Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 16 March 2006

Irish PM to officially open Gay Equality offices

Bertie Ahern, Irish Taoiseach ('Prime Minister'), is to officiate at the opening of the new offices of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN). Eoin Collins, Director of Policy at GLEN said:

"We are delighted that Mr Ahern has agreed to open our offices. Over the past while, the Taoiseach has been making very strong statements about Ireland’s position in the world, the need to attract the highest quality people to Ireland. He has also talked about being very ambitious for Ireland. That’s one of the things GLEN are about, being very ambitious for the gay community. We’re talking about building us into that mainstream agenda, so that diversity and equality for gay people is actually part of Ireland’s success story.

"I think his appearance sends out a very powerful statement about this government’s basic commitment to treating lesbian and gay people as equal citizens. We’ve had presidents launching things before, but this is centre of power coming to the lesbian and gay community. I think that’s a very important thing, and it’s something we want to build on. It’s also a fun occasion. It’s really a time to celebrate the emergence of lesbian and gay people into the mainstream of Irish life."

In a country that has the reputation of remaining very true to its Catholic traditions it is good to see this kind of step by a political leader.

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