Tuesday 6 December 2016

Hateful opinions are harmful

Published 06/11/2011 | 05:00

Sir -- I am a gay woman. I spent a large part of my youth figuring this out about myself. It is really only in the past few years of my 20s that I have become comfortable with who I am. I am lucky, in that all my family and friends have been incredibly supportive throughout this period of self-realisation. Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993, the year before I went to secondary school, and only a few years before I began thinking that I might be gay. It was many years before I became comfortable enough to be honest with myself and others around me about my sexuality.

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I don't think you understand how harmful it is for a national newspaper to spout the ill-formed, hateful and bigoted opinions which you have given a platform.

I have no problem at all with someone believing that homosexuality is wrong, or abhorrent. I may think that person is misinformed, bigoted, and wrong, but I am fully behind people having opinions. What is not acceptable is giving those opinions such a high profile platform. Young people in Ireland have it hard, and young gay people are amongst the most bullied in society. Your paper, by publishing opinions such as Mr Delaney's, perpetuated this by making it acceptable for gay people to have less rights than other members of society.

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