Freshly Doug Weekender

The Tax Haven

Could banks, businessmen & homocons be the next wave for gay rights?

Special bumper edition because a) I haven’t been posting the last day or two and b) the weekend is coming up and c) I’ll be travelling back to Melbourne tomorrow.

A bunch of positive news from around the world : The UK government has made it official – ‘reparative’ therapy attempting to help people deal with ‘unwanted same-sex attractions’ is harmful rubbish.

One teachers experience in tackling homophobic bullying – “the toughest nut to crack” – leads him to believe the effort had much wider benefits.

“This is the one thing which people have the most issues with,” he says. “If you get on top of this, suddenly teachers feel empowered to tackle all forms of prejudice based bullying because this is the toughest nut to crack.”

Here’s the story of a great book by a supportive parent about bringing up a gay son, and how, despite their best efforts, they nearly lost him to suicide – thanks to schoolyard bullying.

Why does it always seem to be the left that leads on gay issues? Where are all the gay professionals and business leaders using their expertise to push for LGBT rights? Young gay business people are reluctant to be honest about their sexuality because there are so few openly homosexual bosses in big business boardrooms, according to Todd Sears, a former investment banker turned diversity activist. They need to come out.

Todd is running a conference in London endorsed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“To date, we have already made an unprecedented impact by bringing together more than 600 senior business leaders – 70% of whom are managing-director level or higher – and eleven member companies with more than $630 billion (£385 billion) in market capitalisation, in support of LGBT equality,” says Todd.

Something for our own dear homocons here in Oz to get busy organising? I’m sure the likes of Tim Wilson know lots of boardroom closet cases who should be putting their shoulders to the wheel.

If they come out, they could well become better businessmen and make more money (honest, guys), because they won’t be expending so much thought and energy maintaining their closets.That’s the reason boxer Orlando Cruz came out: as well as everything else, he’s convinced it makes him a better boxer. 

And if that doesn’t convince you, consider this. Most people probably guess your sexuality already, so coming out can only also enhance your reputation for integrity and courage, whereas staying in makes you look devious and dishonest. 

There’s a new strategy being rolled out for HIV prevention, emphasising the management of risk, and including the use of anti-HIV medications as prophylactics : well people taking the drugs to minimise the chance of becoming infected. A controversial article argues that this only encourages the irresponsible to go on being irresponsible. He calls them “Truvada Whores”, after the medication used. What’s your take?

Africa continues toxic: Uganda is pushing ahead with its ‘Kill Gays’ Bill, but not without opposition. You’ll have read about the usual suspects being up in arms, but new lines of opposition have emerged, too. Hackers are threatening online retribution if they go ahead.

And a petition has been started to get Citibank and Barclays – both major LGBT supporters –  to use their clout to stop this horrible measure.

Citibank and Barclays — two of the largest banks in the world — have major operations in Uganda. Citibank has nearly $300 million in assets invested Uganda, and is a major leader in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce based in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Barclays is Uganda’s third largest bank, with more than 1,000 employees in the country and 51 branches throughout the nation.

You can sign the petition here: please do so, and share with all your FB friends and email lists.

Sadly, while all eyes are on Uganda, another African nation is passing punitive anti-gay laws. Nigeria has passed a bill, now only awaiting the president’s signature, sentencing same-sex couples to 10 years in prison for merely making a public show of affection. Getting married gets you 14 years, plus jail time for wedding planners and helpers.

In brief:

Check out the Facebook page that’s keeping an eye on the upcoming Royal Commission – Australian Institutional Response to Child Abuse. And if you want to be kept informed of events, get yourself on the Commission’s mailing list by writing to (click to see full address).

The first openly-gay principal of a Jewish school in Australia was fired after the board ‘lost confidence’ in him: now he’s fighting back, suing for millions of dollars.

And apparently the LGBT vote won it for Obama, even in areas where we are not concentrated into ghettos.

Finally, do you Like the stirrer on Facebook, but don’t see enough of our posts? Facebook is rolling out a new facility to help you get all the notification you want. Meantime just go to the stirrer page and click on the ‘gears’ symbol, and add us to your Interests Lists. And of course, like, comment, and repost our posts. And follow @thestirrerau on Twitter. That way you’ll see us almost as often as you should 🙂

Have a great weekend.


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)