A gay senator and a former Eurovision Song Contest winner secured nominations on Tuesday to run for the presidency of Ireland, joining a motley field that also contains a former Irish Republican Army (IRA) guerrilla commander.
Senator David Norris, the frontrunner and first openly gay candidate for the largely ceremonial role in predominantly Roman Catholic Ireland, received the necessary backing of four local councils to add his name to the Oct. 27 ballot.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland in 1993, much later than in many other European countries, following a campaign led by Norris, while civil partnership for same-sex couples was only legalised last year.
"Many, many thanks to the Councillors of Dublin City Council! I have secured the last nomination needed!," Norris, who had abandoned the race for president just last month, wrote on his Twitter page.
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