Freshly Doug Tuesday

by DFID - UK Department for International Development

Nice to see a conservative prime minister – well, any party leader, really, but especially one whose grassroots membership are not fully behind him on this – taking a positive approach to tackling violence against LGBT. He told Pink News:

I am passionate about tackling hate crime.  . . . the police and courts will treat all hate crime as a priority – whether that crime is committed because of a person’s race, culture nationality, language, religion, belief, sexual orientation, transgender identity, physical or mental impairment or learning disability

It’s generally parties on the left that support gay rights, but Cameron has been a shining exception, dragging his party away from its old prejudiced roots. I find it incomprehensible that so-called ‘homocons’ can bring themselves to vote for leaders and parties that are ‘uncomfortable’ with them at best, and actively work against them at worst. I suppose there will always be some turkeys that will vote for Christmas because it keeps them in work the rest of the year, but that kind of short-sightedness does nothing to help the coming generations of poofs and dykes. As Barney Frank points out to any Log Cabin Republicans on the off-chance they might listen.

And make no mistake, there are some truly awful demented people out there who are convinced that you and I are tools of Satan, possessed by demons. Which justifies pretty well any kind of abusive treatment at their hands, as happened to this boy, imprisoned for four months and ‘prayer blasted’ (screamed at for extended periods of time) in an attempt to ‘cure’ him of his homosexuality.

Family First New Zealand is conducting a vigorous campaign to derail the push for marriage equality in the Land of the Long White Cloud: I need not remind you they are yet another of these extremist Christaliban front groups peddling American dominionist theology from behind a benign facade.

Strange to tell, some Christians are actually good people: thoughtful, kind, helpful, intelligent. Among this minority we find the first out-gay Bishop, Gene Robinson. He’s retiring soon, but that’s not going to stop him continuing his work. There’s a documentary, Love Free or Die,which will air in the US October 29; his new book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage, is due out soon; and he has a new job, as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. A light in the darkness indeed.

News from Africa tempts me to resurrect its old name, The Dark Continent. A recent debate at the Pan Africa Parliament saw heated exchanges between pro and anti-gay forces, with the homophobes being particularly nasty, led, of course, by Uganda. There’s a report and links to video of the debate at IdentityKenya. India, meanwhile, continues on the path of enlightenment, with the inclusion of seven gay themed movies in the Mumbai Film Festival this year.

Over in the US the American Family Association (AFA) has been peddling the notion that a high school day devoted to anti-bullying is actually a secret plan to recruit kids into homosexuality. (Ever the dutiful slaves of their American masters, Australian ‘religious’ organisations are also opposing anti-bullying programs on the same grounds, as I wrote yesterday.)

CNN anchor Carol Costello had enough of it, shutting down her interview with Bryan Fisher of the AFA when he claimed that “homosexual [Nazi] solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after.” She flatly told him he was lying, and cut him off. When Fisher slammed her as a member of ‘the Gay Gestapo’, she replied:

Well, Mr. Fischer, if that’s the definition of the “gay Gestapo,” then I am a proud, card-carrying member.

Me too, Carol, me too.

Also on the good news front: another study into same-sex parenting reaches the conclusion that the kids are alright regardless of their parents sexuality. And another gay sports team has come to my notice, this time it’s cricket. This one’s in the UK, but can an Australian team be far behind? We could play them for the Ashes of Homophobia.

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)