Homophobia still rife

Times have changed over the 30 odd years since the RUC interrogated Jeff Dudgeon for sexual activities and he took on the State over gay rights. Save Ulster from Sodomy has been in retreat but is far from vanquished. This latest report published by the Rainbow Project sheds light on what is less and less an underworld but is still a prime target for the endemic thuggery that still blights so many lives. To what extent does coming out increase risk of attack? As the report has PSNI backing, I hope it will prompt vigorous and imaginative PSNI action, supported on the ground. Sullen minimum compliance with rights laws is not enough. In the recent spats Iris Robinson ( with Peter standing a careful pace behind her) came off worse. So the lesson is : keep up the pressure. With the weight of the law behind it and a fair amount of cross community support, this is one area where advance may be easier than in the brutal manifestations of sectarianism.

Nearly 40 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people living in the North have been the victim of homophobic hate crimes during the last three years

The report is part of a campaign and it would be good to know more details of gay, lesbian and bisexual harassment and worse. The Tele reports the headline findings

* 39% of LGB people are worried about being a victim of crime
* 39% alter their behaviour to avoid others knowing they are not heterosexual
* 21% of gay and bisexual males, and 18% of females have suffered homophobic attacks in the last three years
* 64% of homophobic incidents go unreported
* Over half of LGB people believe the police are professional and helpful, but 21% have experienced problems with police.

  • neil

    It lends weight to the argument put forward by Stevie Nolan (I love to hate him), that our politicians do lead by example, and where the likes of McQuillan are out justifying murder on one hand (but outraged about a brick through a Protestant window) are effectively promoting sectarianism as understandable, and then you have Ian Junior (who’s repulsed by homosexuality, where the rest of us are just repulsed by Ian Og), and Iris (bet she’s great in the sack), who are telling the public that homophobia is acceptable.

    I do hope that people start to think about who they’re voting for, what they’re voting for. I’m sure there are many homosexual Unionists who have had more than enough of the slights against them by the party they give their votes to.

  • It’s not about discrimination against gays, as the incidents vs Polish and Chinese immigrants have shown. It’s about excluding by intimidation and force *anyone* who doesn’t conform to a template – straight white anglo-celtic “christian”, and even that is subset into geographical ghettos.

    A lot of gay taxpayers in NY and the US generally might wonder why their governments are so concerned with investing and donating to a society that fails to resist such behaviour forcefully.

  • The Raven

    “64% of homophobic incidents go unreported” is unforgivable. And I mean that in the sense that people don’t have the confidence to come forward and relay their problems.

    I know that the police have taken steps towards making the circumstances in which people can report these crimes easier, but obviously the wider stigma of doing so prevents it happening.

    I think of all the stats above, this isn’t the saddest, though. “39% alter their behaviour to avoid others knowing they are not heterosexual” certainly is.

    Neil, I despair also, that the slights on this community from Iris will just disappear like they never happened, when people go out to vote according to tribal colour this week.

    Ironically, the submit word below is “justice”.

  • percy

    good thread, thanks for bringing this up

  • labourNIman

    I’m shocked at these figures. I guess it proves ignorance is bliss – treat them bad and ofcourse they will go away.

  • Forty years after the protests for civil rights..decent citizens are still discriminated against!

    This sad state should stop existing and the border be removed with a proper Irish constitution enshrined with equality for everyone!

  • The Raven

    Nice segue there….I didn’t even see it coming.

  • Borg Drone Won

    Perhaps they should get their pink socks to march them over to London where they could join the Labour party and escape the efficiency of the PSNI for the CPS and escape prosecution like Lord Peter Mandleson has done.

  • Major Ms Understanding

    I remember RTÉ having a story about two guys being subject of a homophobic attack the day after another homophobic attack. Turns out it was all done by those good with colours so our TV Tax supposed public service station was wasting money on something that never happened.