Monday, July 28, 2008


Northern Ireland Protestants who are anti-gay are hypocrites because King William of Orange had male lovers, a leading gay rights activist has claimed.

Speaking in Belfast, Peter Tatchell claimed that Democratic Unionist politicians such as Iris Robinson are victimising gay people in the province.

His claims about King William are particularly insulting to Protestants, who revere him as the saviour of Protestantism in Ireland.

His defeat of King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is commemorated by Northern Ireland Protestants with parades on the 12th July.

The Orange Order, an exclusively Protestant organisation that organises The Twelfth celebrations, takes its name from William's Dutch kingdom.

Married to James' Protestant daughter Mary, in 1688 William was "invited to invade" England and take the throne. The Roman Catholic James fled to Ireland but was finally defeated and was exiled in France for the rest of his life.

William and Mary's joint reign secured the Protestant succession.

Historians disagree about William's sexual orientation.

Throughout the 1690s many satirical publications mocked William's lack of mistresses and his closeness to Dutch male courtiers whom he granted English titles.

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