Panti rallies the troops at Dublin Pride Parade
Panti Bliss has urged the gay community to make their voices heard in the run-up to next year’s referendum on marriage equality.
“We’re having a referendum next year and there are some people who will be spending the next year turning up on the TV and radio trying to deny us the ability to live our own true lives,” Panti said. “Pick up the phone and complain. Sit down and write an email, complain that these people are being represented as if they are a normal regular viewpoint when they are a fringe viewpoint.”
Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, received worldwide support for his ‘call to action’ speech about homophobia earlier this year, which Martina Malone chairperson of the Dublin City Council LGBT staff network believes inspired thousands more young people to join this year’s parade.
“The theme of this year is freedom; freedom to be ourselves, lesbian, gay, bi, trans. I think Panti has had a lot to do with attracting younger people and giving them the confidence to come out this year and the parade has been growing every year,” Martina said.
An estimated 40,000 people took part in the Gay Pride parade yesterday, which made its way from the Garden of Remembrance, down O’Connell Street, crossed the Matt Talbot bridge and finished up at Merrion Square.
“For anyone in Ireland who is marching in Pride today who is 21 and under, they are the first generation of LGBT people in Ireland who were not born criminalised because of who they are,” grand marshal Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International Ireland said.
The openly gay Mayor of South Dublin Fintan Warfield spoke at the event and was joined by his colleagues from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, and Lord Mayor of Dublin City Christy Burke.