Freshly Doug Wednesday

Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints

I used to enjoy Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson’s not so much politically incorrect as jubilantly wrong, perverse and hilariously over-the-top comments: no more. Not content with slagging off poufs, greens and socialists, he has taken to attacking the mentally ill. Labor leader Ed Milliband responded by proposing to rewrite the National Health Service constitution to guarantee that mentally ill people have access to therapies in the same way as the physically ill are provided with drugs and treatment.

 “There are still people who abuse the privilege of their celebrity to insult, demean and belittle others, such as when Janet Street-Porter says that depression is ‘the latest must-have accessory’ promoted by the ‘misery movement’.

Jeremy Clarkson at least acknowledges the tragedy of people who end their own life but then goes on to dismisses them as ‘Johnny Suicides’ whose bodies should be left on train tracks rather than delay journeys.

Just as we joined the fight against racism, against sexism and against homophobia, so we should join the fight against this form of intolerance. It is not acceptable, it costs Britain dear, and it has to change.”

Spoilers! That’s the reaction of Australian Marriage Equality to the introduction of a Civil Partnership Bill into the South Australian parliament. I’ll go further: how many more times do we have to tell you, we are NOT interested in being branded second-class citizens with second-class relationship recognition schemes. The only acceptable answer to LGBTI inequality is marriage equality, and that’s a federal issue. I do wish people would stop dicking around with state-based rubbish like this.

Rod Swift wrote recently that we ought to ditch the word ‘homophobia’. I agree. It’s mealy-mouthed and anyway inaccurate. I reckon we should call hate, hate, and a bigot, a bigot. Peak UK LGBTI body Stonewall agrees. They recently crowned the most senior Roman Catholic clergyman in England ‘Bigot Of The Year’ for his intemperate, rude and highly prejudiced remarks about us, as I reported Monday. The church called on Stonewall’s corporate sponsors to withdraw their support. Some of them say they will, but Stonewall is refusing to back down.

Maybe we should also stop using that wussy word ‘bullying’, and give that it’s proper name, too. Persecution.

The Liberal Party has decided that Corey Bernardi, one of the most anti-gay bigots in the Australian Senate, should retain his top spot on the ticket. There’s something seriously sick about a party and leader that thinks a man with such views is fit for public office.

The bad news file today: opposition to equal marriage in France is growing, with the leader of the opposition calling for mass demonstrations against. Liberté, Fraternité OK, Egalité not so much? A UK trade union says as hardship increases, so does discrimination; eleven trans women have been arrested in Kuwait; a court in Moscow has ignored a European ruling and upheld the ban on Gay Pride marches in the Russian capital; and Hurricane Sandy is all our fault.

But I’m not heading for the train tracks just yet: Mark Regnerus, the author of THAT study purporting to ‘prove’ that gays make bad parents, now admits it did no such thing. Waddya know? Now he claims to have been misinterpreted, maybe he could have put it better blah blah. Wonder who threatened his funding?

All those people with beanbags for brains, who believe anything that supports their prejudices without examining it too closely – yes, I am looking at you Jim Wallace, and Lyle Shelton, and Cardinal Pell – who spruiked this study to high heaven, are now left looking pretty foolish. Not that they’ll admit that this particular emperor has no clothes, oh no. That would be condoning public nudity.

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)