Saturday, 5 June 2010

Another bad news round up – because it still happens

Another unfortunate look at the forces of homophobia out there and the victims they leave behind. From politics to media to the church and the endless attacks on our children, our work places and our bodily integrity there seems to be no shortage of stories and I know I only scratch the shallowest surface

Around the world, politics continues to devalue, attack and destroy our lives.

In Georgia GBLT violence and discrimination is on the rise – fanned and encouraged by political parties using GBLTs as scapegoats and distractions and as a quick and easy way to garner support. You don’t need to focus on issues – just bash us and you’ll get the adulation of the masses it seems.

In Zimbabwe, two members of the gay rights group GALZ (courageous people to operate in such a virulently homophobic nation) were arrested. While both were later released – they say they were brutalised and tortured during their detention.

During the ongoing battles to stop the Uganda genocide law, many forces came out to distance themselves from it (oh no, rampant homophobia and religious hate can’t have been the cause! Certainly not!) Not the christian Family Research Council They actually paid $25,000 to lobby the US congress NOT to denounce Uganda’s kill-the-gays law. They spent this money to defend the execution of gay people.

How this group is not considered a hate group, I do not know.

But while we investigate why these aren’t a hate group, we could also investigate why Minnesota governor Time Pawlenty is considered human. He has vetoed a law that would allow gay people to have some say on the burial decisions of their deceased loved ones. Such a small thing to ask, such a desperate thing that is needed and he vetoed it.

The media is doing it’s normal sterling jobf ke oeping the flames of homophobia high.

CNN has again jumped into that wonderful media pit of Questions that should not be asked as it has before along with the BBC, the Sun and gods alone know how many others by asking (straight) people whether or not they agree with letting gay people visit our partners when they are hospitalised. Again, why is this debateable? Again, why are the whims of the public over such an essential need considered relevant? Again, why is disagreement with this presented as a legitimate, acceptable position?

Meanwhile McDonalds in France has produced a sweet advert about a gay kid eating at their ‘restaurant’. Now, I don’t find this unproblematic because I think the whole “come as you are” would work far better if it weren’t “come as you are… closeted.” Because I don’t think that is a great message – come as you are, in hiding, come as you are, but hide it, come as you are… but make sure straight people don‘t know, including your own father. Well, yeah, not an ideal advert. Still it is sweet and it is an actual gay person in mainstream advertising in a non-mockable manner which is pretty damn rare (now just waiting for a gay person in mainstream advertising without problematic elements).

Bill O’Reilly has also seen this advert. And he is not amused. He asks whether McDonalds is going to produce an advert including Al’Qaida members. Yes he just compared being gay to being a member of Al’Qaida. Yeah, I’d comment on that but I have to plant rainbow sparkly bombs somewhere according to the insidious gay agenda.

But hey, O’Reilly may be on some pretty strong reality altering drugs – afterall, he has just compared trans people to Ewoks. Ewoks. EWOKS? *boggles*

In Iowa, Rep Steve King in a great deal of frothing and raving about the legalisation of gay marriage – speaks of fathers marrying their sons and mothers marrying their daughters. Because, y’know, gay marriage is totally the same as incest, right? Oh and gay marriage will lead to more abortions… *thinks* *tilts head* *strains* nope, lost me there. I mean I’m generally able to run alongside wingnuttery but I can’t even begin to see how he’s coming up with that one.

Of course, our kids are still in the firing line.

China is worried about boys growing up without enough masculine stereotypes being shoved down their throats so has created a school for “sissies” To “toughen” the boys up and make them less “girly” with an extra side dollop of emotional repression. Well, I have to say, that’s an impressive amount of fail in one. What’s that? sexism, transphobia, homophobia, AND saddling kids with a big big big helping of issues and complexes for later life. Ok, anyone else competing in the “who can screw up kids the most?” game show?

Continuing the screwing over of gay teens that seems to be something of a habit lately, a Lesbian student does not appear in her high school year book she has been erased completely.

No look at the waves of homophobia out there can fail to take into account religious bigotry, alas.

And that includes when further harming GBLT children, a Christian group in Oakland is celebrating their victory – they have forced a school to withdraw it’s anti-GBLT bullying campaign. Because stopping kids being hurt is against their faith it seems.

The Catholic church, always to be relied upon for being an eternal source of hatred, of course gets a mention. See, the Catholic church has had to deal with the most horrific sex abuse scandal and is responding by asking questions of seminarians to weed out paedophiles (sounds about as useful as a chocolate fireguard to me since if paedophiles could be identified in a cripplingly awkward interview, paedophilia wouldn’t be much of a problem) Oh and the interview is also designed to find any gay candidates as well. An interview in response to the child abuse scandal that tries to weed out gay candidates. Gah, words cannot express how much the Catholic church is coming to disgust me.

Of course, one entry from the Catholic church would be an improvement over the normal amount of hate they bring, but no, there’s another. See, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is not happy about ENDA, not happy at all. So decided it was their Christian duty to appeal to congress to allow bigotry against GBLT people to continue. Be warned, the source is a Catholic news source.

And Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston has spoken on the recent exclusion of the children of lesbians from Catholic schools (personally, I don’t understand why any GBLT person would put their child into a situation that would indoctrinate such hatred in them). And he made an analogy to make his point – referencing a brothel owner who trafficked women in horrendous conditions that lead to some of their deaths. That’s right, he compared lesbian parents with human traffickers.

And while we’re on the subject of religious bigotry – the Traditional Families coalition makes it clear why they’re so opposed to discrimination laws as if it were in doubt – religious business owners should have the moral right to discriminate against GBLTs. Why Rand Paul, you have a following, you do! The minute you allow in “my religion says X” as an excuse to be a bigot then ALL discrimination laws go out the window – they all die because people can use (and have used) religion to justify any amount of bigotry.

Pastor Owens of West Virginia’s Shenandoah Bible Baptist church is taking some heat for his truly disgusting sermon, the audio tape of which was leaked onto the net Most providers take it down as soon as it appears because it is that disgusting. Dubbed the “hunt-a-homo” sermon, it says things like “we should burn fags not flags” and other such gems. Ye gods I wish I was making that up. The video is included in the link, it is EXTREMELY TRIGGERING!

Sadly, religious groups are a major source of bigotry world wide (though it’s rarely something we’re permitted to address given the large number of defenders and excusers organised religion’s homophobia has). In the UK, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey wants SPECIAL courts for cases when there is religious beliefs are used to promote and enforce bigotry against GBLT people he wants specially religiously trained judges to handle them – to protect the rights of poor poor Christians who want to oppress GBLTs.

In Dorset, UK a Lesbian couple has been forced out of the church one of them has attended for years. Told they may not ‘associate’ with each other. Callous and uncaring, though I expect little else

The leader of a Pentecostal church in Brixton, London has been comparing being gay top paedophilia and rape, fanning the flames of religious hatred against us. His “refutation” is that he is only upholds orthodox and traditional Christian beliefs. That is not a refutation. Not even close – an admission perhaps, but not a refutation

And all this comes with a further cost – the cost of violence and discrimination and fear and very real victims

In Paraguay, a young Lesbian on announcing she was going to move in with her girlfriend, was kidnapped and tortured – by her own family

In China, a lesbian tried to kill herself by swallowing pesticide because she was faced with a forced marriage to a man. This is the despair that homophobia drives people to

In Texas 2 gay men were attacked by homophobes yelling slurs and hitting them with freaking baseball bats as they left a gay bar.

In Minneaoplis 2 people were shot outside of a gay club.

In Ontario, a man who direcdted a play about homophobia was beaten in an anti-gay assault.

And in Seattle, a man has been arrested for hate crimes for harassing, assaulting and beating a trans woman in the street

Gay flight attendants working for the airline KLM have been refused in their requests to avoid trips to Iran. A country which, we must remember, imprisons, tortures and executes GBLT people. The company already allows some flight attendants to stay safe by avoiding the country and doesn’t want to extend it further. They can stay safe but gay flight attendants still have to go and put their very lives at risk.

But who do we rely on to protect GBLT rights? Well… sadly not a whole lot of anyone. Certainly not the UN which has finally blocked accreditation for The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission after 3 years of hemming and hawing. It seems too many nations are too vehemently against any idea of gay rights, there are just too many bigots and bigoted nations out there to allow us to be treated like people. of course, there never are and never will be any real action to try and push these nations to accept our humanity (indeed, no small amount of wailing and fury and defence at the very suggestion!) so our blood will continue to be spilled and generally ignored.