MacLOCHLAINN ANGER AT RTE OVER ‘HOMOPHOBIA’ BROADCAST

first_imgDeputy Padraig MacLochlainnDONEGAL TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn has called on RTE to issue a full statement on its libel settlement following comments about alleged homophobia.A protest against homophobia took place in Dublin this afternoon following controversy over comments made by the gay rights activist Rory O’Neill on RTÉ’s ‘Saturday Night Show’ last month.The State broadcaster is reported to have paid out some €85,000 in compensation in its defamation settlement over the comments made by Mr O’Neill, who performs as drag queen Panti. Journalist John Waters told the Sunday Business Post he will receive €40,000 while a further sum is to be paid to five members of the Catholic lobby group, The Iona Institute.The settlement was made following legal correspondence from the parties named in the January 11 interview with Brendan O’Connor, during which O’Neill discussed homophobia and same-sex marriage. It is understood that RTÉ bosses felt the broadcast would have been almost impossible to defend in any potential defamation action and moved quickly to settle the complaint.The Saturday Night Show last week broadcast an apology to those alleged to have been defamed in the original interview, and last night featured a debate on homophobia.RTÉ is understood to have received over 1,000 complaints from members of the public in relation to the broadcast. The vast majority are believed to express concern at the apology issued by the station. Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD today called on RTÉ to issue a public statement clarifying the broadcaster’s actions following the recent Saturday Night Show.The Donegal North East TD said: “This week the Justice and Equality Minister published the General Scheme of a Children and Family Relationships Bill. This is an important piece of legislation that recognises the diversity of families in Ireland and puts the rights of children and their parents centre stage.“The government has promised a referendum on marriage equality in 2015 following a recommendation by a majority of the Constitutional Convention to amend the constitution to allow same sex marriage.“Recent actions by RTÉ regarding its Saturday Night Show have been deeply disappointing and the public service broadcaster’s decision to pay out a considerable cash settlement without a challenge is worrying.“Those who publicly advocate inequality cannot hide behind defamation legislation when they are called out on the views they seek to gain popular support for. The demand of significant sums of public monies by such individuals or groups in place of a right to reply sets a deeply worrying precedent. “Timidity in broadcasting serves no-one and as a public service broadcaster RTÉ must place itself beyond reproach.“Public monies make up the lion’s share of RTÉ’s annual revenue therefore the public have a right to know how this money is being spent. RTÉ management must now make a public statement clarifying their actions following the recent Saturday Night Show.“It is my strong view that inequality wherever and however it expresses itself must be robustly challenged.”MacLOCHLAINN ANGER AT RTE OVER ‘HOMOPHOBIA’ BROADCAST was last modified: February 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Deputy Padraig MacLochlainnhomophobialast_img read more

Bolivias Evo Morales marks 10 years in office

first_imgRelated posts:Bolivia announces plans for nuclear research complex Morales facing defeat in key Bolivia vote: early data Bolivian president asks to see child born to ex-girlfriend In Bolivia, silver mountain at risk of collapse TIWANAKU, Bolivia — Bolivian President Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous head of state, marked a record-setting 10 years in office Thursday with an ancient ceremonial rite in the pre-Incan city of Tiahuanaco.In a dawn ceremony, the leftist leader extended his arms to receive the first rays of the morning sun before breathing in the incense from a large pyre lit to bring good fortune.The ritual, set to the sounds of Andean music, was held at the archaeological site of Tiahuanaco (or Tiwanaku) in western Bolivia, a collection of stone ruins thought to have been a spiritual and political center from AD 400 to 900.“With this small but very important act, I would like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude for these 10 years of service to the Bolivian people,” said the president, who faces accusations of seeking to cling to power for up to a decade more.Morales took office on Jan. 22, 2006, after defying centuries of discrimination against Bolivia’s indigenous communities to win a landslide election victory. He has since presided over a period of robust economic growth and transformative changes for the long-suffering indigenous majority.A former coca grower who got his start in politics as a union leader, he has deftly managed the resource-rich economy, which has more than tripled in size during his decade in office.With the opposition riven by infighting, Morales, 56, has won resoundingly in the past three presidential elections: 54 percent of the vote in 2005, 64 percent in 2009 and 61 percent in 2014.But Morales, who is already the longest-serving president in Bolivian history, is increasingly accused of trying to cling to the presidency for as long as he can.Three years ago, Bolivia’s Supreme Court cleared the way for him to serve a third term when it ruled that his first term was exempt from a new constitution adopted in 2009 that imposed a limit of one reelection for sitting presidents.His current term ends in 2020, but now he is pushing for a referendum to amend the constitution and enable him to serve until 2025.Morales will officially mark the anniversary Friday with a ceremony in Congress, where he will deliver a nationally televised address. Facebook Commentslast_img read more