There is a theory that ardent right-wingers possess authoritarian personalities which repress emotional and sexual expression out of insecurity. It falls into line with B. F. Skinner’s observations on “operant conditioning” in human behaviour and psyche. Now no sensible person would doubt for one moment that everyone is entitled to a private life, but that is questionable when someone’s private life conflicts with their duties as a public representative.
Recently an Ulster Unionist Assemblyman was found to be sending explicit messages and photos of himself on a website for gay and bisexual men. This is someone who has consistently opposed all attempts to afford same-sex couples one of the most basic human rights – to marry those they love dear. It’s abhorrent that someone can be so inconsistent in their public and private persona and not be held to account for it.
Of course this isn’t the first such anomaly within Unionist and Loyalist circles. A founding member of the DUP, Clifford Smyth, has spoken to the media of his transvestism in the past. We tend to forget the whole debacle with Paul Berry not that long ago and the dubious massage incident. Likewise, allegations are now surfacing about the deceased Lord Molyneaux and his “friendships” with known gay men whilst a leading Ulster Unionist and Conservative Monday Club member. Additionally, a DUP staff member was sacked in recent years for placing a hidden camera in an office toilet. For people so concerned with “sexual propriety”, they have a very strange way of showing it.
There is something messed up within the Unionist mind, that they seek to deny people social justice for having the courage to be in public what some Unionists are in private. We need, with a sense of urgent vigour, to press the Westminster government to introduce legislation which will be binding over any such measures the Unionists use to block the rights of the LGBT community – who deserve our full support for the uncivilised open-air prison they have endured for centuries. The fundamental rights of couples in Dublin or Edinburgh should be held in accord with those in Belfast or Derry. It’s not a complicated matter and rights are not negotiable. Equality and transparency remain the Trojan horse for exposing these shallow ‘intrigues’ for what they really are, behind the political and evangelical facade. For as one famous star once espoused, sex is here to stay. And as a real Christian I conclude with Christ’s own parting words, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!”