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Alice Arnold: ‘Britain’s homophobia needs to be tackled before Russia’s’

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  1. Presumably we can multitask and do both?

    1. Wasn’t this the same bogus argument used to try and de-rail marriage equality?

  2. Agree with Ian Bower, it’s not like activism to engage against homophobia is a finite cause.

    Does the UK still have an issue with homophobia? Of course, the recent revelations about schools reveals that. But is it in the same ballpark as Russia? Hardly.

    I find her rather cavalier “us first” consideration of the very real and legitimate fear for liberty and safety that our LGBT brothers and sisters have in Russia to be absurd.

    1. I think the point or at least one of the points she was trying to make was that perhaps the UK should clean up its own backyard before jumping over the fence to criticise the neighbour’s backyard.

      She did this in context of Section 28 and that many schools are apparently acting as if it was never repealed. And S 28 is very similar to the laws recently passed in Russia.

      As the saying goes …. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Now of course they can but they must then be prepared to have them hurled back …. And glass does tend to shatter and can cause a lot of damage.

      I also agree with Robert below.

      Putin is on a winner here and he knows it. Coca Cola and Maccas, although paying lip service to human rights are in fact backing Putin. It would seem the Rouble is much more powerful than the Pink Dollar. These organisations also know that heterosexuals are still going to buy their products regardless of what happens in Russia.

      1. And what do you think is more important to the hetero male…gay rights or sport?

        I think Coca Cola and Maccas know which is more important, and have indeed indicated they do by backing Putin.

        I don’t like what is happening in Russia but I really wish people would start to realise that regardless of what laws are passed in our favour, to most people we are still nothing more than “poofs” and ultimately deserve what we get.

    2. See this just shows that the is a Christian “let he among us with out sin be the first to condemn” but the problem with that is that it’s based on fallacy. You can’t exactly argue that because its based on faith not fact.

  3. “We need to exert pressure on our sport’s governing bodies to ensure that our gay and lesbian athletes feel safe and supported. The same goes for our broadcasters”

    Athletes and broadcasters- exactly how insular is this woman’s agenda. Visibility is more than just to media, its people working within communities, schools, and other institutions, not just people with fame and a big house in Belsize Park.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 21 Aug 2013, 12:23pm

    Totally agree with Alice.

    We only have to look back to the Marriage Bill debate for an example of the amount of homophobia still very deeply rooted in our own country, some of it the most vile language I’ve heard prior to 1967. Then of course, one has only to look at the comments in the Mail and Telegraph for further evidence from editors, reporters and readers alike.

  5. Derek Williams 21 Aug 2013, 12:24pm

    Britain is paradise compared to Russia. We have cross bench support in both houses of parliament, and the royal assent.

    1. Its just not a political issue though, homophobia is happening on the streets engaged by normal individuals within society. politicians just create policy and law they do not tackle individualism. They can try as much as they like, if someone is going to say or do something, they are going too do it no matter what!

  6. LGBT one world, one people 21 Aug 2013, 12:24pm

    Just because the UK has skin cancer (mild homophobia) it doesn’t mean we should do nothing about Russia’s brain cancer! (extreme homophobia) …………………………………………………….Zero Tolerance for excuses for homophobia!

  7. the UK used to send people around the world telling them how to behave. homophobia is a consequence of that. We are tolerated like a bad smell cause it’s good for the overseas image when everyone knows you couldn’t hold hand with a same sex partner in ASDA without comment. Scratch the surface or walk home at closing time with you other half and see what they really think of you

    1. Well said, James. Totally correct!

      1. Not entirely. Homophobia in, for example, China (19% of the world’s population) or the 6 Islamic states or territories that maintain the death penalty for homosexuality had and has nothing to do with the UK.

        1. But they did go around the commonwealth and say they knew better. asshats

          1. So what, in your opinion Rehan IS responsible for homophobia? In MY opinion, it is religion. Without the ‘taboos’ with which religion infects minds, maybe everyone would feel inclined to sample some same-sex experiences. Perhaps THIS is why religion is so anto-gay. If people are ‘wasting’ seed they are not swelling the number of followers of a religion, are they? And we all know how religion likes LOTS of new little followers, don’t we? Just look at the list of ‘don’ts’ in the Catholic rule book – all designed to swell numbers.

        2. Robert in S. Kensington 21 Aug 2013, 6:07pm

          Yes, Rehan and what does it say about Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, gay sex illegal and not as a result of French imperialism, in place before the French even colonised them. Others colonised countries such as the Belgians, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and the Dutch yet there is still rampant homophobia in the countries they gave independence to. Religion has done far more harm than the colonialism and continues to do more harm than ever before. We have only to look at Russia as the latest example in which the UK certainly played no part as well as Italy and Greece (two of the worst offenders in the EU, up there with the Baltic states), all down to religion.

    2. I have to admit, I still think twice about holding hands. Even when I kiss my bf goodbye in the mornings I’m on guard. I can never decide if it’s me being sensible or me overestimating the threat. I don’t know whether to blame homophobia in society or my fear of homophobia in society. Does that make me a heterophobe, a homophobiaphobe or a coward?

      1. sven its common sense. Do you think many women take chances or drop their guards. The same people who would attack us are the same people women have to deal with daily.

    3. “the UK used to send people around the world telling them how to behave. homophobia is a consequence of that.”

      Are you saying that homophobia around the world is a consequence of British imperialism? Or that homophobia in Britain is a consequence of British imperialism?

      Either explanation is ahistorical nonsense.

  8. True change can only come from within, it’s true foreign state’s are resistan to western infleunce in fear of losing their “traditional values”… but that doesn’t mean we can’t inspire the people through our influence and a revolutionary thing called *~*~*~the internet*~*~*~

    I could equally say we should focus on Iran before the UK, or America, or Wales, Or Ireland, or Canada… you get the point.

    It’s a universal issue, you’re either in it for everyone or you’re just in it for yourself

  9. Surely be combining against homophobia wherever it raises its head we can support each other.

    There are MANY places where by speaking out you are murdered, does Alice Arnold think we should also be quiet when speaking out against Uganda, Jamaica etc etc etc.

    Does she also believe that men should not speak out for women’s rights or that we should not speak out for equal rights in other countries when it comes to forms of abuse.

    Where would that have left many if we didn’t take a stance during the world wars etc.


    1. I think you idealise the reasons for GB going to war with Germany in both World Wars. GBs foreign policy, and had been for a long time, was to maintain the balance of power in Europe. GB did this not for any altruistic reasons but solely out of self interest. It was in GBs interest to ensure no one power dominated Europe.

      GB and the US knew what was happening to the Jews and others in the 1930s under the Nazis. They didn’t care. If GB did then why did GB restrict Jewish immigration to Palestine before the war. Why did GB willing allow Chekoslovakia to be partitioned and then absorbed into the Reich. Remember…peace in our time.

      GB only finally declared war after Germany invaded Poland. GB didn’t give a damn about the 3000000 Jews in Poland. GB simply didn’t want Germany to dominate Europe.

  10. Its a bit like saying I won’t brush my teeth because my hair needs washing. As Ian Bower said “Presumably we can multitask and do both”…… Could you imagine if in the 1930s people said ” we can’t speak out about what Hitler is doing to the Jews until we sort England’s problem’s out”

    1. No Compromise 21 Aug 2013, 1:00pm

      I can see what you’re saying, Stephen, but we were free to ‘judge’ Germany because we had no concentration camps here. In the case of gay rights, we have been begrudgingly granted some basic equalities, but have a long way to go even here.

      1. Might want to check a history book there No Compromise… Concentration Camps were a British invention. Stephen and Ian Bower before him are right – we should be continuing the push for positive change at home but that’s no reason we can’t challenge homophobia abroad at the same time.

  11. There are pockets of homophobia in the UK, yes of course. However, most people in the UK are not homophobic. BUT in Russia its much worse. That does not mean we should ignore homophobia in either country, that is the cowards way! ANY MORE LAME EXCUSES FOR HOMOPHOBIA???

  12. Both countries need to put their house in order. The more ‘freedoms’ we achieve, the more cautious and vigilant we must become. Putin (and UKIP among others) have ably demonstrated there will always be someone looking for scapegoats. Hitler did EXACTLY the same thing pre-WWII. Britain cannot lecture the world on the merits of equality and democracy while it continues to allow schools not to teach about sexuality in a frank and adult way … or while we still allow an unelected branch of government (House of Lords) to exist.

  13. No Compromise 21 Aug 2013, 12:57pm

    She’s right. The real problem is here and in Europe. If we made every immigrant sign a homosexuality acceptance clause before even setting foot here, if we punished to the full extent of the law clerics of any faith spreading hatred against gay people, and if every workplace had a visible and enforcable statement of equality on its premises, there would be real progress. Furthermore, we need the conversion to secular of all faith schools, a banning of any religious proseletyzing on college and university campuses, and the removal of charitable/tax free status from any religious institution that will not perform a gay wedding ceremony. As private clubs no longer subsidized by the tax payer, they can then exclude whomever they (don’t) like.

    Russia is just another theocracy, and there are many around the world. We set a universal standard here, first, and then start reviewing our dealings with less evolved states.

  14. Mumbo Jumbo 21 Aug 2013, 1:00pm

    The thing is that here in the UK we, for the most part, have the attitudes, the systems and the laws in place to tackle bigotry.

    In Russia, for the most part, they have the attitudes, the systems and the laws to promote it.

    That is a big difference.

  15. The Kitty Channel 21 Aug 2013, 1:00pm

    Poor Alice, she simply doesn’t understand exactly what’s going on in Russia at all. She doesn’t know, or realise the implications, that gangs of feral neo-Nazi youths in the provincial towns, who have nothing to live off except scrounging, theft, and alcohol, have taken the new Russian anti-gay-propaganda legislation as a clear sign that they can take the law into their own hands, and that the police are doing nothing about this at all either because they tacitly approve of “social cleansing” or because they have been told to from above. She doesn’t understand how homophobia in Russia originates, and therefore doesn’t understand why it has such mass appeal. I particularly like the comment comparing “skin cancer” with “brain cancer” – that just about sums it up for me. Silly woman, and it’s a shame that she gets the exposure she has just because she is a journalist. As such, she should have researched the subject a good deal more deeply.

  16. Craig Smith 21 Aug 2013, 1:39pm

    This is being blown out of proportion. People keep talking about “Promotion of homosexuality”. To date in the UK i have yet to see anyone being repremanded for wearing rainbow colours. I don’t want schools to be yelling from the speakers that being gay is good, nor do i want them to dress boys up in little dresses.

    There is a difference between “Promotion” and “Education”

    Schooling should be all about teaching about tolerance of everyone and stating that people are different. I’m a gay man, i hated being taught about the birds and the bees of a hetrosexual couple. Globally only about 0.5% of the population are gay. Instead of kids learning about what goes where, i’d rather more focus is put on the teaching that everyone is the same. Everyone else should be too.

    1. where did you get the 0.5% figure? Don’t most estimates put the number of gay and bisexual people as somewhere between 5% and 15%?

    2. Craig, you appear to have a very distorted view that is very unhealthy for you, if you really are gay, and I seriously doubt that. You come onto a gay website and announce that your gay, please!!!!

  17. This coming from a BBC Reporter?…..That’s Rich!

    She should have a look at her employers considerably less than positive, present and history, on LGBT issues.

  18. Justusboyz 21 Aug 2013, 3:08pm

    She is wrong, we are not Perfect in The UK on everyrthing but that is no reason not to say anything we are at least going forward here whilst Russia is goin backward.

  19. Why do these people always assume we’re only doing one thing? we can actually have more than one campaign at the same time

  20. Colin Cass 21 Aug 2013, 4:57pm

    Certainly one problem needing to be addressed is Soccer .
    The F.A really needs to get a grip on homophoebia as it is attempting to do against racism on Colour.Both are important ,but it seems that colour is most important & pressing!
    There is an irony here that a bedrock of homophoebia is seated in the black african & Caribbean Countries!

  21. “…Arnold…writes online in the Telegraph” Don’t really need to read any more, do we?

  22. Would anyone suggest we have to ignore genocide by first confronting discrimination at home? No. Do both. But what is happening in Russia is a lot worse than sem-unsanctioned homophobia in Britain. If you are a victim in Britain you can call the police who will try to catch and then prosecute the criminal. In Russia they’ll give him time in the media and a handshake. It’s not hard to say if you MUST prioritize then start with Russia.

  23. Is Alice Arnold a bit dim, (cf. Kay Burley) or is she desperately trying to be the Telegraph’s answer to the loathsome Andrew Pierce?

    At least the bigots who argued that fixing the economy etc was far more important than legislating for Equal Marriage were fairly open about their ulterior motives.

    Just what agenda is Alice trying to promote?

  24. Chris Bernard 22 Aug 2013, 12:10pm

    What? !!!! Alice I’m sure you’re a very nice lady. But you’re only telling us what we already know love. Inform us, challenge us, engage us – write a decent article worthy of the tag journalism. It’s like you’re saying ‘charity begins at home’ . Your copy and ‘opinion’ is taking up much needed and valuable media space. In future can a commentator/journalist who has something worthwhile to say be given this space/airtime – as David comments “bogus arguments” !

  25. Paul Halsall 22 Aug 2013, 2:31pm

    No, Russian is an immediate issue, and we can act internationally with groups in the US, Canada, Israel, Australia, and so on.

    It is not perfect here, but a helluva lot better than elsewhere. How can you be so short sighted?

  26. Look at another disgusting NEW video gay teenager tortured by Russian homophobes

  27. Philip Breen 22 Aug 2013, 7:43pm

    The Russian situation is v bad. However, homophobia does persist in the UK structurally. I don’t understand why Teresa May hasn’t been challenged for deciding recently that all of the old gay offences can ‘never be filtered’ despite police entrapment being at the root of these convictions. Clearly, the Home Office thinks gays are likely molesters otherwise they would see that the old gay offences are not about underage sex. Why the Home Office can’t simply check in each case that there was nothing underage for safe filtering purposes, is beyond me. LGBT men are humiliated every time they have to declare the old gay offences, making working & volunteering an ordeal, & refusal likely.

  28. Alice Arnold is of course, obviously, completely and utterly right. When a country has a state broadcaster that hosts a debate on whether gay people should be executed, we clearly have a long way to go.

    Oh, waiat a minute. Remind us again who Alice used to work for?

    Alice’s logic is risible and self-indulgent. We can multitask, and the situation in Russia is far worse than here. Russian LGBT people deserve our solidarity not the ‘principled’ refusal to criticise that Alice advocates.

    Don’t worry about possibly being accused of hypocrisy for criticising Russian homophobia when we are not homophobia free in Britain, Alice. You personally, are already a massive hypocrite for presuming to lecture others about homophobia when you happily worked for the homophobic BBC.

  29. If we don’t clean our own house first we are simply telling Russia “do as I say, not as I do”.
    To which Russia can simply reply “British people are hypocrites”
    And they would be correct.

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