Ian Paisley Jr says Justin McAleese needs to “get over it” after McAleese revealed that he put off coming out as a result of offensive remarks made by the DUP leader.
Last week McAleese (picture left) told The Independent that he was on the verge of coming out” in 2005 when friends laughed and joked about two men – former Unionist political adviser Steven King – getting married.
The derision followed comments made by Paisley Jr in the aftermath of King’s wedding in reference to another gay – former secretary of state to the North, Peter Mandelson, reports The Irish Times.
“I didn’t find it any less offensive, I must say,” Paisley told the BBC, speaking of his working relationship with Mandelson. “At least Peter Mandelson did not promote his relationship to this degree that he would go away and get married or create a civil partnership in it.
“The catch-all is that I find this sort of relationship as both immoral, offensive and obnoxious.”
McAleese, who is actively campaigning for a Yes vote on May 22, said the comments stopped him from coming out for another year and a half. “Perhaps he wasn’t speaking from a position of hatred but he was able to use the institution of marriage to belittle my existence, my dreams and my ambitions.
“And the sad thing was that other people went along with it and didn’t challenge that view. So I stayed in the closet for another 18 months. Language matters, words matter, marriage matters.”
Paisley Jr’s response was less patient. “I think he needs to get over it,” he told the Irish Times.
“I mean, seriously, all of this stuff where people are self absorbed about their own gender and how everything is about them. Most people are kind of fed up with it. They want to live and let live. Get over it. Get over yourself.”
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