Even the most hardened cynic must have found his stomach turning as he listened to the Irish Foreign Minister proclaim his support for true love and marital commitment  in Dublin yesterday. The Irish Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, proclaimed these sanctimonious words in what was probably the most tacky and tasteless  and naked – almost literally – display of hedonism and sexual exhibitionism ever seen on the Irish capital’s streets. It had nothing whatsoever to do with true love, true friendship or any kind of permanent commitment.

Gilmore declared that it was time for Irish legislation to move in the direction of public opinion and legislate for gay “marriage”. This will not be easy because constitutional hurdles will have to be overcome by means of a popular referendum. At that point many feel that the politicians in parliament – who are fully subscribed, almost to a man, to the media’s gay agenda – will find that public opinion may be of hues other than those of the rainbow.

In Facebook comments on yesterday’s statement form Gilmlmour,  Maria Conroy Byrne asks if there is “any political party that would disagree with him? As far as I can see, they all seem very similar at the moment. Is there any brave TD (member of the Irish parliament) who’s willing to put his head above the parapet and express a different opinion?” Brendan O’Regan’s view is simply that “they’re afraid to appear illiberal.”

As the gross display drew to a close yesterday Gilmore said he congratulated the organisers. He said that the parade also had a political dimension.

“As leader of Labour, a Party for whom the politics of personal freedom is so central, I acknowledge that when it comes to promoting understanding and respect, progress has been made in recent years. However, there are some outstanding matters, and if we as a Party are serious about building a new progressive society, these are matters that we will have to resolve.

“I believe that in certain key areas, our laws are out of step with public opinion. I don’t believe for example, that it should ever be the role of the State to pass judgement on whom a person falls in love with, or whom they want to spend their life with.

“That is why the issue of same-sex marriage is to be included for consideration by the Constitutional Convention. I believe in gay marriage. The right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation, and, in my opinion, its time has come.”

Michael Kirke was born in Ireland. In 1966 he graduated from University College Dublin (History and Politics). In that year he began working on the sub-editorial desk of The Evening...