Where are all the gay politicians?
When a Meath Dail candidate joined a Gay Pride parade with his partner, barely an eyebrow was raised. Changing times, indeed. So why is only one member of the 226-strong Oireachtas openly homosexual? Willie Dillon reports
Before the present government leaves office, Justice Minister Michael McDowell will bring forward legislation permitting gay civil partnerships in this country. The new measure will be approved by a Cabinet which has no gay members, before being formally passed by the two almost entirely heterosexual Houses of the Oireachtas.
But we live in a society where it is estimated that one in ten people is gay. If that's accurate, it must apply just as much to politics as any other walk of Irish life. Therefore with 166 TDs and 60 senators, we would expect around 20 of them to be gay.