‘We are Family’ to be theme of Dublin Pride festival in June

Organiser says choice ‘no coincidence’ in year World Meeting of Families takes place in city

 Crowds attending  the Dublin Pride parade at  Smithfield Square last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Crowds attending the Dublin Pride parade at Smithfield Square last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

 

‘We are Family’ has been chosen as the theme for Dublin’s LGBTQ Pride festival in June. The decision was taken by organisers in response to “the exclusion of representation of LGBTQ+ families in literature” for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August, which will be attended by Pope Francis.

The liberal Catholic We Are Church group has called for LGBTQ+ families to be granted “a place of honour” at the event “to dispel the implied rejection of LBGTQ + families from this Catholic event”.

Images of same sex couples were removed by Catholic Church authorities last January from preparatory pamphlets for the World Meeting of Families. A video in which Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles David O’Connell said all sorts of families would be welcome at it, including gay families, also had that statement removed.

The Dublin Pride festival takes place from June 21st to 30th. Spokeswoman Clodagh Leonard said “it is no coincidence that in the year when Pope Francis will visit Ireland and take part in the World Meeting of Families, we have chosen the theme ‘We are Family’”.

‘Appalled’

She added: “Like many people we were appalled at the exclusion of representation of LGBTQ+ families in literature for this event, but we were also encouraged by the number of people who spoke out about this, especially those from within the church.

“We know that across Ireland there are thousands of parents – including those of faith – who love their LGBTQ+ children and more than anything want to protect them and show them that they are loved and welcome in our Ireland.”

Ms Leonard said this year marked 35 years since a protest march in Fairview “that gave birth to the first Dublin Pride Parade” was first held.

She said it also marked “30 years of GCN, Ireland’s longest running LGBTQ+ publication and 25 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland.”

“With so many possible themes we decided to use this year to remember and celebrate our families. The families we made for ourselves as we built up our community, the families that have marched alongside us as we fought for so many years for our equality,” she added.

Meanwhile, We Are Church said it welcomed the festival’s adoption of the theme ‘We Are Family’. It asked that all Catholic families and people of faith support this year’s festival which “recognises the inherent dignity of every person irrespective of gender orientation”.