British Conservative homophobia

This video about Britain says about itself:

Theresa May in Coalition with Extremist Irish Party, the DUP

9 June 2017

Theresa May has formed a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party of Ireland, an extremist, right wing party with ties to racist paramilitaries during the Irish “troubles”. Sectarian, ultra conservative, [homophobic] and against women’s rights, abortion, immigrants, etc., this union badly weakens May’s negotiating ability in Brexit and will alienate moderates all over Britain.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

PM May’s Years of Gay Bashing

Friday 28th July 2017

Tories love gay people, trills PM who tried to restrict LGBT rights four times

THERESA MAY was branded a hypocrite over gay rights as she tried to wrap herself in the rainbow flag yesterday, with campaigners pointing to her appalling track record.

Ms May used the 50th anniversary of the partial repeal of anti-gay legislation to praise the Tories’ role on LGBT issues in recent years — having spent nearly 20 years fighting against gay rights herself.

In an article for Pink News to mark half a century since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act became law, the Prime Minister said she was proud of the party for passing equal marriage legislation, but acknowledged: “There will justifiably be scepticism about the positions taken and votes cast down through the years by the Conservative Party, and by me, compared to where we are now.”

However campaigners pointed to her appalling track record of voting against LGBT rights legislation and said despite her warm words, she hadn’t really changed.

A 2001 newspaper interview when she was shadow universities minister resurfaced yesterday in which Ms May defended anti-gay laws in schools claiming “most parents want the comfort of knowing Section 28 is there.”

Section 28 was a controversial amendment [by then Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher] to local government legislation which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

She insisted at the time: “No head teacher has commented to me that they are not able to deal with homophobic bullying or discuss homosexuality, where it is appropriate, with young people.”

And this week Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Ms May to stand up to US President Donald Trump — who said he wants to ban transgender people from the military — on LGBT issues.

Mr Corbyn said: “In America, the Trump presidency has incited hatred and discrimination against LGBT people.

“Trump opposes gay marriage and his vice-president, Mike Pence, enacted a religious freedom Bill which legalised discrimination against LGBT people.

“Other world leaders have been unequivocal with the US president but not Theresa May, who has failed to challenge this in the strongest terms.”

Human rights activist Peter Tatchell told the Star: “Just earlier this year the government rejected the recommendations of the education committee that LGBT issues should be mandatory in every school in order to combat bullying and support LGBT pupils.

“I wrote to the Prime Minister earlier this week asking her to issue an apology and pay compensation to those who were convicted for same sex activities. I received a reply saying the matter had been referred to the Education Department.

“The quest for justice has nothing to do with the Education Department. It shows the contempt with which the Conservatives still hold the LGBT community.

“The government refused to amend equality laws to include religious institutions, which allows them to discriminate against LGBT people in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.”

The Downing Street press office had not responded to the Star‘s request for comment at time of going to print.

Last month, the PM’s commitment to gay rights was called into question over the £1 billion deal struck with the homophobic Democratic Unionist Party to keep her in Number 10.

Forgotten moments

1998 – Votes against reducing the homosexual age of consent from 18 to 16, in line with the heterosexual one

2002 – Votes against allowing gay couples to adopt (Adoption and Children Bill — Suitability Of Adopters)

2003 – Absent from a vote on the Local Government Bill — Maintain Prohibition on Promotion of Homosexuality (Section 28)

2008 – Threatens the rights of lesbian couples by voting to force clinics to consider the need for a “father and mother” before allowing women to seek IVF treatment

2010 – One of her first acts as home secretary is to make sure public bodies don’t have to actively try to reduce inequality


Trump’s militarist homophobia, parody song

This 27 July 2017 parody music video from Britain about the president of the USA is called The White Gripes – Cisgender Nation Army.

It is a parody of the song Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.

It says about it itself:

Donald Trump announces his military ban of transgender people via the medium of a White Stripes cover.


I’m gonna ban the trans
Cisgender nation army is the way to go
I like to please my fans
Let’s send transgender folk to Mexico
I never served myself because my feet are as weird as my hands
But I don’t see how these guys can fight for us in foreign lands
We need the money for viagra and those marching military bands

Don’t be such a libtard
Did you know trans people are mentally ill?
If you say otherwise
Then you must be a Cultural Marxism shill
We’re all sick and tired of your identity politics
You may be willing to die for your country, but you cut off your dicks
You’re no better than those goddamn gooks or those Mexican spics

The move to expel transgender soldiers from the military is anti-democratic and oriented toward stoking up the most backward and fascistic elements. Moreover, it has ominous implications for transgender people in other aspects of society, legitimizing discrimination in jobs, education and access to services. In June, Defense Secretary James Mattis delayed by six months a decision on whether and how to accept new transgender recruits into the military. At the time, Mattis said that the delay “in no way presupposes the outcome.” Trump’s announcement appears to preclude openly transgender people from joining at all, and puts the status of currently serving transgender soldiers in jeopardy. Trump’s tweets link the anti-democratic decision to military and bogus financial considerations: here.

British government persecutes LGBT refugees

This 1 July 2017 Dutch video from Amsterdam in the Netherlands is called Sports day for LGBT refugees.

Unfortunately, not all news about LGBTQ refugees in the Netherlands is good news. Sometimes, the Dutch government tries to deport them to war zones.

Unfortunately, bad news about LGBTQ refugees in Britain as well.

By Leila Zadeh in Britain:

Why is Britain still punishing LGBT asylum seekers?

Thursday 27th July 2017

People fleeing homophobic persecution too often find themselves subject to ill-treatment and discrimination here, says LEILA ZADEH

As we mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, LGBTQI+ people who seek sanctuary in Britain from persecution in other countries are subjected to invasive questioning and risk being detained indefinitely.

More than 70 countries in the world criminalise same-sex acts and many LGBTQI+ people are at risk from persecution for being who they are.

It is not unusual for LGBTQI+ people attending asylum interviews to be asked questions based on assumptions of what it is to be LGBTQI+, that focus on intimate details of their sexual conduct, or that re-traumatise individuals.

One person was recently asked what it felt like when they were being raped. Another was asked when they first had sex with their partner.

Others end up having to explain why they are not heterosexual. One man was recently told that the caseworker did not believe he was gay since some cross-dressers identify as straight.

The Home Office also puts some LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum into detention. Britain has one of the largest detention estates in Europe and, shockingly, is alone in detaining people for indefinite amounts of time.

At the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, we regularly visit people who have been detained for several months: people who have applied to stay in this country for fear of persecution — including beatings, rape and death — in their countries of origin.

Our joint research with Stonewall has found that in detention, LGBTQI+ people who are seeking asylum suffer discrimination, harassment and violence from other detainees.

People are made to share rooms with people who share similar prejudices and abusive behaviours to those they are trying to flee: people who are homophobic, biphobic or transphobic.

One person reported feeling as unsafe in the detention centre as they did in Pakistan.

“He was in the gallery and he called: ‘Hey! Mr Gay, I love you! I want to fuck you.’ I was so scared. I just went in my room. Here in detention it is the same as where I came from. I was so scared.”

Many have reported that detention centre staff have failed to act on such bullying. Detention can have serious effects on the physical well-being of LGBTQI+ people.

In detention, some have reported not receiving medication for heart conditions or HIV. Trans people on gender-affirming hormones are denied continued access to treatment, adversely affecting their mental and physical wellbeing.

The detrimental impact on mental health can also be long-lasting. LGBTQI+ people can suffer depression or panic attacks, or self-harm. Some detainees have attempted suicide.

After being released from detention, LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum often experience flashbacks, suffer memory loss or find themselves unable to sleep.

LGBTQI+ people are often excluded from communities from their countries of origin because of prejudice against them. Identifying and accessing LGBTQI+ support networks is challenging.

The experience of detention makes it hard for them to settle into society even when they have regained their freedom.

Detention can also restrict the ability of LGBTQI+ people to gather evidence in support of their asylum claims. LGBTQI+ people frequently need to provide evidence from witnesses in their countries of origin to testify to their sexual orientation or gender identity as part of their asylum applications.

In detention, they can find it almost impossible to contact people in their countries of origin discreetly to gather such evidence. Many of their contacts at home also fear persecution if they are associated with someone who identifies as LGBTQI+.

Restrictions on smartphones and social networking sites in detention can also stop LGBTQI+ people from gathering the evidence they need to pursue their cases and get written records of their past relationships.

Britain has made great strides in protecting and promoting the rights of LGBTQI+ people in the last 50 years. Our government also seeks to promote the rights of LGBTQI+ people in other countries.

Yet its treatment of people from those same countries who seek protection on British soil stands in sharp contrast.

LGBTQI+ people from countries where they are persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity hope that Britain’s record in respecting human rights will protect them.

They want to enjoy the freedoms that other LGBTQI+ people in Britain enjoy. Yet often they encounter a system that refuses to believe they are LGBTQI+ or that they face persecution, and adds to their trauma by putting them into detention for an indefinite amount of time.

More training is needed of Home Office caseworkers so that asylum interviews treat people with dignity.

Decision-makers also need to be better trained in assessing sexual orientation in asylum claims. The government should also aim to issue guidance soon on gender identity in asylum claims.

The government should ensure that vulnerable people like LGBTQI+ asylum-seekers are not put into detention centres and that all immigration detention has a time limit of 28 days.

Leila Zadeh is executive director of the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group.

After transgender soldiers, Trump attacks LGBTQ civilians

This video from the USA says about itself:

26 July 2017

In an amicus brief, the Department of Justice argued Title VII of the Civil Rights Act doesn’t apply to LGBTQ discrimination.

See also here.

A sarcastic YouTube comment on this video says:

As much as Republicans hate transgenders, you would think they would encourage them to join the military just to let them die in Afghanistan.

USA: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ARGUES LANDMARK CIVIL RIGHTS ACT DOESN’T PROTECT GAY PEOPLE On the same day President Donald Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military, citing costs. “The Department of Justice argued in a legal brief on Wednesday that the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers no protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation, a position advocacy groups condemned as ‘shameful’ and ‘politically driven.'” As for the transgender ban, current service members are saying it’s a “shot in the face” and to “try and kick me out of the military.” These Republicans are breaking with Trump on the issue, along with these world leaders. And then there’s the question of whether it’s legal. [HuffPost]

In a disheartening break from progress in workplace policies, the Department of Justice filed a brief on Wednesday claiming the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect “homosexual” workers from discrimination. The brief says that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not sex discrimination—directly contradicting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which “makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity) or religion”: here.

Trump Administration’s Hard-Line Policies Are Raising the Stakes for Trans Survival: here.

British Theresa May’s homophobic Irish allies

This satiric video says about itself:

3 May 2016

Here at PinkNews, we decided to make a more accurate version of the Democratic Unionist Party‘s 2016 [Northern Ireland] Assembly [election] broadcast.

By Donal O’Cofaigh in Northern Ireland:

The DUP‘s long history of bigotry towards lesbians and gay people

Friday 7th July 2017

Prejudice towards the LGBT community, corruption and hypocrisy may define the DUP to many but earlier this year they received their highest ever share of the vote as hundreds of thousands of Protestants voted for them amid heightened community divisions, writes Donal O’Cofaigh

The Democratic Unionists (DUP) are propping up Theresa May’s minority government — but how many British readers are fully aware of their history in regard to the issue of LGBT rights?

This is a party with a long pedigree of prejudice towards the LGBT community, which has repeatedly voted down equal marriage — using the petition of concern, a mechanism meant to guarantee community rights on either side, to veto change after majorities in the Stormont Assembly have voted for equality.

So who are the DUP?

The DUP grew up as an opposition to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), who ruled Northern Ireland as a one-party state for 50 years after its foundation. The UUP oversaw systemic discrimination against Catholics but also against working-class Protestants.

Northern Ireland — an intrinsic part of the UK — did not have one-person-one-vote until 1974 and that only after years of civil rights protests, the eruption of violence on the streets and the proroguing of the Ulster unionism’s seat of government, Stormont with the imposition of direct rule from Westminster.

While standing against “big house unionism,” the DUP was not motivated by class-based politics, instead it was founded on fundamentalist Protestantism — anti-Rome rhetoric was mixed with populist demands and attacks on anything verging on power-sharing.

The DUP was shaped by the largerthan-life personality of the Reverend Ian Paisley, who received his doctorate in divinity from the Bob Jones University in South Carolina. The DUP were the political wing of his church, the fundamentalist, evangelical Free Presbyterians.

Whether in the pulpit or on the streets his message was one of intolerance to Catholicism, ecumenism and homosexuality. The goal was to save the Ulster people from the “evils” of social liberalism, militant Irish republicanism and, worse still, the threat of godless communism.

Despite its strong unionism, the religious zealotry of the DUP has repeatedly led it to oppose the extension of progressive British legislation to Northern Ireland.

In 1977 the party launched its “Save Ulster from sodomy” campaign in response to attempts to extend the decriminalisation of homosexual acts under the Sexual Offences Act of 1967. As a result of this opposition, decriminalisation only took place in Northern Ireland in 1982 as a result of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

In the following years, the DUP’s opposition to LGBT rights has remained every bit as strident despite the fact that it has now totally obliterated its Ulster Unionist opposition and is led by an Anglican, Arlene Foster.

Ian Paisley’s son, a leading member of Parliament, recently referred to homosexuality as being “immoral, offensive and obnoxious” and that he was “repulsed” by LGBT people. Another MP, Jim Wells, claimed that children growing up in same-sex households were more likely to be subjected to abuse before being forced to apologise. He also claimed the LGBT lobby was “insatiable.”

Such comments abound in the party — filled as it is with creationists, climate change-deniers and anti-choice campaigners but their moral pronouncements are often deeply hypocritical. The DUP are quite possibly the most corrupt party in Stormont with a strong history of flirtation, if not outright and open support, for paramilitarism but they portray themselves as righteous defenders of “democracy” and “freedom.”

Perhaps the most emblematic case of this is hypocrisy was almost a decade ago when the partner of former DUP leader Peter Robinson, Iris, also a member of the Stormont Assembly, referred to homosexuality repeatedly as an “abomination” causing her to feel “nauseous” and claiming that when she encountered LGBT people she referred them to a psychiatrist (who was also a political adviser). The political fallout from this claimed her psychiatrist friend’s career but despite that she went on to claim that homosexuality was worse than child abuse.

By April 2009 both herself and her husband, the first minister of Northern Ireland, were involved in public furore as it was exposed that the pair were drawing more than £571,000 a year in expenses, not including a further £150,000 for family member advisers, earning them the nickname “The Swish Family Robinson.”

But worse was to come when at the end of 2009, details came out on how Ms Robinson was having an extended affair with a 19-year-old businessman for whom she had secured an undeclared £100,000 donation from two different property developers.

Castlereagh Borough Council, which the Robinsons were known to have run as a fiefdom, was forced to conduct an investigation into the award of a catering contract to the same young man, that she was said to have influenced.

Iris resigned from public life being admitted to acute psychiatric care at the same time as the police raided the offices of Castlereagh Borough Council. Notwithstanding this bad publicity, her husband continued on as first minister until the beginning of 2016.

Scandal, corruption and hypocrisy may define the DUP to many but earlier this year they received their highest ever vote share as hundreds of thousands of Protestants voted for them amid heightened community divisions.

Sinn Fein had almost caught the DUP in an Assembly election — the prospect of a border poll was raised against the context of Brexit. Protestants voted in huge numbers for a party that takes its own working-class base for granted — many against their better judgements.

In the absence of a cross-community progressive alternative in Northern Ireland, society here continues to polarise.

The DUP are now propping up the Tory government. They have secured a few crumbs from the table for an act of betrayal against the working class throughout these islands. This is an outcome that will only further divide communities; something that suits both sides of the power-divide.

Those of us who are trying to build a cross-community labour movement to overcome division find ourselves pushing a boulder up an even steeper gradient but perhaps, at least, the DUP’s feet of clay as well as their regressive social policies will be subject to much greater scrutiny than ever before.

Donal O’Cofaigh is a campaigns and communications officer for Unite in Northern Ireland. This article is written in a personal capacity.

Homophobic violence in the USA

This video says about itself:

2016 Deadliest Year for LGBTQ Community in U.S.

30 June 2017

The LGBTQ community in the U.S. just experienced its deadliest year in addition to countless — and often unreported — non-fatal sexual violence, stalking, bullying, physical assault and verbal harassment.