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Irish Religious Right Mouthpiece Refuses To Debate Drag Queen Panti Bliss On Marriage Equality: VIDEO

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Irish anti-gay activist and Iona Institute mouthpiece Breda O’Brien (above left) has declined an invitation to debate Rory O’Neill - aka Panti Bliss (above right) - on grounds of illness, reports the Independent.

Last month, O’Brien, a teacher and columnist with the Irish Times, misquoted former Irish President Mary McAleese while attacking the latter’s pro-equality comments.

Although O’Brien initially challenged O’Neill to a debate, she has now claimed that she cannot take part as she has a "very bad case of bronchitis".

Oddly, she also claimed that a debate before the referendum would not be appropriate. Not so oddly and true to form, she made a lame attempt to muddy the waters by attacking the “systemic removal of No posters” and the decision by the Irish police force to support a yes vote.

Additionally, the officially non-homophobic journalist attacked the international financial support given to the ‘Yes’ side, neglecting to mention that the Iona Institute’s donations cannot be verified because the fake institute has refused to issue its accounts.

Obrien"I'm absolutely willing to have a debate, or preferably a conversation with Rory at the right time and the right place. But I don't believe now is the right time because it will only distract from the referendum campaign and the proposed massive constitutional change. Why do I say that? There was a deluge of offers from media outlets offering to host a debate. However, none of them showed the slightest interest in looking at the systematic removal of No posters throughout the country, or at the worrying intervention of [the police force] apparently advocating a Yes vote.

"There was no interest in investigating the distorting effect of millions of Atlantic Philanthropy dollars given to only one side of the debate for nearly a decade, with the aim of securing same-sex marriage. It made me wonder whether programme makers were seriously interested in informing the Irish public or simply interested in boosting ratings."

Despite the claims of media bias, Larry Masterson, producer of state broadcaster RTE’s The Saturday Night Show, said no parameters whatsoever had been discussed when O'Brien said no to the debate:

"We told Breda we would give her an equal time of four to five minutes for each side. There would be silence throughout and that the audience would be split fairly 50/50. There was no discussion of parameters but I would be happy to sit down and discuss anything she would like, even at this late stage. We are making ourselves available to her. In her allotted time she is also free to discuss any issue she wants. She can dedicate it all to talking about the [police] advocating a Yes vote or the removal of No posters, if she wants. We are still available this week. We rang Rory and within minutes he got back and said he would do it."

Rory O’Neill said he has been approached by "every TV and radio station in the country" and is ready to debate with Ms O'Brien "if she wants to".

But Ms O'Brien earlier this week told the Sunday Independent: "The point is that no journalist has undertaken to investigate any of the areas I spoke about. Offering me time to make the points in a debate with Panti hardly counts as investigative journalism undertaken by the Irish media into areas of grave concern for Irish democracy."

Translation: O’Brien can lie and abuse people as much as she wants and ignore the actual issues but it’s up to someone else to deal with actual facts.

Watch the Iona Institute’s latest factually incorrect attack on equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Irish Religious Right Mouthpiece Refuses To Debate Drag Queen Panti Bliss On Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


Dublin Catholic School Cancels Anti-Homophobia Workshop Over Parental Concerns

Colaiste eoin

High school students in Dublin, Ireland are planning a protest after the all-boys school Coláiste Eoin cancelled a workshop on homophobic bullying, reports The Journal.

On Tuesday, voluntary organization ShoutOut turned up at Coláiste Eoin to hold the workshop but were told it would not be going ahead because the board of management had decided that “both sides of the argument should be represented”.

There'll always be parents who object 2 their kids learning to respect minorities. Are we really going to give them a veto? #ColaisteEoin Co

— Izzy Kamikaze (@IzzyKamikaze) January 28, 2015

Shout outThe workshop, which has been given in schools all over Ireland and in Coláiste Eoin in 2012 and 2013, focuses on encouraging students not to discriminate against gay people.

In a statement this week, the school said "on this particular occasion however the Board of Management have received written communications from a number of parents outlining their concerns regarding the workshop. In this context it was incumbent on the Board to address all issues and to seek the advice available from Catholic management representative bodies available to secondary schools."

The school has also “proposed” that the ShoutOut workshops would be held “at a future date”.

Nuff said.... #ColaisteEoin pic.twitter.com/DwE9GkSUyF

— James Aherne (@jaherne94) January 28, 2015

Students began organizing a protest yesterday to make it known that the decision does not represent their views.

@mitchellnicola @BocktheRobber I'm sure the 2 sets of #ColaisteEoin parents who complained want to ensure #PureInHeart get equal opportunity

— John (@AnGobanSaor) January 28, 2015

Commentators including Bock The Robber have queried if parents will now be consulted before Catholic activist groups including Pure In Heart are allowed to present at the school.

Very important to ensure that #PureInHeart don't get at our children in schools without parents being asked. #ColaisteEoin

— Bock the Robber (@BocktheRobber) January 28, 2015

Speaking on Newstalk yesterday on the need for "balance", LGBT activist Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss, said

Bliss"I think it's pretty clear cut. There's nothing wrong with it at all. Are we going to suggest that bullying is alright? I don't think so. I think it's very rare to come across an LGBT person who'll tell you they had a great time in school. It's a difficult time. Anything we can do to help make it better for them can only be a good thing. When it comes to bullying, I don't think there needs to be a balance."

Earlier this week, Ireland’s Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin confirmed that religious-run schools and hospitals will by Easter be prevented from firing staff for being gay, divorced or an unmarried parent.


Panti Bliss Gets Standing Ovation for Fierce TED Talk on Homophobia: VIDEO

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Panti Bliss, (aka Rory O'Neill) who made international headlines last February after an impassioned speech against homophobia on stage in Dublin went viral, was invited to do a TED talk on September 12 and the speech, which showcases Panti's wit and speaking talents spectacularly, was posted to YouTube yesterday.

The speech, titled "All The Little Things", concerns the homophobia in society which chips away at a gay person's self worth and well-being:

Bliss"Everyday I am jealous of straight people because that tiny intimate expression of affection has never once been mine...I am jealous of that because gay people do not get to hold hands in public without first considering the risk...We look around to see where are we, who’s around, what kind of place is it…are there bunches of lads outside a pub? ... I’m 45 years old and I have never once casually, comfortably, carelessly held hands with a partner in public... I’m 45 and I’m fed up of putting up so I’m not anymore. I’m 45 years old and I’m not putting up anymore because I don’t have the energy anymore. Putting up is exhausting. I’m 45 years old and I’m not putting up anymore because I don’t have the patience anymore. I was born 6 months before the Stonewall riots and you have had 45 years to work out that despite appearances, I am just as ordinary, just as unremarkable, and just as human as you are. I’m 45 years old and I’m not asking anymore. I am just being…human being."

Watch Panti take it away, AFTER THE JUMP...

Panti

Continue reading "Panti Bliss Gets Standing Ovation for Fierce TED Talk on Homophobia: VIDEO" »


Ireland To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage In May - VIDEO

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The Irish government yesterday announced that a referendum on same-sex marriage will take place in May 2015, reports The Journal.

Although an exact date has not yet been set, it is thought the vote may be held in the first week of the month.

Calling for a respectful campaign from all sides, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said her officials would now begin work on the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment.

A recent Irish Times poll found that 71 percent of people intend to vote in favor of gay marriage.

Welcoming the announcement, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network chair Kieran Rose said:

“We do not take the outcome of the referendum for granted. Despite the strong support in the polls currently, we know that we will need every single possible vote on the day in order to win the referendum.”

Backed by government parties, the referendum was announced earlier this year by Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Kenny made headlines this month when he visited Dublin's Pantibar for Christmas drinks.

In what was seen as an opening salvo on what is likely to be a highly divisive campaign, the Catholic church in Ireland has released a manifesto outlining its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Watch Armagayddon, a video about absolute horror of marriage equality reaching Ireland, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ireland To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage In May - VIDEO" »


Irish Prime Minister Visits Gay Bar For LGBT Christmas Party

Gaybar

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny attended an event last night in a gay bar in Dublin, reports the Irish Independent.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c70e8bfa970b-800wiKenny showed up at Pantibar - which is owned by LGBT activist Panti Bliss - for Christmas drinks for his party’s LGBT group.

Kenny is leader of conservatives Fine Gael and has in the past been reluctant to state his position on the issue of same-sex marriage. However, he told Gay and Lesbian Equality Network director Brian Sheehan that he would be campaigning for a referendum on the issue to be passed. The referendum is expected to take place in early 2015.

The chairman of Fine Gael LGBT said the Taoiseach dropped in to show his support for the LGBT group and recognize its work on the gender recognition bill, the family relationship legislation and the same-sex marriage referendum. Panti Bliss herself tweeted out the above picture of Kenny with the caption: "So there's An Taoiseach (for the foreigners, that's the Prime Minister of Ireland) in Pantibar."


Irish Bishop Says Opposition to Marriage Equality Has Nothing to Do With 'The Gay Lifestyle' - VIDEO

Doran

Irish bishop Kevin Doran has said that his opposition to same-sex marriage is “not about homosexuality or the gay lifestyle, it is about the meaning of marriage”, reports the Irish Times.

Iona Institute

Doran, the bishop of Elphin since July and Secretary General of the Eucharistic Congress 2012, made his comments during a talk organized by anti-gay activist group the Iona Institute on “Marriage and the Common Good.” Members of the Iona Institute sued state broadcaster RTE earlier this year after drag performer Panti Bliss accused them of homophobia.

Doran, an unmarried celibate, warned the Irish government that legalizing same-sex marriage would remove “the unique relationship between marriage and procreation.”

Opening what is likely to be an unpleasant debate with a hysterical suggestion that marriage equality will lead to people marrying their pet hamsters, Doran said:

“Since [procreation] is probably the principal reason for the State to have any interest in regulating marriage ... why bother regulating it at all? One might even ask, why in that case would the State restrict marriage to two people? What, in the final analysis, is the difference between a ‘sexual friendship’ (in which the State has no interest) and a marriage?”

Ignoring the realities of day-to-day life and insulting same-sex families into the bargain, he added:

“As they mature, children benefit from the love and care of both mother and father, and from their parents’ committed and exclusive love for each other. Unlike friendships, which vary in kind and degree and formality, marriage ... has enough objective structure, apart from the spouses’ preferences, to be legally regulated.”

Watch Doran talk about preparations for the 2012 Eucharistic Conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

A referendum on same-sex marriage is expected in Ireland early next year.  Doran’s comments are likely to be seen as an opening salvo in the Catholic church’s opposition.

Continue reading "Irish Bishop Says Opposition to Marriage Equality Has Nothing to Do With 'The Gay Lifestyle' - VIDEO" »


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