We’ve come up with a small campaign idea in the hopes of ensuring that the recent actions and attitudes of the Crown Prosecution Service are not forgotten.
Following the trial of Mr. Simon Walsh and his aquittal by a jury of his peers, it seems clear that something is deeply wrong with both the law, and the way it’s being prosecuted. Not only that, but the attitude displayed by the Crown Prosecution Service has seemed somewhat homophobic at best over the course of both the Porn Trial and the Obscenity Trial earlier this year. We want to send them a message.
One of our graphics people has come up with the image you see on this page, and we’re rather proud of their work to say the least. Even so, we weren’t really sure how to make the best use of it, and so we’re leaving it to you, readers and visitors to this site, to decide.
The text on the bottom seems suitably apt, but being easy to change perhaps you might come up with something better? Would this be the sort of t-shirt you might wear in protest at the actions of the CPS? Perhaps you could make it your mousemat or stick it as a magnet to your fridge door. There are all sorts of possibilities and we simply can’t decide what’s for the best.
It’s for this reason that we’re making the original source PSD for adobe photoshop available to download under a creative commons 3.0 license – download it, change it, derive from it, and work with it freely doing whatever you like with it. What the CPS has done to our community twice now, and what it has done to an innocent man even more so, is unacceptable and must not be forgotten or allowed to pass.
If you just want the image as displayed here, however, then please feel free to download that and do what you like with it too. just right click and save it to your computer. We’re making it available in a few different sizes for you to choose from;
Full resolution – 3588×2982
Or, if you’re so inclined, we’ve set up a cafepress store with a $1 (US) markup on all items, and so for every item sold, we will donate $1 to the Backlash campaign, which has been instrumental in fighting against sexual iliberty under the law. This pledge/campaign is not in any way associated with or in co-operation with Backlash – they simply strongly deserve the support and were involved with the recent #porntrial. Here’s the link - http://www.cafepress.com/nomorelost1 … it may be as little as $1, or nothing at all if we’re unlucky, but every dollar made WILL be donated… and we’re willing to prove it… we stake our continued existence on it.
So I had a fairly interesting situation at work where one of my new colleagues had a bit of a freak out about the sticker thats on the back of my laptop. Its was just a generic stonewall one saying “Some people are gay. Get over it!”.
He launched into a bit of diatribe about how he didnt agree with gay people, and how it was against nature. I’ve encountered a few homophobic and transphobic people in real life, but this is the first time its been in a situation where this is someone I’m directly involved with at work.
The guy is probably mid 30s, and continued on about children as part of lesbian and gay families. I said a bit about all the studies were there proving that children do just as well in queer familes as heteronormative families, but just as I was about to let “Activist Gemma” out, i bit my tongue.
After I avoided the argument, he seemed to calm down a bit and the subject changed. I don’t know if the topic will come up again in the morning, but I hope this is the last I hear of it.
At the time i was proud of myself that I held back, I thought I was doing the sensible thing, he is nominally my superior and we are both contractors, and what would an argument get us but showing us the door….
However was I just being cowardly and being a good queer? I could really do with some feedback about how you would react, or have reacted.
I know I talk about compassion and enlightening homophobes, but closeted gay people who fuck their boyfriends in a hotel room and then preach about persecuting gay people on sunday, really do commit an almost unforgivable act.
So this little bone from Supernatural made me smile,
“And he who lies in my name, shall choke on his own false tongue, and his poisonous words shall betray him”
Its been said by many of the Republican candidates for president that one of their first acts will be to re-enact DADT, possibly by executive order. For some its playing to the homophobic republican base, for others its their heartfelt bigotry.
However one thing we have to ask, is whether it is practical once repeal has been enacted for DADT to be re-enacted. By re-enacting the law, the bill’s signer, would be kicking out of the military, every single soldier, pilot, and sailor who’s been honest about who they are, so lets look at some numbers to think about what that would mean.
There are currently 1,445,000 active duty service members and 833,616 reserve troops which gives a grand total of 2,278,616 persons who would be affected by this policy. So assuming the conservative figure of 3.5% of the population identifies as LGB, that would say that there approximately at least 80,000 LGB service members. Lets assume that half that group comes out in the next few days (another conservative figure), so potentially by the stroke of a pen, the Commander in Chief will dismiss 40,000 highly qualified and trained troops at a time when the US military cannot afford to loose anyone.
In the time of DADT, there has been horrific outcry by everyone from Queer Rights Activists, to Devout Defence Hawks have protested the senseless loss of 13,650 service members. Now repealing the repeal, would cause the loss of 3 times that number in 1 day.
While many of these candidates lack any common sense, when faced with those numbers, alone they would have to realise the catastrophic damage to the US military by the instantaneous loss of 40,000 troops.
They can promise all they want to bring back DADT, but the last day to prevent the repeal of DADT, was yesterday, before the “Great Revelation”.
Yes that was meant to be a provocative statement, because I’m actually surprised that religion is being given any credence in 21st century Britain. This is the post-religious age, and while personal faith is wonderful and supportive to so many, it has no place in the House of Commons. Yes I know that there are members of various faith communities within the House of Lords and that will probably continue but thankfully they are mostly harmless.
I remember a few years back when Tony Blair after he left parliament formally converted to Roman Catholicism, and half the country looked up and thought that as well as all his other crimes, he’d pulled a fast one and been a religious nut, as well as a megalomaniacal war criminal. We look at parliament and see all the corruption, backstabbing and good governance and don’t react, but a religious zealot making a speech and its scary and wrong.
I know that there are many LGBTQIAPPQA people of various faiths out there, who I’m sure are preparing to leap to defend faith and religion, honestly there’s no need, I’m not talking about purging religion, I just want it kept out of where it does not belong. We currently have MPs defending the right of fundamentalist christians to hate calling for inquiries into whether treating a clear and unreasonable prejudice is okay, provided its cloaked in a religion.
Its not about freedom, its about discrimination just as bad as those in the BNP, just as self-righteous and just as disgusting. I’m categorically not condemnation of all Christianity, because where Christianity is in Britain its so progressive and compassionate, unlike this pre-reformation styled position found in the fanatical fringe.
You can look back to Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of the Wolfenden Report, supported the report, saying
“There is a sacred realm of privacy… into which the law, generally speaking, must not intrude. This is a principle of the utmost importance for the preservation of human freedom, self-respect, and responsibility.”
These haters are hypocritically applying levitical law, picking only the laws that they want to hear, ignoring the shellfish, slavery, stoning, and sumptuary laws among others. You don’t get to object to being gay without objecting to slavery being the will of God.
The fact that the EHRC is even considering such a move, let alone Parliament entertaining an inquiry is a sign that the tories still have a problem with homophobia that they claim to have purged. Its time for David Cameron to step up and quash this support for hate.
You’d think that being the creator of Billy Elliot, one of the most successful musicals of the last 20 years would guarantee you some artist freedom, but Lee Hall had his latest project cancelled over a character being open about being gay.
The community Opera, called “Beached” featured a huge cast that included 300 pupils from a local primary school. However production was halted when both Bay Primary School and the Local Area Authority demanded that Hall remove any lines that referenced the character’s sexuality.
Hall went out of his way to try to fix the problem and even offered to pay for Stonewall’s education team out of his own pocket. His efforts were rebuffed, and the school cancelled its participation a matter of a couple of weeks before opening night, ending the production.
We would love for the headmistress, Emma Hobbs and the Local Area Authority to reconsider. If they were to help put on a new production of “Beached” free from the homophobic censorship they tried to force in, we’d be very happy.
The critical issue here is that a supposedly tolerant and progressive theatrical group not only refuses to stand up for tolerance, but goes out of its way to defend the homophobic institution and puts the blame on the writer for daring to disagree.
We would like Opera North to put together a new production at their own expense with a cast including 300 children from local schools and community groups, to give the people of Bridlington the opportunity to see this wonderful opera, and to pledge that in future they will not be apologists for homophobia.
The play went ahead last saturday
The title is strong, but is no exaggeration. Whether it’s a matter of intentional homophobia on the part of specific persons, or institutionalized homophobia on the part of government structures and organizations, the UK Government is indeed homophobic. If you’ve read my previous article for No More Lost, you’ll note that I don’t use the term lightly: People are dying as a result of this Governments culpable failure to keep its word. This Lib Dem/Conservative coalition government promised so much, but has entirely failed to deliver. We had hoped that the conservatives had changed – they have not. We had hoped that the Liberal Democrats would bring progress and enthusiasm for change – they have not. They brought us promises, and then failed to even as much as seriously attempt to realize them.
With that said, it is clearly not a lack of action that makes a government homophobic, and nor is it the lack of material results from its promises. The mark of a homophobic government is that it threatens the rights and lives of LGB people, is complicit through inaction when it’s legislation is clearly and obviously bent in such a way as to hurt LGB people, or when it actually acts to that effect complicitly. This is the test of a homophobic government, and this is the evidence:
Promise 1: We will look at the possibility of enacting marriage equality.
Well, frankly, as promises go this one is all a bit empty really. It’s not a promise of action, and it’s not a promise of any kind of solid view. It says “We’ll think about it”… so where’s the thought? Where’s the indication of progress being made on this issue by the Government. The Government has done nothing of note on this issue. That, of course, is not the mark of homophobia. The mark of homophobia comes in that the Government is in the mean time trying to promote marriage as being the all important cornerstone of family and society. In so doing, it sets things up so that married people can access perks and benefits. Of course, if LGB people cannot get married, they cannot access them. The message, taken to its logical conclusion, is effectively “Heterosexual marriage should be encouraged and rewarded… but you LGBT people are clearly not as valuable to society and are thus undeserving of the potential for equal reward.”
Promise 2: “This Government will defend the most vulnerable”. “It will defend LGBT rights”.
There is one notable success for the Government here. Until this government, gay men were banned from donating blood, which has been a long standing bone of contention. Under this Government, that’s changed: Gay men are now allowed to donate blood… as long as they haven’t had sex in the last 10 years! Frankly, that’s really no better!
However, as a group, it is well documented that LGBT people are statistically far more likely to be “vulnerable” than the population as a whole – that much is kind of obvious really… and yet government cuts are hitting services important to many LGBT people, and they’re hitting those services hard!
Add to that the fact that an act introduced by the last Government aimed at simplifying a wide variety of laws relating to equality, including LGBT equality, has come under attack from this Government. The Equalities act is being presented to the public as possible red tape to be cut, and the Government are seeking comments on it on that basis. After overwhelming support for the act on the Government’s “Red Tape Challenge” website, the Government opted to re-present the question, leading many to believe that the Government will not be happy until it recieves the answers it wants as justification for weakening or removing these protections.
Promise 3: Those persecuted because of their sexual orientation will be afforded asylum in the UK.
in July 2010, shortly after the Government came into power, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the refusal to grant asylum to those who were persecuted because of their sexuality with the reasoning that “they can just go back and hide it to avoid persecution”, was a violation of human rights law. The Government welcomed this – publicly at least.
The Home Office told the UK Border Agency was that the new rules should be applied “with immediate effect” and that relevant cases should be “flagged and recorded”… but more than 7 months later, such cases are still not being counted and so there is no way of telling how the new rules are being applied…
… well, no accurate way, but there’s certainly a way to gauge it to some extent. We have had various highly publicised cases of people who have been refused asylum on grounds of persecution because of their sexuality:
There’s Brenda Namigadde, a Ugandan Lesbian who was initially refused entry following a ruling that she was not really a lesbian, on ground that since being in the UK she had “taken no interest in forms of media by magazines, books or other information relating to her sexual orientation.” -ignoring of course, the less-than-subsistence benefits she was surviving on while making her claim- and citing no evidence of her living a lesbian “lifestyle”. This, of course, irrespective of the fact that the publicity surrounding her case alone would surely have put her at risk if refused asylum.
More recently, we have the case of Betty Tibakawa, a Ugandan whom despite being branded with a hot iron twice on her inner thighs for being lesbian, and outed in the Ugandan magazine ‘Red Pepper’, has been refused asylum on grounds that she, again, is not genuinely gay, and faces no persecution in Uganda.
We have the case of Edson “Eddy” Cosmas, a gay man from Tanzania who was denied asylum at the first hurdle. The letter rejecting his claim, “attempts to paint the existence of bars where gay men are known to be found and other gay meeting places and gay organisations as indicating that it is possible to be gay, albeit ‘discretely’. Also, a lack of prosecutions is mentioned, presumably to suggest a lack of formal state repression and that it is ‘safe’ to return a gay man.”
LGBT Asylum News reports: “According to In interview, minor discrepancies in Eddy’s statements are taken as totally undermining his credibility. Many relate to his sexual history.”
These are just a selection of the higher profile requests for asylum – these are just some of those that have made headlines. With headlines like these, how common do you suppose this kind of thing is, especially among those who have not yet spent any time in the UK, or who don’t have the support of a network of friends and family here: those who don’t really have a voice to speak out about it?
Ironically, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, not very long ago claimed success in his pledge that “those facing persecution would no longer be deported” … yet people applying for asylum on grounds of persecution because of their sexual orientation or trans identity are being put through the “detained fast track process”, which is almost purpose made for those who’s claims are uncomplicated and have very no real basis for the granting of asylum – in spite of the fact that LGBT claims are often notoriously complex.
This is a Government that really reached out for the “pink vote”, no doubt in part because the Conservatives wished tho shed the public perception of them as ‘the Nasty Party’. To the credit of the Lib Dems, at least on a party level they are the first to commit to Marriage Equality – though it should be noted the Nick Clegg is a Lib Dem too!
What will it take for this government to change course, stick to its word, and support LGBT people as it promised rather than hurt LGBT people? Perhaps it needs embarrasing into action? We can but try…
The Home Office, which in particular is the Government department responsible for the UK Border Agency which decides upon asylum claims. The Home Office won an award from major UK LGB campaigning organization Stonewall, topping it’s list of gay friendly employers. Does the Home office sound Gay friendly to you? It may generally treat it’s employees well, but it’s certainly not doing a lot for those LGBT people it’s supposed to be helping, and shows no inclination to enforce its own orders to do so either. Shouldn’t a Gay friendly employer not only be friendly to those LGBT people in its employment, but also be an LGBT friendly organization that happens to employ people?
Perhaps Stonewall ought to consider rescinding the award, in light of the Home Office’s treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, many of whom may well have been sent to their deaths, in the full and complicit knowledge of the UK Home Office. Perhaps they should be encouraged to rescind it: It’s certainly a start. Sign the petition.
Westboro Baptist Church protests are rarely covered these days, except for in exceptional comedic effect found in the myriad of ways in which they are counter-protested. This ‘church’, perhaps best known for picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers with the message “God Hates Fags”, essentially seeks publicity for their actions, and so it’s a good thing that publicity for their insensitive, hateful, and abhorrent antics appears to have largely dried up, starving them of the oxygen that spurs them on. Their outlandish behavior, which is offensive to many, is now largely accepted as simply being what they do, and has ceased to be newsworthy, except in specific circumstances such as at one of their recent ‘protests’.
At Arlington National Cemetery yesterday (Monday), hours before President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in leading the nation’s Memorial Day observances, a Westboro Baptist Church demonstration was counter-protested – by a group including 10 members of the Ku Klux Klan, who were separate from the main counter protest. A spokesman for this branch of the clan, describing his self as an ‘Imperial Wizard’, explained that they were there to object to the Westboro Baptist Church’s anti-troop message.
“It’s the soldier that fought and died and gave them that right to free speech,” said Dennis LaBonte, of the Virginian group ‘Knights of the Southern Cross’.
Westboro Baptist Church’s response? Miss Phelps, daughter of the founder of the ‘church’ Fred Phelps, retorted with “That’s fine, they have no moral authority on anything.”
It’s true – given the history of the KKK, and given the fact that the organization has actually killed people, they have precious little moral authority to stand on. Even so, the message from Miss Phelps carried more than just this fact. It also holds the implication that by a matter of contrast, the Westboro Baptist Church does have moral authority. It doesn’t. The Westboro Baptist Church has tried to use this event to discredit those that oppose them. The subtle message of Miss Phelps’s comment can be easily described as “How can you claim your cause is righteous when you have people like that on your side?”
Well, Miss Phelps, not to discount the possibility of a less than palatable group using an event or a cause to try to gain legitimacy and further its own agenda, which Westboro Baptists will surely be all too familiar with, there is the alternate and far more sensible way of looking at it…
When even the Ku Klux Klan feel the need to meet you with a counter protest, you’ve surely got to know that what you’re doing is really screwed up!
The “Straight Male Gamer” of recent notoriety appears to have responded to the support for BioWare’s excellent answer to his complaint by updating his original post at the thread on the forum. In that update, the hole gets deeper with claims of how many other people who “find it [homosexuality] to be disgusting” are afraid to speak and are being silenced “for fear of being called homophobic by what can only be called a mob”
Over a good few hours of consideration, we’ve been wondering whether or not to publish this story. We could intentionally make a big deal out of it through responding ourselves, so advertising it and by doing so find ourselves promoting privileged nonsense. On the other hand, rather than answering it, we’ve decided simply to say that it exists, and potentially let people themselves show their own opinions on it.
No More Lost was a fairly small blog with a small core following until recently, and the fact that our article on this story went viral as it did took even us quite by surprise! We’ve posted articles on all sorts of issues, events and concerns – some of them big, some of them small, and some of them intended merely to bring hope and show positive change in the world away from hatred and bigotry for those that may be on the receiving end of it. Perhaps we’re still a small blog, or perhaps we now have more eyes on us than we realise. Even so, far be it from us to contribute to the silencing of this poor oppressed self-professed representation of the Straight Male Gamer demographic, we’re going to post this update of his here. While we won’t issue a response at this time, we are more than happy for our readers to offer a brief response if they wish. We don’t approve of a mob mentality, but we feel that there are enough clear and obvious holes in his argument to tear it to pieces with the simplest application of mere cold hard reason. The views of the many, apparently, outweigh the views of the few according to the complainant, and so perhaps by this logic it is best to demonstrate what the views of the many are, if they so choose to offer them.
Again, the complainant;
Seeing as how this post has been linked by a few sites, I thought it’d be proper for me to write a response to Gaider’s reply:
I don’t see how Gaider’s reply was in anyway blasting my arguments. In fact, what Gaider basically said was that “You’re right. Dragon Age 2 was not made specifically for “straight male gamer” in mind. It was made to be all-inclusive.” And that was exactly the accusation I was making. I’m not here to debate the moralities of homosexuality, I personally find it to be digusting but others will feel different, that isn’t the point of this thread.
The whole point of the argument relies on the central point that straight male gamers make up a overwhelming majority of players. As I said before, I estimate that the number is around 80% (this includes straight males gamers who plays a females). Now if my numbers are at all wrong (that in reality the split is 60-40-10 (male, female, gay), then consider this post to be null and void, I’ve wasted your time (No doubt some of you already feel that way).
“And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.”
The idea of privilege is ridiculous. The “privilege” always lies with the majority because if your goal is to make a game that will be liked by as many fans possible, then it makes sense to focus on that largest group. Why should one fan’s enjoyment be more important than five others? It’d more accurate to call “privilege” the idea that some minority group gets special preference for political points. If you really want to be all-inclusive, then I don’t see why homosexuals should get special preference while leaving other minority groups out.
This isn’t a complaint about how I didn’t get everything I wanted. This is a complaint about how this is the first BioWare game I’ve played that I did not enjoy. I’ve seen many complaints about weak characters and weak story. That is also my complaint and I believe stems entirely from trying to be “all-inclusive”. By trying to appeal to so broad of audience, you’ve left a game in which many people are disappointed. You’ll win praises and 10/10′s from gay activists and feminists for your great strides in promoting “equality” and eliminating “straight male privilege”, but you’ll have loss fans like me.
In a perfect world with unlimited resources and time, you might have been able to pull it off, a game in which everyone would love. But this is not a perfect world and you have said many times that your resources are limited, and I believe you could have used them more wisely.
I always like to bring The Witcher up as an example. This is an amazing game and more amazing so that it was developed by a small Polish company. One would think that the game being developed by Polish producers would not be able to connect with a English speak audience, but that is not the case at all. This is game which was inarguably made for straight male gamer. Because the designers only had to worry about that demographic, they were able to create a strong memorable protagonist and strong memorable support characters. They could give us many choices and not worry about having to produce voice-overs for so many different characters. I can only imagine how amazing the game would be if they had the budget that Dragon Age 2 had and its pains me to think about how great Dragon Age 2 could have been.
If your goal is not to make as many fans as possible happy but to enact some form of social crusade then please, market and advertise the game as such. If you believe there are a substantial number of players who would appreciate those features, then advertise it and create trailers for it, don’t lead me to believe that this game was crafted for the straight male. If you truly believe that the straight male gamers are not important enough that you should focus on them, then I would like to see your marketing reflect that.
As a side note, I’d like to say that I’m not at all surprised by all the pro-homosexuality comments and that I expected even more. 1% of a million is still 10000. No doubt you’d have a many of them trying to protect their “privilege” in Dragon Age 2.
Those who agree with me will likely do so silently for fear of being called homophobic by what can only be called a mob as even Gaider pointed out or just won’t bother out of feeling of pointlessness like I once did. But to those people, I encourage you to post as well and not let your concerns be silenced as some would like.
We won’t follow up on the posts and concerns of this user after this update on the story (unless something especially spectacular happens), though any views we are able to seek from games developers and writers following this may prove interesting in their own right.
Rape is a heinous crime. Next to the taking of a life, the ruinous violation of a person by the most intimate and powerful of means is arguably an act of equally sinister proportions. However, there’s a whole other level to this violation. There is a form of rape with an added and more sinister dimension. That crime, is corrective rape.
In some ways, it’s a terrible title for such a crime. The word “corrective” is generally a word with a positive feel about it, implying some sort of benefit to an action. There is no benefit when this word precedes rape. There can be no benefit to rape. In fact, the word “corrective”, in this context, is quite the opposite. It does worse than to add insult to injury, but actually introduces a second deep and soul destroying violative dimension to the already heinous act of rape.
LGBT, Queer, Intersex and Asexual people with already understand, generally, the nature of this violation, so lets look at it from the perspective of a straight person who’s never before had to consider things from the other side. Let’s also frame this from the perspective of a patriarchal culture, as is very prevalent in many parts of the world, including those nations where this issue is most prevalent.
You’re a heterosexual man… a manly man… happily going about your business. At the end of a day you catch a taxi, or a bus, or a train to make your way back to your home or hotel. A predatory and very strong woman capable of overpowering you has been watching you, and you are assaulted. You are taken aside and out of sight where you are raped – forcibly, and violently. You are violated… the person who raped you may even have infected you with HIV/AIDS.
How does it feel? Pretty awful, by most accounts. You have been violated, treated like a piece of meat, abused, assaulted, made to feel powerless, made to feel guilty, made to feel ashamed… etc. It’s not good is it? There are reasons we have laws against that. There’s a reason it’s called rape and not just “having sex”.
Well, suppose that wasn’t a woman. Suppose you, Mr Heterosexual Male, had just been raped by another man. Now how does it feel? Does it feel worse? You bet it does! If you happen to be a homophobe, it’ll be because you feel an extra sense of shame about what had just happened to you simply because you were taken by a gay man, and you’ll feel terrible for having been part of an act that you find distasteful – if so, you’re ‘lucky’, because that’s no more a sense of violation than the rape itself. On the other hand, if you’re a reasonably and decent human being, it’ll be all the worse because as well as the violation of your physical and emotional form, your identity, your sexual orientation, your very sense of who you are will also have been raped… and yet you STILL don’t have the full understanding of how creative rape feels from this exercise!
For someone who has been victim to a corrective rape, there are other issues too. There’s the prejudice they experience as LGBT people for a start… already victims of ignorance and bigotry, they are made victims of the same in a whole other way… on a deeper and more personal level. They are made victims simply because they are victims in the first place. Then of course, there’s the fact that such rapes are performed under either the excuse or genuine belief that such acts will “make the victim straight”… NO rape helps, and no, the victim will not be made straight – that is an offense to the victim yet again. Are you starting to get a vague understanding of the damage that corrective rape does?.. to women especially, being the most frequent victims of this evil crime.
We spend a lot of time speaking here at No More Lost about the UK and the USA, and while this post stands against corrective rape wherever it occurs, it refers especially to the situation in South Africa. That wonderful state where we celebrate the freedoms and achievements of Mr Nelson Mandela, where Apartheid was ended and the nation supposedly freed from bigotry and hatred. This nation that’s supposedly one of the shining stars of Africa. The nation that brought us the vuvuzela and annoyed us with them throughout the FIFA World Cup just last year.
South Africa’s Constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. It was the first in Africa to legalise same sex marriage. It was the only republic to give non-heterosexual people exact equal rights until it was joined by Argentina in 2010 (Note to America – please catch up!)… and yet, the practice of corrective rape is commonplace in South Africa and has been for some time. Some reports even say that it’s often ignored! This is really not acceptable, not only because this is a discriminatory crime against gay women in violation not just of the women but of the nation’s constitution too, but also because it is rape. Yes, pure and simple, at the very minimum description of this situation, it is rape, and it needs to stop!
There is a petition (found here) on the web (in fact a few of them here and there), asking the South African Government to stop turning a blind eye to this heinous practice and indeed, their own constitution with regard to LGBT people. Please sign this petition, and please spread the word about this terrible crime against humanity.
Apple have in the past supported LGBT rights. In fact they donated to the Prop 8 cause in favour of equality. However, all may not be as it seems just from that one act.
Following the removal of an application by the Manhattan Declaration a few months ago which said quite clearly that same sex couples are ‘sexually immoral’, originally given a 4+ rating by Apple implying it to be entirely family friendly with no objectionable content… an app that was only removed following a campaign and petition against it… Apple have done it again.
Yes, our ‘good friends’ at Exodus International have introduced an application to an app store near you, intended to deliver a dangerous message to tech savvy young adults: ‘You can be “freed from homosexuality” and have your sexual orientation “cured” if you’re LGBT.’ Yes, this is the same Exodus International that promotes the universally condemned snake oil of “ex-gay therapy”, which has been described as causing catastrophic damage to the mental health of it’s victims by the American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association.
Worse yet, Apple have, again, given this app a 4+ rating, once more branding the app as entirely inoffensive and harmless, even though the group tells gay kids that their sexual orientation is “immoral,” “satanic”, and in need of a cure, which we all know to be the very kind of insulting and frankly degrading and oppressive bigotry that contributes to depression, anxiety, isolation, and even suicide.
There is a petition to remove the app from Apple’s app store, though at this point, we have to consider motives here. Yes, they donated against Prop 8, but while a significant amount of money, $100,000 dollars is really a drop in the ocean to Apple – hell, they’re getting good PR just because I’m mentioning it now. On the other hand, not only do Apple make a big deal of banning any app from their store that could possibly be objectionable to anyone in the majority of their userbase, they seem to not only have allowed these bigoted anti-gay applications, but also rated them as being entirely inoffensive, and only removed the last one due to the petition and widespread outcry over it. This one looks likely to follow suit (unless of course Apple really wants to be seen to be anti-LGBT). The fact is, Apple is a company founded on it’s image… it’s why it has the rules it has. Someone at Apple clearly feels that declaring these apps as inoffensive and even allowing them in the first place is not only acceptable, but perfectly OK with the company image.
The choice between Android, Research In Motion and Apple just got political. No… further than that, it just got moral. This, from Apple, is not acceptable, and if LGBT people do not show them how such actions will hurt, in the app store sales, the phone store sales, the music store sales… etc … who will?
Please sign the petition, and please consider sending your own message to Apple… but please don’t ignore what you’re paying to support in buying into it at the moment.
In a school where it would be unacceptable to wear a “jews are evil” or “women belong in the kitchen” its apparently okay to wear something equally offensive, “Be Happy Not Gay”. The rules of schoolyard behavior is a special subsection of first amendment space, you cannot bully someone based on race, gender, or in theory on sexuality. However apparently making spurious claims that being gay is a choice and that God hates gay people is perfectly acceptable to the 7th circuit court of appeals.
Not only was this at school, but it was on the “Day of Silence” a day of remembrance and support for LGBTQIA youth. We need to make it clear that hate speech is not welcome in schools. This is what the school tried to do, and the 7th circuit struck them down.
Here’s Rush Limbaugh’s two cents, about keeping conservative morality, and ignoring conservatives who might be interested gay equality, and other libertarian causes such as drug legalization.
Its decidedly hypocritical from a man who was addicted to Oxycodone, a highly restricted opiate, and currently on his 4th wife to talk about morality.
Referring to the base, its strange to say him claiming that the Democratic party never sacrifices its base to win broader appeal. At first I couldn’t take him seriously given the routine slamming the White House gives real progressive groups. I sometimes wonder who hates the Daily Kos more, the White House, or the right wing blogosphere. Its a story for another day but there are numerous examples of where the White-house has hit out at its base with a vehemence that the republicans have never seen…
I don’t expect sanity or logic from Rush, or his audience, but I do call on his sponsors to realize that as well as supporting all the other bile, this is nothing but a full blown fully rounded bigot and we recognize that by sponsoring him, that his sponsors are supporting homophobia and should be boycotted.
Video found by our friends at NOM we thank them for their invaluable work giving us insight into their bigotry and hatred.
I’m going for a big and dangerous target today, and I’m sure that many people would think that Disney is a friend of LGBTQA causes, but in fact they are one of the biggest criminals in preventing LGBTQA acceptance in our society today.
This doesn’t really need much introduction, because I know no matter where you look in Disney, there is not a single openly LGBTQA character in the entire Disney Library, from Steamboat Willie, through to Phineas and Ferb, every single character portrays straight as an arrow relationship behavior.
What does this say, that in the happy and wonderful World of Disney, LGBTQA youth have no role models, no one to identify with, and being left with an aftertaste that if the accepting world of Disney has no place for them, then surely there must be something wrong with them.
People will probably scream to high heaven about “won’t someone please think of the children” (who are straight, fundamentalist, and bigoted) when the first children’s show has an open LGBTQA character. Look at all the fuss that the possibility that Tinky Winky might have shown some possibility of being gay.
However it takes courage and idealism to stand up to the forces of hatred on this issue, which Disney seemingly lacks. I know that Dreamworks, and Nickelodeon are just as guilty, but Disney is the leader, the ones who are universally thought of as synonymous with children’s entertainment.
King and King?
For those of you who don’t know, King and King was a hot button issue a few years ago because, it showed primary school children, that not every King wants to marry a queen, and thats okay.
It was a simple enough children’s book, akin to Heather has Two Mummies, and other books designed to show that issues of equality can be presented to all ages and that acceptance is normal.
Of course King and King is not really enough content to stretch to a full Disney Epic, but looking at all those Disney movies about finding a place where they belong (Hercules), about finding one’s family (Lilo and Stitch), being true to who you are on the inside (Lion King), Seeing something from another’s perspective (Brother Bear), risking everything for a child (Finding Nemo), and even challenging the stereotypical attitudes of the day (Mulan). Maybe Disney should think about a story about a girl who grows up and falls in love with a princess….
It seems to me that while Disney does have its share of macho villains, such as Captain Gantoo (Lilo and Stitch), Shan Yu (Mulan), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), their villains often show very negative stereotypes of another group.
Looking at many of their villains, such as Jafar(Aladdin), Scar(Lion King), Chi-Fu (Mulan), and Hades (Hercules), they represent intellect, and display stereotypically gay characteristics in speech, mannerisms and behavior. I’m not saying that this identifies them as gay but when so many villainous characters display such characteristics, it seems like an almost intentional effort to identify intelligent gay men as villains.
What does this add up to
I think its clear that Disney, while supporting publically LGBTQA rights issues, their actual record of behavior even up to today, is filled with areas they need to move forward on helping LGBTQA acceptance.
We need to see positive examples of LGBTQA characters, followed by LGBTQA protagonists, not to mention a stopping of the stereotyping of Disney villains.
Its a two-fold problem, firstly those LGBTQA youth who need the role models are let down by a company who claims they pride themselves on acceptance. Secondly all the other youth out there, need to see LGBTQA people, not as villains or non-entities, but as normal people.
Disney, the ball is in your court, step up, or stop wearing those rainbow colors as if you deserve them!
I have been wanting to do this for a while, although perhaps ‘wanting’ is the wrong word. In an ideal world, those who claim to support equality would actually be supporters of equality in all their actions, however that’s not the case and I’m going to speak my mind on that subject.
I’m sure many of the people in this category would be shocked that i’m calling them enemies, because they probably think in their self conceited way, that they are friends and supporters of equality.
Of course it would be conceited of me to think that these articles will be read by those I am calling out, but I think it needs to be said. Maybe some people who think positively of these people and organizations will wake up to their unsupportive ways.
Watch this space folks, as articles on this subject will follow soon.
Following up on the interviews of three of the contenders for the RNC chair, and theinterview of the current RNC chair Michael Steele, we now have the fifth and final serious contender for the position being interviewed again by NOM.
You’d hope that at least one candidate would stand up for civil rights but we have another candidate who seems to be virulently opposed to LGBTQA equality, who wants to pander to the worst elements of their party, rather than bring the republican party into the 21st century.
Maybe its too much to hope that the republicans would at least nominate one candidate who wasn’t opposed to gay rights.
However the republican party is showing is colors as an unrepentantly homophobic party, and despite the efforts of groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans the RNC seems gearing up for 2012 to be a campaign with anti-gay values at its core.
Maybe this will drive the moderates back to the democrats again and there will be a 2012 landslide back towards the more socially progressive party. While that makes things somewhat better it doesn’t solve the undeniable bigotry in American politics.
If you are a moderate, stand up for sanity and justice, but if you are committed to the republican party, then you need to save your party. No longer can you support people who peddle hatred and bigotry. Yes for over 50 years the party of Lincoln has suffered the consequences of the dixiecrats and the southern strategy, and has identified itself with intolerance and bigotry.
Republicans, it is time for you to save your party.