Ireland’s Openly Gay Prime Minister Offers His Resignation

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (image via Instagram)

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s openly gay prime minister, has offered his resignation after his political party, Fine Gael, failed to win a majority in the parliamentary elections held on February 8.

From The Advocate:

Parliament then voted Thursday on the prime minister, with a candidate needing 80 votes to win. Varadkar received just 36, with the support of all members of his party plus one other. Micheál Martin, from the Fianna Fáil party, received 41 votes, and Mary Lou McDonald, of Sinn Fein, won the most, 45.

The other parties refuse to form a coalition government with Sinn Fein, which was once the political affiliate of the Irish Republican Army, so Martin may end up leading a coalition with Fine Gael.

When he became prime minister in 2017, he became one of the highest-ranking openly gay elected officials in the world.

Varadkar visited the U.S. several times in his capacity as Ireland’s Prime Minister including attending a luncheon with virulently anti-LGBTQ Vice President Mike Pence in 2018.

News Round-Up: September 4, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

Instagram: That time you fly across the world and wind up (surprise!) at Bear Week in Sitges, Spain, by happy accident with old friends. #goodtimes

CNN: The Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed a request to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. The high court said in a statement it booted the case due to plaintiffs’ “lack of standing” and for “failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy.” The high court acknowledged that the 1987 Constitution “does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity,” but urged Congress to address the recognition of same-sex unions.

Bloomberg: The Trump Energy Department has reversed an Obama-era regulation requiring that light bulbs commonly used in recessed lighting and track lighting meet the same energy efficiency standards that effectively phased out the traditional incandescent bulb. The Energy Department said the change “does not prevent consumers from buying the lamps they desire.” The standards would have applied to roughly half of the six billion light bulbs in use today and would have saved consumers billions in energy costs and avoid millions of tons in carbon dioxide emissions.

Fox KTVU: Following the mass shooting in Gilroy, California, the city of San Francisco has formally adopted a resolution calling the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization. The resolution calls on other cities and government entities to make similar declarations. The resolution itself has no legal weight.

Associated Press: Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved the use of $3.6 billion in funding from military construction projects to build 175 miles (282 kilometers) of Donald Trump’s wall along the Mexican border. Pentagon officials would not say which 127 projects will be affected.

Washington Post: Michigan has become the first state in the nation to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a step Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said was needed to protect young people from the potentially harmful effects of vaping. She complained that e-cigarette companies are using sweet flavors, such as bubble gum and “fruit loops,” to hook young people on nicotine, with potentially long-term harmful consequences.

Reuters: U.S. grocery giant Kroger has announced they are joining Walmart in “respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers.”

Twitter: Twitter had a field day after homocon White House spokesman Judd Deere tweeted Vice President Pence couldn’t be “anti-gay” because he had lunch with the openly gay leader of Ireland.

As we all know, the former governor of Indiana signed a religious freedom law that was criticized as a pathway to legal anti-LGBTQ discrimination. He also endorsed a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.

Deere’s tweet was ridiculed by thousands, including Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Democratic White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg, who criticized the suggestion that dining with Varadkar meant Pence was not anti-LGBT.

‘Kill The Gays’ Pastor Steven Anderson Banned From Entering Ireland

Infamous ‘Kill the Gays’ pastor Steven Anderson has become the first person to be banned from the country of Ireland.
Pastor Steven Anderson (via YouTube video screen capture)

Infamous ‘Kill the Gays’ pastor Steven Anderson has become the first person to be banned from the country of Ireland.

Anderson, who heads up the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona, is prohibited from entering the country thanks to an exclusion order signed by Charlie Flanagan, the Minister for Justice and Equality.

The order is the first issued under Section 4 of the 1999 Immigration Act.

Anderson was scheduled to preach in Dublin on May 26.

Flanagan signed the order after more than 14,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling for Anderson to be banned for his litany of hateful statements over the years. Another petition, organized by AllOut and LGBT Ireland garnered over 25,000 signatures.

(screen capture via YouTube)

Anderson’s list of hateful statements includes:

Celebrating the dozens of deaths resulting from the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016. The anti-LGBTQ pastor posted a video telling his congregants that the 49 people killed in the attack “deserved to die.”

• In December of 2014, he proposed exterminating LGBTQ peopleas a method to “cure AIDS.”

• Anderson shared with his congregation in 2009 that he prayed nightly for the death of then-president Barack Obama.

Several LGBTQ advocacy groups tweeted their thanks to the Irish government for banning Anderson:

Ireland isn’t the first country to bar the anti-LGBTQ preacher from crossing its borders. Anderson has also been banned from the UK, Jamaica, South Africa and Canada.

In a video posted before the news of his ban, Anderson told viewers he wasn’t going to Ireland to be “talking about homos.”

“I’m not there to talk about all the other sick, perverted, filth that you have going on there in Ireland,” he added.

Irish Prime Minister To Address Same-Sex Marriage During Visit By Pope

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar

According to Irish Central, the openly gay Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, will address the issue of same-sex marriage when he meets with the Pope on August 25th in Ireland.

Questioned on what he would say to the Pope about the ignoring of gay families by the World Meeting of Families, Varadkar said he would express “our view as a society and as a government that families come in all sorts of different forms and that includes families led by same-sex parents.”

Pope Francis is visiting Ireland to celebrate World Family Day, but LGBT groups have stated that same sex marriages are being deliberately ignored and treated like they are not families.

(photo credit: Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE)CC license)

News Round-Up: July 2, 2018

Some news items you might have missed:

• I’m going to try this next time Michael is wrong and starts a disagreement – InstaHunks Rick and the Griffopotamus shared this pic today with the caption, “It was one of those Monday’s where every little annoyance felt like it would blow up into an argument. We decided to just keep our mouths busy doing other things… problem solved! #relationshipHack #husbands #lovewins #kiss #mondaymotivation”

• A gay couple in Ireland was attacked and brutally beaten by a gang of four young men. One of the victims suffered broken jaw bones, lost four front teeth and has nerve damage.

• Bette Midler, of all people, was accused of homophobia when she joked on Twitter about Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Trump and Putin are meeting in Finland next month. That’s a long way to travel for a blowjob, but hey — Putin’s got the money.”

• Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney and “fixer,” told ABC News that his loyalties lie with his family and country, not his former client.

• Congressional Democrats are asking the Pentagon why there was no official memo recognizing June as Pride Month nor was there any senior leadership at the annual Pride event. The concern is the lack of recognition marks a decline in LGBTQ support.

• Speaking at a rally for immigration reform this weekend, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) slapped back at Trump supporters calling for death threats against her:

“All I have to say is this: If you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There’s nothin’ like a wounded animal. I am not about to let this country go by the way of Donald Trump. How dare you? How dare you?”

Irish Government Apologizes For Persecuting LGBTs

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadakar

On the 25th anniversary of decriminalizing homosexuality in Ireland, the country’s first openly gay prime minister publicly apologized for the chilling effects of the discarded law.

Via RTE:

The Taoiseach has paid tribute in the Dáil to those who were criminalised for homosexual activity prior to the repeal of the laws in 1993.

“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,” Leo Varadakar told the Dáil during a debate on a Labour party motion marking the 25th anniversary of the repeal of the laws.

The Taoiseach also said that it was no secret that a number of patriots who were involved in the founding of the State – men and women – were homosexual.

“While the state’s laws affected gay men in a legal sense, they had a chilling effect on lesbians as well,” he said.

Mr Varadkar said that we cannot erase the wrong that was done to them: “What we can say is that we have learned as a society from their suffering. Their stories have helped change us for the better; they have made us more tolerant, more understanding and more human.”

Additionally, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan served similar duty in the Seanad, apologizing to members of the LGBT community who suffered as a result of the criminalisation of homosexuality.

“I extend a sincere apology to all of those people, to their family, and to their friends. “To any person who felt the hurt and isolation created by those laws, and particularly to those who were criminally convicted by the existence of such laws,” said Mr. Flanagan.

Ireland Repeals Restrictive Abortion Law In Landslide Vote

In a landslide victory for women’s rights, Ireland has voted to repeal its restrictive abortion laws despite opposition from the Catholic Church.

The official tally was 1,429,981 “Yes” votes to 723,632 “No” votes resulting in a two-thirds majority: 66.4% yes to 33.6% no.

From The New York Times:

Ireland voted decisively to repeal one of the world’s more restrictive abortion bans, the prime minister said Saturday, sweeping aside generations of conservative patriarchy and dealing the latest in a series of stinging rebukes to the Roman Catholic Church.

The surprising landslide cemented the nation’s liberal shift at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe and the Trump administration is imposing curbs on abortion rights in the United States. In the past three years alone, Ireland has installed a gay man as prime minister and has voted in another referendum to allow same-sex marriage.

But this was a particularly wrenching issue for Irish voters, even for supporters of the measure. And it was not clear until the end that the momentum toward socially liberal policies would be powerful enough to sweep away the deeply ingrained opposition to abortion.

Podcast: Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Discrimination In Kansas & Oklahoma; Adam Rippon Slays On DWTS; 2018 Tony Award Nominations; Pride Nights At Major League Baseball

In this week’s LGBTQ headlines:

• Oklahoma and Kansas state legislatures pass anti-LGBTQ adoption laws

• A new survey of over 40,000 Americans shows acceptance for same-sex marriage has hit 61%

• Ireland moves to ban so-called “conversion therapy”

• The ‘boys of summer’ are back and most Major League Baseball teams have scheduled special LGBT Pride Nights (head over to Outsports.com for a complete list of MLB Pride Nights)

• Drag queen Ada Vox exits American Idol with her head held high

• Tony Kushner’s Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes became the most Tony-nominated play in history as the 2018 Tony Award nominations were announced

• Adam Rippon came to slay on the premiere of the all-athletes season of Dancing with the Stars

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report

Ireland Moves To Ban Anti-Gay “Conversion Therapy”

Legislation that would ban so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy continues to advance in Ireland’s parliament.

The bill, titled the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018, has now passed the second stage in the Seanad.

The legislation would ban the archaic and harmful practice of attempting to “cure” homosexuality in Ireland. Should the bill pass, individuals found guilty of performing conversion therapy on another person could face steep fines and possible prison sentences.

Medical experts around the world say the practice is extremely harmful and can lead to lowered self-esteem, depression and suicide.

In 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote.

At this writing, 13 states in the U.S. currently ban the use of “conversion therapy” on minors, along with nearly three dozen cities and local municipalities.

Currently only Brazil, Ecuador and Malta have nationwide bans.

(source)

Mike Pence Bans Media From Breakfast Meeting With Openly Gay Irish Prime Minister

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar with Vice President Mike Pence and
Second Lady Karen Pence

After Ireland’s first openly gay leader said he would bring up LGBTQ rights with Vice President Mike Pence at a breakfast meeting, Pence barred media from attending the meeting.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the press before the meeting that he would be bringing up the issue of LGBTQ rights to the veep during the annual St Patrick’s Day meeting at the U.S. Naval Observatory where Pence and his wife Karen reside.

Ahead of the event, Pence stipulated that the media were only allowed to capture the arrival of the pair outside Pence’s residence.

Pence’s anti-LGBTQ policies and positions are well known from opposing open service in the military and same-sex marriage to supporting so-called “ex-gay” therapy.

Mr Varadkar expressed disappointment at the media ban but added, “It allows us maybe to have a frank conversation that’s easier to have without the media present.”