Gay senator suffers torrent of ‘blatantly homophobic’ abuse for wearing a Speedo and Pope Francis t-shirt
A gay senator in Ireland has put his social media accounts on private after he was subjected to “blatantly homophobic” abuse from a right-wing political party.
Socially conservative political party Aontú, which was formed in 2019 and has just one elected representative, shared a photograph of gay Sinn Féin senator Fintan Warfield, which was taken from his personal Instagram account.
The photo showed Warfield wearing a Speedo along with a t-shirt bearing a picture of Pope Francis.
“Why is a Sinn Féin senator purposely seeking to offend people’s religious beliefs?” the tweet said.
Aontú deleted the tweet on 31 July following a barrage of criticism, with many accusing the party of targeting Warfield because of his sexuality.
Irish right-wing party Aontú faced a barrage of criticism for tweeting personal photo of Sinn Féin senator Fintan Warfield.
Twitter user Stephen Todd tweeted: “The attacks on Fintan Warfield are founded in blatant homophobia. Nothing more, nothing less. One of the most inspiring young men I know.”
Social Democrats councillor Owen Hanley tweeted: “Fintan Warfield is sound, takes on being a public figure without conforming, and doesn’t deserve the tar being flung at him. Can the homophobes get a new hobby?”
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Meanwhile, Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal praised Warfield, calling him a “friend” as well as a “fierce campaigner”.
“These homophobic attacks won’t deter him. The absolute state of yiz..trawling his insta like the creepy obsessives you are,” she added.
Fintan Warfield is sound, takes on being a public figure without conforming, and doesn’t deserve the tar being flung at him. Can the homophobes get a new hobby?
Alliance councillor in Northern Ireland Eóin Tennyson tweeted: “LGBT+ people have long been accused of seeking to ‘offend people’s religious beliefs’ by merely existing. Solidarity, Fintan Warfield. Openly gay public reps are going nowhere (and Speedos with tied up t-shirts are a lewk whatever Aontú think).”
Countless others showed their support and love for Warfield on Twitter.
Following backlash, Aontú lashed out at “intolerance” in Irish society on Twitter.
“We need a society where people can live and let live,” the political party tweeted. “Where people do not have to hide their sexuality or their religion.
“Intolerance against either is wrong and should be called out no matter where it originates.
“There cannot be differing standards.”
PinkNews has contacted Aontú and Sinn Féin for comment.
Gay Green Party children’s minister has also faced similar abuse from Ireland’s far-right in recent weeks.
The attacks on Warfield come just weeks after Ireland’s far-right was whipped into a frenzy when gay Green Party TD Roderic O’Gorman was appointed minister for children.
Some of the country’s far right quickly unearthed a photo of O’Gorman with Peter Tatchell at Dublin Pride in 2018 and accused the British LGBT+ activist of promoting paedophilia.
They went on to claim that O’Gorman was not fit for office because of his “links” with Tatchell.
A rally, called “Hands Off Our Kids”, was later organised by Love/Hate actor John Connors, which called for O’Gorman to resign.
Connors later issued an apology for his role in stoking far-right hate against O’Gorman.
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