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Hilarious debate on gay rights and population politics between Irish Senator David Norris and Oksana Boyco

World and European overpopulation as viewed by a warm, humane, generous, down-to-earth and witty Irish senator in a surprising response to an interview about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights (LGBT rights). I am a great fan of the interviewer, Oksana Boyco, but in this episode her interviewee outshines her in my opinion, making for a most unusual program. David Norris, who speaks Irish and Hebrew, and has lived in Israel, is also famous for a recent parliamentary speech on Israel and Gaza, which I have embedded at the end of this article.

Heteronormative Russia

In this interview rt's Oksana Boyko, interviews Irish Senator, David Norris, on whether it is defensible for Russia and some other countries to 'delay' the introduction of gay marriage and public acknowledgement of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. Oksana says the world has been rather harsh on Russia over its 'slowness' to adopt western recognition of homosexual rights at institutional level. Cannot the world try to understand that Russia needs to go through some legislative 'back and forth'; some 'legislative transition' on these issues, asks Oksana. Homosexuality is not criminalised in Russia, but 'homonormative advocacy' is illegal.

Different views on population decline

Oksana actually suggests to David Norris that there is a concern that the fact that homosexuals have many fewer children than heterosexuals means that homosexual marriage rights could affect the birth rate and increase the threat of population decline. This is one of the reasons that she questions the advisability of 'homonormative advocacy'.

Norris's answer is an utter breath of fresh air. He says that, in his life, world population has tripled and what a good thing it would be if the birth rate were to decline. He notes that Europe's population uses an unsustainable amount of materials and energy, which would be reduced if the population were to reduce.

Contraception and not wanting to live in misery is the main reason the birth rate has dropped in Europe. Homosexuality has nothing to do with it, says Norris.

Ancient Greeks and parliaments today

In response to Oksana's suggestion that open homosexuality is a relatively new concept for Russia, Norris comes back at her with how homosexuality was present in 67% of 'primitive' societies according to Margaret Meade and was central to Ancient Greek civilisation and how so many giants among the Ancient Greeks were homosexual and celebrated their homosexuality, which was the dominant paradigm in Ancient Greece. (Indeed, the evidence in the Greek classics of the truth of this seems incontravertible.)

When Oksana puts it to David Norris that his views on homosexuality and the ancient Greeks may have cost him the Irish parliamentary presidency some years ago he says that he was the victim of a defamatory campaign by the mainstream press, whom he has successfully sued on this matter.

The program finishes with Norris having a dig at Vladimir Putin's bare-chested horse-riding (reference to a famous photo). Oksana mentions drolly that bare-chested horse-riding is something that Russian men like to do, and not an erotic specialty of Putin's.

Throughout I wondered if Oksana was playing devil's advocate, since she seems to enjoy the whole interview, and both she and David Norris remain in good humour.

David Norris's famous recent speech on Israel in Irish Parliament on 5 August 2014 follows here:

You can read more on David Norris on wikipedia, among many other sources, here:

It seems that he typically tells the truth where others do not dare to. For instance, he has said, of drug legalisation,
"The blunt instrument of criminalisation is not working because of the vast profits it generates for organised crime ... my view is that the welfare of the community, including the victims of drug abuse, may be better served by having access to quality controlled, legally prescribed drugs." ( It is indeed unusual for an elected politician to acknowledge that illegal drug profits are so important that they will always undermine criminal laws against them.

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I found Oksana Boyco really irritating in this interview or debate, whichever it was. She seemed impervious to the valid point about population growth that Mr Norris made. His point being to counter her argument which seemed to go like this - Some people are born gay and others are born hetero and there are a whole lot of "swingers' (my expression)who could go either way according to the social input they receive at a particular stage of development and that since we must ensure the continuation of our societies through offspring and homosexuals don't have as many offspring ,this is some sort of threat to continuation . Oksana also says that homosexuality should not be illegal but neither should it be "out there" (my expression) I think that being "out there" is the "homonormativity" concept Oksana fears. Gay marriage is the pinnacle I suppose of social acceptance of gay relationships, but also important are simple rights like walking down the street arm in arm , kissing in public, taking a gay partner to a work social event. Oksana needs to reflect a bit in a calm frame of mind. Her emotions seemed to be getting in the way of her taking things in.