"Ulster says no to sodomy."

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A friend of mine from university grew up gay in Belfast in the 1970s, and vividly remembered billboards with this slogan on them being put up just as he realised girls weren't for him. 

They were funded by "Dr" Ian Paisley prior to his reincarnation as one half of the Chuckle Brothers, and it's fair to say they didn't inspire a warm glow of tolerance and happiness.

It was also factually inaccurate, for one thing. Plenty of people in Belfast and elsewhere were saying yes to sodomy, even then. Secondly, what it really should have said was "Ian Paisley says no thanks to sodomy", which is of course his absolute right, even if I doubt he'd have had many such offers.

The same problems apply in spades to the current debate over assisted suicide and euthanasia. Campaigners against it, mostly arguing from dubious religious grounds, want to prevent others from dying with dignity, and they claim popular support. We're a "vocal minority", apparently. 

In Scotland, however, 82% of people wanted a change in the law in 2004. What Scotland says and what the "pro-life" gang say are totally different. "Pro-pain" or "pro-misery" might be better descriptions, incidentally.

It's strange that some people can't see that this must be a choice for the individuals concerned. Nothing makes this more obvious than when people with terminal illness or with an unbearably low quality of life go up against shiny-faced young apologists for fundamentalism, usually outside the High Court. 

The bottom line for these misguided campaigners: you can say no to dying with dignity for yourself if you want, but hell mend you if you try to force others to endure painful and prolonged deaths. More power to Margo and her Bill.

Pic from Von Pip.


Of course James the MP for the constituency where my secondary school lies is of the Rev. Dr.'s own party and wife of the current leader.

Of course she is of the opintion that my realising girls aren't really for me is a mental condition. Although I seem to recall having more pent up mental anquish knowing how I felt but trying not to accept it myself than I have had since over the matter.

I was actually in the process of writing an article for Slugger O'Toole over the weekend on that sexuality issue for Northern Ireland and I may well quote back to you in it.

Ah, Iris! She really is a piece of work.

"There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children."

It sounds like a slip of the tongue, but it took a media storm to get her to recant. Foul woman.

And thanks, quotes always appreciated!

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