Ireland celebrates its Pride

Fabulous costumes, rainbow-themed accessories and a festive crowd, pride festivals are spectacular and brazenly entertaining. Dubliners raise their voices and show their colourful side during one of the best LGBTQ festivals in Ireland, only this time virtually. 

Usually, the city would have become a rainbow of céilís gay, disco nights, theater shows. However, this year Dublin Pride Festival will be held online, therefore the Digital Dublin Pride Festival and it runs from June 18th to June 28th. We present here the significance of Pride along with important historic backgrounds.
LGBT rights in Ireland

Ireland went from being extremely conservative with Irish laws prohibiting homosexual activities to become the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by a popular vote. Quite a ride, folks! Before its descrimininalisation in 1993, homosexuality were punishable by law dating back to the nineteenth century. The repeal of the bill can be attributed to Senator David Norris’ campaign to reform the Criminalisation of Homosexuality Act leading to a 1988 ruling that the Irish law was in conflict with the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Civil union

In July 2010, the Dáil Éireann and Senate committed to approve Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Acts 2010, which lead to the recognition of civil unions between same-sex couples: the bill was supported by all parties. The said bill was signed by President Mary McAleese on 19 July 2010 and Civil Partnership has been fully approved and implemented since the beginning of 2011. The first civil union publicly celebrated under the Act took place in Dublin on 5 April 2011. It was a historical moment and a victory for the many activists who had advocated for the cause.


Finally, same sex marriage was legalalised in Ireland following the approval of a referendum on 22 May 2015 that amended Bunreacht na hÉireann (Costitution of Ireland) to recognise marriage regardless of their sex which was signed in as the thirty-fourth amendment of the Constitution on 29 August 2015. The Marriage Act 2015 passed from the Oireachtas on 22 October 2015 and signed by the Presidential Commission on 29 October 2015. Same-sex marriage became legally recognised in Ireland on Novembre 16, 2015 and the first ceremonies of egalitaria marriage began on November 17, 2015.

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Ireland is also strongly against discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited by the Employment Equality Act, 1998 and the Equal Status Act, 2000. These laws prohibit discrimination: in employment, vocational training, advertising, collective agreements, the provision of good and services and other public opportunities. Also, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989 condemns incitement to hatred based also on sexual orientation.

The road to sexual liberation has its victories, but not without some dark times, unfortunately. This is why people have been marching as a demonstration of their will to fight for their rights and celebrate equality since 1974. 

Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival 2020

Due to COVID-19, the Dublin Pride Parade will go live from CHQ, Dublin to your home via social media channels. Given the recent events we already heard the phrase “In this together”, as a hard reminder that this virus shows no mercy, but it’s also a call to arms to join the fight against the invisible enemy while still celebrating Pride. This is why the slogan of Dublin LGBTQ Pride 2020 is We’re in this together. Even though that isn’t going to be a parade on O’Connell Street everyone can come together virtually to stand and support the LGBTQ community. 

Over the years Dublin’s Pride Festival has gone from a single day parade to a ten-day celebration with full of big social and cultural events showcasing homosexuality with its full galore. This year the parade will be a mix of pre-recorded and live sessions. The Dublin Pride Concert will be on Pride Parade on June 28th at 2.00 pm and June 28th at 7.00 pm. You can submit a video of yourself with Pride flags marching around your house or garden or footage of previous years’ parade. You can also watch the Parade on their social media channels or by going to this. And of course, enjoy all the colours of the rainbow as it is important symbol of the Pride Festival designed by the legend Gilbert Baker in 1978.

The Pride Festival isn’t just a parade. Nowadays it is filled with interesting events like political debate, fun sessions, movie discussion and fun quiz for all Bi+ etc. It’s also pet-friendly; the organisation has also arranged a Dublin Pride Pet Show.

There are going to be workshop about wellness and panel with discussion about experiences, issues of discrimination and a look at the mental health for men that live in Rural Ireland.

On May 25th at 7.00 pm there’s a virtual pride discussion with Amnesty International Ireland about LGBTQ+ advocates from around the globe.

Join both Global Pride 2020 on June 27th at 12.00 am and Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade on June 27th at 2.00 pm.

Here’s the link to the list of all events taken place.

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Not only LGBTQ+ Pride Festival

While the Pride may be the largest LGBTQ+ festival in Ireland, the calendar is filled with great events throughout the year. Dublin celebrates the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in May and GAZE: International LGBTQ Film Festival in August. Both Mr Gay Ireland and Mr Gay Northern Ireland are huge events that aim to raise awareness and visibility of young gay people, especially in rural Ireland, but let’s not forget about The Outing in October.

The Pride Parade is a protest, let’s remember it. It is a public event to celebrate social acceptance and self-awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their civil and legal rights who have endured and to a large part continue to endure many hardships. Not everyone can be free and proud, there is still a lot of discrimination going on around the world, including hate crimes or even execution. We have to sensitise everyone to understand and accept without making fun, without using violence.

Hopefully, next year we will once again march side by side for our communities, for our rights and for our freedom. Until then we must stay at home, maintain social distance, be kind to ourselves and others, but also we must march virtually, become one voice that says “We are in this together”.

Veronica De Biasio
Veronica De Biasio

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