Without broaching the understandably contentious issue of gay marriage, it is at least comforting to know that the legal rights of all cohabitating, co-dependent individuals - gay or otherwise - stand to be better protected by the state under Mr Ahern’s leadership.
Not only does Canada serve as a sterling example of the benefits associated with more tolerant policies, recent research in the US has also proven that a tangible link exists between such values and economic prosperity.
Prof Richard Florida has found that cities and countries which are more tolerant and inclusive also rank highest in terms of economic performance.
As such, a strong correlation exists between the numbers of gays, bohemians, university-educated and ethnic minorities in a region, and its propensity to become a hi-tech and economic powerhouse.
Such groups are thought of as being indicators of success, the ‘canaries’ of the new economy, if you wish.
Mr Ahern’s comments signal a bright future for a country I look forward to returning to.
Dr Anita M Sands
1-296 Runnymede Road