Archive for the ‘gay rights’ Category

The Archbishop of Glasgow is an arrogant fucker isn’t he?

Tartaglia said (fast forward to 1:03:29 for the comments):

If what I have heard is true about the relationship between the physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true, then society is being very quiet about it.

Recently in Scotland, there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so, and nobody said anything, and why should his body just shut down at that age?

Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody.

But you seem to hear so many stories about anger at ‘hurtful and ignorant’ comments, this kind of thing, but society won’t address it.

They won’t address it for the same reason Jan Moir was lambasted when she blamed Stephen Gately’s death on his homosexuality: it’s bigoted bullshit. What else is there to say? David Cairns died of pancreatitis, and Gately of an undiagnosed heart defect. Dermot Kehoe was Cairns’ partner of nearly 15 years, who’s said:

“This is genuinely very upsetting and painful for David’s family and friends. I can’t believe that someone who claims to be a man of God and is seeking to give moral leadership should speak from such a position of ignorance.

“I don’t care what his views on gay marriage are, but to bring in my dead partner to justify those views is wrong.”

So much for the Church having anything of any value to add about morality. AGAIN. Unlike Kehoe I don’t find Tartaglia’s remarks at all surprising. Religious bigotry is back on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic, and must be confronted.

Advertisements

Apparently the former Tory Party Chairman knows something about marriage equality, which noone else does:

He said: “When I get extremely irritated about it, I say: There is no inequality. Any male can marry, barring the restrictions on consanguinity, any female. Any female can marry any male. I’m terribly sorry sir, you want to do something that I don’t wish to do. That’s your problem, not my problem.”

There you have it folks. There is no inequality because any man can marry any woman. But he’s not through:

He also questioned why there was not “more discussion about whether it’s in the best interests of children that they should be brought up in civil partnerships or so-called gay marriage and I think too little attention has been paid to that”.

Ahh. Too little attention has been paid to the question of gay parenting! I wonder what the prize Tory bigot means by that: are my fellow gays indoctrinating their children in some way? Are they too busy (as a remarkable individual on Twitter recently suggested to me) so busy fucking they won’t have time to bring their children up responsibly? Are gay people perhaps less qualified to parent children than straight people? I’d be delighted to have that conversation with him, but I doubt he has the courage to really initiate that discussion! But wait there’s more:

“Within the can of worms that Mr Cameron is determined to open there are several nests of snakes. Why should a marriage be confined to just two persons? What is the barrier to the marriage of sisters, brothers or even parents and children?”

So in this Tory’s mind allowing gay people to marry opens up the possibility of legalised incest. Who says they’re not the Nasty Party?

  1. As usual I’ve spent some of the day challenging people on Twitter who’ve promoted that they’ve signed the infamous Coalition for Marriage petition. The campaign and its signatories (however many there really are) want to stop the Tory government’s plans to equalise marriage in the UK. Here’s a case study, who’s stuck with it long enough to become worthy of picking apart. They normally prefer to block me much earlier, in defence of their magical thinking.
  2. Okhan_2010
    Coalition For Marriage: Vote NO and save the sanctity of marriage, Between a Man & a Woman.http://shar.es/2FkAE via @sharethis

    Tue, May 15 2012 07:24:34
  3. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Bet you can’t explain how marriage equality affects heterosexual marriages in any way.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:28:06
  4. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer it cheapens marriage which is a divine gift between man & woman. There’s a reason homosexuals can’t naturally have children
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:34:57
  5. ‘Cheapens marriage’ ‘divine gift’ = magical thinking already. And yet another theist who doesn’t realise gay people have children all the time, just not created directly with their immediate partner. But it’s the first instance of an outright dodge from answering the simple question of how banning gay people from marrying ‘saves’ anything.
  6. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 How does a same-sex marriage affect *you*? I want to hear an an actual, demonstrable effect, not opinion.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:37:02
  7. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer it upsets me that people can be perverted to such a degree. Makes me feel sorry for such lost people.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:40:13
  8. He refuses to answer the question, and takes the risk of using the word ‘perverted’, but then acknowledges he can’t get away with bigotry denial if he goes down that route, and resumes magical thinking instead.
  9. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer ultimately it’s about whether it upsets God or not. Which it definitely does without a doubt
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:40:45
  10. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Ah so you’re a rampaging bigot then?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:40:53
  11. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer bigot? I don’t think so. One who complies to human nature? Yes that’s me.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:43:13
  12. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 You just exhibited your bigotry in one tweet. You are qualified to define human nature how exactly?!
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:44:28
  13. There’s the predictable denial of bigotry (amazing how they like redefining that word), but he goes further, not just

    refusing directly again to provide a demonstrable effect of how me getting married to my partner can affect anyone else, but redefining science to suit his beliefs too. Strangely enough that’s bigotry you see there.

  14. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Nope. This is about civil marriage, not about religious doctrine. Your wacky beliefs are irrelevant.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:41:35
  15. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer this country is a Christian country mate. Has a lot to do with it.Not my ‘wacky’ beliefs but what the majority of ppl think
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:44:10
  16. Quickly defending his supernatural knowledge of science, he pretends he’s not alone in his prejudices. But the majority of people don’t agree with him:
  17. 51 percent of Britons think the government should go ahead with its plans to allow gay and straight couples equal access to civil marriage.The figure is according to a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times.

    Only 35 percent of those polled thought the government should drop the proposals to allow gay couples to marry in civil ceremonies, 14 percent said they did not know.

    Tue, May 15 2012 08:02:01
  18. But why should that matter when he’s got magical thinking, which seems to trump civil rights, laws and marriages by his own words?
  19. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 So you comply with human nature by being a Christian zealot? Are all Christians homophobes?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:46:30
  20. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer it’s not my definition, it is that of the creator of humans. Who is alone qualified to do so. Who gives you the right ?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:46:39
  21. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Given human ‘nature’ is understood fully by science, which debunks your wacky nonsense, I’m even more qualified!
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:48:11
  22. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 So you now speak for an imaginary being? Even more wacky! I have the right to comment on civil law I assure you.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:47:31
  23. Apparently ‘human nature’ is only heterosexual, yet when pressed he dodges again, to resume talking magically.
  24. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer I’m not a Christian nor a homophobe. But against Gay marriage. Ppl have free will, everything we do comes at a price.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:47:28
  25. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer homosexuality is against the fundamental teachings of abrahamic faith (Judaism, christianity & Islam)
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:48:04
  26. Not a homophobe, but all religions licence homophobia according to him, legitimised by more magical thinking: things come with a ‘price’ apparently.
  27. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 I don’t care. Most people accept homosexuality as the normal sexual orientation that it is. You a fact denier?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:48:51
  28. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer no concrete proof whatsoever to say its the normal sexual orientation. No reproduction with it being the norm for starters
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:50:38
  29. So now, after complaining earlier about gay people trying to redefine marriage, he freely engages in redefining the meaning of sexual orientation. You couldn’t make it up. But it’s also disturbing the speed to which he retreats to Bronze Age morality – it’s as if social change never occurred, that the ignorance of the time is somehow more desirable than the knowledge and wisdom which is available to us all now!
  30. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 And yet it is a norm despite your wacky ideas, and always has been. Throughout the animal kingdom. Evidence. See?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:52:13
  31. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer I don’t base my morality on animals. Black widow spiders eat their male mates, sha we do that too
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:10:36
  32. And when confronted, we shift again from sexual orientation through to cannibalism. I’ve seen this argument used before – it must be a talking point passed between theist extremists.
  33. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Strangely that’s not what we’re talking about. That’s cannibalism which is *harmful*. See the point I’m making?
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:11:33
  34. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer using the analogy your using. Homosexuality is also harmful. Especially spiritually speaking
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:12:46
  35. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 PLEASE explain the harm in homosexuality which sane people strangely can’t detect LOL
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:13:53
  36. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer unfortunately I’m at college right now lol I’m struggling to reply as it is whilst in a lesson. Later on I will do so
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:14:42
  37. Again no understanding of cause/effect, nor any willingness to engage in rational language, just one final dodge. Back again straight away to ‘spiritually’ – magical thinking. Pitiable really. I suspect my final comment needs no further explanation.
  38. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 If it’s clear to you it should only take a moment or so. In a lesson eh? A great learner, clearly. You’re proving my point.
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:15:56
  39. You may say I play with these people far too much, and it’s true that I do it often for my own personal enjoyment. But here’s the reason – this is what magical thinking actually leads to when it becomes the social norm:
  40. Four men are waiting for execution for having gay sex after their statement has been confirmed by high court judges in Kohkilouye and Boir Ahmad State in Iran.
    According to reports from Human Rights Activist News Agency in Iran four men called “Saadat Arefi”, “Vahid Akbari”, “Javid Akbari” and “Houshmand Akbari” will be executed soon after their statement has been confirmed by high court judges recently.According to their statement these four men will be hanging for having same-sex sexual intercourse (Lavat).

    Sun, May 13 2012 21:40:19

It’s Cristina Odone again:

Now the Law Society refuses to let the event take place on the society’s premises. It is “contrary to our diversity policy”, it explained in an email to the organisers, “espousing as it does an ethos which is opposed to same-sex marriage.” The heterosexual union may be the only legal form of marriage in this country, but the Law Society regards it as discriminatory.

Never mind that the World Congress of Families event was clearly presented as a “colloquium”, or discussion, rather than a platform for anti-gay marriage campaigners. Even to discuss marriage between “one man, one woman” as the basis of a good society is intolerably contentious these days. The Law Society was happy to host a debate on assisted dying — still illegal in this country — last month. But marriage? THAT incendiary subject cannot be broached in public. Soon, subversives who wish to talk about the love that dare not speak its name will be driven underground; they will have to identify themselves with a secret handshake, hold meetings in bug-proof cells and speak in code.
Andrea Williams, the organiser of the World Congress of Families event, tells me she’s looking for a new venue. I fear only a catacomb will do.

Yawn. Hyperbole instead of a basis for any rational position at all. It’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from the Coalition for Marriage and its supporters in the UK. The position of the Law Society isn’t what she claims at all, but so what if it were? Would it be so bad for it to be united in support for equality before the law for everyone, not just those who demand special religious rights? But let’s also have a closer look at this ‘World Congress of Families’ to see whether her contention that it wasn’t a platform for anti-gay marriage campaigners holds water. From Pink News:

The article in the Telegraph takes a line distinctly with the organisers of the conference, and describes the Congress itself as “a US-based non-religious group which promotes traditional family values.” 

However, the Congress’s own website suggests this is not the case. It affirms that “the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society.”

The website further puts homosexuality on par with incest and child abuse: “Sexuality is ordered for the procreation of children and the expression of love between husband and wife in the covenant of marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the sole moral context for natural sexual union. Whether through pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality, deviations from these created sexual norms cannot truly satisfy the human spirit. They lead to obsession, remorse, alienation, and disease. Child molesters harm children and no valid legal, psychological or moral justification can be offered for the odious crime of pedophilia. Culture and society should encourage standards of sexual morality that support and enhance family life.”

Gosh Cristina, it’s almost as if a gathering like this under their auspices really would be contrary to any rational group’s diversity policy. Anyone else getting equally fed up with these lies and distortions?

I have to say I didn’t think he’d do this ahead of November. But the US president has unequivocally supported marriage equality:

Barack Obama has declared his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage, taking a bold political gamble on an issue that divides American voters just months before a presidential election.

Obama’s announcement, in a hastily-arranged ABC interview on Wednesday, came after years of dodging the issue. He was forced to go public partly because vice-president Joe Biden ignited the debate with a remark in support of gay marriage at the weekend.

In the interview, Obama said he had long supported civil unions but his position on same-sex marriages had been evolving because of the powerful traditions and religious beliefs attached to the word marriage.

Obama said he had been swayed in particular by considering the service of gays and lesbians in the US military. “At a certain point I just concluded, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said.

I have to confess I’m actually stunned. Biden’s reckless timing notwithstanding I’m surprised Obama’s prepared to make such a risky statement ahead of the general election. Given the effect this has already had on America’s millions of zealous culture warriors, he must surely believe the poll will come entirely down to jobs – ‘the economy, stupid’. I really hope so, but I can’t imagine how this won’t continue to dominate the political discourse, regardless of what happens to the economy. President Mitt Romney we don’t need, and the numbers prepared to vote for him will now increase:

Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative, anti-same-sex organisation, condemned Obama’s shift as breaking a promise he made in 2008 to support traditional marriage.

“Combined with his administration’s opposition to the Defence of Marriage Act, it reveals a president who is tone-deaf and out-of-touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans. This is an unanticipated gift to the Romney campaign. It is certain to fuel a record turnout of voters of faith to the polls this November,” Reed said.

I couldn’t support what he’s actually done any more than I do. It’s an incredibly ballsy move, even if he felt backed into a corner by Biden, and it’s what his job is supposed to be about – he’s supposed to lead. Now if he’d just stop extra-legal drone strikes outside the US, close down Guantanamo Bay and pay any more attention to the rule of law than his predecessor I’ll be able to vote for him in November without having to hold my nose.

Eager to prove to the country that the Nasty Party hasn’t learned a single thing from its electoral annihilation, Nadine Dorries has gone off on one the offensive:

Gay marriage is a policy which has been pursued by the metro elite gay activists and needs to be put into the same bin. I have yet to meet a gay couple in my constituency or beyond who support it; in fact, the reaction has been quite the opposite. Great Britain and its gay couples don’t live on Canal Street in Manchester, shop in The Lanes in Brighton or socialise at Gaydar in London. Gay couples are no different from heterosexual couples and yet this policy transforms them into political agitators who have set themselves against the church and community. The policy is divisive, unpopular with the public, is tearing the Conservative Party apart and will influence absolutely no one in terms of the way they vote in the future. I won’t dwell on who got the policy into No10 in the first place; however, as I am sure the happy-in-a-civil-partnership Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw would agree, it should never have been given the time of day in the first instance.

Well let’s break that apart in a whole number of ways, eh? Firstly her stance on how marriage quality relates to the election which surely destroyed their chances of re-election in 2015. She suggests that it was in part the Tories’ support for marriage equality which did them in – the same old Tory refrain of ‘we weren’t nasty enough’, as if that did them any favours in the 1990’s! The country didn’t stand for that stupidity then, and most (at least of those few who voted) don’t now. In what way is voting for a party which supports marriage equality (Labour) a rejection of it? Isn’t that just a smokescreen anyway to ignore the issues on which the Tories lost?

I’m wary of going down the road of debating how Dorries (mis)understands evidence or indeed how she’s admitted 70% of what she writes is a pack of lies, but I will contrast her unlikely account of gay rejection of marriage equality with my own experience. I have a number of friends who are, as I am, gay, but not a single one rejects marriage equality. It’s possible that a majority don’t want to get married, but every single person I know (who I’ve spoken to about this) agrees that the issue is about the freedom to choose from a position of equality before the law. I wonder if Dorries can actually identify these couples she implies she’s come into contact with?

Finally of course we reach the ‘metro elite gay activist’ slur, which I also remember the Tories trotting out in the 1990’s. What she’s doing of course is denigrating anyone and everyone who organises politically in support of gay rights, be they Ben Summerskill of Stonewall or 16 year old kids marching on their first Pride, eager to be visible and proud for the first time! This has a number of effects: it makes non-metropolitan gay people invisible to the political discourse, it recasts the debate to suggest that a non-metropolitan majority of everyone isn’t interested in gay equality (a lie), but it also demonises gay people who’ve moved to the city for security and solidarity.  Most mendaciously of all Dorries suggests that she speaks for an extreme religious majority, when the evidence proves there isn’t one. It’s a political argument based on delusions and lies, and you should stand for it about as much as I’m prepared to.

But by all means Nadine, go right ahead with your homophobic mudslinging. The Hate Mail is no doubt enthralled by your daring, but the rest of us are biding our time until 2015, when we’ll be celebrating as one when you do yourself out of a job.

Hugo Rifkind makes a strong case in The Spectator:

I hail from a religion which rarely seeks to convert, and which looks in, rather than out, and is generally happy leaving everybody else alone. Doctrine aside, I struggle to grasp the justification for any religion behaving in any other way. Last month, Sayeeda Warsi wrote of her fears that religion was being ‘sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere’. It sounds bad, that, but only until you think about what religion is. It does not saturate most lives. It does not occupy most waking thoughts, as most go to work, work, and come home again. It simply doesn’t. When the Archbishop of Canterbury complains that the government treats those with faith as ‘oddities, foreigners and minorities’ he’s ignoring the great truth that stares him in the face — which is that this is exactly what people with faith are.

He’s hitting on a great truth here. The majority of people in this country do not consider themselves as practising theists. About half of us self-identify as ‘Christian’, but it’s only a tiny minority of even them who bother to go to church. Right now religions in this country are doing their utmost to stop gay people from marrying, inflated by a huge sense of self-importance (after all they have Bishops in the House of Lords, with the Head of State leading at least the Anglicans), when most people simply don’t get why two consenting adults who love each other. Most people don’t understand why it’s important to pray during a local government council session. Most people find it absurd that members of an established church say they’re persecuted when there’s not a single case of persecution having been brought to courts and tribunals. Religion doesn’t belong in the political sphere at all, and why would it, after all? Faith and delusion share the identical characteristics – belief without (and most importantly) against evidence and reason. The time is long gone when that mentality had any place in mainstream civil society.