So yes, countries that executed people for being gay are committing genocide.
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So yes, countries that executed people for being gay are committing genocide.
UKIP councillor David Silvester has decided that all the flooding around the UK this year has been caused by… marriage equality. Yes, us gay folk be causing natural disasters again. (UKIP again comes forth with the excuse that though they don’t support equality and their elected members are rabid bigots who they happily embrace that totally doesn’t mean the party is homophobic, honest)
We’ve heard it before haven’t we? Earthquakes – gay people did that. Floods? Gay folks. Hurricane? Yep, that’s the gay people. Fukushima, Katrina, the Boxing Day Tsunami, the death of bees and birds and endangered species and serial killers and gun massacres – gays gay gays, gays have done all of that! We’re the ultimate scourge of humanity - like the 7 plagues, all the signs of the apocalypse and the Kardashians’ continued career all in one.
And no, even though we make a joke about it, it’s not harmless – this kind of demonization does dehumanise and does encourage persecution. It is the extreme end of a constant meme –we’re sinners, we’re wicked, we’re evil and we have to be stopped. It also shows a lot about our media and culture that hate speech this extreme is not really considered all that outrageous.
But I’ve said all that before and likely will again. Today I’ve been thinking about just what this says about the god David Silvester and his ilk worship and praise. Because this is a god who, apparently, has looked at history – looked at slavery, torture, murder, massacres, genocide, abuse, cruelty and all kinds of evil that lurk there – and decided to not do a damn thing.
But the minute gay people’s rights are recognise then your god is shifting his arse off that cloud and getting in some smiting? Really? This is his priorities? Because I kind of think if gay marriage is worth some bad flooding then the slave trade had to be worth wiping out a substantial portion of the map.
This is something I just cannot understand with these bigoted Christians. Why would anyone worship their god? Even if you believed in this capricious, cruel, sadistic monster, why would you ever worship it? Why would you support something so patently evil?
I cannot understand loving such a being, supporting such a being and praising such a being. In fact, I'm deeply disturbed that someone would believe in a deity so lacking in priorities and so capable of evil - and then praise it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pope Francis is an amazing agent of PR. He makes pretty speeches, throws in some dramatic (but ultimately unhelpful) gestures and people crawl over themselves to praise him as some kind of living saint. It’s remarkable – he continues to maintain policies that are the very height of vicious bigotry but people are turning out to sing the man’s praises! Pretty speeches guys! Washing feet! He sits on a simple chair! A SIMPLE CHAIR! Truly this is the thing saints are made of! Truly only militant atheists could possibly oppose this homophobe! Never mind that his church continues to fight against marriage equality, anti-discrimination provisions and even to try and keep our existence illegal, he made a pretty speech! How dare you criticise him!
The man will probably be made a living saint before the end – these pretty speeches are just so awesome.
The Advocate is advocating for homophobes now. At least the comment section is as appalled as I am. It’s not only grossly nauseating to give this man the award for making pretty speeches while maintaining homophobic policies, but it’s an
The desperate need to fawn over straight people, no matter how bigoted, over and over again doesn’t seem to be fading, alas. These are the scars that homophobia leaves – we have so little respect for our own self-worth that even the most token, failed attempts at being slightly-less-awful to us are considered wonderful and worthy of cookies.
Hey, maybe, just maybe, at some point this pope will actually do something for GBLT people. And when he does, then we can look at praise and accolades.
But he has done nothing. He has changed nothing. His pretty speeches are hollow, his church continues to promote bigotry throughout the world, he continues to support evil persecution of the worst kind. The church hasn’t changed and he has made no effort to change it
He hasn’t even condemned the homophobia his church espouses – just asked them to focus attention elsewhere to help patch the church’s awful PR. But this man is worth praising for his pathetic waffly speeches? He hasn’t even taken back his OWN HOMOPHOBIC CAMPAIGNING. Or are we all going to forget about that?
The sad thing is it’s all part of an ongoing pattern of praising complete non-efforts from religious groups and acting like they’re somehow our friends when, at best, they get it so wrong and at worst, they’re like this Pope, supporting bigotry and putting a veil of acceptability around it.
We will never achieve justice and equality if we continue to throw parades every time someone throws us crumbs – especially if that crumb comes with a slap in the face.
And, frankly, I’m not sure I believe you. Ok, maybe you’re “not all like that”, but most of you? Yeah, I think most of you ARE like that or, at very least, quite happy to tolerate “that.” How many billions of you support bigoted churches with your presence and your resources? How many of you say “we’re not all like that” then attend a Catholic mass or put money in an Othodox collection plate or tithe to the LDS or tick “Anglican” on the census form? How many of you say “we’re not all like that” and attend a synagogue condemning marriage equality or a mosque participating in an event inviting speakers who think gay people should be thrown off a mountain?
How many of you actually DO anything to show “you’re not all like that” other than make a crappy youtube video – if that?
And don’t give me the “we’re changing it from within” bullshit – because we’ve seen no examples of that oh-so-special change you’ve been working on for so long. In fact, we’re so inured to religious bigotry, so accepting of it, so willing to make excuses for it that vast numbers of people were PRAISING Pope Frances for his dodgy PR speech. How many of you PRAISE the Anglican church for being liberal despite it fighting every last fight for GBLT equality in the UK and having its fingers behind many genocidal anti-gay laws that it can barely bring itself to criticise?
This man is one of the best spin doctors I’ve ever come across.
Take his latest stunt. He releases a speech in which he thinks that Catholics shouldn’t focus so much on all the homophobia and misogyny.
And the crowd goes wild! Look at all the people rushing in to give him cookies for making a pretty speech! Just like last time, his minimal sorta-nice words are hailed as revolutionary and reforming!
Do we have such a low opinion of our value, so little respect for our personhood, that this level of fawning happens every time this nasty bigot of this nasty bigoted organisation says anything? Are we worth so little that these non-gestures are to be praised? Are we so disgusting that this mealy mouthed “nice” bigotry is something we should be grateful for?
No? Then why are you validating this shit?! I and mine are worth more than Frances’ patronising non-acceptance. I resent the yapping gratitude to a man who STILL won’t acknowledge our full humanity.
Look at what he said!
He didn’t change policy or doctrine of the Catholic church. He hasn’t changed the Catholic church’s homophobia or misogyny. He hasn’t said women can be leaders equal to men. He hasn’t said love between GBLT people is as valid or equal to that between straight people. He hasn’t said that He hasn’t changed the Catholic church’s position on non-discrimination laws, marriage equality, abortion or contraception.
He hasn’t said the church will stop fighting against our human rights. He hasn’t said the church will stop treating us like shit. He hasn’t apologised for his own vile hate speech. He hasn’t apologised for the evil shit his church has perpetuated. He hasn’t apologised for his homophobic co-speech with Benedict.
He’s said there needs to be less of a focus on it. Because the Catholic church is becoming known as the homophobia and anti-choice church.
It’s a PR exercise. It’s like a man kicking puppies and then deciding he’s still going to kick puppies, but he’ll not extol the virtues of puppy kicking quite so much. And we’re going to praise him for this crap?
He is not pushing for any change of policy or doctrine. He is not trying to reduce bigotry one iota. He is not stopping his church pushing the same level of toxic hatred that is killing people
But he’s praised. He’s praised because we don’t matter. He’s praised because bigotry from the church is RIGHTEOUS and beyond criticism
And if you think that this is a huge step for the church then that isn’t something to praise! That is proof of the utter, repellent evil the church is consumed by. If this is all the good it can manage, then it should be condemned – it should be shunned, it should be reviled! Not praised for petty gestures of humanity being the only shred of goodness it can manage. If it is so lost to evil then it shouldn’t be praised for that.
And why would it change faster? You’re all out there throwing cookies at the man for a pretty speech! This isn't even a case of giving cookies to people for meeting minimum standards of humanity - because he hasn't even done that! This is handing cookies to a bigot who has the common sense to gild his bigotry! That’s twice at least that you’ve done that! You eat up his bigotry and sing his praises! Why should he or the church try to change any faster? You’ll kneel at his feet and fawn at his ankles because he’s willing to say nice things while he beats you!
I’m sick of being smacked and then expected to say thank you. I’m sick of these bigots trampling on us and far too many of us saying how wonderful the bigots are for stomping on our necks. It’s pathetic, it’s depressing and shows just how much contempt for us is normalised, internalised and all encompassing.
Why is it dishonest? Because it completely misses the context of this “war”. And, I’ll agree, there is a war being fought.
There is a war being fought because Christians (and other religious groups) are constantly attacking us. There are multi-million pound Christian groups created with destroying our rights as one of their express purposes. Politicians get up and speak against every right we fight for while waving Bibles in the air. The head of the biggest Christian denomination in the world spouts hate speech every bit as hateful as the Westboro Baptist church. In my country the Anglican church weasels its way around desperately fighting against our rights every time they’ve come up for a vote – and because they are an established church they actually, sickening, have a vote to make their bigotry law. The Christian Orthodox church in Russia is up to its neck in Russian anti-gay laws and other branches of the Orthodox church can be found championing bigotry throughout the Balkans. The Catholic church around the world can be relied upon for the most hateful homophobic rhetoric and the most powerful opposition to every and any right we fight for.
Quite literally BILLIONS of Christians support these homophobic denominations.
And the gay equivalent…
See, we’re not fighting to have Christians executed. We’re not fighting to have Christians arrested. We’re not fighting to have forceful conversion of Christians. We’re not fighting to have Christians fired. We’re not fighting to break up Christian marriages. We’re not fighting to have anti-Christian bigotry championed in schools. We’re not fighting to have Christian kids bullied to the point of suicide. We’re not fighting to get anything FROM Christians or to do anything TO Christians. We have no vested interest in fighting Christianity – only in defending ourselves AGAINST it.
This is a war – but it isn’t two sides attacking each other. It’s one side constantly attacking and the other side constantly defending.
Bullshit. Not only is it bullshit, but it is obscene and disgusting how many people are so quick and eager to swallow this man’s shit without any attempt to parse it through. The media reporting has been awful and it has been a major PR bonus for a man who is a grossly evil bigot and always has been
“It’s not for me to judge gay priests,” the pope says.
D’you know why? Because priests are celibate. Because for the last 3 popes the Catholic church has always said that they won’t judge gay people who are celibate, closeted or trying to be straight.
This is not progress. This does not change even a shred of Catholic attitudes or Catholic bigotry. It doesn’t change the fact the billion or so Catholics out there are supporting a grossly bigoted institution that attacks and dehumanises gay people every chance it gets.
The pope says he doesn’t want to marginalise gay people
Again, this is nothing new. The Catholic church has always claimed not to be homophobic, they have always claimed not to want to persecute or marginalise gay people. They have always claimed this - but their actions put the lie to the pretty speeches. Their hate speech put the lie to their pretty speeches. His hate speech puts the lie to his pretty speeches.
While he made that speech, Catholic bishops are fighting against anti-discrimination laws in the US. Lack of anti-discrimination laws by definition marginalise gay people but the Catholic are there fighting - as they are fighting against GSAs, anti-bullying laws, anti-marriage laws and every other attempt to fight for equality we have. The Catholic church’s official stance is still that gay people are “disordered,” our love lives are “acts of depravity” and that we’re against “natural law”.
None of this has changed. Francis has changed none of that. He has continued to uphold the bigoted homophobia of the Catholic church. He is continuing to push the bullshit idea of “love the sinner, hate the sin” because they continue to try and make being gay something we do rather than something they are. They still deny our personhood.
Frances hasn’t changed that. He is every bit as much a bigot as the vile Benedict who was every bit as much a bigot as the vile Jean-Paul. He and his church will continue working to oppose all of our rights and our humanity, no matter how much it hurts us or how many of us die because of Catholic hate.
This is not progress. This doesn’t even resemble progress. Nothing has changed - but the media and an inordinate number of people are now willing to sugarcoat his bigotry because there are such damn low standards for accepting GBLT people’s right to exist as full people.
But you know one thing Frances is good at? Not compassion and certainly not decency, not with the hate speech he spouted. No, this man is awesome at PR. He is a bloody genius spin doctor. Whether it’s washing people’s feet or sitting in a chair and not a throne (did he sell the throne? No?), he knows how to make big dramatic empty gestures that don’t actually change anything but look so good and the media laps it up!
This pope is no better than his predecessors, but he’s already shown a devious ability to play to the crowd and ensure there will be people there to play apologetic for his bigotry.
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.
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.
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
It has been a long time since I last did a Bad News Round Up. They’re draining. Aside from the work of compiling, the litany is just damn depressing and I’m not always in the headspace to handle them
But, with today being the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, I am venturing back to them because I do think they’re important, for all the reasons I’ve said before. It’s important to link the hatred to the violence. It is important to realise these aren’t isolated incidents or that the bigotry is in the past.
In short, it is important to remember why we have to keep fighting.
Read More (with obvious trigger warnings)
I’ve been absent over Easter, that’s pretty much been intentional on my part. Not just because I like to do my own ceremonies in private, but also because this is not a holiday I enjoy and certainly not a holiday I feel comfortable sticking my head over the trenches for.
Like many religious holidays, this is one where you can guarantee that the media is going to stick some microphones in front of a priest/vicar/bishop/other holy bloke and then repeat/reprint his words for the entire nation
The holy words of holy blokes are generally pretty hateful. The organised churches of this country (and the vast majority of the world) have made no secret of the fact they’d rather I drop dead tomorrow and never miss a chance to launch another attack against us whenever more publicity comes their way. Whatever messages apply to whatever holidays, the one that is repeated on all of them is that their god loathes GBLT people.
After years of hateful holy rhetoric that has only intensified as we fight for legal equality, I’m running on empty. Faced with a holiday of trying to play dodge-the-Christian on TV, the internet and more I decided to opt out of all of them as much as I am able and had a few days of silence, not answering the phone and not speaking to people. I particularly clung to Saturday where I went all day seeing and speaking to only GBLT people – I had knots untense in my muscles I never even knew I had.
The problem I’ve found is, especially in the people around me and in my family, that Easter is one of those holidays where nominal Christians suddenly remember Christianity and put on 8 new layers of temporary religious gestures – and end up saying, supporting and doing shit that offends, angers, worries or scares me.
And, the sad thing is, overt displays of Abrahamic religions already worry and frighten me; I often regard them the same way I would bright colourful markings on a snake or hornet – be warned, here lies something that wants to fuck you up most royally. It’s become a reflexive flinch and doesn’t make for a quiet or easy time of life when there are religious holidays about and someone’s dug Lord Carey from the pit, AGAIN. C’mon isn’t there a limit to how many times you can raise the same zombie? Someone check the Monster Manual.
So, I stayed in, I battened down the hatches and I relaxxxxxxxxxxxxxed. It reminds me how many months it’s been since I last had peace, I may have to do this more often.
There are apparent differences about him in that this Pope seems to have been something of an ascetic as a cardinal – in as much as a cardinal tends to be. And he apparently has a record that isn’t awful when it comes to poverty issues.
This has lead an inordinate amount of people to praise his “social justice” dedication and “man with a conscience”
Yeah, let me side-eye you all for that.
As can be expected from that most bigoted of institutions, the Catholic church, the new Papa Nazi is just as nasty as the last one. He actually calls gay folks satanic and our families “discrimination against children”. He’s anti-choice, anti-contraception, anti-GBLT. All of the standard bigoted bullshit. And I have no time for anyone beginning with “yes he’s a homophobic misogynist… but” my tolerance of papal apologists is exhausted. And don't tell me he's passionate for the poor and marginalised if you don't at least have the decency to add "well, so long as they're cis and straight"
Which means I also question the whole dedication to poverty and HIV activism apologists are touting. He wants to help HIV but is against contraception? Yeah sitting there and having REALLY GOOD INTENTIONS while scuppering the greatest tool we have against HIV is about as useful as a chocolate fire guard. And poverty? Maybe for straight, cis men – but homophobia and transphobia pushes an inordinate number of GBLT people into poverty. And being able to have control of her own reproductive choices is a not unimportant factor in tackling poverty among women as well. So let’s say what it is – he gives lip service to anti-poverty efforts for certain groups and makes some dramatic gestures like ZOMG TAKING THE BUS! OH THE HUMILITY! He cooks HE actually COOKS FOR HIMSELF! Heavens to Betsy, fetch me the smelling salts I feel quite faint from shock!
As an added bonus this particular Cardinal seems to have been up to his neck in Argentina’s dictatorship. But keep on praising this man’s “conscience”.
All in all, the new pope is going to be much the same as the old pope. A rather evil man, supporting a lot of painful cruelty and bigotry but given a vast amount of influence in the world because 1.2 billion Catholics are willing to empower him and the damage he causes.
So Cardinal O’Brien, while viciously and nastily attacking GBLT people and gay rights turns out to have been industriously having it away with any priest he could get his hands on – and several have complained about his sexual harassment and molestation. After trying the Catholic church’s usual tactic in these situations (cover up and intimidation), O’Brien has confessed and stepped down (uh-huh, because that’s the end of the matter? I suppose when it comes to the Catholic church this is harsh treatment of a sex offender).
Much as I pity his victims, I also have to acknowledge that this can only help reduce the power and the influence of the Catholic church and help curb the effect of its constant bigotry against us. Having the viper’s fangs blunted, even a little, is something I am always going to be happy about.
But, and I know I’ve said this before, please can we not play the whole “look, homophobes are gay!” game? It’s tiresome, it’s not helpful, it’s ignorant and it’s migraine-inducing.
Homophobia is, I say again, a product of a straight world, a straight ruled world, a straight dominated world and a world where straight people have repeatedly tried to destroy us and have succeeded in driving most of us into hiding until hiding became the norm and the act of NOT hiding became a major life event. Think about that for a second and let the enormity of it sink in.
So even with this Cardinal being gay or bisexual – just as any other homophobe so revealed – they are not representative of all homophobes or even anything more than a tiny minority of the bigots. It is not closeted gay people who have created this heterosexist and homophobic society. And, ultimately, it is straight people and straight society that forced these people not just into the closet but into the depths of self-loathing as well.
We are not responsible for our own oppression – don’t play that game and don’t let other people play it, it’s only going to come back and bite us on the arse.
And, besides, some of the commentary is outright homophobic - and positively relishing in calling someone they hate “gay”. Frankly, it’s never comfortable seeing people jumping up and down on the opportunity to use gay as an insult – and worse when you take the excuse to use slurs. No, really, no.
Now, it’s possible in the UK you have seen various adverts by Stonewall and other groups saying “Some People Are Gay, Get over it.”
Well, Christian group has tried to put its own homophobic adverts up advocating conversion therapy, especially on London buses. And they’ve been told “no no, ye gods hell no” basically.
And, of course, they’re spitting their dummies out and are now suing to try and force bigotry on display. Because of Christian love and stuff
Ugh, let’s address this bullshit, shall we?
First of all – “freedom of speech” does not mean anyone has to repeat or broadcast the shit you have to say. I could have a long, furious rant about why Cardinal Keith O‘Brien needs feeding feet first into a woodchipper and why Benedict, when he dies, needs to be burned and his ashes scattered over water to make sure he stays down – that doesn’t mean the BBC has to let me say that to the nation or billboards have to accept my adverts for Cardinal Wood Chipping. Similarly, these Christians can have their bigoted beliefs and say bigoted things (within reason – and outside of reason as well - as we’ve seen time and again, anti-gay hate speech is not treated very seriously) but that doesn’t mean the City of London needs to broadcast them.
Secondly, it’s hate speech. The Stonewall ad it copies is encouraging acceptance and denying hate. This is pushing junk science that is used to spread hatred and bigotry. “Ex-gay” therapy and the myth that we can “change” is constantly used as a lying excuse for denying us human rights – up to and including the right to exist. This is the ultimate coded language and it’s blatant hate speech and blatantly wrong. This isn’t a message of reassurance – this is an attack. This is an assault. This is trying to coerce people into hurting us.
Thirdly, it’s bullshit. It’s harmful bullshit that every capable and competent medical body has denied. “Conversion” therapy is harmful, it’s dangerous, it hurts people and it simply doesn’t work. Simple as. Ultimately, advertising “conversion” therapy is as malicious and dangerous as telling people that the cure for diabetes is to eat lots and lots of Mars bars. This isn’t a good analogy - because being gay isn’t a disease and doesn’t need medical intervention in the first place, but it is a point that their proposed “cure” will only hurt people. This is like trying to sell poison as a vitamin
Which, even if you have the morals of a Tory and the ethics of a banker, should be more than enough reason to ban these adverts. They’re WRONG, pure and simple.
The new Archbigot of Canterbury’s first act upon becoming Archbigot?
Denouncing equal marriage of course
Here’s the new boss, same as the old boss. Justin Welby is no better than the homophobic Rowan Williams was. Yet people who are part of and support the CofE constantly pretend they’re not supporting homophobic bigotry.
And you’ve got to be impressed by Archbigot Sentamu’s comments: “amid an age of seemingly unprecedented selfishness – in a society obsessed with individualism and rights.” Oh and people are “marginalising religion.”
Yeah, that’s not coded language at all. But then, this is the man who couldn’t bring himself to denounce violence against gay people.
So, there’s a petition going around to try and getting Obama or various other powers that be to officially designate the Westboro Baptist church as a hate group.
Which I agree with. The Westboro hatefest are vile in their homophobia, they’re hateful and they exist entirely to spread and promote hate and, in turn, violence and degradation of GBLT people. I would love to see them designated as a hate group.
But, despite that, I have some nagging thoughts at the back of my head – namely “why them?”
We could say it’s because of the extremity of the rhetoric of Phelps and his ilk… but is it so extreme? Is it even extreme? The only thing that sets the rhetoric of the Phelps clan apart from the rhetoric of the mainstream Christian churches is that Phelps is willing to use the slur f*g.
In terms of message? The pope used World Peace Day to attack gay people. He has called us a threat to the future of humanity. The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales – Archbishop Nichols, decided to use his Christmas message to attack us as well. I thought Christmas was supposed to be something of a thing with Christians – but, apparently, hatred is more important. Luminaries from Anglican Archbishops to Catholic Cardinals have called our rights “Orwellian” “dictatorship” “fascist” and even “nazi.”
More, while Phelps and his crew mouth off, it’s these mainstream churches that are spending millions to fight hate crime laws, anti-bullying measures, non-discrimination laws, marriage equality, adoption, the recognition of our families, to allow and encourage “conversion” torture (including of children) and even laws that deny our existence or push for our murder. Phelps makes noise and lines his own pockets – but it’s the mainstream churches that have their boots on our necks.
When it comes to hatred against GBLT people, the Westboro Baptist church isn’t extremist – it’s a mainstream Christian church.
What isn’t mainstream is its antics and tactics. Picketing funerals, saying terrible things in the wake of tragedies, etc. The Westboro’s are foolish/clever*** enough to offend, insult and outrage straight, cis people with their targets. They don’t narrow their hateful rhetoric to just GBLT people, their actions wound straight, cis people as well (though, I have to say, not usually as much as the mainstream church’s power hurts GBLT people)
The Westboros are called a hate group because they’re offending straight, cis people. If their hatred of GBLT people didn’t splash on to straight, cis folks then there wouldn’t be this petition, they wouldn’t get this attention and, in general, no-one would give a damn – because there’d be little setting them apart from mainstream Christianity.
I am happy this petition exists because the Westboros are vile and their tactics beyond unacceptable – but let’s not pretend their rhetoric is ridiculously extreme or that the actual targets of their hatred – GBLT people – are more hurt by them than by the Catholic church, the Church of England, the Orthodox Church, the Mormon Church or the vast majority of other, mainstream churches.
***A matter of definition. The Westboro’s antics win them no supporters – but they do win them incredible national attention for such a small, minor church. It does nothing for their political agenda, but it’s grade A trolling on an international scale.
I suspect our ongoing battle of marriage equality is going to cause more headaches so I suspect this may be the first of many posts until it’s a done deal – and then some. So let’s hit some more tomfoolery
First of all, homophobes, pointing out the ridiculous, archaic elements of our marriage law does not make for a good argument against changing them. I’m bewildered as to why you’d think this was so. Specifically the laws on consummation and adultery.
On consummation – yes, if you do not have the penis in the vagina sex after you are married it is not consummated and can be annulled. Yes, consummation becomes difficult to impossible for most gay couples.
And this is ridiculous. Because the whole concept of consummation, what counts as consummation and what counts as sex is ridiculous, heterosexist and archaic. Defining consummation this way is akin to those purity ringed fools over in the US having anal sex and calling themselves virgins.
Additionally – do we really want to go there? Do you really really link marriage with a single sex act? Do you really want to invalidate or devalue the marriages of those who don’t engage in this sex act? Who don’t want to? Who can’t? Because I’m pretty sure you don’t want to go there and you’re throwing a whole lot of people under the bus in an attempt to attack us.
On adultery – which is defined as, SURPRISE, penis in the vagina sex! If your spouse engages in any other kind of sex act with someone else, it’s not adultery (you can still get a divorce under the rather nebulous category of “unreasonable behaviour” however – so why adultery needs to be singled out as a separate unreasonable behaviour is beyond me except for archaic law).
Yeah, I call bullshit archaic law which needs changing or scrapping AND I think that the people using this argument agree with me. No, really. Why do I think this? Ok, say you are married, it’s not an open marriage, you’re monogamous and you expect your spouse to be faithful and have no nookie except with you.
Now that spouse comes to you and says “hey, I’ve been seeing someone else. I gave them a handjob, we engaged in mutual oral sex and then had anal sex.” Do you think “they’re cheating on me?!” or do you think “Phew, they didn’t have penis-in-the-vagina sex so at least it’s not adultery”? Would you be ok with them doing this? Do you think they are cheating any less? Do you think it makes them more faithful?
These laws not fitting with marriage equality isn’t because marriage equality is wrong, it’s because these laws are laughably narrow and archaic.
So people in the Church of England and Wales are all upset because the government didn’t consultthem about one of the “quadruple locks” on the marriage equality law proposal – namely that the CofE would be banned from performing same-sex marriages
Now, I’m more than happy to criticise the Tories when warranted – and it is usually so very warranted. And I think the whole idea religious exemptions to equality laws is bigoted and deeply wrong – especially for the CoE that receives so many privileges as the established church.
But for not consulting? Sorry, I can’t criticise even May and Miller for this – and I can’t stand either of them
Why did you think you should be consulted, CoE? It’s not like you hadn’t made your opinions ABUNDANTLY clear both in the past and in the run up to this law.
You have opposed every single attempt to achieve justice for GBLT people. No matter how basic, no matter how necessary, the CoE has been a united bastion of homophobia and bigotry – this is, after all, an institution that could barely bring itself to express mild concern about Uganda’s gay genocide bill (supported and pushed by the Anglican church there) while cracking down on the Episcopalians in the US (shows your priorities, CoE).
For the full duration of this consultation we’ve had nothing but the most disgusting hatred from the CoE – Lord Carey and Archbishop Sentamu have spewed the most virulent hatred and not once has Archbigot Rowan Williams or his upcoming replacement tried to counter or stem this hatred.
Why would we need to ask what your opinion is? Your opinion has already been made abundantly clear on repeated occasions! You can’t scream and roar and whine and then complain when you finally get what you want.
You wanted the option to marry GBLT people in the future maybe? I have to say, I’m resisting the strong urge to slap any CoE member who even dares to try this. You screamed blue murder at the possibility! You whined about slippery slopes, you moaned about court cases forcing you to accept gay people as actual people! You howled at the very idea of the evil gays defiling your precious institution! You tried to get a blanket ban on ALL religions being able to bless same-sex marriages, no matter what their faith said! Your constant refrain – through lies, scaremongering and more lies – was that churches would be forced to marry gay people! That the evil evil gays would defile your precious churches! Well done, your whining was heard and you got what you wanted.
How dare you even think of whining about your religious freedom being curtailed! It has been curtailed by YOUR OWN BIGOTRY!
And all you so-called liberal CoE? Where were the demonstrations? Where was the outrage? Where was the fury you were supposed to feel at these church luminaries spreading bigotry in your name? Were you wringing your hands while you sat in the pews? Were you tutting under your breath while you marked “Anglican” on the census? Did you proudly chant “not me! Oh no, I’m not a bigot!” while continuing to lend your support and power to a bigoted organisation? Did you play the “oh, we’re not like the Catholics!” game while continuing to be as homophobic and vehement in opposing our rights? Why weren’t the supposed liberal bishops and archbishops going to the papers demanding your chance to marry gay people? Why weren’t they out there saying that Carey and Sentamu and Williams are wrong?
Because maybe if you supposed mass of non-homophobic CoE didn’t add your name and support to this bigoted institution, we wouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail against such a power every time we try to achieve justice. Maybe we wouldn’t have to listen to them squealing on the news and in the papers, spreading their hatred and dehumanising attacks. Maybe this bastion of homophobic hatred wouldn’t have the power it has.
I am beyond sick of the CoE – it’s endless bigotry and it’s ridiculous “liberal” hand wringers who constantly try to play the “but not us! Not me! We’re the good ones!” game while supporting such an unrelenting force of hatred. You aren’t the good ones, you aren’t the nice ones. You’re just as guilty, you’re just as much to blame, you have caused just as much pain and you support just as much hate.
So the first steps in marriage equality are finally being taken and it’s looking like we may get some action next year, here’s hoping. The Official response to the consultation is in and they’re currently batting it around Parliament. We do have a provision to allow religions to marry people if they so choose so finally actual religious freedom is guaranteed.
Reports point to 100-130 Tory MPs opposing. Labour, for some bemusing reason, has U-Turned and is now holding a free vote along with the Tories rather than a whipped vote they previously promised. Gods forbid our rights be taken as the severe issues they are (and can we stop with this talk of “morality” and “conscience” being a bigot is neither moral nor conscionable). Still, there is likely to be considerably less no votes among Labour than the Tories so, along with the Lib Dems, we have a good chance of seeing this pass through the commons. ETA The Lib Dems have also u-turned and decided not to whip this vote. Fuck the lot of them. No party will be whipping this vote, our human rights aren't important enough.
The Lords is going to be more tricky, I feel. Both because of the Lords Spiritual and the Lords, in general, just being less progressive than the Commons. But in theory there should be enough Labour and Lib Dem lords along with what Tory supporters there are among the Lords to pill it through.
There’s a liveblog on the whole issue here: Be warned: there are a large number of Tories saying some rather vile things as can be expected.
I’m getting really irritated at all the prating of religious freedom for the precious bigoted church – especially considering there was so much condemnation of their bigotry not that long ago.
I am bemused why, with the guarantee that bigoted churches can still be bigoted, there is any need to BAN the Church of England from performing same-sex marriages. They don't want to, they don't intend to - so why ban them? Why not leave them with the same opt-out as every other church? All this does is mean that, should at some point ion the future the Anglican church and its supporters decide that GBLTQ people are actually people worthy of respect, there'll be an extra barrier towards changing their bigotry.
The government’s official response to the consultation can be found here. It’s clear that the vast majority of the opposition was religious in nature, confirming again that the majority organised churches of Great Britain are grossly homophobic and we need to continue to view them as enemies of our humanity, our rights and of justice for the foreseeable future.
On annulment – we will not be able to “annul” our marriages due to non-consummation simply because the whole concept of consummation is ridiculously heterosexist and revolves around a very limited definition of sex. Faced with this, the government has just ticked a big “not applicable” box and, to be honest, I don’t blame them – though I would have preferred it if “non-consumation” were just struck from the law entirely as the archaic relic it is.
I do NOT approve of leaving the adultery law where it is. Adultery only counts, again, when penis-in-vagina-sex occurs. Sure you can still get a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, but deciding only het-sex counts for adultery is insulting and insufficient. To be honest, just scrapping adultery entirely and going with “unreasonable behaviour” for all would suit me better
The inequality of pensions is also not something I approve of – wives and widows will still have greater access to their partner’s pension benefits than husbands and widowers. We have some nebulous assurance of that changing – but it is still nebulous. Similarly, homophobic discrimination in occupational pensions is not being retroactively corrected so will continue as it is. The idea that this would create “retroactive costs” is failing to acknowledge that it would correct old injustice
Similarly, I am irritated by the protection for teacher’s “beliefs”. It is not a teacher’s place to teach their beliefs to children, their job is to teach how things are. And how things will be is marriage will be legal – we don’t need to protect a teacher’s editorialising by adding “of course this is wrong and sinful.” Or at least, not if the same teachers aren’t also protected from saying “but it may not be recognised by archaic, bigoted and immoral institutions that insist on dehumanising humanity that continues to cause so much pain and suffering”
Yes, I am beyond irritated that 52% of the respondents to the consultation were straight. I feel, again, that my rights and humanity has been put into straight people’s hands and had to be validated by straight folks before they could be acknowledged.
At this stage I almost don’t dare to hope. There’s still so much that could derail the process and the opposition is very fierce, very unreasonable and stunning in how hateful it is. But there’s a path now – it’s not going to be pleasant to walk, the religious groups and Tory homophobes are screaming utter venom, but they have been for a months If not years. Still we’re on the path and maybe, just maybe the end is in sight.