It’s official. Devote subject, Senator David Norris, has announced his campaign to be president of the Republic of Ireland. How exciting!
Asked about whether Ireland is ready for an openly gay president, the quick-witted Norris replied, “I don’t see myself as a gay president, I see myself as a president who happens to be gay.”
On the first of this year, the Civil Partnerships and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitant Act, 2010, went into effect. It so happens the first couple to be officially recognized as civil partners was a bi-national couple civilly partnered in Northern Ireland last year and having relocated to the Republic of Ireland. At first, Immigration officials were not sure how to handle a legally binding civil partnership involving a same-sex couple, but they quickly came back with a ‘Congratulations!’
Many in Ireland, including Norris, advocate for full marriage rights, which Civil Partnerships do not provide.
In 1988, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland’s laws prohibiting homosexuality violated the European Convention on Human Rights. It wasn’t until 1993 that homosexuality was officially decriminalized in Ireland, thanks to Senator Norris and the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform.
If elected, Senator Norris promises to take a substantially reduced salary and use the rest in the interest of the people.