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Hammersmith and Fulham Council are considering closing their only shelter for domestic violence victims who are gay and bisexual men. This will leave gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in the borough forced to travel considerable distance

This is terrible, homophobia and shows how low we stand in the Council’s priority list.

HOWEVER, what is more terrible is the fact that Hammersmith and Fulham have (had) even one shelter for gay and bi men means they are actually far far far more concerned about gay and bisexual men needing shelter than every other London council. This shelter is the only shelter for gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in London.

The only one in the entire capital. 13,000,000 people live in the greater London metropolitan area and there is (was) one shelter. And at that it is better served than much of the rest of the country (there’s certainly no such shelter near me).

Stonewall Housing also notes there is no commitment for government funds to any kind of LGBT housing or shelter across the UK – domestic violence only makes us more vulnerable to homelessness – and we’re already grossly over-represented in the homeless population. But, hey, the Salvation Army still gets funding so straight folks will be fine.

In addition, the LGBTQ domestic abuse charity Broken Rainbows is also facing closure after failing to gain government funding. There are not enough words in the world to describe how vital Broken rainbows is; when you are LGBTQ and face domestic abuse there are next to no services – and services that are there for domestic abuse victims are ignorant, prejudiced or incapable of helping us – or outright unable to understand that we exist (certainly not as more than an after thought).

Broken Rainbows is one of the very few sources of support out there, one of the very few organisations that knows about the paucity of services – and their reduction – and how utterly isolated and lacking in any options LGBTQ victims of domestic violence can be. They can perform small miracles against a backdrop of absolutely nothing.

It is essential that we do what we can to keep Broken Rainbows open. If you can, please help.

We cannot rely on straight government funding or straight charities, we know this. Nor can we rely on straight domestic violence charities to be remotely capable of helping us – let alone willing to do so. We need Broken Rainbows, we need this organisation to be a whole lot bigger than it is, not reduced still further. It’s one of the few lifelines we have – and it’s being cut.
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Douglas Carswell, UKIP MP who defected from the Tories seems to be finding his new home somewhat… uncomfortable. He’d quite like it if his new party could just stop spouting ridiculous racist, homophobic and misogynist bullshit; you can understand his plea since barely a week passes without yet another UKIP candidate spouting some really extreme, disgusting bullshit. And every single time it happens a huge screed of their membership – AND leadership (including the vile troll, Farage) stomps out to defend it.

He wants UKIP to instead have “an optimistic, internationalist and inclusive agenda for the whole country.”

To which I ask – Mr Carswell, can you possibly be this clueless as to the nature of your own party?

It quite simply cannot have an “optimistic, internationalist and inclusive agenda” because the foundation nature of this party is the very opposite of that. UKIP was created without any kind of exclusive agenda – UKIP was created as a REJECTION. Rejection of Europe. Rejection of Immigrants. Rejection of POC, Rejection of LGBT people. The backbone of this party is one of rejection – it is one of scapegoating

It cannot be optimistic, internationalist or inclusive because it’s defined by what it hates, by what it rejects by what (and who) it blames for everything. Someone tell me what UKIP’s manifesto is BEYOND hating minorities, immigrants and Europe? Because UKIP certainly don’t talk about it (and if you go digging for it you find some truly terrifying things). They don’t talk about it because it’s not relevant to the party and not what the party about – the party is all about who they hate.

And, yes, that is its appeal

Let’s not pretend this doesn’t work and hasn’t happened before. Look at the US Republican’s “southern strategy” and “guns gods and gays”. Look at the rise of fascism. You can look around the world and see a gazillion examples – one of the easiest ways to rise to power without any kind of positive message is to pick a scapegoat and hammer it with hatred. Minorities are good targets, as are foreign powers, or nebulous, ill-defined threats. Fear and anger, hatred and blame have always been the keys to power, especially in hard times: it is far EASIER to pretend that all our problems are the fault of immigrants or gays or women or POC than it is to admit that the system has some major flaws. Especially among a cis, straight, white male population that finds it easier to revel in prejudice rather than confront their actual privilege.

Let’s face it, there’s a hugely significant chunk of the population who are ragingly pissed that they can’t “bash queers, or slag off the darkies, or tell them uppity tarts to get back in the kitchen” and an equally huge number who loathe those “frogs/krauts/dagos/whatever”. That is what UKIP appeals to – a world where such language is ok, where such attitudes are excused and whether the minorities are just being “sensitive” or “PC” when we object to such dehumanisation. And that is why their candidates continue to spout the same vile trash and why the leadership cannot sweepingly condemn it or stop it.

Mr. Carswell, UKIP cannot change – because those very things you want it to change are the very reasons why it is doing as well as it is. Better get used to it, because this is the bandwagon you’ve leaped on.

I also say the Tories aren’t blameless in this. They’ve always played to prejudice, xenophobia, scapegoating et al. If appealing to fear, hate and prejudice is a common tactic to power, it’s more so for the right wing because it’s damn HARD to convince anyone earning less than £100,000 a year to vote for a party of more tax cuts, more slashed services and more wealth inequality. That’s a hard sell. So the right wing has always played to the worst kind of prejudices to fill the numbers – that’s why whenever Cameron tries to throw in anything remotely progressive (rare indeed), he has to do it in the face of his own party. That’s why the Lib Dems were well and truly screwed when they formed a coalition with the Tories. That’s why every Equality Minister inevitably has a record of bigotry.

UKIP is the Tory teaparty – all of that frothing, hateful extremism the right wing loves to use to whip up votes has grown up into an actual thing beyond your control. You’ve fed it, it grew; you encouraged it, it grew; you resisted any attempt to educated it, to change it, to diffuse it – and it grew and grew and grew. Dr. Tory Frankenstein, UKIP is your monster and it’s no longer under your control. And you're certainly not going to do it by continuing to play the same hateful rhetoric
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 Michael Gove, stuff your patriotism, honour and courage.


Michael Gove, our ignorant and generally nasty education secretary has a long list of bullshit he likes to pull on a regular basis. His latest gem is to lash out at Blackadder – and schools showing it – for spreading “left wing myths” about World War 1. See, they should be teaching about Patriotism and Honour and Courage – not incompetent generals, grim conditions and horrendous loss of life.


World War 1 was one of the stupidest conflicts in the history of mankind. It was fought because all the great powers of Europe rather laughably though their rather shaky domino-alliances would stop them all going to war – instead those alliances ensured that a relatively small regional conflict escalated beyond all measure. It didn’t have to have been the death of the Archduke, not long before there were severe tensions between Britain and Russia which almost set the whole ball rolling anyway. It was inevitable because, ultimately, you had a lot of power mad fools, playing the whole world as if it were some kind of chess board with zero inclination to talk to each other just dying to slaughter a whole bunch of people for the sake of those 3 demons: Patriotism, Honour and Courage (with Glory also raising its ugly head).


Not only was it fought for stupid reasons, but it was fought in a mind numbingly stupid way – a way that was guaranteed to massacre lives over and over again.


This isn’t “Blackadder” or “Oh What a Lovely War” that created the whole “lions lead by donkeys” meme – HISTORY created it. We had a deadly modern battlefield complete with fortified trenches, artillery, machine guns and poison gas and generals who were still using tactics that were 50-100 years out of date. Maybe that could have been excused, but they were so insulated from the suffering on the ground (and had a pretty callous view of the troops anyway – just look at the fate of those men who were shattered by shellshock, so many of them shot as “deserters”) that they stuck to those tactics over and over again, no matter how many times they failed.


This isn’t “revisionism” Gove, this is history. This is the history of conflict that killed over 15 million people for no damn good reason at all and ended after a good part of the continent was absolutely shattered with a treaty that settled very little except sow seeds of simmering resentment that would grow into World War 2.


And as for “patriotism”, “honour” and “courage” (and of course, “glory”)? Manipulative buzz words used by the elite to send a generation of men to their death – and it’s the same lie they try to peddle today. If teachers and TV shows are exposing this then more power to them! Let them expose the rampant foolish pride of nationalism that you want to hang the flag of patriotism on. Let them see how little “honour” there is in innumerable rows of graves – let them find no honour in filling those graves (with their own bodies or another) and instead look for true honour in peace. And the courage to die needlessly for arrogance, for pride, for pigheaded refusal to talk and think and learn – that isn’t courage, that is a foolish obscenity, a waste of insufferable proportions.


There is only one possible good that could have come out of World War 1 and that is showing us the utter horrors of war so starkly as to expose the lies of those who sit peacefully in the halls of power while sending another generation off to die.


If teachers and Blackadder can firmly bury Patriotism, honour and courage as the murderous deceivers they are in the minds of school children then I will celebrate them for having achieved something amazing for our future.



And Gove, from his lofty perch on high, again shows how unfit he is for the role he fills.

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 Alan Turing has been posthumously pardoned for being convicted of being gay, the barbaric and vicious persecution for which eventually drove him to take his own life.

 I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this one.

Firstly, for anyone asking “why Turing?” I have to say you don’t understand the iconic nature of Turing to British GBLT people because he symbolised so much.

 He was a prime example of a gay man, in history standing up and performing an incredible service for his county – and in one of the most iconic conflicts of our history. He is an example of a gay man who achieved incredible thing with a lasting legacy that has benefitted not only the country, but the entire world. This is what we are capable of. These are the people you condemn with your homophobic.

Because of this incredible thing, he is also iconic of the toxicity of homophobia. A homophobia that not only persecuted him to death despite of the vast debt owed to this man, but also despite of the great things he never had the chance to achieve. That is the waste of homophobia. That is how overwhelming it is

And this toxicity of homophobia went further, because he was erased. History didn’t remember him. He was removed from it, not just in our schools but in our media (there are television shows and film adaptations and even documentaries out there about the work of Bletchley Park and early computing. Guess who is missing from them/made straight?). The reason why he is so well known now is because British GBLT people fought passionately to make it so – because it was so outrageous that this great man was being removed from history because he was one of us. How dare they? How dare they pretend he never existed?! How dare they make him straight? We fought and we fought hard to make sure he was remembered again. You’ll notice how many monuments to him appear in traditionally gay neighbourhood. You’ll notice how FEW monuments there are to him that predate 2000 (especially outside of Manchester).

He is symbolic of the untold masses of GBLT heroes and ancestors who we have lost, who have been removed from the pages of history and who we will never be able to reclaim.

Alan Turing wasn’t just a great man who was evilly persecuted – but he is also a great symbol.

So where do my conflicting feelings come in?

My conflict comes in not just because it’s a gesture that doesn’t change the past so much as try to play the “we’re so much better now” card (I would actually rather have more comprehensive history of GBLT people, our achievements and the persecution of us entered into the school curriculum to mark his horrendously unjust death more than anything else) and is therefore a pretty easy bandwagon for even the most homophobic of politician to jump on (notably, however, a rather huge amount of them didn’t) while at the same time we’ve seen political reticence (to say the least) on dealing with banning reparative therapy, doing something substantive about homophobic bullying, extreme homophobic discrimination in the asylum and immigration system, our woefully poor and homophobic sex education laws, the problems of homophobia in religious schools, homophobia in sports and a series of cuts that are, as with most cuts, hitting GBLT people and other marginalised people far harder than most (for some examples among many –organisations like the Association of GBLT police officers have had their funding cut. Legal aid has been gutted, homeless services butchered etc etc).

 My discomfort comes from the idea that what happened to Turing was wrong BECAUSE HE WAS A HERO. And yes, his being a national hero is an extra slap in the face – but what was done to him and the gazillion of other men throughout history. I don’t want “incredible service to the country” to be the benchmark we have to meet where this kind of evil treatment. What was done to him was evil and equally evil when done to GBLT people who didn’t achieve the amazing things he did. Of course, on the flip side, Turing’s pardon is supposed to be indicative of a collective regret of all those injustices – but it’s weak.

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 Osborne, being the nasty little Tory he is, has a new plan to help fight unemployment in this country – demonising the long term unemployed!

Did I say “new plan”? Because that kind of sounds like the Tory’s old plan. In fact, it sounds like the Tory’s only plan.

 His plan is that long term unemployed will now have to do full time community service, attend a full time course or go to the job centre every single day.

So let us count the wrongness


This Demonises the Unemployed

The Tories are stuck on the idea that the unemployed are lazy leeches on society – it’s not just a matter of delusion, it’s a lie they have to tell themselves. The only way they can continue to reshape the country to make the rich even richer and screw the poor harder and harder is to chant the mantra that it is the poor’s fault.

 The minute you accept that the economy is screwed up (caused by rich bankers who have had some wonderful welfare in response) and that even in this time of “recovery” we’re seeing the majority of wealth coalescing in the hands of the rich while the standard of living for everyone else drops along-side earnings and benefits then we have to start questioning our system – and whether all the Tory cronies really need things like a cut to the upper rate of tax.

 The Tories need to demonise the unemployed to maintain their myth of society and justify their cruel, selfish actions. This proposal is just another extension of that.


 It Doesn’t Create Jobs

It doesn’t matter what you do to the unemployed, if there are no jobs then they can’t work. It’s that simple, especially in places outside the south-east (yes, Londoners, there are places outside the south-east). It doesn’t matter what new plans Osborne conjures up to torment and attack them, the unemployed cannot get jobs if there are no jobs to get – or 1 job among 20 applicants.


 It Actively Hinders Job Search

Job hunting takes time, it takes energy and it’s emotionally highly damaging. Forcing pointless, time consuming tasks with an added level of demonization on job seekers for extra morale destruction does not help. Leaving people tired, dispirited and too busy to find work is the very opposite of help


It Will Cost Money

When the job centre requires an unemployed person to attend a course outside their normal signing day, the job centre pays the transport costs. When you consider that an unemployed person is paid about £70 a week in dole, you see how important that is – especially if travelling to wherever we’re forcing them to go costs £5 or more (the amount it would cost me to get a return bus ticket into town). Now consider forcing all these unemployed into a daily commute. You will have to pay transport for that.

 If you’re going to have all these people round the country forced to attend a job centre every day, then those job centres are going to need more staff (oops, you’re cutting job centre staff? Well that’s not going to work). They’re going to need more security (and since the government uses G4S that’s going to cost even more after G4S screws them on the contract!). And that’s before we consider they’re going to need more facilities if we want to maintain the pretence of it being helpful.

 This will be expensive.


There will be LESS Jobs

Just like with Workfare, if you start forcing unpaid labour then the Tory’s ever-so-special “job creators” then you reduce the number of actual, paid jobs available. It’s simple logic. A job needs filling. It can be filled by someone you have to pay or it can be filled by the unemployed for no money. Which is going to be chosen?

 And that “volunteer” position is deceptive – because in this era of cuts, we’re seeing both charities being forced to step in to fill in care that should be provided by services. It’s a shifting of workforce from paid labour to unpaid volunteers. The same applies to that “community service”, for every unemployed person you force into this scheme, that’s a council worker who is not needed.

 Hey, the councils could sack workers, watch them collect unemployment benefit, then force them back into work with no pay! Think of the savings!


 Ultimately, the Tories can’t do anything about unemployment until they change their philosophy on the unemployed – and the poor in general. But the Tories cannot do that without changing the very nature of their party.

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 So the parliament has, to everyone’s shock, voted against military adventures in Syria.


That’s a relief.


As to “intelligence reports” that they keep waving us saying that they prove whatever? I don’t care.

I don’t care because I am unable to believe them. They could be true. They could be false. They could be created from sheer ineptitude. They could be deliberately falsified to deceive us. The “intelligence services” have no credibility


We went to war in Iraq – an utter debacle – because of the peddled words of the “intelligence services.” In the aftermath, no-one has faced any public consequences for the lying or (if I’m giving them vast benefit of the doubt) extreme incompetence. Without that, I cannot assume any significant change has taken place – so the words of the intelligence services become meaningless. There is no point in listening to a liar – and it is an act of utter foolishness to trust one.


But surely I cannot doubt chemical weapons have been used?


True, I don’t. But nor do I think that the US & UK swooping in dropping bombs on people is actually going to make that better. I desperately want chemical weapons not to exist, I desperately want the war to end and I do wish we could intervene – but I do not trust us to do so!


Through ineptitude, malice, selfishness or a complete inability to examine the world through any other lenses than our own, our “intervention” is hardly the benevolent force we seem to think. I do not think we are CAPABLE of making things better. I also doubt very much whether our leaders WANT to make things better – at least for the people of Syria. We use words like “democracy”, “freedom” and “human rights” a lot and leave bodies, dictators and torture in our wake.


As to this somehow doing terribad damage to Britain’s “reputation” or making us look “weak”.




On reputation – our military adventurism (both on our own and, in latter decades, in the US shadow) has left nations in ruins, slaughtered more people than I can imagine and left untold destruction as we continually think in the short term and see all sides in highly monochrome good vs evil (where “good” means “is willing to do what we want”). When we leave – if we leave – it’s usually with a pro-us puppet with precious little claim to legitimacy leading the country which will, inevitably, then become unstable, cause a backlash rise in extremism or lead said puppet to become more and more repressive  Or, BONUS! – ALL OF THE ABOVE!


The idea that our reputation is damaged by us deciding not to do this YET AGAIN, is laughable.


As to this being a sign of weakness – are you kidding me?

How much “strength” does it take to carpet bomb a country already ravaged by civil war?


If you want to talk “weakness”, let’s talk about the weakness of our democracy that can so easily be trampled by jingoistic talk of war that opposition parties nearly always feel the need to support any conflict, no matter how dubious.  Let us talk about how our democracy has been amazingly strengthened with this no vote – that for once the war drums didn’t drown out any opposition.

Let’s talk about the “weakness” caused by the “special relationship” which means virtually every time the US blows their dog whistle, we come yapping to whatever military disaster they’re trying to drag us into. Let us talk how, before this vote, the American government and officials were talking as if Britain had already agreed to join them in military action. Now tell me this vote hasn’t strengthened our democracy.



And this is before we go into issues that are being very glossed over – like the disparate rebel factions and the decent possibility that we may be looking at a Soviets vs Afghanistan “why yes Bin Laden, of course we’ll give you big guns and money to fight the evil USSR, this could never come back to bite us on the arse” situation.

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 Cameron, in the name of protecting the little kiddies from the evils of porn, is pushing a filter on all the internet in Britain to filter out online porn. To duck around it, you have to call up your ISP and say “RAWR GIMME MAH PORN I WANNA WANK” or some such. Probably not in so many ways, but making it explicitly opt out means you have to contact your IP and expressly say you want to see the naked people which promises to be extremely embarrassing.

 There are many things wrong with this.

 This degree of internet control, tracking and meddling is discomforting to say the least

 The fact the man who is still supporting Page 3 is also in favour of a ban on porn is indicative of who pays the Tory’s paychest

 Frankly, it’s people’s damn choice if we want to watch/read/look at other nekked people doing happy adult things and we shouldn’t have to opt out of being controlled. And yes it’s sad if children see something inappropriate – well that’s what parents are for. Doing that whole parenting thing. Because believe me there’s a damn site more worrying on the internet than your children seeing some inappropriate jiggly bits.

And let’s be clear here – while the morality brigade screams about child porn (which we already have laws about), this is about all pornography – or everything that is defined as pornography. Defined by who? I have no idea. And that’s shady already – what counts as porn? This is particularly worrying to GBLT people because we’ve seen time and again videos or depictions of GBLT people considered “adult” when a similar depiction of straight people would pass anyone’s censor. Us holding hands or kissing or gay men standing too close to each other while being shirtless has been considered pornographic in the past. What is pornographic?

 For that matter, what depiction of sexualised nudity is ok and what isn’t? Because at least porn is fairly honest in what it is (while still being a fairly ridiculous depiction of sex) in that it’s there for sexual titillation – unlike adverts for cars, perfume, just about everything, pop stars gyrating and other commonplace sexualisation that I’ll wager do far more damage to impressionable young minds than porno ever did – in fact, here’s some great words on the ridiculousness of being so utterly anti-sex while at the same time being so sex saturated.

 Which brings me to a major complaint I have - internet filters are awful. Part of that is the aforementioned inability to adequately define porn, but part of it is that the inability for technology to recognise a porn site. Does it block a certain percentage of skin showing? Certain body parts? Certain words? Is it going to include pornographic blogs or tumblrs or flickrs or whatever else people use?

 The technology is dubious to say the least. At present, various filters in the name of stopping porn block STD clinics, family planning clinics, breast feeding sites, rape crisis centres, sex advice sites like scarleteen and, of course, any site involving GBLT people. In fact, Tumblr’s filter is a prime example which is has started blocking searches for the words #gay #lesbian and #bisexual

 This isn’t an isolated case, it’s what happens every single time there’s a filter – there are false positives and GBLT people inevitably get included in them because our existence is still regarded as inherently pornographic and “adult”.  And if you think a 15 year old asking their parents to take off the porn block because they want to see porn is a difficult prospect, change that to a 15 year old asking their parents to take it off because they want to see gay blogs and connect to the gay community.

 It all comes back to the cities and not even subtly.

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 Finally, after a long and painful battle, the equal marriage law has past its final hurdle in the commons and the lords and it’s heading for royal assent


Royal assent is a rubber stamp, even though there’s a petition from the homophobes to try and encourage Her Maj not to sign it – that’s just ridiculous. Even I, at my most paranoid and cynical (which is very very paranoid indeed and cynical beyond measure) don’t believe for a second that royal assent isn’t going to happen.


David Burrowes, the eternal homophobe, was the last one to try and derail this and he failed. It has been an exhausting and soul destroying fight. The homophobes in the media, on the net, in parliament, in daily life and most certainly from the churches have been overwhelmingly vicious. It has been a trial these last few months while the bigots did everything they could to hurt us, to attack us, to say grossly unacceptable things about us, to do everything they possibly could to stop our rights advancing.


Their fight shows that our fight cannot stop- there are still so many battles to fight, we still have to battle for our place in society, our place as full members and our place as people due respect and even safety. We also have to expect that they will push back against us, they will launch their stealth attacks, their exceptions, their loopholes for bigotry – and they will certainly try to claim that homophobia has disappeared.


Remember how ridiculous that claim is. Full legal equality (which we don’t actually have due to some holes) does not mean prejudice and persecution dies, nor does it mean we’re going to live in a country that fully respects us as people. In truth, full legal equality merely brings us to the same place that other persecuted minorities already occupy in the UK – and only the most privileged, delusional or bigoted (Daily Mail readers) would claim that sexism, racism et al have disappeared and there’s no problems left in the country.


We still have to fight – but this battle? This battle we won. I can still scarcely believe it, at every stage I expected one of the innumerable attacks to succeed in derailing us… but we got there.


We’ve taken a step forward – but there’s a long way yet to come. But I’m going to stand on this step and feel the joy for a while.



We will be able to get married in summer 2014, most likely. I don’t think it will truly sink in or I will be able to relax until it actually reaches then – but we’ve passed the hurdles.

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 Among the waves of homophobic bullshit that have been bombarding us during the fight for marriage equality, another the group made of concerned Christians and assorted dusty Tories and church people (usual suspects for hatred) have taken out a full page advert in the Times (which will, apparently, take money from anyone) on 10 reasons why treating gay people and gay relationships equally with straight folks is naughtybadwrong and why we should continue to be treated as lesser than the precious straighties and their eternal privilege.

 As can be imagined, these 10 points are complete and utter bullshit. Let’s take them one by one.

 Intact biological families provide the gold standard for the wellbeing of children

 Says who? Families with loving parents are the gold standard for the wellbeing of children. Intact biological families made of two abusive arseholes who hate each other are not the gold standard. One person having eggs and the other having sperm and them completing the not-so-difficult task of bringing that sperm and egg together does not a gold standard parent make.


 Children have a human right to be nurtured by both their biological parents.

 Nope – adopted children have no right to anything from their biological parents. Biological parents of divorced families can have limited – or no – access to their kids. Your parent(s) could be dead. In fact, at no time and in no place does a child ever get a RIGHT to their biological parents if those biological parents have said “screw this, I don’t want kids”. Or if those parents have been deemed unfit to raise kids. The closest you get is an adoptive “child” having the right to see their birth certificate at 18 – which is stretching the definition of “nurtured”.


 Gay parenting by definition denies the child from having one or both biological parents.

 You’re assuming that both (or either) biological parent of these kids are alive. Or want to know the kids. In fact, this whole argument is based on the idea of gay parents swooping on happy dappy perfect straight nuclear families and stealing the kids which happens NEVER. Gay parenting happens through sperm donation, surrogacy, adoption, fostering, children from past relationships – or various other ways that are all linked by the fact those children/foetus/sperm/eggs don’t have 2 biological parents setting up a healthy happy dappy family.

 But that’s aside from the fact that 1-3 here are all IRRELEVENT because child rearing is NOT linked to marriage. If a straight couple is infertile? They can get married. If a straight couple is utterly unfit to raise a child? They can get married. If a straight couple is avowedly child free? They can get married. We do not have a requirement of parenthood in our marriage laws. Marriage exists completely without babies.

 Marriage and parenthood Are. Not. Linked. And that’s aside from the fact all of this bullshit applies equally to straight adoptive parents, step parents and anything other than these bigots oh-so-precious biological nuclear families.


 Popular support for the bill is based on the unfounded theory that people are ‘born gay’.

 Every reputable psychiatric organisation in the world recognises that being gay is an inerrant part of a person that cannot be changed – and should not be tried. “Unfounded” is a stretch to say the least. And popular support for the bill is based on a strong sense that treating people like shit for who they love is wrong. We call it basic compassion.

All school children will be taught that as adults they can have marriage relationships with either men or women.

 And this is a problem? They CAN have marriage relationships with either men or women. Why is teaching children the truth a bad thing? Would you prefer we lied to them? Hah, course you would.


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 The Anglican church has said that they will stop opposing marriage equality in the House of Lords.


And people have celebrated and even praised them for it and seen it even as a sign of softening on homophobia.

Hah! All this means is the rat has left the sinking ship.


See, The Anglican church is, in many ways, far more sensible than the Catholic Church. The Catholic church will cling to their vocal, open hatred to the very end. The weasels in the Anglican church know how to twist. They’ve always been much bigger fans of making pretty speeches of how nice and friendly they are really – while their attack dogs spew hate speech and they put their power, influence and resources into fight every attempt we have ever made to be part of society.


They try to sound nice about it, they try to gild their hatred, try to polish their turds. They’re apologetic bigots – but they’re still bigot.

And having fought viciously against us for the duration of this push for equality, they've finally read the writing on the wall and are jumping ship and trying to clean themselves up again


This is also not a church that has ever stood by anything resembling principles. Welby and his rats said they were going to abstain for the vote – but he and his ilk all voted for Lord Dear’s wrecking amendment. So don’t expect this pretty speech to mean anything – Welby and the Anglican rats do not feel truth is something that matters or ever has. This should come as no surprise, in the run up to the marriage equality battle, lying Anglicans were claiming that the church wasn’t bigots because they supported civil partnerships! Of course that is a ridiculous claim because supporting a half measure doesn’t make you one bit less bigoted; but that’s moot. Because it wasn’t true – it was a complete lie and the Anglicans ferociously fought against civil partnerships as well.


What, you expect honesty from these people? Truth? Morals? Ethics? They’re the Anglican church, the rats don’t have principles, they only pretend to.


Of course the “not opposing” the law means they’re now concerned with… exemptions for bigots. Not bigoted churches – but personal bigots. So that means more attempts to enshrine homophobia in the law and give homophobia a pass in our schools, businesses and public life. So the campaign of hate goes on.


The cruel bigotry of the Anglicans has not gone away, nor has it changed. Justin Welby and his rats and followers remain our dedicated enemies, implacably fighting whenever they can against us – they’re just better at choosing their battles. But now’s the time to watch them – because they’re shifting their PR and ready to re-write history




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A day of debate on Marriage Equality has brought many things, lots of arseholery, of course – but bright sparks like Gerald Howarth’s nasty homophobia becoming that rather awesome #aggressivehomosexuals hashtag on twitter. Well played my siblings, well played indeed :).

 But it also brought a huge amount of debate about straight, cis folks (since there are straight trans people who are currently in civil partnerships)  having access to civil partnerships and I am rather annoyed. So let’s look at that.

 Before I begin this, I feel the need to remind everyone what a civil partnership is and what it was created for – the history people like to forget

 It was not created as a choice equal to marriage that allowed you to gain some legal rights while avoiding the kyrarchy/tradition/religion/whatever connected to marriage. It was not a union that meant something different or special from marriage. It was not created as a union for people who are uncomfortable with marriage for whatever reason, want to protest marriage or object to marriage or change marriage or, indeed, do anything else to marriage, our culture, our society, our tradition, our religions or any other damn thing in the entire country or even the world.

 Now, it’s possible you can repurpose civil partnerships to do any or all of the above, but that wasn’t what it was created for.

 Civil partnerships were a turd of homophobia, polished up all shiny, to be fed to GBLT folks because we were fighting for some legal recognition and marriage was considered too shiny, too special, too precious to be sullied by the likes of us. It was a way to concede some of those rights while still making our lesser status in society clear and overt. It was another legal entry in the annals of “why nasty GBLT people are beneath the precious cishets”.  It still is.

 Don’t ignore that. Don’t forget that history. To do so is dismissive, privileged and homophobic.

 And I say that as someone who is in a civil partnership and am painfully aware of how civil partnerships are treated.

 This is what we are trying to fight now with marriage equality. We are trying to remove the law that says we are less, our families are less, our loves, are less, we are less. We are trying to get the highest authority in the country to stop legitimising homophobia, to stop broadcasting that we are lesser people with inferior lives, to stop insisting that we are less due respect and full membership of society. That is marriage equality and that is what we are fighting. And there is a lot to fight – there are some very needed amendments for this bill coming up and some more Tory sabotage to fight against.

 But today we spent hours talking about cishet people and civil partnerships. I don’t know if Maria Miller is right and there will be all kind of delay for the bill – it’s likely she’s lying she is, after all, a politician and a Tory so chances are good. But I’m unwilling to take the risk and, regardless, we still spend hours during a debate on equality for GBLT people talking about the plight of bloody cishet people

 Does everything have to be about you? Seriously? Is it actually possible to do something without cishet people deciding they absolutely have to be involved?

 Do you want to take the turd that is civil partnerships and maybe use it to fertilise something better, something different? Great! Do so! By all means fight to use civil partnerships to create something good; so long as you remember and respect the history of civil partnerships and what they represented – AND STILL REPRESENT. Remember, civil partnership isn’t a special toy we got and you were denied, it’s the scraps off your table you expected us to settle for.  Maybe you can make more of it than that – I hope you do.

 But do it on your own damn time. This law is about achieving equality and righting an injustice on a marginalised group. It is not about you, cishet people. But you are deciding to use us, our fight, our struggle to further your own goal. It doesn’t matter how interesting or worthy or progressive or excellent that goal is – it’s supremely entitled  for you to jump on us like this for your own agenda – especially if you risk derailing or delaying our actual struggle for equality.

I’d like it if we could secure our seat at the table before we focused on whatever gourmet meal you intend to make from the crusts and scraps you threw to us.

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Beyond those 3 that are attracting a whole lot of attention and are designed to destroy the bill entirely, there are a number of other, more genuine, amendments as well, some of which are worth commenting on

 Religious freak outs. We have a whole load of amendments that say, basically, the churches need protecting from the icky icky gay folk. These are pretty much redundant since the bill already lets religious groups be bigots over and over again including with that ridiculous quadruple lock. There is no need for these amendments and their inclusion just adds fuel to the fire that poor religious groups are being forced by the nasty gay folk.

 Chaplains. A provision to protect chaplains from the icky icky gay folk. I vehemently oppose this. It’s one thing for private religious bodies to practice their bigotry (which I strong disapprove of anyway) but that goes beyond the pale when chaplains provide services for the government and are paid with tax payer money. My tax money shouldn’t be paying for bigotry against me.

 Adultery &Consummation. These archaic concepts are, at the moment, defined by penis-in-the-vagina (PIV) sex and are generally inapplicable to same-sex couples. But, to be frank and as I have explained before, they’re also pretty ridiculous for opposite sex couples as well. The amendments would remove all mention of both of these outdated concepts from the law – I approve wholeheartedly.

 Trans provisions: there are a number here. Firstly one that preserves pension rights for couples when one partner transitions – an obvious yes and needed.

 The current law allows a marriage to be voidable should one party be trans and not tell the other. The amendment would remove this – and I heartily agree. Should they wish to end the marriage there are already tools to end it. I do not think being trans is such a super-special clause that it needs its own voidable clause, nor do I like pressures of disclosure being pushed on trans people.

 The law as it stands requires a cis person in a marriage to a trans person to statutorily declare they want the marriage to keep on after the trans person transitions. This is exceedingly icky and the amendment removing it is badly needed – this sets a presumption that they will want their marriage to end, it sets a presumption that cis people automatically need an out from marriage with a trans person – it sets up an ideal that being married to a trans person is a terribad fate that people need rescuing from and that most people would – should – flee from. As I say above, nothing will force you to remain married, we already have a pathway to ending a marriage without having to impose this insulting presumption of dissolution and forcing couples to take steps NOT to be automatically divorced.

 There is also an amendment allowing the altering of marriage certificates to reflect a trans person’s gender and birth certificates of their children to reflect their parents’ gender. Definitely needed.

 In the past, trans people have been forced to annul their marriages to transition (since same-sex marriage was illegal). There is an amendment to allow these people to reinstate their marriage and have it listed as continuous. Definitely something to support – they did not want their marriage to end and had that forced on them by a bigoted law, time to correct that.


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The marriage equality debate comes up for debate again today, as you can probably tell by the number of Tories frothing and spreading bigotry on various news channels – and someone’s rattled Lord Carey’s cage again.

 We now go into the amendment stage. When we did this with Civil Partnerships, this was when the Tories did everything they could to scupper the law by throwing as much mud at it as possible in the hope that it would stick and drown the law – things like sibling marriages et al. No doubt the same is going to happen here.

Some ones that have pinged the radar:

  Referendum. Yes, we need to turn out the whole country to vote on whether or not we get to get wed. Referenda in the UK are reserved for major constitutional changes for the most part, they’re not things we do casually and certainly not things we do for people’s basic human rights. So far, referendums and proposed referendums have been confined to things like EU membership, devolution, the voting system; constitutional structural changes all. We have only had 11 of them – ever - and none of them have ever concerned human rights being put up for popular vote. Even bigoted MP David barrows admits he’s only introducing the amendment to try and sink the bill.

 Needless to say, the very idea of the whole nation of predominantly straight people voting on my rights sickens me and infuriates me. Add in the complete lack of any constitutional basis for such a referendum and it’s a blatant, nauseating piece of homophobia.

 Discrimination Immunity apparently for registrars and school teachers and who knows what else – all will be given a pass from our current equality laws to be raging homophobic bigots under this amendment. No. Really fucking no. If a registrar wants their bigoted religion to control their job then they should have become a vicar, priest, rabbi, imam, or whatever their bigotry of choice is.

And teachers most certainly should never get a pass to be bigots. The harm this does to our children – in all schools and, yes, that includes private and faith schools. It’s especially important in faith schools that are already shown to be extremely hostile places for GBLT youth. Marriage equality will exist – teachers teach what exists. You don’t get to pretend something doesn’t exist because you don’t like it. You don’t get to teach children we don’t exist because you’re bigots. And we do not tolerate teachers denigrating people by race, religion or gender – so why should we do so for GBLT people? I am sick and tired of the unthinkable when it comes to other marginalised people being the publicly acceptable with GBLT people.

 This is apparently something Cameron is considering as a concession to getting the bill passed. And that’s ridiculous – the bill will pass with the majority of Labour and Lib Dem MPs and the minority of Tories who support equality. The last vote passed overwhelmingly by over 225 votes. There is no need of concessions to pass this law. There IS a need for concessions for the Tories if they want to try and present this law as their baby, as I said previously. Whatever praise Cameron hoped for for being the prime minister who brought marriage equality is badly shattered by over half of his party opposing it and the nasty shit his MPs have been spouting since its introduction.  To claw back some of that sense of this being a TORY bill, he needs at least half of his MPs to vote for it – it’ll be weak, but something. Though snipping out pieces of the equality act to convince his party to support equality is a bit of a non-starter. Of course, he’s also running scared from UKIP and this government is deeply reactionary. In a classically-Cameron slapstick moment, he’s trying to push the “look how modern I am” while at the same time still woo the Swivel Eyed Loons (thank you Lord Feldman) who are champing at the bit and protest voting to UKIP, the BNP with better PR.

 Straight civil partnerships I have to say I am bemused as to why straight people so desperately want access to the not-good-enough-for-marriage partnerships since I can’t see one damn thing it brings you that civil marriage doesn’t - beyond the fact that straight people simply have to be part of everything and in everything. But, hey if we want to continue civil partnerships (which is probably easier and less problematic than scrapping them after marriage equality) then by all means have them open to straight folks.

 However, Maria Miller claims that this amendment would delay implementation by 2 years. I have no idea why – but then, I have no idea why it has taken this damn long to get marriage equality. I suspect it may be a derail and may be a lie or a figure plucked out of the air. While I don’t trust her, the fact that the ones proposing this amendment are the usual Tory bigots who hate all things equality and will do anything to destroy this bill makes me think that it is certainly designed to delay or derail marriage equality. I can’t imagine them supporting this UNLESS it helps damage, delay or destroy marriage equality. Much as I dislike Lynn Featherstone and her straightwashing and dismissal of Tory homophobia, she’s right when she says “beware opponents bearing gifts.” Again, this is what the Tories did when civil partnerships were first introduced – try to drown them in amendments.

 Either way, I do not support our fight for equality being derailed and delayed AGAIN by entitled straight people deciding they need the lesser-not!marriage-we’ve-been-forced-to-settle-on. The idea that our access to the full institution should be delayed so straight people can also have the lesser-institution sticks in the craw.


It’s tempting to consider this battle won because of the success of the earlier votes – but it’s far from over, especially with the Lords looming over. At this stage we need to be vigilant over marriage equality being deformed, of amendments being introduced that would gut our equality in other areas, of “concessions” that would leave us with let another unequal institution and of delays and wrangles that could see us waiting yet more years for marriage equality to actually happen. Keep on fighting.


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Nigel Evans, MP, has been arrested for the alleged rape of 2 men.

 And, yes, he’s openly gay.

 And lo, the hot mess begins. And let there be a lot of “can you not…” right now.

 Can we not have the simplistic assumptions we so often see that completely ignore the history of gay men being accused of sexual assault

 At the same time, can we not have people who are usually so very sure that blaming the victim and assuming sexual assault victims are lying is deeply wrong suddenly deciding to throw that out the window when gay men may be the victims.

 Can we not have any attempts to try and make sweeping statements about all of us on the basis of this. Another vomit-worthy repeat of the “gay men have a culture and tradition of preying on young men and boys” is really not needed. Especially if you’re not actually a gay or bisexual man in which case you don’t know nearly as much about our “culture” as you think you do and can take your nose out before deciding to paint us as sex offenders. Or making being a sex predator a “tradition” for gay men, because that was some evil messed up shit.

 Can we not have people handwringing about how this is hurting all gay men. Because it isn’t – the thing hurting gay and bi men is the collective responsibility straight people – and others sometimes as was evident during the Clash scandal – like to dump on all of us. We are not responsible and only people who do not see us as fully people, as individuals or people who are looking for an excuse to attack us will attack all of us based on one man’s actions. That is what will hurt us. By saying this crime will hurt all of us is accepting that we hold collective responsibility rather than attacking the sweeping bigotries perpetuated against us.

Can we not have a full biography of how gay he is every time this is reported? Is it relevant when  he came out? Is there a reason to write articles that at least half about his sexuality? We don't do this with straight people.

I feel a headache coming on already.


And while we're at it - not he isn't a GBLT activist. The man was a closeted homophobe with a dire voting record against our rights who came out seconds before he was outed and then tried to spin it the other way.

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With her now being buried I hope we can leave behind the endlessly revolting Thatcher praise.

 People think it’s respectful or honourable to praise this woman? To talk about her “accomplishments”? I say all of you spit on the graves of her victims, there’s some disrespect for the dead for you

 Under brutal, tyrannical regimes across the planet people suffered and died – Pol Pot, Pinochet, Apartheid South Africa, Saddam Hussein, Suherto – these are Thatcher’s friends and allies, these are the people she propped up. These are the people you praise and fawn over. The graves of their victims are the ones you spit on

 Under her, industries were sold off, British manufacturing was gutted and private owners become obscenely rich as they were given away for a fraction of their real value. Vast amounts of the property of the commons entered private hands and they paid peppercorns for these freebies. But it’s those on welfare we demonise, not these rich people and their hand outs

 The right to unionise, the right to collective bargaining was gutted under her regime as she devastated communities – especially the poorest and the most vulnerable in the country. Communities today are still in ruins, poverty has become accepted and stuck for generations and with each year they continue to take the worst of the cuts and “austerity.” Rarely has the North/South divide yawned wider – or have Wales, Scotland and Ireland had greater reason to loathe Westminster then when Maggie Iron Fist was in command.

 Her blatantly racist policies and policing lead to riots in Brixton, Toxteth and Handsworth; inflamed by anti-immigration scapegoating that continues to this day, and Thatcher’s racist sus laws POC took to the streets in fury.

 Her gross homophobia was enshrined not just in policy that made the police an enemy of GBLT people to this day, but was firmly ensconced in law. Section 28, perhaps the most reviled legislation for GBLT people ever produced in the UK, prevented any school or public body from saying anything positive about GBLT people. We were banned from the public sphere unless it was to insult and denigrate us, driven instead to the knife, the noose and the medicine cabinet to end our isolation and despair. While you cry over Thatcher’s coffin, picture the gay kids hanging over it.

 Her culture of privatisation and deregulation set the stage for all the crises to come – including our current recession that has Thatcher’s bloody hand print all over it. It wasn’t just her rule that left us scarred and hurting, but her cultural shift ensured that the pain would continue to this day

And today the government continues in the same path. Privatisation of schools, gutting of the NHS, gutting of legal aid, removing any pretence of having any kind of help or safety net for the most vulnerable. Cutting taxes for the richest in society while raising regressive taxes like VAT. Slashing money to councils then complaining because essential services collapse throwing the poorest to the wolves. Introducing the bedroom tax while fighting to reduce capital gains tax from their mansions. Introducing benefit caps but never looking at the stagnating minimum wage or the skyrocketing prices of rent. Demonising the unemployed while never considering that the majority of those on benefit are EMPLOYED by we don’t expect the rich employers to pay a liveable wage. Disabled people made to crawl for every penny they need to survive while the rich are given free reign in tax havens

 So watch the funeral, the massive funeral that we’re paying £10,000,000 and more for while the poorest in society are mocked for having to live on £50 a week. Watch this expensive boondoggle for a woman who hated every penny the public purse spent on people actually deserving, organised by Cameron and Osbourne who want children to starve and the disabled to find miracle cures. Watch the Bishop of London chide that this isn’t the day for politics – while praising her political legacy that buried so many from a pulpit where he tries to influence our laws for the continue disenfranchisement of vulnerable people in society. Watch Osbourne cry his tears when days ago he was callously exploiting the brutal murders for small children in an attempt to grind his boot further into the necks of the poorest in the country. Watch Cameron speak about how great Thatcher was while he continues her work of ensuring everything Great about Britain is destroyed.

 This is Thatcher’s legacy. This is the woman we bury today. So bury her, salt the earth and install the floor for us to dance on her grave – or, if you must, hold silent. But your demands for “respect” and “silence” spits on the graves of those she killed. Your glowing praise paints over the blood spattered. And for every crocodile tear you squeeze out for this woman, an ocean of grief was already sobbed by her victims.


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I couldn't stand the woman, I still can't. I'm not even going to pretend to be sad that she's dead, being Northern, Working Class, Gay and a child of the 80s, my loathing is the stuff of legends.

I'm not going to say nice things about her because she's finally kicked the bucket. There are no nice things to say about her. And it's an insult to her victims to pretend she was even close to a decent human being .

We cannot allow her legacy to be whitewashed, we cannot let the pain she caused be forgotten in a wave nostalgia and Tory rewriting of history, we cannot let her legacy be cast as anything other than the evil it was. We cannot let a wave of pretend grief backed by an unwillingness to speak ill of the dead to become some kind of endorsement of her policies and her politics.

Margaret Thatcher is dead and she was a person who left this world poorer for her time in it, who brought more pain than joy, who caused more suffering than healing and who left scars that will be generations in the healing. In the future I may pull on my dancing shoes and boogie on top of her grave.

But, for now, I can't put on my dancing shoes because Margaret Thatcher isn't my focus and cannot be. She hasn't been a force in politics for years, despite her evil legacy. I have more rage and fury towards the evil of the present - and Cameron and little Cleggy - than the vileness of the past, even if it still hurts us. Dancing shoes later folks, we need to keep our work boots on because we've got a lot more to do - and a lot more to kick - before we have the time and space to dance on the grave.

Now here's hoping she rises from the crypt and takes out Cameron and Cleggy. Then I'll hold a street party. Failing that, let's hope she was buried at crossroads or her ashes scattered over several bodies of water


(Anyone wringing their hands and worrying about the disrespect for the poor old monster, you might want to save it, because we will mock you. Yes yes we will)

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I was stuck in Liverpool (also why I’m going to be a while catching up with everything – my reader just hit 1,500 unread links) when this vote passed and my bosses another then nor now could understand why I wanted to be home, watching, waiting for this result and then celebrating with Beloved. Yes, I’m not happy about that.

 But I am ecstatic about the result. Yes it was expected because of the support from the Lib Dems and Labour alone meant only a teeny tiny number of Tories needed to be on side to pass it, but it was still a fingernail biting moment. We’re getting closer – I cannot describe how much this means to me, how breathlessly excited I am and how outright terrified I am of this screwing up. This has to happen.

 Needless to say, the minute this bill has finished its winding passage through Parliament and becomes law, I will be upgrading my Civil Partnership to an actual marriage; our legal status will reflect our hearts and my faith. The law will not continue to tell me what I am not, the law will not continue to demean my relationship for a second more, I will not, for one instantly longer than I must, wear a label that says my love is not real.

 So where does it go from here? The main hurdle is going to be the House of Lords which looks like a much tougher prospect than the Commons. But it’s not insurmountable (especially not with the Parliament Act). I think a far more likely enemy is going to be delay delay and more delay followed by a shed load of bullshit amendments that are going to be used to a) delay the law, b) water down the law or c) push so much crap at the law it ends up collapsing. I think a and b are most likely. It’s similar to what happened during the Civil Partnership debate, when we had lots of junk amendments thrown in (like Brother/Sister Civil Partnership. And Business Partners Civil Partnerships). Hopefully we’ll get some good amendments as well. Still, keep your eyes sharp, lobby the lords and throw crap at the Bishops (or lions if you have them. We really need some lions. If they’re going to play the “waaaah not being able to be a bigot is persecuting me!” card so much we may need to remind them of the difference).

 In terms of the nitty gritty:

 Labour: For: 218 Against: 22, Abstained/Absent: 18

Conservatives; For: 127, Against: 137, Abstained/Absent: 40

Lib Dems: For: 45, Against: 4, Abstained/Absent: 7


(I’m not going to look at the minor parties except a brief glare at Northern Ireland’s overwhelmingly negative response. And, yes, I do consider Absent and Abstained to be much the same since absent is too often a cowardly way of abstaining). And no, the numbers don’t always add up for complicated reasons, tellers etc.

 A full list of which MPs voted aye, which bigots voted no and which were cowardly snakes who were trying to weasel round their bigotry can be found here. Name them, shame them and cast out the bigots and the bigoted weasels as the vile scum they are.

Read more... )

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As we get closer towards marriage equality vote more and more Tories are losing their shit in predictable ways – and among the predictable shit losing we expect from the bigots, there’s also a small crowd of “you’re going to damage our election chances!” Which really shows their moral priorities.

 But they are probably right. And wrong.

 See, in 2015? Yes, it probably will. There are probably a large amount of huffy bigots who will throw all their toys out of the pram because their hatred of gay people isn’t being backed up in law. They may stay home next election, or vote UKIP or BNP (who are still pandering to the Tory bigot vote) and damage the Tories already tenuous chances.

 At the same time, supporters of marriage equality are unlikely to turn out in force for the Tories because all three parties are supporting this. In fact, the only major opponents of this bill are the Tories themselves – it’s even possible, or likely, that the Tories won’t be able to pass this without overwhelming support from Labour and Lib Dems. And we’re not even debating their support – overwhelming support from Labour and the Lib Debs is expected. This is part of why it won’t help the Tories much – even with Tories being the ones to introduce the bill, they’re still the ones being dragged, kicking and screaming, while the Lib Dems and Labour are happily working with it. Worse, for the Tories, is that their MPs are constantly opening their mouths and saying some terrible things. Any attempts to big up their gay rights record next election can be hit by some truly horrible quotes. And, besides, too many of us are too aware of the Tories’ overall record to let one tick overwhelm a whole lot of crosses.

So, short term? Yes, I think they’re right.

 But long term? Not so much.

 See, I think we’re moving to a different era of homophobia in this country – and, perhaps, much of the west in general. It’s not going away or anything close to that – and it won’t in my lifetime or in the lifetime of my hypothetical grandchildren for that matter. But overt, stark homophobic bigotry is becoming less… favourable.

 That doesn’t mean it isn’t expressed. But it means you can’t just say “those dirty, filthy queers are attacking our children!” and not have at least a significant minority give you the side-eye.  Maybe not the majority and hate groups that express these views in these terms are still being given a powerful platform far too often, but certainly there’s sufficient disapproval of such overt hatred as to make people more cautious. Especially if they want national appeal.

 It doesn’t stop more coded bigotry, of course. And we all know and loathe plenty of mainstream politicians and public figures who are expert in coded language and dog whistles. Nor does it mean bigotry is substantially reducing – just looking at over isms where it’s no longer “polite” to openly use slurs or openly say “these people are less” and you can clearly see that the bigotry and societal prejudice is still going strong.

Read More

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I am keeping everything crossed

Don't screw this up!

Same-sex marriage bill in the UK: voting in February.

if you're British - contact your MP, even if they've said no publicly, even if they've said yes publicly - contact them, yell at them, throw pies at them - let them know this matters.

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That’s the rather innocuous title of a police initiative to harvest DNA for the national database from violent and sexual criminals who have since been released. They go visit said released criminals who are “convicted of the most serious offences” and demand their DNA or that person faces arrest.

 While there are numerous wrangles that go with the dubious nature of the DNA database, we have an extra lump of homophobia on this one

Gay men who have criminal records for being gay are being targeted. Some of these are gay men who were arrested for being gay before it was repealed in the 60s, or arrested for being gay in the military which was only repealed in 1994. Or when we had sex under the then age of consent (the age of consent for gay men was only equalised in 2001. I remember vividly because I was breaking that law). Add in, of course, that police through the ages have pursued numerous, highly homophobic attacks at gay clubs, gay cruising spots and anywhere else where entrapment or manufactured evidence – or even just accusation (after all, if you accuse a closeted gay man of a crime, he can plead guilty and try to get it over with quickly, or fight it and be Outed). Gay men have long been the targets of now repealed “gross indecency” laws which became tools by the police to persecute us long after being gay was no longer a crime.

 But under Operation Nutmeg, apparently being gay counts as one of those “violent and sexual criminals” and police are going to see these gay men who were targeted in the past and demanding their DNA. Now, anyone with common sense would assume this meant those guilty of sexual assaults and rapes. But then, common sense has always taken a back seat to homophobia.

 So far there are reports of the police doing this in Manchester, Northumberland, West Midlands and London, but it’s a national scheme and it seems unlikely

Different forces have responded to the revelations with different methods of deflection and cover up.

Northumberland has run with “nope nope nope, totally not true, honest.” And they had other criminal records honest – maybe (albeit doubtful), but shall we look at Manchester’s excuse?

 Manchester ran with “he had other convictions.” Yes, theft. Theft is a sexual and violent crime? Are straight thieves being targeted under this provision harvesting DNA from sexual and violent criminals? Because I’m seeing lots of “murder/rape/sexual assault” on Operation Nutmeg, not thieving. Even they had to backtrack and apologise on this one when they realised they didn’t have a leg to stand on. To that one victim – they’re treating it as isolated.

How many others have been caught in this? How many others who may be afraid to come forwards (who already have reason to be afraid of the police, after all?) And how much are assurances that the erroneously (i.e. homophobically) collected DNA will be destroyed?

 The lesson, as ever, is that it’s vitally important to be careful with your trust. While most police forces are now trying to make their homophobia less blatant, it’s still a major problem. Whenever possible ensure you have a lawyer present when having to deal with the police, always take the name and Force Identification Number of all police you have dealings with. If it is safe for you to do so in your situation, do take your story to the press (even if it is just our own GBLT press) because it’s only through numbers and noise that we can stop bigoted bullshit like this.


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April 2015

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