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  • 02 Sep 2010

    Britain: a "selfish, hedonistic wasteland" and the "geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death"

    According to a senior advisor to the Archbishop of Westminster, speaking just weeks before the Pope's visit to England. And guess who's to blame? Go on, I'll give you one guess.

    Bingo! The gays! And abortion and the commercialisation of sex. Our usual bedfellows.

    "Whether we like it or not, as British citizens and residents of this country - and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies - the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death," he said.

    "Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes, culturally speaking - more than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution."

    "Britain in particular, with its ever-increasing commercialisation of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the 'gay' agenda, is such a wasteland."

    Reports in the Guardian and the Independent with reaction from gay rights campaigners and others.

    How utterly laughable. What kind of deluded lunatic looks around the world - at countries that torture and murder their citizens, where the systematic rape of women is used as a weapon, where women are bought and sold as chattels, where gay kids are hung in public, where dissidents are imprisoned and murdered - and then decides that civilized, democratic, gardening Britain is the epicentre of the "culture of death"?

    Joan Smith, also in the Independent, comes to the defense of modern Britain.

    I woke up as usual yesterday in the "geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death" - and very pleasant it was. I fed the cats, read the papers and carried an espresso into the back garden, congratulating myself on being a citizen of a country that doesn't stone women to death, hang gay men from cranes or murder people who change their religion. I mean, how great is that? I love living in the "selfish, hedonistic wasteland" that is London - both quotes come from one Edmund Adamus, who is apparently a senior British Catholic and an adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster - and I just wish more nations would follow our example.

    Frankly, I'm tired of hearing religious bigots running down this country. For all its faults - crap public transport, Nick Clegg popping up everywhere and a national obsession with Simon Cowell - Britain is still one of the most civilised places in the world to live. It's not Iran, where prisoners are subjected to rape and mock executions; it isn't Saudi Arabia either, despite Mr Adamus's downright peculiar belief that we're more anti-Catholic than the Chinese or the Saudis. (Might I suggest he tries walking along a street in Riyadh carrying a crucifix and a Bible?) The Catholic Church has picked up this habit of dissing secular culture from hardline Muslims, who dislike pretty much the same things: gay relationships, equal rights for women and the freedom to mock religion.

    Read the rest.


    religion poisons everything | uk | gay rights
    Comments 3

  • 31 Aug 2010

    Castro accepts responsibility for the persecution of gays in Cuba

    Like a lot of people, I had a rather rose-tinted view of Castro and the Cuban revolution growing up. Until, that is, I read Before Night Falls, the powerful and harrowing autobiography of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. (It was later made into a movie starring Javier Bardem - and Johnny Depp in drag). Quite apart from the horrific treatment of homosexuals and people living with HIV/AIDS, the book also brings home the bald fact that Cuba is essentially an open prison.

    However, in recent years, thanks mostly to the efforts of Castro's neice Mariela Castro, Cuba has made great advances in it's treatment of the LGBT community. And now, in an interview with a Mexican journalist, Castro himself has acknowledged that post-revolutionary Cuba's persecution of gay people was "a great injustice", and that "If anyone is responsible, it is me".

    I'll at least give him points for taking responsibility. That's certainly refreshing!

    Read the full interview HERE. It's a translation, and reads a little oddly.


    "Yes", he remembers, "it was a time of great injustice. A great injustice!", he repeats emphatically, "no matter who did it. If it was us who did it, us... I am trying to define my responsibility in all that because, of course, I don't hold that type of prejudice."

    It is known that among his oldest of friends, there are homosexuals.

    But then, how was that hatred against the 'different' established?

    He believes all was the result of a spontaneous reaction in the revolutionary ranks, which came from tradition.

    "In earlier Cuba blacks were not the only ones discriminated against; women were also discriminated and, of course, homosexuals...

    "Yes, yes. But not in the Cuba of the 'new' morality, the pride of those revolutionaries on the inside and on the outside..."

    Who, then, was directly or indirectly responsible for not putting a stop to what was happening in Cuban society? The Party? Because the Communist Party of Cuba still does not 'explicitly' ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    "No" says Fidel, "If someone is responsible, it's me..."


    world | gay rights | people
    Comments 0

  • 28 Jul 2010

    Yet another study the anti-gay hysterics will have to studiously ignore

    Another study showing that the sexuality of kids parents makes absolutely no difference to whether they turn out happy and well adjusted or not. Not that the opponents of gay parents will care. They don't believe in empirical research.

    This is the first study of gay and lesbian parents to compare parental reports on adopted children's behavior and development with evaluations by outside caregivers. A major criticism of past research has been that it relies on self-reported data from parents (and, fair enough, we know parents don't always offer the most accurate evaluations of their offspring).

    But now we have this fine bit of research that looks at kids adopted at birth by 27 lesbian couples, 29 gay male couples and 50 heterosexual couples. Parents, teachers and caregivers evaluated the preschoolers in terms of behavioral adjustment and gender development. The outcome: "Regardless of whether they had one mother and one father, two mothers, or two fathers, children were thriving" and showed "no significant differences ... on measures of internalizing, externalizing, or total behavior problems." It's also true that "most boys exhibited behavior typical of other same-aged boys, and most girls exhibited behavior typical of other same-aged girls."



    gay rights
    Comments 0

  • 15 Jul 2010

    Kylie, fancy cocktails, and fellas, cited in UK gay asylum ruling

    Last week the UK's Supreme Court unanimously allowed appeals from two men from Iran and the Cameroon against their deportation, overturning a previous ruling that they could be deported because they could avoid persecution if they hid their sexuality and behaved discretely. (The Irish government has also taken this approach)

    What caught my eye however was the ruling of one of the judges. While it could certainly be argued (as he says himself) that his example is stereotypical (even border-line homophobic) I actually think it's refreshingly honest! And lets be honest, there are plenty of stereotypical gays around, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

    Another member of the court, Lord Rodger, said normal behaviour of gay people must be protected just as it was for heterosexual people. "What is protected is the applicant's right to live freely and openly as a gay man. To illustrate the point with trivial stereotypical examples from British society: just as male heterosexuals are free to enjoy themselves playing rugby, drinking beer and talking about girls with their mates, so male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically coloured cocktails and talking about boys with their straight female mates."


    gay rights
    Comments 3

  • 13 Jul 2010

    Africa's Last Taboo

    If you missed the Dispatches documentary Africa's Last Taboo on Channel4, about the increasing persecution of gay people in Africa, you can watch it HERE. (Well, if you're in Britain or Ireland you can. Not sure if it's viewable in the rest of the world)

    It's shocking, depressing, disturbing, sad, and angering, though the resilience and courage of some of the gay men featured is also inspiring. Watch it and be reminded how lucky we are, and how awful people, and religion, can be.

    On a related note, our government thinks it's fine to deport gay men back to this kind of persecution because they can "practice discretion" and not be persecuted. That it as depressing as what happens to them in Africa. 


    world | gay rights | religion poisons everything
    Comments 1

  • 30 Jun 2010

    Final Dáil stage for CP bill tomorrow

    The Civil Partnership Bill has it's final Dáil stage tomorrow when the amended bill will be debated and voted on. If passed by the Dáil, it will then go to the Seanad. The debate/vote is scheduled for 5pm, to finish by 9pm.

    You can listen to the debate live HERE (choose Dáil Eireann)

    As the final stages approach, the homophobes and religious nuts are ratcheting up their campaign against the bill. This was the scene outside the Dáil today, and there'll be more of them there tomorrow, as will members of the gay community to add balance and sanity.

    (pics Karl Hayden)

    And on a related note, the Irish Times ran a rebuttal to this nonsense today.

    Partnership is a civil entity - not a religious one


    civil partnership | gay rights
    Comments 6

  • 29 Jun 2010

    Slow blog

    The blog has been slower than usual the last couple of days because I'm taking a few days to do sweet feck all after the madness of the last couple of weeks. I think I deserve a few slow days. And I have my 16 yr-old neice and her friend staying with me till tomorrow and we have a lot of shopping and looking at boys to do. (that's what they like to do and thankfully I'm really good at one of those things)

    Normal service will be resumed soon.

    In the meantime, if you have time to get annoyed, here's two articles that'll get you annoyed.

    "Conscience must be made central to partnership Bill"

    A scalpel can't rewrite history, whatever the surgery


    blog | personally panti | gay rights | trans | ireland
    Comments 9

  • 23 Jun 2010

    As Helen Lovejoy would say...

    This short film took second prize in the Dublin Pride Short Film competition. I recognise a few faces in there....


    short film | gay rights | ireland | pride
    Comments 4

  • 14 Jun 2010

    Elegantly and eloquently pithy

    "The unequal treatment of gay people is a moral wrong and no amount of tradition can make it right. It is up to Scruton to defend discrimination, not liberals to have to justify treating all equally."

    (via Everything Changes - from The Observer's review of The Uses of Pessimism and the Danger of False Hope by Roger Scruton)


    ideas | gay rights
    Comments 0

  • 07 Jun 2010

    Study finds that children of lesbian parents may do better than their peers

    This is the kind of study that Brenda Power & Co will ignore because it doesn't fit with their lazy assumptions about children raised by non-heterosexual parents.

    Data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), begun in 1986 of 154 women in 84 families who underwent artificial insemination to start a family shows that children raised by lesbian parents do remarkably well in all areas of development and well-being.

    The authors found that children raised by lesbian mothers - whether the mother was partnered or single - scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression.

    "We simply expected to find no difference in psychological adjustment between adolescents reared in lesbian families and the normative sample of age-matched controls," says Gartrell. "I was surprised to find that on some measures we found higher levels of [psychological] competency and lower levels of behavioral problems. It wasn't something I anticipated."

    In addition, children in same-sex-parent families whose mothers ended up separating did as well as children in lesbian families in which the moms stayed together.

    Read the rest at Time magazine.


    gay rights | dykes | kids
    Comments 1

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