On Saturday, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride in the Irish capital Dublin attracted a record number of people. According to the organisers of the Pride, about 60 thousand people attended the event, almost double the number of attendees in last year’s Pride.
For the first time, members of the Defence Forces attended the annual rally in their military uniforms, The Independent reported. The Defence Forces were led by Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett. This year’s theme was “We Are Family”. Buildings were decorated in the colours of the rainbow on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Dublin Pride.
According to reports, ex-president Mary McAleese and children’s minister Katherine Zappone had attended the Pride. “Happy Pride everyone! Have a great day celebrating equality, inclusiveness and love”, Health Minister Simon Harris tweeted.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in the Irish Republic 25 years ago in 1993, and the marriage of same-sex couples was legalised in November 2015 after a nation-wide referendum. On June 19, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who is the country’s first openly-gay Taoiseach addressed the Dáil saying, “Today the people I want to pay a special tribute to are the unknown heroes, the thousands of people whose names we do not know, who were criminalised by our forbears”.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in the neighbouring country of Northern Ireland. Mary Lou McDonald, leader of the Sinn Féin political party said, “We stand in solidarity to those in the North who are still struggling to have their families recognised in the most basic of ways – marriage equality”. She added, saying, “The people here, the people of pride are an unstoppable force. Rights are for all. Equality is for all. Change is coming and make no mistake the North is next.”