The editor of Spiked, who unsuccessfully urged Parliament to stop equal marriage, says “the gay issue” has become “central to the ramping up of the culture wars”.
Brendan O’Neill is known for his anti-gay views. Appearing before the Public Bill Committee of the House of Commons in February last year, he warned legalising equal marriage in England and Wales would amount to an “attack” on “million” of heterosexual marriages.
O’Neill has now turned his attention to Russia. Describing protests by the LGBT community over Sochi as an “outpouring of ersatz homophilia”, O’Neill says the Winter Olympics have been “turned into a platform for a showdown between enlightened Westerners who like gays and wicked Ruskies who apparently do not”.
“The gay issue has in recent years been absolutely central to the ramping up of the culture wars, to the fashioning of a new divide between allegedly enlightened elites and apparently bigoted mobs”, O’Neill writes. “In Western societies, being gay-friendly has become absolutely the least controversial stance a politician or corporation can take. Indeed, gayness has become a kind of sacred symbol of moral authority, and celebrating it has become a means of winning almost instant media and activist support.”
O’Neill rants: “This Will and Gracing of the modern political sphere can be seen in everything from the Guardian’s and New Statesman’s gay-themed refashioning of their mastheads for Sochi, in the furious spread around the internet of a meme showing Putin wearing lipstick (like a gay person!), in a hipster British brewer’s release of a ‘queer beer’ called ‘Hello, my name is Vladimir’, in Toronto City Hall’s raising of the gay flag for the duration of Sochi, in the United Nations’ decree that everyone in the West should ‘raise their voices’ for the gay community, and – get this – in Jon Snow’s decision to wear a gay flag-coloured tie on Channel 4 News during Sochi. If that doesn’t topple Putin, I don’t know what will.”
With another gay cultural reference, O’Neill says: “What we are witnessing is a real-world version of that old TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy in which five camp, well-dressed men would tell straight fatties with beards to lose weight, clean their teeth and invest in a Prada shirt. Over Sochi, the same sense of camp disgust with gruff blokes is being expressed, only this time an army of both straight and gay Westerners are wagging a finger at the backward antics of super-hetero Putin and his dumb, automaton supporters among the Russian masses.”
The journalist concludes: “Where once the world was divided between the civilised and the savage, now it’s split between the gay-friendly and the homophobic. Welcome to the era of Queer Imperialism. How long before a Western nation goes so far as to bomb a country that is insufficiently gay-friendly?”