mandatory pilgrimage back in the 70s) and to Studio City.

            My rich uncle on my mother’s side owned a mansion in Studio City. Every five years or so, he’d mail airplane tickets to his poor relations in the east (my family) and we’d go stay with him and his wife for a week or two.

            He was a bon vivant and although (I believe) completely straight, had lots of gay male friends. We’d go over to their places for barbecues and the like. They all had swimming pools and on occasion would strip down to bathing suits.

            As a queer teenager, that part of things greatly excited me.

          • RidingTheLine

            California is still that way. There are plenty of straight and gay guys at my gym, but because the county is conservative, everyone keeps it all low key at the gym.

          • RidingTheLine

            One more reason to like California. There is some segregation still here, but mostly due to income inequality. The largest, most ostentatious mansions in my area of northern California, however, mostly belong to Indian-Americans whose ancestors came to America from India for religious freedom and turned cheap (back then) farmland into Ag empires. Their Sikh faith keeps them from putting on the false airs that rich white people often affect. Diversity of culture makes us all better.

      • greenmanTN

        WAY back when I used to view Dershowitz as a force for judicial responsibility, the falsely accused. Since then I’ve learned he’s a whore tor hire and couldn’t give two wet shits about truth or justice, just who signs the check.

        What’s bizarre is to watch him speak. It’s obvious he doesn’t care about what he’s saying, he treats it like he’s on the college debait team and arguing the point is all he’s concerned about.

        For the record, I fucking hate devil’s advocates. If you don’t really believe it then STFU and don’t tell me you’re adding anything to the dialogue.

        • another_steve

          Dershowitz makes my skin crawl.

          How any intellectual – any person of learning – could possibly be an advocate for Donald Trump today is a mystery I’ll never understand.

          • greenmanTN

            He’s a gun for hire, nothing more, nothing less. From what I’ve seen he has no core, or as Gertrude Stein put it (in a different context), there is no there there. What drives me nuts is the few times I’ve seen him speak on TV is that it seems obvious that while the arguments are well crafted he never seems to believe a goddamn word of it. It’s like he expects you to give him a cookie as a reward for his debating skills when it’s all hollow and empty, sound and fury signifying not just nothing but complete and utter bullshit.

        • JCF

          He used to be a Dem, I think. But gradually his “Israel Can Do No Wrong/Muslims Can Do No Right” politics joined him up w the Rethugs. I’ve ignored him for 20 years or more…

  • worstcultever

    OT: Ok, run do not walk, you guys – and not just theater queens – I cannot recommend enough the brand new podcast β€œOff Book: The Improvised Musical” – a guy and gal (and a guest, and an amazing pianist) create a musical every week, off the top of their heads – they are incredibly sharp, silly, brilliant, and hilarious – I’m only halfway through episode one (I listen on my ipod while out walking) but was busting out laughing every other minute, once they got into the musical .. truly therapeutic antidote for the sick dumbassery of our current world!

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/off-book-the-improvised-musical/id1260742439?mt=2

    http://www.earwolf.com/episode/ep-1-shrugging-destiny-w-paul-f-tompkins/

  • DaddyRay

    I’m just coming home and this guy is walking out of my house

    http://i.imgur.com/qKD1sIL.gifv

    • worstcultever

      now that’s some healthy mutual respect! πŸ™‚

  • Lazycrockett
    • worstcultever

      boy, does that ever nail it

      • Hank

        I wonder what the Prime Minister of Australia, would have to say, about it, after his conversation with Hair Drumpf!

        • ChrisMorley

          In two days time the Liberal ‘party room’, the party caucus of MPs, will vote on whether to ignore the party commitment to hold a referendum on legalising LGBTQ marriage equality, and just have a vote and pass a Bill instead.

          Other Australian LGBTQ news:
          United Nations says Australian laws stopping same-sex couples who marry legally overseas from getting divorced violates human rights
          https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/05/marriage-equality-un-criticises-australia-for-refusing-same-sex-divorce

        • Sarahdpayne

          America20s

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !pa30d:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !pa30d:
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    • JCF

      Love Lady Liberty’s eye-roll!

  • Mickey Bitsko

    Paging Taoiseach Varadkar’s partner Doctor Matthew Barrett, paging Doctor Matthew Barrett…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b86131ef8bc760d7e0f1aea4ad972498920f22b906363add2f9f78d0a33bbbb1.jpg

    • William

      Doctor, it hurts when I go like this.

  • Hue-Man

    O/T Vancouver Pride is tomorrow but I’m concerned that last week’s newspaper cover would trigger hate mail. Chandra-Herbert is a Member of the B.C. Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Vancouver’s West End.
    http://globalnews.ca/news/3647600/georgia-straight-pride-cover-hate-mail/
    https://twitter.com/Cinecraig/status/892791284133281792

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Sadly, the Trump Effect has affected us up here, though thankfully it’s relatively small and contained.

      • greenmanTN

        A Canadian online friend mentioned that recently and I was surprised. Didn’t they get the memo? Y’all are supposed to be smarter and more grounded than we are!

        Weird artifact. I recently rediscovered a photo I took during a family vacation to Canada when I was 6 years old and my parents bought me my first camera (nothing fancy). This is one of the buildings on what was previously (years before) a World’s Fair/Expo site, I think. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7fe403cea434aeaaad8e8074c07a8f7dd5aa36ee9af6a8d1a2b00c6a3aa824bd.jpg

  • JWC

    Good for them

  • Jack

    What the hell is wrong with the USA?

  • JCF

    “upsetting some social conservatives in the only region of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is still illegal”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/589635e74d0063092b72ca8f1d90bf1a9533648061f24cdd55abe36e6f4b91df.jpg

  • Smith_90125

    Meanwhile, women’s right to medical care is in danger. He is anti-abortion and would have no problem with more women dying from miscarriages.