Ireland - "I gave a whistle and three hundred cries to you."
One of the very few bright spots in the Roman Catholic world, Ireland has expanded the rights of LGBT folks impressively.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993. Discrimination, fomentation or incitement of hate crimes based on orientation, job discrimination based on same -- ALL quite illegal.
And the government's recent, and quite public, rupture with the RC church over their concealment of "priestly" abuses and pedophile monsters wearing collars, was breathtaking.
Welcome to civilization, Ireland. Please stick around.
Public polls show support for civil unions is strong. Only a matter of time before they once more rid the place of snakes, one hopes.
Lovely music. Text of the first tune, below. Donel Og may be the finest poem ever slightly written in English.
|by Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory|
|It is late last night the dog was speaking of you;|
the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh.
It is you are the lonely bird through the woods;
and that you may be without a mate until you find me.You promised me, and you said a lie to me,
that you would be before me where the sheep are flocked;
I gave a whistle and three hundred cries to you,
and I found nothing there but a bleating lamb.
You promised me a thing that was hard for you,
a ship of gold under a silver mast;
twelve towns with a market in all of them,
and a fine white court by the side of the sea.
You promised me a thing that is not possible,
that you would give me gloves of the skin of a fish;
that you would give me shoes of the skin of a bird;
and a suit of the dearest silk in Ireland.
When I go by myself to the Well of Loneliness,
I sit down and I go through my trouble;
when I see the world and do not see my boy,
he that has an amber shade in his hair.
It was on that Sunday I gave my love to you;
the Sunday that is last before Easter Sunday
and myself on my knees reading the Passion;
and my two eyes giving love to you for ever.
My mother has said to me not to be talking with you today,
or tomorrow, or on the Sunday;
it was a bad time she took for telling me that;
it was shutting the door after the house was robbed.
My heart is as black as the blackness of the sloe,
or as the black coal that is on the smith's forge;
or as the sole of a shoe left in white halls;
it was you put that darkness over my life.
You have taken the east from me, you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me;
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!
UPDATE: (VIA PINK NEWS)
Irish president slams homophobia in message to youth organisation
Speaking at a conference organised by the Foróige organisation, President Higgins spoke out against what he termed “the appalling, destructive reality of homophobia.”
He went on to discuss the trauma that can arise in young people who are subjected to both homophobic and racist insults and violence: “The idea that any young person would be driven not just to lower self-esteem, exclusion, isolation and loneliness – but [also to] self-destruction – is an appalling blight on a society.”
He added: “We have to ask about how racism gets going, how homophobia does its destructive work, how isolation tears at a person’s wanting to exist, how important every person is. These are important issues, not merely emotional issues.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former member of Westlife and Foróige Alumnus, Kian Egan, also spoke at the at the 42nd Annual Foróige Leaders’ Conference in Dublin.
Foróige is Ireland’s largest youth organisation, working with almost 57,000 young people and 5,125 adult volunteers.