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Professor Niall Ferguson: If I really were a ‘gay-basher’ why would gay blogger Andrew Sullivan be the godfather of one of my sons?

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  1. Except it wasn’t one speech – this is a habit with this man, this homophobe

    There are any number of people who will say “I have gay friends” but still regard us with utter contempt or be fine with us if we “keep to our place”

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2013, 12:26pm

      Exactly! CPs to them are what should keep us in our place even though many of them were opposed to the legislation and now find them convenient to justify their bigotry. They claim they are equal and sufficient yet none of them support an amendment to the equal marriage bill allowing heteros to have access to them. They must think we’re stupid that bigotry and homophobia aren’t part of that equation. They should be the front runners if they truly support full equality, but those types still cling to the class structure and don’t want change, classic Tories who should be booted out if they want a modern, progressive relevant party.

  2. Yeah the “I have gay friends” defence doesn’t mean he’s not homophobic towards strangers or people he disapproves of, like an economist opposing austerity cuts and recommending investment in people and communities.

  3. Bit like those who say say how can I be racist I have a black friend at work

  4. Ah the ‘how can I be a bigot, some of my best friends are gay’ defence.

    This bigot has done it before – he’s a disgrace to his university.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2013, 12:18pm

    Same as those bigoted MPs who voted against equal marriage. They must think we’re gullible to believe that ‘I have gay friends’ and ‘I support CPs’ (even though many even voted against those) exempts them from being called homophobic? Give me a break! Having Andrew Sullivan as godfather to one of his children doesn’t in any way let him off the hook. Ferguson also opposes equal marriage having committed adultery and now in his second marriage.

    1. Just out of interest Robert, can you point me to somewhere where he’s explicitly opposed equal marriage? You mentioned it before and I tried looking it up but couldn’t find anything.

  6. Colin (London) 9 May 2013, 12:49pm

    Oh Come on you lot Yes I agree with a lot of your arguments but just maybe he opened his mouth without engageing brain….. We have all done it…i certainly have.

    Anyone who loves children and wish i was 15 years younger as today with all the changes I would have a family. I have 11 neices and nephys and have been around them and loved supporting 4 sisters doing the changing bums to getting up at night to walk the floor with dummy… (No not my ex lol)

    When you ask some one to be the godfather…. You very much think that person matters and will rise to ensuring his child is looked after. Kids just want security, unconditional love and a play mate.

    He simply made a n error of judgement. Let it go please.

    1. In fairness though, it wasn’t exactly a remark thrown into a conversation, he was speaking at an international strategic investment conference. For an experienced academic and a skilled public speaker and television presenter, it isn’t really acceptable to make such errors of judgment, is it?

    2. Colin, a one time slip of the tongue may be an error in judgement but to make the same case NUMEROUS times, including in his books, over the years is HARDLY an error in judgement. Perhaps you haven’t been keeping up with this story and are unaware that Ferguson is on record over many years making this same homophobic argument PLUS additional ones that he didn’t bring up in this most recent talk.

  7. Just as an aside, I’m told that gay godparents are quite popular in some circles, because they’re less likely to have children themselves and therefore can be counted on to cough up more generously to their godchildren.

  8. The looney left will stop at nothing to silence the right minded. Identity politics is the weapon of choice

    1. The loony right will stop at nothing to voice the half-baked bigotry and stereotyped generalisations that used to be their cosy common currency and whinge like mad if they are challenged. Wounded self-righteousness as the voice of phony salt-of-the-Earth ‘common sense’ is the weapon of choice.

  9. That’s a bit like saying “I’m not racist, ClarenceThomas attended my wedding.”

    Andrew Sullivan has so much internalised homophobia he had to export it to the US.

  10. Rather a low-level argument on Prof Ferguson’s part.

  11. Hey, i’ve got a bunch of Marvin Gaye records, therefore it’s of course not racist for me to call a Person of Color a N*****.
    Logic is something beautifull, isn’t it?

  12. It seems that Ferguson answered his question WITH his question. You did it so that you could cover your homophobia by saying “how could I be homophobic when the godfather of one of my sons is gay?” The old, “some of my best friends are gay” defense. It’s as old as homophobia itself!

  13. Thank you very much to the UK for dumping Niall Ferguson and Andrew Sullivan on America. Like we don’t have enough domestic conservative assholes to deal with.

  14. Christopher Coleman 9 May 2013, 5:17pm

    Assume for a moment that Ferguson is not homophobic and his conclusion about Keynes was the direct result of Keynes having been bisexual. The real problem for me is Ferguson’s logic: that a childless person would not care about the fate of future generations. It is false, whether it concerns a gay or a straight person. It might have been an ironic jest (you can hear yourself saying this kind of thing with a wink and a laugh), but it was said in earnest and his apology was a recognition of the fact that the remark can be interpreted as homophobic.

    The quality of his thinking would appear to be rather poor and below the level that Harvard students might expect and that the size of their fees deserve. Just as having gay friends might mask homophobia in some, teaching at a respected academy can mask inferior minds. But as Bernard Shaw put it (and I paraphrase) those who are not good enough to do things, teach about them.

    1. I am sure that you did not mean that this applies to all teachers, but the quotation “those who are not good enough to do things, teach about them.” is one of those phrases that when used in the wrong context becomes a weapon. Of course there are teachers who are extremely capable of many things beyond teaching. My older brother (who is gay) is a teacher and is one of the most capable men I know.

  15. I am concerned by the repeated references (both here and elsewhere) to those who mention that they have gay friends and the suggestion that they are using this to disguise their homophobia. Some do use this as a false passport to being seen as gay friendly (just as those who claim to have black friends do so to hide their racism), but many who are speaking honestly may decide that speaking about having gay friends will be misinterpreted. My brother is gay and I speak out in-support of gay (and trans) people whenever possible. Is it the contrast between what people do and what they say which arouses suspicion?

    1. Yes James, that’s exactly what causes us to see through his facade.

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