As if on cue, the sun broke through just as the March for Marriage came to a halt outside the shut Department of Justice.
Spirits were high among the 4,000-odd marchers as samba drums, whistles, chanting and shouting echoed around St Stephen’s Green yesterday.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people mixed with their parents, siblings and their children in a good-humoured march which started at City Hall before snaking towards the Department of Justice.
Vogue Williams, model and fiancée of singer Brian McFadden, took to the assembled stage with her younger sister Amber and told people how she was the first person Amber had told she was gay.
“It upsets me to know she can’t marry the woman she loves because of our government. In this day and age there should be zero tolerance to discrimination, but here we are fighting for basic civil rights,” said Vogue.
She said they were both citizens, but were treated very differently. “I can get married as many times as I want. Brian is going for round 2 and if he doesn’t behave himself he could be going for round 3. But Amber can’t marry once.”
The march — the fourth to date — was organised by LGBT Noise and group organiser Anna McCarthy said despite a public poll indicating that 73% of people backed marriage rights for gay people, it hadn’t happened. She said a constitutional convention, which was examining the issue among other issues, would not report for a year and a half. “We must be equal, we must be equal now,” she said.
Playwright and actress Eilish O’Carroll, star of Mrs Brown’s Boys, said she initially welcomed the Civil Rights Partnership Bill in 2010.
“But my celebrations were short lived,” she told the march. “As I looked closely at the bill there were so many bits missing. There are 170 differences between civil partnership and marriage.”
She said the LGBT community was “clearly viewed as less equal” and that “our children are not all treated as equal”. She said gay parents “want what all parents want” for their children. “But the Government consciously decides to exclude some children.”
As she spoke, the symbolism of the closed Department of Justice, its entrance securely shut, could not be lost.
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