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Gay Marriage and Eurovision: An Exciting Week for the LGBT Community

It’s been a big week for the LGBT community!  Not only did Ireland vote overwhelmingly in favour of gay marriage, the Eurovision Song Contest showed a whole new side to itself with strong messages of equality.  Here, we take a look at how these successes could lead to a better understanding of LGBT issues.


Ireland Votes Yes!

Last week, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote, with over 60% of the population thinking it’s time for sexual and gender equality.  The vote has inspired much joy around the world and makes Ireland one of 20 countries who give the same weight and rights to same-sex couples as is given to straight couples.

In the Republic of Ireland, a referendum is the only way to get the constitution changed but the day of the announcement is said to have felt more like a festival than a political decision.  Gay married couples are now recognised as a family and are protected by the constitution and governed by the same rules as every other married couple.  The annoucement was met with jubilant cheers and applause with many believing this decision signals a new beginning and a new acceptance of the diverse nature of our society.

In terms of weddings, we could not be more excited for the increase of same-sex weddings and the fun variations of tradition we can expect to see in the coming months!  From two grooms on top of the cake to the phrase, “I now pronounce you wife and wife,” there will be some quirks to the proceedings which are sure to make the whole event more of a celebration.  Ireland’s stunning landscape and beautiful castles will make incredible wedding backdrops and offers a whole new place to exchange vows and begin a life together.

Eurovision Promotes LGBT and Equality

The Eurovision Song Contest also took place last week and was, as usual, a strange and wonderful spectacle to behold.  Eurovision has long been cited as one of the most camp musical celebrations in history and it’s 60th anniversary year was no different.  There were a great deal of firsts in this year’s competition including:

- Australia enters Eurovision? Yes that’s right, in spite of being thousands of miles from Europe, Eurovision fans Australia were able to enter with Guy Sebastian singing Tonight Again extremely well.  It might have been a bit random to have Australia in it, but then again…

 - Israel rapped?  Yes, Israel surprised everybody, not least because Israel isn’t even in Europe but mostly because Nadav Guedj sang and rapped in his performance of Golden Boy.

- Russia didn’t get bood… much.  Russia has notoriously not had the best reaction at Eurovision due to the country’s questionable politics.  However, Polina Gagarina sang A Million Voices, a song about peace and understanding, which was well-received and caused understandable emotion for Polina.

- Lithuania had same-sex kissing in their performance!  Lithuania were the talk of the competition after their super romantic ditty turned all LGBT at the end, with man/woman duo Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila sharing a kiss as two male and two female backing dancers did the same.  It gained big support from the crowd and went down a storm on Twitter.

The LGBT community has had a lot to celebrate this past week as more and more issues come into the fore and the ideology surrounding gay marriage continues to change.  Hopefully Ireland’s vote can inspire other countries and finally bring a noticeable equality between straight and gay couples