Tuesday, February 21, 2006

John Waters and gobshite liberalism

Eamon Dunphy's podcast this morning (Newstalk 106 Tuesday 21st) had Irish Times journo (and "songwriter") John Waters on in the guise of a newspaper reviewer. During his chummy banter with Dummers (at 39m50sec according to iTunes) he came out swinging against the Irish Examiner poll which claimed 51% of surveyed Irish people supported "some form of gay marriage". (United Islander has also written on this today)

According to Wikipedia Waters has previously expressed views against extending the term marriage to gay partnerships, but professed to support civil partnerships. His initial annoyance seemed to be with the Examiner article lumping in all sorts of gay partnerships as forms of "gay marriage". From a journalist it's amusing that he would take offence at a sub-ed lax headlining, surely he's been at the Old Lady long enough to have had it happen to himself.

The amusing thing was that he decided to tell us what was natural ("heterosexual marriage is a tautology") but his real problem was with the reference to adoption in the article:
The Irish Examiner/Red C survey on attitudes to homosexuality also reveals that exactly half of Irish adults would be happy to allow gay people to adopt children on the same terms as heterosexuals.
Waters described this as "gobshite liberalism", "madness" and "fundamentally ignorant":
If you're a woman, you can adopt, either in a partnership, or in a marriage or as a single mother, increasingly. If you're a man, you can't. Theoretically you can, but in practice you can't. But not alone that, but if you're the father of a child, whose mother, unmarried, whose mother puts that child up for adoption, you have no right to claim to adopt that child at all. You can't. The mother can hand the child away to another couple.

And in effect now what the Irish Examiner is calling for in this survey, what the tendenciousness of this survey is that, that child of that man, theoretical, hypothetical man, can be handed to a gay couple across the street [DUNPHY: Incredible] by a mother that doesn't want it. [DUNPHY: That's incredible]

This is the kind of gobshitery that is actually passing for intellectual debate in this country. [DUNPHY: It's terrible] It's really time we began to wake up to what this agenda is really about and we have Niall Crowley of course, your old friend [DUNPHY: eh, yeah the Equality Reform...]
Waters tailed off at this point, reminiscing chummily with Dunphy about the latter having used a "six letter word" against the Equality Authority chairman. Sadly Dunphy while occasionally entertaining and incisive gives a free pass to his many chums (McGuinness and Fisk, for instance).

When is Waters going to get it - when you deny rights to somebody you end up denying rights to yourself down the road - if Dan Savage can promote "straight rights" (legislation opposing gay rights often has repercussions for straight people) you'd think John Waters could see that the ultimate end of treating people with equality will be justice for fathers - whether gay people or fathers get justice first seems to cause him great distress because he seems to feel gay people will get rights and then the equality drawbridge will be pulled up.

Finally - later in the same podcast, Paul Anthony McDermott goes to bat on matters adjoining the appeal of Wayne O'Donoghue's sentence by the DPP (although speaking obliquely, despite many attempts by Dummers to get him to speak directly on the case) - I have written previously about his remarks on evidence.
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