Homophobia Makes Life For Gay People Intolerable Says Mary McAleese

Mary McAleese, who said homophobia makes life for gay people intolerable, sitting beside Barack Obama

Former Irish president Mary McAleese condemned homophobia in Northern Ireland which causes LGBT people to live in fear


Mary McAleese, former president of the Republic of Ireland, has criticised the homophobia that still exists in Northern Ireland.

McAleese has denounced the therapists, clerics and others for the detrimental effect that attempts to “convert” gay people has had on their mental wellbeing.

“I am now a grandmother to two very small boys,” McAleese said during  speech in Belfast.

“I want them to grow up in peace and in a fair and decent world where the entire architecture of homophobia and of anti-LGBTI attitudes and practices has been completely dismantled and  consigned to history. That will not happen by chance but by change.”


Dismantling Homophobia

McAleese praised those who are part of the LGBT equality movement and who are helping to take down the structures of homophobia which negatively impact the lives of LGBT people .

“You are turning the tide of hurt and hatred, country by country, culture by culture, heart by heart.”

“It is helping our world to experience the liberating joy that comes from taking down the edifice of homophobia brick by brick, the bricks of tradition, doctrine, dogma, beliefs, attitudes, practices and laws.”

“Only when that edifice has crumbled like the walls of Jericho will we vindicate the generations of countless LGBTI men and women, who’s lives were only half-lived and whose dreams of acceptance and full equality were never realised.”

“It is important also to remember where we are at historically in the dismantling of the architecture of homophobia.”



McAleese highlighted the far-reaching hold that homophobia has on institutions including religions and governmental organisations. She indicated that she has met LGBT people the world over who have been affected by homophobia, making life difficult.

“It is global in its reach. It has a still unyielding grip on many minds, on influential institutions, on entire religions and faith systems, on governments, on cultures, on laws and attitudes.

“Even in the most accepting of places, it makes life somewhere between tough and intolerable for many.”

“I have met them and listened to them, the ministers, the priests, the amateur and the professional psychologists, the doctors, the therapists, the politicians and the theologians who preach and practice this snake-oil conversion or reparative therapy.”

“They need to be challenged for they are inflicting damage in and through therapy centres, clinics, seminaries, lecture theatres, conferences and all the other places where they are insidiously peddling their wares.”

McAleese helped found the gay rights campaign forty years ago and received a Tolerant award in Belfast from LGBT organisations across the world for her work battling homophobia.

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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