homosexuality

Is Labour willing to pay the price for a gay party leader?

As you know, I’ve been a proponent of Gay Marriage and as far as I’m concerned gay people are people.  They can be good or bad, nice or nasty, or whatever.

But when you select a political leader, the fact Grant sleeps in the same bed as Alf and they do what people that love each other do does become an issue when it affects the support base of your party.

Labour Party leadership hopeful Grant Robertson is relaxed about David Cunliffe supporters raising the issue of him being gay. “I’ll be judged, I’m sure, on my ability to reflect Labour values,” he has said. But just how receptive would the New Zealand public be to the idea of a gay prime minister?

Perhaps a more important, initial consideration would be the effect on Labour’s base. The fears are that an openly gay parliamentary leader might fail to connect with Maoridom and with socially conservative, church-going Pasifika voters, and add to the disconnect the party is already experiencing with provincial working- class voters.

The West Coast, one of the few remaining Labour provincial redoubts, is a good example of this.

In 2011 the local MP, Damien O’Connor, described the list MP selection process as being run by “self- serving unionists and a gaggle of gays”.

In many of these demographics, however, it’s hard to get a proper fix.

The breakdown of a 2012 Colmar Brunton poll on same-sex marriage showed, somewhat predictably, that 70 per cent of people aged under 55 were in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry, while those who identify with a religion were split evenly on the issue. Interestingly though, rural and small- town respondents were in favour by 59 per cent to 33 per cent – just slightly less than the overall average of 63 per cent to 31 per cent.

Perhaps the best example of this unpredictable provincial dynamic is Georgina Beyer, who, at the 1999 general election, won the typically Right-leaning electorate of Wairarapa, and became the world’s first transsexual MP.

New Zealand as a whole is remarkably tolerant of people’s life’s choices as long as they’re good bastards.  And when gay people are idiots, they frequently sheet it home to homophobia, it’s not the same thing.   Read more »

Who do you have sex with? And why this may be important?

ACT candidate Stephen Berry writes

I was an audience member at Auckland’s LGBTI meeting last night. It featured Jamie Whyte from ACT, Kevin Hague from the Greens, Miriam Pierard from Internet Mana, Paul Hutchinson from National (retiring at this election so clearly National saw this as a bottom priority for them) and Kelly Ellis from Labour.

Unfortunately it was a poorly attended and largely dreary affair. In 21st century New Zealand politics, homosexuality is so acceptable as to hardly be an issue at all. We watched politicians from across the political spectrum largely agree with each other and Jamie set a new record for being in full agreement with Kevin Hague. The final step that I could identify in legal discrimination against homosexuals is that in a homosexual relationship, only one parent can adopt while the other may take legal guardianship. This is unfair but hardly something to form a mob with burning torches over.

Jamie’s message was spot on when he said that there should be no discrimination whatsoever by the state for any reason. I was glad when he bravely pointed out that this shouldn’t be applied to the sphere of individual’s private lives. Everyone, every day, discriminates against others for a host of minor reasons. If you’re approached by a man in a bar who you find physically unattractive you’d be likely to reject their advances based on that. I would hope nobody would suggest that you’re obligated to accept someone’s physical advances. The Human Rights Act could not possibly list all the different reasons private discrimination should be banned and it shouldn’t even begin to start. Freedom of association is far more important than hurt feelings at your company being rejected.   Read more »

Catholic Church will accept celibate gays

Because that’s always worked so well in the past.   Beying gay is a sin.  Boy buggering, not so much.

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Here’s bishop Pat Dunn showing how to be gay catholicly.   Michelle Duff reports   Read more »

Beating the gayness out of you in Nigeria

Nigeria has strict laws against homosexuals, so strict that the penalty for gay sex is death by stoning.

But if you are lucky you will get a lenient ‘judge’ who will simply arrange a whipping to beat the gayness out of you.

The young man cried out as he was being whipped on the courtroom bench. The bailiff’s leather whip struck him 20 times, and when it was over, the man’s side and back were covered with bruises.

Still, the large crowd outside was disappointed, the judge recalled: The penalty for gay sex under local Islamic law is death by stoning.

“He is supposed to be killed,” the judge, Nuhu Idris Mohammed, said, praising his own leniency on judgment day last month at the Shariah court here. The bailiff demonstrated the technique he used: whip at shoulder level, then forcefully down.

The mood is unforgiving in this north Nigeria metropolis, where nine others accused of being gay by the Islamic police are behind the central prison’s high walls. Stones and bottles rained down on them outside the court two weeks ago, residents and officials said; some in the mob even wanted to set the courtroom ablaze, witnesses said.

Since Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed a harsh law criminalizing homosexuality throughout the country last month, arrests of gay people have multiplied, advocates have been forced to go underground, some people fearful of the law have sought asylum overseas and news media demands for a crackdown have flourished.  Read more »

Gaybies? Seriously Stuff? Come on

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That was the headline on Stuff’s home page…a story about ‘Gaybies’.

When you go to the article though the headline is more realistic and the story isn’t about gay babies at all, but rather it is about babies being brought up in same-sex households.

Children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well in their education, emotional and social development as those raised by heterosexual parents, new research shows.

The report on same sex-parented families in Australia, commissioned by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), found “there is now strong evidence that same-sex-parented families constitute supportive environments in which to raise children”.

The findings are at odds with Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi’s recent comments that the “gold standard” for children’s development is having a biological mother and father who are married.

Report author Deb Dempsey, who reviewed all the research on same sex-parented families, said there was a wealth of evidence that showed the children were doing fine.   Read more »

Is homosexuality a kind of “sexual dyslexia”?

Interesting what you can find on the last day of 2013.  Have a look at this:

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My first reaction was “eugenics is alive and well”, but then I noticed the Ph.D. bit.  Can this be dismissed, or is this hard scientific data that we simply can’t speak of in public?   Read more »

Andrew Sullivan supports Phil Robertson

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Andrew Sullivan is one of the world’s best bloggers, he is certainly an inspiration for some of my work. He is also gay.

He as written a piece at The Dish supporting Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty.

I have to say I’m befuddled by the firing of Phil Robertson, he of the amazing paterfamilias beard on Duck Dynasty (which I mainly see via The Soup). A&E has a reality show that depends on the hoariest stereotypes – and yet features hilariously captivating human beings – located in the deep South. It’s a show riddled with humor and charm and redneck silliness. The point of it, so far as I can tell, is a kind of celebration of a culture where duck hunting is the primary religion, but where fundamentalist Christianity is also completely pervasive. (Too pervasive for the producers, apparently, because they edited out the saying of grace to make it non-denominational and actually edited in fake beeps to make it seem like the bearded clan swore a lot, even though they don’t.)

Now I seriously don’t know what A&E were expecting when the patriarch Phil Robertson was interviewed by GQ. But surely the same set of expectations that one might have of an ostensibly liberal host of a political show would not be extended to someone whose political incorrectness was the whole point of his stardom. He’s a reality show character, for Pete’s sake. Not an A&E spokesman. So here’s what he said – which has now led to his indefinite suspension (but he’ll be in the fourth season, apparently, which has already wrapped):

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong … Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men … “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right … “   Read more »

Turns out, we’ve been imagining most of those gay hordes coming to corrupt society

Fascinating to discover that American people have imagined this whole “gay problem” to be much bigger than it really is.  I  wonder if this would be reflected in New Zealand as well?

Americans surveyed in 2011 substantially overestimated the proportion of Americans identifying as homosexual. Where most estimates reckon about 3.5% of the population are homosexual, Americans surveyed thought that somewhere between 20-25% of the population are gay or lesbian.

Some candidate hypotheses for the overestimation:

  1. Availability bias where observations of people you know carry less weight than observations from TV shows or movies: if people take pop culture as more representative of average reality than their own personal circumstances, and if homosexual characters are over-represented on TV, then this could do it.
    1. In that case, we would expect overestimation particularly among lower-IQ cohorts.
    2. This alone shouldn’t account for it: how many popular TV series other than Modern Family have at least 20% gay characters?
  2. Availability estimation of proportions where individuals of different characteristics are more or less likely to have friends or acquaintances who are gay. This would predict dispersion of estimates but shouldn’t affect estimates of the population mean unless it’s combined with downward bias in the number of people you know. If you’re asked “What proportion of the population is gay or lesbian”, and you think about how many homosexuals you know, and you then underestimate the number of heterosexuals you know, you’d bias upwards your estimate. I still can’t see how that gets you to a 6-times overestimate.   Read more »
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Putin says Nyet, initiates a poofter pogrom

Russia has always been intolerant…of Jews, of slavs, of homosexuals. It is not surprise then that Vladimir Putin has embarked on a crack down on homosexuals.

It looks like he has initiated a “poofter pogrom”.

RUSSIA’S president, Vladimir V. Putin, has declared war on homosexuals. So far, the world has mostly been silent.

On July 3, Mr. Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form.

A few days earlier, just six months before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Games, Mr. Putin signed a lawallowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Contrary to what the International Olympic Committee says, the law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, reporter, family member or fan who is gay — or suspected of being gay, or just accused of being gay — can go to jail.   Read more »

Arrested for preaching on streets of London

While attitudes towards homosexuality in the Anglican Church are changing there is a more sinister approach to curtailing freedom of speech in the UK as well.

A visiting American has been arrested for preaching on the streets of London…amongst other things he was preaching that homosexuality is a sin…and it may well be, along with all sorts of other sins, like pride, boastfulness…but apparently in the UK you aren’t allowed to say such things…you get arrested.

It looks like the tolerance meter only goes one way.

Tony Miano, 49, a former senior police officer from the US, was held for around six hours, had his fingerprints and DNA taken and was questioned about his faith, after delivering a sermon about “sexual immorality” on a London street.  Read more »