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Former Irish Rugby Star Says Gays Have No Interest In Sports: VIDEO

Francis

Former Irish Rugby star and sports commentator Neil Francis recently made comments about homosexuality and sports that have landed him in hot water. As RTE Sport reports, the remarks ensued during a round-table conversation on the radio show Off the Ball on Newstalk that began with a discussion of American football player Michael Sam’s recent coming out. Referring to Sam, Francis said:

“This is a different coming-out than any other. I was in the States, and I was watching Missouri [Sam’s college team] play, before they got to the Cotton Bowl, and I noticed this guy because he was very flamboyant, and y’know, a bit of a showman, and a very good player. No question about that.

“And I think it was Jimi Hendrix that said, ah, y’know, talking about Janis Joplin’s death, y’know: ‘Great career move’. So, is this - what is the motivation for coming out?”

After questioning Sam’s motives for coming out, Francis then went on to insist that there are not that many gay men involved in sports and that gay men by and large have little interest in sports:

“You do a survey of the hair-dressing industry and find out how many heterosexuals work in that…Professional sport, by its very nature, doesn’t promote, y’know, sort of, there are a wide range of people who are homosexual, and, that exact, the environment that they’re in isn’t something that they’re interested in…What are their interests? I mean, If you’ve ever sat down with, y’know, homosexual people, and asked them what their interests are, very often they have no interest in any kind of sport. That’s my experience from sitting down with them; I’ve done it on a regular basis.”

 On how his views will be received, Francis added:

 “A lot of people would sort of say, well, y’know, y’know sort of what you’ve said really is stereotyping, but y’know, I don’t care. I’m here. I’m gonna express an opinion.”

Francis said he hadn’t watched any of the Winter Olympics because he was “sick and tired of, y’know, sort of picking up, y’know angles on whether the Russians have an anti-gay policy or not. It’s about the Olympics or not, and the side issue has just put me off.”

Francis has since attempted to backpedal his derisive statements, according to The Telegraph:

"When I got home I had a listen to the interview again and it didn't sound like me at all – and a lot of people who listened to it said 'it's not your form'," he said on Today FM's 'The Last Word' programme yesterday.

"Some of the points I tried to make were very clumsily made and my language and the analogies I tried to make were quite poor and poorly expressed, and it's unusual for me not to be able to articulate myself. In this instance, I was unable to do so.

"Listening to what I said, on reflection, I probably said the wrong things and some of the things I said were extremely clumsy. On reflection, I would like to withdraw those comments and apologise profusely and unreservedly.”

You can watch the original discussion in full, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Former Irish Rugby Star Says Gays Have No Interest In Sports: VIDEO" »


Eurovision Star Ryan Dolan Comes Out: VIDEO

Dolan

Ryan Dolan, perhaps best known as Ireland’s contestant in Eurovision’s Song Contest last year (which saw the entrance of a pro-equality song titled ‘Marry Me’), came out of the closet in an interview with Ireland’s Radio One. As The Independent reports, the singer told radio personality Derek Mooney,  “In school I was confused about who I was, and it was really hard for me growing up because of that. It was hard to deal with because I knew that I was gay, but I couldn't get the courage to talk to someone about it.”

Dolan also admits that he contemplated suicide while struggling to come out: “I never attempted suicide, but it was a thought in my mind.” 

Perhaps Dolan's biggest fear at the time was what would happen after he came out to his father. When he finally shared his news with his father, Dolan was surprised by the supportive response he received:

“My father was the last person to find out because I was afraid of what he would think. I think he actually took it the better than anyone I told. I couldn’t ask for better parents, they’ve been great to me my whole life.

“My whole life I built it up in my head. The more I thought about it the harder it got. Telling my father was the main thing because me and my father would be very close.”

The singer, 28, also reflected on how quickly attitudes have changed towards homosexuality and how he wishes he had come out sooner:

“It’s not a big deal anymore. Things have changed compared to even when I was in school. Young people are coming out now at 15 or 16 which would never have happened when I was at school.”

“Thinking back now I wish I would have came out about it a long time ago. I think my youth was wasted worrying all the time about it. If I had been more open back then I would have been happier.”

Dolan's new single, ‘Start Again’ is set to be released on March 7. The music video for the song will focus on, “two young boys in school, who know they’re gay,” according to Dolan.

Watch a video of Dolan, clad in leather and accompanied by a bevy of beefcake, performing at the Eurovision Song Contest with his song, ‘Only Love Survives,’ AFTER THE JUMP…

Tattoos

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Ireland to Recognize Foreign Gay Marriages if 2015 Referendum is Approved

IrelandIreland is planning a public referendum on same-sex marriage before the summer of 2015, and made a new announcement yesterday:

A Department of Justice spokesman last night confirmed that – prior to the referendum – same-sex marriages in England and Wales would be recognised as civil partnerships in Ireland.

If the referendum allowing same sex marriage in Ireland is passed, however, unions that took place in 45 foreign countries will be granted retrospective recognition as marriages in this jurisdiction.


Famous Irish Drag Queen Panti Bliss Blasts Homophobia on Stage of National Theatre: VIDEO

P_bliss

On Saturday night, Rory O'Neill, also known as drag queen and activist Panti Bliss, took the stage after a performance of James Plunkett’s 1913 Lockout drama The Risen People in the national theatre, and gave an impassioned speech on homophobia that is making headlines across Ireland.

Our tipster Hugh F. explains:

Last night, on the Abbey Theatre stage, the national theatre of Ireland, Ms. Panti Bliss (Rory O'Neill), Ireland's most celebrated drag queen and gay rights activist made an impassioned speech about the oppression of homophobia. Appearing as Rory O'Neill a few weeks earlier on the Saturday Night show, he called out a number of public figures who he deemed homophobic because of their active campaigning to treat homosexuals differently. Those people threatened legal action against O'Neill and RTÉ (the national broadcaster) and a large sum of money was paid out in settlement. Ms. Panti Bliss took to the stage of the national theatre to set the record "straight".

Watch Panti Bliss's speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Irish Hurler Conor Cusack Comes Out

Cusack

In a lengthy blog post published on Monday, Irish hurler Conor Cusack, came out of the closet. Cusack played the Gaelic sport of hurling with the Cork senior inter-county team in 2006 and now plays with the local club in Cloyne. He has made national headlines in Ireland for his devotion to helping others battle depression, which he has battled his whole life.

Cusack writes, in part:

I’ve known for a good while now that I have been sexually attracted to men. In that time, I’ve had relationships with women, and enjoyed them immensely but I’ve always had more fulfilment from being with a man. I’m not sure what label society would categorise me under. I remember a doctor one time telling me I was a bi-polar depressive and a different guy a few weeks later telling me I was a manic depressive. Go figure that one out! Life for me is never black or white (though I know a lot about the blackness) but more about different shades of grey....

...I have been comfortable with this area of my life and I never felt the need to discuss it with anyone. That is until recently. As I crossed the border from Galway into Clare and then back home to Cork and through the towns of Buttevant, Charleville and Mallow, I thought strongly about the current Mental Health work I am involved with. I thought about all the different people that I have spoken to and about all the upcoming events that I have committed to. I asked myself the question ‘Do I need to talk and discuss this aspect and area of my life?

Cusack is the brother of hurler Donal Og Cusack, who came out as gay in 2009.


Ireland's Trinity College to Ban Coca-Cola, P&G Products During Sochi Games

Citing Coca-Cola's refusal to denounce Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws, Ireland’s Trinity College has announced that products by the Olympic sponsor will be banned from the campus during the upcoming Sochi Games. Products made by Proctor & Gamble, also a sponsor, will be banned as well.

Trinity collegeTheJournal.ie reports that LGBTQ Rights Officer for Trinity College Dublin Students' Union, Stephen Hatton wrote a letter to Coca-Cola announcing their school's intent to boycott the company:

"Your company had an unparalleled opportunity to denounce the vulgar and inhumane Anti-Gay Laws of Russia on a worldwide stage, an action which, if made, would have undoubtedly sparked global awareness and positive change for the LGBTQ community in Russia and beyond."

Leanna Byrne, Communications Officer with TCDSU, says the ban “sends our a strong message”

“We’ve been mandated by the students to do this,” she said. “I think it’s very important that we stand by our minority groups. People might think it is not a student issue, but it it certainly is for a lot of  the people in college.”

She added: “There seems to be a lot of positive reaction from LGBT societies and organisations throughout the country.

TCDSU has also written to Coca-Cola about the company’s recent removal of a gay marriage scene from an Irish TV advertisement, saying that the omission is “an open insult to the LGBTQ community in Ireland and further adds to Coca-Cola’s complete disregard for LGBTQ people on an international level. 


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