Dublin priest comes out as gay at church, receives standing ovation

 Reprinted from GayStar News: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/dublin-priest-comes-out-gay-church-receives-standing-ovation090115
Now that’s something worth praising
Father Martin Dolan came out to his parish at Mass.

Photo via Twitter.

A Dublin priest decided to risk everything by choosing to come out in front of his congregation in order to fight for same-sex marriage.

But it was worth taking, for he received a standing ovation from his parishioners.

Father Martin Dolan, a priest at Church of St Nicholas of Myra in Dublin’s city center, led Mass last weekend by calling on his flock to support same-sex marriage in the upcoming Irish referendum.

‘I’m gay myself,’ he revealed.

At first there was a smattering of applause, and then his ‘proud’ parishioners stood up to clap at the bravery of his statement.

Liz O’Connor, a community youth worker, told the Irish Sun: ‘We are all very proud of Martin. Because he has admitted that he is gay doesn’t change the person that he was before he said it.’

But not everyone was pleased by Dolan’s coming out, with some suggesting he should be fired or moved from the church he has been at for 15 years.

‘I wouldn’t like to see him being moved for the statement he made. That would be horrendous,’ O’Connor added.

‘He should be supported. He has done nothing wrong. If he’s moved, there would be uproar in this parish. He’s still the same man today.

‘Martin has always been an advocate of people’s rights, and even spoke about the child abuse in the Church.

‘There’s not many [priests] that would come out because they’re afraid of the bishops and that, but Martin is his own man. That’s what he believes in.’

The Dublin Archdiocese declined to comment until they had spoken directly to Dolan.

In the polls leading up to May’s referendum, they show over 70% of Irish people support gay marriage.

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/dublin-priest-comes-out-gay-church-receives-standing-ovation090115#sthash.jrCtGKsF.dpuf

Stunning Ads Show Love Is Love No Matter Who You Are Or How You Look

 Editorial:  Zim’s wonderful colourful stunning ads show how love is for everyone!

Posted: Updated:

Love patient. Love is kind. Love is colorful.

A new ad campaign for Brazilian company Zim showcases three couples covered in the vibrant hues of Zim’s non-toxic and non-staining colored powder, BoredPanda reports. Two of the images feature same-sex couples.

The ads, by the Salvador-based agency Tuppi Propaganda, have spread love for the LGBT community around the globe.

“Our initial intention was very simple: the fact that love is universal,” Zim staff wrote in a blog post, per a Huffington Post translation. “It mixes our colors, our hears and minds and all of its forms are valid and bring happiness. We represented a little of this in the campaign’s photos, but it’s important to also say that many other combinations, that weren’t entered here, exist and are as beautiful as these.”

zim color ad

Zim Color & Tuppi
zim color ad

Zim Color & Tuppi
zim color

Zim Color & Tuppi

Crack Down On Camps

Editorial:  In the past we have written and republished articles about movements who state that they can change your homosexual tendencies.  Indeed the current First Minister’s had said that “homosexuality was an abomination and that gay people could be turned around “with help”, and offering to recommend homosexuals to psychiatric counselling with Dr. Paul Miller, who is still practising today in Holywood.

The reason I raise this again, is because the ‘Controversial Cake’ case is going through the courts, and in Stormont  the DUP propose a change in the law, which would provide for a “conscience clause” in equality legislation, effectively giving businesses the right to refuse service based on religious grounds.

So why should I highlight this now; well it is because of the following article on camps were ‘troubled’ LGBTI youths are sent by parents.  Could this happen in Northern Ireland, well unless we are very careful it could.  What do you think?


Reprinted from Gay Star News:Effort launched to crack down on camps where ‘troubled’ LGBTI kids are sent by parents

Says one survivor: ‘They blanketed their abusive practices under the guise of Christianity’

Thousands of youth have been abused and hundreds have died while in residential programs that claim to help ‘troubled’ youth, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced at a news conference Friday that it has joined forces with Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA) to launch a national campaign to regulate these programs on a federal level.

David Garcia, the center’s director of public policy, points out that neighborhood nail salons are more regulated than the industry of residential schools, camps and wilderness programs that are entrusted with the lives of these LGBT kids and other youth.

‘We’ve heard from survivors forced to endure torture techniques that include food and water deprivation, physical abuse, and electric shocks,’ Garcia said. ‘We’ve also spoken to devastated parents whose children died in these programs.’

David Wernsman (pictured above), a young gay survivor of a program for so-called ‘troubled teens,’ had his story of abuse told in the 2014 documentary Kidnapped for Christ and was present at the news conference where he shared some of the harrowing details of his ordeal.

‘When I was 17, two large men woke me up before dawn, tied a belt around my waist and forced me out of my home,’ Wernsman recalled.

‘I was taken to a dumping ground – guarded by men with guns – for kids whose families didn’t know how to solve their child’s issue. In my case, it was the fact that I’m gay. The program was an endless nightmare of torture including public beatings and humiliation, hard labor, and sometimes solitary confinement in a windowless cell where we relieved ourselves in a bucket. They blanketed their abusive practices under the guise of Christianity.’

Garcia and Wernsman were joined at the news conference by SIA Executive Director Jodi Hobbs and California State Senator Ricardo Lara who announced the introduction of his Protecting Youth from Institutional Abuse Act (SB 524).

The bill is co-sponsored by the LA LGBT Center and SIA to regulate the troubled teen industry and calls for no exemption for religious-based groups.

‘Tragically many young people have experienced horrendous abuse, neglect, and even death at some unregulated youth facilities,’ said Lara.

He explained that the bill would define private alternative youth treatment and education institutions and require them to obtain a license from the Department of Social Services and ensure youth’s rights are protected.

SIA reports the deaths of more than 300 people who are linked to these programs.

Since it is common for these programs to re-open in another state under a different name after they are forced to close, federal legislation is considered essential.

US Congressman Adam Schiff, a staunch LGBT ally, is working to introduce legislation that will hold all residential treatment programs accountable for instances of child abuse.

‘The measure will also increase the transparency of these programs so that parents can make informed and safer choices for their children,’ he stated. ‘Families that turn to these treatment programs for help, often as a last resort, must know that their children are safe and in the care of professionals.

‘We cannot ignore reports that far too many young people have died and suffered abuse at the hands of those who run and work at residential treatment programs under the guise of providing critical therapy and rehabilitation services.

The LA LGBT Center has launched the website www.PYIA.org to share information about its “Protect Youth from Institutional Abuse” campaign with an online petition to members of the US Congress and the California legislature.


Two Male Dancers Break Your Heart With Their Muscular Bodies

Posted: Updated:


Two male dancers express what it is to be in love and then…

For most of us, the aftermath of a breakup involves a pint of ice cream and a box of tissues. For those of us who possess talent in the realm of dance, however, heartbreak sometimes leads to higher artistic outpouring.

Allow CODECdance to show you what we mean. In the short film below, the New York-based multidisciplinary dance company shows what happens in those final moments when a relationship fades into oblivion — well, at least for those of us who engage in serious choreography with our romantic partners.

Cry it out, people. And get more ballet fixes here, here, here and here.

Mirror Website: Majority back gay marriage laws

Majority back gay marriage laws – except for those who support UKIP

The latest People’s Panel poll in the lead-up to the General Election reveals that a majority of all other party supporters backed the change in the law

Cameron vindicated: Majority back the change in the law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry

Six in ten Sunday People readers back the change in the law ­allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The latest results from the People’s Panel, which is letting you have your say on key issues every week in the run-up to the May 7 polls , also reveal 33% of you strongly support the move.

It was most popular among ­women with 69% in favour ­compared with 50% of men.

UKIP voters were alone among the major parties in having more readers opposing the change than backing it – a vindication for David Cameron, who stuck his neck out to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual ones.

People's Panel. Pictured - To what extend do you support or oppose the law change allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry?
People’s Panel. Pictured – To what extend do you support or oppose the law change allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry?

One reader said: “There are more important things for the Government to deal with than gay and lesbian marriages.”

Another added: “Everyone should have a chance of happiness.”

As the People’s Panel focused on equality this week, it also emerged that more than three in five readers believe 16 should ­remain the age of consent – ­although 14% said it should be raised to 18, as in Turkey.

People's Panel. Pictured - What should the UK age for consent for sex be?
People’s Panel. Pictured – What should the UK age for consent for sex be?

More than six in ten want to keep the voting age at 18 and only 7% thought it should be lowered to 17, and 1% to 15. Some 18% favour 16, as ­proposed by Ed Miliband.

The Labour leader was ­persuaded to press for a change by the high turnout of 16-year-olds in last year’s Scottish referendum.

38 days 22 hours 27 minutes 37 seconds

He felt that having been given the right to vote once, 16 and 17-year-olds should not be denied it in future. The voting age was lowered to 16 for local elections in the Isle of Man, and Channel Islands Jersey and Guernsey.

In the US, 19 states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections as long as they will be 18 on polling day.

In Japan the voting age is 20 and in Italy it is 25 for Senate elections.

People's Panel. Pictured - What should be the minimum voting age for general elections?
People’s Panel. Pictured – What should be the minimum voting age for general elections?

More than half of the People’s Panel did not feel governments have gone far enough in closing the gender pay gap. That rose to 65% among women voters.

A third of the 18-54 group, ­compared with 15% of the 55-plus, felt changes needed to bring about equality have been made.

One reader told us: “Women should be paid the same as men – but nurses should be paid more.”

Regarding childcare provision, only one in ten thought it should fall to mothers alone

Nearly one in three felt it should be shared equally with nine per cent more men holding that view than women. But more than half said divvying up childcare should depend on the circumstances of the parents..

People's Panel. Pictured - How should childcare be divvied up between fathers and mothers?
People’s Panel. Pictured – How should childcare be divvied up between fathers and mothers?
Equality polls. Pictured - Have governments done enough in the past 10 years to secure genre pay equality

Pratt and Smith – The last men hanged for sodomy 

Father Frank Ryan casts new doubt on the 1835 convictions

The wrongful conviction and execution of James Pratt and John Smith for ‘buggery’ in 1835
by Father Frank Ryan

The last Saturday of August 1835 was a beautiful hot day. James Pratt (30) left his wife and two young daughters in Deptford, searching for work – promising to return by 6pm. He was a labourer and needed a better job.

Pratt first visited his aunt in Holborn, before heading to Blackfriars. His aunt thought he’d had too much to drink and needed a rest, but he pressed on. In an ale house he met John Smith, a labourer aged 40, and William Bonill (sometimes spelled Bonell), aged 68. Neither could offer him a job to improve his financial situation but their company was hospitable. Bonill invited Pratt and Smith back to his rented flat and they accepted.

Little did they know as they made their way to his premises in nearby George Street, that this encounter would result in their execution – and that Bonill would be  banished to the penal colony of Australia –  all within a mere three months.

The landlords of 45 George Street, Southwark, Jane and George (also known as John) Berkshire, were determined to curtail the activities of their tenant, William Bonill, who they regarded as an “old villain.” He had been bringing male “couples” back to his flat on a regular basis; sometimes two a day. George was determined to put a stop to this practice and get rid of what he regarded as a disagreeable and troublesome lodger.

Shortly after the three men arrived, the suspicious, antagonistic George spied into Bonill’s room through a nearby window. A little later, over tea, he told his wife that he saw Pratt sitting on Bonill’s knees and then on Smith’s. There was much laughing and conversation, he said. Jane slipped upstairs and peeped through Bonhill’s keyhole. After a brief look, she returned to tell her husband that she had witnessed sexual acts. He became enraged, went upstairs and also looked through the keyhole. He then burst into the room to confront Pratt and Smith, who were in a compromising position, according to George Berkshire.

At this point, Bonill, who had gone out for a drink, returned and entered the room. An effort to calm down Berkshire was unsuccessful. George went off to seek the police.

Pratt, Smith and Bonill were soon arrested and taken into custody. Pratt and Smith were charged with ‘buggery’ (anal sex) and Bonill as an accessory. They went on trial for their lives before Judge Baron Gurney at the Old Bailey on 21 September 1835.

The arresting police officer had no material evidence to support the charge. The account that Jane Berkshire told the jury is improbable. She said she watched for less minute but claimed to have witnessed the alleged sex acts, from the men undressing to laying on the floor and the “appearance” of anal penetration. She said she saw the men’s private parts but did not answer when asked whether either man had an erection. It seems doubtful that the keyhole could have provided the range of vision needed to see what she claimed.

The testimony of George was very similar to Jane’s. It had a whiff of coordination. His evidence supported the charge that buggery had taken place. However, he failed to testify if the men had an erection or if he had seen actual penetration; though he claimed to have sighted their genitals and their bodies in motion.

The anatomical description of intimacy described by George Berkshire would have been very difficult to witness. As in the case with Jane’s testimony, the keyhole probably could not have provided a sufficient angle of sight to provide the evidence he imparted to the jury.

Neither James Pratt nor John Smith were allowed to give evidence at their trial. Both pleaded “not guilty” to the charge. Nevertheless, the jury returned a guilty verdict.

The law against ‘buggery’ (not repealed until 2003) was based on an interpretation of the Bible that regarded homosexual acts as an abomination and worthy of death; a particularly evil sin that must be severely punished and eradicated. It was a capital crime.

The judge had no hesitation in sentencing James Pratt and John Smith to death. He warned them their chances on appeal were hopeless and they could expect no reprieve. They had to prepare, he said, to receive God’s judgement upon departing this life. Both men left the dock in tears.

William Bonill was sentenced to 14 years transportation to Australia. He died in Tasmania in 1841.

As well as Pratt and Smith, there were many death sentences for different crimes handed down during the autumn 1835. The process of petitioning for clemency and commutation began.

While being held in Newgate Prison, Pratt and Smith were visited by Charles Dickens who wrote they “had nothing to expect from the mercy of the crown, their doom was sealed.” The turnkey whispered to Dickens that they were “dead men.”

John Smith, it seems, had no friends. But the friends of James Pratt commenced a vigorous campaign to save him. They gathered a substantial petition which included the trial prosecutor, former employers, neighbours and even George and Jane Berkshire, their accusers.

All the documents were prepared for a Privy Council meeting with the King, William IV, to be held in Brighton.

On 24 November, 12 men sentenced to death were reprieved by the King’s mercy. Pratt and Smith were not among them. Judge Baron Gurney’s warning had prevailed.  In their case, the law was to be allowed to take its course.

News of the pending execution spread around London, confirmed by the erection of the scaffold outside Newgate Prison.

On Friday 27 November, the two prisoners were taken from their cells and brought to the place of execution, still protesting their innocence. Pratt was weak and had to be helped up the scaffold. The crowd began to hiss, possibly in disagreement with the execution. These were probably the last sounds the men heard. The hangman pulled the bolt and after a short struggle on the rope Pratt and Smith were dead.

They are buried in a common grave, with others executed at Newgate, in the City Cemetery, Manor Park, London E12.

In 2014, I petitioned the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling MP, to grant a posthumous pardon to James Pratt and John Smith on the grounds that even by the standards of those days their convictions were unsafe. Further, the ‘buggery’ law itself was unjust. Consenting adult homosexuality should have not been a crime.

In reply, the Justice Ministry regretted the men’s execution, acknowledging that it should never have happened, but said the conditions for granting a pardon had not been met. However, since the pardoning of Alan Turing for same-sex relations has established a legal precedent, hopefully the Justice Minister will, with further pressure, re-examine the case and grant a long overdue pardon to Pratt and Smith.

The full story of Pratt and Smith is retold in the book, ‘The law to take its course – Redeeming the past, securing our  future’. It is available as a self- printed manuscript from the author, Father Frank Ryan, for the cost of printing (about £14): fmryan33@hotmail.com

The book and this article are based on Ryan’s original research at the National Archives, British Library and London Metropolitan Archives, plus newspapers reports.

This article was written by Frank Ryan, with the assistance of Peter Tatchell.

Further information:

In 'Time' Video, Steve Grand Cozies Up To Model Daniel Williams, But It's Far From A Perfect Love

Posted: Updated:


Singer-songwriter Steve Grand finds — and loses — love in snowy Chicago in his latest video, “Time.”

The out star, 25, gets cozy with hunky model Daniel Williams in the clip for the piano-driven pop ballad, which is a cut from his debut album, “All-American Boy,” released March 23.

The video explores the entire course of a relationship — from the couple’s first meeting on an empty train station platform to a fiery breakup, with a playful snowball fight in between — in just over five minutes. Still, there’s a surprise twist at the end.

“My lyric style is definitely very story-driven,” Grand, who has cited Billy Joel, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen as musical influences, told HuffPost Live earlier this year. “I try to tell stories from my life, whether it’s one single moment in time or something that’s been recurring in my life.”

The album, he said, “is an arc, and every song is a plot point on that arc.”

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Survey 2015

Hi all,

Please see attached our link to the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Survey 2015. This is an update to Through our Minds from 2013.

Could I request that you circulate around your networks and if you self identify as LGB&/T that you please take it?



Image result for linkImage result for left facing arrowClick the LInk

The other side of the rainbow — Part 1

This dvd resource captures the real life experiences of some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in Northern Ireland who have experienced Mental Health issues. It seeks to explain the cause…
Added on 02/06/2011

21 million people take part in global LGBTI film festival

21 million people take part in global LGBTI film festival

fiveFilms4freedom LGBT film festival finds audience in over 125 countries.
Image courtesy of BFI Flare festival.
LGBTI Film Festival

LGBTI Film Festival

The BFI Flare film festivalis popular enough that even if you live in London you have to be lucky to get a ticket to watch the LGBT themed films being shown.

If you are LGBT and live in countries such as India, Poland, or the Ukraine, your opportunities of being able to watch movies that reflect your sexuality and your experiences will be even more remote.

The British Council, which is a UK organisation that internationally promotes British culture and education, has partnered with the BFI Flare festival and UK charity Stonewallto create a digital, global, LGBT film festival.

UK film-maker Paul Greengrass (director of movies such as The Bourne Supremacy, and Captain Phillips) is actively supporting the positive role that film festivals can play:
‘Film festivals at their best are a window and also a mirror’ said Greengrass. ‘…a window through which we can see the world, and a mirror in which we can see ourselves.’

The 5Films4freedom festival runs from 19-29 March 2015, the five films available through the online festival have already reached over 21 million people in 125 different countries around the world.

The five short films that are screening as part of the festival are:

An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag)

Director Søren Green’s new short film is an exploration of nascent sexuality. Mathias and Frederik are two friends who spend an afternoon together; Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell Frederik that he is in love with him.


Jake Graf’s self-funded short film focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness as a chance encounter between Trevor and a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own past, forces both men to start to live again.

Code Academy

Canadian writer and director Nisha Ganatra is best known as Producer/Director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. When searching for love in all the virtual places, Frankie, Libby and Sheridan of The Code Academy are their own worst enemy.

Morning Is Broken

Director and writer Simon Anderson’s 2014 film is a coming-of-age drama set in the English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality while at his older brother’s wedding.

True Wheel

Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for Detroit’s queer and transgender communities.

The films showing as part of the festival can be viewed via the BFI online player.

The Happy Gordons

The Happy Gordons

Lakme Productions

This video documentary sets out to examine Gay life in Ireland, and gives most of its 26 minutes to Irish lesbians and gay men in New York.  These include Anne Maguire of the ILGO (Irish Lesbian and Gay Organisation) taking being arrested and hassled by Noo Yoicks Finest (the polis) calmly in her stride, Billy Quinn a Dublin-born artist and Tariach MacNaillais.

Tariach came to Gay politics by way of the Hunger Strikes agitation and says he was told than an out Gay man was not going to be employed in his field of Youth and Community Work.  The other person from Northern Ireland who spoke, Cherry Smyth, lives in London (England, UK).  She is of middle-class, liberal Protestant origin.  Her parents had she makes clear, no insuperable problems with her sexuality.  She also said things about “being Irish” which I found difficult to grasp.  You don’t have to be Catholic and Gaelic to be Irish.  Who said you did?  Why does “being Irish” matter?

Billy Quinn is a working class Dubliner who was sexually abused in his childhood and has worked in bars from a very yong age.  Where he acquired his rather plummy accent is a mystery.  He compared Molly Bloom unfavourably with Jane Austen’s heroines.  The latter were prissy and repressed but James Joyce’s Molly was a great sexual Earth-Mother.  This proves he hasn’t read either Joyce or Austen.  Compared, for example, with Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, Molly is positively south.  Jane Austen, a great comic writer, is central to English, even British culture.  Joyce is not central to modern Irish culture.  Billy Quinn’s paintings, founded, so far as one could see, in a culture of “wee holy pictures” and fold Catholicism seems far more relevant to what one could almost call a post-Catholic Republic than Joyce, the middle-European intellectual.

Quinn says that many of his friends found the news that Ireland had abandoned practically all of the laws criminalising Gay sexuality almost impossible to believe.  Kieran Rose explained why it was not impossible in the rather short amount of time he was allowed.  Mike Quinlan said that ten years ago a Pride demo “ran down Grafton Street”, implying that this was nervousness on the part of the marchers – rather than the fact that a decision was taken to hurry us up with fantastic disco tracks.  In 1992, GLEN (the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) decided on a Pride for Dublin: the fact that Galway was organising its third and Belfast its second Pride[s] was neither here nor there of course … not.

The video looks very good.  You can’t really miss with the New York skyline and the Irish scenery, and the excitement of a big public ceremony, namely St Patrick’s Day parade.  A flash of wit was a group of red-necks carrying an AOH banner marked ‘Orange County’.  There was a flash of Belfat Pride with a bible-0thumper given more time to talk than the locals.  There was a cut to Catholic objectors to Dublin Pride, which appeared to be saying that one was as bad as the other.  But the Paisleyites put up a bigger (if not a better) show.

The Sin Fein banner was shown at the Dublin Pride demo (it was the one which came days after the change in the law).  Why, one wonders?  There were a dozen – at least – ‘straight’ political groups there, including Democratic Left and its leader De Rossa.  There was also the Socialist Workers Movement, which has been assiduous in it support of Gay groups – to the point of being irritating.  Why were they not shown?

There did seem to be a rather simple-minded (straight) political agenda behind these images or lack of the, including the non-appearance of people who actually live in Northern Ireland (not to mention the rest of the island).

This sort of thing is not inherently a bad thing artistically – it can give a certain flavour to a work.  But the special flavour of the place (Ireland-in-general and Northern Ireland in particular) leached away, mainly because most of the people talking had lived outside of the island for the greater part of their short lives.

There were really two videos fighting to get out of this one.  Maybe Paula Crickard, the director, should re-splice the material and produce one on New York and one (possibly even two) on Ireland – there are plenty of tales worth the telling.


Reviewer; Sean McGouran  Reprinted from upstart print edition

Should the YouTube copy of this documentary stop working, then it can also be viewed at the Northern Visions Archive