Amnesty International Supports Anti-Catholic Bigotry During Gay Pride Belfast

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: September 11, 2008

Amnesty International participated this year in the homosexualist movement's efforts to insult and vilify the Catholic Church during the Belfast gay pride festival in August. Amnesty's Belfast director has admitted that the group was using the Belfast Pride event to caricature the Cardinal Archbishop of Riga, Janis Pujats, who has spoken out strongly against the homosexualist movement's efforts in Latvia.

Amnesty International, an ostensibly religiously and politically neutral human rights organisation founded by Catholics, has placed itself squarely in support of the homosexualists in their campaigns against Catholicism, an action that is particularly provocative in Northern Ireland, a country still riven by sectarian divisions. The organisation posted to their website a photo of a homosexual demonstrator dressed up in mockery of a Catholic cardinal. Amnesty's Northern Ireland Programme Director, Patrick Corrigan, admitted in an email that the group understood the mock cardinal to be directed towards Cardinal Janis Pujats, the archbishop of Riga in Latvia. Writing to Catholic campaigner Gregory Carlin, Patrick Corrigan wrote, "I understand that Mr. MagLochlainn (president of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association) may have been making a satirical but serious point about the efforts of the Cardinal of Riga, Janis Pujats to have that city's Pride parade banned by the Latvian government." PA MagLochlainn rode in the parade on a disability scooter adorned with a poster that read, "Love is a human right" and that carried the Amnesty International name and logo. Corrigan also particularly thanked the Mayor of Belfast for his support for the anti-Catholic demonstration. "We are pleased that so many politicians from a broad range of parties supported our campaign on the day and particularly pleased that Belfast's Lord Mayor demonstrated his support for a pluralist society." Gregory Carlin wrote to the mayor of Belfast, Tom Hartley, objecting that "Amnesty International are harassing and targeting Cardinal Janis Pujats of Riga because his eminence is opposed to public indecency." Carlin is asking the Northern Ireland Parades Commission to impose criteria on parades "which are motivated by 'outside influences' to target the most respected members of the Catholic hierarchy". Amnesty has come under heavy criticism in recent years for its increasing advocacy for the homosexualist movement as well as for the concept of abortion as a "human right." Many Catholics were dismayed when the organisation began to support anti-life, anti-family and anti-Catholic causes and groups. (Abbreviated. Source: Hilary White, Belfast, September 11, 2008,