Here’s a fascinating blast from the past. RTÉ have just released an interview with David Norris from way back in 1975, where he discusses the Gay Rights Movement, discrimination, homophobia and the law on homosexuality.
The interview was referred to by Senator Norris on last Friday evening’s Late Late Show, when he mentioned early on in his interview with Ryan Tubridy that he was probably the first gay person to appear on RTÉ 40 years ago, when he was interviewed by Áine O’Connor for the programme Last House.
In 1975 homosexuality was still illegal in Ireland, making it the only remaining sovereign EEC country to still retain criminal sanctions in relation to homosexuality, with penalties from ten years to life in prison. At the time of the interview, David Norris was Chairman of the Irish Gay Rights Movement, which had been founded the previous year, in 1974.
It’s true that much has changed since then, and yet, homophobia is still an issue in our schools and in our society. Still, in the interview David Norris is as strong-minded, articulate and informed as he has always been, which must have been incredibly empowering and for any gay person watching it at the time.
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