An equality row in Waterford has dramatically escalated with ‘Straight Pride’ posters being erected across the city just days after two Rainbow pride flags were cut down and publicly burned.
Politicians, business leaders and equality campaigners expressed outrage after the Rainbow Pride flag — symbol of the LGBTQ community —- was cut down from outside City Hall on June 7 and burned.
The multi-coloured flag was flown on the Mall to mark Waterford Pride Of The Deise (POTD) LGBT+ festival weekend.
Waterford Mayor Damien Geoghegan, who had proposed that the flag be flown, said it was “a disgusting and outrageous act.”
He later attended a second re-erecting of the flag alongside members of Waterford POTD. However, Rainbow flags were again cut down overnight in the city centre days later.
At the same time, homophobic graffiti was sprayed near a popular Dublin venue for members of the LGBTQ community.
Now, ‘Straight Pride’ posters have been erected overnight in parts of Waterford city centre — depicting a man and a woman getting married with the caption: “It is natural, it has worked for thousands of years and you can make babies.”
It is unclear who was behind the ‘Straight Pride’ posters and whether it was linked to the flag burnings.
However, one Waterford artist has said the proud city was being dragged into disrepute over the equality row.
Poet and writer Wayne Power said it was hard to understand what an obviously very small minority hoped to achieve.
“This idea of ‘Oh, why isn’t there a Straight Pride?’ I would say to them, ‘Do you know what? You should be counting your lucky stars that you don’t have to have a straight pride.’ When you can’t hold your partner’s hand in public for fear of a bit of abuse, or in a bar for fear of being glassed, then you can come to me and talk about Straight Pride,” he told a local radio station.
Members of the LGBTQ community were deeply upset by the flag burnings, graffiti and now the ‘Straight Pride’ poster campaign. One said the recent incidents had left them “gutted”.