Freshly Doug Tuesday

I’m free! I’m free! They can’t touch me now! And now this is all over, we can go away together, to a place where no-one knows us, my darling.” pic by Sergey Gabdurakhmanov

Well, it had to come. Like Joan Sutherland before him, those frocks just got too damn heavy for him. And so, burdened with years and sick to death of no-one listening when he wielded the mighty Staff of Peter to bash teh gays, Benedict resigns and will become again a simple cardinal, praying out his remaining years.

“Please, O Lord, please, let me die before they find out all the shit I’ve been covering up, please, please, oh Jesus, don’t let them catch me.”

LGBTIQ Catholics have been praying too, that a new pope might be more charitable, humble and accepting of diversity. Given that Benedict and his predecessor have stuffed the place with the most rigid traditional clerics they can find . . . . . good luck with that.

It looks as if Uganda may finally pass the ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill today, so there will be some good news for Papa: he blessed the Speaker of the Ugandan parliament when she was in Rome on a visit recently. You know, the woman who wanted to pass the bill before Christmas ‘as a present for the Ugandan people.’

Another one who will be praying today is Tony Abbott. There he stands, practically on the brink of becoming Prime Minister, and his spiritual advisor is whisked off to Rome, perhaps never to return. On the other hand, what a triumph it could be for said advisor if he snared for himself in one year a Papal Tiara and a Prime Minister. I’d ask Tony about it, but he’s gone to ground.

As I have said before, if anyone had told me back in 1972 in London, when I was up to my neck in the Gay Liberation Front, that I would end up campaigning for marriage and the rights of gay servicemen and women, I would have denied it in advance, so to speak. But we move on, and hopefully we grow up a little, too.

So I can rejoice that military benefits have been extended to same-sex partners in the USA. One more little brick out of the wall between us and equality.

We may have framed it differently back in the 1970s, but the underlying goal has never changed: to be accepted as full members of society (whatever shape that society takes), with equal dignity, worth, respect and honour.

Still waiting. Still fighting.

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)