Pride and parades…

ONLY in Northern Ireland would a gay pride march require permission from the Parades Commission, a body set up to take decisions on a different type of testosterone-fuelled parade.

The BBC reported:

Jonathan Larner of the protest group “Stop the Parade” said it was “offensive”.

“Our outlook on this parade is a wholly peaceful one, we find the whole parade morally offensive,” he said.

“As evangelical Christians we believe what the bible says regarding sodomy – that it is a sin – and for that reason we want to oppose a parade that we see is promoting a sinful lifestyle.”

  • DavidH

    I hope the parade goes ahead, but I do think that it’s right that all possibly contentious parades go through the same process (it would be suspicious if they didn’t). It looks as though the objections are ideological though – there’s no chance that the PC is going to rule against the parade on those grounds.

    But I wonder if this issue is going to flush out a bit of inconsistency in the Freedom of Assembly = Right to March bunch.

  • Henry94

    Can we expect a statement from the Orange about the right to walk the queens highway.

  • TAFKABO

    The fact that people are objecting to this parade should not come as a surprise .This is the logical outworking of a society that places so much value on the right to be offended .

  • Joe, Canada

    lmao at henry’s comment

  • missy

    I can’t see the gay pride people linking up with the loyalist paramilitary groups to formulate resistance, if the parade is rerouted by a hundred yards or so.

  • Sean Fear

    Let the parade go ahead, and let those who object demonstrate against it.

    I agree that NI is a society in which some people consider the right to be offended as paramount.

  • DavidH

    Missy: linking up with the loyalist paramilitary groups to formulate resistance, if the parade is rerouted by a hundred yards or so

    Was that the recent parade where the orangemen viciously cancelled their march application and cunningly held a peaceful protest on the Shankill instead? Obviously not caring a jot for the hurt feelings of republican protestors denied the prospects of (a) stoning Orangemen, or (b) laughing as the PSNI fought the orangemen over the route. Outrageous.

  • missy

    I think you’ll find that the paramilitaries call the shots(no pun intended) in the North & West Belfast parades forum.

    If you don’t believe me,ask nelson McCausland

    On second thoughts don’t ask Nelson, he’ll refuse to answer the question as he did on Hearts & Minds, last week.

  • aquifer

    This was on Steve Nolan on TV tonight.

    Text Yes to 81771 to leave the middle ages

  • DavidH

    Missy: I think you’ll find that the paramilitaries call the shots(no pun intended) in the North & West Belfast parades forum

    You seem to be suggesting that the Loyalists were responsible for the decision to call off the parade and avoid confrontation. Maybe in emulation of Gerry Kelly?

  • missy

    I think Nelson McCausland probably has the true answer as to who is running the show on the parades forum.

    But he’s not talking.

    I thought he wouldn’t speak to terrorists anyway ??

    Never double standards, surely.

  • fair_deal

    “Offence”

    In a pluralist society, you will come across things which offend your personal value system. The toleration of your personal value system comes at the ‘price’ of tolerating other value systems even those you find offensive.

    I am a social conservative. I am a member of the Orange Order. The Gay Pride parade should go ahead and the evangelical christians should hold a peaceful protest.

  • Biffo

    Henry 94

    “Can we expect a statement from the Orange…”

    Funniest comment I’ve read here in a while 🙂

  • Jo

    Quite right to oppose it, I’m sure I’d go gay if I as much as heard the music or saw any of the participators.

    Same way as seeing the Orange parades makes devout God-fearing Protestants of those unfortunate Ormeau Road and Ardoyne nationalists.

  • Harboy

    Couldn’t they let the gays, the Orange and the cricketers all get together on the same weekend as long as they swap outfits?

    I’d suggest Paul Berry would enjoy it but according to the DUP website he’s more into football.

  • Baluba

    I hope the parade goes ahead and arrives unharrassed and unharmed.

    It’s about time tolerance was tolerated in this place. It’s not weak to compromise. No-one wants to shove homosexuality in your face or ‘make you gay’ or infect you with gayness.

    I’ve lived in Germany and Australia and gay pride marches are great entertainment! I also like to visit gay bars, because the neanderthal grasping the broken bottle and waiting to riverdance on my head, or the dickhead who thinks it’s ok to grope my wife’s backside in a straight pub, is too afraid to come in in case someone would doubt his manhood!

    I’m not gay, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with me if someone else is – and if there’s a God, I suspect he wouldn’t give a damn either. ‘Love like you wish to be loved’ and all that…

  • exBangorBoy

    Toronto just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first gay pride parade. There were a million people watching and 80,000 marchers, amongst them the mayor, the chief of police and a bunch of provincial and federal politicians.

    In 1981 for the first parade, there were about 800 marchers and no-one watching. A lot has changed in the intervening years. One of the ironies of Toronto now vs then is that the trajectories of the Orange and Pride parades have been inverted in terms of size and visibility.

    While Northern Ireland may seem like the last bastion of medieval thinking in the western world, the forces of modernity will advance and I can imagine a day in the future where the Belfast gay pride parade will be like the pride parades in other western cities: something that citizens look forward to attending and something that allows people to celebrate and tolerate the diversity of the community.

    Interestingly enough, as gay culture has grown closer to the mainstream in both Toronto and Canadian society the parades have become *less* raunchy and *less* political. This year’s parade took place a few days before our federal parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriages, but there was very little of that issue surrounding the parade.

  • La Dolorosa

    I am sure that if Jesus Christ came back to earth he would march with the Gay Pride. he always seemed to hang around with people who were subkected to prejudice and bigotry – Mary Magdalene. I think God/Jesus is a lot more liberal and easy going than evangelical Christians would have us believe.

  • Carrington

    La Dal

    Right enough, the bible doesn’t have much to say on the subject – except that it’s wrong and God loves Sodomy so much that he opened the sky an poured fire on it – aside from that minor detail.

    Personally I don’t care whether the parade goes ahead or not, but I do wish the Gay Pride people would stop attempting to twist scripture in order to justify their lifestyle. Sodomy, like pride, covetousness, drunkeness and adultury is a sin, condmened by scripture.

    The funniest thing I’ve read this week would have to come from Alasdair McDonnell who demanded that the “bigots and begrudgers” who opposed the parade should not be allowed to get their way over the issue – on the same day the Honourable Member for Belfast South was demanding that Union Flags should be removed from the Lisburn Road – what a duplicitous hypocrite!

  • la Dolorosa

    carrington – I don’t think JC was a big fan of die hard bigots – he seemed to be quite a radical sort of person. Plus wasn’t the Bible selectively edited and collated……. why was it that he let ~ Mary Magdalene was his feet etc….. think that shows he was quite a tolerant type of person……….

  • la Dolorosa

    carrington – I don’t think JC was a big fan of die hard bigots – he seemed to be quite a radical sort of person. Plus wasn’t the Bible selectively edited and collated……. why was it that he let Mary Magdalene wash his feet etc….. think that shows he was quite a tolerant type of person……….

  • Young Fogey

    God loves Sodomy so much that he opened the sky an poured fire on it – aside from that minor detail.

    Well, that’s certainly one reading of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Presumably you commend the actions of Lot who offered his virgin daughters to the Sodomite crowd to save the angels from being assaulted? Family values, don’t you just love them?

    do wish the Gay Pride people would stop attempting to twist scripture in order to justify their lifestyle

    I do wish Evangelicals would stop twisting the Sodom story, a few of the more whacked out bits of Leviticus and two disjointed phrases in Romans and 1 Corinthians into a “clear biblical codemnation of homosexuality.

    Here’s what Jesus had to say about homosexuality:

    .”

  • La Dolorosa

    I forgot to add:

    carrington to quote you “Right enough, the bible doesn’t have much to say on the subject – except that it’s wrong and God loves Sodomy so much that he opened the sky an poured fire on it – aside from that minor detail”

    Some of the high ranking officials involved in Kincora sex scandal/abuse obviuosly failed to remember this….

  • DCB

    Carrington

    Flegs and outbreaks of local culture are not conducive to house price rises. Therefore I think Alistair McDonald would have considerable support on both sides of the well healed community in the Malone/Lisburn road area over this one.

    I can never remember there being significant amounts of flags on the lisburn road either, so it’s not as if its traditional. No doubt they’re being put up by gangs of wee spides.

    As for the bible, is there not also all sorts of great stuff about stoning women and locking them up when they’re on their monthly unclean bit – the latter suggestion I wholeheartedly support 🙂

  • DCB

    In fact the whole process could be seen as the opposite of gentrification – spidification as I think we could call it in Belfast.

  • La Dolorosa

    Carrington – you may or may not know that today Methodist leaders voted for blessing gay relaltionships/marriage . Now correct me if I am wrong but don’t Methodists read/follow the bible and form part of the Christian communion ???

  • Jo

    Hi La D!!

    I agree with you re. JC. Some rightwingers seem to think they have a personal monopoly on that mans thinking. There was/is very little rightwing about Jesus and much more love than hate for gays, lesbians, blacks immigrants, Iraqis, enemies in general.

    Or did I get all that wrong?

    Somehow, I dont think so. 🙂

  • Jo

    DCB: I shall haughtily overlook your comments about women and stoning – exceot to say that in some countries women get stoned when they commit adultery; in others, they commit adultery when they get stoned! But I digress

  • La Dolorosa

    Surely the most important single lesson/rule from the bible can be summed up as:

    “Love thy neighbour as thyself'”…

  • Jo

    La D: I think there is a distinction between a God of Wrath and a God of Love. The first is more Old Testament and the second New Testament. Not that God can change.

    I was brought up tpo believe in a God of Love. Now it seems He was a liberal instead. My poor wee heid!

  • Canadian

    La Da

    “Surely the most important single lesson/rule from the bible can be summed up as:”

    “Love thy neighbour as thyself'”…

    Isn’t masturbation bad too….?

  • Jo

    It is bad for keyboards. Allegedly.

  • TAFKABO

    My understanding of the Bibles message is simply this.

    God is love, and if you don’t accept that, you’re going to roast in hell for all eternity.

  • Jo

    Apparently there will be a lot of gay men there. At least there will be some witty company.

  • Canadian

    Well dressed too…

    Apparently!

  • exBangorBoy

    You know the old saying….. you go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company…

  • Carrington

    YF

    re. Lot. Absolutely not. The behaviour of Lot when he actually refers to the crowd as “Bretheren” is demonstrative of where his heart lay – in the city. Although ultimately Lot obeyed God (don’t look back) whereas his wife did not (pillar of salt).

    La Dal

    Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman anything else is totally incompatible with the scriptures.

    My observation re. McDonnell should have been put differently. If only Alasdair was prepared to be as tolerant towards Orangemen as he was towards Gay Pride marches.

  • Carrington

    DCB

    “Flegs and outbreaks of local culture are not conducive to house price rises.”

    I have yet to see a sigle shred of evidence to suggest that flags lower the value of property – particularly on the Lisburn Road! The “flegs” (very good BTW!) in question aren’t paramilitary in nature or designed to frighten people.

  • Sean Fear

    Isn’t masturbation bad too….?

    Yes, it makes you go blind.

  • Henry94

    Funny thing. Lust is one of the seven deadly sins but not homosexuality in particular.

    But Pride is a deadly sin on its own. So how come nobody is protesting about the pride bit of the gay pride parade. Just the gay bit.

  • Jo

    Well, at least a parade of blind masturbators wouldn’t pose any problem to local community protestors – they probably would lose their way too easily…

  • Jamie

    The Nolan Show from last night was mentioned earlier in the thread. I was interested and pleasantly surprised to see that 45% voted in favour of the parade taking place – 35% more than the 10% level of homosexuality often cited by sociologists. Seems to suggest that more and more people are happy to “live and let live”. Of course I’m not claiming the text poll was anything scientific or representative (except of the people who bothered to participate).

    By the way this is the 15th annual Belfast Pride – a week-long festival which consists of a great deal more than just a parade (community events like a charity pub quiz, arts exhibitions, QFT film festival, spirituality event and much more). This year’s parade has become contentious because of a coalition of people with extreme political views and people with religious objections (a dangerous and unsettling mixture to my mind).

    The objectors’ submission to the Parades Commission includes a claim to have been personally insulted and offended by a banner in 2004’s parade, stating “fcuk the bigots” (sic). So that’s one issue cleared up from the start – these people ARE bigots.

  • Joe, Canada

    Masturbation doesn’t make you go blind if you stop when you need glasses.

  • cladycowboy

    ‘Masturbation doesn’t make you go blind if you stop when you need glasses.’

    Glasses for sight or means of disposal? Take it easy, you only get a bucket and a half…

  • Joe, Canada

    What a spectacle!

  • marl

    “I have yet to see a sigle shred of evidence to suggest that flags lower the value of property – particularly on the Lisburn Road!”

    It does show that there are low life scumbags trying to force their scum sectarianism down the throats of decent people within the area.

    Businness people don’t want them & residents don’t want them.

    Scum still have the say.

    Why should the uda dictate our future .

  • GavBelfast

    Carrington, the flags flying tattily from lamposts are disrespectful to the flag and hardly add to the ambience.

    Of course they are there to mark out territory if not to intimidate, too.

    If the people concerned want to fly a flag, let them do s from the flag sockets on their own houses. That is their entitlement – or are they worried about lowering the tone of the area or value of their own properties?

  • Carrington

    Gav

    The flags should be taken down after the marching season ends.

  • Jo

    Compromise:

    Take them down on the 14th, allowing for hangovers.
    They shouldnt have gone up until the 11th – that is, if anyone was planning on being sober enough to shin up a lamp-post.

  • DCB

    An area which is mixed will attract buyers from both sides of the community, therefore there will be greater demand, therefore prices will be higher. Turn a mixed area prod and you potentially lose 40% demand.

    I can’t comment on the asthetic appeal of the flegs suffice to say that if they are left up indefinatly they will become rags. I woudldn’t have a problem with a few flags put up for over the 12th, but they have to come down afterwards.

    Are prices not greater in the malone road than on the Newtonards Road?

  • DavidH

    Missy: I think Nelson McCausland probably has the true answer as to who is running the show on the parades forum. But he’s not talking. I thought he wouldn’t speak to terrorists anyway ??

    I’ll not defend hypocrisy. I think politicians should be willing to talk to anyone, and to defend their actions by referring to the good they hoped to do. It worked for Hume. I was dealing with your point about the meeting being to ‘formulate resistance’. If Nelson McCausland turned that round into the positive outcome we saw, against the wishes of those who ‘run the show’, doesn’t he deserve congratulations for that, at least?

  • Boris The Spide

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about, it’s entirely probable that the gay pride event will be much less camp than your average orange walk with the John Innman-esque outfits, the faux machismo, the hilarious too-male ‘bonding’ the phallic sword-carrying etc, go down a storm in ‘Frisco.

  • Dave

    RE Jamie: The 45% figure on Nolan’s show the other night disappointed me. The fact that 55% of the show’s viewers (or rather voters) are so downright untolerlant is saddening. But then i suppose given the demographic who watch Nolan it’s hardly surprising – lots of middle-aged and elderly righteous ‘do-gooders’. Although as a gay male 21 year old, I have no idea why I was watching…

    I was most pi*sed off about the sheer amount of blatant lies spurted by some of the panelists like ‘gays want to recruit’ and ‘homosexuality is a sin’. It’s the religious right who shout the loudest in this country sadly (and vote on Nolan) – usually just to say NO.

    Still – Pride’s been going on for about 15 years. They can now claim that the streets of Belfast City Centre are their/our traditional route.

  • Dave

    BTW Do you think I can write to the Parades Commission and request that they stop a given Orange March/Corpus Christi procession because I find Protestants/Catholics offensive? Anyone feel like joining me? 😉

  • Boris The Spide

    Dave

    Count me in, the christian hordes have got to be held in check bud.

  • gearoid Harmon

    if the evangelicals view sodomy as sin, as abomination surely they should give attention to the free presbyterian church, whose moderator was a member of the uk parliament that decriminalised it, whether he voted for it or not from a baptist (evangelical) view point (see godhatesfags.com) that parliament became a ‘fagenabler parliament’ he remained in it, was still in it when it legalised sodomy between a man and a woman. such terrible sin, appears to some that Money, Influence and power is more important to Dr Paisley than standing up for his principles and the word of God. he would not go to a sin filled bar or disco but is happy to be in and paid by that ‘fag enabler parliament. such is bigotry i suppose protest against a parade of sinners but leave their enamblers alone.

  • Keith M

    Gearoid, Paisley was not an MP when homosexuality was decriminalised in Britain, and he fought against its subsequent decriminalisation in Northern Ireland.

    The idea that someone should not subsequently stand for parliament if they are defeated in a vote is one of the most ridiculous I have ever heard of.

    Personally I think the idea of “Gay Pride” parades are an anacronism in the 21st century.

  • bertie

    Jo

    “Apparently there will be a lot of gay men there. At least there will be some witty company.”

    A bit of a stereotype surely.

    I feel sorry for dull gay blokes with no sence of style and poor rythem. There must be some out there – poor sods. The pressure on them to be vivascious and to be the last word in sartorial elegance and a poem on a dance floor must be quite a burden.

  • Dick Doggins

    Will there be any Berrys on view? A popular headwear item with some!

  • gearoid harmon

    Keith M its time you got your facts right. And not get hung up on geography. I and this website is concerning ‘northern ireland’. Paisley himself has a problem with geography also. Save Ulster from Sodomy was his slogan. Yet he is very silent on this issue today have you noticed. I wonder why?? have you wondered why? have you asked him? James Anderton who was chief constable of greater manchester at the time of stalker enquiry here, was also outspoken against gays, and he fell silent on the subject as abruptly as Paisley, I wonder why he did also? there is no constituent part of the united kingdom called Ulster, Ulter is in the Republic of Ireland however. Shame on this man therefore medling in the affairs of a foreign country “save ulster from Sodomy” “Ulster says NO” (he is after all an honoury doctor, not a real one) he was a member of the parliament that decriminalised sodomy in northern Ireland and he has never threatened to leave politics if it became law or remained law. If the man was accused of being a disciple of Christ would there be enough evidence to convict him? I see little of the ethics of Christ in his life or his ministry. was it not a Hugh McLean, a member of UVF who said to the police when charged with the common law offence of Murder I am terribly sorry I ever heard of that man Paisley or decided to follow him.

  • Henry94

    KiethM

    Personally I think the idea of “Gay Pride” parades are an anacronism in the 21st century.

    Yes, it’s so 1990’s.

    Of course if it was 1690’s it would be fine.