Saturday 3 December 2016

Martina Devlin: I support gay marriage – now let's have a civilised debate on the issue

Published 06/02/2014 | 02:30

'Liberals can be as illiberal in the stances they adopt as fundamentalists and ‘homophobe’ is not a word to toss about without concrete proof. I don’t believe that those who seek to deny marriage rights to gays are homophobic.'
'Liberals can be as illiberal in the stances they adopt as fundamentalists and ‘homophobe’ is not a word to toss about without concrete proof. I don’t believe that those who seek to deny marriage rights to gays are homophobic.'

Ireland is a peculiar country. It takes a drag queen to force us to discuss a serious issue about equality for citizens and whether there can be any justification for withholding rights from one sector of society.

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Still, the matter has our attention now, between Madonna sending a message of support to the drag artiste in question, the national broadcaster fielding accusations of being a wuss and an argy-bargy in the Seanad – where the level of intellectual contribution remains pitiful, even when it operates for only two days a week. No, two days is not a printing error.

Gay rights in Ireland are on the mainstream agenda, thanks primarily to a Mayo man in his mid-40s called Rory O'Neill, who dresses up as a glamazon by the name of Panti. His intervention in the debate, which hadn't particularly caught fire before he sashayed into it, has been memorable.

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