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Comment: A Gay Council of Britain?

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  1. Brian Burton 30 Jul 2009, 5:23pm

    As a Gay Christian, I would stand for election to any ‘Gay Council of Britain’ and would be proud to represent Gay Christians.

  2. it’s more likely to elevate personalities. How on earth are you going to decide, who elects its members? A Gay Times poll?

    You make the wrong assumption that a ‘Council’ will speak for the community in the first place!

    The Muslim Council of Britain – a highly reactionary bunch of unelected extremists, who claim to speak for the community and in fact, do NOT speak for the whole community, is precisely why we should not entertain such a scheme.

    Every activist can stand or fall every day, and be judged on his / her merit, by what they say and do. That way they earn their reputation and following. Judge reputations by actions, not the other way around.

  3. Would it not in fact be more useful to have an LGBT council?
    Going down the route of having a gay council would lead to calls for a Bi council, Trans council etc..
    Good idea in principle mind

  4. [only slightly tongue-in-cheek] Good idea … provided you fully recognise that you need to include ALL sections of the UK – Britain is England, Scotland & Wales – do please remember to include Northern Ireland.

  5. Why the hell would lgbt persons want a flock of bleating compliant nodding ‘yes’ sheep lackies, to simper & faun up to those organisations & authorities which have (and continue) to prejudice against lgbt persons.

    We have enough regional groups like that already. Groups which disregard gay persons experiences of institutional abuses, such is their love affair with nestling up to organisations like the police who still abuse & violate the lives of gay persons.

    It would just become another organisation like stonewall, who have brought a whole new meaning to ‘Rimming’ with their love affair with government & Stonewall’s disregard of transgender & gay people living out side the gay ghetto of London

  6. Who’s been reading my comments????
    I said on
    July 17, 2009
    Comment 5:

    I would prefer “The Gay Council of Great Britain” like the Muslim Council of
    Great Britain.
    Rather than relying on such people as Ben Summerskill or Peter Tatchell we
    could have a democratically elected leader.
    The LGBTQI community is currently completely fragmented with in-fights
    against each other. A gay Council would be the preferred option.  
    —————————–
    I still like the idea!
     

  7. I think this is an excellent idea. At least we could then say that we had representatives elected by us, and therefore (hopefully) people who truly represent our views, and all our views.

  8. Benji Starr 30 Jul 2009, 10:54pm

    I’m with “Why!” on this one.

    As was pointed out in the article, many of us are only tenaciously linked by our sexuality – we come from all classes, races, religious and political backgrounds which influence our opinions. The LGBTQI struggle isn’t like the civil rights struggle for racial equality in the 60′s – there isn’t just one goal (like desegregation) which can have national spokespeople – there are so many nuances to our struggle that creating a Council to encompass them all would create more problems than it solved. For example, a gay man campaigning for equal marriage rights usually will not have enough knowledge or personal involvement to campaign competently for better access to sexual health care for lesbians, or rights for non-binary transgendered people. Ultimately the largest groups problems would take priority, shunting the problems of smaller groups (usually trans and bisexual people) to one side, much like the current situation in the community at large.

  9. To me, this is a terrific idea. Without an organisation that focused on the needs and desires of the Rainbow community in Canada, same-sex legislation would have ended up in the trash bin.

    The organisation EGALE formed a sub-committee called Canadians for Equal Marriage and they work was carried on in an organised and systematic way right to day of Jubilation.

    Question: Who is Stephen Price?
    Question: How will he handle in-fighting (a certainty)?
    Question: Are we talking volunteer work?
    Question: How will the elections take place?
    Question: Who makes up the agenda?

    And the list goes on. It’s a great idea, and I am glad to see that it is being challenged by a very sharp bunch of guys. it’s a good idea; is it realistic?

    It certainly won’t happen over the weekend, and if and when it does take off, we can expect one conflict after another among the members of the council so that an expert in arbitration is a must. Conflict is like manure – it makes us grow.

    Skepticism is an excellent approach. Again, who is Stephen Price?
    Question: What about funding?

    Egale can be viewed and at www dot egale dot ca. Of course, this wonderful colony is bilingual, and the British are always admired and welcomed.

  10. John Macdonald 31 Jul 2009, 5:48am

    The gay rights movement, world wide has dominated every spectrum of the debate. Seeking equality on straight terms is dangerous to say the least. I oppose the heterosexualisation of the gay community. The gay identity has been lost forever in the pursuit of equality.So where do us gay men stand in regards to this dilemma. I just want to be gay, here the gay community has self-destructed in it’s pursuit of equality. Lost their community and gay scene. Like to recreate a new community for us boys who do not support this movement and bring back the right to be gay.

  11. Why be so demure, Mr. John Macdonald?

    I’m listening with an open mind.

  12. Brian Burton 31 Jul 2009, 7:25am

    To start anything, you have to start some where: Take the man I knew a few years ago who owned a small building and (was broke) but wanted to start a Gay-Bar. He got together a builder’s plank of wood. Two empty barrels and placed the plank on the two barrels, there was the Bar erected, the rest followed. Before very long the Man owned his own Night Club. There is no need for ‘big complications’ in intituting a Gay Council!

  13. Why stop at a Council? Lets buy ourselves a country and all move there; Joanna Lumley for Queen of Queens please(and she comes with her own army!) Sorry but its Friday!!!

  14. Just look at the Muslim council of GB, they are not representative of Muslims in this country. They are like Stonewall doing and saying what the government tells them so the can keep on being funded.

    why would a gay or LGBTQI council be any different? The problem comes when organisations are compromised by putting noses in the government trough.

    We must be organised at the local and national level and not be dependant on handouts from our political masters.

  15. Abi1975: “The problem comes when organisations are compromised by putting noses in the government trough.”

    I completely agree. Such organisations become more and more distanced from the people they’re supposed to represent.

  16. John Macdonald-

    Can you put some meat and bones on your idea, please.

  17. Mihangel apYrs 31 Jul 2009, 9:13am

    Please – no! It would only get populated by the same self-seekers/self-publicists as the rest of us actually have jobe or lives.

    There are fora around that can give opinion (the trade unions, various voluntary groups, even[shudder] Stonewall). A govt that seriously wants honest opinion can find it!

  18. Wow another dig at Rupert Everett, you guys need to grow up.

    He’ll be suing you soon and I for one would support him.

  19. Put a sock in it, will ya!

  20. Stonewall is the closest we have got to a LGB Council and it doesn’t fully represent the LGB community and it still maintains a very unpopular stance of not campaigning for marriage equality. The heat will be on them even more after this week if the Quakers do vote to allow gay marriage as that will really pull into focus the fact that gay people who get married have no legal recognition. Civil partnership may be OK for some, but many gay people want to get married and do get married, and if the Quaker resolution passes even more will get married and they will have no rights and no legal recognition. If Albania can think about why can’t a sup[posedly gay-friendly organisation like Stonewall?

    To steet back to the topic, how would an LGB Council be able to represent the community on key issues like this when there are already divisions? On the other hand, perhaps we need something to challenge the dominance of Stonewall ideology and shake things up a bit so that we get full equality.

  21. The Halcyon 31 Jul 2009, 10:48am

    Sue Sanders from School’s Out has quite rightly said on many occasions that nobody elected Stonewall to speak on the LGB community’s behalf and quite often they take liberties. Stonewall are beholden only to Stonewall and nobody else. If there were to be an LGB council (and not T – not everyone who is T is LGB), Stonewall should be excluded.

  22. I thought the LGBT Consortium was supposed to be something like that Muslim Council idea. Maybe it needs more support?

  23. Benjamin Cohen 31 Jul 2009, 11:54am

    Just a note. I used to be the young persons representative on the Jewish Board of Deputies. It has democratically elected representatives of synagogues (regardless of whether they are orthodox, reform, liberal etc), charities, students unions etc. Obviously most Jews don’t actually vote for it, but you can if you want (assuming you belong to one of the organisations)

  24. Please let’s NOT have a Gay Council or anything approaching it! There used to be a very hardworking, active and popular (‘of the people’) organization called the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. It had members from every walk of life, held local branch meetings in pretty well every city of any size throughout England and Wales. It fought equality issues with local councils (getting lesbian and gay books into libraries, sending members in to schools to talk to pupils, claiming the right to book public meeting places for its meetings) and members were for ever writing to local papers to take issue with local clergymen and other neighbourhood homophobes. There were no stars, just people working persistently for our rights.
    And THAT’s what gives someone the right to speak out. Hard, unspectacular work.
    Then along came the smart clubs. Nobody wanted to do the hard slog any more – not when they could get laid, guaranteed, every Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
    Stonewall moved in, sold a (gifted) David Hockney, and with its seven-figure budget privatized gay politics. We let them! So too late to complain about their preposterous claims to speak for lesbian and gay people. Peter T gets quoted because he puts in the work. You can’t blame him for being a one-man band unless you’ve similarly been working hard for years.
    Gay politics is there (and ripe) for plucking back from Stonewall – but only by hard workers.

  25. A possible structure for the Council could have a main umbrella organization with subgroups for the individual separated groups.

    A gay men’s group, a lesbians group, a trans group and so on and so forth. Having subgroups would stop infighting between the groups with the main body of the organization being able to concentrate on corporate responsibilities.

  26. Brian Burton 31 Jul 2009, 4:52pm

    I have read the threads looked and listened. It’s like rolling Dice, will it come up Sixes or Snake-eyes?…..There are moments psychologists tell us, when the passion for change dominates our natures that all our instincts are filled with shall we or shall we not, fears of that surgested change. Thoughts can be a relentless torment in situations like this. Will the Yeas or the Nays have it….Time will tell!

  27. The problem with these threads is “anybody” can make comments.

  28. “The LGBTQI community”

    I for the life of me cannot think what the Q stands for… Nor the I for that matter…

  29. David Henry 1 Aug 2009, 12:02am

    >A possible structure for the Council could have a main umbrella organization with subgroups for the individual separated groups.

    Doesn’t that deaft the object Craig by dividing the community up into subgroups when many groups already exist that democratically represent the various parts of the LGBTQ community – such as the various LGBTQ Religious groups, NUS LGBT, Queer Youth Network, Schools out etc etc…?

    The LGBT Consortium is already doing all that this article suggestions. Any one can get involved I definitely recommend anyone out there who is keen on this council idea to get involved with them.

  30. Hi Craig (25):

    Call me a dummy, but am I correct in assuming that what you are implying is that the problem with free speech is that anybody can speak?

    Holy Democracy, Batman! Shut mah mouth!!!

  31. Shouldn’t it be called a “Witangaymot”? (Let’s see who was paying attention in history class.)

  32. Brian Burton 1 Aug 2009, 5:58am

    Craig,
    And all Comments are valid, even yours!

  33. Brian Burton 1 Aug 2009, 6:27am

    Dana,
    You seem to have found a Mombian Utopia (I hope it’s true!) Any Map without Utopia marked on it is not worth looking at. Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple and the simple thing is the right thing.

  34. The gay Council of Britain could be the main representative umbrella body with all sorts of affiliated national, regional and local organizations. It could pledge to work for the common good of society as a whole; encouraging individual LGBTQI’s and LGBTQI’s organisations to play a full and participatory role in public life.

    It could promote cooperation, consensus and unity on LGBTQI affairs across the UK and encourage and strengthen all existing efforts being made for the benefit of the LGBTQI community. It could work for a more enlightened appreciation of the LGBTQI communities in the wider society and establish a position for the LGBTQI communities within British society that is fair and based on due rights. It could work for the eradication of disadvantages and forms of discrimination faced by the LGBTQI communities.

  35. Even gay people don’t know what LGBTQI means so I think LGB/LGBT or just gay would do. I personally don’t see why gay and trans should be lumped together though, it’s so outdated!!!!

  36. In the southwest is an organisation called the Intercom Trust.

    They took upon themself the mantel of being the regional south west representional body for gay people

    …They then took thirty pieces of silver in funding from the government(actually hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding)and promptly set about defending those very organisations & institutions which have (and still do) prejudice against gay persons. Turning upon local gay people in the process.

    The best homophobic anti-gay gaff by LGBT Intercom Trust was to condemn the paintings of much admired Cornwall based artist Henry Scott Tuke RA as pedophilia & unfit for an LGBT history project in Cornwall…just after Falmouth University named a prestigious new building after Tuke & just after the Daily Mail (not known for being gay supportive)had been promoting the largest exhibition of Tukes works at Truro County Museum, with Tuke works lent by Sir Elton John, Cornwall Council & other notable museums, supported by Bonhams.

    No, we do not need A Gay Council

    Because if its anything like the LGBT Intercom Trust it would be more likely to start to campaign for the recriminalisation of homosexuality.

    Stonewall has become bad enough thank you

  37. Benji Starr 1 Aug 2009, 11:11pm

    @Liam: The Q stands for Queer.

  38. Abi, your criticisms of Stonewall are undermined when you say they rely on government funding. Less than 10 per cent of its funding comes from government(s). The vast bulk comes from individual LGB people who choose to fund them. No one forces them to.

  39. I think this is a great idea!

  40. ‘michael’ in post 24 hits the nail on the head :-)

  41. Brian Burton 8 Aug 2009, 8:24am

    Adrian T. I second that. Michael was probably one of the hard workers he mentioned!

  42. The Muslim Counsel is based on the idea that a group follow a religion and a general set of beliefs – so the assumption is that the majority will be able to relate to the counsel.

    But obviously this doesn’t work in reality. It makes you wonder why we’d even want it. Gay isn’t a religion or belief system either. Opinion and life styles within the gay community are very diverse. Being gay does not imply that such persons would all have a similar outlook on life.

    Let’s just stick to the way we’re doing it now since pride marches, activism and protests seem to be working to tackle the key problem, discrimination.

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