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Is Saint Patrick’s day about Ireland, or the Vatican?

As far as I know, it has not yet been reported on the blend that the centre-right government Republic of Ireland has made a committment to pass Civil Unions legislation for heterosexuals and homosexual before March 2008.

 There was a previous bill in Dail (Irish parliament) that called for gay marriage and that was rejected, ostensibly because it conflicted with the (Vatican-written) Irish constitution, which contains an article that commits to 'protecting the family -an article that was conveniently overlooked when heterosexual divorce was finally legalized in the 90's-  but was realy rejected because it was proposed by an opposition minister and would not have been a feather in the current government's cap. Bertie Aherne is a fiscal conservative but he and his party enjoy looking socially progressive.

I don't mind; legality is legality and will lead inexorably to equality. My boyfriend will have legal status and my life will be a good deal less complicated. 


 Meanwhile, another storm has broken over NYC, where the annual spate over non-Catholics and queers in especial marching in the St patrick's Day parade. The organizers, those grizzled fossils known as the Ancient Order of Hibernians, consider St Pat's not only to a flagship celebration of Irish America, but of CATHOLIC Irish-America. Irish people who are gay, nor non-Catholic, need not apply.

Apart from the ludicrousness of what is essentially a fifth generation festival refusing to mirror the social realities that's it's mother-country has now accepted, one has to wonder under what excuse the city of New York can be allowed to sanction what is now clear a RELIGIOUS, rather than an ethnic festival.

 If St Pat's is about Ireland and Irish America, than it is multi-cultural, multi-gender and homo-friendly, as is Ireland herself.

If it's about Catholicism, then it has no business appearing in an American public space.

Simple as that.

 We're here, we're queer, we're Irish. Who the hell are you?


Tiocaigh ar La.

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