Monday 16 January 2017

Free speech and not gay marriage is real issue here

Our libel laws mean that in the mainstream media, there cannot be any real debate on contentious matters, writes Willie Kealy

Published 02/02/2014 | 02:30

CATALYST: Rory O'Neill, aka Panti, appeared on ‘The Saturday Night Show’.
CATALYST: Rory O'Neill, aka Panti, appeared on ‘The Saturday Night Show’.

I SUSPECT not that many members of the general populace are lying awake in their beds at night worrying about the current "homophobia" debate. Partly that's because most people are not really engaged. They don't share the Tanaiste's view that same sex marriage is the big social issue of the day. But mostly it's because there hasn't really been what could actually be called a debate at all.

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It started with a performance artist who is gay saying on the Saturday Night Show on RTE that he felt a number of people, whom he identified, were homophobic because of their stance on the question of gay marriage – and by extension – on gay adoption.

This was quickly followed by solicitors' letters from all of those whom he identified, and eventually an apology from RTE.

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