Debating what it means to be gay after a European ruling that the law in Ireland making homosexual acts criminal must be changed.

Following a lengthy campaign by Senator David Norris and the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, it was found that Irish laws prohibiting homosexual activities were in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights. The findings now mean that the Irish government must change the law which makes homosexual acts criminal.

Stephen Lewis describes his experience living as a homosexual man in Ireland at a time when homosexuals were viewed under the law as criminals. For Stephen, Ireland has a problem in dealing with sexuality in general and being gay makes it twice as hard to feel accepted in society. He feels he and others like him are treated as second-class citizens and that the current law is shameful.

Ireland is a difficult place to be gay in.

In studio, academic and gay rights campaigner Senator David Norris argues his case against Fine Gael TD Brendan McGahon who is opposed to decriminalisation. 

Brendan McGahon describes homosexuality as "an abnormality" and believes that the planned decriminalisation is a retrograde step for Irish society.

I do find the physical act absolutely revolting in the extreme.

David Norris believes that he has a right to make a contribution to society and as such to be treated as an equal citizen describing the current law as,

A violation of fundamental human rights.

Under Minister for Justice Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland with the passage of the second phase of the bill to decriminalise sexual acts between consenting adults under the Criminal Law Bill (Sexual Offences) in June 1993.  

This episode of 'Prime Time' was broadcast on 29 April 1993. The presenter is Olivia O'Leary.