Panti Bliss aka Rory O’Neill (above) appeared on RTÉ One’s ‘Saturday Night Show’ and talked to Brendan O’Connor about his life.
On Sunday, our Lars Biscuits posted a short clip from the interview and an accompanying transcript.
Last night, RTE asked us to remove the video of the interview as “concerns have been raised about its content”. [We have asked who raised the concerns and are awaiting a reply from the station].
They further cautioned: “You are hereby put on notice that the publication and continued publication of this interview and any transcripts thereof may be defamatory.”
So we totally freaked out and removed the post.
We are unable to embed the video for copyright reasons but have reposted the transcript (below) as we believe the question of what is a homophobe is one of opinion, the subject is one of public interest, the opinion is based on facts stated or known (e.g. Breda,/John/Iona’s opposition to gay marriage) and it appears to be honestly held.
Therefore (until we hear otherwise)…
Rory O’Neill: “…but of course I’ve met people who have just absolutely had awful, terrible experiences coming out to their families and..”
Brendan O’Connor: “And but a lot has changed hasn’t it since then like?”
RO’N: “So much has changed. And I think em a small country like Ireland sometimes we get a bad rap because people think “oh small conservative country blah blah blah”. But actually I think a small country like Ireland changes much faster than a big country because absolutely…I’m..think about it every single person in this audience has a cousin or a neighbour or the guy that you work with who is a flaming queen. I mean you all know one. And it’s very hard to hold prejudices against people when you actually know those people. And Ireland because it’s such small communities grouped together, everybody knows the local gay and you know maybe twenty years ago it was okay to be really mean about him but nowadays it’s just not okay to be really mean about him. The only place that you see it’s okay to be really horrible and mean about gays is you know on the internet in the comments and you know people who make a living writing opinion pieces for newspapers. You know there’s a couple of them that really cheese..”
BO’C: “Who are they?”
RO’N: “Oh well the obvious ones. You know Breda O’Brien [Irish Times Columnist] today, oh my God you know banging on about gay priests and all. The usual suspects, the John Waters and all of those people, the Iona Institute crowd. I mean I just..you know just…Feck Off! Get the hell out of my life. Get out of my life. I mean..[applause from audience] why…it astounds me…astounds me that there are people out there in the world who devote quite a large amount of their time and energies to trying to stop people you know, achieving happiness because that is what the people like the Iona Institute are at.”
BO’C: “I don’t know. I don’t know. I know one of the people that you mentioned there which is John Waters. I wouldn’t have thought that John Waters is homophobic?”
RO’N: “Oh listen, the problem is with the word ‘homophobic’, people imagine that if you say “Oh he’s a homophobe” that he’s a horrible monster who goes around beating up gays you know that’s not the way it is. Homophobia can be very subtle. I mean it’s like the way you know racism is very subtle. I would say that every single person in the world is racist to some extent because that’s how we order the world in our minds. We group people. You know it’s just how our minds work so that’s okay but you need to be aware of your tendency towards racism and work against it. And I don’t mind, I don’t care how you dress it up if you are arguing for whatever good reasons or you know whatever your impulses…”
BO’C: “Because it is what you believe, it’s your faith or that, yeah?”
RO’N: “…it could be good impulses..and you might believe that these impulses are good because you’re worried about society as a whole and all this rubbish. What it boils down to is if you’re going to argue that gay people need to be treated in any way differently than everybody else or should be in anyway less, or their relationships should be in anyway less then I’m sorry, yes you are a homophobe and the good thing to do is to sit, step back, recognise that you have some homophobic tendencies and work on that. You know stop spending so much of your life you know devoting energies to writing things, arguing things, coming on TV to do anything to try and stop people achieving what they think they need for happiness.”
We offer a right of reply to anyone mentioned.
Previously: Panti At The Abbi