Oh, I just love this. Our sports minister, Edwin Poots (DUP), is opining on rugby. As well he might, because the Prods love their rugby. But what is exercising Pootsie’s mind is the Ulster Titans, a newish team based in Belfast. You hadn’t heard of the Ulster Titans? Nor had I, I must admit. It seems they are the North’s first gay rugby team. And why not? What could be more homoerotic than a nice manly game of rugby?
The minister, however, does not see things that way. It’s worth remarking, too, that Pootsie has some ground to make up on the gay issue. Some of the DUP’s more rednecky elements are still sore at him since his department gave a grant to the Pride parade last year. The Nolan show was fairly coming down with irate callers demanding to know why the DUP was funding the sodomites.
In years gone by, a DUP minister might have struck a fundamentalist pose on the issue. But such are the sensitivities of our New Dispensation, what with ministerial decisions being subject to Section 75 audits and what have you, that Pootsie is a little more circumspect. In fact, he speaks up for integration and against separatism:
However, Mr Poots said: “It would be unacceptable to produce an all-black rugby team or an all-white team or an all-Chinese team.
“To me it’s equally unacceptable to produce an all-homosexual rugby team and I find it remarkable that people who talk so much about inclusivity and about having an equal role in society would then go down the route of exclusion.”
Perhaps, although Declan Lavery of the Ulster Titans says you don’t absolutely have to be gay to join. It would be nice to have a determination for the junior minister in charge of equality, but unfortunately he (this is Ian Paisley Jr now) is no longer with us.
Or is he? I also note that Alex Salmond, who seems to have a warm rapport with Papa Doc, is hosting a delegation from the Stormont Executive today. Junior is tagging along, apparently because he’s remaining in post until the DUP nominates a replacement.
Isn’t life grandy and dandy?