Could May 23 be the gayest day ever?

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Drag artist Panti Bliss has joked about the clash between Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage and Eurovision.

It was confirmed this week by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, that a referendum on same-sex marriage is provisionally set to be held on May 22 in the Republic of Ireland – a day before the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

The timing means that the result of the referendum – which is projected to be in favour of equality – could be delivered hours before the notoriously camp contest.

Writing on Facebook, Ireland’s Person of the Year Panti Bliss joked: “So the marriage equality referendum will be May 22nd, the day before Eurovision, which means the count/result will be on the same day as Eurovision… which means May 23rd has the potential to be so gay that the Earth’s orbit is affected.”

Some of the hardcore Irish Eurovision fans who planned to travel to the contest are less amused, however.

Fan site ESCNation noted: “The online Irish Eurovision fan base are understandably of mixed feelings on the matter, especially those who plan to attend the contest in person.

“One would assume that most Celt fans would prefer to be at home for the historic occasion, whichever way the chips may fall, and participate in the public campaign, so obviously those who are Vienna-bound have some thinking to do.”

May 23 will also mark the final of the Union Cup, a European gay rugby tournament with over 20 teams competing.

Drag artist Panti Bliss, played by Rory O’Neill, caused controversy in January last year when she labelled Catholic lobbying group the Iona Institute ‘homophobes’ on an Irish talk show, prompting state broadcaster RTE to award a payout of over €85,000 (£70,000) to the group and associated journalists.

After the controversy, a heartwarming speech that Panti gave about the oppression that gay people face went viral online, and was even sampled as part of a Pet Shop Boys track.