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Balance needed on same sex debate

On reading Michael Clifford’s recent article Saturday re same sex marriages and homophobia, all I can say is, if that is your idea of balance, then I for one would not like to see you chairing a school debate or, God forbid, supervising the construction of the new Cork tidal flood relief works next year.

The bottom line here is that decent people are entitled to their good name. Period.

Especially so when someone is effectively given a free platform unchecked and unchallenged on a prime time show, who makes the case that homophobia should be self-defined, and further that the persons who fit within that definition should be merely a matter of opinion, and then goes ahead and names them.

Because of the climate of fear and the cultural connotations attached to this special bogey word by the free press, they were on a hiding to nothing and the character damage was done on the night in question.

They had been labelled and dispatched to a dark part of the solar system way out in Homosphere with no return ticket. Chances of survival here are decidedly much slimmer than the usual politically correct sin bin.

As for the options afforded them afterwards, well, your take on that is just pathetic. Would you yourself accept those terms?

Using the word today in a much wider context becomes a weapon of hate speech in itself which allows its proponents to completely avoid the substantive issues in the same sex marriages debate proper.

As regards Mr O’Neill’s tantrum on free speech, well fair enough, but who is to be silenced?

Does free speech mean sloganeering and pigeon-holing, or worse, from a safe distance, or adhering to objectivity and truth?

M Ó Riada

Tralee


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