Old prejudices die hard in the North

Support for gay rights is decreasing in the North - and Unionist politicians are leading the way, writes Peter Geoghegan.

1st September, 2012
A Gay Pride march in Belfast: attitudes are changing, but not in Northern politics. Photo: Presseye

In 1977, Ian Paisley launched a campaign pledging to 'Save Ulster from Sodomy'. Despite the then DUP leader's best efforts, homosexuality was eventually decriminalised in Northern Ireland in 1982, but 30 years on the issue of same-sex marriage is inflaming old prejudices in the North.

Last Tuesday, veteran peer Ken Maginnis ended his 50-year association with the Ulster Unionists, two months after losing the party whip at Westminster for equating gayness with bestiality.

Homosexuality was "unnatural" and "a...

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