Dominic Hannigan and John Lyons (pictured) will next week enter the newly elected Irish government as the first openly gay politicians elected as members of Parliament in Ireland.

Hannigan, despite representing a very rural constituency, said his sexuality never came up in the election and people were not worried about it.

Labor LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) group co-chair Paul McConnell told the Irish Central it would be a historic day.

“History was also made in the election of not one but two openly gay (members),” he said.

“The election of both Dominic Hannigan and John Lyons as (members) for the Labor Party is a step forward for equality in Ireland and we look forward to their contributions in the Dail (Parliament).”

Ireland has previously had openly gay senators and Senator David Norris is the leading candidate to replace the outgoing President Mary McAleese and become Ireland’s first gay president.

According to the Central, the country will also see a push for gay marriage rights when the new government comes to power.

The National Lesbian & Gay Federation (NLGF) has urged the two parties likely to be in government to commit to legislate for civil marriage for same-sex-couples.

“Fine Gael and the Labor Party have a duty to legislate for equal civil marriage rights for lesbian and gay people. Discriminating against lesbian and gay people in this regard is not acceptable,” NLGF chair Ailnhe Smyth said.

Recent polling (Sept 2010) in Ireland shows almost 70 percent of the population supports marriage equality.

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