Freshly Doug Monday

Now that Labor governments are disappearing faster than Arctic sea ice, LGBTI organisations are having to find new sources of income. Personally I think this is no bad thing: organisations which become too attached to the government teat tend to become timid in their advocacy lest mummy stop feeding them. Still, it is a worry, even here at The Stirrer: whilst we do the job out of the kindness of our hearts, we do need to pay for hosting, bandwidth and so forth. And we’re ambitious to expand, too.

Should we ask you for monthly donations? Take a leaf out of Margaret Court’s business plan and get you to tithe a tenth of your income? Should we seek wealthy benefactors who would tip large sums of money our way? Open a PayPal account? The one thing we’re determined not to do is become captive of advertisers, private or government.

And speaking of teats, and thence milk, in Russia the atmosphere of homophobia is so toxic that even PepsiCo have come under fire for selling milk with a rainbow and an (admittedly rather camp) bunch of pastel cows on the carton.  It’s all of a piece with the major anti-gay witch-hunt, official and unofficial, under way there.

More disturbing historical resurrections, this time in the heart of Europe and the alleged birthplace of democracy. The rise and rise of the Golden Dawn party in Greece is very worrying, with even their MPs taking to the streets shouting anti-gay slogans. The normal pattern for fascist politicians is to keep at arms length from their thug brigades and pretend they have nothing to do with them, but no longer. It’s doubly worrying that this should happen in the European Union, where gay rights and anti-discrimination are built into the fabric of the institutions.

The most unpleasant aspect of winning the argument for equality – although not yet the votes – is that the closer equality approaches to actualisation, the more vicious, strident, and frankly, unhinged, our opponents become. The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy long since passed from reasoned and reasonable arguments into the realms of ‘barking mad Muriel, send for the men in white coats.’

The latest religio-political slur is to try to link gay rights to  – you guessed it – fascism and Nazism. Anglican divines have been following their RC sisters in airing their paranoia, with a former Archbishop of Canterbury recently warning that gay marriage would lead to fascism.

This curious mental aberration has now crossed the border into Scots politics, with former Scots National Party leader Gordon Wilson opining that “If you think we are sliding down a road to state fascism and intolerance, you may not be far wrong.” Meanwhile the rise of real fascism over in Greece seems to have escaped their notice.

Our neighbours in Hobbitland are bickering over the best way to legalise same-sex adoption. In an echo of the silly games played between Labor and Greens in Oz over marriage, each is refusing to back the others bill in parliament, meaning the most likely outcome is . . . nothing. Perhaps they should stick to combing their feet.

May I please remind all Greens, Sex Party and Labour stalwarts: none of you own the gay vote, and none of you will get it, either, if you continue this kind of childishness. Get together and get it done.

Meanwhile a man has been parachuting from the edge of the atmosphere for no particularly good reason I can discern, except to make a program for the Discovery Channel, go on lots of chat shows, promote a soft drink, and generally line his pockets. I hope he eventually achieves some useful purpose in life.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)