In May, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Tiernan Brady, political director of “Yes Equality,” helped to design and implement the political strategy that resulted in the historic change to Ireland’s constitution.
On Feb. 25, Brady will discuss “How a Minority Won a Majority – The Irish Marriage Referendum” when he presents Ohio Wesleyan University’s 13th annual Corinne Lyman Lecture on International Studies.
Brady will speak at 7 p.m. in Benes Rooms A and B of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. Admission is free.
When the new law took effect in November, Brady issued a statement saying: “It is a truly joyful and historic moment, not just for lesbian and gay people, their families and friends, but for all Irish people.”
Brady also is policy director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) where, in 2011, he devised the political strategy to pass the Civil Partnership act. The Yes Equality campaign was established by GLEN with Marriage Equality and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
In the May 22 national referendum, 62 percent of the Irish Republic electorate voted in favor of same-sex marriage. The Yes Equality campaign also saw 5,000 posters installed across the country, 1.4 million fliers distributed, more than 67,000 social media likes, and 7,000 Instagram followers in a vote that drew a larger-than-usual turnout of young voters.
Before joining GLEN, Brady, who is gay, served as director of organization for Mary Coughlan, deputy prime minister of Ireland, and an adviser to the Latin American Street Children Organization, working on its HIV prevention and education projects in Lima, Peru. He also served two terms as mayor of his hometown, Bundoran.
Ohio Wesleyan’s Lyman Lecture Series honors the now-retired professor who created the university’s International Studies Program in 1979 and chaired it for 20 years.