An anti-homophobia demonstration has been organised in response to the attack of a gay man in the Phoenix Park
An anti-homophobia demonstration has been organised following the attack of a gay man in the Phoenix Park. The demonstration will take place on Thursday 18 August 2016 at 7pm outside the Criminal Court of Justice on Parkgate St. in Dublin.
Marcin, a gay man in his 30s, was attacked in the Phoenix Park by a group of teenagers on bikes and in a car.
The ‘Stand Up Against Homophobia’ organisers were outraged by the attack, seeing it as a sign that LGBT equality is as big an issue now following same-sex marriage legalisation as ever.
“We decided to organise this event after reading the recent article about the incident on The Outmost,” a spokesperson said.
“This incident was violent, premeditated and malicious. We don’t think it is acceptable to allow attacks such as this become part of a horrific continuum of violence against LGBT people in Ireland and abroad.”
The organisers say that the victim’s dealings with the Gardaí following the attack echo their own. “The ordeal conveyed by Marcin of trying to make his statement with the Gardai echoes the experiences of ourselves and our friends over the years. He was made to feel that the severely traumatic encounter he suffered was not serious enough to record. It is difficult not to assume that the situation would be handled differently if it was a different person, to assume it would be headline news if it was someone else [someone non-LGBT].”
While Marcin approached mainstream news outlets, none of them seemed interested in telling his story.
Keep reading to see what the organisers have to say about homophobia and Ireland’s ‘blaming’ culture.
According to the organisers of the protest: “There is an ever present threat of violence against LGBT people, against who they are or who they are perceived to be. This stems from a culture of homophobia that is maintained by our criminal justice system which does not consider the safety of everyone to be equal. This is evident in Marcin’s case, and continues to let down queer, trans and gender non-conforming people in this country.
Although Ireland voted to legalise gay marriage in 2015, the organisers of the protest believe that Ireland has a long way to go, considering that attacks like the one in the Phoenix Park are still taking place.
“True equality is not something we can vote for,” they say. “It will come from a culture that is not intolerant to difference: a culture that rejects all forms of oppression. We have to create that culture together, to protect each other. That is what this event is about. We hope that we can build on this act of solidarity and find the collective strength to challenge homophobia in all its manifestations.”
Hate Crime Legislation
This event is being organised at the same time as Mr Gay Ireland contestant Dr Christian Moretti is calling for the government to introduce hate crime legislation.
Hate crime legislation would protect minorities such as the LGBT community, allowing those who perpetrate hate crime to be prosecuted and acting to deter others from committing hate crimes.
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.