A former rock star who has been accused of using homophobic slurs in a song that led to a riot at a Dublin concert has called for the law to protect his lyrics and music.
In an interview with The Irish Sunday Times published this week, Michael Cusack said he would not use the phrase “faggot” in a video that has gone viral, but he has never used the word in the lyrics to a song called “My Name Is” or “My Love Is” that was performed at a concert in February at the Fáilte Ireland Centre in Dublin.
In the song, the frontman of Irish band Cusacks, Michael Roddy, sings, “The name of a god, I’ll call him daddy”.
Cusack was one of thousands of Irish musicians, musicians and artists who signed a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last year in support of a ban on the use of homophobic slurs.
The song’s lyric has caused anger in the LGBT community, with several groups including Irish National Lesbian and Gay Association (INLA) and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) calling on the Department to intervene.
Cusacks has said the song was not intended to insult gay people, but to be a tribute to the late singer Frankie Boyle, who died last year at the age of 95.
In a recent interview, Cusak said the lyrics in the song were “not anti-gay but I don’t believe in gay people being anti-fags.”
He said the only reason the words were being used was because they were gay, a position shared by many Irish people.
The singer has previously spoken out about his experience with homophobic slurs, but in the interview with the Irish Times he said he had never used them.
“I am not a homophobic person, I’m not a racist person, but I do not believe in people being prejudiced on the basis of their sexual orientation,” he said.
“If you have homophobic slurs written on your house, it is not a matter of saying, ‘You should go to hell’.
It is a matter for you to address it.”
Asked if the use would lead to a legal case, he said: “I do not think that it would lead that way.”
There is nothing to stop me from singing a song with a homophobic lyric in it, but if the words are not there, I do believe that they are not homophobic.
“Asked what he thought of the song being used by other musicians to promote their own bands, Cuzack said, “I’m sure the next person to do that would be a real fag”.
He said he was not offended by the lyrics and said it was “a very stupid idea” to be anti-LGBT.”
In my own opinion it’s a very stupid thing to say because I’m a heterosexual man, and I’m proud of my heterosexuality,” he added.”
To say that you’re gay is a very foolish thing to do.
“The Irish Independent understands that the Department has not taken any legal action in relation to the song.