Will any Northern Ireland Football Club follow York FC in it's anti-homophobia campaign?

When you have read the article below, republished from Gay Star News, I wonder if you will have the same question raised in your mind; namely, will any Northern Ireland football club be as supportive as York FC in it anti-homphobia campaign?  The 2015 Football v Homophobia campaign has launched in Manchester, at the National Football Museum, let us see if it reaches any of our clubs.  Indeed I would open it further and say let us see if it reaches any of our sporting clubs in Northern Ireland, even though the campaign launched is sponsored by the FA.


Ballymena United
Donegal Celtic
Dungannon Swifts
Lisburn Distillery
Newry City

Top UK soccer club gives out free tickets to gay fans

York City FC will host a Football v Homophobia match
York City FC is giving out tickets to gay fans.

York City FC is giving out dozens of free tickets to LGBTI fans to fight against homophobia in the soccer.

The northern English city club is giving out 100 tickets for their second Football v Homophobia match on 14 February as part of the Month of Action.

Lou Englefield, director of Pride Sports, said York City FC’s initiative to tackle homophobia and welcome LGBTI people into their club had been fantastic.

He said: ‘They have raised the profile of football within the LGBT community and shown their city that everyone has a place in the game.’

York City join a number of other teams, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, and will use the match against Tranmere Rovers to send out the message that football is a sport for everyone, regardless of sexuality, and there is no room for discrimination.

Sophie McGill, York City communications and community director, said: ‘We are once again proud to support the national Football v Homophobia campaign and are committed to tackling discrimination of all forms at York City Football Club.

‘We are actively promoting the message to our supporters that football is for everyone.’

Greg Stephenson, chair of York Pride, said the charity was delighted with the ‘commitment here at our local club, with the players and backroom staff all keen to show that prejudice about someone’s sexuality is just as irrelevant and unwelcome in football as it in every other aspect of our lives.’

The Minstermen will warm up in Football v Homophobia t-shirts while rainbow flags will be presented on the pitch before kick-off by the ball boys and girls.

Before the match and at half-time there will be anti-homophobia PA announcements and the match programme will also feature articles promoting Football v Homophobia and York Pride.

McGill added: ‘Hopefully our continued efforts to address homophobia in football will make a positive difference in York and will lead to more acceptance of gay players and supporters.’

– See more at:

Floral Hall – Belfast

On Wednesday 21, 2015 Linda Stewart wrote in the Belfast Telegraph about the Floral Hall at Bellvue and the campaign to try and save it and restore it to its past glory.  Having read the article, and looked at the Facebook campaign page, with its photos, I got to wondering how many of you remember going to any of the events at the Floral Hall, was there a ‘scene’ , albeit hidden, at the Floral Hall.

Why not write an let us know your memories, and with your permission we will print them

The Floral Hall, was built in the 1930s and was used as a dance hall for many years.


Located within the grounds of the zoo is a 1930s art deco ballroom, the Floral Hall. The Hall was popular venue in its time and during the war the Hall had blackouts fitted to the windows so that dances could continue. In the 1960s, the hall was visited by musical artists such as Pink Floyd and Small Faces. The Floral Hall closed to the public on 2 April 1972 and has remained derelict since the outbreak of the Troubles in the 1970s.

During the 1990s the Floral Hall had been given Listed Building Status.

In December 2011 saw the creation of a Facebook page based around sharing old photos of the Floral Hall including interior shots of the hall today, the following year an online petition, addressed to the City Council was created to help raise awareness and to progress with the restoration project of the hall.

With such an iconic building, and the fact that it was a venue for so many different kind of events, I wonder how many of the LGBT community in Ireland, or anywhere for that matter, can remember going to any kind of event.  If you do why not write to us letting us know your memories.

Stephen Fry says DUP conscience clause bill is 'sick'

Stephen Fry has labelled the DUP’s conscience clause bill as “sick” and urged people to sign a petition against it.

The Democratic Unionist Party wants to introduce a new clause in Northern Ireland’s equality laws that would allow businesses to refuse services to a customer if it is against their religious beliefs.

Critics have reacted angrily, claiming it is legalising discrimination, and a petition has been set up to stop the Freedom of Conscience Bill being passed.

And now it has received support from an influential backer – the gay presenter, comedian and writer Stephen Fry.

He tweeted on Wednesday: “Please sign this: once again the religious right twisting truth to present themselves as victims. Sick.”

Fry has repeatedly expressed his opposition to organised religion, and has attacked church teachings on sexuality.

‘Gay cake’

The Freedom of Conscience Bill was prompted by the threat of legal action against a Belfast Christian bakery business, which became


So if you haven’t already, please sign this petition to ‘Stop the Conscience Clause Bill’:



The Belfast Telegraph editorial said:


Editor’s Viewpoint: A conscience clause is absurd

This newspaper will always defend the right of people to hold and practise their religious beliefs. We recognise that even though the secular world continues to gain ground apace, religion plays a hugely important part in very many people’s lives in Northern Ireland. We also acknowledge the positive contribution made by the churches in attempting to create a more peaceful and understanding society here.

That said, we nevertheless contend that there is no place for the conscience clause legislation proposed by DUP MLA Paul Givan in a modern society. Religion may give us the moral template in which we wish to live our lives, but it should not – and cannot – be exempted from the duly created civil laws of the country.

Equality legislation has been hard won in this society and it is there to protect all the people from discrimination. Mr Givan may argue that his conscience clause legislation is a protection for people with deep religious convictions, but it is an illogical and ill-thought out proposal.

For, no matter what he argues, what this proposal would do if passed into law would be to allow discrimination against gay people. It is as simple as that and as wrong as that.

Quite rightly it would be challenged at every turn in the courts and almost inevitably overturned at every challenge

One immediate obstacle is which religions would benefit from such a clause? How would the law define religion and what about people who have no religious convictions? Would they just have to accept current equality legislation or lump it?

This all stems from the refusal of a bakery to produce a cake with a slogan endorsing same-sex marriage. It was found to be in breach of equality laws. Perhaps this case could have been handled differently, but creating laws on the back of one exceptional instance is never a recipe for good, stable legislation.

To use an unfortunate phrase, this conscience clause has all the hallmarks of a Trojan horse, designed to impose a moral authority on society at the expense of accepted legislation. There is no indication of any overwhelming public demand for religion to be given an opt out option when it comes to equality legislation. The churches, mosques or synagogues are the proper places for people to practise or discuss their religious convictions, and that is where such debates should remain.

European election: launch of ILGA-Europe’s Come Out European 2014 Elections Campaign


On Tuesday 14 January, the ILGA-Europe launched their European election campaign in Strasbourg. Within 24 hours, 31 candidates have given their support by signing up to their 10 points Come Out 2014 Election Pledge. By signing the Pledge, candidates commit to fully use the European Parliament’s powers to deliver LGBTI equality between 2014-2019. The ILGA-Europe’s objective is to reach the highest possible number of support among MEP candidates and elected MEPs.

To participate in their Come Out Campaign and support your own election campaign initiatives, we have developed a campaign section on their website. The section consists of three parts:

  • For MEP candidates: This part is targeting candidates for the European elections in May, and consists of the Election Pledge, a simple sign up form and an overview on who has signed so far. Check it out here.
  • For Individuals and organisations: This section makes available resources for  to be involved in the campaign – the section provides tools for you to approach national candidates for the European elections. Check out the section here. Note that there is a “hidden” sub-section for Members only, which requires a username and password (username: EP2014, password: ep2014. Please do not share this information outside your organisation.) This “hidden” section contains documents on good ways on approaching candidates.
  • About European Elections: This section’s aim is to provide with general information on the European elections. Check it out here.

If you in the meantime have any questions about the campaign, then do not hesitate tthe ILGA-Europe [button_icon icon=”information” url=”” blank=”true” colour=”green”]Contact the ILGA-Europe Here[/button_icon]