Conservatives claim this never happens, that all is sweetness and light, that the struggle’s all but won. Since many of them are wealthy and wealth has such a big impact on how safe they are, that shrivels their perspective. What do they make of this report; “Gay smokers have been the target of homophobic abuse from passers-by in cars and on foot and have had objects hurled at them as they smoked outside the club.” It’s apparently so bad they have to create a safe space. Outrage and honest GLBT activists and thinkers seem to think bigotry like this isn’t all that uncommon. They keep repeating that laws against gay bashing are not strictly enforced and that bigotry remains a problem. Perhaps they’re referring to the murder in Perth, or the murders and nail bombings in London, or incidents like this, or the role of the police in Cornwall or the cruelty of the bigoted attempts to deport GLBT Iranians and others to their deaths. It all sounds a lot like the US. Except that it’s probably worse here because of heavy police harassment, hostile conservative Democrats and closeted Republicans all cheered on by a large totalitarian christian theocratic movement. And of course we share one other major problem; samesex marriage is illegal in both countries. O Canada!Our home and native land!The True North strong and free!Canada got it right.
Bill, Canada DID get it right, like the other four. Soon Sweden will be joining them, hopefully Denmark and Norway will too. The ball is rolling in our favour. Once France and Germany follow suit, it will be only a matter of time before the rest in western Europe will follow. They’ll have to, no turning back.We in the U.S. won’t be as fortunate, sadly. No democrat elected to the White House is going to stick his or her neck out as the others did in Canada and elsewhere, they don’t have the moral fibre or the guts to do it.
“Conservatives claim this never happens” – representations were made by the licensee and Cllr Kennedy that there had been an increase in homophobic incidents outside the club. The local police were stationing vehicles outside the club to help address this. The committee was chaired by a Conservative and the memberships was 50% Conservative. Therefore it is logical to assume that at least some of them DID accept that ‘this’ does happen. “Outrage and honest GLBT activists and thinkers seem to think bigotry like this isn’t all that uncommon.” Councillors of all three parties voted against the recommendations of planning officers and in breach of the same planning guidelines that apply to both gay and straight people and their property. The venue received much more favourable treatment that many others, so hard to see the bigotry.“They keep repeating that laws against gay bashing are not strictly enforced”. Hate crime legislation in the UK unlike many other countries includes homophobic incidents. Brighton police have an excellent reputation in dealing with homophobic hate crime. Last year Staffordshire Police were was ranked first in the Workplace Equality Index, compiled by Stonewall, with one in 10 of its workforce gay.“It all sounds a lot like the US.” I don’t think it f**king does. We have a raft of legislation introduced through Europe and ratified by the British government to give us equality. We have the leaders of all three main political parties tripping over each other to try to appear the most gay friendly. We can enter into civil partnerships that carry the same legal status as marriage. We can adopt kids and fight (and die) in the army. Protection from discrimination towards us is enshrined in law, and as has been reported on this site, those laws are being enforced to protect us.Laws to protect us are not enough in isolations and research by Stonewall shows very clearly that views towards homosexuality across all sections of our society are changing favourably as well.To compare us with a country where the fight for gay equality faltered sometime shortly after the Stonewall riots is a nonsense. Change in this country is sometimes fast, it is sometimes slow, but it is continuous and constantly moving forward. Rather than those who have failed to bring about change in their own country lecturing us on our ‘second rate’ equality, they should perhaps pause for though and take a leaf out of our book. Take several even. Few countries around the world can compare to the equality and tolerance we are all now tasting in this country. It isn’t perfect yet but we are poles apart from where we were twenty or thirty years ago, and we are poles apart from where our American cousins are now. You only have to read some of the headline stories on here at the moment to see that.We are one community and we have (or should have) common goals. There is strength in numbers and invention and creativity can come from either side of the Atlantic and benefit us all. To constantly criticize, dismiss, and denigrate can only be harmful. This was a positive story about a local council going out of its way to respond to the needs of a local gay run business, in order to benefit its gay clientele. Conservatives, bigotry, Iran, Christian theocratic movements, and the US should really never have come into it.
We did ‘falter’, but only once, and that’s because we lost 800,000 plus to AIDS from 1982 to date. During the worst days of the pandemic American GLBT news papers consisted of little but obituaries. To claim otherwise is a xenophobic lie. It’s not the first example of fake patriotism we’ve seen. As I said, many English GLBT activists and thinkers seem to think the laws are not enforced. And since they seem to have no party loyalty issues and no one to apologize for, and back up their assertions with fact, most of us will tend to believe them. Wow. This week we’re brothers and sisters but last week we were’nt and next week who knows. What factors controls the back and forth on that question: temperature inversions, gravitational anomalies, sunspots. No really, I’d like to know. Finally, I didn’t capitalize conservative. The terms conservative, rightwing and reactionary are synonyms. They describe the same or very similar politics and using them to describe rightist or right center politics is common everywhere in the world. Which is why I said, criticizing the twin parties, “conservative Democrats and closeted Republicans”. Don’t have a hissy fit every time someone criticizes conservatives, with or without a capital c. Its politics, it happens, get used to it. If you’re not the kind of conservative that spends all his time denying the reality of bigotry, or the international connectivity of GLBT struggles an issues just say so. All this paranoia and defensiveness is past boring.
Robert, ex-pat Brit Last night the Irish Labour Party’s bill for civil unions lost by a vote of 66 to 59 in the Dáil Éireann. My buds in Dublin say that since the roman cult made sure that the reactionary concept of ‘man and woman’ only marriage was enshrined in the constitution it derails the whole process there, as it does in the US. The FF/Green coalitions hesitancy and backwardness is based on fear of the roman cult. Only an enormous victory for groups like Sinn Féin or Labour will move things forward.
Bill, what a disgrace that is. Actually, if you look closer, it is the “roman cult” that railroaded equality in the U.S. Notice that the Vatican is very vocal when an impending U.S. election is near? That’s why he’s coming here in April 2008 to stir up the old chestnuts, ergo marriage equality, abortion, celibacy and the supremacy of the holy roman empire. Ratzinger or the rat as I call him is very adept at subverting the political process and has the ear of the right wing. Its time to call for the abolition of tax-exempt status of all religious denominations. If they want a voice in the political system, let them pay their share of taxes. Hit them in their pockets where it hurts, maybe they’ll have to sell their real estate and stock holdings which will only diminish their hold on the American electorate. Lets not forget, catholic swing voters were the ones who gave Bush the nod in 2004 using marriage equality as the key wedge issue. They’ll do it again in 2008, just watch, wait and see.
Bill, I think if US equality activists have lost their way as much as you seem to on this story about a gay club in Brighton (yes, that’s Brighton, not Iran, Dublin, the Vatican or the US) getting a roof top smoking area, then I think that’s a more likely explanation for the US heading further towards the Dark Ages in regard to gay equality.
Robert, I think there are some fundamental errors in your understanding of Roman Catholicism. You have tarnished the people of a huge religion with the same dirty brush! It seems wholly unfair for you to complain about the ‘roman cult’, whilst not really knowing that much about them – certainly you appear to have overlooked the numerous Roman Catholics who aren’t trying to destroy the homosexual people, indeed the only political pressures that immensley influential (to particular Catholics) Catholic figures such as Dr. Gumbleton, Bishop Gaillot, Cardinal Arns, Charles Curran, Leonardo Boff and even John Boswell (yes the gay historian) have ever exercised are ones in defence of homosexuals. Further, your friends in Ireland are outright wrong about the Labour Party legislation vote, given that the most important Catholic Bishop in the Republic, Dr. Diarmuid Martin has himself gone on record as supporting the need for rights (he actually even argued for Civil Unions) in a secular society such as Ireland. By completely ignoring the admittedly small contingent of Roman Catholics who are fully on board with the advancement of rights for homosexuals (such as myself), you merely strengthen the ever tightening grip that right wing elements hold over the church!
Aodhan, I was baptised a catholic and worshipped as such until I was 16 when I woke up and realised how awfully oppressed gay catholics were and are which is why I left it. We were told that our sexual orientation was intrinsically evil and that is still the view of the church. You can be gay but you can’t be active. I find that offensive and disgusting.The majority of catholics do NOT support marriage equality or civil unions either. It was the catholic swing vote in the U.S. that gave Bush his second term in office because he used marriage equality as a deliberate attempt to drive a wedge between the conservatives and the democrats. The catholics gave him more than 57% of their vote which won him the election. I daresay there are a handful of catholics who support us but none have been vocal as far as I can tell for fear of being excommunicated, the oppression continues.
Mother Superior, is that what passes for political sarcasm in the latter day Cliveden Set? Pathetic.
Not sarcasm at all Bill. This story was about a gay club in Brighton getting a roof top garden – if digressing was an Olympic sport mate, you’d definitely win the gold.The comments facility is an opportunity for those reading news stories to make relevant comments about said news stories. Instead you have used the opportunity to again bang on about various of your causes celebre that have no relevance or reference to the story itself.
Interesting Bill that you should use a reference to the Cliveden Set as a slur against me. A group of prominent individuals in the 30s who it was believed was not only in favour of the appeasement of Hilter but also in favour of friendly relations with the Nazis. Interesting particularly because it is widely accepted by historians that that the entire story about the so-called Cliveden Set was an ideologically motivated fabrication by Claud Cockburn that came to be generally accepted by a public looking for scapegoats for British pre-war appeasement of Hitler.So, if you do want to continue making veiled accusations that I am a Nazi because I have a differing point of view to yours, you might do well to be slightly less indirect about it just in case you shoot yourself in the foot again.Just to reiterate though, the story was originally about Revenge getting a roof terrace for smokers – endorsed by a cross party planning committee.
Sister Mary Clarence, you waste your time with Mr. Perdue. Ignore his ridiculous slurs. I’m not sure what country he lives in, or where he gets his incorrect views on modern European nations from, but he seems to be perpetually living in 1917.