Ireland’s First Gay Prime Minister Is Attending Belfast Pride

Leo Varadkar says he "won’t be making any compromises” in his fight for marriage equality in Northern Ireland.

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first gay prime minister, will be attending Belfast Pride on August 5 as part of his pledge to advocate for change in Northern Ireland, where marriage equality is still not recognized.

Ireland ratified same-sex marriage in 2015, and Varadkar hopes to bring neighboring Northern Ireland—whose political assembly is dominated by the anti-LGBT Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)—up to speed.

“I will attend the Pride breakfast on Saturday morning in Belfast to express my support for equality before the law for Catholics, Protestants, non-religious people, men, women, gay people and straight people,” the prime minister told The Irish Times. “And I won’t be making any compromises about that for anyone.”

Varadkar said he regretted he was unable to make the actual Pride parade in Belfast due to a prior commitment.

Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images

Early last month, thousands of LGBT advocates demonstrated in support of marriage equality outside of Belfast City Hall.

To date, Northern Irish legislators have voted five times on the issue—most recently in November 2015, when the proposal actually passed by a slim margin of 53 to 52. But the DUP torpedoed the bill with a petition of concern.

Samantha Manzella is a writer and copy editor based out of the Hudson Valley. You can find her writing in a coffeehouse or searching Insta for the latest tattoo artist to hit the scene.
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