The Irish people in the history of Great Britain and the United States were subject to incredible prejudice and treated in a despicable manner, but having once been the object of bigotry is no assurance one will not inflict such pain on others. According to he Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, anti-gay prejudice has almost doubled in three years. In 2005, about 14% of people surveyed said they would have a problem with a gay, lesbian or bisexual person, but this figure rose to 23% in a 2008 poll. Iris Robinson, an MP, did not help things by saying homosexuality was repulsive and required psychiatric treatment to be cured. It is not only gays and lesbians who are encountering prejudice since there has been an increase in the percent of people who do not wish Romas living in close proximity.
Several days ago, a mob of youth forced a Roma family to flee for their lives after being subjected to threats of violence. A hundred years ago in the American press it was not uncommon to find ads advertising jobs with the proviso: “No Irish Need Apply.” I guess these days their grandchildren would place ads in newspapers saying: “NO Gays Need Apply–And For That Matter, Neither Should Romas!”