14 August 2012
Gay couple forced out of their home in unionist estate
'I went to the shop and when I said ‘Hi’ this person started shouting at me, saying that it would be a nice day when he goes to my funeral and he hoped I would die'
A GAY COUPLE living in the unionist estate of Rathvarna in Lisburn have been forced from their home and into emergency accommodation for their own safety following weeks of intimidation, threats and attacks on their property.
The young couple, who married in May, say they have been subjected to a string of verbal insults, taunting and in one incident a brick was thrown through their kitchen window in the early hours of the morning.
24-year-old Dean McFall told the local Ulster Star newspaper:
“I don’t know why we are being abused like this. When I was out and returned home I always made sure I had my keys ready so I could just get into the house quickly in case something was thrown at me. This is 2012 for goodness sake! I would never judge anyone differently because of their race or religion or their sexual orientation.”
The couple said that the cars of friends who called to their home were frequently damaged and when guests came back to their home on their wedding day they were verbally abused. On another occasion bricks, were thrown over the wall at them in their back garden.
“One time I went to the shop and when I said ‘Hi’ this person started shouting at me, saying that it would be a nice day when he goes to my funeral and he hoped I would die. It is just not right to be treated in this way.
“I would love to go back to my house but I cannot. What else might happen? We have spent a lot of money making our home beautiful and now we have to leave.
“We just want to live in peace and be surrounded by people who just accept us for what we are.”
Previously, Lisburn Council itself has been accused of homophobia when in 2005 the unionist-dominated City Council passed a motion by the supposedly liberal Alliance Party – with the support of the DUP and UUP – banning the use of its premises for civil partnership ceremonies. Sinn Féin and the SDLP condemned the decision as discrimination against the gay community. The ban was eventually overturned following protests from Sinn Féin and threats of legal action.
Premium Online Service For Only €10 Per Year
For less than €1 a month, you get An Phoblacht’s Premium Online Service. Sign up today!
- Full access to all An Phoblacht articles
- Interactive online PDF Booklet of each edition
- Access to our historic Archives
- Discounts for the Online Sinn Féin Shop