It’s not just about Marriage – or how the Executive parties have failed to deliver for LGBTQ people in Northern Ireland.

This week is the week of Belfast Pride. It is the 26th year of a festival that has grown to huge proportions. Little did the pioneers of 1991 (who were outnumbered by protestors), think that we would have come so far. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer equality is now firmly in the mainstream. One of the greatest indicators of that being Cameron’s Tories bringing forward Equal Marriage in 2013.

There has been huge progress on LGBTQ liberation over those 26 years. That has been coupled with increasing acceptance and tolerance and ever-greater visibility for LGB people. We still have a significant way to go on Trans visibility and liberation, but I have every confidence that the grassroots movements leading that charge will see similar success.  Unfortunately, zero of that legislative change can be attributed to our local Assembly. The keynote progress on LGBTQ equality came either through adoption of Westminster legislation or through the Courts forcing change. That’s an embarrassing and stark reality.

During the last full mandate, we had the first ever LGBTQ motion at the Assembly. At Belfast Pride Talks Back 2012, I publicly challenged the parties to do more than give our communities platitudes. We needed legislation and Ministerial action to progress our liberation. Thankfully, SF agreed to bring forward the Equal Marriage motion that Steven Agnew of the Greens had already lodged with the business committee. This was momentous as it was the first ever LGBTQ motion at the Assembly. It was narrowly defeated, with both Alliance and SDLP in disarray, abstaining and voting against party policy, and the DUP abusing the petition of concern. This debacle was repeated 4 more times culminating in a slim majority in 2015 on the 5th attempt. Thankfully, 5 years later it seems that Alliance and SDLP MLAs will be able to support Equality, and the current crop of UUP MLAs are closer to reflecting wider society’s opinions on this issue.  For these parties, Equality is a conscience issue. There were other small shoots of progress, namely Culture Minister Ni Cuilin’s Sport NI charter against discrimination and Minister Farry’s funding of equality in employment project. However, this was piecemeal and not strategic.

There is a now a significant majority of legislators that support Equal Marriage and the wider LGBTQ equality agenda. Should we have a returned Assembly and a stop in the abuse of the Petition of Concern we can make progress on all fronts.  Progress is coming; it’s a matter of when, not it.

Yet it’s not just about Marriage. You would be forgiven for thinking it was by the behaviour of some parties. Maybe it even suits them to have the discourse focused on Marriage.

LGBTQ people experience significant health and social inequalities. There is a growing body of evidence locally and from across these Islands which clearly articulate this disparity. Sexual health inequalities, poorer emotion health and wellbeing including greater rates of self-harm and suicide, higher levels of homelessness and risk of homelessness, higher rates of substance use and misuse including tobacco and increasing rates of hate crimes and incidents.  Homophobic and transphobic bullying is endemic in our education system and exacerbated in faith schools.  These are the headlines.  So what has 10 years on an Executive done to ameliorate these poorer outcomes?

3 Sinn Fein Education Ministers failed to make schools safer or better for LGBTQ kids. The anti-bullying Bill that John O’Dowd had to be harangued into bringing () ended up defanged, with the duty of schools to record specific types of bullying removed. Relationship and sexual education received no revamp to make it LGBTQ inclusive or relevant and sexual orientation and gender identity remain absent from the revised curriculum.

With more than 50% of new diagnosis of HIV in Northern Ireland remain amongst Men who have sex with Men (MSM) the sexual health strategy expired in 2015. The only movement in relation to sexual health was the decimalisation of home testing kits for HIV. This allowed private companies to sell self-testing kits but was not matched with increased resource for chronically underfunded health services that would still have to conduct tests and provide aftercare and support to anyone experiencing a positive diagnosis.

IVF guidelines did change in the rest of the UK in 2013, allowing access to 3 cycles including for LGBTQ women. The neither 3 DUP Health Ministers nor, now SF leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill granted this provision here. When Equality cost money, it seems Sinn Fein had cold feet.

LGBTQ people experience greater incidences of poorer mental health and intolerable rates of attempted suicide and self-harm. The Suicide Prevention Strategy expired in 2015.

The most glaring of these failures however is the absence of a Sexual Orientation Strategy. This was promised in both the 2007-2011 and 2011-2015 mandates. It interestingly disappeared in the most recent programme for Government. While sexual orientation is a protected characteristic and Government is expected to consult with this Sector, it provides no resource to enable that Sector to respond. The last time the LGBTQ Sector had funding from the Government Department with responsibility was under Peter Hain in 2006. This strategy would provide the framework for beginning to redress some of these abhorrent inequalities experienced by LGBTQ people.

We may soon get Marriage and the small changes in equality and huge symbolism it brings. But it’s not some panacea. There is a hell of a long way to go. The next Executive, should we have one, must do much much better. That includes parties that emblazon their posters with cries for Equality or those that call themselves progressive while maintaining a conscience approach to equality. There is a nascent progressive alliance that can assure LGBTQ equality. Let’s us see the Assembly finally deliver some of it.

Malachai’ O’Hara is the former Vice-Chair of the Equal Marriage Campaign in Northern Ireland.  He worked for Ireland’s largest LGBT organisation The Rainbow Project for over 7.5 years including managing health services. He is a board member of a local suicide prevention charity in North Belfast and has been the Green Party candidate in North Belfast since 2016.

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  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    Yes, we have come “so far”. So far down the drain. What a sick sick society that has allowed bum bandits to hijack colour itself and the foolish masses to be taken in by it.

  • JohnTheOptimist

    Given that gay men are about 2% of the population it seems extraordinary that ‘50% of new diagnosis of HIV in Northern Ireland remain amongst Men who have sex with Men’. Is it that the act itself is inherently risky or is it that there is more promiscuity than with heterosexuals? I thought the whole idea of Gay Marriage was that it might reduce promiscuity? Has it had any such effect in the Republic?

  • Granni Trixie

    I would very much doubt that “the whole idea of gay marriage is to reduce promiscuity” any more than heterosexual marriage is.

  • David

    ‘bum bandits’ How very mature of you.

  • Dan2

    Personally, I’m bored listening to the miserable sour faced moans, droning on and on and on about their demands and how hard done by they are.

  • Timothyhound

    Your comments only reinforce the increasingly prevalent view that so much of unionism is in a downward spiral of intolerance and isolation.

  • Croiteir

    When you talk about issues such as health issues you have my full support, but when to try to bully schools into teaching disordered sexuality as something else or indeed that marriage should be redefined then you have lost me.

  • Zorin001

    I haven’t heard that phrase since 5th year, which was 22 years ago and counting.

  • The worm!

    Why do minority groups insist on separating themselves from society on one hand while simultaneously demanding to be fully integrated in to that same society?

    You suggest that you’re different with different needs, but then insist that you just want to be treated the same.

    You talk about health provision but fail to elaborate. Surely any person walking in to A&E, their local health center, contacting their GP, is just treated the same as any other member of society doing the same?

    Same sex marriage is complicated but at least I can understand the issue. But now we’re being told that “it’s not just about same sex-marriage”, and that I don’t get!

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    No doubt you encourage sadistic, unhegenic and disease spreading practices.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    Indeed, during times where the degree of degenerate brainwashing had not gone so far.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    Indeed degeneracy and civilizational destruction should not be tolerated!

  • David

    Always a suspicious sign when people are obsessed or even moderately interested in what consenting adults do in private.

    ”These things are not healthy” No doubt you’re also deeply concerned for those who drink alcohol, gamble or over-eat. Or maybe you consider that actually those things are none of your business?

    ”promoted and encouraged to children” I see. So promoting equality is a bad thing. Perhaps you’d prefer the good old days when gay people were discriminated against, ostracised, beaten up, imprisoned and even murdered?

  • Roger

    I’m with you in part. He talks of gay people suffering “sexual health inequalities”. Some sexual patterns are more dangerous than others; it goes with it that equality won’t apply to related sexual health outcomes. But I can certainly agree with his logic when he touches on issues like suicide. People feeling they are not accepted feeds into that and that’s not just about marriage laws.

  • Roger

    I’d say MSM, the term he used, is much more than 2 per cent.

  • The worm!

    “People feeling they are not accepted feeds into that and that’s not just about marriage laws.”

    Indeed, nor is it something specific to those who would pursue the cause of same -sex marriage.

    So really, do they truly want to be “equal”, or something more?

  • The worm!

    “Always a suspicious sign when people are obsessed or even moderately interested in what consenting adults do in private.”

    Just remind me again, today’s parade is about what?

    Or are you not “even moderately interested”?

  • David

    Personally I’m interested in equality for gay people in NI. I’m not even moderately interested in their sex lives.

  • notimetoshine

    The comments on this post are absolutely appalling and fall far below the standard of comments slugger usually attracts. Blatant man playing, it is absolutely scandalous.

  • Roger

    “[t]hose” who would pursue the cause of same-sex marriage are, in my estimation, the majority of the population; albeit some pursuing it more vigorously than others. So I don’t know what “those” you are referring to.

    Suicide is an issue that hits gay people harder than most other major groups. Like with any other aspect of social policy, policies must be tailored to address specific requirements: one being to combat suicide amongst gays.

    Similarly, unemployed people need specific help in up-skilling and identifying work opportunities. A specific requirement best addressed by a tailored approach.

    Whether we are talking of gays or the unemployed, in neither case are we talking about a group that wants to be treated as more than “equal”. Rather, we are talking about groups with specific issues requiring group-specific responses. It’s just common sense.

  • The worm!

    So unemployed people have less need of suicide provision and gay people have less need of jobs?

    And exactly how would you apply such differentiation, would unemployed people be offered training before gay people? I can imagine that would go down well!

    Would a gay person be offered counseling before someone who had just been made redundant and was faced with financial ruin and probably loosing their home?

    This “group-specific responses” you talk about, how much money extra would it cost to provide all the analysis required to determine who needs what? And where would this money be found when public services are struggling to provide even a basic level of care across society?

    Such pie-in-the-sky aspirations might be increasingly common parlance, but it is certainly not common sense!

    To think that putting people in to groups and then prioritising their needs against each other has anything to do with equality when it is plainly the exact opposite is just bonkers.

  • The worm!

    I take it you simply can’t see the hypocrisy in that statement?

  • David

    Why don’t you explain it?

  • The worm!

    Are you being deliberately obtuse?

  • David

    No I’m asking you to explain what you found hypocritical.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    No doubt you need to learn how to spell.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Today’s parade is called Pride: pride in one’s identity, pride in the partnership we happen to be in, pride in not hiding and pride in not feeling shame. These are all things that anyone should take for granted. Do you seriously think it’s about promoting sex? If not could you please enlighten us?

  • Roger

    Until your last para, that was all pretty silly stuff.

    Grouping people and prioritizing the needs of specific groups is a part of everyday life. Uncontroversial and a practice as old as government. You can’t claim unemployment benefit unless you’ve been identified (i.e. grouped) as unemployed. Your need for money and jobs training is then prioritized above the needs of someone who already has a job. I can’t claim a pension unless I’m in the older age group etc. Groups do get identified and prioritized.

    Gays, a group, are more vulnerable to suicide than those who are not gay. Suicide prevention initiatives specifically targeted at them is perfectly common sense. Just like unemployment benefits for the unemployed or pensions for the old.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Have a look at the images of today’s parade: there was a lot of celebration and joy.
    Anyway, you chose to read the above and then elected to write about it.

  • The worm!

    “Today’s parade is called Pride: pride in one’s identity, pride in the
    partnership we happen to be in, pride in not hiding and pride in not
    feeling shame.”

    All commendable virtues which every human being should strive to achieve to as great a degree as possible.

    Two questions.

    In what way does a very public display help you to find (or even seek) that which only exists and only can be found deep within oneself?

    Why the removal of “gay” from the event?

  • The worm!

    Sexual orientation is the very criteria by which they classify themselves. So to say you support their sexual orientation but have no interest in their sexual orientation is pretty hypocritical is it not!

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    No, I am concerned with the knock-on effects for wider society, whether through disease or destroying healthy families and relationships through destructive culture promoting conflict between male and female through normalisation of the utterly degenerate and promiscuous. Then again, doubt the average libt@rd has actually thought about the consequences of their careless beliefs.

    Yes “equality” is an absolutely terrible thing in 99+% of cases, because it doesn’t exist in reality and pretending different behaviours/things/people/atoms to be “equal”, no matter their differences in reality is a denial of truth. You should maybe do some research into the 10s of millions of people murdered in the past century because of the impossible “equality”.

  • The worm!

    “that was all pretty silly stuff.”

    Indeed it was. Given that it would be the logical outworking of what you classed as “common sense”, I’m glad that you have seen the nonsense of your argument.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    There is no such thing as “sexual orientation”. Either you are sexual (i.e. male-female attraction) or you are seeking kind of abnormal asexual who imitates sexual behaviour by playing with faecal passages.

  • David

    Ah yes the ‘knock-on effects’ of gay equality you mention, which don’t appear to have affected the rest of the UK or the ROI in the slightest. Bad luck there.

    On the other hand, my previous examples of alcohol consumption and obesity certainly do have huge ‘knock-on effects for wider society’. Yet somehow gay people are the problem?

    You do mention the term ‘promiscuous’, so I daresay you have big problems with the widespread availability of contraception, co-habitation and children born outside of wedlock too. Or is it just homosexuality you have a problem with?

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    There is little to be “proud” of with this degenerate lifestyle. Just like the word “gay” has been hijacked by something the complete opposite, so too has bright colour itself, with an abnormal unhealthy (both physically and mentally) lifestyle being promoted and the vulnerable and easily influenced people in society taken in as if it is simply some festival of colour. Add to that the political demand to destroy the institution primarily for the protection of children, and there are quite a few businesses around central Belfast who have been added to my boycott list.
    http://i.imgur.com/AGuADRD.jpg

  • David

    That wasn’t what I said. I have zero interest in the details of gay peoples’ private sexual interactions (unlike many non-gay people, who seem obsessed with such acts). I’m merely concerned that they not be discriminated against simply for being gay.

  • David

    And here we have an excellent example of someone obsessing over the details of gay sex. Nice description there, if a little worrying that you’re thinking about it at all.

    It’s a simple fact though that gay people generally aren’t sexually attracted to the opposite sex, therefore they have same-sex sexual orientation.

    Don’t take my word for it though. Here’s the dictionary definition:

    Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    Well given, the huge rates of utter degenerate culture, promotion of promiscuity and everything but the healthy family throughout the rest of the British Isles, along with highest rates of relationship breakdown and delinquency recorded, I think it is a major problem.

    Yes, I do oppose the destructive culture in your last paragraph too. “LGBT” politics is simply a major vector to attack and enforce abnormal behaviours, and promotes culture which runs counter to healthy normal sexual relations within marriage between a monogamous man and a woman which benefit children the most.

    Your points about alcohol and obesity make no logical sense and are making some sort of weird assumption that I think the promotion of “gay” perverts is the only angle of degenerate culture that exists.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    So if you discuss the reality of the sordid lifestyles being promoted and endlessly bombarded with in the media for trying to protect marriage then it is apparently MY “obsession”. Aye, sure. I’m not the one making it out to be a whole week now of “pride”, boasting about it being “the biggest parade of the year” , hosting a multitude of events about it, bombarding us with it month in and out on BBC and channel 4, and decorating my business in politically motivated symbolism.

    In terms of biology it is not sexual. This term was invented by agenda-driven activists and the dictionary is merely repeating common usage, not logic using the original meaning of the scientific term “sexual”.

  • David

    My point regarding alcohol and obesity is that both are hugely and genuinely destructive to the health and fabric of society, while your aversion to gay people appears to be based solely on your own revulsion.

    You talk about ”normal healthy sexual relations within marriage”, yet a huge number of heterosexual relations take place outside marriage and many couples no longer get married at all. And even worse, heterosexual couples frequently engage in ‘gay sex’ as well. It seems that virtually everyone is ‘perverted’ in some way in your opinion.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    No-one IS inherently “gay” (whatever that means). You are describing a promoted behaviour and lifestyle. Civilizationally destructive lifestyles should not be promoted.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    While any healthy person should have a revulsion to arseholes and intimacy to the same sex, my aversion to this promoted behaviour is primarily due to its destructive impact on society as a whole.

    Indeed, we live in times of near complete civilizational decay.

  • David

    ”In terms of biology it is not sexual.”
    One clue that you’re wrong may be in the term ‘homosexual.’ Another may be that gay people (male and female) do engage in sexual relations with each other and would be rather surprised to learn that they’re not doing so. I think what you mean is that gay people cannot sexually reproduce?

    You mention wanting to ‘protect’ marriage, an institution which currently results in approx. 50% failure and is increasingly ignored altogether in favour of co-habitation. You’ll also find that a sizeable majority in the ROI voted in favour of same-sex marriage two years ago and polls here in NI consistently indicate a similar level of support. The huge turnout at today’s Pride parade in Belfast is another indicator.

    You’re welcome to your opinion but you’ll find that it’s an increasingly minority one.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    The “joy” is a facade while in public during this farce. They should stop promoting their destructive and depressing lifestyles to others as if that ill behaviour is something to celebrate.

  • David

    Shouldn’t they? So again, promotion of alcohol and junk food should be banned, as they can result in ‘civilizationally destructive lifestyles’ no?

    And do you really think people ‘choose’ to be gay because it’s somehow being ‘promoted?’ Up until a few decades ago, being gay generally resulted in social ostracisation, verbal and physical abuse and potential imprisonment, yet many people were still gay, albeit less conspicuously.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    “homosexual” is another loaded term in created by those with a vested interest. It is not sexual at all, nor are such relations.

    Yes, we live in times of great civilizational decline, as indicated by the number of people supporting civilizationally destructive behaviours. This is about right and wrong, not about misguided popularity or fashion.

  • David

    ”primarily due to its destructive impact on society as a whole.”
    …which you’ve singularly failed to quantify in any way. So far all you’ve stated (often graphically) is your own personal revulsion.

  • The worm!

    “I’m merely concerned that they not be discriminated against simply for being gay.”

    Do you not think that the legal situation regarding discrimination allied to the eagerness with which it seems to be applied in favor of the gay community means that your concern is somewhat unfounded!

  • David

    In other words, your personal opinion of right and wrong. Unfortunately or otherwise, society tends to move on and ideas of what is right and wrong can change in a very short time. The fact that young people in particular have a high acceptance rate on gay issues would suggest that you’re on the wrong side of history. Maybe time to ask yourself why you have such an aversion to what consenting adults do in private and accept that you may be the one with the problem.

  • David

    Not when we have a situation where democratic votes are blocked by petitions of concern, when a senior MLA seriously tries to introduce a ‘conscience clause’ and members of the largest local party regularly make anti-gay statements no.

  • David

    These entirely bogus statistics are courtesy of a group called ‘Vanguard America’. This is their Twitter bio:

    ”Vanguard America | The Face of American Fascism | Join Us in the Struggle for Race and Nation”

    This explains a lot Mr Deplorable.

  • The worm!

    Well then we return to the point that I’ve raised before yet never seem to be given a proper answer to.

    Given the assertion that “it’s no longer about same sex marriage”, in what way are gay members of society discriminated against, in what way are they afforded less rights or public services than any other member of society, in what way are they not “equal”?

  • The worm!

    “So again, promotion of alcohol and junk food should be banned, as they
    can result in ‘civilizationally destructive lifestyles’ no?”

    Yes they probably should, certainly alcohol. After all it was done with tobacco, so why not alcohol which is certainly much more “civilizationally destructive”.

    Junk food could be difficult as it would cause serious problems with classification.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    Sounds sensible to me given the demographic eradication European peoples are facing within a single generation.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    No, there are objective measures for what creates civilizational strength. Actively promoting anti-traditional-family measures is not one of them.

  • David

    Looks like the mask has slipped Mr Deplorable. Racism, paranoia and homophobia are not attractive traits.

  • David

    Whereas sensible folk quote patently fabricated statistics made up by some racist nut job self confessed fascist group in America. Sorry but any credibility your argument may have had is entirely negated.

  • David

    Is there a movement in NI to legally sanction discrimination against heterosexuals because they’re heterosexual? Or Christians because they’re Christian? The answer is no. There is however a movement associated with evangelical Christians and DUP representatives to do just that under the guise of a ‘conscience clause’. We still have a situation where it’s acceptable for representatives of the largest political party to use hate speech against a minority community and to block a democratic vote on the basis of their own prejudice. While that situation remains, the gay community and (given the huge turnout yesterday) their supporters are fully justified in making their presence felt.

  • David

    Agree. I don’t think either of us saw that coming.

  • David

    Agree, at least partially. I don’t think either of us saw that coming.

  • The worm!

    “Movements” are irrelevant.

    There are probably “movements” somewhere to either support or ban just about every human activity on the planet.

    What is important is legislation and it’s application/enforcement. And if you want to look at recent history on that one you’d certainly have more cause for grievance as a Christian than being gay.

    So again, leaving same-sex marriage aside, how can gays justifiably claim that they’re being discriminated against?

  • Zeno

    Blokes left out one of the most important things. Cake (with writing on it obvs)

  • David

    As per my previous post, there is very clear intent to discriminate. Something such as the proposed ‘conscience clause’ would allow people to deny goods and services to the gay community on the basis of religious belief (for which read homophobia). As shown in America, freedoms won on issues such as abortion and gay rights can be rolled back. While that very real threat and expressed prejudice continues to exist, there is every reason to protest.

  • The worm!

    “religious belief (for which read homophobia).”

    That’s probably just about the most intolerant and bigoted statement on this whole topic.

    And you’ve the nerve to point the finger at others.

    Absolutely shameful!

  • David

    Really? Then explain to me why myriad sins such as gluttony, financial enrichment and working on the Sabbath are studiously ignored by the vast majority of professing Christians, whilst homosexuality is constantly focussed on? Cherry picking scripture to justify a prejudice is quite simply cowardly.

  • The worm!

    “myriad sins such as gluttony, financial enrichment and working on the Sabbath are studiously ignored by the vast majority of professing Christians,”

    Really?

    Prejudice is a terrible thing, so much worse when allied with hypocrisy!

  • David

    Once again I agree. Couldn’t have put it better myself 😉

  • Brendan Heading
  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    What ‘ill’ behaviour?

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Your comments require a large degree of tolerance. You obviously don’t accept counter arguments but then many don’t accept your position either.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Why, why, why? You can answer your pointless questions yourself. I’m not bothered to do your thinking for you.

  • The worm!

    No answers eh.

    Maybe you should avoid debate in future then if all you want to do is hear yourself!

  • David McCann

    Folks,

    It take A LOT of bravery to highlight these issues. It really does.

    Argue the facts of the issues and disagree on approaches, that’s fair enough.

    However, some of the comments have strayed into man playing which is unacceptable. A number of comments have had to be removed & a user has been shown the door.

    I would remind you again of the sites rules on commenting, we are prepared to give some ground for a robust debate but just straight abuse will not be tolerated.

  • Abominable Ulsterman

    There is no point in even engaging in discussions on Slugger O’Toole. No criticism or factual statement on the unhygenic and abnormal practices of the obnoxious anti-family “LGBT” lobby is permitted. Yet post support for a mass murdering terrorist organisation and you are fine. A sick sick world and a sick sick perverted bunch of moderators

  • Abominable Ulsterman

    If you aren’t being called those names by the loony brigade sending the West down the Civilizational drain, then you aren’t speaking out enough.

  • DOUG

    It’s not about supporting their sexual orientation, it’s about viewing their orientation as no more or less valid than your’s or mine.
    There’s a huge difference in supporting the cause and supporting their ” orientation “

  • DOUG

    You don’t actually believe anything you’ve written. You’re a character, like Andy Kauffman.

  • DOUG

    It’s clearly meant in a good way – like the Faboy Slim song.
    Back once again with the ill behaviour
    It’s means it’s cool, or as the kids would put it dope…

  • DOUG

    LGBDTQ – fixed it for you.

  • The worm!

    Their orientation is their cause, you support their cause you support their orientation, without acknowledging their orientation you don’t even accept that they have a cause.

    Now if the gay community were spearheading a campaign for greater protection for hedgehogs for example (something I would certainly support!), then you could support their cause without reference to their orientation, but that’s not the case is it?

    Thus the hypocrisy which I refer to.

  • Abominable Ulsterman

    No, I am real and there are many many people like me who have had enough. Get out of your echo chamber, undo your brainwashing, and actually listen to the opinions of actual people rather than what you are told you must think by the treacherous mainstream media.

  • DOUG

    Not really – their cause is not to be discriminated against BECAUSE of their orientation. Acknowledging their orientation and supporting it are 2 different things. I don’t support homosexuality, in the same way I don’t support heterosexuality, gravity or photosynthesis – it’s a naturally occurring thing that doesn’t need my support to exist. Their actual orientation is of literally no interest to me. How people are treated because of it though, is.
    So what I do support is the right for those people not to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.
    It’s not even a subtle distinction and you’re deliberately pretending not to see it.

  • DOUG

    But AU – you are the mainstream. Fox news is the most watched news channel in the states, The Tories & DUP are the biggest parties in the UK & NI respectively, Brexit passed and The Sun & Daily Mail are the 2 biggest newspapers by circulation.You’re not railing against the establishment or fighting against the mainstream, you’re floating comfortably along in the middle of the mainstream.

  • The worm!

    You can try to explain to me what’s in your own mind, but don’t try to tell me what’s in mine.

    I’m not pretending, deliberately or otherwise, it’s simply not the way I see it, therefore I see hypocrisy.

    However, maybe you can then answer the question that all the other vocal supporters seem to loose their voice when asked.

    Leaving same sex marriage out of the equation, how are they being “discriminated against”?

  • DOUG

    Why would you remove same sex marriage from the equation?
    But anyway, just in this thread we see gay people referred to as ” destroying healthy families and relationships “, ” degenerate ” and ” disordered ” and those are just the comments that were allowed to stay on the page.
    There are a myriad of derogatory words for gays, based solely on the fact that they’re gay – how many are there for straight people?
    Ever been to night out and seen it advertised as “Straight ” or ” Straight Friendly ” and felt reassured about your safety because of it?
    Discrimination goes far beyond any narrow legal definition regarding rights and services – it goes to society’s perception and treatment of people.

  • The worm!

    “Why would you remove same sex marriage from the equation?”

    Errrr, because that’s the premise of the article, read the first five words of the title.

    “But anyway, just in this thread we see gay people referred to as…………….”

    Yes, and we also see “religious belief” referred to as homophobia. Prejudice takes many forms and many different groups and individuals are subject to it. It’s one area where gays certainly don’t hold the monopoly.

    “There are a myriad of derogatory words for gays,”

    “Queer” used to be one of them and now they use it themselves, just goes to show what’s in a name! Have to say it’s a term I don’t think I’d ever be at all comfortable using despite it’s new found acceptability.

    “Discrimination goes far beyond any narrow legal definition regarding rights and services – it goes to society’s perception and treatment of people.”

    It certainly does, but surely the aim of being seen and respected as a normal member of society would be better served by simply acting like one rather than continually standing up shouting and demanding it.

  • DOUG

    “Errrr, because that’s the premise of the article, read the first five words of the title.”

    It’s not JUST about marriage. That doesn’t remove marriage from the equation, it overtly includes it.

    “Yes, and we also see “religious belief” referred to as homophobia. Prejudice takes many forms and many different groups and individuals are subject to it. It’s one area where gays certainly don’t hold the monopoly.”

    Whataboutery and straw man in one. Nowhere above has anyone said that gays have a monopoly on discrimination.

    “Queer” used to be one of them and now they use it themselves, just goes to show what’s in a name! Have to say it’s a term I don’t think I’d ever be at all comfortable using despite it’s new found acceptability.

    And it’s to your credit that you wouldn’t. Anyway, as to my question abut derogatory terms for straight people based solely on their heterosexuality?

    “It certainly does, but surely the aim of being seen and respected as a normal member of society would be better served by simply acting like one rather than continually standing up shouting and demanding it.”
    Can you give me an example of a major civil rights issue that was solved by those discriminated against just getting on with things and trying to blend in? If you can, I’ll concede that it’s a a valid option.

  • The worm!

    Like all the others you are avoiding the question (your whataboutery charge especially is pretty ridiculous as I wasn’t even using the comparison to duck anything!).

    The topic is unashamedly making a point that the “gay rights” issue goes beyond same sex marriage. There have been several other articles on here recently raising the exact same thing so it is plainly now gay policy. You yourself have just made the point that gay rights is a “major civil rights issue”.

    So I repeat, in what way are members of the gay community denied anything that any other member of society is not?

    It is a very simple question but seems to be beyond anyone to answer. I’m starting to feel like Jeremy Paxman actually!

  • DOUG

    Sorry for the delayed reply, Jr has the Chjcken Pox so I wasn’t online yesterday. The beloved’s off work today so she’s assumed nursing duties.

    I don’t think I’ve actually avoided anything. I’ve went through your post, line by line and responded directly to everything you’ve written.

    I agree that the article states that the issue goes beyond gay rights. I disagree that this removes marriage from the equation, as stated above it overtly includes gay marriage.

    I stand by my accusation of whataboutery – I quoted directly some derogatory remarks about gays from the article and instead of addressing them, you referred directly to remarks about religion stating

    “”Yes, and we also see “religious belief” referred to as homophobia. Prejudice takes many forms and many different groups and individuals are subject to it. It’s one area where gays certainly don’t hold the monopoly.


    Finally as to what way gay members of the community are denied anything that other members of society are not, I believe I answered that when I mentioned the terms gay friendly, talked about the derogatory terms for LGBTQ people ETC. They are denied a level of acceptance in wider society that straight people simply aren’t. But, if you’d like a legal answer it doesn’t take much a google to find out that LGBT people in NI are in the only part of the UK where the British Equality Act doesn’t apply. ILGA rates NI as having a 74% equality level as opposed to 86% in the UK overall and 92% in Scotland.
    Now, if we can come back to the matter of questions not being answered – I did ask you for examples of derogatory terms for straight people and I did ask for an example of a civil rights issue that was solved by those concerned keeping their heads down and trying to blend in.
    Ill be dipping in and out today, but I’ll definitely get back to you.

  • DOUG

    I don’t think the parade is about finding or seeking pride, I think it’s about displaying it.