Ireland: Tributes from LGBT activists following Education Minister’s resignation
LGBT campaigners have paid tribute to Ireland’s Education Minister, Ruairí Quinn, who has resigned ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Quinn also confirmed that he would not be seeking re-election to the Irish Parliament.
His announcement comes days ahead of a Labour Party meeting to choose a new leader after Eamon Gilmore’s resignation.
Mr Gilmore announced his intention to resign following the Labour Party’s disastrous showing in local and European Elections in May.
During his long political career Mr Quinn played a key role in pushing for repeal of Ireland’s ban on homosexuality.
It was decriminalised in 1993.
He has also urged for greater action against homophobic bullying in schools.
In a statement, Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) paid tribute to Mr Quinn.
CLEN Chair Kieran Rose said: “Throughout his political career, Ruairí Quinn has been a champion of equal rights for lesbian and gay people.
“He was part of the government that brought in decriminalisation in 1993, that initiated the Equality legislation in the mid-1990s, and in the current government, that has committed to address parenting, gender recognition and hold a referendum on [equal] marriage next year.”