How Far Has Northern Ireland Come on Homosexuality?

I was thinking of writing an article on the issue of gay rights in Northern Ireland since I was spurred upon reading Daniel Radcliffe tell Attitude magazine:

“People being up in arms about the idea of gay education in schools. Hello!?! Actually for the one or two kids in the class, it’s f****** vital! It really makes me angry. You’re not going to turn thte straight kids gay by giving them a sex ed class about how to ahve gay sex safely! You know. Really. People can cathc HIV even after their first time and that’s what it’s all about; that can be avoided.”

Also the suggestion on Belfast and Beyond which Slugger pointed out yesterday that the DUP should take part in Belfast Pride spurred me on. Plus the Two Doctors also pointing out just which party’s long-time leader started the fight in the 70s to keep Northern Ireland lagging behind the rest of the UK and Ireland on gay rights galvanished the thinking.

There are many reasons that growing up in Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s wasn’t easy for any of us but that was intensified if you also found out that you were attracted to people of the same gender. The structure wasn’t and indeed even to some extent still isn’t there for you to get any real guidance on that through education until you get to University. When you consider that my secondary school is in the constituency that elected an MP and MLA who thinks it is alright to make a statement on the radio, that “there can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children” it shows the ignorance and prejudice that still exists. The education into what gay people actually are like needs to reach to the very top, even within the DUP.

When you add on that Iris Robinson considers that homosexuality is also a mental condition, it’s not. Though I can see why it can be a case of high occurance in the gay community that remain in Northern Ireland. However, from my personal experience the mental anguish had more to do with fighting against what were deemed the norms, prejudice and homophobia that was prevelant around you more than what about who you actually were, once you could break out of the mindset that was prevalent in Northern Ireland that cloud lifts.

I do read each small step that the DUP is taking as a step in the right direction but each of those steps is about 20-30 years behind the rest of the UK. The problem is that while they often tak the talk about inclusivity their activity where it matters in Westminster is often the opposite. There were rumours when they supported the Government on 42 days detention that a deal was being done on watering down future improvements of gay rights in Northern Ireland. It took some months but when the bill came before the House Northern Ireland again continued to lag even further behind the rest.

  • Niagra Falls

    Yes It would Brian A

    -If your were working for the Chinese government

    -are you?

  • roger

    Brian,

    did you miss the sectarian civil war that almost erupted in Iraq just a year or 18 months ago? Or are you unaware of the sectarian deathsquads which freely operate in Baghdad?

  • Peter Fyfe

    Brian MacAodh

    Surely you have heard about some intra-muslim violence in Iraq, though it appears to happen much less in Afghanistan. It may be disagreemnets caused by their differing views of what Islam is and not that he follows Islam. So I suppose to an extent you are right, not sure what he means to be honest. I thought it was a long list of people killed because of their beliefs or percieved beliefs. There, he had a point as DD has become very tiresome for constantly reposting stories about a killing in Israel. Do we really need to look to Isreal to see deaths linked to intolerance? I thought it happened much closer to home.

    Stephen Glenn

    Good post, people do need to have a look at what some elected politicians have said. These people have been democratically elected therefore a decent proportion of our population agree with them. I know not all DUP supporters are homophobic. There are however many who do not see the line,’ there can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children,’ as a reason not to vote for somebody. I find this worrying as the woman clearly is not fit for office after such a remark.

  • Different Drummer

    Thanks for that Peter

    Had you posted earlier we could have talked about why I have posted the way I have – apart from the fact that I have already given an explanation – I accept that it is wrong to except that you/everyone who posts a comment must read all the posts.

    OK Peter Let’s Start Over

    I posted the links about the killings in Israel because they related to shooting and the killings of two young gay people.

    Now given the nature of discourse here and generally I can see that some people (not you in particular) see them only as jews and or living in Israel.

    My I say I do find that a deeply depressing way of looking at the world because what it does is what you have just done ASSUMED that those killed were ‘just jews’ or just living in ‘Israel.’ When I or you have no evidence (other than the news reports that I have been posting) that these young people – (I’m talking about the ones who are still alive) – see themselves in those terms.

    Moreover you are assuming also BIG TIME that I will not can’t or won’t recognize other peoples (eg Muslims) pain or right to life as part of the oppressed.

    The killings were a rare event lets hope that are not repeated or that are local (violent) fundamentalists don’t take it as a green light to spread more hate and fear.

    Reply Back When you can Peter

  • Winter

    When you add on that Iris Robinson considers that homosexuality is also a mental condition, it’s not.

    There’s a whole can of philosophical worms right there,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Szasz
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-psychiatry

    Some may argue that your disavowal of homosexuality as a mental condition is itself a display of bigotry against people who you class as having a “mental condition”.

    Iris’ claim is largely normative, but what objective content it has is currently an open question. If Iris Robinson claims that homosexuality can be “cured” the normative content may be objectionable but the objective content is not settled. People most definately have changed sexual orientations. This is not like the yeti or the Loch Ness monster yet the politically correct classes deny it rather like they deny race / IQ data. The denial is not scientific but rather political, in other words neo-Lysenkoism. Even if they happen to be right they’re most definately right for the wrong reasons.

  • Peter Fyfe

    I thought the thread was about intolerance in Northern Ireland and not Israel, has anybody on here defended the killings? I don’t think they have so what is the relevance? Why keep posting the story when nobody has defended the actions described? Are you looking for attention but can not contribute a thought of your own to the discussion? Personally, I do not understand why you need to bring up Israel when elected politicians much closer to home have said shocking things about homosexuals and would even go as far as saying it is worse than the sexual abuse of children. How can such a person really protect the public interest? Should gays and peodophiles recieve similar sentences? I would imagine that these suggestions should be what you really challenge rather than some arseholes in Israel who are clearly unsupported and recieved rightful condemnation.

  • JOC devotee

    What are John O’Connell’s (peace be upon Him) views on homosexuality?

  • Winter

    @Big Maggie

    “Homosexuality has become a lifestyle choice in today’s world.”

    How little you know about homosexuality.

    Where are you getting your knowledge from exactly? The script writers of Eastenders? Oranges are not the Only Fruit?

    Here’s some actual knowledge. Go away and digest.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_report#Sexual_orientation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation#Twin_studies
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T4T-4PJ6GNF-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ad3838218fe917b7a1afdeb5ce46d63
    Choice quote from above: “In fact, of the men engaging in homosexual behavior, more identified themselves as heterosexual than homosexual.”

    I’ll add an opinion piece
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/nov/27/isgayjustaphase
    Different normative, but Tatchell agrees with Iris Robinson on the objective to a large extent. Studies back his view that homosexual behaviour is indeed increasing quite rapidly in the UK, impossible if we take the Hitlerian view of it being innate and inborn.

  • Brian MacAodh

    DD and Roger

    I thought you were implying that American forces and/or British forces were killing people for being muslims in those countries. There is a lot of cheap shots thrown in that direction on this site during debates on other topics that I just assumed that it was one those. My apologies.

    Winter-Most gay people i know have been gay for as long as they remember. I’m sure there are some who, for whatever reason (rebellion, abuse, boredom) who chose to be gay.

  • John

    To all those idiots quoting biblical passages justifying your hatred and intolerance for homosexuality, have you conveniently ignored this line?

    “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone (John 8:7).”

    And no, I’m not gay.

  • Mrs. Angry

    [i]To all those idiots quoting biblical passages justifying your hatred and intolerance for homosexuality[/i]

    Can you provide one example of hatred and/or intolerance being directed at gays on this forum, whether substantiated by Biblical passages or otherwise?

  • Big Maggie

    Different Drummer,

    Will you come
    Will you will you
    Will you come to the byre?

    You can visit Benburb and the storied Blackwater
    Where Owen Roe met Munroe and his chieftains did slaughter
    Where the lambs sport and play on the mossy all over
    From those bright golden calves to enchanting Rostrevor

    Moo! :^)

    Peter Fyfe,

    “I know not all DUP supporters are homophobic.”

    I bow to your superior knowledge. I know many and they are all to a man/woman afflicted with Gayanathema™

    “There are however many who do not see the line,’ there can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children’ as a reason not to vote for somebody.”

    How can homosexuality be “an act”? Tut.

    “I find this worrying as the woman clearly is not fit for office after such a remark.”

    I query whether she was fit for office prior to that remark.

    Winter,

    “Go away and digest.”

    Thanks. I did. Did you miss this in your first link, the one to Kinsey?

    “The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.”

    He supports what I’ve been saying all along, that humans and other animals may be hetero-, homo- and bisexual in varying measures.

    It’s early days yet for science—it having been held back for so long by the myth-makers and supernaturalists. The world and its inhabitants are complex affairs, but I do feel we’re on the threshold of finding out who we really are and how we work. We can finally jettison the storybooks and grow up.

  • Different Drummer

    2Pete Fyte

    Thanks for that reply.

    About intolerance against gay people here..

    -It is not a small subject it has many aspects

    Did you have a particular question?

  • Different Drummer

    Yes Brain A

    I thought you were implying that American forces and/or British forces were killing people for being muslims in those countries. There is a lot of cheap shots thrown in that direction on this site during debates on other topics that I just assumed that it was one those. My apologies.

    Apology Accepted

    Yes it can be a bit like David Vance Light here at times where the only reason he.some can bring themselves to mention gays (other than Gay Pride bashing) is to say that muslims have killed them and that makes them less desirable than someone who is jewish and living in Israel.

    I beg to differ 😉

    BTW I think you should write a bit more about what you think about the subject – I’m sure you have some choice quotes/experiences on here and elsewhere.

    Over to you

  • Cop on

    [i]Yes Brain …. Apology Accepted [/i]

    That apology wasn’t directed at you, it was made in relation to a entirely different matter than homophobia. How about getting your own blog instead of destroying this one with your self-aggrandising, egotistical nonsense?

    Maggie, I’m glad to see you tacitly accepting that homosexuality has indeed become, for many in contemporary western society, a lifestyle choice. It’s nice to draw back from sanctimonious faux-outrage once in a while, isn’t it? Regards to your tarot-reading Gypsy friends.

  • Different Drummer

    Maggs

    I’m beginning to get a better picture of your character and possible career – you are a social scientist/anthropologist who does panto as a sideline!!

    I have an idea for a sure winner it is about these two farmers who… second thoughts I think you know more about that sort than I do?

    BTW Lovely quote from professor Kinsey

  • Big Maggie

    DD,

    “Yes it can be a bit like David Vance”

    Did you notice he paid Slugger a call again over on this thread?

    And he having said adieu? Do you think he’s sending out a coded message there? :^)

  • Different Drummer

    @ Blog Cop

    This time it’s personal eh?

    You give no quarter and neither do I.

    so Once again:

    Noooooooo Surrender!!

  • Big Maggie

    John Ó Connell,

    “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone (John 8:7).”

    Oh yes, it would be “him” wouldn’t it?

    But let’s not forget Heidi Levitt, who cast Mick Jagger as Luther in The Man from Elysian Fields.

    Mind you, she wasn’t the first to cast him.

  • 6countyprod

    You guys still at it?

    Maggie said: ‘I wouldn’t bother with anything the Romans say. Didn’t they crucify Christ?’

    Maggie, you obviously know very little about the Bible: I suppose that’s why you feel free to insult it. The book of Romans was not written by Romans, it was written to Romans.

    West-of-the-Bann Six County Prod

  • Big Maggie

    Cop,

    “Maggie, I’m glad to see you tacitly accepting that homosexuality has indeed become, for many in contemporary western society, a lifestyle choice.”

    Huh? Are you sure you’re not confusing me with another commenter?

  • Big Maggie

    6countyprod,

    “The book of Romans was not written by Romans, it was written to Romans.”

    See that, Different Drummer? What did I say about Norn Irony™?

    They’re a laugh a minute :^)

  • Big Maggie

    Mrs. Angry,

    “Can you provide one example of hatred and/or intolerance being directed at gays on this forum, whether substantiated by Biblical passages or otherwise?”

    No. Not unless you include my quotation from the Book of Bullocks.

  • Big Maggie

    Different Drummer,

    “you are a social scientist/anthropologist who does panto as a sideline!!”

    Thanks a heap. Nobody’s ever called me a horse’s arse before :^)

    “farmers who… second thoughts I think you know more about that sort than I do?”

    Farmers? Plz don’t get me started.

    “BTW Lovely quote from professor Kinsey”

    Wasn’t it though? In Winter’s case the words “hoist” and “petard” come all too readily to one’s mind.

    My bad, as my favourite grandson always says :^)

  • Different Drummer

    Kindest Maggie

    Looks like we and they, will be at it till the cows come home and the cows as we know have already been at it…

    **Don’t** Moooover Darling I like it just the way you are…

  • Gertntfe

    I feel so sorry for the ‘Different Drummer’ and ‘Big Maggie’ both trying so hard to get it on together yet doomed to failure.

    BM is particularly tragic, no doubt some middle-aged loser married to a no longer interested husband and taking Right-On Social Science 101 with the OU to add some purpose to an empty existence.

    Then again she seems so pleased with herself, so impressed with her trade marked wit it’s perhaps best to leave her drooling over the keyboard, probably gives hubby a break.

  • Large Margaret

    :^) I love Gyppos n queers :^)

  • little drummer boy

    I’m a lonely homo with no friends but I love maggie’s sanctimonious sense of solidarity. we is friends

  • Big Maggie

    Gertntfe and little drummer boy,

    Yes, the weather is getting so many of us down. But be positive! Take a leaf from Large Margaret’s book.

    Be loving and caring. You’ll find it’s more rewarding than being nasty to people you don’t even know. You’ll feel all the better for it.

  • Different Drummer

    To Those Who Scorn Us

    ….people find love on the internet all the time….all the time…

    why even last night I met this marvelous women……

  • Big Maggie

    Different Drummer,

    Good for you! Can she cook? :^)

  • Dylan

    The only people in N.I who seem to really get offended by homosexuality are the bible bashing fundamentalists of far-right Protestantism (probably the same nutters who like to chase polish and Romanian workers out of their areas and picket Catholic churches.) So who really cares whether they have any issues or not with other peoples sexuality, they’re an embarrassment to this country and all forward thinking people. Gay pride was good craic, simple as that, lets not read too deeply into it. Ultimately homosexuality ( and homosexual marriage) is legal and does not offend the majority of people here.

  • Big Maggie

    Dylan,

    “The only people in N.I who seem to really get offended by homosexuality are the bible bashing fundamentalists of far-right Protestantism”

    I wonder if that’s true. A couple of days ago I suggested a blog on this very subject, i.e. whether homophobia in NI is largely confined to the section of the community you mention.

    “So who really cares whether they have any issues or not with other peoples sexuality”

    I believe it matters when they hold public office and can command a wide audience. I can’t help thinking that Iris Robinson’s disgraceful remark added in some measure to the likelihood of gays being attacked for no reason other than their sexual orientation.

  • Peter Fyfe

    dd

    you ask me for a reply, you muppet.

    big maggie

    are you agreeing or disagreeing with me? Not sure from your tone. Painting everybody in the DUP as intolerant of homosexuality may not be that far off the mark in your opinion though I try to stay away from such sweeping statements.

  • Big Maggie

    Peter Fyfe,

    I’m agreeing with you! Sorry if you misinterpreted. There’s so much nastiness being vented on this and a similar thread that I don’t blame you for that.

    All I was saying is that I know a good many DUP supporters—and a couple of councillors. They’re all homophobic. I know I can’t and should not judge all DUPers on the basis of such a relatively small sample. However, I wonder if support for that party entails a package that includes gayanathema.

    Mind you, we could be looking at a chicken/egg scenario here.

  • Righteous indignation

    [i]They’re all homophobic.[/i]

    And? Are you trying to say that they’re not entitled to their opinion and should be forced to believe exactly how you see the world?

  • Big Maggie

    Righteous indignation,

    They’re absolutely entitled to their opinion as far as I’m concerned. And I’d be the last to force them to believe anything.

    That’s how I am. For example, I didn’t impose my atheism on my children but allowed them to decide for themselves, which they did.

  • Different Drummer

    hey Peter is this you?

    http://www.peterfyfe.com/

  • Different Drummer

    Yes Peter F

    I Did Acknowledge your reply and I think I gave you due respect because if you are who I think you are you might warrant it. Sorry to see that you do not have similar thoughts about me – suspect you missed this or is it that you just want to dismiss it. Thought you were capable of more than what you gave as your ‘reply’

    Anyway this is what I wrote that seems to angered you. People can judge for themselves – OK – are you done with the low grade discourse and want to try something that might better suited to what you think is your intellectual level….?

    But I suspect **your** curiosity might of waned

    2Pete Fyte

    Thanks for that reply.

    About intolerance against gay people here..

    -It is not a small subject it has many aspects

    Did you have a particular question?

    Posted by Different Drummer on Aug 03, 2009 @ 10:23 PM

  • Gertntfe

    BM

    You don’t do parody do you?

    You preach tolerance yet you indulge in personal attack (remember David Vance?), nasty intolerance and insult.

    You wish to portray yourself as a right-on person, defender of the marginalised and ready to battle the bigot. Yet your default setting is one of calculated abuse and offence – “Book of Bullocks” (right out of the same stable as “Jesus is a fag”).

    When your tactics are used against you your inability to rise above your own self regard and arrogance leaves you dropping back into your comfort zone making personal judgements about other posters. Not that that matters at all, in my opinion petty people such as you should be given space to indulge themselves.

    However perhaps you should consider broadening your horizons, what is that old saying – walk a mile in another’s shoes and look at the world with his eyes?

  • Big Maggie

    Gertntfe,

    “You don’t do parody do you?”

    What did you think my “Ulster Theocracy” story was, a factual occurrence?

    “You preach tolerance”

    I preach nothing. I leave that sort of thing to the supernaturalists.

    ” yet you indulge in personal attack (remember David Vance?), nasty intolerance and insult.”

    I did? Are you sure?

    “You wish to portray yourself as a right-on person, defender of the marginalised and ready to battle the bigot.”

    You infer so much from my comments.

    “Yet your default setting is one of calculated abuse and offence -”

    No, you really are confusing me with somebody else. Perhaps you ought to reread my comments.

    “Book of Bullocks” (right out of the same stable as “Jesus is a fag”).”

    No, more like the same byre as The Life of Brian. You know: parody. And do we actually know Jesus wasn’t a fag?

    “When your tactics are used against you your inability to rise above your own self regard and arrogance leaves you dropping back into your comfort zone making personal judgements about other posters.”

    Yes, you really are confusing me with another commenter.

    “Not that that matters at all, in my opinion petty people such as you should be given space to indulge themselves.”

    I see. You’re calling me “petty”. Who was it who mentioned “making personal judgements about other posters”? Oh, wait, it was you :^)

    “However perhaps you should consider broadening your horizons, what is that old saying – walk a mile in another’s shoes and look at the world with his eyes?”

    Thanks, I may just do that. Hubby is forever nagging me about going on a cruise. I’d sooner undergo rectal surgery with a blunt pair of scissors but hey, he does keep me in fine red wine, frocks and expensive jewellery….

  • Tobias

    Maggie, know a lot about “rectal surgery”? Do you get your info from your pal Drummer?

  • OC

    For Big Maggie:

    Will You Come To The Bower by Thomas Moore was played by fife bands of the Army of the Republic of Texas as they defeated Santa Anna at The Battle of San Jacinto to secure their independance from Mexico.

    Speaking of Texas, the statutes define “Deviant Sexual Intercourse” as anal or oral sex regardless of the gender of the participants. Why not just be proud of being a sexual deviant?

    One must be careful in justifying any act as “natural”, as intraspecies slaughter is practiced by a wide variety of animals, including Homo Sapiens.

    Obviously many species will lick the genitals of others of the same gender (sodomy). And many animals form deep attachments to others of the same gender. But is this “homosexuality” as the GBLT (Gay Bacon Lettuce Tomato) lobby defines it?

    Even amoungst the cases cited of homosexual bonding in the animal kingdom, do they refuse to mate with the opposite gender? And can anyone cite any examples of genito-anal penetration (buggery) in the animal kingdom, either homo- or heterosexual?

    Curiously, I’ve read recently that some Orthodox Jewish sects don’t consider same-gender oral sex as Biblically prohibited homosexual acts.

    BTW, some feminist thinkers have pointed to the bononbo and their matriarchal society as a model for humans to aspire to. As bonobos practice public sexual orgies, prostitution, and pedophilia, I find the feminists’ view of this quite dangerous.

    “Submit the word you see below:” ==> “firm”

  • Big Maggie

    Tobias,

    “Maggie, know a lot about “rectal surgery”? Do you get your info from your pal Drummer?”

    Do please explain. I’m sure we’d all like to hear it.

    OC,

    “And can anyone cite any examples of genito-anal penetration (buggery) in the animal kingdom, either homo- or heterosexual?”

    Your wish is my command. Plenty more examples linked to that page if that kind of thing floats your bark.
    That has to be my worst pun ever :^)

    “As bonobos practice public sexual orgies,”

    Not too much wrong with that if it keeps them happy.

    “prostitution”

    Eh? How does the john pay, in bananas?

    “and pedophilia”

    And which old grey-haired bonobo lawgivers decided the age of consent?

    “I find the feminists’ view of this quite dangerous.”

    You are of course jerking our chains so I forgive you :^)

  • OC

    Sorry, a Maggie’s Drawers, I’m afraid!

    I saw no penetration on the dog vid.

    Psychologist Abraham Maslov (of Hierarchy of Needs fame began his career studying animals, with such papers as “The ’emotion’ of disgust in dogs.” Jour. Comparative Psychol. 14: 401-07 (1932).

    He would call their behaviour a dominance display.

    [His seminal work, IMO, is “Self-esteem (dominance-feeling) and sexuality in women.” Jour. Social Psychol. 16, 259-94 (1942).]

    In some species, females will assert dominance with pelvic thrusts imitative of coitus with a submissive female, and perhaps even a male. No penetration happens.

    It’s not to say that it’s never happened, but I’ve never heard of actual, much less not-uncommon, buggery amoungst non-human animals domestic, in zoos, or in the wild.

    As to bonobos, the john (or johnette) pays in food. Chimpanzees have also exhibited this behaviour in a unique laboratory experiment, whereas wild bonobo culture is totally sexualised – they get sexually aroused when food comes around!

    Sexual relations between adult and prepubescent bonobos is common.

    I don’t jerk chains, although chaining jerks might be fun.

  • Big Maggie

    OC,

    “I saw no penetration on the dog vid.”

    Hehe, you looked, you bad thing! But did you follow the links to the other vids?

    “His seminal work”

    That’s a pun, right? :^)

    “As to bonobos, the john (or johnette) pays in food.”

    Hah! So I was correct about the bananas.

    “I don’t jerk chains, although chaining jerks might be fun.”

    Then you must have enjoyed this story as much as I did :^)

  • OC

    Bit of a sticky wicket…

    [OK, now I’m jerking your chain!]

    “Submit the word you see below:” ==> british

    ISYN!

  • McNutty

    Stephen Colbert got it right in ‘I am America: And So Can You’
    ‘As gay people are increasingly integrated into society and accepted as friends and coworkers, there is a new threat on the horizon.
    ‘The threat that we will forget to be threatened by them.
    ‘On this battlefield, the greatest casualty of all may be our anger.’
    And that’s a true right winger speaking right there.

  • Rory Carr

    As to bonobos, the john (or johnette) pays in food [for prostitition].”

    Where does that leave the rest of us who might have taken a hot prospect to dinner in the hope that… perhaps later we might strike lucky, who knows?….

  • Different Drummer

    Sex Always is a moveable feast Roy -always a moveable feast