Tag Archives: homophobia

Nigel Farage proves that he is the ultimate media tart

My photo, taken last week, of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, through the water of the fountain in Court Square, where Black slaves were bought and sold.

I have to say that the news that Nigel Farage is backing an extreme right-wing candidate in a Republican primary (mark that: it’s a party primary – not even a general election!) in Alabama, USA takes secure possession of a whole plethora of biscuits. Does this man stop at nothing to get some media coverage?

I was in Alabama this time last week, so I feel the urge to comment on this, if not having the qualification of detailed knowledge of the situation.

First of all, Farage is taking no risks here. Roy Moore, the candidate he is speaking for tonight, is going to win the Republican nomination for the US Senate seat which was vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became US Attorney General. So Farage is saddling up on a horse which is already going to win.

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On IDAHoBiT, what is in the Lib Dem manifesto for LGBT+ people?

Today is IDAHoBiT – the international day against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. Liberal Democrats have a proud tradition of fighting for LGBT+ rights. The 2017 manifesto, published today, aims to go further than any other party is furthering LGBT+ rights. However, because we Lib Dems believe that LGBT+ rights are human rights, a lot of the LGBT+ content in the manifesto is spread out in the various policy topic areas the manifesto covers. While I like this, because it means that LGBT+ rights are integral to our policies, not tacked on as an afterthought, it can make things easy to miss. In lieu of a manifesto index, therefore, I am going to draw it all together in one place, starting at the beginning:

  1. Our young people are bright, creative and want a world that is clean and green and that the rest of us haven’t wrecked. They want jobs, good health and the chance to choose who they love and how they live– Introduction by Tim Farron, p7, emphasis mine.
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London’s LGBT Vigil to be sung and sung loudly

If it didn’t exist would you create it? Well based on last night, the answer for the London Gay Men’s Chorus was a resounding Yes.

As thousands of members of the LGBT community poured into Soho, supported by friends, family and a host of straight allies – everyone was very uncertain. The nervousness was palpable with no-one clear what was going to happen. There were a few attempts to get a political chant going, but the crowd was more contemplative. As the hour of 7pm approached there was a hanging sense of expectation.

And sure enough as 7pm there was a raft of whistle blowing then then the cloak of silence fell over everyone – Soho is said to be the only identifiable district in London which has no buses through it and when the silence fell you could hear a pin drop.

The silence was held for what seemed to be an age and the tension was real and then slowly, quietly and determinedly the joyous noise gathered pace and rose up. Here was London Gay Men’s Chorus singing ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’. Conducted by the deeply impressive Simon Sharp the Chorus absolutely delivered. Clad in their distinctive blue t-shirts this community chorus – which operates an open access policy – totally filled the yawning void of emotion, anger and optimism. The men next to me were openly crying, holding each other tight. It was a wave of song, of love and of gratitude: a surge of shared affinity for the heartache being witnessed in Orlando.

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The terrifying consequences of witch-hunts

ScandalNow that, one by one, European countries are shifting the law for allow for same-sex marriage – the spotlight now turns on Italy where mass demonstrations have taken place in support of the idea – it is  worth thinking about why homosexuality was criminalised in the first place.

We have spent so much time celebrating the decision in 1967 to repeal laws which did so, that we have perhaps forgotten to look a little further back to see how they came onto the statute book in the first place (sodomy had been a crime for some centuries before).

The story goes back to the Phoenix Park murders of 1882, when republican terrorists stabbed the Irish Secretary to death – accidentally, as it turned out: he happened to be walking with the intended victim.

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Stephen Williams calls for zero tolerance of homophobia on football terraces

Stephen Williams MPLiberal Democrat Communities Minister has called for the FA, football clubs and the Police to work together to combat homophobia on football terraces.

From Pink News:

He said: “We need to stamp out homophobia on the terraces with the same vigour that we banished racism. It isn’t acceptable that footballers still feel the need to hide their sexuality out of fear of abuse.

“I want homophobia to be treated with zero tolerance just the same as racism and I want clubs, stewards, the police and FA to work even harder to

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: UKIP would rather turn the clock back on LGBT rights

rainbow flag on white background  : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)In an article to mark today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Nick Clegg has told readers of Pink News what the Liberal Democrat MEPs have done for LGBT rights both within Europe and globally:

Your Liberal Democrat MEPs have already been fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Europe. For example, they have supported a European Parliament campaign for the recognition of equal marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation in EU countries, as well as for

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Opinion: I will not hide…

rainbow flag on white background  : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)Boy, has this been a tough week. This week I suffered some homophobia. This is tough to write.

It came in the form of an e-mail from someone who should know better, but sadly doesn’t.

Someone who believes their faith gives them the right to put pen to paper (or fingers to keypad) and accuse me of being immoral.

I’ve been lucky since I came out as a gay man, in 2011, in that I’ve faced very little homophobia (at least that …

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Opinion: Tackling homophobic bullying in schools

Gay teen supporters of Stonewall and its campaign against homophobic bullying in schools, celebrating London's Gay Pride. July 2009 - Some rights reserved by lewishamdreamerLiberal Democrat colleagues may remember that one of Liberal Youth’s big campaigns was to stop homophobic bullying.

As the former Liberal Youth Chair in Northamptonshire it was a campaign that is very close to my heart. Too many LGBT young people are subjected to terrible abuse and bullying – just because of who they are.

When I was elected to the County Council in 2009 I wanted to do

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Opinion: Why we need to tackle homophobic bullying now

In recent years, Liberal Democrats have been political frontrunners in identifying ways to tackle the insidious issue of homophobic bullying in our schools. In a 2010 interview with Attitude, Nick Clegg called for all schools – including faith schools – to implement anti-homophobia bullying policies and teach that homosexuality is “normal and harmless”. Our 2010 manifesto said that we would “confront bullying, including homophobic bullying, and include bullying prevention in teacher training”,

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Opinion: Lynne is our Champion for equality and everyone should know it!

Contrary to the pernicious article in the Guardian on Saturday, Lynne Featherstone MP, Minister for Equalities has worked her socks off to put equality and women’s rights at the top of the agenda for this Coalition Government.

And not only at the top of the agenda, but driving in every possible direction to ensure the rights of women (and also in particular the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people) are catapulted on to the front page of every tabloid and broadsheet paper and into the mainstream political debate and discussion.

So with all this extraordinary work, you would hope …

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Four Tory councillors in storm over homophobic nickname targeting Lib Dem leader

Here’s a story that shows politics in both its best and worst lights — the facts, as far as I’ve gleaned them from the local paper, the Thame Gazette, are as follows…

Four Conservative councillors on Aylesbury Vale district council coined a nickname for the openly gay leader of the Lib Dem group, Stephen Lambert — they called him ‘Lily’ on at least four documented occasions, at the election count last May and at a number of group meetings. The homophobic slur came to light ‘when a member of the Conservative group approached with notes of the comments’.

Here’s what …

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Lynne Featherstone launches Government campaign to tackle homophobia in sport

Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities, has launched Charter for Action – a set of principles to help stamp out homophobia and transphobia in sport and make sport a welcoming environment for LGBT people.

The Pink Paper reports:

A groundbreaking gay sports charter which will invite national governing bodies of sports to commit to tackling homophobia was launched yesterday.

The announcement was made by Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone as she attended the Sheffield Eagles rugby league game – a match against Widnes Vikings which saw players take a stand against homophobia by wearing specially made kits bearing the slogan ‘Homophobia: Tackle

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Don Foster MP speaks out against homophobia in football

Don Foster, Lib Dem MP for Bath, has given an exclusive interview to the Gay Football Supporters Network where he discusses homophobia in football and his own love of the sport.

From the Gay Football Supporters Network website:

Why do you think that we have made so much progress in football regarding racism (Kick It Out etc) and yet homophobia remains prevalent in the sport? Why do you think there are currently no openly gay professional players?

I think that groups such as yours have a vital role to play in challenging prejudices. We need to see individual fans,

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Daily View 2×2: Wednesday 10 February

Pick up a newspaper or turn on the radio and TV this morning and there’s only one story filling up the front pages and the airwaves…

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Muslims won’t play with the gays!

We often see claims of racism and homophobia in sport today, more often than not though it is the fans who are accused of chants that are not as PC as they perhaps should be.

So when news of this story reached my in box from a few sources, I dug around and to be honest was appalled.

A Muslim amateur football team Creteil Bebel has pulled out of its planned game this weekend with Paris Foot Gay (PFG), saying it was against their religious beliefs to play against homosexuals.

In fact, Zahir Belgarbi, one of the team directors told Reuters: “As a Muslim,

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Ed Davey condems Tory alliance with “extreme right wingers and homophobes”

A follow-up to Wednesday’s post about the Conservative MEPs’ alliance with Valdemar Tomaševski, a homophobic Lithuanian MEP, with Ed Davey now commenting:

This is yet more evidence of the shameful way that Cameron has taken the Tories out of the centre-right mainstream of European politics, and allied them with a lunatic fringe of extreme right wingers and homophobes.

Cameron has been at pains to portray his party as one of modern, ‘liberal Conservatives’. It is hard to see where this fits in with an alliance with parties which support homophobic laws such as this.

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Because homphobia is gay when it’s against Tories, too

The Lib Dem blogosphere has a bit of a love-hate relationship with arch Tory blogger Iain Dale.

Some regard him as little more than a self-promoting tribal propagandist who plays a clever game of appearing impartial when it suits him. Others believe him to be a nice fella for a Tory, who spreads round a lot of blogging link-love, and maintains a prolific, usually entertaining blog, which through hard work and determination has brought him mainstream celebrity. My view? As a Lib Dem I think there’s a bit of truth in both verdicts (though, truthfully, I incline more towards the latter).

But …

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David Cameron’s European ally supports “deeply homophobic legislation”

Liberal Conspiracy has the story:

Despite the persistent criticism that it has allied itself with extremists, David Cameron’s Conservative Party now sits in the European Parliament with the European Reformists and Conservatives group (ECR), led by Poland’s Michal Kaminski – a man allegedly with a racist and homophobic past.

But so far it has gone unreported that another ally of the Conservatives in Europe has a much more serious and recent record of homophobia.

Valdemar Tomaševski, MEP from Lithuania, and member of the Tories’ Euro coalition, is on record as having branded homosexuality a “perversion”.

Not only that, I can now reveal for the

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Opinion: Conservatives are complete hypocrites on LGBT issues as Section 28 raises its ugly head again

Do you remember Section 28, Clause 28 or even Section 2A? That awful piece of legislation introduced by the Conservatives back in 1988 prevented the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Thankfully it was repealed in Scotland on 21 June 2000 and then across the rest of the UK on 18 November 2003 – although living in Kent in 2004 was bad enough when the Conservative controlled County Council introduced their own mini-version of Section 28!

To be precise, the Act said; “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching …

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Stephen Williams condemns Bristol Tories’ attack on anti-homophobia charity

Pink News has the story:

A Liberal Democrat MP has accused both the Tories on Bristol council and one of the city’s newspapers of misrepresenting a National Lottery grant to a gay group. The Bristol Evening Post ran a story yesterday on Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH). The highly-respected group has been awarded £391,668 by the Big Lottery Fund for a project reaching out to LGBT young people.

EACH said on its website:

“Throughout the next five years this will be spent upon EACH’s ground-breaking project, REACH: supporting lesbian, gay or bisexual young people develop a sense of pride in their identity and help their peers and adults in young people’s settings challenge homophobic bullying.”

The leader of the Conservative group on Bristol City Council, Councillor Richard Eddy, told the paper the grant was “mistaken and misguided” and “an outrageous waste of money.”

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Lib Dems urge Tories not to join with homophobes

Lib Dem equalities spokesperson Lynne Featherstone has written to the Tories shadow foreign affairs spokesman William Hague asking him to clarify if his party intends to join forces with a Polish party in the European parliament known for its homophobic remarks. Politics.co.uk reports:

The party in question is called the Polish Law and Justice party. The Tories are being pulled towards them after leaving their grouping in the European parliament – the centre-right European People’s party. It was the culmination of a promise David Cameron made while running to be party leader, but he must now form a grouping with at least six other parties to earn EU recognition and funding.

But Liberal Democrats and Labour warned the party could easily be thrown into the arms of non-mainstream parties, putting them on “the lunatic fringe” of European politics. Senior politicians from the Law and Justice party have made homophobic statements, as well as describing Barack Obama’s election in the US as marking “the end of white man’s civilisation”, the Liberal Democrats said.

The full text of Lynne’s letter to Mr Hague is below:

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Tory Councillor found guilty of gay slur

Cllr Peter Willows, a long-standing Conservative councillor in Brighton and Hove has today been found guilty of a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which outlaws language causing alarm, distress or harassment.

He was alleged to have likened homosexuals to paedophiles, at a reception hosted by the mayor of Brighton and Hove.

Pink News had a reporter in the hearing and will doubtless have more soon.

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Homophobia amongst North Norfolk’s Tories?

It looks as if during the selection of the Conservative candidate for North Norfolk, one of their members got up and asked this question:

“Could we be assured that neither of the candidates is a homosexual?”

I have no idea which of the candidates this question was aimed at or whether it is true (and couldn’t care less – whether a candidate has matching socks probably tells you more about their suitability to be an MP that whether or not they are gay). 

If it’s true (and the source for this is a series of comments on Iain Dale’s blog) it’s a disgraceful …

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Stephen Williams goes on YouTube

As part of the third annual Anti-Bullying Week, Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams has done a clip for YouTube about the problems of homophobic bullying:

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