Bravo to Panti Bliss, the Irish drag queen who has revolutionized local and international dialogue on gay rights.

It all started in a January television interview on the national broadcaster RTE, when Panti referred to a righteous Catholic lobby group as homophobic. After crying a defamatory foul, RTE quickly paid €85,000 in ‘compensation’ to six Catholic lobbyists.

RTE was essentially using public funds in the form of TV licence fees to appease the few who were upset. But this was the moment was the tables turned. An uproar from the community – both gay and straight – soon followed.

Panti spoke publicly in Dublin at the Abbey Theatre about the situation and about gay oppression. Videos of her speech have been shown around the globe, and the movement, known as #PantiGate, is growing meaningful and positive momentum day by day. (See the whole video at the end of the article.)

More recently, Rory O’Neill, the Gender Discombobulist behind Panti was featured on a BBC debate over same-sex marriage. Again, righteous Catholic lobbyists cried foul over their homophobic label, and again Panti/Rory spoke true about the importance of human rights, equality, and good social ethics.

The part that makes me most angry is how the righteous Catholic lobbyists use an argument that same-sex marriage is bad for children. These claims are not only untrue, they are also not nearly as funny as on the Simpsons.

Fortunately the public uproar following #PantiGate is bringing much-needed attention to gay rights around the world. With a national referendum on same-sex marriage due in 2015, it couldn’t have come at a better time for Ireland. Well done.

My name is Robbie O’Bara and I am on #TeamPanti.

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