Fit for Print: The warm familiarity of the rainbow flag

By : Steve Blanchard
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Recently, and for the first time in my life, I traveled to another country. My husband and I spent two weeks in Ireland, where we toured historic sites, drank plenty of Guinness and mingled with the locals in several of the country’s beautiful cities and towns. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and one I would do again in a heartbeat.

Ireland is a welcoming country and was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote back in 2015. Knowing that marriage equality was voted into place by the citizens of the country, I knew that we would be welcomed and respected as a couple. In fact, we didn’t see or hear any negativity toward the LGBTQ community during our travels.

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Pence criticized for excluding media from breakfast with gay Irish PM

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence (center) and Second Lady Karen Pence (right) met with the gay Irish PM Leo Vardakar for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Photo courtesy Twitter.

Vice President Mike Pence is taking heat for excluding the media from his breakfast meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is gay.

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Ireland’s new prime minister formally takes power

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP) – Leo Varadkar took office June 14 as Ireland’s youngest Taoiseach, or prime minister. The son of an Indian immigrant, he is the first openly gay politician to serve in that post.

“I’ve been elected to lead but I promise to serve,” the 38-year-old said.

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Ireland’s likely next PM would be first gay, minority leader

By : Wire Report
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(Image from Leo Varadkar’s Twitter.)

LONDON (AP) – Ireland’s governing Fine Gael party elected Leo Varadkar, the gay son of an Indian immigrant, as its new leader and the country’s likely next prime minister June 2.

Varadkar defeated rival Simon Coveney in a contest to replace Enda Kenny, who resigned last month.

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Riverdance

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“The show is quite simply incredible. A phenomenon of historic proportions” – The Washington Times

The international Irish dance phenomenon is back by popular demand! Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures in an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song. Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland – in rock, music, theatre and film – nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of Riverdance.

Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour is composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, and comes directly to North America from a sold-out run across Europe and Asia.

#RiverDanceAtRe

Watermark Year in Review: May 2015

By : Jamie Hyman, Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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watermark year in review may 2015

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What? No way! Longtime editor and continuing bestie Steve Blanchard leaves Watermark in a panic! (Not really). Blanchard is now the media relations coordinator for the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. He also puts glitter in his beard. He also looks good without a shirt (and with one).

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor retires after 30 years, but doesn’t really retire at all, because she’s amazing. Following decades of fighting the good fight, Castor walked into the nonprofit world, leading Rise Tampa – Our Police Foundation, because public dollars are hard to come by these days, and people need help.

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Ireland celebrates first same-sex marriages

By : Wire Report
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DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland celebrated its first gay marriages on Nov. 17, six months after voters overwhelmingly chose to legalize the practice in the traditionally conservative Catholic nation.

Dozens of couples nationwide converted their existing civil partnerships into full marriages in brief ceremonies in often less-than-romantic settings, such as antiseptic hospital offices where births and deaths also are recorded.

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Ireland’s first gay marriage possible by July, minister says

By : Wire Report
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DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) – Some of Ireland’s gay couples planning a civil partnership may receive a surprisingly fast upgrade to marriage.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald announced May 25 that the bill to legalize gay marriage, following its landslide approval in the May 21 referendum, should be passed before lawmakers’ planned July 16 summer recess.

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U2 celebrates marriage equality in Ireland at Arizona concert

By : Staff Report
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U2 expressed gratitude to the people of Ireland for voting to legalize same-sex marriage during a concert in Phoenix, Arizona May 23.

While performing “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, U2 front-man, Bono, paused to thank the people of Ireland who he says brought peace to the country.

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Vatican secretary of state calls Irish gay marriage vote a ‘defeat for humanity’

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s secretary of state has called the Irish vote to legalize gay marriage a “defeat for humanity,” evidence of the soul-searching going on in Catholic circles after the predominantly Roman Catholic country overwhelmingly rejected traditional church teaching on marriage.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin said he was saddened by the landslide decision, in which more than 62 per cent of Irish voters said “yes,” despite church teaching that marriage is only between a man and woman.

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Ireland vote for gay marriage precursor to court decision over issue in U.S.?

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK — Ireland’s national referendum on same-sex marriage, which was approved by 62 percent of the voters, comes just weeks ahead of an expected ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether to legalize gay marriage throughout the United States. A look at some of the parallels and contrasts in the two countries’ situations:

QUESTION: Some conservative U.S. leaders say American voters deserve the same chance to decide the issue. Is that feasible?

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Ireland citizens legalize same-sex marriage in landslide

By : Wire Report
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DUBLIN (AP) – Ireland’s gay citizens woke up May 24 in what felt like a nation reborn, some with dreams of wedding plans dancing in their heads.

Many weren’t rising too early. The Irish gay community’s biggest party in history came late May 23, after the announcement that the nation’s voters had passed a gay marriage referendum by a landslide.

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