In a world full of tragedy and heartbreak it may seem unreasonable or even disproportionate to focus on a far away, passing incident but the Los Angles murder of Amir Issa, 29, apparently by his father 68-year-old Rabihah Issa because he was gay, seems particularly sad, as not only was a life lost but a family imploded and destroyed itself.
The accused was not the first, nor will he be the last, to struggle to come to terms with a child’s sexuality but his response was, if news reports are confirmed by the courts, extreme and completely wrong.
Irish family histories were once-upon-a-time studded with the gaps left when a son or a daughter fled to foreign shores because their sexuality offended an orthodoxy that was not shy about expressing distaste and hatred. Thankfully, in the great majority of cases, that is no longer necessary but it would be dishonest of this society to pretend that deep wells of homophobia and discrimination do not still exist. This minority position is unacceptable and ever more difficult to understand, yet it persists.
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