Good news makes people want to dance in the streets, and Dublin’s annual pride parade provided just the venue to do that.
Tens of thousands, with some estimates reaching 60,000 participants, joined the party this past Saturday, June 27th, easily surpassing and nearly doubling the amount the parade has seen in prior years. Those in attendance donned creative costumes and props, and of course rainbows galore, as they walked and rode on floats through the streets of Dublin.
Pride serves as a source of inspiration and support, as well as a place to raise awareness and rally for equality rights, culminating in a lively and vibrant parade. This year however, the parade had an overwhelming sense of joy and celebration, thanks to the recently approved referendum on same-sex marriage. Ireland became the first country to approve same-sex marriage through public vote on May 22nd, an accomplishment that was both years in the making and which now serves as inspiration for gay rights activists around the world.
With public support for marriage equality, Ireland quickly catapulted to the forefront of progressive social agendas, laying the groundwork for other countries to follow suit. Americans celebrated for the Irish over the past month as the future of marriage equality in the States hung in the balance during a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Therefore spirits were especially high with the parade coming just one day after the United States Supreme Court declared that gay marriage must be recognized in all 50 states, legalizing it just before the start of Pride Celebrations in the U.S. which kicked off this past weekend as well. Many gay rights activists in the U.S. pointed to Ireland over the past month as an example of what a country and population should represent, in supporting equal rights for all, and the Irish parade attendees were extra cheerful for their friends across the Atlantic.
As this video from the station Newstalk 106-108 fm demonstrates, Pride was a place to see and be seen, and for companies, families, and friends to rally together.
While the passing of the referendum and the Supreme Court ruling are two major accomplishments for gay rights and deserve ongoing celebration, there is still much work to be done. One thing is for sure however- the world will be watching as Ireland continues to lead the way with progressive policies and an inclusive atmosphere that not only accepts, but celebrates the rights of individuals to live full and meaningful lives.