Sunday, 19 September 2010

Gay Sex and free speech

In yesterday's telegraph, Charles Moore described Peter Tatchell as an "energetic crank whose life's work is to reduce all human history to the question of gay sex". Naturally the po-faced prigs over at Liberal Conspiracy were quick on the draw with their perpetual bleat of "homophobia". Tatchell himself is pretty robust on free speech. The likes of Charles Moore, Jan Moir on the other hand are always bleating on about Christian Cranks who seem obsessed with the issue too, who are now discriminated against for "experssing their beliefs". Examples like the firemen who were sent on diversity courses following their refusal to hand out leaflets at a Gay Pride march form the punctuations on the narrative that "christians are now discriminated against".

Now I was serving in the Military when it became illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality. We were formed up in platoons and every Colour Serjeant read a statement to the effect that it was all OK in this man's Army now. Some went further, ordering their men to number off, odd numbers to turn to their left, even to their right, and give the man next to you a nice big kiss. I remeber being against homosexuals serving at the time, but seeing as it's caused precisely no problems, I now realise I was wrong. The truth is the only reason a Fireman, Police offcier or Solider would refuse to attend a recruiting event at Gay Pride is if not active homophobia then a certain distaste towards Gay men. They should cover that up and do their duty as ordered, whatever their personal beliefs.

idiots, not criminals

Whilst I am a firm believer in free speech, I cannot get worked up about the rights of people to display discriminatory prejudice when there's ludicrous libel laws to get worked up about instead. "they're there to fight fires?" Maybe, but they're also there to spread fire-safety messages and recruit, and these "outreach" functions are just as important as fighting fires. Likewise, whilst I am certainly no advocate of hate-speech legislation, I find it difficult to get worked up when some placard-waving loony is harrassed by the police for displaying a sign that "Homosexuals should go to hell" or something at Gay Pride events. After all, the job description of the police is not to "enforce the law" but to keep the peace. The kind of purse-lipped puritain who seek out things to be outraged about, and then goes out of their way to be offensive to people deserves little sympathy.

It is not illegal to express your christian beleifs. It may be against your employer's dress code to display religious symbols. You may not be able to act on your consience on your employer's time. You may, if in a public-facing role have to deal with Gay people. If you don't like it, get another job, and don't open a guest-house. You have a right to be a bigoted, spiteful, purse-lipped bigot, but you don't have a right to have that bigotry protected in law. On the otherhand, just as religious nutters were beastly when they had the power, the Gays must not swing back and outlaw private consiences of people who wish to get all hot under the collar about what you and your boyfriend do all night long in those |dens of filth nightclubs. Tolerance, people, yea even unto the cranks.

Instead, it seems eveyone is obsessed by Gay sex. Tatchell, well he's gay, and insofar as we Homo Sapiens are obsessed by sex, that's perfectly reasonable. Plus he got biffed by Mugabe's thugs, so he's both consistent, corageous and can be relied upon to support free speech, he's OK. The likes of Jan Moir, and on the other side of the divide, Sunny Hundal, who both as far as I know play a straight bat, are likewise obsessed. Moir thinks that Gays are out to destroy the family, and Hundal sees homophobia in everything anyone who has ever even thought of voting conservative has ever said or thought.

The fact is Gay sex is not important. Homosexuals have full rights to form civil partnerships which have all the same legal rights as marriage. If you want to call it "marriage", surely that's up to you? Should the state be legislating at all on what is a matter of purely personal consience? So this perpetual bleat of accusations of homophobia, the moment any straight person, especially if consistent with Christian beliefs, or coincident with Conservative membership, is rather wearing. Accept there are Christian cranks who think the matter is important enough to wave placards, do what most people do when they see mono-maniacs with placards: smile at them in a spirit of bemused tolerance. Stop agiating for laws which criminalises the harmless eccentric, for this gives him the power of the Martyr. Stop accusing people who have mere distaste for the Homosexual act of being "homophobic". That forces them into the arms of the real bigots. And as far as the the Christian nutters go, it's remarkable how many laws are observed in the Breach: most of Leviticus for example. Why the obsession with a couple of passages from the clearly confused St. Paul's letters to Timothy (please?...) to give religious weight to what is clearly simple prejudice.

My message to both groups is leave the Gays alone. Gay sex just isn't important any more, except to Gay people. Stop having opinions on Gay sex, and the people who do it. The battle for equal gay rights in the west has been broadly won. Violent discrimination against homosexuals should be fought where it is a real problem: The muslim world and Africa.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. Well put. It might be worth a mention that not all Christians are cranks, and certainly not all are homophobic. there are plently of enlightenedd, and,indeed, gay Christians out there.

The Cowboy Online said...

"The truth is the only reason a Fireman, Police offcier or Solider would refuse to attend a recruiting event at Gay Pride is if not active homophobia then a certain distaste towards Gay men. They should cover that up and do their duty as ordered, whatever their personal beliefs."

What. The. Fuckety-fuck-fuck?

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