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Sat Aug 9, 2014, 03:14 PM

Senator Norris is a legendary gay rights and civil rights hero in Ireland.

Last edited Sat Aug 9, 2014, 04:04 PM - Edit history (1)

I was in Dublin taking a summer CLE class on law of the European Union, and wangled a rare invitation to attend an emergency closed session of the Irish Senate (Seanad Eireann). That was indeed a privilege, since I was one of only 5 observers allowed to attend. At a break in the session, my sponsor took me to the pub for members/guests in Leinster House, the 18th century ducal palace where the Irish legislature meets. I was really honored to be introduced to Senator Norris, who came up to our table to discuss the impact of the proposed legislation on young gay men.

David Patrick Bernard Norris (born 31 July 1944)[1] is an Irish scholar, independent Senator, and gay and civil rights activist.[2][3][4] Internationally, Norris is credited with having "managed, almost single-handedly, to overthrow the anti-homosexuality law which brought about the downfall of Oscar Wilde", a feat he achieved in 1988 after a fourteen-year campaign.[5] He has also been credited with being "almost single-handedly responsible for rehabilitating James Joyce in once disapproving Irish eyes".[6]

Norris is a former university lecturer at Trinity and a member of the Oireachtas(Irish parliament), serving in Seanad Éireann since 1987. He was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland. Founder of the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, he is also a prominent member of the Church of Ireland.


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