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Conservative anger over cruising ground firefighters

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  1. seems simple to me – if you don’t want people seeing you have sex, then don’t have it outside. if the fireman have been disciplined for ‘shining a light on them’ then why isn’t the complainant being prosecuted for public indecency?

  2. paul cowling 4 Oct 2007, 4:07pm

    Why is it ok for the police to turn a blind eye to out door sex between men and women then? it is just as lewd and disgusting to come accross them having sex in public No it it was mischief making on behalf of the firemen this incident would have not happend if they had not been there when they should have been on standby to recieve a probable emergency Live and let live

  3. This isn’t a zero sum game.Those 4 having sex in a public place is tacky to say the least.However, what were the firemen doing wandering round a well known gay cruising area in the first place? Their punishment does seem a bit excessive though.

  4. This is ridiculous, whilst the firefighters actions were dubious, it is understandable.It’s embaressing that these cruisers get the full support of gay rights groups for there actions, it just seems to bring cruising into the mainstream and does not paint a good picture for the homosexuals who do not engage in such activities.

  5. I think people are missing a point: these firefighters deliberately went looking, presumably because they were bored, using expensive equipment paid for out of public finances. They obviously don’t have enough to do when on a night shift. And their unions then go on to claim they’re understaffed…

  6. Robert, ex-pat Brit 4 Oct 2007, 6:32pm

    Paul, its called a doublestandard, veiled homophobia. They wouldn’t be harrassing straight couples having sex in the open. Personally, nobody should be having sex in a public place, straight or gay. Ad, the four firemen charged were charged because they had no right to do what they did, nor were they permitted to use fire equipment to go harrass a group of people. Its homophobia, plain and simple.

  7. Robert, ex-pat Brit 4 Oct 2007, 6:35pm

    Luke, aside from the harrassment, maybe the firemen were there for prurient interest? Makes you wonder. Maybe there are a lot deeply closeted gay or gay curious men in the department. Many homophobes often harbour deeply felt inclinations towards same sex attraction and sex. The loudest ones are always suspect.

  8. Isn’t the whole affair just tacky and embarrasing? … Both the fireman AND the compainant were in the wrong BUT there are far more important issues that people could be spending their time effort on.

  9. Lets clear up a few things. Firstly, sexual activity in a public place is not a criminal offence as long as nobody is likely to see you doing it. This is the same for anyone couples – same sex or male and female. (but sex in a public toilet is still an offence). The offence of Outraging Public Decency is only comitted where people (of any gender) have sex in a place where they are likely to be seen and usually where a complaint has been made. Most police forces have strict guidelines for ‘policing’ Public Sex Environments whether they be cruising grounds or dogging areas. What the firefighters were doing was to intentionally cause harassment, alarm or distress to the people who were there. This is a criminal offence. The fact that they were using Fire Brigade resources to commit the offence make it even more serious. The person who reported it was right to do so – it is clear that the firefighters were targetting those they perceived to be gay men and therefore their actions were quite simply homophobic. The punishment does seem quite harsh, but I think the Fire Brigade are trying really hard to combat entrenched homophobia and perhaps made an example of these firefighters to try and discourage others from this sort of bahaviour.The only issue with all of this is, as usual, the gutter press making a meal of the whole thing. I used to be a firefighter and am currently a police officer so I do have a fair idea of what I’m talking about.

  10. Sister Mary Clarance 5 Oct 2007, 3:56pm

    I take your point Russell, but the someone extreme (in my view punishment) is surely only going to sour relations with the gay community surely.I can’t help wondering whether this could have been settled earlier without the need to seemingly ruin careers.

  11. Sister Mary Clarance 5 Oct 2007, 4:03pm

    oops – ‘somewhat’

  12. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Oct 2007, 4:37pm

    Russell, I totally concur with your observations. However, you have to admit, its a bit of a doublestandard when it comes to gay and lesbian people. Their purpose was to deliberately harass based on perceived sexual orientation or otherwise. I doubt if they’d harassed hetero people engaging in indentical behavior, do you? Its homophobia for sure. Or could it be prurient interest?

  13. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Oct 2007, 4:41pm

    So Spud Murphy wants to have the firefighters’ punishment reversed? What a classic case of homophobia that is, so transparent. Its a clear example of the doublestandard. I doubt if they would have deliberately harassed heteros caught inflagrante delicto. Homophobia is homophobia is homophobia. Full equality has a long long way to go.

  14. Sister Mary Clarance 5 Oct 2007, 6:01pm

    Robert, none of us can predict what would have happened had the fire engine been passing the local (heterosexual) lovers lane on the way home.It may well be that the officers would have stopped off there for their little prank.The officers could have chosen at any point during the investigation to lodge a complaint of lewd conduct against their accuser, but chose not to.I know from previous stories on here that some people are not satisfied until they see blood, whenever there is any transgression against us, but hopefully one day we will have the confidence and self esteem enough to accept an apology and move on without the need for a public beheading.

  15. wil thompson 5 Oct 2007, 6:46pm

    Cruising is disgusting, gives normal gay people a bad name and stereotypes gay people as having no moral compass. These men were clearly breaking the law. They should have been charged with a public order offence. The fireman should be undemoted at once. Shame on the cruisers – why not do it at home or at a sauna? Children have no idea where cruising grounds are.

  16. Bill Perdue 6 Oct 2007, 5:55am

    Homophobia can mean hatred, hostility, or prejudice towards LGBT people or our sexual behavior. It can also mean the fear or being gay or being identified as gay and is a virulent form of self-hatred. That second definition applies to those who blame the victims of bigotry or excuse the perpetrators, letting them off off with a slap on the wrist so as not to upset them or their Conservative defenders. That happens all too often and I am gald to see the law being upheld in England. We don’t even have a law to uphold in the US.Most victims of bigotry stand up and fight for their rights, but some are reduced to cowering.

  17. Sister Mary Clarance 6 Oct 2007, 9:11am

    Bill – are you making this up as you go along – “That second definition applies to those who blame the victims of bigotry or excuse the perpetrators, letting them off with a slap on the wrist so as not to upset them or their Conservative defenders.”There is a commonly accepted view that having sex in the open air (whether boy on boy or otherwise is not really an acceptable thing to do. It is no longer illegal as long as it is likely to be out of sight, but I think if we’re all honest it is not ‘best practice’ for anyone to do.It is all too easy to bandy the word bigot around. Although I suspect that equally those people who you throw it at so freely here could quite as easily throw it straight back at you, as you seem to be so intolerant of people whose opinions differ from your own.I think both parties were in the wrong here, but only one was penalised (severely) on what is little more than a technicality.Incidents like this will undoubtedly create negative associations with the gay community. We will achieve full equality much quick I suspect if we reduce the negative associations and increase the positive ones.I would be taking exactly the same view on this if it were a group of straight people involved rather than gay people (equality). You appear to be making rather a lot of assumptions based on stereotypical views of the fire service. (heterophobia)

  18. Robert, ex-pat Brit 6 Oct 2007, 1:07pm

    Sister Mary, you do have a point but in any event, the fact of the matter is they were there in an unauthorized capacity at the expense of taxpayers. That alone should be reason to punish them in addition to the harassment charge.To digress on a totally different subject. Sweden is about to eliminate civil unions for same-sex couples, in place since 1995, considering them outdated and discriminatory and replacing them with full marriage equality, joining Holland, Belgium and Spain. Now, why can’t we do the same and have the moral courage, backbone and the guts to do the right thing? The Swedish Lutheran church is backing the change I might add.

  19. Bill Perdue 6 Oct 2007, 1:13pm

    ‘There is a commonly accepted view that having sex in the open air…is not really an acceptable thing to do.’ For those of us who don’t live in convents that bit of smug Victorian silliness from Mother Superior is not really acceptable, but it’s hilarity makes up for it. For my part Sister I don’t share your confidence in the supernatural belief that appeasing Conservatives and bigots will housebreak them. On the contrary it incites and empowers them exactly like Chamberlains stupidity emboldened the Nazis. The punishments for bigotry should be harsh enough to put a stop to it. As for your concept of ‘heterophobia’ it’s an unoriginal rehash of the bankrupt concept of ‘reverse racism’. It typifies all you comments on this subject which are characteristically reactionary attempts to blame the victims and vindicate the criminals. Thankfully the law is interpreted by people who oppose bigotry and not yourself. —————————————–Now please answer the question I posed to you when you were ranting about the Labour office holder who was recently convicted of accusing her Lib –Dem rival of pedophilia. I said she should be tossed out of the LP and that others like her should suffer a similar fate. Then I asked to you petition the Conservative Party to do the same, knowing full well that if it such a measure was adopted it would cut a wide swathe through the Conservative leadership. I think such efforts are appropriate for all parties except the DUP and the BNP. I asked you to spearhead such an effort among Conservatives. Have you done so?

  20. Bill Perdue 6 Oct 2007, 1:26pm

    Russell, would you please explain for my benefit if it’s common practice to run big sweeps in cruising areas and if the police use entrapment techniques? Are the names and addresses of those arrested published? Some or all of these tactics are common practice in many jurisdictions in the US, particularly at election time. I’m asking becasue it’s not clear to me what the “strict guidelines for policing” you mentioned entail.

  21. Sister Mary Clarance 6 Oct 2007, 9:32pm

    Bill (another one not living in this country I suspect seeking to tell us what is wrong with our own country), I think you’ll find if you check a few of the stories on here that in actual fact recently the Conservative Party has actually been getting rid of those guilty of any sort of hate crime.The Labour Party beloved by so many on here seems happy to welcome everybody else’s cast offs with welcome arms, not matter what their views are on equality.Re your last point, ‘spearhead’ may not be quite the right word, but I do what I can. Although in Southwark it is a case of preaching to the converted, with a joint Conservative administration presiding over one of Britain’s most gay friendly boroughs.Just to be clear Bill (because one of us needs to be), as soon as any member of the Conservative front, or back, bench starts falsely accusing a competitor of being a paedophile I’ll certainly be howling for their resignation too.

  22. Bill,Russell has the correct take on the law but I’ll take your additional points one by one.Firstly, entrapment is not used and under current laws would most likely land the police in serious trouble if they were daft enought to try it. It was a technique in the past but, even prior to current legislation was dying out – particularly since 1999 when the Metropolitan police needed the co-operation of the gay community to track down a right-wing crackpot who was targeting various minority groups with nailbombs. The fact that the worst atrocity was at a gay pub also gained a great deal of sympathy amongs many serving officers.Secondly, under UK law, following arrest, the only details that can be given out by the police are the sex of the ofender, his/her age and the offence (“A 25 year old male has been arrested in connection with……)If the suspect is then charged with the offence (and to do this they must have good reason the believe he/she is guilty) they are allowed to give name, sex, address, occupation and the charge (“John Smith, a 25 year old shop assistant from Accacia Avenue, Anytown has been charged with doing whatever under the Bad Thing Act of 1984″).If the offence is a serious criminal one, the case is then passed to the Crown (State) Prosecution Service who decide if it is in the public interest to prosecute the individual and go to trial.Otherwise, the issue will be dealt with by a local magistrate (who may also refer the case up to Crown Court for trial). As for sweeps, for the same reasons as entrapment, this kind of operation is unheard of any more. Having said that, within the law and the framework set out by central government, some police forces (there are 42 in England and Wales half a dozen in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland – all independent)have better relations and understandings with their local minority communities than others. The overwhelming majority of forces have LGBT liason officers and many forces endorse or encourage their gay officers who wish to march in uniform at local and national Pride events.The Metropolitan (London) Police patrol cruising grounds now and again but only to give crime prevention advice to cruisers (“Do you know there have been muggings around here? You need to be careful”) and to encourage cruisers to report any incidents of violence or muggings to them without fear of prejudice (“We don’t care what you were doing – it’s the mugger/violent offender we are after”). Other forces are starting to adopt similar tactics.The police will also sometimes accompany sexual health and outreach workers who work at cruising areas to ensure their safety.I hope this helps.

  23. Bill Perdue 6 Oct 2007, 11:20pm

    Thanks Ivan. It may not be perfect where you live but it beats the hell out of the hodgepodge of differing tactics used here, most of which are simply gay bashing by police and conservative, i.e., reactionary prosecutors. Their goal is to punish and torment; an objective derived form their christian upbringing. Occasionally they scoop up a treacherous conservative rat like the senator from Idaho, but most of their victims are just kids. At their age they’re just bags of raging hormones on the make. They can’t go to bars and when they hit the streets they’re not particularly cautious until their lies are ruined by police ambushes. Then they pay fines, do jail time and some even have to register as sex offenders. It’s barbaric but so are the people who think they deserve it.

  24. Bill Perdue 7 Oct 2007, 1:17am

    Dear Mother Superior, You’re right, I am a foreigner. Eeeeewwww. How unpleasant of me. Your blinkered paytriotism is blinding you to the fact that our movement is nothing if not international. Most of us, you’re an exception, have deeper bonds across the borders than with our straight countrymen. In that spirit, I have no problem coming up on the side of gays and lesbians victimized by political misleaders like Mugabe or Bush, prissy superstitious con men like Williams or Ratzinger, military murderers like the US commanders and their lapdog Shiite and Sunni jihadists in Iraq, or malicious bigots like your beloved firefighters. I do think England would be better off with a republican, secular, socialist government but that’s my opinion about all nations, and it’s not unique. When I asked you to petition your Party to get rid of the bigots I meant those open about it like your dear Mr. Potato Head AND those evading their history of bigotry. Are you claiming that your Party doesn’t harbor such filth in its leading bodies? Or are you just saying it’s ‘insensitive’ to call them bigots because they’re Conservatives? I don’t apologize for using ruthless and hurtful words like bigot to describe your firefighter friends because it’s an accurate real world description. They’re not prancing pranksters, they’re bigots. But if it makes you feel better I use the same spiteful word to describe the conservative Bush, and I also call him cruel names like racist, union buster, and mass murderer.I guess it all depends on who your friends are, Mother Superior, and we don’t have the same class or caste of friends.

  25. Sister Mary Clarance 7 Oct 2007, 6:37am

    Well that’s just super thanks then Bob, if any of us do get victimised by political misleaders like Mugabe or Bush, I’m sure we’ll all come a running to you for support.Whilst it is enthralling to know who you, living elsewhere (as discussed), think should be running the country, but lets just leave that up to the voting public. Of course we know today that we won’t be going to the ballot boxes any time soon as the polls are showing that if there was a General Election tomorrow the Conservatives would win hands down.To be very clear on the subject of bigotry, Bill. I think you use the word to attack anyone with a different opinion to yourself. I think you know exactly what the word means. I think you abuse its use and I think you attempt to bully other people into believing that you are the only one that knows how to use the word.Time and time again you hijack these comments pages singling out individuals that you take exception to. I regret that I have allowed myself to get embroiled in your sordid little game, but I suppose while your vitriol is aimed at me, it is not focused on anyone else at least.

  26. Robert, ex-pat Brit 7 Oct 2007, 1:49pm

    Sister Mary, in defence of Bill, as a British born expatriate living in the USA, he is right on the mark regarding bigotry in the form of the firemens’escapade. Homophobia is about bigotry as is racism. If it is not, then why did they embark on a hateful prank in the first place? What was their intention or purpose for that matter, aside from the fat that they used government funded equipment which was unauthorized. Would they have perpetrated this on say straights having sex in a public place? I think not. If society were more accepting and tolerant of genuine equality and weren’t so homophobic, closeted gay people who frequent public places (Larry Craig comes to mind) might feel a lot better about themselves than having to deal with their own internalised homophobia and having to resort to a public place for sexual liaisons. What drives people to commit such stupid acts is all part of self-loathing. I dareseay there are many firefighters in the same situation. To single out a group of people for this kind of harassment is nothing more than homophobia and bigotry, no question about it.

  27. Sister Mary Clarance 7 Oct 2007, 3:26pm

    Bob, unfortunately anything relevant that Bill has got to say gets buried in his irrelevant lecuring on issues tenuously linked to the original point.If he stuck to relevant comments on the point(s) at hand I, and I suspect others, would be much happier.My point is that this was a trivial incident that has been blown out of all proportion and looking at the bigger picture this will have done the gay community in the area no favours.Depending on the circumstances the person who complained MAY not have been doing anything illegal. But if the guy is so in the right, why hasn’t he identified himself. I suspect because he wouldn’t like all and sundry to know that he was having a bit of slap and tickle in some bushes somewhere late at night. Which again suggests to me that he does really believe that he was quite the innocent and agrieved party he appears to be being portrayed as.We have a limited amount of information about the case, and the people involved, yet some would have us believe that this is signed and sealed proof that the whole world is against us.I am not a victim. Being a gay man does not make be a victim. I do not like other members of our community portraying us as victims to enact revenge on anyone that has pissed them off. A ghetto mentality will get us absolutely nowhere in this world.

  28. Robert, ex-pat Brit 7 Oct 2007, 4:14pm

    Sister Mary, it does beg the question though. Why? Surely, none of can be that naive to think it was done for the public good? These firemen selectively chose to pay a visit to a gay cruising area and I’m not condoning lewdity by people of either sexual orientation, but when anyone specifically targets gay people for the purposes of ridicule, harassment and intimidation, then it does make us the victim. If it were not for prurient interest on the part of the firemen which I doubt, although you never know these days, then what was it about? Why don’t they do the same with female prostitutes soliciting sex or dilly dallying in back alleys with their johns? This is also about doublestandards and hypocrisy.

  29. I will always defend the use of crusinig grounds, esp in the rural areas. So I fully agree with the firemen getting what they truely diserved. What is in question here in why they went up there? It was to harrass and abuse their postion. if they knew what was going on in this area and had inadvertantly witness a lewd act, then they had every right to report it to the police. Cruising grounds offer us a place to meet. They are not just about sex. THey are about community and some where for guys to go who have other issues to deal with. I have always said when I as a gay man can walk down any street safe and secure, go in any pub and chat to any one and offer to buy them a drink , with out 10 tonnes of shit being kicked out of me. Then get rid of them. But that as yet does not exsist. Gay bars are around , but the nearest one to me in an hours drive away. I am 44 and no longer want to hang around in night clubs. I get tired of the straights saying to me, we cant go there, we are scared, well welcome to our world. We ask as community a very small part on this land. Some where to be free to meet and to have safety in numbers. The police should be there to protect us.

  30. Sister Mary Clarance 8 Oct 2007, 12:19am

    Robert, in answer to your question ‘Why’. They probably did it for a laugh. They probably didn’t micro analyse their behavour in the same way as we now are and they probably didn’t think through the potential consequences.They probably didn’t realise some gay people would look at this and use it as an opportunity to unload years of presecution, prejudice and differential treatment on them.You ask ‘Why don’t they do the same with female prostitutes soliciting sex or dilly dallying in back alleys with their johns? This is also about doublestandards and hypocrisy?’ You’re making an assumption that they don’t. We none of us not what they get up to when they have a bit of time on their hands before or after a job.And ‘anon’ I suspect that if the … well I’ll call him ‘victim’ and his … er, I’ll call them ‘friends’ where swapping recipes, I doubt there would have been such a hoo-har if the firemen had flashed their lights.Forgive me if I’m wrong, but having committed this heinous crime of flashing their lights, the firemen did not get out of their vehicle armed with baseball bats and begin attacking the nightwatch of the local gay men’s naked bird watching club while yelling homophobic abuse, but instead drove off.And just to clarify I didn’t say I condoned what they did, I just said that I though it was dealt with a little heavy-handedly.

  31. I think this is bloody dispicable. Do people not realise the harm that actions like this do for the whole gay community. Its events like this make Joe Public assume we are all sex mad and wanna have sex with anyone anywhere.There is no excuse for Cruising anymore, there are gay sauna’s where people can have anonymous sex without fear and keeping within the laws.Its fear of being caught is the real turn on here, and if thats why your doing dont bitch when you are….

  32. Robert, ex-pat Brit 8 Oct 2007, 3:55pm

    John, nobody in their right mind condones public sex, gay or straight,I for one dont’, but what IS despicable is that these four firemen deliberately set out to harass using a government funded vehicle without authorization. I’ve yet to hear any fire department going after straights having sex in public. Until that day, this action clearly indicates that it was motivated not because they did it for a laugh as Sister Mary stated, but because of their obvious homophobia nothing more which to me is not funny let alone a joke. If it is, then they are pretty sick people. Nobody should defend what they did, nor be apologists for them. It was wrong, dead wrong no matter how unpleasant public sex might be.

  33. Sister Mary Clarance 9 Oct 2007, 6:18am

    Oh dear Robert, there was a lot of baggage unloaded in that last posting.I think the incident probably was quite funny. The three that didn’t march back home and make a formal complaint anonymously most likely got the fright of their lives and have been telling all their friends about it down the pub and have had a real good laugh over it.I think that if I thought the whole world weas against us, I’d probably view things in a different light. But I don’t think that so I don’t view things differently.

  34. Bill Perdue 9 Oct 2007, 7:05am

    Ivan, in contrast to the situation you depict, what is described below is fairly common in rural areas without a bar scene. Here is the story,” A 55 year old man committed suicide less than 24 hours after his name and photo were made public by police after a sting in a Tennessee park lead to the arrests of 40 men. The arrests were part of a two week sting that Johnson City Police Chief says is just the beginning. The Johnson City Press published the names, addresses and photos of the men who were charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. The men arrested ranged in age from 26-85.”Publishing their names and pictures is an open invitation to get them beaten, fired, evicted, etc. The police, acting under cover of superstitious christian blue laws are bigots playing a very cruel and dangerous game. When gay media in the US ran stories of the Tennessee arrests side by side with the story of the bigot fireman who were actually punished for being bigots you could just about hear the clapping and cheering going on. Now the story of Jack Straws new anti hate bill is making the rounds. Although a few deluded conservatives are afraid such a law would limit free speech most of us get it that bigoted speech from politicians, priests and mullahs leads to beatings etc. You may get some new neighbors with twangy accents from all this.

  35. Sister Mary Clarance 9 Oct 2007, 10:47am

    “in a Tennessee park “, wrong country again Bill. Keep it real mate.

  36. Bill Perdue 9 Oct 2007, 8:06pm

    Mother Superior'”in a Tennessee park “, wrong country again Bill”‘ The movement is international,even for insular reactionaries like yoursel, who’s party loyalty trumps their loyalty, if you ever had any, to the fight for equality.If you want to limit discussion to questions about English bigots like those firemen and conservatives like Mr. Potato Head and the fight for English equality demand that Pink News stop their news coverage of events around the world. Appartently they don’t share your blindness.

  37. I can’t see why they had any reason to be shining their torches anywhere, let people have sex in public if they so wish, not personally something I think I would enjoy however it’s only sex it will hardly cause the foundations of society to crumble, if these fireman had seen a straight couple having random sex in public I wouldn’t be surprised if they just presumed it was a married couple shaking off monotony, homophobia is present in the actions, which is awful, what is also awful is that they thought they could use what is essentially public equipment while doing it.

  38. Sister Mary Clarance 9 Oct 2007, 9:26pm

    The problem I have Bill is that you conjure up these tenuous links to something that has happened (or may have happened) half way round the world time and time again.Whilst there are similarities between the US and the UK, they are not the same place. Come up with some relevant anecdote about something remotely connected that happened in this country occasionally and maybe there would be more relevance.The Republican Party and the Conservative Party are not one and the same any more than the Labour Party and the Democrats are the same.It may have slipped your notice that Tony Blair (Labour) has been living up George Bush’s (Republican) arse for the last I don’t know how many years.You may consider that we are all treated like some down trodden underclass and we should all rally against a common foe, but I, like many others, are currently basking in the new found equality the EU has given us. If that is being an insular reactionary, then yes I am.Not sure what ‘movement’ you’re on about, but if you’re a part of it, the chances are I wouldn’t want to be.

  39. I’m no fan of cruising outdoors myself, although not all gay men live in areas where there are the saunas and sex clubs many londoners take for granted but surely that isn’t the point. The point is these were fireman, ie their job is to put out fires, rescue cats etc. Under NO circumstanes are firemen EVER there are guardians of public morals or indeed as law enforcers. If it had been the police who had targetted these gay cruisers, that would have been regrettable but understandable. It is thier job after all. But as there was no fire or tree bound cat involved, the firemen were obviously only there to harrass and intimidate gay men on work time. That is why they are being disciplined. They had no valid work related reason to be in the area or to confront the guys involved. Obviously their employer was right to discipline them

  40. Bill Perdue 10 Oct 2007, 12:12pm

    I described you problem accurately. Your’re blind to information or ideas that are not useful to you self appointed role as a cheerleader for the Thatcherites.

  41. Sister Mary Clarance 10 Oct 2007, 1:47pm

    Bill I think punishments should be proportionate to the crime. This was a petty little incident that momentarily gave those doing something that many people believe is not an entirely wholesome activity by many people on here a bit of a fright. Three of them went on and lived their lives, whilst one did everything in his power to enact his revenge, clearly using the fact that the fire service is keen to show that it respects the rights of the gay community to his utmost advantage.Do you really imagine that if a straight couple had been at it and ‘a light flashing incident’ had taken place, the same process would have been followed? I very much doubt it would have.You as you have a tendency leap on the first signs of smoke and create flames to fan wherever you can, playing on everyone’s fears and insecurities. You fill in gaps with fantasy and half truths so that those reading these comments become confused by what is actually fact and what is fiction.Repeatedly, in thread after thread you brow-beat and bully people that have a different opinion to your own, invariably accusing them of being the aggressor. You clearly have an axe (well, axes) to grind on many issues and are seemingly not content until you have poisoned everyone’s view of the world.I don’t live, and I don’t want to live, in a world where every straight person is my enemy. I don’t believe that there is an enormous straight conspiracy against the gay community. Sometimes bad things happen to us ‘and we are gay’, it is not always ‘because we are gay’. Equality is not just about other people seeing us as equals, but just as much about us seeing them as equals.It is clear from your postings that you know little about life in this country and rely heavily on outdated stereotypical beliefs. You continually argue similarities with a country that is moving in a different direction to us, the differences getting greater and greater all the time. It should be irrelevant where you come from when you post a comment on here, but you are the one that makes it relevant in your posting.It is understandable that people posting comments on here will have different opinions. It is a place for different opinions to be aired. People will often vote for different political parties. It is their right to do so. Everyone should be able to post comments on here without fear of attack from you and a small number of other people.Anyone is welcome to comment on articles on this site, but comment on the article and leave the personal attacks on others for another place.

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