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NXF: & The Early Pioneers Of LGBT Equality

Some of the leading lights of the Irish LGBT+ civil rights movement are to be found among the early members of the National LGBT Federation (NXF), or the National Gay Federation (NGF) as we were originally called. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary this year, it is appropriate to look in more detail at some of those pioneering individuals.

David Norris was one of the founders of the NGF in 1979 and was then two years into his High Court case challenging the constitutionality of colonial era homophobic laws that continued to blight society. In 1975, he would establish the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, employing future president Mary McAleese as its first legal advisor.

David recalls the campaign receiving correspondence accusing its members of being part of an “international Jewish conspiracy” to undermine moral virtue in Ireland. Over 40 years later, some of the same offensive tropes are still in usage across Europe as far-right ‘populist’ forces seek to attack human rights and social progress.

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