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Sir Gerald Howarth: ‘I should have used ‘militant’ rather than ‘aggressive’ to describe homosexuals

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  1. So he’s basing all of this on the opinions of two people?

    1. That, apparently, is what comprises the “aggressive homosexual community”.

      Though note that today he refers to the “gay rights community”.

      (I absolutely loathe the sloppy overuse of the word “community.”)

      1. Or he’s been looking at Facebook where the group “The Aggressive Homosexual Community” has gained over 2000 members since he used the phrase…

  2. … as in ‘militant christians’ who try to force their beliefs onto an increasingly secular society? Probably better to have said nothing, dear.

  3. Beelzeebub 23 May 2013, 2:24pm

    That’s right dear. Just keep digging….

    1. Christ, how deep can that hole actually get?????

      1. Where some of these folks are concerned, I hope they get to the point of breaking through the Earth’s mantle and crisping themselves in the resulting magma flow!
        …Excuse me, I think my “bitter” is showing…

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 2:29pm

    He’s trying to back-pedal a bit I think. So by his not so brilliant deduction, any piece of legislation unrelated to equal marriage opposed by MPs should be accorded the term ‘militant’ by a bill’s proponents which does not meet with their approval? I suppose all of those in support of NHS reforms which did not appear in any manfesto, never had a white or green paper should also be granted the same ‘militant’ or even ‘aggressive’ status? Of course not, but then this shows what this is all about. Homophobia! He’s never voted for one piece of LGBT related legislation as have many others who voted no on Tuesday and I dare say there are others just like that in the Lords. It’s all rooted in religion based homophobia.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 2:34pm

      I only hope Labour fight for this in the Lords as Angela Eagle said it would along with Liberal Dems and supportive Tories fight for this in the Lords as Angela Eagle has said. This can’t be allowed to fail, but if it does, then Maria Miler had better get her finger out and start banding the Parliament Act about as a warning to any who are going to play mischievous games over the coming days, especially Lord Dear.

      You can bet the opposition are already aggressively and militantly mounting a campaign in the Lords in fact weeks before the vote this past Tuesday.

  5. “There remain numerous sexual freedoms to campaign on – yes sexual – that’s what gay rights is about”

    No, gay rights isn’t all about sex. Typical of an ignorant bigot to reduce a whole group down to simply what we do in bed. Is that how he thinks about straight people too? I very much doubt it.

    I think we can safely ignore what he’ s saying, as firstly, man/woman marriage hasn’t led to brothers demanding to marry their sister, or to a man demanding to marry four women.

    Secondly, it’s total and complete cr*p.

    1. Chris Ashford, who wrote the quoted article here ( is an ignorant bigot?

      What he wrote might very well be crap but, personally, I reserve judgement.

      1. “When asked by a reader to explain what he meant by an “aggressive homosexual community” and what equal marriage was a “stepping stone” to, SIR GERALD issued the following response:-“!!!!

        1. “‘For example, Chris Ashford, a Reader in Law and Society at the University of Sunderland said recently:'”

          The article that I linked to above is the one written by Ashford that Howarth was quoting. Did you bother to look at it?

  6. Midnighter 23 May 2013, 2:44pm

    “we can expect demands for more change which would seriously destabilise our society.”

    Exactly what does he mean by “seriously destabilise” society?

    How would any of the speculative futher changes lead to this situation?

    Yet more hysterical use of the slippery slope fallacy. Yet more logically invalid and spurious nonsense.

    Can we get some MPs who know how to think, please?

  7. Oh well, this makes it all better then. I mean the guy has delusions about Al Gayda, for flips sake.

    I am 40, I hope I live to see these pathetic worthless creatures relegated to the confines of history where they belong, just as the twits who opposed equal rights for black people or women (or whomever) have been…

  8. “Militant”… because we lgbt’s are all marching with guns and ammunition and going up and down the city streets in tanks and armoured vehicles?

    I’m not sure how challenging and questioning irrational and ignorant bigotry and prejudice via rational debate and argument is militant, it’s more like an educational civic duty I would say.

  9. I well remember Chris Ashford’s article in PN, which Gerald Howarth is now quoting.

    Prof. Ashford’s logic was flawed then, and it is just as flawed now that Sir Gerald is quoting it.

    I wrote “Sexual freedom was once a big part of ‘what gay rights is about’ – but it isn’t any more. Gay people are about to get the chance to be included in the definition of traditional, conservative sexual behaviour. Many will seize that enthusiastically. Does that make them less gay?”

    But although I reject Chris Ashford’s argument that pornography is a gay issue, I strongly support his right to express his views and I cannot see anything in their expression which should disturb Sir Gerald.

    Some will agree with Prof. Ashford’s desire for sexual liberalisation and some will not.

    But sexual freedom will not be a gay issue, and that will be substantially because of marriage equality. Which of course was David Cameron’s point.

  10. I also want to name-check Eddy for observing on Chris’s article:

    “I fear homophobes in the Commons may brandish such desires [for sexual liberalisation] as evidence that they are right in claiming that this Bill is the thin end of a wedge and that therefore there is good reason to kill it.”

    He has, of course, been proved right.

  11. So for tax paying adults to want what serial adulterous divorcees and straight serial killers can take for granted–the right to marry– is being “militant”?


  12. Sir Howard, I’m not a Tory supporter but take note there are many in the gay community who agree 100% that gay rights as a cause – like some religions – is owned wholesale by an aggressive militant fringe that professes to speak for the hundreds of thousands of people living in the UK who identify as gay, and who are fed up at how our sexuality is constantly used as a political football for point scoring, bandwagonning and venting intolerance, hatred and bile on folk who’ve every right to practise the traditional values they were born into.

    These extremists don’t speak for me and they don’t speak for hundreds of thousands of other gay people who want only to co-exist peacefully, side by side, with everyone else, respectful of one another’s right to be valued and not abused.

    Aggressive militancy equates to endless demand for rights to do whatever one pleases devoid of personal responsibility and without respect for moral boundaries or regard for a cohesive and caring society.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 4:37pm

      Does it not occur to you that he used ‘militant’ and ‘aggressive’ to target the ‘homosexual community’ which means ALL of us. He didn’t make the distinction. He doesn’t however equate the religious fringe as militant or aggressive though which is what they are. C4M/CI come to mind. They don’t speak for all people of faith either.

      1. It seems quite clear that he used ‘militant’ to refer to “a number of people in the gay rights community”; not “ALL of us”.

        1. But he wants to deny equal civil rights to ALL of us so clearly he means the entire gay community.

          He’s a hatemongering extremist that belongs in the BNP.

          1. While I might agree with your second point I don’t know where to begin on the logical fallacies present in your first.

          2. @Harlequin – SteveC’s first sentence has no logical fallacies – you may not agree with it and it may not even be true, but in logical terms it is valid. Logically fallacious means that (for eg) he presented an argument which doesn’t support the conclusion for some or any possible (or imagined) values of the premises.

            Perhaps your point was that Howarth wasn’t trying to deny civil rights to all of us in his speech, in which case SteveC’s argument is valid (i.e. not logically fallacious) but untrue.

          3. If one assumes that by “us” SteveC meant the “gay community”, isn’t the sentence logically fallacious by tautology? Also, informally, does the assertion as to what Howarth wants not comprise a false attribution and/or a faulty generalisation?

          4. Midnighter 25 May 2013, 2:40pm

            Whether or not a statement is logically fallacious is not related to the truth of that statement, that was my point. (The statement is not a tautology as meant in propositional logic.)

            In laymans terms a rubbish argument doesn’t mean that the speaker’s point is wrong (or right). Identifying an argument as rubbish means we can’t use it to draw any conclusions.

            SteveC’s argument – that one sentence you appeared to highlight isn’t “rubbish”, but it might well be wrong.

            In earlier statements Robert suggests that the focus on a subset of the community (militants) is implicity disingenuous as it affects the rest of our community. I can’t see how this is a faulty generalisation. SteveC himself isn’t defining the term “all of us”.

            False attribution would only apply in my view if he were using an erroneous claim of Howarth’s intent to support a premise, but I have taken it as a given that by voting against Equal Marriage Howarths intent is clear.

      2. Of course that occurred to me which is why I point out his mistake and that he should be aiming his ire at the militant fringe who number a faction of us.

        I find it equal parts sad and ironic that the same ardent enthusiasts for gay marriage are equally defensive of barebacking parties that don’t discriminate between neg or pos men, not that that validates them in any way whatsoever.

        We immerse ourselves in a culture that has allowed itself to become dumbed down to base hetero levels and now we seek to become a part of a straight institution in decline.

        Why aren’t we setting the trends and examples that shine and serve as inspirations instead of following them?

        Our press is stuffed with ads for pursuits fuelled by booze, drugs or both:- that’s all our culture now offers to those boys whom, Cameron says, will stand taller because of gay marriage.

        Yes, but how many will end up in A&E or 6ft under while we continue to look the other way and ignore the elephant in the room?

        1. This is a non-arguement and a complete red herring

          Irrespective of your personal opinion of bareback parties or the gay ‘lifestyle’ there is absolutely zero justification for denying access to the civil contract of marriage for same sex couples.

          The civil rights of a minority are not dependent on the behaviour of segments of that community, and I see absolutely no logic in your statements.

          Howarth is a dangerous, homophobic extremist. That is not a matter for debate.

          he belongs in the BNP.

        2. That boy’s and girl’s is the very definition of a “red herring” argument wrapped up in a straw man with a dash of begging the question.

          Samuel B., you are clearly a master of rhetorical logical fallacies.


    2. It’s called Equality you obnoxious ass – if you are so concerned your point of view isn’t being represented get off your fat ass and speak up!or shut up

      1. Speaking up seems to be just what he is doing.

      2. Erm, that is exactly what I am trying to do, but sadly the full glare of truth is too much for some like yourself resulting in the usual tired and predictable bile and invective.

        Instead of lambasting those who don’t agree with, how about trying to engage in adult and intelligent debate and articulate exactly why I am wrong in my views?

        I don’t profess to having the answers, but it occurs to me that the only way the gay lobby has managed to win the equal marriage fight is through force and railroading:- I have yet to see a truly balanced, fair and reasoned debate on the issue comprising the arguments from both sides, and that is seriously worrying in a free and open society and vindicates Sir Howarth’s observation that gay rights is being fought on an aggressive and front, which is something I and others have no desire to be a part of.

        Winning rights via adult debate, tact and diplomacy will always trump force, and force is backfiring with increasing attacks on gay people.

        1. The civil rights of the gay community are NOT a matter for debate.

          It is 100% unjustifiable to deny equal civil rights to a legal minority community for any reason.

          And this debate has been ‘adult’

          The gay community (despite your clear dislike of it) is simply saying ‘it is discriminatory to deny us our civil rights, and there is not justification for it.’

          Anyone who opposes equal civil rights for a minority community for whatever reason (be it religion or ‘tradition’ or whatever), is a bigot.

          It really is that simple.

          I’ll bet 3 years ago, you were 1 of those people who were saying ‘gay people in Britain do not deserve equal civil rights because homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran’.

          Your ‘arguements’ are red herrings.

          1. Please forgive me for re-airing a personal bugbear but which particular “gay community” is saying that? Is it one that I, as a homosexual man, am part of?

      3. Samuel B. is all talk & no action – he lives in a world where the problems he sees should be solved by others. He constantly complains about many organisations, but when pressed about getting his hands dirty he always backs off & makes excuses time & time again!

        JD is correct in his observation……

    3. Midnighter 23 May 2013, 5:44pm

      Sam, you keep making digs at these unspecified extremists who you accuse of falsly claiming to speak for us all and giving us a bad name.

      I find it ironic that in another thread about Howarth (not Howard) that you preface your comments with “I’ll say what I think a lot of people on here know to be true.” and then proceed to have your comment downvoted to the point of being hidden, as soon will this comment.

      I think you need to take a look in the mirror, old chap.

      It would help your cause if you could explain who these extremists are and demonstrate that they don’t speak for a significant number of the community.

      1. Of course it wouldn’t occur to you that where some of the more senditive discussions are concerned, being down-voted so quickly means one has struck a raw nerve?

        It doesn’t necessarily make one wrong.

        Some of us live our entire lives in denial because truth is too much to hear, and I certainly do not come on to PN forums to court the popular vote in every debate.

        What I do do is look at underlying issues – the root causes – of any given situation and never accept the PR puff piece that we are told to believe by whoever or whichever organisation has issued it, because 9 times out of 10 it’ll be agenda-led.

        And I will never conform and jump into line with the PC consensus just to be liked and to fit it because I don’t want to be a drone parroting the party line, and give not a damn that I will be attacked, derided and smeared for my efforts.

        If my posting makes even one person see a given issue from a different perspective, then job done as far as I’m concerned. :)

        1. Midnighter 23 May 2013, 6:52pm

          I have no argument that the thumb votes have little bearing on the rights and wrongs of an issue, but my point was that you rather presumed to speak for popular opinion and that was demonstrably not the case in the confines of that discussion.

          In my view you are absolutely right to question and I’ve vigorously defended your right to speak your views in older threads even while disagreeing with you and will continue to do so.

          Equally, I keep encouraging you to substantiate your arguments, since without facts they are unconvincing. These do not have to be root causes, but a study, a statistic, a name every now and then would help pursuade others of your case.

          1. I appreciate what you are saying, Midnighter, and I would add it’s a pleasure engaging in a reasoned, polite and intelligent debate with someone who disagrees with my viewpoint.

            Sometimes the weight of anecdotal evidence makes it too self-evident to ignore.

            PN by virtue of it being a politically influential platform attracts a high proportion of the more militant gay tendency, as witnessed in these forums.

            To suggest all gay people hold the same left of centre, PC consensus views is frankly ludicrous, and not borne out in general, well not in my experience anyway.

            What I will say is I’ve posted on PN for 5 years now, and many of my more “radical” views on topics as diverse as freedom of speech and HIV prevention – which were once savaged into oblivion – are now popularly espoused on these forums:- even by those who once discredited me.

            I’m not saying I’m Cassandra or a know it all:- I just offer these examples as evidence that I’m not always barking up the wrong tree.

          2. PS:- I am not always barking up the wrong tree although occasionally, I am not scared to admit, I can come across as plain barking! ;)

          3. “What I will say is I’ve posted on PN for 5 years now, and many of my more “radical” views on topics as diverse as freedom of speech and HIV prevention – which were once savaged into oblivion – are now popularly espoused on these forums:- even by those who once discredited me.”

            I would like to see examples of where your radical views are now popularly espoused on these comments pages – as Midnighter quite rightly observes you rarely provide factual arguments, with an over reliance on anecdote & over blown exaggerated bluster!

            I am pleased that other commentators are also starting to hold you to account, it has been a long time coming!

        2. SamuelB – why do you think it is acceptable that same sex couples are denied equal civil rights solely because they are gay?

          Please bare in mind that if your response is ‘Well some gay people abuse drugs and alcohol and engage in unsafe sex’ then what you are effectively saying is that each and every gay person in the country’s rights should be denied because you don’t like the behaviour of some gay people.

          You do not have an arguement. Simply put there is no reasonable arguement to deny equal civil rights to a minority community.

          If you don’t want to get married then good for you. Just like the bigots (which you seem to identify with) if you don’t want to marry a man, then don’t.

          1. Care to tell me exactly where I’ve ever said I’m against equal rights of any kind, let alone equal marriage?

            I have not.

            I HAVE said I’m against the manner in which a minority of aggressive fanatics have and are going about bulldozing gay rights into law at this particular time, so soon after civil ceremonies were legalised.

            Things should develop at a natural pace but the gay marriage issue has been forced and shoehorned as part of a globally decreed political agenda.

            If I seriously believed that many of these self-serving politicians had our best interests at heart and that our community needed equal marriage right now, at all costs, I’d be all for it.

            But it’s become a circus:- a cause du jour and a distraction from more pressing and important issues, both in society in general and our own community.

            Gay marriage has become a bandwagon being driven at 180mph and a free for all for opportunist politicians and celebs to climb aboard and look hip and trendy.

          2. If gay marriage is such an ilalienable right, why are we scared of debating this properly in a restrained manner instead of allowing our sexuality to be used as a political statement that rides roughshod over centuries of tradition – no matter how wrong or out of touch we believe such traditions to be – and without pause to consider the potential consequences of such a forced law?

            If some gay folk wish to define themselves by their sexuality so be it, but don’t expect all of us to similarly accept that who we sleep with has to result in hysteria and mud-slinging and result in greater divisions than existed before.

            A sector of society notably left out in all of this is one that is already preaching and advocating violence against us, and has made it clear in no uncertain terms that they staunchly oppose gay marriage.

            I know I’m not the only gay individual who is looking to sell his home and leaving East London as and even gay marriage does, finally, reach the Statute Book.

          3. The last paragraph of your posting is telling Samuel, once again you have shown your hand – your views on Equal Civil Marriage, (also HIV) are to do with your irrational fears, nothing more, nothing less.

            You constantly claim to be passionate to protect vulnerable individuals, to do the right thing for others; the reality is is all about YOU & you alone.

            As I have said previously you seem to live your life in fear & you seek to blame others for that fear – deal with it as you oft say to me!

          4. W6, with all due respect you appear to have wandered into this debate which has nothing to do with HIV or THT and thus appear to be way out of your depth.

            If you considered properly what I’m saying, and were not so fast to knee jerk over selected words which you rearrange to suit your own ongoing agenda of intimidation and persecution against me, you’d realise what I’m in fact saying is that the passing of gay marriage at this moment in time will create more divisions than it can hope to mend.

            The UK’s welcomed with open arms a mindset less enlightened than us and far more radical than our own extremist element:- one that’s openly declared violence and even death against us.

            In the last few days Moslem leaders have officially declared their community’s opposition to gay marriage, which is clearly being forced through without consideration given to the potential implications amid such resistance and hatred, which could result in it backfiring spectacularly in my humble opinion.

          5. It is clear from this & other related comments threads that your view on Equal Civil Marriage are out of step with the majority of PN readers; as you quite rightly say this is not the point, we all have the right to express our views without feeling intimidated or persecuted.

            You have dished it out to me for all the time I have been commenting on PN, often using extremely provocative language to deliberately discredit me.

            I watched much of the debate around this subject & take a balanced view (unlike you) that this is a great step forward, but for me personally marriage is not something I would enter into again.

            Is putting your home on the market not a huge knee jerk reaction, which is totally OTT? Get a grip for goodness sake, put things into perspective!

          6. “…your view on Equal Civil Marriage are out of step with the majority of PN readers”

            That is called bring true to yourself, W6:- try it some time.

            I don’t come on here or open Twitter accounts to court approval or be voted Mr Popular.

            On some issues I’m in step with the PN readership consensus, such as my opinions about freedom of speech legislation and the dire state of HIV prevention.

            On other issues, such as the rush to equal marriage rights, I’m not, and I won’t jump into line just because some people demand I should think like them.

            Gay marriage is something I too would not want to enter into as a civil partnership will do me just fine.

            But that’s not to say I begrudge others that right:- I just feel we need to be living in more enlightened times in which gay marriage can coexist in peace and harmony with all other expressions of love and fidelity.

            Society isn’t yet ready to embrace it completely, and gay culture itself has a lot of growing up to do too.

          7. Judgemental to the bitter end, and you accuse me of the same failings you so clearly demonstrate yourself.

            Try challenging the point rather that the person making the point some time, I for one would perhaps take more notice of your arguments.

            You have mentioned the term sociopathic, I suggest you look up what it really means& then compare the way you portray yourself on these comments pages, I think you will find several traits apply to you.

            You may have a valid point in your views but it really is at the margins of argument, why are you always so polarised in your views. Try taking a less extreme view of the world!

    4. “Aggressive militancy equates to endless demand for rights to do whatever one pleases devoid of personal responsibility and without respect for moral boundaries or regard for a cohesive and caring society.”

      You mean getting married? See how ridiculous and swivel eyed your sentence sounds now?

      1. Well put.

  13. No A hole you should have kept quiet and voted as your constituents wanted

  14. Prat… be ignored

  15. This man is using his little head instead of his big one to form an opinion.

  16. If it was up to him, he would have stopped the “never-ending journey” a a thousand years ago, and we would still have slavery, torture, etc. Mind you, another thousand years and we would have polygamy, incest, etc.
    Someone educate this dinosaur about progress and evolution.

  17. Chester666666 23 May 2013, 5:32pm

    Homophobes are the only ones seeking to destabilize society by discriminating, bigotry, hatred, violence and lies

  18. Richard the Big Bunny 23 May 2013, 5:42pm

    Equal access to legal marriage should be a right guaranteed to all citizens — heterosexual or homosexual.

    That aside, his concept of a “civil commitment pact” as an available option to all people actually isn’t a bad idea — but it shouldn’t replace legal marriage.

    1. The Netherlands offers civil marriage and civil partnerships to both same sex and opposite sex couples,

      If the Labour Party hadn’t legislated for CP’s (with the sole purpose of denying us civil marriage) then this arguement would not be happening.

  19. The mans an A@sehole

    1. Indeed.

      but more worryingly he is an extreme-right, dangerous, homophobic bigot

  20. This whole “what will be next if we allow equal marriage” really gets my goat.

    Do the morons that spout this stuff not realise that it is an issue of EQUALITY. Gay and bisexual people just want the same rights that heterosexual people already have.

    At present nobody has the right to polygamy as a basis for marriage. So even if there is those that want it, the fact that nobody has it means that it is currently its not an equality issue.

    Marriage should be for everyone, or no one. These bigots need to realise this.

    1. Hmmm… One could argue that at present in this country (or, until recent years, anywhere in the world) nobody has the right to same-sex relationships as a basis for marriage.

    2. Midnighter 25 May 2013, 5:28pm

      Quite right Harlequin. That is not a reason not to refer to the desire for polygamy as being an equality issue. A better reason might be to emphasise the nature of historical ‘equality’ issues being about clearly identifiable minority groups getting equivalent rights to the majority. In the case of polygamy, who is your group? Is their motivation one that society is prepared to legitimise? Religious belief is presumed a matter of choice and is totally open ended in its expression, so you will probably want to be careful about any precedents you set with that one.

      “At present nobody has the right to polygamy as a basis for marriage”

      There are several dozen countries where it is a civilly recognised form of marriage (Mali, Afghanistan, Sudan, Egypt …) which is often forgotten by the hysterical bigot. What is offensive to one person is often perfectly acceptable elsewhere or elsewhen. Morality and taboo is very fluid and not black and white per their limited world view.

  21. His actions and speech make him sound more and more like a character from Jurassic Park; dinosaur, that is.

  22. I really cannot stand these bastrds with their interfering oppressive domineering view of life. What would be wrong with Peter Tatchell’s suggestion that people can enter whatever kind of relationship they like? Why are people so warped that they think that the only way to do things is their way? The state should not be the master of the people, it should be their servant.

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