Freshly Doug Tuesday

Pic by Shutter Bunny

Pic by Shutter Bunny

Australian same-sex couples are now barred from using Indian surrogates. The law has been changed so that only heterosexual couples who have been married for at least two years, and who reside in a state where commercial surrogacy is legal, may enter agreements in India. Only the Northern Territory allows commercial surrogacy.

Despite the huge turnout mustered by the Catholic church to protest same-sex marriage, French President Francois Hollande, with a very gallic shrug, announced that he will not be deterred from legalising same-sex marriage and adoption.

And a bunch of protestors against the Catholic church’s position turned out for a mass kiss-in  and waved rainbow flags outside the cathedral in the Croatian capital Zagreb on Saturday. Clerics there have been peddling the usual doomsday line, this time claiming that gays will ‘destroy Croatia’.

Jodie Foster made a rambling and somewhat grumpy speech at the Golden Globes, in which she sort-of came out again after having done so on a previous occasion, sparking a rash of unfriendly comment. Two of the best responses are here, and here.

Those of us who were somewhat underwhelmed by her performance felt she was ungracious and awkward: out gay celebs in the audience were hard-put to stifle their annoyance. Jane Lynch’s face was a picture.

“Could do better” is pretty much my response, too. Coming out publicly does not mean you suddenly turn into a Honey BooBoo for the gay community: I thought her attitude disrespectful to the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, David Hyde, Jane Lynch, Elton John and a host of others, implying that their coming out was nothing more than attention-seeking. Perhaps she was just clumsy, though my impression is, she’s usually anything but.

On the other hand, I’d rather she was out than in. It seems to me that LGBTI people who achieve some success in life have a duty of care to their own community and especially to those growing up gay in difficult circumstances. A duty to say, ‘Hey, I made it, so can you.’

I won’t buy into the totally disproportionate storm kicked off by a throwaway comment about ‘Brazilian transsexuals’. The initial offence was very minor: subsequent bombardments from both sides were ludicrously OTT.

The British Daily Telegraph is a good deal more stately than its foaming Aussie namesake, but they do occasionally indulge in a little playfulness.

Six years ago police tried to prosecute Oxford student Sam Brown after he said to a mounted officer: “Excuse me, do you realise your horse is gay?”

Mr Brown, who made the comment during a night out with friends in Oxford after his final exams, was arrested under section 5 of the Public Order Act for making homophobic remarks.

The following year Kyle Little, a 16-year-old from Newcastle, was fined £50 with £150 costs for saying “woof” to a Labrador dog in front of police officers.

The law that made this possible is now to be repealed. Now you can woof to a dog – or his police handler – with impunity.

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)