Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hats off to the Irish! And to the witty genius who led the charge . . . .

 Hats off to Ireland, the first country to recognize gay marriage by popular vote.  Following an emotional campaign, the Irish voted 62.1 per cent favor of this move, which signals a social revolution. Overnight, Ireland has become a model of inclusivity and tolerance. Yet I would suggest that this transformation could have been foreseen. Faithful readers (hi, Mom!) know that I hate to quote myself. But in Celtic Lightning, while tracing Canada’s Scottish and Irish roots, I write of how an “equally singular figure, then completing his education on the east side of the Atlantic, was preparing to make a courageous stand for another kind of tolerance and diversity—one that is often overlooked in discussions about pluralism. By insisting on the right to be different, Oscar Wilde pointed the way to a broad-mindedness that would lead, eventually, to a more pluralistic Canada." A few pages later, we read: “LGBT literature springs from a more closeted tradition that runs from Wilde through such Canadians as John Glassco and Timothy Findley. . . . That LGBT writers have been able to thrive in this country—as much as any writer can be said to thrive—is owing first and foremost to Oscar Wilde, who cleared a space for difference and pointed the way to broadening our definitions of tolerance, diversity, and pluralism.” The book will be published in September by Patrick Crean Editions / Harper Collins Canada.

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