Save Ulster from Sodomy

Save Ulster from Sodomy (Sauf Ulstèr frae Sodomy) wus a political campaign launched in 1977 bi Ian Paisley, MP, then leader o tha Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) an tha Free Presbyterian Kirk o Ulster, tae prevene tha decriminalisation o homosexuality in Norlin Airlan.[1][2] Tha campaign was ultimately unsuccessful, an homosexuality wus decriminalised (in pairt) in Norlin Airlan in 1982.



Homosexual acts began tae be decriminalisit in Ingland an Wales unner tha Sexual Offences Act 1967.  Thir change in law didnae apply tae tha separate legal jurisdictions o Norlin Airlan an Scotland. In 1975 tha Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (Norlin Airlan Gey Richts Associe) wus foondit tae campaign fur ilka legislation fur Norlin Airlan.  In repone tae tha govrenment's proposal tae consider laa reform, Paisley launchit Save Ulster From Sodomy, a campaign gien a further boost whan decriminalisation wus extendit tae Scotland in 1980. Tha campaign wus basit oan his belief thit tha Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin, whit should tharefore nae be legally acceptable in a state foundit oan Christian principles.

LGBT richts in Norlin Airlan war restrictit in accordance tae tha deeply conservative natèr o society at thit time. Anti-Catholicism inflected misogynist attitudes an vice versa, wi Paisley callin tha Catholic Kirk tha "mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth". Catholic iconography includit comparatively mair female figures than thit o tha Protestant Kirk, like Kathleen Ni Houlihan an tha Virgin Mary. At tha time o tha campaign, violent attacks again gay men in Norlin Airlan war common.[3]



Tha campaign itsel wus particularly linkit tae tha Free Presbyterian wing o tha DUP, an jynt religious an poleetical rhetoric. It focusit oan Paisley's belief in his role tae save tha Ulstèr fowk frae thaim influences whit he believit underminit thair Christian beliefs an values, namely liberalism an secularism.[3]

As pairt o tha campaign, advertisements war placit in newspapers claimin thit ony change in tha laa "can only bring God's curse down upon our people".  Tha group recruitit 70,000 members tae jyn tha campaign mostly thru ootreach tae Kirk attendees.[4]

In 1981 tha European Coort o Human Richts in tha case o Jeffrey Dudgeon v the United Kingdom, foond that tha Breetish Govrenment wus in breach of Airticle 8 (tha right tae a private life) o tha European Convention oan Human Richts bi refusing tae decriminalise homosexual acts atween consentin adults in Norlin Airlan. Consequently, in tha mauger o Paisley's campaign, homosexual acts in Norlin Airlan wus decriminalised (in pairt) in 1982.


  1. "Paisley campaigns to 'save Ulster from Sodomy'". The Irish Times. 20 October 1977. p. 7. Retrieved 7 Mey 2008.
  2. Michael D. Goldhaber (1 Januar 2009). A People's History of the European Court of Human Rights. Rutgers University Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-8135-4461-8.
  3. a b Walsh, Fintan (2013). "Saving Ulster from Sodomy and Hysteria: Sex, Politics and Performance". Contemporary Theatre Review. 23 (3): 291–301. doi:10.1080/10486801.2013.806324.
  4. Marian Duggan (28 Januar 2013). Queering Conflict: Examining Lesbian and Gay Experiences of Homophobia in Northern Ireland. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-1-4094-9499-7.