Analysis

Wednesday 23 July 2014

The view of the Communications Minister

Published 02/02/2014|02:30

  • Share

On Friday, Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, issued this statement:

  • Share
  • Go To

"Speaking personally, I have never used the term 'homophobe' to describe those who disagree with me on issues of gay equality in general or gay marriage in particular. It is too loaded a term to be used to categorise those who hold contrary views on what is a matter for legitimate public debate.

"That said, I would also hope that people and institutions that hold themselves out as commentators on, or contributors to, public debate fully appreciate – as most politicians do – that debate can be robust, heated, personal and sometimes even hostile. If you enter the arena, you cannot expect that the Queensbury Rules will always apply.

"It would be a matter of serious concern if recourse to our defamation laws was to have a chilling effect on the conduct of public debate on this issue in the lead-in to the forthcoming referendum on gay marriage.

"I have no intention of interfering in RTE's management of the litigation claims against it. But I do expect that RTE remains fully committed to its chief obligation as a public service broadcaster – to ensure the full and free exchange of information and opinion on all matters of legitimate public interest."

Irish Independent

Read More

Classifieds

CarsIreland

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet, chat and connect with
singles in your area

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet Singles Now

Findajob

Apps

Now available on

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice