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  1. #1
    David Cochrane David Cochrane is offline
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    Norris publishes open-letter to address 'confusion or interpretation' on his views

    Moments ago Senator David Norris published an open-letter to his supporters in which he addresses a number of "quotes, opinions and beliefs" on a range of issues, some of which Senator Norris' statement says are true, others he says are "grossly inaccurate". His statement seeks to address those issues along with a commitment to continute to seek a nomination to be a candidate in the forthcoming General Election.

    Dear Supporter,

    Over the last number of days quotes, opinions and beliefs on a range of societal
    issues have been attributed to me, some correct and others grossly inaccurate.
    To combat any further confusion or interpretation of my position on these matters
    I have personally outlined below my opinions on the subjects raised.

    As the longest serving Senator of the State I fight on a daily basis for a better
    society for all, introducing legislation and structures to support the most
    vulnerable citizens of our country. My record is testament to my commitment in
    this area.

    With your continued support I will carry on my campaign to become President of
    Ireland, with even greater and renewed impetus, determination and strength; A
    President who will represent its people.

    Legalising Drugs

    Living in inner-city Dublin, I am acutely aware of the harmful affects that the
    drug culture has had on my community and wider society. The blunt instrument
    of criminalisation is not working because of the vast profits it generates for
    organised crime. No country can face this problem on its own. I believe that there
    needs to be a European led global response. Hard as it is to accept, 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.

    What is your view on prostitution?

    My views and opinions on prostitution have always been directed towards the
    welfare and protection of the women involved and the introduction of whatever
    means necessary to ensure their safety and well-being.

    What is your view on incest?

    Incest is morally and medically wrong. It is dangerous and illegal and justifiably
    so.

    What is your view on abortion?

    The issue of abortion is always a sensitive, personal and emotive issue in our
    society. I believe that access to information and education is the true champion of
    reducing the instance of abortion. My hope is that both sides in this difficult moral
    debate will respect each other’s differences.

    The Catholic Church

    I have very many Catholic friends and as a devout Christian, I have the greatest
    respect for the commitment and faith shown by many people, the length and
    breath of the country. My criticisms are not aimed at the honest decent men
    and women of faith, who have played a significant role in the founding and
    development of our country, but rather with the Vatican as a political entity and
    institution and its interference in matters of state. Also as a gay man, I find the
    Pope’s teachings on homosexuality negative and ill-informed.

    Child Protection

    I abhor child abuse in all its forms: psychological, sexual or emotional. I have
    always campaigned for Children’s rights and was central in introducing the
    appointment of guardian ad litem (mandatory legal representation for children) to
    child protection cases in court to ensure that the rights of the child are properly
    represented. I have also spoken out strongly in the Seanad on the recent
    Roscommon Child abuse case and on all reports into child abuse. My record in
    this area speaks for itself.

    Cathal O’Searcaigh

    I have only met Cathal O’Searcaigh once on Wicklow St. in Dublin, I have no
    other connection or relationship to him. I am a strong believer in natural justice
    and if the allegations that were made in the documentary are true this is a matter
    for the authorities to investigate and if necessary to prosecute if a crime has been
    demonstrated. I feel that the trial by media that took place around this issue
    would have frustrated any proceedings and that a court of law was the place to
    have these discussions and not on afternoon chat shows.

    Age of consent

    In my view, the people best equipped to make these difficult moral and legal
    decisions are the judiciary. Legislation based on the principle of consent
    empowers the judiciary.
    Consent based on age, has resulted in many instances in the inappropriate
    criminal prosecution of minors.
    This is the approach that I would personally support.

    Pederasty

    Pederasty is a term describing sexual relations between an older and a younger
    man in ancient Greece. My experience as a young man in Dublin was that there
    were no social outlets for gay men. I was left in ignorance by society and didn’t
    consciously meet another gay male until I was in my 20s. The subject was
    surrounded by silence and fear. Then I read Plato’s symposium, in which there is
    a discussion about the nature of love. The greatest philosopher ever argued that
    physical love was the gateway to spiritual love, very movingly it concludes with
    the most beautiful young man in Athens, Alcibiades admitting that he has offered
    himself sexually to Socrates in return for sharing in Socrates’ wisdom. This text
    was preserved throughout the middle ages. I saw this enlightening approach and
    experience as a much more interesting and preferable introduction to sexuality
    than my own experience. That is my own personal opinion.

    Spectrum of justice

    As a legislator and a citizen, I have always upheld and supported the law. I
    believe in justice delivered proportionately, across the spectrum of the relevant
    crime. Sexual abuse is always wrong, but as in all crimes, there is a spectrum
    and this is appropriately recognised in sentencing policy and throughout Irish law.

    Media Reporting of Abuse

    My comments relating to the impact of media reporting on the victims of sex
    abuse being worse than the actual abuse have been misconstrued and have
    caused hurt, for which I am saddened. I have always spoken out on behalf of the
    victims of abuse and feel that anyone that has suffered any form of abuse, must
    report it to the authorities and the perpetrators should face the full rigours of the
    law. I would like to think that people would judge me on my track record on child
    protection and my political contribution in this area.

    Every candidate in every election has personal opinions, which they must set
    aside in order to fulfil their public duties and I intend to be no different and to
    reflect the broad opinions of a proud Irish nation.

    Senator David Norris
    9th June 2011
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  2. #2
    hiding behind a poster hiding behind a poster is offline

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    Was that released to the media as well?
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  3. #3
    Cruimh Cruimh is offline
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    Fair play to him. That would be good enough to convince me if I was voting.
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  4. #4
    JandK JandK is offline
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    If it's not released to the press it should be.

    A reputable paper would feature it.
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  5. #5
    David Cochrane David Cochrane is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiding behind a poster View Post
    Was that released to the media as well?
    I'm unsure, it's only been issued in the past 25 minutes - most likely in response to the Mail article - the papers would have gone to bed long before now.
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  6. #6
    femmefatale femmefatale is offline

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    He continues to challenge consent based on age, he still tries to make a case for some ancient form of pederasty, and he talks about a "spectrum" of child abuse. As I said on another thread, David Norris has done himself no favours with this latest statement.
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  7. #7
    KongMing KongMing is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiding behind a poster View Post
    Was that released to the media as well?


    Open letter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  8. #8
    JandK JandK is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by KongMing View Post
    I laugh at the obviousness, and in HBAP's and my own defence, it's half two in the morning!
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  9. #9
    gerhard dengler gerhard dengler is offline
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    This candidate spends his time clarifying things.

    He clarified views expressed in a Magill interview, to Joe Jackson.

    He clarified views more views to Pat Kenny.

    Now he's clarifying views about views in the Mail.


    For a man who claims to have a good command of the english language, he does an awful lot of clarifying
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  10. #10
    Mercurial Mercurial is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by femmefatale View Post
    He continues to challenge consent based on age, he still tries to make a case for some ancient form of pederasty, and he talks about a "spectrum" of child abuse. As I said on another thread, David Norris has done himself no favours with this latest statement.
    He challenges consent based on age in the context of the "inappropriate
    criminal prosecution of minors". (I think he should have been more explicit about this)

    I don't see him making a case for an ancient form of pederasty- he is explaining why he found the idea attractive in terms of his own personal experiences and speaks in terms of older and younger 'men'- (it's reasonable enough to imagine that Norris is thinking in terms of youths who are roughly 16-19)

    The idea that there is a spectrum of child abuse is surely not controversial.
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