Where love trumps politics

Where love trumps politics

October 18, 2015 Blog 0 Comments

I was delighted to receive the NI Tolerantia Award in Berlin on 12 October alongside the laureates of Germany, France and Poland: former Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, academic Irene Théry, and broadcaster Ewa Wanat.

I was nominated for the award by Belfast’s Rainbow Project, the progressive campaigning group promoting equality for the LGBT community.

These are my comments on accepting the award:

“Is pléisiúr agus pribhléid é a bheith anseo sa chathair is iontaí san Eoraip, Berlin, do ChraobhGhradaim Tolerentia.


“It’s my pleasure and privilege to be with you in Europe’s most exciting city, Berlin, for the Tolerentia Laureate Presentations.


Receiving the Tolerantia Laureate Award from John O’Doherty of the Rainbow Project
Receiving the Tolerantia Laureate Award from John O’Doherty of the Rainbow Project

“As a citizen of the only European state to have voted for marriage equality, I bring you an uplifting message of progress and change from the great city of Belfast. As many of you know, the north of Ireland has sadly been divided in the past.


“But one issue increasingly uniting our people is respect and admiration for our exuberant LGBT community who have overcome decades of hurt and exclusion to be exemplary ambassadors of  peace and progress. They have shown us that the way forward is an inclusive and diverse society where all are cherished equally and where love is more powerful than politics.


“When I pay tribute to our LGBT community for advancing the cause of equality, I do so in the knowledge that in creating a more tolerant and more inclusive society they are helping push all of us, as our great Van Morrison sang, “from the dark end of the street to the bright side of the road”.


“So I raise a glass to the inspirational heroes of the Rainbow Project who are day and daily fighting for the rights for the LGBT community, working for marriage equality in the north of Ireland, struggling to end the bullying of LGBT children in our schools & standing up against the hate criminals.


“There are many who are more worthy of this laureate than me but my pledge and promise to all those in the LGBT community of the North of Ireland is to use the platform this award gives me to continue the battle for a society in which all are treated equally and where difference is celebrated.”

About the Author

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is the outgoing Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast and a civic activist in Belfast.