Today The Rainbow Project, the largest LGB&T support and advocacy organisation in Northern Ireland, issued a condemnation of the lies and smears against LGB&T people peddled on the streets of Derry/Londonderry.
A man fled from police after a complaint was made by a local resident that a man was distributing homophobic and incendiary materials in the city. The leaflet distributed alleges that ‘homosexuals have the longest child abuse record in history’ and that ‘Hitler used his homosexual formation, the SS, to commit almost the whole Holocaust.’
Speaking about the incident, Director of The Rainbow Project, John O’Doherty said: ‘These smears and outright lies about LGB&T people, and particularly gay men, have long been peddled by the opponents of our community. Although these claims may appear outlandish, there will be nothing new about them to LGB&T people, many of whom have constantly been made to feel that they represent the worst and most depraved aspects of humanity. These lies find succour in a society which, although slowly edging towards equality for LGB&T people, still contains pervasive and damaging homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
‘I was proud to participate in Holocaust Memorial Day last week to highlight the persecution of LGB&T people by the Nazi state and to remember the up to 50,000 gay men who were brutally murdered in Nazi death camps. We also painfully remember that after the so-called liberation of the camps, many gay men were immediately imprisoned for the crime of being gay.’
‘There is no place in this society for those who would scapegoat LGB&T people for the failings of others and who would peddle the myth that LGB&T people are a threat to children. I want to personally thank the resident for having the courage to report this liar to the police and also to thank the police for accurately recording this as a hate incident.’