Polish transphobes attack Winnie the Pooh


This video from the USA says about itself:

21 nov. 2014

Winnie the Pooh has been banned from a Polish playground because of his “dubious sexuality” and “inappropriate” dress.

The much-loved animated bear was suggested at a local council meeting to decide which famous character should become the face of the play area in the small town of Tuszyn.

But the idea soon sparked outrage among more conservative members, with one councillor even denouncing poor Pooh as a “hermaphrodite”.

After the attack by the extreme Right in Poland on the Teletubbies … and after another Polish homophobe attacked an elephant

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Party Pooh-pers attack Winnie

Poland: Small-town officials have opposed naming a playground after Winnie the Pooh due to the bear’s apparently unclear gender and immodest clothing.

The matter was debated in a closed-door meeting in the central Polish town of Tuszyn, but didn’t get much media attention until recent days when voice recordings of the meeting were leaked to local media.

Officials complained that Pooh was immodestly dressed and lacked a clear gender. One called the bear a “hermaphrodite.”

I have news for these transphobes. Most bears, both toy bears like Winnie and living brown bears, are lots more ‘immodestly dressed’ than Winnie the Pooh.

French ex-President Sarkozy’s homophobia


This French video is called Gay Pride de Paris 2013.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Nicolas Sarkozy calls for repeal of France’s same-sex marriage law

Former president says he favours some form of marriage for same-sex couples, but not the same as for heterosexuals

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has told supporters that the country’s same-sex marriage law should be scrapped.

Sarkozy, who is campaigning to lead the opposition centre-right UMP party and is expected to run again for president in 2017, was speaking at a debate organised by the conservative Common Sense (Sens Commun) group on Saturday.

Homophobes calling themselves ‘Common Sense’ … reminding one of George Orwell’s novel 1984, where war is peace and ignorance is strength.

Referring to the “mariage pour tous” or “marriage for all” legislation passed by France’s Socialist government last year, he said it needed “rewriting from top to bottom”.

His comments, two weeks before the UMP’s hotly contested leadership election, prompted catcalls from the 3,000-strong audience and cries of “Repeal! Repeal!”. Sarkozy, appearing rattled, responded: “If you’d rather one says repeal the law and make another one … in French, that’s saying the same thing. It comes to the same result. But hey, if that makes you happy, then frankly, it doesn’t cost much.”

Sarkozy explained he was in favour of some form of marriage for same-sex couples, but something different from that for heterosexuals. He said he opposed surrogate parenthood for same-sex couples.

The same-sex marriage legislation is known officially as the Taubira law, named after the justice minister Christiane Taubira who oversaw its introduction.

“It’s no use being against surrogacy if you don’t repeal the Taubira law,” Sarkozy said to cheers and applause.

The former president, who has been married three times, has previously criticised the legislation, saying it was “humiliating families and humiliating people who love the family”, but it is the first time he has called for its repeal.

An Ifop poll published on Saturday found that 68% of respondents supported same-sex unions and 53% supported adoption by same-sex couples, which is illegal in France.

Sarkozy’s comment and apparent policy-making on the hoof brought angry reactions from the governing Socialist party, which accused him of “appealing to the most reactionary instincts of his core supporters”. A spokesperson said Sarkozy wanted to create “a new form of segregation” with his two-tier marriage proposal.

British government says gays ‘not British’


This video from Britain is called Margaret Thatcher Makes Homophobic Comments.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday 3rd November 2014

DfE in hot water for ‘not British to be gay’ tweet

Tory Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is under pressure to apologise after a message posted on her department’s Twitter account suggested it is not British to be gay.
The message from the Department for Education account said: “Nonsense to say schools ‘must teach gay rights.’ We want schools to teach broad curric based on British values.”

The seemingly unprovoked attack on LGBT people sparked a might backlash on Twitter, especially from teachers.

One teacher replied: “Ok — do you think that gay people shouldn’t have rights or children shouldn’t be taught to respect those rights? Or both?”

And another user wrote: “So … inequality and homophobia is a British value? Nice. I’m moving country.”

Homophobic Roman Catholic bishops’ backlash


This 2008 satiric video is called Headzup: Pope Benedict And The Crime Of Being Gay.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Vatican backtracks on gay tolerance comments after angry reaction from bishops

Vatican claims report is a ‘working document’ – not Church doctrine

Heather Saul

Wednesday 15 October 2014

The Vatican appears to have backtracked on their unprecedented positive comments on homosexuality after a furious reaction from conservative Catholics.

On Monday, Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo read out an interim report at the Synod’s General Congregation that declared homosexuals had “gifts and qualities to offer” and even raised the prospect of the Catholic Church recognising the positive aspects of same-sex relationships.

The church, it added, must welcome divorced people and recognise the “positive” aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who live together without being married.

The document was described as an “earthquake” in the Church’s attitude towards gays and heralded as a “turning point” in policy by Vatican experts.

But on Tuesday, conservative bishops distanced themselves from the document’s remarkable opening toward gays and divorced Catholics, calling it an “unacceptable” deviation from church teaching that does not reflect their views.

The leaders of the bishops’ meeting that produced it have now said it was simply a “working document” and was not intended to be an official statement of church teaching on family life.

Instead, they said it was a reflection of bishops’ views that will be debated and amended before a final version is released on Saturday.

The Holy See press office said bishops had “appreciated” the document but some offered additional reflections “to bring together various points of view.”

‘The bishops called for “prudence” over same-sex relationships so that “the impression of a positive evaluation of such a tendency on the part of the church is not created”.

“The same care was advised with regard to cohabitation,” the Vatican said.

Bishops also suggested the final document highlight faithful Catholic families to avoid “a near-exclusive focus on imperfect family situations”.

“The report, obviously composed under pressure, has easily given rise to some misinterpretation,” British Cardinal Vincent Nichols said Tuesday.

“It is not a doctrinal or decisive document. It is, as stated in its conclusion, ‘intended to raise questions and indicate perspectives that will have to be matured and made clearer on reflection.”‘

Several conservatives who participated in the synod also immediately distanced themselves from the report. The head of the Polish bishops‘ conference, Cardinal Stanislaw Gadecki, called it “unacceptable” and a deviation from church teaching.

American Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court, told Catholic World Report that the document contained positions “which many synod Fathers do not accept and, I would say, as faithful shepherds of the flock cannot accept.”

British Islamophobe’s hatred of lesbian rabbi


This video, with Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah from England, is called Women in Judaism seminar – Part 1/2.

This video is the sequel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

What did this lesbian rabbi do to make Julie Burchill mad?

A lesbian Jewish leader says she has endured years of vitriol from the writer renowned for her strident style

Emily Dugan

Friday 26 September 2014

Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah had been warned that welcoming one of Britain’s most controversial writers into her synagogue might have its pitfalls.

But when Julie Burchill, who lists “spite” among her hobbies, showed an interest in the Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue in spring 2009, the rabbi was keen to give her a chance. “I thought she was a very good writer and I knew she was interested in Jews,” Rabbi Sarah recalls. “I also knew that she was a bit of a loose cannon but… we don’t try to label people.”

Things began well. Burchill attended the Saturday shul regularly and was talking about converting. After a few weeks Rabbi Sarah and her civil partner, Jess Woods, even had the journalist and a friend over for a Shabbat dinner at their home.

But a couple of months later the rabbi got a sharp insight into her new congregant’s views. An email had gone round asking whether people would help with the synagogue’s 75th anniversary celebrations. Burchill replied: “No, because your rabbi respects PIG ISLAM”.

“I could have done a big public exposure,” Rabbi Sarah told The Independent this week. “But what I did was email her and said: ‘Julie, firstly this is deeply, deeply offensive. Both Jews and Muslims don’t eat pig. I don’t know what you’re doing but this is really unacceptable and offensive. I was incredibly polite.”

When this newspaper asked Burchill about the email, she replied: “PIGS AND APES are what some Muslims call Christians and Jews, by the way. Even in school textbooks! Google it.”

Burchill is not Jewish but describes herself as a Philo-Semite,

‘Philo-Semites’ of the Burchill type are basically anti-Semites turned inside out. They want to use Jews as battering ram cannon fodder in their Islamophobic violent crusade fantasies. If Jews don’t want to play along with these delusions, then these Jews become objects of hatred by these ‘Philo-Semites’.

Let us imagine that Islamophobic racists like Burchill succeed in their aim of cleansing all Muslims, supposedly the cause of all problems in Britain, ethnically from the United Kingdom. Then, people would find out there would still be problems. And who would people like Burchill blame for that, now that the Muslims were gone? Wouldn’t they blame ‘the Jews?’

and has become a vociferous defender of Israel. In a book out next month, The Unchosen, she charts her love affair with Judaism – but ends with an acerbic 23-page rant against Rabbi Sarah, whom she dubs “Call-Me-Elli” for her informal style.

In one of many withering put-downs, Burchill writes: “When not boasting about being gay and cool, she was – via the scenic route – boasting about how tolerant she was by ceaselessly ramming the merits of Islam down the collective throats of her captive audience.”

Looking at a copy of the book for the first time, in the home she shares with her partner overlooking the South Downs, Rabbi Sarah is appalled by Burchill’s words. “What do you do about somebody who has such vile attitudes which really stoke Islamophobia?” she asks.

She reads aloud a phrase about her partner Ms Wood, where she is described as “the partner-in-petting during that fateful Shabbat dinner” – and yelps. Burchill makes many more overblown references to the couple’s “canoodling” at the Shabbat dinner and whether it would “turn into a full-on Sapphic free-for-all”.

Rabbi Sarah is mortified. “It’s outrageous. In good faith I invited her into my home. My partner and I – anybody will tell you we’re not like that at all. On Shabbat what you do is greet everyone. Everybody is kissed and she will have been too. If you met my partner – I mean, how were we in our home? We are so not outrageous. We’re so ordinary and boring and middle aged. Do me a favour.”

Burchill’s deconstruction of the meal extends to the drinks the hosts did (and did not) serve, after Burchill brought bottles of champagne. “Surely I started to dislike Call-Me-Elli at the moment she substituted her homebrew for my Veuve Clicquot,” she writes.

For Rabbi Sarah, the critique epitomises the writer’s betrayal of their hospitality. “It’s such an invasion… We served the elderflower [wine] that my partner had actually made,” she says. Burchill is unrepentant, telling The Independent: “I don’t call giving someone home-brewed elderflower filth when they’ve brought two bottles of Bolly ‘hospitality’.”

Rabbi Sarah had tasted public criticism from Burchill before the book came out. In a Jewish Chronicle column in December 2009 the polemicist complained about the rabbi’s sermons, but did not name her. Ms Wood, Rabbi Sarah’s partner, who has an MBE for her charitable work with young LGBT people in Brighton, even took Burchill to the Press Complaints Commission over claims that Christians are persecuted all across the Muslim world. She lost the case because the article was judged to be fair comment.

As one of the first two lesbians to become Rabbis in Britain, 25 years ago, and as a Jewish supporter of a two state solution, Rabbi Sarah is used to being pilloried. But few have made their attacks so personal – or so concerted. Her chief crime, in Burchill’s eyes, was “nagging about the Palestinians” and using “her pulpit to hammer home the joys of Islam”.

The rabbi believes Burchill’s religious views are dangerously simplistic. “The problem is she doesn’t have any in-depth knowledge. I can imagine her endlessly watching the film Exodus with Paul Newman. She’s got a kind of Hollywood view of Jews. You know, ‘Jews are so clever, we’ve survived…’,” she says.

After five years of abuse in print from Burchill, Rabbi Sarah has come to the conclusion that the author is fixated on her. “One has to question Julie Burchill’s psychological motivation,” she says. “Here’s someone who claims she loves Jews who’s actually persecuting an individual Jew. She’s being a persecutor.”

God save us from the philosemitism of Burchill, Amis and Mensch. Being the object of adoration and envy is yet another burden we Jews have to bear: here.

Nazi Unionist violence in Scotland


This video from Scotland is called Nazi-saluting thugs mar No-vote victory celebrations in Glasgow.

By Malcolm Burns in Scotland:

Scotland‘s Yes and No camps hit out at loyalist nazi thugs in Glasgow’s George Square

Monday 22nd september 2014

Activists on both Yes and No sides of the Scottish referendum campaign have slammed the “clearly orchestrated” violence by nazi-saluting loyalist thugs in Glasgow’s George Square on Friday night.

The Union Jack-waving crowd invaded the city’s main square early in the evening and launched attacks against Yes campaigners, including a Glasgow city councillor.

Eleven arrests have been made over the weekend following the shameful scenes and Police Scotland has pledged to track down other perpetrators.

Communist Party of Britain Scottish secretary Tommy Morrison told the Morning Star the violence was “clearly orchestrated by fascist groups” such as the Scottish and English Defence Leagues.

“We know they had members over from Ireland and up from England. They were in George Square in numbers which they just can’t pull together from Scotland.

“They attacked Yes campaigners who were peaceful.

“There has been some ridiculous stuff on social media saying these thugs are the true face of the No campaign — as if two million Scots are allying themselves with the fascists.”

Glasgow councillor Austin Sheridan was subjected to a vicious homophobic attack by a number of the loyalist thugs as he left the city chambers on Friday evening.

Mr Sheridan, SNP councillor for the city’s Baillieston ward, said: “I am shocked and sad — shocked in the sense that they were so aggressive and sad that there are people out there who are so divisive.

“I know fine well the majority of people who voted No will want to distance themselves from this behaviour.”

Conservative attempts to use the No victory to shut Scots out of the British government are a scandal: here.

The life and work of Tony Benn are to be celebrated at a concert in Glasgow, trade unionists revealed yesterday: here.