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Opinion: The gay community will no longer accept spurious claims of homophobia

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  1. It was homophobic of the Telegraph not to describe Bradshaw’s partner as his civil partner and to single him out for criticism when married MPs doing the same were not.

    It’s entirely justifiable for someone to move because of homophobic abuse. Bryant was set up in the underpants incident, and so what that he showed that he has a sex life.

    Cannning’s comments were smug, self-satisfied and opportunistic.

  2. paul canning 26 May 2009, 12:03pm

    “smug, self-satisfied” I can live with but “opportunistic”?

  3. The only leg to stand on Bradshaw has is if the Telegraph makes his sexuality the issue and reports it to the exclusion of the many straight politicians caught with their hand in the cookie jar. While there may be a temptation to get slightly more mileage from the gay politicians, I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge bias within the reports I’ve seen, certainly not in terms of column inches. Can anyone site any overtly homophobic coverage I might have missed?
    I don’t think it does anyone much good to cry wolf over perceived homophobia, as it simply makes us look like we play the homophobia card whenever the accusations are entirely justified, which undermines our credibility.

  4. Debi Linton 26 May 2009, 12:20pm

    Bradshaw was condemned by the Telegraph specifically for claiming for a mortgage he shared with his partner. Cameron was lauded by the same publication for ‘only’ doing the exact same thing with his wife.

    Bradshaw’s other faults aside; and whether or not he should have claimed what he did, there was still a very obvious double standard being exhibited by the paper.

  5. I don’t want to enter in the merit of whether what Bradshaw did was OK or not but it seems to me that his being targeted for behaving the same way as other married MPs who went unreported smacks of homophobia.

    In addition to that, having his partner called his “boyfriend” also seems rather homophobic in the context, as it serves to provide a framework for this story by cheapening a relationship that, based on the facts claimed in this article, is not as valid as that of a married couple.

    Or are we claiming that we shouldn’t call it homophobia because journalists use words without really understand their meaning?

    I think that articles posted in the PinkNews should show a little more understanding of the variety of forms in which homophobia can manifest itself.

  6. I disagree with this article. I do think there were homophobic elements at play. The article asks what would be the reaction of the black community if it was an issue of racism and not homophobia and I think the black community would be supporting their member. If someone had moved house because their property had been daubed with racist grafitti they would have had (and deserved) sympathy and support.

  7. If his home is used as an office, he is entitled to claim morgage allowance, just like anyone who works from home.

    I agree with comment 4 above; there is a double standard, that DT has always been rabidly homophobic – given the way it prints the Christian Institute’s press releases, verbatim.

    That said, the author is right in reminding readers that Labour gave mountains of concessions to the religious lobby, especially with regard to faith schools. And the DT has also exposed a number of ant-gay MPs’ murky dealings. The Wintertons, Viggers and Hogg are all out of the show as a result.

  8. David Skinner Alert:

    For those who follow the career of “The Special Needs One”, he is, as I write, multiple posting his incoherent lunacy on the latest Melanie Phillips story (“The Sexualisation of Heresey”) on The Spectator website.

    Why not join in? It would be rude not to…

  9. vulpus_rex 26 May 2009, 1:38pm

    The claims of Bryant and Bradshaw about homophobia are ludicrous.

    Seen within the wider context of the expense scandal as a whole their claims are not the most contentious and to see anything homophobic about the reporting around them you really do have to be looking quite hard for it.

    The writer makes a further interesting point – no more support “gay role model right or wrong”.

    I would take that point another step and say it is high time that this maturity is applied to politics as a whole and the gay community relinquish their slavish support of the labour party, right or wrong.

  10. Robert, ex-pat Brit 26 May 2009, 1:50pm

    Just exactly why is sexual orientation relevant? Does the Telegraph state the sexual orientation of straight politicians caught in the same situation and would it refer to their spouses as boyfriends or girlfriends? I think NOT! Of course its homophobia for even referring to Bradshaw’s and others’ sexual orientation merely for sensationalism and ridicule. What is the point other than the obvious?

  11. Simon Murphy 26 May 2009, 1:50pm

    Bradshaw voted for the sexual apartheid that is civil partnerships. So quite simply he is not married. So for him to start complaining about the Telegraph’s double standards smacks of opportunism. If gay people were allowed to marry and he was married then he could start whining about homophobia. However he voted for the 2nd class CP legislation and he was caught stealing from his constituents so I have absolutely no sympathy for him.

    Irrespective of whether he operated within the rules or not his actions are not those of an honest, trustworthy person. They are the actions of a greedy opportunist (or ‘thief’ if you prefer that word)

  12. Simon Murphy 26 May 2009, 1:54pm

    Bradshaw and Bryant are using homophobia as a smokescreen. While I agree that the Telegraph is being discriminatory that is not the central point of the story. The central point is that like many of the straight politicians both Bryant and Bradshaw have exploited the old boys club at Westminster to supplement their incomes at the taxpayers expense. The accusation of homophobia is pathetic. It is diverting attention from their lack of honesty and integrity.

  13. Sister Mary Clarence 26 May 2009, 2:35pm

    Clearly there are those amongst the gay community that do accept spurious claims of homophobia, as some of the comments here suggest.

    Ben Bradshaw and Chris Bryant milked the system for all they could get. They may well have found loopholes (albeit fairly large ones) that allowed them to claim these expenses, but when they got elected to serve the country, was their sense of right and wrong suddenly taken from them? No, it wasn’t.

    They like many others have fallen into the trap of believing they were receiving an ‘allowance’ rather than ‘expenses’ and as such claimed as much as they possibly could.

    Whether ‘civil partner’, partner, or boyfriend, really makes no odds to the issue here. They plundered the public purse to give them selves a foot up in life, just like many of their straight counterparts. Some are having the decency (if that be the right word) to say, ‘okay I’ve been caught out I’m sorry, no excuse’, and others are using every sly trick in the book to defend the indefensible.

    These and other MPs clearly used their expenses to benefit their family members (however they want to label them) and that itself is a breach of the regulations. One of the earliest comments on this story suggested that they should just take it on the chin and move on, otherwise it would run and run and run. How true that was. These two crooks would be forgotten about by now if they’d accepted that they’d not behaved as honourably as they might, as it is they’d just dragged their names further through the mud.

  14. Pumpkin Pie 26 May 2009, 2:40pm

    In the spirit of “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, I have never exploited taxpayer cash and I would like to say that I am personally offended that that the Daily Telegraph not only feels the need to label those who are not heterosexual in a situation that has nothing to do with sexuality, but also denigrates us by referring to to a stable civil partner as a boyfriend. It may not be equal to marriage, but are our very relationships so inferior that the DT feels such a flippant term as “boyfriend” is appropriate for a serious adult relationship?

    Gay MPs such as these are indeed using diversionary tactics, but the DT’s coverage is a slur against any non-hetero person. I didn’t steal any money, so why should I put up with this crap?

  15. “The gay community will no longer accept spurious claims of homophobia”

    On the contrary, the “community” will kick-off at the slightest provocation at anything that appears to threaten them, real or perceived, and any subject they can have a good bitch about.

    See posts above for conformation.

  16. paul canning 26 May 2009, 3:55pm

    That was pinknews’ title, this was mine :] To Chris Bryant and Ben Bradshaw: STFU

  17. You are entirely right, Vulpus Rover! You and Sinister Mary have been banging on how David Cameron will come and save us from Ben Bradshaw’s evil theft of our rights for so long and we have never before seen the light! It is about time we started accepting that tory moats are entirely acceptable, and instead condemned that evil leftie Bradshaw for daring to complain about a lack of parity in that bastion of probity and equality; the Daily Torygraph. What fools we are! Yes, I see it now! Not partly political at all…

  18. Sister Mary Clarence 26 May 2009, 4:19pm

    @ MAtt (18)

    My posting on the (Conservative) Nick Herberts claims of persecution:

    “Another couple of robbing little f**kers in my view, getting a leg up in life on the backs of taxpayers. All the more disgraceful that he is trying to claim homophobia to divert attention from the real crime of abused of office.”

  19. Typical “gay card” tactics by Bryant and Bradshaw. It would have been surprising if they had not used it. Chris Bryant double flipped because of homophobic graffitti? Please, that £70 Grand profit should be ignored becasue “I is a gay”?

    They do themselves and any other gay person a disservice by trying such tacky diversionary techniques. These people will use anything to try to buy themselves some time, remember they tried to claim MPs addresses should not be published becasue of “security concerns” and, wait for it, terrorism – what a surprise. And all the time it was beacuse they didn’t want us to find out about their flipping houses, literally flipping.

    Just goes to show all MPs anre bent, even the straight ones. And these people run schools, hospitals and nuclear weapons! God help us – would anyone give their wallet to any one of them while they tied their shoelaces?

  20. Sister Mary Clarence 26 May 2009, 4:25pm

    @ Matt (18) again

    My posting regarding Alan Duncan, which I’l sure ou’ll agree hardly represents a ringing endorsement ….

    “Whilst I think he is an insipid little sh*t (and I say that as a Tory voter), am I right in thinking he’s the only one to actually have apologised?”

  21. Sister Mary Clarence 26 May 2009, 4:37pm

    Matt, I’m abundantly clear that we shouldn’t accept anyone taking the piss out of us. Irrespective of who is to blame for us being in the economic situation we are not in (although clearly its New Labour!!!), expenses claims should compensate for legitimate costs incurred as part of their job, now more so than ever. They are not an allowance, a Brucie Bonus, or a free handout.

    If our politicians can’t get their heads round that then we need to find new ones, again irrespective of the party they belong to.

    You may be happy to turn a blind eye to Labour’s indiscretions, but I am certainly not prepared to turn a blind eye to Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem or any other.

  22. I think the article is unfair to Ben Bradshaw – the Daily Telegraph was being homophobic to single out that a his house was ‘half-owned’ by his boyfriend. They are civil partners therefore they each have a claim to half of their JOINT property just like heterosexual married couples.

  23. Sister Mary Clarence….

    Such is the scale of fraud, hypocrisy and deceit, I think the real analogy should be the CONVEYOR BELT, not just a ‘Brucie bonus’!!

  24. Pumpkin Pie 26 May 2009, 6:29pm

    David Skinner Alert:

    For those who follow the career of “The Special Needs One”, he is, as I write, multiple posting his incoherent lunacy on the latest Melanie Phillips story (“The Sexualisation of Heresey”) on The Spectator website.

    Why not join in? It would be rude not to…

    Thanks for that, Ivan. I always like to give The Spectator a quick browse because it is pure, unadulterated horse shit. The choice mag for toffs and bigots. I’d imagine most Tory-supporters are quite ashamed of it, to be honest.

    But this… This is horrible. I had no idea it was THIS bad. And the comments. Oh. My. Word. I really was ignorant of just how hateful Speccy readers were.

  25. Sister Mary Clarence 26 May 2009, 6:53pm

    @ AdrianT – Blimey, me under exaggerating – I must be slipping!!!

  26. @Pumpkin Pie

    Yes. Mr Skinner is at home.

  27. The description of this as ‘opinion’ at least makes clear it has no basis in fact. Ben stuck to the rules, raises a question which seems totally legitimate about the Telegraph’s reasons for singling him out, and yet Paul Canning decides to go off on one. Is there some reason we’re not being told of for this baseless attack? Otherwise, it just seems rather pathetic.

  28. theotherone 26 May 2009, 10:15pm

    he’s gay therefore any critisism is because of homophobia?

    Get a frigin life!

  29. Sister Mary Clarence 26 May 2009, 10:56pm

    I think some people on here need to mature a little in relation to their sexuality to enable them to differentiate between comments made about them that they dislike and comments that are homophobic.

    Life is such that we will all face comments from other people that we dislike or take exception to. We cannot simply label them homophobic just because we don’t like them

  30. You accuse Bradshaw of extravagant claims, something even the Telegraph didn’t seem to do, on reading the article.

    He claimed for the home he lived in with his civil partner… I’m not sure where the story is, given the Telegraph print that he only changed his home because he was a minister and was told to.

    Presumably married couples don’t divvy up how much they each pay – because they are a couple, and all costs are joint. So why is Bradshaw singled out (the same does in fact go for Herbert it seems)? Cameron is ‘Mr Clean’ according to the telegraph… did they check on his situation with Mrs Cameron?

    Some MPs appear to have been very naughty indeed. Not sure this guy is one of them. Seems a pretty mean-spirited article to write really.

  31. Archdeacon Brian Hurtin 27 May 2009, 1:51am

    “I don’t agree with same sex marriage.” Oh, your just homophobic.

    “I don’t agree with children being taught that homsexuality is normal.” Oh, your just homophobic.

    “I believe that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Oh, your just homophobic.

    “I don’t believe that you are born homosexual.” Oh, your just homophobic.

    “I believe that having a mum and dad is best for children, not two dads or two mums.” Oh, your just homophobic.

    ‘There is a definite increase in HIV/AIDS amongst homosexual men.” Oh, your just homophobic.

    If your unhappy about spurious claims about homophobia, perhaps you need to take long hard look at yourselves. The gaystapo give the impression that unless you fall down at their feet and worship them your homophobic.

    You need to understand the record is cracked and the needle is stuck.

  32. @archdeacon Brian Hunt:

    Your statements ARE homphobic, since while you are entitled to have an opinion, your statements go beyond that to inflicting your rules onto other people. Gay marriage; if two people love each other and want to marry, why the fuck should your opinion stop them? I disagree with straight marriage; two out of three marriages fail so perhaps these are transient, pretend relationships that should not receive the state sponsored encouragment that they have done for so long! Perhaps my opinion should remove the right of marriage from heterosexuals, who have clearly abused this right. No..wait, that only happens to gay men and women in Californication.

    @Sinister Mary, you bashed the tory gays too, woop-de-doo! Which one had the moat? Was it perhaps…a heterosexual tory? Oh wait…we’re not allowed to criticise those…

  33. I think RobN speaks the sad truth in Comment 16. :'(

  34. I thought this as soon as I read their “excuses!” Do not use homophobia as an excuse for being greedy; did Hazel Blears say it was because she is ginger? Is it because Julie Kirkbride is a married woman with kids? No its simply because these people have been greedy and are trying to wriggle out of it as best they can; please sir it wasnt my fault etc!

  35. @ Pumpkin Pie post.26 & Ivan, Yes I was astonished at Melanie Phillip’s rant too. The Spectator is in danger of making the Daily Mail look reasonable by comparison.
    @ Archdeacon Brian Hurtin… if the cap fits, wear it. You’re one of the most homophobic and bigoted posters on this site and that’s saying something.
    The fact that nothing at all appears to constitute homophobia in your opinion would be the major clue. Look “homophobia” up in the dictionary, and then tell us it doesn’t describe you.

  36. Sister Mary Clarence 27 May 2009, 4:49pm

    @ Matt

    Yep the one who charge the cleaning of his moat is a robbing fu*ker too – and hence forced to stand down.

    Perhaps you’d like to condemn a few from the party you appear to be supporting too now mate – I see (as is so often the case) any condemnation of the robbing f*ckers at Labour who have been at it is absent from all Labour party trolls postings.

  37. Actually, “archdeacon”, you made a few errors. Here, let me correct it for you:

    “I don’t agree with same sex marriage.” Oh, your just being petty. Grow up. Encouraging stable relationships is good for society and good for protecting the citizens involved.

    “I don’t agree with children being taught that homsexuality [sic] is normal.” Oh, your just being stupid and ill-informed. Children will discover this for themselves anyway. Besides, they’re though to believe in stupid stories about a hateful childish god, like in the bible, so why not teach them something useful instead.

    “I believe that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Oh, your just being stupid again. That’s just a silly story. You’re being an superstitious moron. Try reading a book on the subject, rather than just “believing”, and you’ll soon see homosexuality is perfectly normal.

    “I believe that having a mum and dad is best for children, not two dads or two mums.” Oh, your just naive… all research points to children fairing no worse, or even better, in opposite sex parenting than with same sex parenting.

    ‘There is a definite increase in HIV/AIDS amongst homosexual men.” Oh, your just being a silly idiot. There’s no evidence for this, you should grow up and read a science book.

    Oh, and you’re homophobic.

    Now, doesn’t that make more sense? It does to me!

  38. Yes, ‘Archdeacon’, you are homophobic, and so is your religion. That is why most hay people have far more sense than to believe in it.

  39. Personally I think there are two separate issues relating to the two different men mentioned in the article (although I do wonder at Nick Herbert not being mentioned in this article since he made similar comments). Bryant I agree is using homophobia as a smokescreen to try and get himself out of trouble.

    However, as i understand it, and I may be wrong, Bradshaw and Herbert have done nothing different to a vast number of MPs who are married including David Cameron and yet they have been singled out by the Daily Telegraph while others haven’t by virtue of the fact that they are in Civil Partnerships and not married. That seems unfair to me and a case of treating gay people and straight people in the same situation differently. Maybe that’s not homophobia but it’s definitely prejudice in my opinion. After all, the reason that Mrs Cameron jointly owns their second home is by virtue of her marriage to Dave, and it is by virtue of the Civil Partnerships (as I understand it) that Bradshaw and Herbert’s partners jointly own their property.

    I do also think it is disrespectful if nothing else to refer to civil partners as boyfriends.

    In terms of the wider scope of the article, whilst I agree that spurious claims of homophbia hurt the gay community, I worry that we might go too far the other way and ignore genuine homophobia in the rush to show that we won’t overreact. Just a thought.

  40. paul canning 28 May 2009, 3:54pm

    ‘Bradshaw and Herbert have .. been singled out by the Daily Telegraph’

    Julie Kirkbride + Andrew Mackay ??

    Nick Herbert “I have always voted for full transparency and tougher rules”

    Voted a mixture of for and against a transparent Parliament

  41. Paul, you’re pissing in the wind with half of this lot – its probably a shame marriage, she’s a lesbian and he’s a great big Mary – they’re bound to cook up some response.

    All part of the victim culture that certain of our community pay so well.

    If I bump into Ben Bradshaw, his boyfriend, or Nick Herbert – they’ll be hearing a lot worse things than ‘partner’

  42. Just read the article on this website: “Lesbian sports presenter Clare Balding suffering from thyroid cancer”. Wonder why Pink News had to highlight her sexuality as surely it’s not relevant to the sad story. Think it hightlights our (the gay community’s) double standards.

  43. Archdeacon Brian Hurtin 3 Jun 2009, 3:16am

    Your statements ARE homphobic, (Sigh! I am not afraid of you at all. If I was I wouldn’t be saying this).

    I disagree with straight marriage (That must mean by your standards that you are heterophobic)

    “I don’t agree with same sex marriage.” Oh, your just being petty. (Saying a person is petty is not quite the same as saying a person is afraid of homosexauls (homophobic) if they disagree with them)

    “I believe that having a mum and dad is best for children, not two dads or two mums.” Oh, your just naive… (Being naive is not the same cracked record as being homophobic everytime someone dissagrees with you)

    Yes, ‘Archdeacon’, you are homophobic, (Thankyou for proving my point, especially as you have not met me and have no idea if I am afraid of homosexuals)

    That is why most hay people (What are ‘hay’ people? Are they farmers?)

    Just to reiterate for those of you who are not intelligent enough to understand plain english, calling a person homophobic because they disagree with you is a cracked record and meaningless. In other words, the needle gets stuck so it is a waste of time playing it.

  44. Arsedeacon / Reality Check – You, and your fellow sad trolls are welcome to think what you like. But your opinion doesn’t count for anything because it is based on bigotry and nonsense and superstition, and not on evidence. And not only that, you repeat it like a cracked record, and whine when anyone ridicules your backward beliefs.

    That’s your affair of course – but don’t think your opinion should have any privilege beyond your front door, and don’t try to use the law to interfere in the private arrangements of others, or take away other people’s rights to marry the person they love or raise their children as they see fit. Because we’ll fight you all the way. Keep your nose out of affairs that don’t concern you, mind your own fucking business and, in the words of a great car-bumper sticker:

    Focus On Your Own Damn Family.

    big kiss,
    A. xxx

  45. Archdeacon Brian Hurtin 4 Jun 2009, 4:38am

    Arsedeacon / Reality Check – You, and your fellow sad trolls are welcome to think what you like. (No were are not because you say we are homophobic(afraid of homos) if we do. You don’t like having your chapter and verse challenged by anyone as you believe that the world should bow down to the gaystapo and thank them for their wit and wisdom and for all the Hiv/Aids that you are responsible for)

    But your opinion doesn’t count for anything because it is based on bigotry and nonsense and superstition, and not on evidence. (Spoken by a true head in the sand sceptic that doesn’t want to be bothered with the truth)

    And not only that, you repeat it like a cracked record, and whine when anyone ridicules your backward beliefs. (I got that from you as in Oh he’s homophobic 137 times).

    That’s your affair of course – but don’t think your opinion should have any privilege beyond your front door, (If that is the case keep quiet when your outside. That is known as equality).

    and don’t try to use the law to interfere in the private arrangements of others, (Why don’t you follow your own advice as in homos protesting outside a church who said they are not in love with you)

    or take away other people’s rights to marry the person they love or raise their children as they see fit. (I don’t. I support any man or woman who wants to marry each other as it is the best thing to do)

    Because we’ll fight you all the way. Keep your nose out of affairs that don’t concern you, (Why don’t you take your own advice and leave people alone who don’t agree with you alone. It is known as freedom of speech)

    mind your own fucking business and, in the words of a great car-bumper sticker:

    Focus On Your Own Damn Family. (Precisely. Focus on your gaystapo family and leave everyone else alone)

  46. i believe jesus was killed because he was caught stealing…
    i believe jesus was bisexual
    i believe all christians are bigots and should be fed to the lions (like they once were)
    i believe Harry Potter has more truth than the bible
    i believe religions are brainwashing our children
    does that make me theophobic?

  47. Tiglathpileser 20 Jun 2009, 7:01am

    And I believe there are fairies at the bottom of the garden. Does that make me fairyphobic?

  48. daniel okoro 25 Jun 2009, 9:30am

    Ben Bradshaw is like every other politician. Self serving and when it is politically expedient for him to do so,he will resort to the age old favourite of playing victim. Does he think that gay and lesbian readers are stupid?
    I feel sick (quite literally) to my stomach regarding this gravy train. It will be a freezing cold day in hell before I ever,ever vote for the Labour party again. At least with the tories they seem to have a misguided sense of entitilement being the grandees that they are. Labour on the other hand are like pigs at a troff. My ex is Hungarian and he told me that during the bad old communist days,members of the polititburo would drive expensive German cars and ski in Gstaad. I think the term for that is champagne Socialism,and Mandelson,Blair and New Labour all epitomise it.

  49. Canning’s labelling of New Labour’s equality legislation as “sexual apartheid” is absolutely ridiculous. I am not a member of the Labour Party nor do I vote for the, but to deny the rights that LGBT folk have rightfully gotten since 1997 smacks of ignorance. We have more rights than ever before. The march to equality is not straightforward, as with anything it comes with time. Be appreciative for what you have and fight for what you want, but don’t be insulting or unappreciative of those who have helped us gain what rights we have.

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