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22nd Jun 2018

Pride Through The Years: 10 Landmark Moments In The History Of The Irish LGBTQ + Community


The current size and popularity of Pride festivals around Ireland is testament to the fact that Ireland is now an accepting place of diverse sexualities and genders… but it that hasn’t always been the case.

Equality for the LGBTQ+ community has been a struggle in this country and the current state of Ireland has been hard won by individuals who had to fight for recognition for themselves and people like them.

Today we’d like to take a moment to look at a few key turning points that made Ireland into a kinder place for everyone…

1. Movement for Homosexual Law Reform — 1970s

David Norris, then an English lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, led the charge to reform The Offences Against The Persons Act of 1861 that made homosexuality a punishable crime.

2. Ireland’s very first Gay Pride took place — 1983

A far more sombre affair than the festivals that we’ve now come to expect, Ireland’s first Pride drew attention to the violence that homosexuals faced in the country at that time.

3. Decriminalised at last — 1993

The Criminal Fraud (Sexual Offences) Bill passed in this year, which finally saw the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland.

4. More equality for all — 2000

Under the Equal Status Act it became illegal to discriminate in the provision of goods and services, accommodation and education on grounds of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, race, religion, and membership of the Traveller community.

5. A leap forward in trans rights — 2007

After being refused the right to change the gender on her Irish birth certificate, Dr Lydia Foy took her case to European Court of Human Rights and won.

6. Civil partnerships introduced — 2010

The passing of this controversial bill afforded same-sex couples more rights than ever in the history of the state, though these rights were still not equal to those granted by heterosexual marriage.

Civil Partnerships

7. Marriage equality was granted — 2015

Same-sex marriage became officially written into the Irish Constitution after 62% of Irish voters voted ‘yes’ in the Marriage Equality Referendum.

8. Preferred genders could now be officially recognised — 2015

The Gender Recognition Act finally allowed for Irish citizens to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate so that their preferred gender would be recognised by the State.

9. Greater equality in the workplace is ushered in — 2015

Section 37 of The Employment Equality Act is finally amended so that every Irish business, including religious-run schools and hospitals, could no longer fire or refuse to hire employees on grounds of being gay, divorced or unmarried.

10. Ireland’s first gay Taoiseach — 2017

For the first time in the history of our country, a gay man became the Taoiseach of Ireland. It’s a powerful symbol of the journey that our once conservative country has made.