Dublin Pride: ‘Recognise the freedoms we still have to secure’

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The executive director of Amnesty International Ireland told attendees at Dublin’s Pride parade, Saturday, that the LGBT community needs to focus on “the freedoms that we still have to secure”.

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland and founder of sexual abuse research charity One in Four, served as grand marshal of this year’s Pride parade.

In his speech, reported by the Irish Times, he took the opportunity to emphasise the political undertones of the Pride celebrations.

“It’s at times like this that we need to celebrate the freedoms that we’ve secured – the freedom to be who we are, the freedom to march, to express ourselves, to manifest who we are openly in public… but also to recognise the freedom’s that we still have to secure.”

“Two big things need to be in place by the end of next year … gender recognition for trans people, which is way overdue in this country and … marriage equality for LGBT people,” he continued.

Over 40,000 people and a dozen floats participated in Saturday’s parade. It was held on the same day as London Pride, which also had a focus on freedom this year, publicised under the hashtag “#FreedomTo”.

Senator David Norris, who in 1987 was Ireland’s first openly gay publically elected official, told the Irish Times that the Dublin Pride parade is “becoming more and more of a celebration rather than a protest” as the Irish LGBT community gains more rights.

Gerry Adams, leader of the Sinn Féin, also marched in the parade. He commented: “Nothing less than full equality of rights before the law for the LGBT community should be tolerated in a genuine republic.”

Earlier this month, the Irish Minister for Social Protection revealed plans to enact a proposed Gender Recognition Bill “as soon as possible”.

A referendum on equal marriage in Ireland was announced last year, though a date has not yet been set. Initial polls suggested that over three-quarters of respondents are in favour of equal marriage.