Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 2 August 2007

Signs of hope for tolerance of gays in Northern Ireland

I may not particularly like the messenger, but I have great pleasure in acknowledging the efforts of Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MP, to show solidarity with the gay community of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has an unfortunate history of homophobia, but recent efforts to tackle this, it would seem with some success, are extremely welcome. The Belfast Telegraph has a second report on the Gay Pride week in [London]Derry.

What is specially heartening about this development is that it seems to indicate that the recent outbreak of peace in Northern Ireland is establishing genuine roots. It is notable that First Minister, The Rev. Ian Paisley MP, is not quoted in the linked articles; he is undoubtedly (I would imagine) as opposed as he ever was to the 'evils of sodomy', but is keeping schtoom for the sake of the peace process he has helped to bring about, along with Martin McGuinness; I don't under-estimate the significance of this. Whilst Paisley's son (who works in the Office of the First Minister, his father) has not resiled from the anti-gay comments he made recently, his father would seem to have decided that maintenance of the recent agreement between the two major opposing wings of NI politics is more important than a reversion to doctrinal posturing. Maybe the Northern Ireland peace process really is for keeps, this time.

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