Mann: Right Move For Paper to ‘Come Out’ on Gay Issue

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

Curiously Isle of Man newspapers report (in this weeks Manx independent), somewhat defensively, on their decision to carry the story first trailed in the UK guardian about Chief Minister Allan Bell’s decision to acknowledge that he was gay.

However what would have been curious would have been for the Manx press (or media generally) to ignore the Chief Ministers statement. Of course as the paper says a person’s sexuality should not be a newsworthy item ordinarily but this was anything but an ordinary statement.

Having known Allan Bell for years first as an opponent in his nationalist days and more recently as an adversary in both my Union role and as member of the League and Mec Vannin I know that Bell is a shrewd operator how else would he manage his ‘ringmaster role’ to that disparate bunch of sharks that comprise the current Council of Ministers (COMIN).

The fact that Bell is gay was well known as he himself admitted but he timed the decision to ‘come out’ with the announcement about moves to legalise gay marriage.

He assumed correctly that there would be opposition in what is still a conservative society (small c) and that opposition has emerged already with the Bishop marking out the mediaeval stance of the Church on the issue.

Obviously when many countries in Western Europe have accepted gay marriage it would have been embarrassing to say the least for the Isle of Mans attempt to legislate to be derailed. After all even in the UK the North of Ireland is resisting moves despite recent polls which showed public opinion in favour.

Bell’s decision to ‘come out’ was correct the Manx media (including the newspapers) decision to report it is perfectly in order.

As for the Bishop well paradoxically many people have been questioning for years why he should be able to ‘stick his oar’ in the Manx legislative programme. Perhaps he should take himself off to the North of Ireland he might find some ‘soul’ mates amongst the fundamentalist wing of Unionism!

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

08/10/15

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The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

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