Who would dare to oppose gay marriage and risk being accused of homophobia

Opinion: To describe someone as homophobic is to take their good name

Sun, Feb 9, 2014, 09:10

Or because I worry about these “commissioned” children being deliberately separated from one or both of their biological parents, a situation that anyone who watched Philomena should abhor? What about the equal rights of children to their kinship heritage?

But Rory O’Neill didn’t say you were homophobic in any serious way, people tell me. He said he was homophobic himself. He said it was impossible to avoid, given that we live in such a homophobic society.

Suppose I declare that I am anti-Catholic. I can’t help absorbing the increasingly anti-Catholic sentiments surrounding me, not to mention centuries of bitter repression by anti-Catholic colonists.

Having confessed my own anti-Catholicism, with impunity I can now “out” some really nasty anti-Catholics, in their absence and at peak viewing time on television. If anti-Catholicism can embrace a spectrum ranging from internalised feelings of unease to beating up Catholics or imprisoning them and threatening them with capital punishment under Islamic anti-blasphemy laws then anyone I label as anti-Catholic will automatically be much further along the spectrum than I am.

Given my well-known advocacy position, does anyone think that my anti- Catholicism bears any resemblance to the anti-Catholicism I am accusing others of?

Strong homophobic elements
Clearly, I don’t believe we live in an anti-Catholic society, but I agree that there are strong homophobic elements in Ireland. (I wrote an article recently about the need to combat homophobia. Let no good deed go unpunished, my mother would have said morosely.)

Odd that you can name in 10 seconds everyone writing for a national newspaper who disagrees with gay marriage, but it would take about a week to name everyone who agrees. Yet we are allegedly the dark, powerful force who control the media and the judiciary? It’s risible.

The sad thing is that until a month ago the only thing I had against Rory O’Neill was that he looks so much better in a dress than I do. Even sadder, voters are being told that there are only two reasons that anyone would vote no to gay marriage – either homophobia, or being such a chronic slow learner that you have not yet ascended to the dizzyingly oxygen-deprived heights of the moral high ground.

It sounds suspiciously to me as if you can vote any way you like so long as it’s yes. And if we do vote yes, one of the unintended consequences will be giving the approval of society to the kind of labelling and exclusion of dissent we have witnessed in recent weeks.

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