'I still get homophobic abuse on the streets or in texts to TV3' - Alan Hughes
Alan Hughes has revealed he is still subjected to homophobic abuse on the streets of Dublin.
The Ireland AM presenter (45) had the first high-profile civil partnership in Ireland in September 2011 after tying the knot with partner Karl Broderick and has always been open about his sexuality.
However, the Ballyfermot native says he still gets called "faggot" on the street and received abusive messages in TV3.
The panto star has spoken of his disappointment that full marriage rights still aren't available for same-sex couples, with the marriage referendum not pencilled in until February 2015.
He and Karl also turned down an invite to a prestigious music event in Russia because of the country's appalling treatment of its gay citizens.
"There are always going to be homophobes and people who think being gay is an abomination," he says.
"I don't harp on about being gay but I speak openly about Karl on TV, I would mention him the same way someone would mention their husband or wife and I've always done that.
"And I've had some guys coming up to me on the street saying how our wedding made it so much easier to come out and tell their parents because they see us just going around, living out lives.
"I still get abuse on the streets or texts into TV3 from people calling me, 'That faggot off TV' or sending in messages saying, 'Sure what would he know about such and such, he's only a dirty gay.'
"Of course it bothers you. It's like anyone being called anything abusive because of their race of their colour. It's the same thing."
His partner Karl Broderick recently had his Eurosong entry The Movie Song chosen by Russia's RU.TV for a major music award - the equivalent of a Grammy.
They were invited over to attend the ceremony in Moscow last month- but the couple refused point blank due to Putin's anti-gay legislation.
"We watched this documentary on it and I said, 'I'm not going somewhere that treats gay people like that.' I wouldn't be able to reconcile it with myself so we didn't go out of protest," he said.