Former President Mary McAleese has said that all major churches in Ireland are “channels for homophobia” and that questions need to be asked to address this problem.
s McAleese said that while Ireland is a safe place, homophobia “never went away”.
“What happened is that it really got relegated to the corner, the bad boy and bad girl corner. From a time when it was almost the dominant law in the country, you could say,” she told The Anton Savage Show on Newstalk.
“There are countries around the world where homosexual activity is criminalised, not only criminalised, but in some cases punishable by death.
“I think we are fortunate to live in a very modern and very progressive democracy where our people have been educated about human rights.”
Ms McAleese said homophobia is “out there” and will still be an issue in 2022.
“It’s out there, it’s on the street. When my son got married a few years ago — he’s gay — when he and his husband got married, I preached a sermon at the wedding,” she said.
“I was just pointing out how fortunate we are to live in a place where he and his partner, his husband, can walk the streets relatively safely.”
“But knowing there’s always the homophobe, there’s always the hate that can surface, but also knowing there are parts of the world he just can’t visit.”
The religion added to the 70-year-old plays a “very important role” in Ireland and significantly influences attitudes.
“We also need to have a debate about where does this hate come from? What keeps him going? What can’t challenge him?” she said.
“And I still think, regrettably, that in a country where religion plays a very, very, very big role and influences attitudes, I think the churches, and I’m not just talking about the Catholic one Church, I speak of all major denominations because they are all conduits for homophobia.
“They all have questions to ask about whether or not and to what extent they were channels for hate.”
Ms McAleese will be speaking to The Anton Savage Show on Newstalk this Saturday.
https://www.independent.ie/news/mary-mcaleese-says-churches-in-ireland-are-conduits-for-homophobia-41555390.html Mary McAleese says churches in Ireland are ‘channels for homophobia’