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Shropshire Star mocks PinkNews founder’s parents who campaigned in Russia against anti-gay laws

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  1. However small, it was more of a protest than Peter Rhodes has managed. Not exactly a very big paper you work on, either, is it Mr Rhodes?

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Sep 2013, 5:45pm

    I wonder how homophobes such as Rhodes would describe the marriage of an hetero couple in which the male suffered incurable erectyle dysfunction and ‘traditional’ hetero intercourse could not be achieved? Bloody bigot!

    1. Mr Rhodes asks “In what way is that marriage?” because “adultery will not be grounds for divorce”.
      So, for him, marriage is defined in terms of adultery and divorce. Is good to know how these hypocrite homophobes think…

      1. Christopher Coleman 15 Sep 2013, 5:19pm

        A sad reflection his experience of marriage. Perhaps marriage is not what it used to be; my doctor tells me that the average hetero marriage these days lasts a mere 9 years.

      2. You’re rationalizing, Carl.

        Either the marriage is equal or it isn’t. If adultery isn’t grounds for divorce in both forms of marriage, then they aren’t equal.

    2. I would think, Robert in S. Kensington, that Mr. Rhodes would describe said marriage as unconsumated.

  3. Peter who?
    Never heard of him.

    1. Yes, but like thousands of minor journalists he’s read by tens or thousands of local readers.

      If the Shropshire Star hasn’t received a single letter of complaint from readers, or if it hasn’t been deluged with complaints, then it shows that this journalist is pandering to, and nurturing, homophobia amongst the grassroots.

      Local people need to stamp on little bigots like Peter Rhodes.

      1. I’ve written to the Shropshire Star a couple of times putting forward a pro equal marriage stance and, tbf, they’ve printed my letters along with a couple of others from similar pro marriage people. However, it’s the constant of drip feed of anti gay remarks that annoys me; Peter Rhodes comments are just the latest example. The (then) editor of the paper assured me last year that the Star was not homophobic but the snide comments continue.

        1. Dave North 13 Sep 2013, 7:46pm

          Get the snotty little Shropshire rag to print this.

          “Gay Man In Russia Apparently Raped By Vigilantes On Video at gunpoint”

          1. David Cade 14 Sep 2013, 3:03pm

            Dave, many thanks for that link. This is the worst I have seen. To think that this is coming from the land of the great Tolstoy and so many other great civilised writers and artists.

            Let’s all utterly accept that what’s going on in Russia right now is absolutely no different to the horrific persecution of Jews and gays in the early days of Nazi Germany.

  4. I think the Cohen’s meant well and I applaud their intentions but I actually agree with the article even though I think it was tacky to publish it. What was his point and his intention?

    1. To clarify, I don’t agree with everything in the article but I agree that “brave” is a bit of a stretch. A better demonstration would have been to refuse to leave the cruise ship when docked in homophobic cities/countries or to have cancelled the cruise all together and written a letter to the editor to explain why.

      1. I can’t agree with you. Whatever about the gesture being “brave” or not it was much more effective than your alternatives. Cancelling their trip and writing a letter to their local newspaper would’ve received zero attention. As would them sitting on the boat as it was docked in Saint Petersburg. Their photo on Russian soil with a pro-gay message achieved a great deal more coverage than any boycott. Perhaps it wasn’t brave, but it sure was admirable.

        1. They are a shining example of what parents should be. An example to anyone whose child happens to be gay. Loving and supportive and not afraid to make that public.

  5. The guy is obviously a right-wing bigot, a petty man with little better to do than write a trashy brain fart in a local rag, probably with the highly dubious “ambition” of one day writing for the Daily Fail.

    He probably knows what that rag is looking for in a bile-spewer, and hopes that one day they’ll notice him ;)

  6. There’s no action so great that some small person won’t belittle it.

    By all means reserve the word “hero” for those whose actions are extraordinary – but is approbation in such short supply that we cannot waste it actions which are merely good?

    Mr & Mrs Cohen may not have gone on hunger strike or attempted a citizen’s arrest on Mr Putin, but they executed a small, dignified protest which received media coverage.

    It’s more than most of us have done for human rights in Russia, and more than a lot of us would ever do.

    Thank you to them.

  7. I can sort of see the journalist’s point even if he was being snarky.

    While Benjamin Cohen’s parents’ gesture was supportive and worthwhile, it was nothing like Tilda Swinton’s gesture – she’s a major movie star who waved a big rainbow flag in front of the police.

    It wasn’t really a news story to begin with – they are private citizens who support gay rights, like many milliions of others. Good for them.

    It seemed a bit self-promoting and only was printed because they are the parents of the founder of this website.

    1. Are we really going to get into whose waved the biggest flag or protested in the most dramatic way. A protest is a protest. They have not devoted their lives to saving gay Russia, the were simply tourists and more importantly ORDINARY people standing up to homophobia in a small but no less significant way.

    2. Well, Tilda Swinton’s action only got the publicity it did because she’s a movie star. You can’t really blame the Cohens for not being as well known – and their action was reported in the quality Sunday paper with the biggest circulation.

    3. Frank Boulton 15 Sep 2013, 1:50pm

      Thanks to the Internet the size of your placard and the number of protesters that you can muster matters not one iota. Millions will see pictures of the Cohens’ act of defiance. Paul Rhodes can mock from his comfortable armchair as much as he wants but it will never diminish the courage of those who stand against the official policies of Putin’s dictatorship.

  8. Helen Wilson 13 Sep 2013, 6:20pm

    Benjamin Cohen’s parents risked 14 days in prison, fines and deportation… I think in anyone’s understanding that should be considered brave.

    1. Rubbish. That square is enormous and the police pay absolutely no attention to tourists.

  9. Paul Essex/London 13 Sep 2013, 6:22pm

    Paul Rhode’s article doesn’t just belittle Mr & Mrs Cohen’s act, more importantly it belittles the real danger which any pro-LGBT/LGBT person now faces in Russia. To be be openly pro-LGBT in Russia now means running the risk of being beaten up or worse, even if you are a middle aged British couple on holiday simply holding a piece of paper with a pro-gay message in English. It may have been a comparatively small act but I applaud them for doing something that most people (in particular Mr Rhodes et al) would be too afraid to do.

  10. soapbubblequeen 13 Sep 2013, 6:30pm

    Obviously the editors of this Shropshire rag have been wandering among the sheep and the cows in their spare time for far too long. Idiots.

  11. This is all starting to get a little bit silly, isn’t it?

    1. Do you know?

      This Shropshire star columnist – perhaps he doth complain too much.

      I remember a certain recent Bigot from the Catholic Church in Scotland who was an opponent of Equal Marriage and was for ever sounding off about us in a rather horrible and, I thought, un-Christain way.

      Then what?

      He was outed by several much younger priests with whom he had, er, had gay sex.

      It is strange how those who cry the loudest often have the most to hide, isn’t it?

  12. What a bitchy comment by Peter Rhodes – who is this camp old thing on the Shropshire Rag?

  13. Where is Shropshire and how many powerful people live there? It sounds like an irrelevant place that has a third rate rag of a Newspaper!

    1. Ooh… please don’t dis Shropshire… irrelevant? Hardly – you heard of Charles Darwin? Robert Clive of India? Peter Rhodes? Actually you can forget the last one, (if you haven’t already), he’s a nobody who should stop these pathetic digs at gay rights, hes a little man and his homophobic comments come from ignorance and boredom, like many from Shropshire. He probably needs to step outside the ‘bubble’. It’s a lovely place where I was born and bred, I come from an area of only four houses, and guess what? Three of those houses were homes to four gay people, none of who have had any problems with homophobia directly. Most people there don’t like change but are accepting of it and just get on with things. It’s a sad thing that people like this so called journalist (forgotten his name already) want to stir up emotions and spread their poisonous views so that smaller communities won’t move on.

  14. In 3 days people will have forgotten about his pointless snarky article, but a few LGBT folk in Shropshire just might have found a news source that is more accommodating of their interests, so you never know…

  15. im from shrewsbury, the county town. i bet he is from wem….

  16. Metsän poika 14 Sep 2013, 2:17am

    And what brave act has Peter Rhodes ever done for himself, let alone anyone else?

  17. In a week when Vladimir Putin seems to have gone on a media PR offensive, I wonder if Mr Rhodes was given a back-hander to write this from one of the many rich and powerful Putin expats who have taken up residence in the UK?

  18. Kelvin Beer-Jones 14 Sep 2013, 2:00pm

    You got to congratulate PR Peter Rhodes, he gets to go ‘national’ on homophobia and put his little paper in the news. Well done Peter! I suppose it’s back to village fetes now?

  19. Anything which takes a swipe at the pompous Fry must be a good thing .Lets remember why the homosexual lobby brand this bill ‘homophobic’ :

    Criminal Code: Sexual relations and other action of a sexual nature with a person under the age of sixteen (16), Chapter 18, Article 134
    Sexual intercourse, buggery [‘muzhelozhstvo’] or lesbianism, committed by a person over 18 on a person admittedly under 14 is punishable by limitation of freedom up to three years or deprivation of freedom up to four years [R1.2].

    No wonder Tatchell , Fry and Co are getting into a luvvy tizzy about these sensible laws which protect children .

    1. Dave North 15 Sep 2013, 2:24am

      Gay people began as children of heterosexual parents watching the hate around them and closeting themselves as a means of protection against idiots like you.

      You make me hateful of humanity.

      However I am glad I was born if only to expose the stupidity and ignorance people like you espouse.

      Please have a painful death.

  20. Tells me all I need to know about this guy if thats as good as he can manage. Pathetic to the point of writing childish pap . Grow up little man. Interesting to see his target of ridicule. Very selective I suspect. What a joke.

  21. Christopher Coleman 15 Sep 2013, 5:16pm

    Pity the poor rural journalist scratching about in the mud and muck for any grain of a story. The most exciting events are kitchen fires or cats up a tree. These poor hacks become embittered and are drawn to anything they can mock and that usually includes everything that decent people do in their own quiet and humble way.

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