Showing posts with label Dublin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dublin. Show all posts

May 30, 2019

Dublin Reverses on The Rainbow Flag, Yes It will Be Displayed








After a week of negative publicity, the Dublin City Council likely will reverse itself and approve flying the rainbow Gay Pride flag next month at City Hall.
Mayor David Haubert and Councilman Arun Goel are now willing to reconsider after hearing from supporters of the LGBTQ community. Haubert, Goel and Councilwoman Melissa Hernandez, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning, had previously voted against flying the flag. 
Haubert said Wednesday morning that the council would hold a special meeting June 4 to consider adopting a flag policy and approving a June 22 ceremony to hoist the Pride flag for the rest of the month.
He said he was swayed by conversations with constituents and discussions with Emeryville City Councilman John Bauters, who is gay, about the sensitivity of the issue in the LGBTQ community.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, Goel said that after many discussions, “I believe that we should have an inclusive flag-raising policy, and YES, I believe that the LGBT pride flag should qualify.”
The bad news is that the embarrassing and painful episode has exposed that, lest there was any doubt, homophobia remains in the Bay Area. As speakers at the May 21 Dublin City Council meeting showed, vicious falsehoods about gays, lesbians and transgenders still have a foothold.
Haubert and Goel acknowledge that they should not have let those hateful comments go unchallenged. “I personally apologize for not being a more proactive voice in directly addressing any inappropriate comments,” Goel said.
June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the spontaneous protest of police raids of a club in Greenwich Village. The demonstrations served as the catalyst for the gay rights movement in this country.
Cities like San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco fly the LGBTQ’s rainbow flag each June to mark Gay Pride month. In the suburbs, Concord flies the flag, something that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, when voters rejected an ordinance barring discrimination against people with AIDS.  
And, in another sign of suburban progress, the neighboring Walnut Creek City Council voted unanimously this month to fly the flag for the month of June. Speakers lined up to support the effort; no one spoke against it.
Then came the effort in Dublin, led by Councilman Shawn Kumagai, who, as a gay man, knows what discrimination feels like. He served 10 years of active duty in the U.S. Navy under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Kumagai proposed a council proclamation declaring June LGBTQ Pride month and flying the rainbow flag at City Hall. Councilwoman Jean Josey, who has worked in the Dublin schools, joined him.
“I see these struggles of our LGBTQ youth for their acceptance, for their safety, for their feelings of worth, for their feelings of not only their physical safety, but their emotional safety,” she said.
“It is very, very important that we send a message to all members of the community, but particularly our youth, that they are worthy just for who they are and nothing else.”
The proclamation was approved unanimously. The fight was over flying the flag.
Opponents warned the council of a “slippery slope,” sometimes reaching the point of absurdity.
One speaker insisted the council would have to raise flags for Jewish, Christian, Muslim and atheist pride months; for Inner Mongolia and Outer Mongolia pride months; and, said the balding man, for the “follicly challenged.”
Another said the city would have to fly the Confederate flag if residents demanded. And the owner of a gun shop insisted the council would have to fly the NRA flag.
They were wrong. There is no legal slippery slope.
If the council doesn’t discriminate on the basis of race or religion, it is free to issue the proclamation and to raise flags of its choosing as a form of free speech, says constitutional law expert Vikram Amar, dean of the University of Illinois College of Law.
Then the comments to the council turned ugly, likening gays to “immoral destruction,” pedophilia and the deterioration of the public school system. It was a regression to the fearmongering seen in the suburban East Bay in the 1980s.
What was most disturbing was the reaction from the dais, with Goel, Haubert, and Hernandez embracing the slippery slope argument and thanking everyone for their comments — what Goel called “a lot of great speeches, a lot of great opinions.”
As Goel and Haubert repeatedly claimed that the city is already inclusive, they ignored comments they had just heard that showed otherwise.
The irony wasn’t lost on Josey. “Quite frankly some of the comments highlighted why we need to be hanging the flag,” she said. They showed “exactly why this particular (LGBTQ) community does not feel safe both emotionally and physically — still in 2019.”
Fortunately, Goel and Haubert apparently now understand that, too.

October 10, 2017

Child of Same Sex Couple is Refused Passport in Dublin



A UK-based Swordswoman who is in a same-sex marriage has accused the State of discrimination after it refused to issue one of her daughters with an Irish passport.

 Catherine and Hannah with their children

Irish citizen Catherine Brancaleone-Phelan, who is originally from River valley but now living in Brighton, entered into a civil partnership with Hannah, a London-based firefighter, in 2010. The couple was later married in October 2015.
In November 2014, Catherine gave birth to daughter Kathleen after a friend agreed to act as a donor. Hannah also became pregnant through the same donor and a second daughter, Rilee, was born in May 2016.
However, the family’s happiness was shattered when their youngest child was refused an Irish passport because Catherine was named on Rilee’s birth cert as ‘parent’, as opposed to ‘father’ or ‘mother’.
Their eldest daughter was automatically entitled to an Irish passport on the basis that Catherine was named as her mother on the birth certificate. Catherine is now pregnant with twins and the couple faces the prospect of not being able to secure Irish citizenship for one of their four children.
Catherine and Hannah had been hoping to move back to Ireland in the near future. However, the State’s refusal to issue Rilee with a passport due to this anomaly has scuppered their plans, particularly in light of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.
Catherine said: “Despite Ireland being seen around the world as a champion of same-sex marriage, I believe that the State is discriminating against one of our children based on our family status. Our particular scenario should have been provided for when the legislation for marriage equality was being prepared.”
She added: “We have been fighting this for over a year now. I am absolutely sickened at how we have been treated by my country. As far as I am concerned, this ends any thoughts of ever returning home – my home is in the UK now. I am utterly ashamed of Ireland.
“The fact is that the Irish passport office has decided against issuing my second daughter with an Irish passport because my wife Hannah gave birth to her rather than me, but within our marriage. I am her legal parent and named on her birth cert. There are no similar issues with getting my first daughter a British passport, as although I gave birth to her, the UK has the decency and fairness to recognize both her legal parents and their respective nationalities.”
Senator David Norris has raised the couple’s situation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney. 
In a letter to Senator Norris outlining the reason for the refusal of the passport, Minister Coveney said the question must be looked at with reference to Irish law and, in particular, the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956.
He wrote: “Section 7 of the 1956 Act addresses citizenship by descent and provides that a person is an Irish citizen from birth if at the time of his or her birth either parent was an Irish citizen – although an additional requirement of registration is imposed in respect of children born outside the island of Ireland where the Irish citizen parent was also born outside the island of Ireland.
“We note that Rilee’s birth mother is Hannah Branceleone-Phelan who, you advise, is not an Irish citizen. For the purposes of Irish law, and in particular in this case, for the purposes of the 1956 Act, a parent is understood to mean either the ‘mother’ or ‘father’ of the child.
 “Under Irish law, the mother of a child is the person who gives birth to the child or a female adapter of the child. As the birth mother is not an Irish citizen, Rilee cannot be regarded as an Irish citizen.”
However, Catherine has argued that the reference to having an Irish ‘parent’ in the 1956 Act is a non-gender specific way of referring to a mother or father.
“I am Rilee’s legal parent,” she added. “Therefore, by gender definition, I am her mother.”

Story by Tony McCullagh
Dublin People



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