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Comment: Ken Livingstone is not homophobic

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  1. “Ken was very wrong to invite the sexist, homophobic cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to City Hall in 2004 but he should be judged on his overall record”

    His links with Al Qaradawi are part of his overall record though.

    Does he condemn Qaradawi’s views about gay people?

    Does he pledge to never again to knowingly deal with murderous, homophobic extremists – even when politically convenient for him?

    I think it’s only fair and reasonable to expect these questions to be answered.

    1. I agree that Al Qaradawi is a bit of an unfortunate blip on his LGBT equality record, but overall Peter is right, he was fighting our corner way before other politicians in the UK thought it was fashionable or expedient to do so, so on balance I’m inclined to forgive the odd blip.

      1. It’s a blip he has refused to apologise for, continues to defend, and refuses to never knowingly repeat again.

        Cosying up to murderous extremists who want to kill us, strikes me as a bit more serious than a ‘blip’.

  2. Sister Goodlove 9 Feb 2012, 4:20pm

    Too many in the Left are pointlessly and dangerously courting the support of Muslims. Peter himself has campaigned for Muslims and gays to unite. Against what? Islamic doctrine? It’s not going to happen. Pick a righteous cause and please stop seeking the approval of those who once in sufficient number would actually kill us. There are precedents all over the world.

    1. Concerned resident E3 9 Feb 2012, 4:42pm

      Er, Peter has been highly successful at forging links with moderate Moslems and backing Iman, the gay Moslem support group. But seemingly you are against this. Why? Are you another Edl neofascist masquerading as a gay?

      1. Sister Goodlove 9 Feb 2012, 5:21pm

        Er, moron, Islam is a political doctrine, not a race. I don’t belong to ANY organisation. If you want to see Fascism in action (try to get the definition first, because it looks as if you struggle academically) look at ANY Islamic country. Any one. And this is the ideology that you, Tatchell and Livingstone are trying to appease. Shocking.

        1. Concerned resident E3 9 Feb 2012, 6:03pm

          It is actually a religion, not dissimilar rom Christianity and Judaism. So careful who you call a Moron as it is likely to bounce right back. Moron.

          1. Spanner1960 9 Feb 2012, 6:57pm

            Islam may be a religion, but it is also drives political ideals such as Sharia law and using “religious police” to control the populace and ensure that any edict issued by the religious leaders is read as “The word of Allah”. The religious and political edicts are virtually identical.

          2. Concerned resident e3 9 Feb 2012, 7:19pm

            As I said: just like Christianity and Judaism then. Ever heard of the ecclesiastical and shin bet courts? All you are talking about is authoritarian states that use religion to justify their extremism. Does not mean the elisions themselves are particularly harmful in and off themselves.

          3. Spanner1960 9 Feb 2012, 9:49pm

            Yes, but they don’t hang you when you disobey them.

          4. Concerned resident e3 9 Feb 2012, 10:04pm

            No, they crucified, stoned, decapitated, burned, drowned and mutilated instead until not so very long ago.

      2. A hatred of Islam is not “fascist”, regardless of what the UAF would have you believe. That’s a disgrace to the victims of real fascists. Of course moderate Muslims should be an ally of the gay community against extremist Islam, but in no world should they “unite”. Let Muslims and Christians say what they really think of us, rather than masquerading as nice little liberals – and those who claim to identify as gay are either foolish or plain lying to themselves.

        1. by “those who claim”, I mean members of homophobic religions in case I didn’t make that clear…

        2. Concerned resident E3 9 Feb 2012, 6:08pm

          You know the German ambassador was at pains to say the SMS about the “reasonable” antisemitism and opposition to Judaism by the new German Chancellor in the 30s. I know the STINK of neofascist and I smell it now. God damn you to hell.

          1. You make me sick. Islam is not a race – the Jewish people are. Islam’s biggest victims, worldwide, are Muslims. How can any person on the left justify the subjugation of so many people, patronising them by assuming that their race predetermines their religion? I’m a member of the true left, the kind that produced Attlee, Foot, Blair and Marx – I’m not going to sit by and watch liberalism flood an opportunity for equality with its defences of nationalism and religion, ideologies which have been our common evils for centuries. All religions are evil – let people free themselves of it.

          2. Sister Goodlove 9 Feb 2012, 7:22pm

            You’re fooling no one, Concerned Resident. You can’t cry ‘Fascist’ just because someone calls you and your kind on your Fascist-supporting ways. No one buys it. My own personal opinion is that all organised religion is toxic, but when you have one that is underpinned by over-arcing political aspirations of total domination, you need to confront it. You have a hidden agenda, which doesn’t really interest me, but you’re not going to convince anyone sane to call Islam their friend. It is a friend to no one.

          3. Concerned resident e3 9 Feb 2012, 7:26pm

            My “hidden agenda” is that I am a Quaker and a socialist. That is all. I also used to live in a Moslem country and find the spiral into islamophobia that seems to have infected modern Britain deeply deeply repugnant. And I say that as someone who has campaigned actively against sexism and homophobia in the world’s major religions. But I would never make the mistake of blaming all adherents of a faith for the excesses of a few and in my experience those who do have their own repugnant agenda.

  3. Suddenly Last Bummer 9 Feb 2012, 4:34pm

    “In the early 1980s, as leader of the Greater London Council, he pioneered gay rights policies that most MPs opposed at the time. It took many of them another 20 years to embrace gay equality”. Yup, everyone needs to target a specific marginalised sector at some stage of their career in the hopes it pays dividends at the voting booth.

    1. Alison Dilly 9 Feb 2012, 4:53pm

      And before the ‘s Ken was supporting LGBT people in London from Camden council. Were it not for his actions, Gay’s The Word bookshop would never have had opened. 33 years later, the shop is still providing literature, guide books, stories of our lives and political commentary among its stock, keeping us all in access of our own lives and lifestyles. Times have been both good and bad for GTW over the years, but is still there at 66 Marchmont Street, WC1, providing support and time out among many things for all our customers, those looking for a specific title, a particular subject, and assistance to enquiring individuals. So many thanks to Ken Livingstone for all his positive actions over the years and for years to come, I’m sure. If this means, Ken is homophobic, I like his homophobia!

      1. His bad choice of words of late and his past cushing up with Muslim hate clerics leaves many LGBT people somewhat confused with Kens stance. He needs to clear this confused air and confirm he has distanced himself from ANY hate cleric before many LGBT Londoners vote Ken!

  4. Of course Livingstone is a great ally of the LGBT community. I think that should go without saying. Brian Paddick makes himself look ridiculous by trying to win political points and smear Livingstone.

    1. Brian is in the LibDems camp at the moment and in bed sucking up to the Tories, so no surprise there… I wonder if he’s ever had to pay for his studies … once already in the club, his least worries are about those who are out … go figure ….

  5. Helen Wilson 9 Feb 2012, 4:42pm

    Cant Ken Livingstone just admit it was the wrong choice of words and withdraw the comment… really is that easy.

    Come on Ken do the decent thing.

    1. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 6:26pm

      Exactly Helen

      He needs to apologise for his bad choice of words …

  6. What is Alan Duncan doing? What did he say about Chris Grayling’s declaration of “B&Bs should have the right to turn gays away”? What are his opinions about the hundreds of Tory MPs planning to block marriage equality? Red Ken has criticized Alan Duncan’s party, awww … suddenly he’s all worked up …

    1. Again, Bertberts is telling a load of porkies again. there are not 100s of Tory MPs planning on voting against same sex marriage, if you have any evidence then let us see it, all the names of these MPs…

      Ken Livingstone is a hypocrite, one rule for him and his chums and another for other people. Can’t stand the hypocrisy!

  7. I’m sure Peter Tatchell is right: Ken Livingstone probably isn’t homophobic. Yet he does seem to have a tendency to make what seem to be ill-thought through comments that can easily cause offence.
    And yes, Mr. Livingstone was VERY wrong to invite the sexist, homophobic cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi to City Hall in 2004. Everybody should be given the chance to admit their errors, but I don’t see why Mr. Livingstone should be treated with any more leniency than a Tory who has done something wrong.

  8. Peter Tatchell 9 Feb 2012, 6:23pm

    I would urge people to fight real homophobes, not imaginary ones.
    I would have responded in exactly the same way if Boris has used the word riddled in a similar context.
    Yes, Ken’s riddled remarks were a poor choice of words but he did not refer to LGBTs in a negative manner.
    I will be voting Green – not Labour and Ken – in the London elections (although Ken will get my second preference), so I’m not defending Ken because I back Labour.
    Among politicians, Ken has a record second to none on LGBT human rights.
    I deplore political sectarianism that implies someone is homophobic over the use of one word. Even if his use of riddled was wrong, it does not detract from the fact that Ken stood with the LGBT community when almost no other politician did.

    1. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 6:27pm

      Are you saying Ken should not apologise for his use of words?

      Of course, real homophobes should be our real target – but – that does not mean Ken should not apologise!

      1. If it was someone Peter personally disliked, i.e a Tory, he’d be screaming from the roof tops that they resign but because it’s Labour and it’s Livingstone, no apology is needed. This is where you seek out the hypocrites, and Peter is one.

    2. You can’t rely on what someone did years ago to say they’re ok today. On that basis we’d have to say John Bercow is a racist homophobe.

  9. Why do out gay people love to live up to the stereotypical image feigning camped up outrage and shock at anything and everything. Its so pathetic and Daily Mailesque. Get a life peeps.

    1. Spanner1960 9 Feb 2012, 9:51pm

      By “Gay people” I assume you are not one of them then?
      That said, it is true, but we are only living up to your assumed stereotype that we are all a bunch of drama queens. What’s your excuse?

    2. ‘peeps’. That’s one of the campest and feigned ways of finishing a comment that I’ve ever read on pink news.

  10. Spanner1960 9 Feb 2012, 7:02pm

    I think the old cliché of pleasing all of the people some of the time applies here.

    Red Ken has to keep in bed with London’s Christians, Jews, Hindus and most importantly Muslims as they are a significant proportion of the capital’s population, whilst meanwhile trying to keep gays happy and ultimately keep as many balls in the air as he can. It seems on this occasion he just dropped one almighty bollock.

  11. Ken Livingstone does indeed deserve great credit.

    I came out in Britain in the mid 1980s at the age of 20, endured the consequences of official, Tory government-backed homophobia (who can forget “Section 28”?) maintained by a vicious set of popular newspapers, like all LGBT-ers did at the time, and finally left my home country permanently for the much more accepting Netherlands after the homophobic Tory government was re-elected in 1992. During those dark days there were just a few rays of hope, and Ken Livingstone’s open support, including attendance at lesbian and gay prides as well as his gay friendly policies in London before the government axed the GLC, was one of those rays.

    Good to see a superbly strong human rights campaigner like Peter Tatchell giving credit here where it is due.

    1. ”If it was someone Peter personally disliked, i.e a Tory, he’d be screaming from the roof tops that they resign but because it’s Labour and it’s Livingstone, no apology is needed. This is where you seek out the hypocrites, and Peter is one.”

      Luke, I fully agree. Peter Tatchell is embarrassing in his choice of when to scream ”homophobe” and when to support. He is your typical ”you only said that ‘cos I’m gay” and jumps up and down when it suits him…

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