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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stupid Irish Homophobes and Their Big Homophobic Fail

Posted by on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 1:58 PM

No one in the North America had heard of Panti Bliss three days ago. Now this Irish drag queen—Ireland's most famous drag queen—is all over our blogs, our Facebook pages, our news programs, and our Twitter feeds.

Here's what happened: Rory O'Neill—the man behind (inside?) Panti Bliss—went on an Irish current events program and when the conversation turned to homophobia, O'Neill called out some noxious Irish homophobes after the program's host asked him to name names.

O’Neill gave an unequivocal answer, name-checking Irish Times columnists John Waters and Breda O’Brien, as well as Catholic think-tank The Iona Institute, as those he believed worthy of that description. Many audience members may have been heard cheering and clapping their approval, but those mentioned were significantly less enthused and began legal action against RTÉ and O’Neill on the grounds of defamation as they weren’t homophobic.

Here's notorious non-homophobe Waters on gay marriage: "This is really a kind of satire on marriage which is being conducted by the gay lobby. It’s not that they want to get married; they want to destroy the institution of marriage because they’re envious of it…" Here's noted non-homophobe Breda O’Brien on civil rights protections for LGBT people: " Equality must take second place to the common good." The Iona Institute, for it's part, opposes civil rights protections for LGBT people and is leading the fight against gay marriage in Ireland—a fight that these noxious homophobic shits are losing—and Iona traffics in distortion, fear-mongering, and misrepresentation, like our very own NOM.

The television network that aired O'Neill's interview, RTE, instantly caved and paid this nasty little collection of slimy homophobic shits €85,000—$114,000—by way of settlement. Everyone can see what's going on here: this is a transparent effort on the part of these homophobic shits to intimidate and shut up a popular and charismatic voice in Ireland's movement for LGBT equality. The haters at Iona are also attempting to set the parameters of the debate: they can say all the hateful things they like, no one is allowed to call them haters. Straight newspaper columnists quickly weighed in. They scolded the homophobes for their bullying tactics and called them out for attempting to stifle free speech—no, wait. Straight newspaper columnists scolded Panti Bliss for calling out these shitty, hateful homophobes on their shitty, hateful homophobia. Panti was being insufficiently civil, they said, to a person who has accused her and other gay people of trying to destroy the institution of marriage out of spite.

I hadn't heard about any of this—I don't think anyone in the states had—until Panti was invited to address the controversy at the Irish National Theater last weekend. If you're not among the 250,000 people who've watched the video already, you need to watch it. If you've already watched it, watch it again. It's amazing. Rory is amazing. Panti is amazing.

So consider this post a thank you note to shitty bigot John Waters and shitty bigot Breda O’Brien and all the shitty bigots at the Iona Institute. Thank you for bringing Panti Bliss to our attention. Thanks to your stupidity and Rory "Panti Bliss" O'Neill's eloquence, Panti has gained an international following. And if you shitty motherfuckers are dumb enough to sue Panti, know this: she not only has thousands of supporters in Ireland, she has thousands of new supporters all over the world. Myself included. And we will spread the word and we will raise money and we will call you shitty fucking homophobes without a moment's hesitation. Because you're a bunch of shitty fucking homophobes.

So congrats, you dumb fucking haters. You made that Irish drag queen an international superstar—and if you are stupid enough to come after her, you've made her an international cause célèbre.


Comments (52) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
The "Streisand effect" strikes again!
Posted by Pope Buck I on February 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 2
Hmm. Would it be possible to refer to him as "not the real" John Waters?
Posted by saxfanatic on February 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 3
... Because of the potential for ironic confusion - like when folks confused Eugene McCarthy with Joe McCarthy.
Posted by saxfanatic on February 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM · Report this
Hear Hear! All hail Panti!
Posted by darlin13 on February 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM · Report this
Posted by Frank Rizzo on February 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this
Shitty fucking homophobes beware. Your shitty fucking homophobia has made you international objects of scorn and ridicule. Need you be reminded what happened at a place called Stonewall when the drag queens had enough of shitty fucking homophobia and went to war? May I propose that shitty fucking homophobes be waterboarded with Russian vodka?
Posted by A Star is born and her name is Panti on February 5, 2014 at 2:28 PM · Report this
Anyone who pays attention to Ireland is all over this story. Panti Bliss is getting HUGE mileage from this moment (yay!), but more importantly, this is going to mark a sea-change in Ireland's profound homophobia. As Catholicism there continues its inexorable shift from top-down, thou-shalt-not doctrine toward a more vernacular Catholicism, it is moments like this that will serve to define Ireland's new set of ideas. Pope Francis is also having a huge impact there. It's very exciting to watch!
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on February 5, 2014 at 2:33 PM · Report this
And RTE is the national broadcaster, which means taxpayer money went into that payout.
Posted by panic! on February 5, 2014 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Homophobe John Waters... Too funny
Posted by scarlet2583 on February 5, 2014 at 2:48 PM · Report this
FWIW, Irish gays enjoy propagating the confusion between the two John Waterses. It entertains us immensely to think one might be getting the other's emails.

BTW, please do not take this controversy as a representation of the experience of being gay in Ireland. Our establishment, as represented by the media and government, is extremely slow to change, but the society itself has outpaced it by leagues, as Panti notes in her speech. The pace of progression has been staggering even in my lifetime, and polls have shown again and again that a marriage equality vote would pass comfortably - if only the government would hold it.

See also, for instance, that the initial interview with Rory was really well received by the general public - the *apology* sent people crazy.

Irish people, though still shaking off last generation's influence, have a very strong fundamental sense of fair play. People like Iona and Waters are an affront to that, and are treated with deserved derision as result - by everybody except the networks that keep giving them airtime, and papers that keep giving them columns.

I guarantee you Panti or Rory would have their pint paid for in any pub in the country sooner than the other shower.
Posted by Harriet_Smth on February 5, 2014 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Leishalynn 11
Should we like her on Facebook ( and follow her on Twitter (, too? She should have an army of public supporters!
Posted by Leishalynn on February 5, 2014 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 12
The holier than thou crowd and how they want to protect this and that. Their church has been torturing and raping children for hundreds of years and they remain silent. They protect nothing.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 5, 2014 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Read @10. It is from someone who lives in Ireland and weighs in on what is really happening there.
Posted by bareboards on February 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Leishalynn 14
It's gone.
Posted by Leishalynn on February 5, 2014 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Posted by liam66 on February 5, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
If anyone would like to see just how homopobic they are there is a ton of stuff here, including misrepresentation of research…
Posted by philtom on February 5, 2014 at 3:20 PM · Report this
There is more evidence here of their homophobic actions, including misrepresentation of research, worth a read.…
Posted by philtom on February 5, 2014 at 3:25 PM · Report this
The Beatles 18
*John Waters* is among Ireland's most noxious homophobes? Some things just don't translate into American English very well, do they?
Posted by The Beatles on February 5, 2014 at 3:35 PM · Report this
The Irish John Waters also posits, among other things, that 'feminazis' (that's feminists to you and me) caused the global economic downturn, that social order can only be restored if men 'control' their women, and that gays are 'intrinsically disordered'

that's the kinda operator we're up against here.
He has a massive platform by virtue of his weekly column in the Irish Times (think, New York Times for Ireland) for which he is extremely well paid.

And Breda O'Brien, too, gets a weekly, well-paid for column in the same paper.

His screed comes out on Friday, hers on Saturday.

Its a joke that two people espousing the same sort of vitriolic hatred should command such a large amount of media, side by side in the so-called 'Irish Newspaper of Record'

And, the Iona Institute, of which Breda O'Brien is a 'patron' -- by the way, as an 'Institute' they've yet, in their 7 years existence, produced one original or peer-reviewed piece of research, which is what institutes are meant to do -- gets a really disproportionate amount of air time on RTE. Stats show that their hateful doctrine represents only about 8% of the Irish citizenry, so, we're asking big questions here as to just exactly WHO it is that's high up in RTE that's giving these noxious people so much air time -- which is paid for by our tax dollars!
Posted by perry_cormo on February 5, 2014 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Oddly, there's a distant Seattle link to this story. One of Dublin's three Members of the European Parliament, Paul Murphy, raised this incident in the European Parliament. He represents the Socialist Party, the Irish sister organisation of Kshama Sawant's Socialist Alternative. One of his colleagues, Joe Higgins, a member of the Dail, the Irish parliament, came over to Seattle to speak at one of Sawant's rallies.…
Posted by Zinoviev Letter on February 5, 2014 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Wonderful! Although one point - from my following of the story here in Ireland, journalists' support for Panti/O'Neill has far outweighed any criticism! Here is an opinion piece from the same newspaper Waters and O'Brien write for. Others have been (rightly) more angry but this article's levelheadedness and logic is hard for even the stubbornest of bigots to argue with or to try debunk with claims of name-calling.…
Posted by rham on February 5, 2014 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Wonderful! Although one point - from my following of the story here in Ireland, journalists' support for Panti/O'Neill has far outweighed any criticism! Here is an opinion piece from the same newspaper Waters and O'Brien write for. Others have been (rightly) more angry but this article's levelheadedness and logic is hard for even the stubbornest of bigots to argue with or to try debunk with claims of name-calling.…
Posted by rham on February 5, 2014 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 23
Gay folk are no longer afraid. Let the attackers be on notice.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on February 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM · Report this
@22: Excellent article.
Posted by chi_type on February 5, 2014 at 5:18 PM · Report this
In Ireland our press cannot show to be for or against a particular side, they must be neutral and show a balanced view of both sides of any issue.
Posted by Ian Walsh on February 5, 2014 at 5:34 PM · Report this
I shan't go so far as to employ it myself, but this time I can quite approve of Mr Savage's use of strong Anglo-Saxon Adjectives.
Posted by vennominon on February 5, 2014 at 6:01 PM · Report this
Oh, don't forget that at the time the programme aired and for a week after the legal claims, John Waters sat on the board of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Posted by Just_Dean1 on February 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM · Report this
John Waters should sue that homophobe John Waters for besmirching his good gay name.

And Dan, thank you!
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM · Report this
Sarah in Olympia,
It is quite ironic that you open your comment by saying "Anyone who pays attention to Ireland" because you clearly know nothing about Ireland and are willing to tar our whole people with your lazy, racist comment! The overwhelming majority of Irish people support gay marriage (73% in a 2012 Red C poll) which while not far enough, is, in fact, in comparison to most countries quite progressive. Higher than America I think you'll find!!!
Please do not equate the Irish people with The Iona Institute, a tiny right-wing American funded religious group.
Those nuts do not speak for us.
Neither does RTE, on many issues, actually represent the people they are paid to do, the national public outcry and protests against their cowardly decision clearly demonstrates that. Get your facts straight before you 'pontificate' down to us and ignorantly insult an entire nation!!
Try google:…
Viva La Panti!!
Posted by mcnidhalaigh on February 5, 2014 at 8:19 PM · Report this
I feel for Rory/ Panti having been through all this, but so very well done for coming out fighting and fighting so very eloquently. Panti Bar is also a great bar in Dublin (it's always on my route when visiting from the UK). One thing that would make this even better is, IMHO, we could all stop using the word "homophobia" when what we actually mean is "queer bashing". I don't mind somebody being a homophobe too much. I'm slightly phobic about clowns, but I don't advocate violence against them or say that they shouldn't be allowed to marry. A phobia is passive; what this lot are up to is far from passive. If they were to live quietly in their fearful and fretful world, alone and behind permanently drawn curtains, who would care? What we are talking about with this bunch of shitheads that Panti name-shamed is just simple, old fashioned queer bashing. Calling it "homophobia" seems almost to make it gentrified, rational and even almost respectable. Scientific sounding words tend to do that. Perhaps Panti actually should withdraw the comment and say "sorry, I really didn't mean to call you a homophobe. You are not homophobes; you are queer bashing, human toxic waste and you... are... losing."
Posted by GrahamF on February 5, 2014 at 8:52 PM · Report this
Great article that says it like it is! We're all fiercely proud of Panti for doing the same.
If anyone over there wants to fund the equality cause over here (to go some way to counteracting the huge warchest that IONA fundraises in North America every year) you can donate to Marriage Equality here:…
Posted by stranded_aoife on February 6, 2014 at 12:18 AM · Report this
What in reality is this poorly written and poorly researched article about... ???
Just a few points. ln a recent census the Vast majority of lrish people referred to themselves as Christian and NOT catholic ... l should like to point out too that there is a referendum next year in relation to same sex marriages which according to opinion polls the VAST majority of people support.
lf the author wishes to publish an article like this l would urge that person to do a little research as to me it looks like something that was written by a bigot in the 1920s. Wake up a little bit and get with the times.
Posted by on February 6, 2014 at 1:26 AM · Report this
Posted by scoobydoo on February 6, 2014 at 2:23 AM · Report this
Is this our Orwellian future or a sign they're losing when in this media world, gay people are homophobes, black people are the real racists, women are holding themselves back, and the 1% are the oppressed? Because if this audacity is all they really have left...
Posted by tedmills on February 6, 2014 at 2:25 AM · Report this
You might also be in retested in what one of our senators had to say on the matter. Another remarkable man.
Posted by Dublin Lo on February 6, 2014 at 2:33 AM · Report this
If tax payers money is paying these shit heads, then technically we own the paper, loosely speaking. I presume that if a large enough part of the public kicked off enough of a fuss, protests, signatures and the likes, the newspaper chiefs would have to sack this scumbags. Am i wrong here?? Hey if channel 4s Ron Burgandy can get the sack due to public protest, im sure we can her these bigots sacked too!

Fair to say they will get good payouts (maybe if we protest enough it will be recinded, as it wasnt a court judgement) and get jobs working for other queer bashers but would it not be a great statement of intent for this nation!!

Posted by Kelso on February 6, 2014 at 4:50 AM · Report this
There's also a FB campaign for Panti to be Grand Marshal of the Irish Paddy's Day parade (Yep "Paddy's" never "Patty's" Seattle!:) )
What a great idea. Panti has hundreds of thousands of supporters here, people are opting to not pay their TV license fees too in Ireland in protest to RTE. Thanks for sharing the story further.
Posted by Driaocht on February 6, 2014 at 6:48 AM · Report this
I live in NY and am Irish, have been following this from the very beginning, (also known of Panti for years as my boyfriend was his roommate in college and they're still great friends) and I don't know, for the life of me, why I hadn't thought to email you about him!

I did however write a furious letter to RTE when they took down the online link to the Late Late Show he appeared on. And I'm so please to hear "people are opting to not pay their TV license fee" as that's a pretty big deal in Ireland and will send a message for sure so thanks for sharing that, Driaocht.

Anyway, glad you're finally aware of him and I look forward to your comments about it all on next week on the Savage Love podcast.
Posted by ShiversSiobhán on February 6, 2014 at 7:13 AM · Report this
Posted by Driaocht on February 6, 2014 at 7:35 AM · Report this
For anyone who hasn't read unregistered comment 35, it included this must-watch link of a fiery statement made in support of Panti in the Irish Senate:…
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Alanmt 41
I suspect the Iona Institute are already finding their settlement a very Pyrrhic victory.
Posted by Alanmt on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM · Report this
It seems this is being taken more out of proportion as a c change in Irish culture. Irish people are outraged at this and the homophobia and censorship are not part of the catholic church here. It won't be homophobia that brings the church down, it will be the child abuse facilitation and actual abuse.

This will hit the iaona institute alright. Nut the church and it's off shoots are dying already and near;y dead. Clearly they aren't aware of this and still throw their weight around as if people will stand for it which they won't.

Posted by PERSEUS on February 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM · Report this
The author of this diatribe calling others "haters" is possibly the best example of "the pot calling the kettle black" that I have ever come across. Hilarious, yet probably oblivious to their own hypocrisy . . .
Posted by RenfroRules on February 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM · Report this
Imagine, if you will, the EXACT OPPOSITE of delightfully skeevy Baltimore trash-filmmaker and gay icon John Waters and you will have the Irish columnist John Waters: a dreary, bigoted, sanctimonious, born-again Catholic, hippie-turncoat who spent the first half of his life sleazeing after women in Dublin bars and the other half repenting and attacking people on moral grounds.
Posted by Steerpike66 on February 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Imagine, if you will, the EXACT OPPOSITE of delightfully skeevy Baltimore trash film-maker and gay icon John Waters and you will have John Waters the Irish 'journalist': a tedious, sanctimonious bigoted ex-hippie and born-again Catholic who spent the first half of his career sleazing after women in Dublin bars and the second half repenting and judging other people's sexual preferences.
Posted by Steerpike66 on February 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Seattleblues is oddly absent from this thread.
Posted by Clayton on February 6, 2014 at 7:20 PM · Report this
Want to know what started this whole fiasco in Ireland?

This. This interview here:…

Now deleted from the Irish internet.

(We need a First Amendment.)
Posted by clickhere on February 7, 2014 at 5:10 AM · Report this
Want to know what started this whole fiasco in Ireland?

This. This interview here:…

Now deleted from the Irish internet.

(We need a First Amendment.)
Posted by clickhere on February 7, 2014 at 5:13 AM · Report this
Fortunate 49
@46, knock if off Clayton. Don't you know it's like Beetlejuice? If you say the name too many times it appears. Is that really what you want?
Posted by Fortunate on February 7, 2014 at 8:08 AM · Report this
@48--thank you for the link. Wow, can't believe the station caved and paid! Rory is so articulate and described homophobia very well. If the shoe fits....
Posted by Beth on February 7, 2014 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Hello from Ireland where Panti Bliss is a NATIONAL HERO. We're extremely proud of her and she enjoys a hundredfold more support than the tossers of the Iona Institute, who are engaged in the dubiously Catholic equivalent of Custer's Last Stand. Next election expect to hear the refrain -- PANTI FOR PRESIDENT!!!
Posted by BRENDAN LANDERS on February 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM · Report this
steerpike - but the US John Waters IS also a born-again (OK born again different) Catholic. Although satire, his movies have become very moralistic and if you really parse the plots they're quite in line with most tenets (well, except for the gender-bendy and sometimes murderous characters - I won't even try to define Divine, just watch her role in 'Polyester')

anyway Panti and Rory - cheers!
Posted by richard stupidhead on February 10, 2014 at 2:21 AM · Report this

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