Over the weekend a number of our Labour representatives were on board the big red bus with Labour LGBT for Dublin Pride, here Deputy Kevin Humphreys posts about the day. (With thanks to Karen Mulhern for the use of her photograph.)
Anyone in Dublin on Saturday will have encountered the amazing atmosphere that was present on the streets of our capital city. One of the traditions of the Pride Parade is the annual Big Red Bus organised by Labour LGBT.
The Bill we are publishing today will bring our law and practice into line with the reality of life for many thousands of families in Ireland.
The emphasis in our Bill is not on competing or conflicting rights of parents, but rather on the rights of the child to the care and responsibility of both parents - married or not.
Largely because of the peculiarly strong Family provisions in Article 41 of the Constitution, we have failed to recognise that very many people nowadays live in stable and loving relationships and families which are not families in the traditional sense.
How would you feel if you had to ask permission from 4 million people to get married?
Check out the short film 'Sinead's Hand' from Marriage Equality which looks at that very question. Do post the video on your site and you can find out more on what Labour believes regarding same sex marriage at the following link.
This weekend we celebrate International Womens' Day (March 8th) and despite advancements made in womens's rights over the years the representation of women in the Dail stands at 13 per cent, below the international average of 16 per cent and well below advanced countries like Sweden (47 per cent). To address this the Labour Party has launched a Bill which seeks to improve gender equality in politics.
The Bill was launched by Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD, Deputy Leader Joan Burton TD and Ciaran Lynch TD.
Eamon Gilmore addressing the 200-strong crowd at the vigil
Last night the Party Leader Eamon Gilmore TD addressed approximately 200 people who attended the candlelit vigil held outside the Dáil organised by Labour LGBT to highlight the continued inequality of treatment of same-sex relationships in Ireland.
There has been widespread disappointment at the decision of the Government to vote down Labour's attempt to restore the Civil Union Bill 2006 to the Dail Order Paper. Instead of bringing forward progressive legislation, the Government has voted to put the issue of equality on the long finger.
This weekend the annual Labour Women conference will be held in Dublin's Mansion House featuring a number of guest speakers. These include the Party Leader Eamon Gilmore TD, Joan Burton TD, Dr Yvonne Galligan from Queens University Belfast and Sonja Lokar, Head of the South Eastern Europe of the CEE Network for Gender Issues, Ljubljana.
Among the themes to be discussed on Saturday include Women in Politics, What has worked for Women in Europe and From a party member to policy maker.
This weekend sees the Labour Equality Conference which asks the question "Do minorities get a fair deal in the media? The speakers on the day are Senator Dominic Hannigan and City Channel's Izabela Chudzicka.
The Labour Equality Conference is open to all and offers the chance for lively discussion on a topical issue. In the afternoon, the Labour Equality AGM will take place and will elect a new executive. The AGM is a closed event for party members but new members are always welcome and you can join on the day or by following this link.
Registration for the day begins at 11.30am and the event starts at 12noon.
Deputy Joan Burton and Sinead Ni Chulachain, chair of Labour Women at the launch of Why Women Should Vote Labour.
"In a Labour government, childcare and education will be at the top of the political agenda. That's one good reason why women should vote Labour", Joan Burton said at the launch of Labour Women's 'Why women should vote Labour'.
Of any political party, the Labour Party has the absolute highest number of women among its parliamentary representatives. Out of a total of 21 Labour TD's, 7 are women and out of a total of 5 Labour Senators, 2 are women.
The emphasis in the forthcoming Labour Party General Election manifesto on issues like childcare, education and violence against women clearly shows the influence of women within our Parliamentary Party in putting the issues that matter most to women at the top of our political agenda.