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Updated: Conservatives make proposals to tackle homophobic bullying

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  1. Patrick James 11 Apr 2010, 4:25pm

    Why is this announcement being made by George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, and not Chris Grayling the shadow home secretary?

  2. How is filling up your front page with Tory articles not a political endorsement of them as a political party PinkNews?

    Do you even remember your own editorial policy!

    1)Political stance is non-political although we are, unsurprisingly, pro-gay. This is reflected the tone that we use to describe homophobic politicians and the reasons we may appear to write positively about a pro-gay political figure. will not endorse any political party at elections. However, we may endorse individual candidates regardless of party based on their stance on gay rights issues. Importantly, articles that express these endorsements will be separated from our main news area, and will be pre-fixed with “comment” clearly defining it as commentary and not pure facts.

  3. Patrick James 11 Apr 2010, 4:29pm

    I like the comment at the end of the article by Ben Smith, who we are told is a teacher in an inner-London, Catholic school:

    There is nothing that new about the Conservative’s policies. They’ve spoken before about abolishing appeals panels, this is a reactive policy. As a gay teacher, I can see that what is needed is to teach about homosexuality across the curriculum, in the same way that race and gender is.

    I think that is exactly what is required but the Conservatives are absolutely opposed to this as they have shown by their activities at Westminster.

  4. Patrick James 11 Apr 2010, 4:37pm

    Abi1975 writes:

    How is filling up your front page with Tory articles not a political endorsement of them as a political party PinkNews?

    As long as they give equal coverage to the other major parties when they release statements personally I don’t mind this.

    The Conservative party is trying very hard to sound positive about LGBT issues now because they won’t sack Chris Grayling.

    That is why these statements are being made by George Osborne of course, and not Chris Grayling.

    I think the main thing to be focussed on is that the Conservative Party has not sacked Chris Grayling despite his support for discrimination against LGBT people in B&B’s.

    This is the person they are putting forward at this election to be the Home Secretary.

  5. The Lib Dems are completely ignored by PinkNews to such an extent their MPs are reduced to leaving comments on the comments pages!

  6. From the party that caused most of the bullying through clause 28 in the first place! The Coservatives can NEVER be trusted. All this gay friendly tripe. You can’t polish a turd!

  7. Clause 28 was 22 years ago and it is now 7 years since it was repealed. Times move on (unless you’re a Labour supporter who is still reliving 1988).

    Cameron has a difficult balancing act to do, given that there are people in his party who will disapprove as will quite a percentage of the UK population in fact.

    I don’t think his support for LGBT issues is necessarily a vote winner overall as he stands to lose as many as he gains.

    Labour hasn’t exactly proved itself to be trustworthy over the past 13 years. Time to boot them out.

  8. They’ll give teachers “powers” to stop homophobic bullying?

    Oh, yes. And exactly what “powers” are these?

    Supernatural powers, maybe?

    And, yes, I too am fed up with all this endless Cameron-Cameron-Caermon stuff on PinkNews! You’re right, Abi, PinkNews is not non-partisan.

    Is there a better LGBT talk-forum in the UK? Please tell me, and I’ll up sticks and go there and leave this place to the deluded.

    Sheesh, the Tories must think we are soooooooooo stupid!

  9. George Broadhead, PTT 11 Apr 2010, 5:53pm

    If the Conservatives are so keen on eradicating anti-gay bullying, why has David Cameron made it clear(in an interview to The Catholic Herald) that faith schools should be allowed to teach sex education “in a way that’s consistent with their beliefs”?

    Doesn’t he realise that if faith schools are permitted to teach that same-sex sexual practices are morally wrong, it will do irreparable harm to their lesbian and gay pupils and cause an increase in bullying?

    Faith schools now make up one third of the total number and all three main political parties intend to expand them further.

    Unsurprisingly, a Stonewall survey revealed that a higher proportion of anti-gay bullying occurs in faith schools than in others. How is this going to be tackled if such schools are permitted to teach pupils that lesbian and gay sexual
    relationships are sinful?

  10. Excellent point, George! You’ve asked the sort of question that Martin Popplewell put to the fibbing Call-Me-Dave during the GT interview and which shows they’re just saying things and that there is no integrity there. They aren’t coming from a root position. It’s all throw-a-little-glitter-here and throw-a-little-glitter-there!

  11. @GS
    “Cameron has a difficult balancing act to do”

    That will be why he is wobbling all over the place on gay rights, will it?

    Don’t believe them on this or any other issue. Frankly all of his front bench team ought to have been sacked for one reason or another. Grayling for obvious reasons, but what about Osborne, Gove and Lansley, all caught house flipping and none made to stand down. Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, received £21,000 from private health company Care UK, to run his office, according to the Telegraph. Conflict of interest?

    Just how are they going to implement this policy when half of the schools are going to be run by private companies and the other half are going to be run by religious zealots? It does not add up.

    The fact is, deeds speak louder than words, and on that basis, the Conservative Party still screams anti-gay to me.

  12. George Broadhead, PTT 11 Apr 2010, 6:20pm

    Glad to have your support Eddy.

    I issued a news release on behalf of the Pink Triangle Trust on this issue to the LGBT media, but PinkNews didn’t publish it.

    Here is the full text:

    The UK gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has condemned the Conservative Party’s successful blocking of Labour’s plans to introduce compulsory sex education in schools. It has also condemned Conservative support for faith schools teaching it “in a way that’s consistent with their beliefs”.

    In an interview with The Catholic Herald, the Conservative Party’s leader David Cameron said: “I do think that sex and relationship education is an important part of learning about responsibility, but schools should be allowed to teach it in a way that’s consistent with their beliefs, and parents should be free to decide whether or not their children should take part in these lessons.”

    Commenting on this revelation the PTT’s secretary George Broadhead said: “Mr Cameron has claimed to be supportive of gay and lesbian rights, but doesn’t he realise that if faith schools are permitted to teach that same-sex sexual practices are morally wrong, it will do irreparable harm to their lesbian and gay pupils and cause an increase in bullying?

    “Faith schools now make up one third of the total number and all three main political parties intend to expand them further. Unsurprisingly, a Stonewall survey revealed that a higher proportion of anti-gay bullying occurs in these schools than in others. How is this going to be tackled if such schools are permitted to teach pupils that lesbian and gay sexual relationships are sinful?

    “Faith issues dominate American election campaigns and this is the latest indication of the growing use of this style of campaigning by the Conservatives..”

    As a Humanist charity, the PTT is also against David Cameron’s opposition to assisted suicide which he expressed in the same interview.

  13. As they appear so knowledgeable about bullying, perhaps they should have a word with some of their members at a council local to me – 3 tories have been accused of bullying and one of the complainents is the CEO of the council!
    Then of course there is the kerb crawling councillor still in his post.
    Seeing the way they behave when they have a grip on a town hall makes me fearful of what they will be like when it is their turn to mess it up again on a national scale.

  14. is pink news paid for by the tories?

    is pink news now a tory gay election campaign HQ?

    why do you support a homophobic party that does not consider homosexuals to be equal to heterosexuals?

    why are you trying to convince homosexuals to vote for a party that wishes to repress them and treat them like second class citizens?

    stop with the pro tory nonsense and print something truthful – the comments and links left by the readers are more interesting and truthful than the tory PR campaign you are conducting.

  15. Goo for the Tories, It’s time someone took a stand where Labour has failed.

  16. I’d like to ask Jay and Labour supporters on here who are giving the Tories such a hard time this question:

    How do you feel about Manchester Labour Councillor Paul Fairweather who was quoted in the Pink Paper last Autumn saying that cruising is ‘unlawful’:

    When according to GALOP: ‘there is no law specifically prohibiting cruising, and sex in public places is not illegal as long as other people who might be offended cannot see you and are unaware that you are having sex’.

    Is there actually much difference with what Chris Grayling did? So why aren’t there loads of people calling for Fairweather to step down? Oh yes, of course, he’s Labour and gay…

  17. Abi, love, your getting boring. I don’t see any gay issue statements or protest responding from any other parties. If PinkNews start reporting on things about the other parties that has no link to gay issues then you and your ‘friends’ start to attack them for news stories that have no gay relevance.

    Try and find a common link to what you do want and less of the attacking!

  18. Sister Mary clarence 11 Apr 2010, 8:40pm

    Personally I’m counting the days to Labour getting drop kicked out of government.

  19. Its no longer PinkNews Squidgy dear, its now BlueNews

  20. Jean-Paul Bentham 11 Apr 2010, 8:54pm

    Vote Lib Dem.

  21. When Lynne Featherstone MP (Lib-Dem)tried to discuss Gender Identity during the equality bill debate she had the words filthy perverts shouted from the Tory seats. This did not happen 5 years ago it happened in the last 12 months!

    How can a party that acts like that even begin to address LGBT bullying in our schools.

  22. Abi what’s your view on the Councillor Paul Fairweather issue above? This happened in the last 12 months too but doesn’t involve Tories.

  23. Cllr Paul Fairweather should look closer at the issues involved and not impose his generalisations onto a community he has no idea about. Does he get his knickers in a twist when the hetros engage in public sex on Friday and Saturday nights in our town and City centres I think not.

    If he has broken any rules Cllr Paul Fairweather should be kicked out.

  24. * Applauds Abi *

  25. RE: Comment #15: Excellent point, Jay. Even Johann Hari of The Independent has commented on the apparent bias of PinkNews.

    Twitter transcript:

    @JohannHari101: Why is @pinknews running such blatant pro-Tory spin without scrutinizing the credibility of Tory claims properly? Its v damaging.

    @pinknews: @petertatchell writing for @pinknews examines them fully

    @JohannHari101: That’s good but you need to integrate scrutiny into the news pieces. U can’t run loads of Tory press releases as news stories…

    @JohannHari101: ..and then say one piece of counter-veiling analysis is enough. I’m not saying rubbish Tories; just remind people of record & facts

    @JohannHari101: Every claim (by any party) should have opposing voices and be independently checked against their records, in my view.

  26. Euan - London 11 Apr 2010, 10:48pm

    Pinknews is Toryite and cravenly so. How stupid does one need to be not to figure this one out.

    Squiffy, quoting “Goo ” – hit the tiles of some slippery floor last nite?

    Latest polls show increasing support for Lib Dems. Vote for fairness.

  27. PinkNews editorial policy:

    “ will not endorse any political party at elections.”

    In light of recent evidence, I believe this “policy” needs updating somewhat. The Tories have bought advertising space on (obviously sympathetic) PinkNews appealing for donations.

    To paraphrase ”Withnail and I’, potential Tory Party patrons should remember “They’re not poor – they’re multi-millionaires!”

  28. Haha if any political party would like to buy space on my site please do get in touch. It won’t influence what I write though.

    Oh yes Johann Hari, not like him to lean to the left.

  29. I love Pink News but im surprised at the pro Tory slant of the articles of the last week. Seems very biased to me.

  30. Do bear in mind that when Geo. Osborne says the Tories “will give headteachers the final say” that includes supporting headteachers who decide to do nothing about homophobic bullying, or who blame the gay kid for being a pervert and sinner or effeminate, rather than the bully.

    Not good enough – and certainly not apolicy determined to root out homophobic bullying.

    If the Tories have changed their spots so totally, why do they have Philippa Stroud as their candidate in winnable Sutton & Cheam, given her background and track record of bigotry towards gay people ?

  31. DavidW:-

    and yet we have Kate Hoey, Labour MP for ‘gay village’ Vauxhall who is the least gay-friendly and has one of the worse voting records.

  32. Abi1975:-

    Well I’m sure it’ll be RedNews and OrangeNews when they do something for gay people worth reporting in PinkNews. As yet I ain’t heard nothing.

    Of course we will have Mr Brown trying something new…

    answering questions so I guess it will be RedNews soon.

  33. Squidgy, that Kate Hoey who you describe as not gay friendly, would that be the same Kate Hoey who voted for an equal age of consent at 16, for the 1999 Sexual Offences Act in Jan 1999, for the Adoption & Children Bill programme in 2001 and 2002, for the Civil Partnerships Act in 2004, and for the right of gay people to adopt ?

    Oh, and where Section 28 is concerned, didn’t Kate Hoey vote for repeal in the first vote – one of 304 Labour MPs who voted for repeal, as against 122 Tory MPs who voted to keep Section 28 ?

    Your concept of who is our friend and who is our enemy seems a bit skewed, to say the least. There’s hardly any MP who scores a faultless 100% for turning up and voting for gay rights every time, but for example gives her 76.9% as against say Chris Grayling 39.4%, William Hague 26.6%.

    Or quote from Tory blogger Iain Dale’s site: (she) “has a completely solid track record on standing up for gay rights”.

    In fact, going back to 1994, wasn’t it Kate Hoey who proposed the law amendment to reduce the age of consent to 18, against Tory opposition?

    Fascinating that you hold her up as your prime example of Labour homophobia, it’s like you’re in a parallel universe where Labour’s persecuted us and the Tories have been our mates.

  34. Camp Crusader 12 Apr 2010, 10:05am

    I can’t see how they’re going to stamp out homophobia in schools when thay want to allow faith schools to teach sex education in line with their own beliefs. Children need to be taught that being gay is natural and a part of society, and in no way wrong for homophobia to finally be dispelled. Allowing faith schools to teach sex education in line with their beliefs means that this won’t happen.

  35. Ben Smith says there’s nothing new in this in the link
    As the tories stopped the sex education plans plus give immunity to faith schools for homophobia then how can he claim a zero tolerance policy, many distrust or think nothing of tories due to the homophobic policies of the past like section 28, how many tories vote for homophobia to continue etc

  36. Of the 15 stories appearing on the front page of Pink News, 12 are about the Tory Party.

    Yet Pink News claims not to be biased.

    How stupid do the editors and reporters regard us?

  37. Aodhán McCurtin 12 Apr 2010, 12:53pm

    Pinknews is turning into a complete farce!

    As I write this there are TEN articles about the Conservative Party on the front page – nine of them seem to be largely neutral or favourable – ONE is remotely critical.

    Why is pinknews just acting as a Tory Party press machine – it’s patronising and really irritating.

  38. “MP vote on lesbian, gay and bisexual equality issues during the last Parliament?”

    Kate Hoey Labour Vauxhall 14%

    The same as Conservative Douglas Hogg.

    mmmm Not A Good Record if you ask me considering she has a gay village in her area.

    Apparently her voting record on gay issues is worse than 120 conservative MPs….

    Interesting that…

    Just happening to checking MP’s voting record on gay rights over the last year. Maybe she was too busy eh? Like when Mr Brown always failed to vote for any gay rights. Yeah, that’ll be it, too busy.

    Any excuse.

  39. Squidgy, you’re actually being more ‘squirmy’ in your response – fact is, Kate Hoey has a good track record on gay rights issues going back to even the days before Labour was elected in 1997 – you may try to wriggle around that, but the votes are there, on the record – practical things, like age of consent – even the Tories say it about her! Look at the facts, you want it every which way but the way that might show Labour, or a Labour MP, in a good light. Why you seem to pretend that after 13 years of Labour, gay people are apparently no better off than under the Thatcher homophobes, I can’t begin to imagine, but your record is wearing a bit thin and doesn’t stand up to examination. What can you say about the specific examples I give of Kate Hoey’s voting record ? Nothing.

    And incidentally, the same independent website ranks Gordon Brown marginally better than David Cameron on voting on gay rights issues, even though for 13 yrs GB has had ministerial duties which mean he’s not been a regular at any votes – while DC has no excuse except the fact that he was elected an MP on a platform which included insulting gays, and he’s voted against us when there wasn’t an election to worry about.

  40. Wow DavidW:-

    You truly have proved that you can make something out of… well very little really.

    Your just a typical Labourite. You make for your beloved party for making the same mistakes as the opposition. Only with your lot you make excuse. Ever heard the term, lead by example? Mr. Brown Should have proved his worth. He hasn’t and therefore I, personally, (remember personally) don’t feel deserves another chance. He’s done his bit and failed. Now its time for new things, a fresh outlook. Maybe, Just maybe things could get better.

  41. lithotomist 12 Apr 2010, 5:39pm

    No Squidge, you accused Kate Hoey of not being gay-friendly and having a poor voting record, it obviously meant enough to you for you to fabricate this nonsense – and when faced with the facts, with a list of the things she’s voted for, even initiated, you don’t have the good grace to climb down and admit you’re wrong, you sling more mud in the hope a little will stick.

    But the funny thing is, you seen quite happy to admit that a large number of Tory MPs have a bad record on gay rights while still proclaiming your intention to vote for them.

    You want leading by example ? How about this example then: who said Labour was “obsessed with their ‘fringe’ agenda, including deeply unpopular moves like repealing Section 28 and allowing the promotion of homosexuality in schools” ? David Cameron, campaigning on a platform of retaining Section 28. Who voted against the repeal of Section 28 once he was an MP? David Cameron. Who claimed in an interview that he’d abstained on the issue of gays being allowed to adopt, when the Hansard record shows specifically he voted against ? David Cameron, pulling the wool even over his own eyes. Who describes gay equality as a fundamental human right but won’t ‘whip’ his MPs and MEPs to vote that way ? David Cameron. Who voted against lesbian couples having access to IVF ? David Cameron. You brought up ‘lead by example’, now live with the example David Cameron has actually set.

  42. Yeah, you need to learn to read DavidW/lithotomist. I deliberately stated in comment (39) that I was checking voting records over the PAST YEAR!! Clearly you feel into the trap of proving you don’t read threads like Many others here. Only intent on spew rubbish that suits you.

    Not worthy of debate.

    2 Words – Mountains – Molehills

  43. when some of us criticise the tories for being homophobic, why do those who want to vote for the right wing party then reply with ‘well labour are homophobic’. the stories are not about labour as this site now only prints stories about the tories. the fact is that the tories are homophobic. and the fact is that labour did more for gay rights in the last ten years than the tories ever did in the last hundred years. the CON(servative) party are homophobic, always have been and always will be. and the idiots who are voting tory seem to be more bothered about some stupid idea about the economy under a tory government (which isn’t controleld by politicians – its controlled by bankers and 72 rich families around the world) than they do their freedom and equality. morons. if the tories get in you’ll wake up but it’ll be too late, as they’ll have power to start repressing us again like they always did.

  44. In 2005 HM Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry completed a survey to help the Government analyse the financial implications of the Civil Partnerships Act (such as pensions, inheritance and tax benefits). They concluded that there were 3.6 million gay people in the United Kingdom – around 6% of the total population or 1 in 16.66 people.

    This is why the Tories are going against their own ingrained feelings against LGBTs and doing their absolute best to soft-soap us and get hold of our votes.

    3.6 million of us in 2005

    Let’s just round that up to 4 million of us in 2010!

    We are a force to be reckoned with, PROVIDED we make a noise and make DEMANDS as a group!

  45. Eddy you’re just propogating the pink pound gay lifestyle myth and making the extraordinary assumption that all those 3.6m people will vote according to gay-related policies. For a start, under 18’s can’t vote. So that immediately excludes about 25% of the 3.6m.

    The remainder includes bi people, every man who has so much as touched a cock even once in his life, probably a million women who go ‘each way’ under the right circumstances but don’t really consider themselves be a lesbian and a million closet case males.

    If you’re familiar with the latter then you’ll know that they only switch into same sex mode when they’re feeling frisky. The rest of the time they don’t want to know anything about it. Many don’t see themselves as ‘gay’ at all.

    If you want a more accurate impression of how many people are politically motivated based on their gayness look at the mere 200 who turned up in central London to protest against Cameron. Or in terms of socially active gays consider how many people are out in the typical gay village compared to 6% of the local population.

    Say 30 venues in Manchester’s gay village with an average of a few hundred in each. How many of them straight these days? 50%? So maybe 4,000 LGBT people out in the village on a weekend night? The population of the City of Manchester alone is 420,000. 6% of that is 25,000. But many people come in from neighbouring towns. The population of Greater Manchester is 2.4m. 6% of that is 144,000. Not many going to the gay village then.

    Manchester Pride only sells about 40,000 tickets. Many to straights and outsiders. Gay Times only has a nationwide circulation of 55,000. Pink Paper had a circulation of 41,000. Do you see how this doesn’t begin to tally with 3.6m being interested in gay things?

    It’s exaggerated bollocks generated by the pink marketing industry. To quote Gaydar Radio: “We have an established and growing community of 3.6 million users and a range of different means of reaching them.”

    Yes you read that right they claim to have 3.6m ‘users’! Totally laughable and obviously a lie if you give in a moments thought. But all kinds of people are swallowing this.

    For a start, how many of those 3.6m are aged over 60 (20%?) and almost certainly not interested in the kind of stuff Gaydar Radio plays? Not to mention the vast number who would never listen to a gay radio station in a million years as I’ve already outlined.

    So I don’t know whether Cameron has fallen for the hype like so many others or whether he is doing it because he feels it is the right thing.

  46. GS, for whatever personal reasons of your own you have seemed very keen to diminish any belief that we gay and lesbian people in the UK are as many as we are. I hope this is not the correct impression, but if it is it is unfortunate, but it’s your problem.

    Of course we are not going to mobilise the voting power of the entire 4 million gay and lesbian people who now exist in the UK. There are as many of them who do not know which party has been in power for the past 13 years as there are straights who have no idea either.

    The point is that as we are of such a large number, whether we are politically active or not, whether we are sedentary suburban folk or city-dwellers, we have enormous POTENTIAL at the polls.

    At a time like this, with an important election on, it’s the POTENTIAL to mobilise as many of the 4 million as possible that we need to focus upon. In the first instance, one needs to focus on those who could vote rather than those can’t or won’t.

    I hope you will agree.

  47. No Squidgy, you’re squirming and double-dealing there – go back to your first post where you try to smear Kate Hoey, no.32 – no mention of any time period. Then your post no.39, you specify “during the last Parliament” in your first line.

    Face it, you tried to smear an established Labour MP with a long track record back to 1994 of supporting gay rights, you’re skewered by the facts, and now, rather than admit you’re wrong and have no motive other than to throw mud in the hope some will stick, you squirm and squirm – and it clearly means enough to you that you keep on squirming and trying to sneak a way rouhd the very simple fact:

    That you are wrong, that you’ve been caught out spreading lies, and that you’ll sink to the lowest possible level of character assassination in a pathetic attempt to spread your dishinest Tory propaganda. Just admit it – you’ve been caught telling porkies, and all through those years of Tory homophobia, Kate Hoey was establishing a good track record of voting on gay issues.

  48. @ Eddy – I’m just exposing the delusion that many people are suffering from. I realise this news will come as a big shock to some. But all of us need to take a step back, cut through the hype and take a critical look at the figures.

    If you want to see an example of how the gay public has been misled by marketing people, vested interests, Manchester City Council and members of our own community then check out my research into crowd figures at Manchester Pride:

    I’m not denying that maybe 3.6m people have same sex tendencies. What I’m suggesting is that only a tiny fraction of that number live a gay pink pound lifestyle and will vote mainly according to gay issues. A little pink elite.

    In 2008 there were only 7,169 civil partnerships out of 3.6m who are supposedly crying out for this. In 2005 Barclays funded ‘300,000 copies of a guide to civil partnerships for same-sex couples’. It seems they had been misled by the hype.

    This is the kind of stuff the marketing people are doing:

    They survey 1,231 readers of Gay Times, Diva, Pink Paper and three gay websites and then expand those finding to cover all 3.6m people in the UK who have same sex leanings! Hilarious.

    Readers of Gay Times and Diva have already chosen those magazines because they have a big interest in all things gay. Some would same they are a small clique of stereotypical gays and lesbians.

    It’s a bit like me going into Mothercare, surveying 1,000 people, and on the basis of those findings announcing that almost every person in Britain has a young baby.

    So from this Gay Times/Diva research the marketeers announce that the 2,945,160 people who are aged over 16 spend £701 million on hair-styling products, £904 million on designer underwear and so on and it’s all complete rubbish.

    Incidentally, about 25% of those 2,945,160 people will be aged over 60!

    This is being done from within the LGBT community for political purposes and for profit.

    And there is a negative side. By over-hyping the numbers who supposedly live this kind of pink lifestyle, there are consequences for the very large number who actually don’t. This tiny elite are the kind of people who say that now we have gay villages and civil partnerships, cruising should be cracked down on and this and that isn’t needed anymore.

    An example of this is the way that gay marriage is being focused on. When in fact it’s obviously only of interest to a tiny number. How many gay marriages do you think there will be each year once it’s allowed, and considering the negative religious connotations compared to civil partnerships: 3,000 maybe? Yet currently this issue is being allowed to totally dominate our community.

    Most people take all these at face value and never bother to give them a moments analysis and the media just repeats it all.

  49. GS you wrote: “What I’m suggesting is that only a tiny fraction of that number live a gay pink pound lifestyle and will vote mainly according to gay issues. A little pink elite.”

    GS, I do not live “a gay pink pound lifestyle” but like many others who also do not live such a lifestyle I will vote mainly according to gay issues – serious gay issues.

    Regarding, unrepresentative statistics, I agree that the views and behaviours of the vast majority of gay and lesbian people are seldom considered and this is simply because such people are difficult to access – while young pink-pounders in the gay villages are easy to access and survey.

    I agree with you also that extrapolating the views and attitudes of such young pink-pounders to the greater gay and lesbian population could have a negative impact on that greater group. That’s all the more reason why the greater group needs to speak up and not be invisible.

  50. I think many people – straight, gay or whatever – will take proposals on gay issues into consideration somewhat. For instance family and friends. But still I think the number for whom these issues will be the ‘main’ concern or anything of a deciding factor is VERY small. Because though nice to have they are actually irrelevant to the vast majority from a personal point of view.

    For instance I’d be fascinated to see a figure for how many LGBT people actually do adopt children. I suspect it will be a VERY small number compared to the 3.6m. Just like the small number of civil partnerships…

    Nowadays really the only gay lifestyle is the young pink-pounders one with a few hardcore older people clinging on for grim life. Everyone else (the majority) live a mainstream life except for what they do in bed. For instance I am totally out and have been since 1983 but I can’t remember the last time I spent money on anything that would mark me out as a ‘gay consumer’. I don’t want a wedding or kids.

    The real issues that need tackling for the young pink pounders are things like unsafe-sex and alcoholism. But the Tatchells and Stonewalls of this world can get much bigger and better headlines talking about gay adoption and lovely weddings rather than gay men barebacking and boozing.

  51. Gs – you can’t force your perspective onto everyone? Many people consider gay adoption and weddings a s very important, many people are not alcoholics or into bare-backing

  52. @ Chester – it’s called having a discussion. No one is ‘forcing’ their perspective on anyone else.

    I don’t have time to look up all the stats right now but unsafe sex is widespread, most people know very well that it is, and the LGBT community has traditionally had more issues with alcohol abuse. More than a third of British adults drink over the safe daily alcohol limit.

    The media loves conflict. Gay marriage and gay adoption are two issues that cause conflict unlike any other because the Catholic church is so against those. Lots of readers are interested in babies and weddings.

    Activist types love headlines. For many the real aim is to publicise themselves and raise the profile of their organisations. So flogging these two issues is a very good way of doing that.

    These are the real reasons why marriage and adoption receive so much attention. Not because there is any great demand to have a marriage or adopt.

    I don’t see any evidence that ‘many’ of the 3.6m who are classed as lesbian and gay in the UK think that gay adoption and gay weddings are ‘very’ important. Though if you were to survey a small number of stereotypical ‘young pink pounder’ types at Pride or readers of Gay Times you could well falsely inflate that give the impression that ‘all’ 3.6m gay and lesbian people in the UK are very concerned about this issue. And indeed that is exactly what happens a lot of the time. It’s like surveying 100 heroin addicts and then announcing that your research found that everyone in the UK is a drug user.

    As I said before, the things that people tend to think are important are those things that affect them directly.

    There were just 7,169 civil partnerships in 2008. I bet there will be far fewer gay weddings if they get the go ahead. I would love to know how many gay adoptions there are. It could be in the hundreds I reckon.

  53. GS, you say “Activist types love headlines. For many the real aim is to publicise themselves and raise the profile of their organisations.”

    It would seem to me that you are hardly part of the silent non-interest mainstream of which you speak.

    If anybody is seeking the limelight, I suggest it is not concerned activists, but yourself!

    I refer particularly to your appalling statement elsewhere that you had “a great time” while thousands of gay men were dying hideous death from AIDS and employees of every school in the land lived in fear of being plastered over the front pages of gutter-press papers for having uttered a word in favour of homosexuality.

  54. Eddy you’re just a hysterical leftie who engages in smears against anyone who disagrees with you. It’s the way the left always seems to work and it’s why so many will turn to the LibDems and Tories on May 6th.

    You have misrepresented what I wrote in that comment and you should be ashamed. Like many others I gave my time and efforts and supported events to raise money to help gay men who had AIDS in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

    I wrote “on the whole we had a great time in the 1980’s despite Margaret Thatcher and AIDS. The gay pubs and clubs were fantastic in those days and there was a good sense of community which has gone now.”

    Despite the picture that people like you like to paint, because it suits your political purposes, life wasn’t doom and gloom 24/7 in the 1980’s and it especially wasn’t pre-1985. When AIDS did start to hit people it was because we had a strong community that so much money was raised.

    New Labour both nationally and through local councils like the evil one here in Manchester has presided over the destruction of the gay community in the last 15 years and it has been in the name of profit for businesses. The devious people who did this in Manchester are no different to the bankers. Destruction due to unbridled personal greed. Does that make you proud?

    Just look at the way Manchester Pride has been perverted. Originally set up in 1990 (and I was at the first one by the way) to raise money, 100% of which went to help people who had AIDS, by 2007 just 12% of the income went to good causes in the end, with the rest going out to all the parasites who now feed directly off the event. Plus £20m of extra income for the city’s businesses who are too mean to pay the running costs hence the fences and extortionate tickets. I have spent the last seven years campaigning to change that so that one day charities will once again get the share they deserve.

  55. @ Eddy – on the subject of Section 28 I wouldn’t like you to give anyone the idea that before 24 May 1988 there was some kind of wonderful world where all school lessons nationwide talked about homosexuality in a positive way and that all stopped. I left school in 1980 and I certainly didn’t have any lessons like that. At the start of the 1980’s a few schools and local authorities began to stock books and formulate equal opportunities policies and Section 28 was a reaction to put a stop to those new ideas. Initially the move was probably in line with what the majority of the public felt at the time.

    Section 28 was wrong from our perspective and we protested it but life went on and for that reason your comment is bizarre. You seem to think that because of AIDS and Section 28 somehow every single gay and lesbian person should have been sitting in a darkened room feeling sad and crying continuously 24/7 for the whole of the 1980’s and to have had any fun during that period or mention that you did is ‘appalling’. It reminds me of that scene in The Young Ones where they break through into next door and couple are sitting in a bare room warming their hands on a candle.

    Sorry but the 1980’s weren’t like that! We had a lot of fun in between the bad bits. Your view of the decade is extreme and cartoonish. So I can’t imagine you were an adult during that period?

  56. GS, you show little appreciation of the virtue of humility.

    I suggest that you should take a good look at what a considerable number of people are pointing out to you and that you should ask yourself why it is that you are in the minority. With a little humility, seek to understand what it is that you have got wrong, what it is you are failing to consider.

    Yes, it’s nice to be right all the time. We would all like that. But when the majority of people are telling you that they don’t agree with you, one needs to consider seriously whether one is failing to consider certain matters.

    By your own admission elsewhere you have been unaware that this is an LGBT rights website. It seems you are may be unaware of other things too.

    Just exercise some humility.

  57. @ Eddy – this isn’t an ‘LGBT rights’ website. It is an LGBT news service.

    You don’t speak for the majority, just a tiny but very visible and loud left-wing scene-going clique that claims to be ‘all’ the 3.6m lesbian and gay people in Britain.

  58. er, odd, how this GS rubbishes Eddy for being part of the left-wing scene-going clique when GS has gone on and on on another thread about his own scene-going days! PotKettleBlack? or just gaga?

  59. Thank you, Paul! Well said!

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