Monday 23 October 2017

Closing down debate on sensitive issues poses a danger to society

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

Last week in the Irish Independent, issues around politicians' partners were discussed and with that the sexuality of aspiring Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar arose.

Elsewhere and separately on the Independent.ie website, photos of Mr Varadkar's male partner were also published. There followed some criticism of both publications for raising the issue of a politician's sexual orientation.

The thinking behind this criticism was that whether a politician is gay or straight is irrelevant to the holding of high office and that it should therefore not be part of public discourse.

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