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UKIP’s ‘secret’ manifesto for anti-gay Christians

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

Hidden “conscience clause” would protect religious bigots while stripping LGBTQI people of human rights

In a document not released to the media, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) have suggested that they would introduce a “conscience clause” which would create legal protection for Christians who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

The document, Valuing our Christian Heritage, states that the party, while not rescinding England’s Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013, that the party opposed same-sex marriage and would amend the English law to allow “reasonable accommodation” to those opposing equal marriage on religious grounds.

The document states;

“UKIP opposed same-sex marriage legislation because it impinged upon the beliefs of millions of people of faith. Rushed through Parliament without proper public debate, the legislation is significantly flawed.  It should have been subject to a review of the state’s role in marriage.  We will not repeal the legislation, as it would be grossly unfair and unethical to ‘un-marry’ loving couples or restrict further marriages, but we will not require churches to marry same-sex couples.  We will also extend the legal concept of ‘reasonable accommodation’ to give protection in law to those expressing a religious conscience in the workplace on this issue.”

In his introduction to the document, UKIP leader Nigel Farage gives his own views on the subject;

“Sadly, I think UKIP is the only major political party left in Britain that still cherishes our Judaeo-Christian heritage. I believe other parties have deliberately marginalised our nation’s faith, whereas we take Christian values and traditions into consideration when making policy.  Take the family, for instance. Traditional Christian views of marriage and family life have come under attack of late, whereas we have no problem in supporting and even promoting conventional marriage as a firm foundation for a secure and happy family.”

The document, the contents of which are not mentioned in the UKIP 2015 manifesto, was not released to the media.  It was however distributed to some churches and the strongly anti-gay group Christian concern.

Any such clause would give legal protection to any business which openly refused business to same-sex couples on grounds of their sexuality.  Moreover, the wording “We will also extend the legal concept of ‘reasonable accommodation’ to give protection in law to those expressing a religious conscience in the workplace on this issue.” could effectively be used by employers to refuse employment to, or even fire, LGBTQI employees on the grounds of their sexuality.  And given that two key UKIP policies are the repeal of the UK Human Rights Act, and pulling the UK out of the European Union – where we currently enjoy the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights – that would effectively give those discriminated against with no means of appeal in law.

UKIP claims not to be a bigoted party, and often point to members and politicians they have from various sections of societies, including the LGBTQI community.  Sadly, even those have been known to voice bigoted views.  Scotland’s only UKIP politician, David Coburn MEP (Member of the European Parlament), who is openly gay and is in a long-standing relationship, has always taken a strong stance against same-sex marriage.  In an interview with Huffington Post (30 October 2014), Coburn attacked the subject, expressing his views in deeply offensive terms, stating, “It’s just for some queen who wants to dress up in a bridal frock and in a big moustache and dance up the aisle to the Village People, quite frankly if that’s the cost of upsetting a hell of a lot of people, then I don’t think it’s a price worth paying.”

NIgel Farage claims that UKIP is an all-inclusive and open party, whose manifesto is the best going.  When any party hides a ‘manifesto within a manifesto’, particularly one which seeks to strip rights from the LGBTQI community (or anyone for that matter), while attempting to hide those policies from the media and the public in general, then that belies the true nature of that party.  Likewise his unequvical opposition to equal marriage and his strong support for “traditional” marriage, coupled with his failure to either reprimand or dismiss David Coburn from the party speaks volumes about Nigel Farage personally and UKIP as a whole.

Some of us believe in democracy, where politicians are open towards and respect the rights of all sections of society.  But then, some of use believe that all people should have equal rights – even queens dressed in frocks, with big moustaches, and dancing to the Village People.


PDF of the document can be found here:

http://www.election2015.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/UKIPChristian_Manifesto-1.pdf

DOWN with this sort of thing! Careful now!

But she’s apparently kind to animals…

$$-SUSAN-ANN-WHITE-570

I was going to do a full blog challenging every one of these points, Loves, but there’s simply too much to address.  So instead, I’ll leave this here to judge for yourselves.  I will however make a few observations upon it.

Every election throws up candidates who are controversial, eccentric, offensive, and downright barmy, and the UK General Election, which takes place on 7 May 2015 is no exception.  Susan-Anne White could fit all the above categories and is standing on the above ticket, which even puts UKIP in the shade for bigotry, ignorance, and frankly daft ideas.

Claiming to be “Biblically correct NOT politically correct”, Ms White’s agenda is anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-adultery, and pro-child discipline.  Her agenda also includes other measures such as the UK pulling out of the EU, banning the legalisation of dangerous drugs, opposing global warming science (which she claims is pseudoscience), CCTV in all abattoirs and banning Halal slaughter, which of course are clearly Biblical because… …ah… …ermm… …perhaps Ms White would like to explain those ones herself?

Interesting to note that Ms White wants to “recriminalise” homosexuality.  She would have a hard job, as homosexuality was never actually criminalised. Buggery, Sodomy and Gross Indecency (under the Labouchere Amendment of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885) were the offences under which gay men were prosecuted, but being homosexual in itself was never a criminal offence.   It’s equally interesting to note however that she claims that after stating “Oppose the LGBT agenda while showing compassion to those who struggle with gender confusion.”  Yes, the LGBTQI community have encountered that particular brand of “compassion” many times before.

Please note I am using Ms White’s terminology here, as I have no doubt she thinks gay men and lesbian women “struggle with gender confusion” and is unaware that gender and sexuality are two different things.

No doubt I am the very sort of person who would make Ms White want to heave.  I like dressing in pretty, feminine clothes, right down to frilly panties and I’ll happily shag anything I fancy, male or female, which moves – and a few things that don’t.  To steal a line from one of my favourite movies, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, “my tongue has been places you don’t even know you’ve got and it’s great.”  And being a pansexual genderqueer crossdresser, I’m not struggling with gender confusion at all.  I fully embrace it, I love it, and far from feeling any shame, I’m proud of it.  One can only wonder just how much “compassion” Ms White would afford the likes of me?

Another bizarre stance is to raise the age of consent to 18 and enforce the law.  I don’t know how Ms White imagines teenagers with raging hormones are going to obey that law, how she intends to enforce it, or what point needlessly making criminals of young people and wasting police time would achieve exactly.

I would also question her claim that she is being “Biblically correct” on this one.  This is what the Bible has to say on Mary’s conception of Jesus; Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  (Matthew 1:18, KJV).  Now, at that time Jewish girls were betrothed in arranged marriages at age 12.  So if Joseph had not “known” Mary before she conceived, then that could mean she was as young as 12 years old when she conceived Jesus.

That’s before we even get onto the story of Rebekah, whom even rabbinical and Biblical scholars agree may have been as young as three years old, that’s right dears – 3, when she was betrothed to Issac.

What was that about being “Biblically correct”, Ms White?

But then, for a woman, we see that Ms White’s manifesto is particularly misogynistic. when we consider that she wants to “Oppose feminism and restore dignity to the stay-at-home mother” (which no serious person has ever seriously questioned the dignity of women who choose that noble role), and “Restore the concept of the family wage with the father as the bread-winner”.

Which only leads me to wonder just why she, as a woman, does not choose to “stay-at-home”?  Particularly when being so “Biblically correct”, she should be staying at home and not be seeking political office at all;

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”  (Titus 2:3-5, KJV)

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silenceFor Adam was first formed, then Eve.” (1 Timothy 2:11-13, KJV)

Them’s the words of the Bible, which you claim to be the unerring word of God, Ms White dear, not mine.


UPDATE: Susan-Anne White came last in the constituency of West Tyrone, polling a mere 166 votes and thereby losing her deposit.  So far no reaction has been posted in her blog.


Well done Poppy Smart

Poppy Smart

Poppy Smart

One woman’s stance against sexist builders may have opened flood gates for stronger action

Poppy Smart is a 23 year old digital marketing co-ordinator in Worcester, England.  She is a successful woman with a good career.  Her life seemed to be going well, until she had to pass a building site on her way to work every morning.

Passing the building site, Poppy was subjected to wolf-whistles and harrassment in the form of sexual comments from the builders on a daily basis.  On one occassion one man even deliberately blocked her path.  Poppy described their behaviour as “incredibly intimidating”. This became so much of a problem for her that she considered changing her route.  Instead, after a month of this harrassment, she decided one day to film the harrassment, and having done so, she made a complaint to the firm employing the builders and with her local constabulary, Mercia Police.

Police, armed with the video, visited the building site and interviewed one of the builders, 28 year old Ian Merrett, warning him that his behaviour constituted sexual harrassment, for which he could be charged.  Poppy subsequently received some form of apology from the firm, and having accepted that, Mercia Police decided to take no further action.

Poppy Smart’s actions have led to a national debate in the UK, with a great many people standing against her and even sympathising with Ian Merrett.  Disturbingly, the overwhelming responses have been one of blaming the victim.

Phillip Davies, Conservative Member of Parliament for Shipley, West Yorkshire, stated “I would have thought the police have better things to do.”  One can only hope that women in his constituency remember his words when they vote in the forthcoming General Election on 7 May.  Media ‘celebrity’ Vanessa Phelps stated on her BBC London Radio show, “Some people would say, if you don’t like it, then cross the street or get a bit more robust … You don’t think that your discomfort is worth using up valuable police time.”

Some reactions, both from the media and the public, have since made personal attacks against Poppy Smart.  The Guardian (29 April) reported “Several of the discussions involved commentary on Smart’s looks. One article highlighted the fact that she was childless and unmarried. Some news outlets used pictures that seemed to have been taken from Smart’s social media accounts, showing her posing for selfies wearing a low-cut top – a decision it’s difficult not to interpret as a snide suggestion that she might have somehow been “asking for it”.”

And of course, the response from the public, particularly from keyboard warriors and online trolls have been predictable.  Comments below a BBC report on the story included “I’d say she was very lucky to get a whistle. She needs a bag over her head”, “who would do that to her anyway ugly bitch”, and of course the inevitable, “What she needs is a bit of cock. That’ll sort her out!”

Ian Merrett, for his part, remains unrepentant.  He told The Mirror (29 April)  “It’s highly likely it was me who did that wolf-whistle.  I’ve seen the news coverage and it’s not right. I’m a builder and my mates are builders. We are all hard working people and our reputation has been damaged.  Wolf-whistling is part and parcel of working on a site, it’s complimenting a girl.”

Having admitted that it was probably him who did the wolf-whistle, Merrett then contradicts himself and tries to feign innocence by stating “I can remember that day when she [Miss Smart] took the video, we were under-pinning a wall that day,  I only saw the back of her, I didn’t even see her face and you can see in the video the wolf-whistle comes after she had passed the gate.  I didn’t even see her face, and I wouldn’t recognise her if I fell over her in the street, so I don’t know how that could possibly be sexual harassment.  Police came to our site and said someone had made an allegation of harassment. They showed us the video so we stopped doing it.”

Then came Mr Merrett’s most astounding statements, which included not a little bit of wishful thinking methinks; “It’s not worth getting into trouble over some silly little girl. I don’t know why she complained, she must be thinking things above her station.  I’m sure if she walks past again and she is lucky she will get wolf-whistled again.  I have wolf-whistled so many girls and got so many birds and snogged so many girls off the back of that, and never had a complaint before.  But I’ve got a girlfriend so need to be careful what I say.”

Yes, you read right; “silly little girl”, “above her station”.  Ian, dear, this woman is a career woman in a highly-challenging field.  You sir, are a brickie.  Of course, both jobs – like all jobs – are valued for their own merits and are both deserving equal respect.  Consider however that if Poppy left her job, she would be hard to replace.  Your employer could fire you and have another brickie in your place within minutes.

And come on, the claim that “I have wolf-whistled so many girls and got so many birds and snogged so many girls off the back of that, and never had a complaint before.”?  WHO is he trying to kid?  He’s certainly not convincing me.  He’s maybe trying to convince himself, and succeeding.  However, as far as complaints are concerned, one can only wonder what his girlfriend (if she exists) makes of his behaviour.  I certainly know if I wolf-whistled anyone (of either gender) in public, my partner would not only be far from pleased, I would be spending the next few nights on the couch – perhaps even for my own safety.

It is sad that Poppy Smart had to take this action, but I for one champion her doing so.  In 2015, this sort of behaviour is simply not acceptable.  In most countries nowadays sexually-orientated behaviour towards others in the workplace constitutes sexual harrassment, which is quite rightfully a disciplinary matter, and which if serious and / or repeated can quite rightfully lead to dismissal for gross misconduct.  If it is wrong among work colleagues, how can it ever be “just banter”, as some are claiming, when directed at members of the public?  The simple answer is it cannot.  I have in my time worked in customer-facing roles.  If in such roles I had wolf-whistled or made suggestive comments to even one member of the public, I would have been dismissed with immediate effect, the employer dismissing me would have been well within their right to do so, and with that on my record, I would find it extremely hard to find another post, with no-one but myself to blame.

Builders of the mindset of Ian Merrett and his colleagues, and anyone else whose work brings them into a public-facing role need to be made to realise that the public, women in particular, are not their property.  Their wolf-whistles and sexually-charged comments are not compliments.  Far from it, if anything they are insults.  Their behaviour is not “banter”, it is harrassment of a member of the public who may want nothing to do with them, and whose space and peace of mind they are invading without permission from that individual.  In that final definition, their behaviour could be classed as threatening, or even bullying.

And I am not alone in thinking that, the law happens to agree with me.  Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan of Greater Manchester Police, who is also national (England & Wales) police lead for Stalking and Harrassment, quoting the Protection Against Harrassment Act and the Public Order Act, told The Guardian, “It is not only unacceptable for someone to disparage, insult and offend someone in this way, but it can be against the law.” He continues: “Just because someone somewhere has a personal opinion that wolf-whistling and boorish behaviour is ‘fun’ and not criminal does not make it right – try living with the day-to-day drip, drip feeling that someone is acting in a way that causes you fear and knowing that they just don’t care about the impact on you.”

There are of course those who would argue that Poppy Smart could have changed her route.  The simple answer to this is why the hell should she?  Why should she be inconvenienced, perhaps having to take a longer route to work, because of the behaviour of others?  The answer is of course that she should not.  To do so, not only would she have not so bravely confronted what is not just a problem for her, but for all other women having to pass that building site, and even on a national, and possibly international level.

Some may say this has never happened before.  I would agree with that, but would add there is a first time for everything.  Poppy Smart by her actions has opened the flood gates and has set a precedent where other women, empowered by her example, may now follow.  Women tired of the unwanted attentions of a bunch of ignorant sexist men may now look to her case, and likewise make police complaints against them and their employers.  Once the employers get the message, they will filter down to their employees the clear message that they are ambassadors for the companies they represent, and that the sexual harrassment of women cannot and will not be tolerated.

I leave the last word to Poppy Smart herself;

“Men will lean out of their cars or vans and shout comments about my appearance or whistle and I know and have seen this happen to others as well. I think more women should speak out about this behaviour, maybe it will make people think twice,  Imagine hearing someone speaking that way to your sister, mother, wife or daughter.  Personally I don’t think that such comments, even if they are considered complimentary by the perpetrators, are appropriate.  It is very disrespectful and is comparable to calling out at someone of a different race or religion.”

Well said, Poppy.  I could not agree more.

Pope personally rejected gay French Ambassador

laurent-stefanini-franceFrancis seemingly not so progressive as he seems

Were the Roman Catholic Church, not despicable enough in their bigotry, on Tuesday 7 March 2015 the New Civil Rights Movement reported that their prejudice had hit a new low, in reporting that the Vatican has yet to officially recognise the new French Ambassador, Laurent Stefanini (pictured), supposedly because he is openly gay.

“Last January, the Council of Ministers appointed Stefanini France’s Ambassador to the Vatican.” reported the New Civil Rights Movement, “That post, to the historic Villa Bonaparte Embassy in Rome, is considered a plum assignment, often given as a reward for years of service by members of France’s diplomatic corps. That ambassadorship has been vacant for more than a month now, but Stefanini has yet to be credentialed by the Vatican, and the rumors are growing that it is because Stefanini is gay.”

Now French weekly journal, Le Journal du Dimanche, has stepped into the fray, reporting that not only has Ambassador Stefanini been formally rejected by the Vatican, but far from officious and bigoted curia officiating the decision, his rejection goes right to the top, the order allegedly coming from Pope Francis himself.

Le Journal du Dimanche reported;

“France has just discovered the hard way that softening has its limits. It was “a decision by the pope himself,” a source inside the Vatican told Le Journal du Dimanche. The letter from the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, which was presented to the Pope on February 11, which brought together Cardinals asking him to accept the French ambassador has not changed his decision. Jean-Louis Tauran, the Camerlengo of the Holy Church, also interceded on behalf of Stefanini. In vain. The pope told several cardinals he would not yield.” 

The journal continues that the rejection “has poisoned relations between Paris and the Vatican.”  If true, then I would say that is the understatement of the year.  Given the Vatican City State is officially a country, then this is no less than an international incident.

Do excuse me if I voice my true feelings about the Church of Rome.  Totally perverse, this ultra-conservative political organisation for whom matters spiritual often take a back seat, who make up scripture as they go along (rarely adhering to the Bible), and which creates much more suffering in the world than it relieves, has the audacity to still condemn the LGBTQI community for perfectly natural sexuality as an “abomination” and stand firmly against equal marriage, yet they are still complicit in protecting paedophile and sadistic clergy who commit wholly unnatural acts upon children.

Seems someone needs to remove the beam from their own eye before they attempt to remove the mote from a brother’s.

 Two thousand years after an innocent man was (allegedly) nailed to a cross, and five hundred years after a decent and honest priest, seeing how rotten they were, nailed a proclamation to his church door, the Vatican still wields way too much power in the world.  There was a time when the Pope was top boss of all the countries in Christendom.  Kings could rarely make a move or almost even fart without asking the Pope’s permission first, Bishops were the real power behind the throne, and the consequences for disobedience could be severe.  The map of Europe changed several times in history due to decisions taken in Rome.

It is time Pope Francis realised these days are far gone, and bloody good job too.  Today civilised nations make their own destiny and answer to none but themselves.  France is a secular republic which owes the Papacy no favours.  If they choose a gay man to be ambassador to the Vatican, then the diplomatic and proper thing to do is accept that ambassador with good grace.  Yes, grace, Rome.  I’m sure you are not unfamiliar with the word or concept,

If these allegations are true, and I see no reason to doubt either the New Civil Rights Movement or Le Journal du Dimanche – the Vatican’s continued silence tells its own story, then not only has the Pontiff shown himself to be openly homophobic, but a hypocrite to boot.  I will remind him of his own words on 29 July 2013;

“If a person is gay, and sought the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

Who indeed, Frankie Baby?  I am only sorry there is no higher authority for you to answer to.  But as there is not, then I will reserve my right to judge you and your political organisation masquerading as a church down here.

Pornography: As old as Mankind

_000000Coitus40000yrA study into how pornography is as old as human sexuality itself, and why it is just as harmless.

One of the most contentious issues surrounding the internet today is that of pornography. Depictions of nudity and sexual acts, be they in photographs or video, have both their detractors and their supporters. There are few, if any, who sit on the fence on the issue of what is classed as pornography.

And I do say “classed as”, as there is and has always been, a thin line to what is considered pornography, and what is art. Indeed, one could go further and state that there is third, in-between, category of erotica. The distinction is not and never has been clear and the lines often blur between the three. There is one thing for sure, depictions of nudity and sexual acts with us ever  since we became sapient creatures. And I would argue that, contrary to claims from it’s detractors, it is harmless.

Around 37,000 years ago one of our early ancestors in what is now Spain dug a carving (above right) into the wall of a cave which depicted coitus between a man and a woman, with the man depicted having a huge phallus (thereby proving that men lying about dick size is nothing new). Since then sex and sexuality have commonly been depicted in carvings, drawings, paintings, and sculpture. And today we refer to this as “art”. Many of this folk art of course was done for religious reasons, but that does not deflect one iota from the explicit nature of some of the pieces. The fact remains that for centuries paintings and sculptures of nude and sexual scenes were the pornography of their time, for the simple reason there were no cameras. There is nobody is ever going to convince me that some bishop alone in his office below a portrait of Diana or Aphrodite never had a quick knuckle-shuffle when nobody was looking.

Even when photography did arrive, nude photography followed – immediately. In 1839 Louis Daguerre perfected his first practical camera, and having experimented with some landscape shots, the next thing he did was to drag a prostitute off the street whom he paid to pose for him. And so it was the first nude pictures were taken on the very first day of the advent of the media of photography, and they have been with us ever since. Once photography got going, it wasn’t too long before nude and sexual pics were changing hands for vast sums of money, “What the Butler Saw” machines appeared, and men were buying black market postcards of women showing, gasp, their legs, or even in, shock horror, swimsuits or their underwear. Brazen hussies!

“Pin up” shots started with the drawings of Alberto Vargas and others of “idealised” women in erotic poses, and eventually were supplemented by photographs of scantily-clad women. Some women, actress Betty Grable among them, happily posed for these photographs, believing they were doing their bit for lonely American servicemen away at war. I personally find that a very kind, touching and beautiful gesture.

The dam finally broke in December 1953, when Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy, which had a centrefold of Marilyn Monroe in the nude. While her genitals were covered, her breasts were on full display, and having seen the photograph, I can personally attest that Marilyn had a truly beautiful body. Once Playboy took off (Hefner never thought it would get further than issue 1), it wasn’t too long before other titles appeared, and within time the market was flooded with a plethora of titles which the puritanical backlash (no dears, that’s not a BDSM reference – I should be so lucky) of the 1950s seems to have been powerless to stop the prevalence of such “girlie” magazines. The “permissive society” of the 1960s and thereafter saw magazines become much more explicit and magazines started appearing for specific tastes, including those with nude men aimed at the female and gay markets.

Even the feminist heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, when some wanted porn mags either covered up in shops or removed altogether, was powerless to stop the number of titles increasing, and increasingly explicit content within them. The only thing which did eventually see falls in sales was not through puritanical ideas or feminist philosophy, but simply because porn became freely available with the advent of the World Wide Web and digital technology in photography and video. Which brings us up to the present day when anyone, whatever their sexuality or sexual tastes, can view nude images and / or sexual acts, from tasteful nude shots right through to extremely explicit pics and videos, at a few keystrokes.

It is apparently internet pornography which is a problem for some. I have seen it referred to as “sad” and “evil”, that it objectifies women, that it is exploitative of women, that it damages society as a whole, and that viewing (and obviously masturbating to) internet porn can cause sexual problems in some individuals.

Whether nudity or depictions of sexual acts are “sad” or “evil” are opinions, not facts. That’s fine; those who believe that are entitled to their opinions, so long as they do not try to enforce those opinions upon those who do not happen to share them. If those stating that pornography is “evil” say so from a religious point of view, then that is even worse, as they are trying to force their faith upon others, and that is something I shall always rail against. Besides which, anyone with any modicum of sense knows that it is the religious suppression of natural sexual urges which causes problems.

If pornography objectifies women then where men are involved, it logically follows that it must objectify them as well. Objectification means that the viewer ceases to see the participants as people and treats them as objects. So no-one can claim that if objectification exists then it pertains only to one gender and not the other. Indeed, I have seen many a video in which all you see of the men are their penises, rarely and sometimes never their faces. Could that not be considered the epitome of objectification?

Similarly if pornography is exploitative of women, it logically follows that it must be equally exploitative of men. And if it is exploitative, then there is scant evidence to support that. Models and actors in pornography make a pretty penny for what they do, and strangely enough, it’s not them I hear complaining when they receive payment for their services.

Yet this goes further still. In 1971 one of the oldest and most popular soft porn magazines in the UK, Fiesta, launched a new phenomenon into the market which has since been copied and emulated by a host of other titles; Readers Wives, which all started when a women – not her male partner – sent in some nude polaroid pics of herself, which the magazine duly published in one issue, and suddenly found themselves inundated with similar pics from women all over the UK and further afield. Fiesta Readers Wives remains the oldest (and I would say best) section of it’s type, they even publish Readers Wives Specials, and Channel 4 Television once aired a documentary following some of the women who contribute photographs to them. Some women said that apart from the money they receive, they enjoyed the thrill and ‘naughtiness’ of exposing themselves. Some said that it made them feel glamorous. One woman admitted that it made her hot to think of hundreds of men masturbating over pics of her naked body.

The vast majority of women who send nude pictures to Readers Wives are no spring chickens, and they are not what would be considered “model material” either. And in my opinion, with their natural curves, even the more mature ones, and presented in unretouched photographs, they are all the more beautiful for it. There was actually one woman in the documentary who actually was in her mid-20s, had a fantastic body, beautiful facial features – and just so happened to be paralysed from the waist down. Notice that all of these women have one thing in common – there is not one of them feels in any way exploited by having their nude photographs published in a magazine. They feel confident about their bodies; confident enough to show them off to the world. They enjoy doing it, there are those who enjoy seeing them, and as nobody is hurt by it, just exactly what harm is that doing? And exactly the same goes for the nude men who send their pics into Fiesta’s “One for the Ladies” column.

Of course, I am not for one moment suggesting that there is not exploitation in pornography. Only a fool would say that it does not exist. People trafficked and forced into pornography is of course a constant worry, and one I would no sooner sanction than I would child porn or zoophilia. When I tried to research this online however, I found it extremely difficult to find well-informed and scholarly articles, or one which did not have their own agenda, be it religious or hyper-feminist, upon the subject. Of those I did find, what they actually state is that the majority of those forced into porn are either children or underage teenagers. So I am not about to go watching that in any case. It seems to me that where adults at least are concerned, the incidence of human trafficking and pornography has been grossly overstated. Certainly, unproven and generalised blanket statements such as one I found in Huffington Post, “You support trafficking when you watch porn” are deeply unhelpful, and precisely the sort of sensationalist guff I am more likely to ignore than take any notice of. Huff Po (which has really gone downhill in recent years) also claims – without offering a shred of evidence – that even where it claims those involved are over 18 and have consented, that they may be younger and made up to look older. Well, no worries with me there, as I prefer to view those in their mid-20s at the youngest, but prefer more mature men and women.

If pornography damages society as a whole, I want to see the empirical evidence to support that claim. For as I have pointed out above, pornography has been with us always, and far from damaging society it seems to me that it is the suppression of perfectly natural sexual desires which is far more likely to cause that. And should not we in the LGBTQI community be more wary of that than anyone? It is not too long ago that it was similarly claimed that homosexuality damaged society. And some religious detractors or pornography also tend to be homophobic and transphobic. In the 1960s, some religious moralists were stating “sex on the streets by 1970”. In actuality sexual liberation has enhanced society and strangely enough, we don’t have sex on the streets, 45 years after the predicted date.

Some come out with the shock statement that some children are viewing porn as young as 11 years old. Ermm, yes, around the same age I discovered my father’s stash of girlie mags. That was down to not hiding them well enough on his part, just as modern-day kids accessing porn is down to similar lack of parental controls, which in this day of explicit porn being freely available should be paramount to every parent. But know what, there’s always going to be that one kid who is determined to view porn, or that one parent whom frankly any sane person would not entrust with the responsibility of a whelk. That does not mean that every child of 11 is viewing pornography. Neither does it mean that the producers (or viewers) of porn are at fault.

Let me use an analogy here. According to the Child Accident Protection Trust, 25,000 under 5 every year are admitted to hospital with suspected or actual poisoning, the vast majority from products found in most households. Now, if wee Johnny finds a bottle of detergent on a lower shelf and manages to open it (“childproof” caps are never truly childproof – I used to ask my nephew to open my tablets) and drink it, who is to blame? Wee Johnny, who does not know any better? The parent? The manufacturer? Other users of that detergent? Should responsible users then be denied that detergent all because wee Johnny’s mum and dad were either forgetful, or are a pair of irresponsible jackasses who are ill-qualified to be parents?

Some claim that pornography leads to sexual assaults. Others state figures which suggest that the incidence of sexual assaults has dropped in line with increased access to pornography. As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I personally think either is a false dichotomy, or at least an unknown quantity. I have yet to be convinced that sexual abuse is actually driven by sexual urges. As a way of attempting to come to terms with the things which were done to me when I was a little boy, and to help me transition from victim to survivor, I researched sexual abuse deeply, and my understanding of it is as well-informed as it is painful, believe you me. I firmly believe that sexual abuse, like all abuse, is primarily about control by inadequate people seeking power over those weaker than them. The abuser – whether they use verbal, psychological, physical or sexual abuse – is a bully, and in the true nature of the bully, a coward at heart. I would suggest that if this is the case, then pornography is unlikely to have any affect either way upon the incidence of sexual abuse.

There is one thing for sure; pornography is already heavily regulated, and while I tend not to trust governments, I am fully aware that they take advice from highly qualified people over the matter; people who are much better qualified that religious busy-bodies and paranoid hyper-feminists who see a male plot at every turn. It is based on this advice that governments gauge any potential harm pornography may pose. Therefore if pornography did present any serious risk to society in general, then far from the explicit content found on the internet and in magazines today, there would be stringent moves to control, suppress and censor it. That we do not have oppressive control and censorship tells it’s own story on whether pornography endangers society or not.

Pornography may cause sexual problems with some viewers – and the little birdies go tweet. Yes, and “social” drinking may lead to alcoholism and health problems for some drinkers, having a flutter on the horses may lead to gambling addiction for some punters, Munro bagging may lead to a broken leg, and eating pies may lead to some people having heart attacks. Adverse and negative things can and do happen to a small number of people in a great many activities, but that is never the case for the overwhelming majority who take part. As with so many things, it is all about moderation. Those treating internet porn addiction have found that those suffering it are sitting in front of it almost constantly, and that obviously does become a problem. As Catherine Salmon, associate professor of psychology at Redlands University, states “Porn in moderation is the same as everything else – no harm, no foul. If you spend your whole day whacking off, your sex drive the next day will be down.”

Yet groups talking a load of heavily-loaded, opinionated, pseudo-scientific claptrap, with Reboot Nation being the biggest culprit, would have you believe that if you view porn, then you are automatically going to become addicted to internet porn, suffer mental problems and / or erectile dysfunction and / or lack of desire. Strangely enough such groups rarely, if ever, mention any adverse effects pornography may have upon girls and women. Can we take it then that females viewing porn suffer no ill effects? Or could it be much more likely that Reboot Nation et al are talking bullshit, and misandric bullshit at that? Frankly I find those who talk about the dangers of pornography being as believable – and laughable – as Samuel-Auguste Tissot, whose 1760 work L’Onanisme claimed that masturbation could lead to “a perceptible reduction of strength, of memory and even of reason; blurred vision, all the nervous disorders, all types of gout and rheumatism, weakening of the organs of generation, blood in the urine, disturbance of the appetite, headaches and a great number of other disorders.” Today we know this is nonsense and that masturbation, for both males and females, is both natural and healthy. It seems to me that Reboot Nation, like Tissot before them, just want to stop men wanking to suit their own agenda, and are as equally guilty of unscientific fairy tales.

With equal strangeness one never finds the detractors of pornography mentioning the positive effects it can have. Yes, they do indeed exist, which is why some therapists will use pornography as an aid to sexual dysfunction. Far from reducing desire, pornography can actually increase it, just as it has done for millennia – well there’s a surprise. In 2007 a study of 600 Danish men and women aged 18-30, conducted by Martin Hald and Neil M. Malamuth found that viewing hardcore pornography had a positive effect upon their lives. In 2009 a study by Michael Twohig at the University of Utah found that the mental state of students viewing porn only suffered when they tried to control their viewing habits. Some others argue that the sort of porn someone views may tell their partner a great deal about them, and can lead to greater understanding, as well as more fulfilling sex lives.

I would also mention other personal positives I have taken from pornography in my life. Far from me viewing people, particularly women, as objects, it has led me to have greater respect for them. I learned much, much more about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly HIV, from articles in porn magazines than I ever did from official channels. Fiesta has to be congratulated for continually emphasising the importance of condoms and safe sex, and being one of the pioneering magazines to teach that AIDS was not solely a danger for gay men and drug users. And most of all, it helped me come to terms with my own sexuality, because strangely enough, the producers of, and most readers of porn mags, tend to be a lot less judgemental than others.  Crossdressers and bisexuals writing in to those magazines helped me realise I was not alone, and that I had nothing to be ashamed of.

In conclusion, I would therefore suggest that pornography has been with us always, that it will always be with us, that it does not objectify, exploit, harm society (and never has done), or most individuals, and if anything can actually have positive effects. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that pornography is about personal choice, about who we are as people and no-one has the right to judge or castigate another concerning that.

I make no bones about the fact that I view pornography and no, I am not ashamed of that. Far from it I will proudly proudly state that I like to look at vanilla pics of beautiful male and female bodies, as well as viewing photographs and videos of straight, gay, lesbian, and bi sex, be they solo, couples, or groups, involved in all sorts of sexual acts. Human beings are born sexual creatures and we deny that and our urges to our own detriment. I myself admit to being highly sexed, but hey, that’s just who I am. I don’t have a problem with being highly sexed, and nor should I. Just as I do not have a problem with viewing pornography, and neither does my partner, who views it herself. Just recently we both enjoyed a vanilla pic of four very tasty nude guys washing a car.

Pornography is not for everyone, and if anyone has a personal dislike of it, then that’s fine; that’s your life and I’m cool with that. I’d never try to force porn on you or change your mind about it. If any of you have a problem with me viewing pornography however, that is your problem, and I suggest that you go and sort that out yourself. But if you are thinking for one moment of attempting to try and enforce your views and opinions on my lifestyle, don’t even go there, because I’m not interested in hearing them. Talk to the hand, sister, cos the face ain’t listening.

Let’s not be Frank

FrankKellieDenial is not a river in Africa.

Well, I have to say you could have knocked me down with a feather. In a shock announcement, former boxing promoter Frank Maloney has revealed living as a woman for the past year, wants to be known as Kellie, and is to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

And why is this such a shock, dears?  Well this is the same Frank Maloney who in 2004 stood as United Kingdom Indpendence Party (UKIP) candidate for London Mayor and made so many openly homophobic comments that James Davenport of the Gay Conservatives called him a “dangerous extremists” and called upon UKIP to deselect him as candidate.

Maloney’s comments at that time were not just hate-filled, some of them were downright absurd.  Judge for yourself;

I object to seeing policemen in uniform holding hands in public – it’s not a family way of life and we should support the family more.  If a policeman and a policewoman in uniform were walking along holding hands in public they’d be pulled up.”

“I’m not homophobic, but in public let’s live a proper moral life – I think that’s important.”

“There is a problem with gay parades”

“If you are homosexual, you are homosexual – just get on with your life and stop bitching about things.”

“I don’t think they do a lot for society. I don’t have a problem with gays, what I have a problem with is them openly flaunting their sexuality.”

 “I’m more for traditional family values and family life. I’m anti same-sex marriages and I’m anti same-sex families.”

 “I don’t think it’s right for children to be brought up that way. I don’t think two men can bring up a child.”

Maloney at the time had also said he would not campaign in the London Borough of Camden, stating there were “too many gays”.  Following the complaint from James Davenport, he tried to qualify that statement by trying to claim it was because nobody would vote for him;

“What’s it got to do with them? The Gay Conservatives are not going to vote for me anyway,” he said, “I have said I don’t want to campaign around gays because I don’t think they will vote for me.”

Well, he certainly got that latter statement right.  But then, few Londoners voted for Maloney and the neo-fascists of UKIP.

In the light of this announcement, one can only assume that this deep-seated homophobia possibly came from Frankie Baby’s own denial and the self-loathing which that denial creates.  Having been in denial for so long myself, I can certainly relate to the self-hate which the need to be female can imbue in one.

As a boxing promoter, Frank Maloney was hugely successful, and once managed Lennox Lewis to the World Heavyweight Crown.  His secret life of a transsexual, alongside the macho image of boxing, caused him severe depression, which led to him at one point attempting suicide with a mixture of booze and prescription drugs.  A family man with two daughters, Frank’s marraige also broke down due to his sexuality, and she states that telling his wife and daughters was the hardest thing he ever did.

Perhaps we should not be so surprised.  Frank Maloney was always a charismatic character, well-loved by some and well-known for his outrageously flambouyant dress sense, which included Union Flag suits.  Oh, Kellie was just dying to be let out.  She certainly states that she has always known she was born into the wrong body.  Perhaps therefore we can see the choice of the macho sport of boxing as overcompensating.

I for one am therefore willing to give Kellie a chance.  It would be nice for her to apologise for Frank’s homophobic remarks, but I personally am not expecting one any time soon.  Likewise I do not know if she is still a UKIP member, and if so I would like her to leave that odious party, but I won’t hold me breath on that one either.

I shall however be watching and listening to Kellie very carefully, dears.  Whilst it should not be so, we are all aware that there are bigotry problems even within the LGBT community, and while one would trust that Kellie would be more tolerant than Frank, that yet remains to be seen.

I have to say that at 61 years of age, Kellie makes a striking figure of a woman.  And her brave decision should send a clear message that it is never too late for trans people to fulfil their lives.

It sadly also gives me no pleasure that Kellie has already been subjected to the same kind of comments online which Frank Maloney used to dish out to others.

Michele Bachmann: Gays Seek Polygamous Paedophilia

BachmannCorndogThou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5, KJV)

Speaking on the conservative Christian US radio show, Faith and Liberty, Republican Party Congresswoman for Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, accused the LGBT community of attempting to invoke an age of tyranny in the USA by stifling “diversity in speech”, of wanting to legalise polygamous marriage and, worst of all, wanting to abolish the age of consent.

Bachmann claimed she believed the LGBT community wanted to, quote, “abolish age of consent laws, which means we will do away with statutory rape laws so that adults will be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.”

Because of course, the countries which have embraced same sex marriage and greater liberty for their LGBT citizens have all legalised polygamy and abandoned age of consent laws, haven’t they? Except they have not. Not one of them. Here in Scotland we have just recently adopted same sex marriage by the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Act; the greatest ever law in Scots history to define marriage. That Act makes it perfectly clear what the restrictions are concerning polygamy, age of consent and incest. In fact, the new Act has reinforced those laws.

Bachmann’s bigoted views are obviously based in the claims that gay people are perverts and, to use her own words, deviants. Now let’s look at the actual facts. The vast majority of paedophiles are heterosexual men, and yes, that includes those who prey upon little boys. Most children who are abused are victims of either family members or friends of the families, and most victims – of both sexes – are abused by their own fathers.

Makes one wonder about the conservative Christian claim about the sanctity of marriage and the family being the cornerstone of society, doesn’t it?

Then one has to consider the vast number of children, again of both sexes, who are abused by deviant Christian clergy. And again, the vast majority of these clergy are not gay. The largest group among such clergy are of course Roman Catholic priests (whom the RC Church still shamefully protect too much), and some will claim that because they are celibate, they must be gay. Not so. Being celibate is a lifestyle choice, born sexuality is not. And while RC priests may mainly abuse little boys, that is purely due to the misogynistic nature of the RC church, the clergy have much more access to them than little girls. Although the incidence is much lesser, there are indeed little girls who are sexually abused by RC priests. Just as there are clergy of many other churches (and other religions) who equally abuse both little boys and little girls.

And while their incidence is much, much lesser than that of men, there are indeed women paedophiles. The vast majority of female paedophiles prey upon little boys, and just like abusive fathers, they usually abuse their own sons. It is equally not unknown however for paedophile women to sexually abuse little girls, and following exactly the same pattern, the abusers are usually heterosexual, close family members or trusted friends of the family, including Christian clergy.

It is rather hypocritical for a Christian to point the finger and make accusations concerning the age of consent, when one considers what the Bible has to say. Isaac was 37 years old at the “Binding”, when God asked his father, Abraham, to offer his son as a sacrifice. Abraham was told of the birth of Rebecca just after this event. Isaac took Rebecca as his bride when he was 40, which would make her only 3 years old. This is the traditional counting given in the Jewish Midrash, which is the widely accepted age. Mary was betrothed to Joseph, which in the Jewish custom of the time would have happened when she was 12 years old.

Likewise one would have thought Ms Bachmann, who portrays herself as the true blue all-American girl, and who (erroneously) believes the USA to be a Christian country, would prefer to keep a little more circumspect when it comes to the age of consent in her homeland, particularly among those states who share her views. Traditionally states in the deep south ‘Bible Belt’ of the USA were known for their rather loose views on consent laws. Probably the most high profile case was that of the marriage of rock musician Jerry Lee Lewis to Myra Gale Brown in Tennessee, who was not only 13 years old at the time of the marriage, she was Jerry’s first cousin once removed. Ah, but you say, that was in the past, and the USA has since ratified the age of consent to either 16 (same as Scotland) or 18, across all states. Wanna bet? As recently as 1999, a mere 15 years ago, one state ratified that consent at the tender age of 14 years old. That state is one of the most conservative Christian states in the Union, a state whose boundary signs claim “When Jesus returns, he’s coming here” (as if crucifying the poor man wasn’t enough), South Carolina;

SC CONSTITUTION SECTION 33. Age of consent. — No unmarried woman shall legally consent to sexual intercourse who shall not have attained the age of fourteen years. (1999 Act No. 3, Section 1, eff February 16, 1999)

The fact is, and this is what Michele Bachmann and those who think like her will never comprehend, the sexuality of any paedophile has nothing to do with their urges to abuse children. This is because the true motive behind paedophilia is in fact not at all sexual. The abuse of children is carried out by inadequate individuals seeking power over those weaker than them. Just like any abuse, be it sexual, physical, verbal or psychological, it is a form of bullying, carried out by cowards. That Bachmann is apparently ignorant of this fact makes her unfit to hold her Congressional post or to speak for the people she was elected to represent.

When it comes to polygamous marriage, there is not one LGBT community on the face of the planet which recognises this, nor has ever even called for it.  And the majority of countries frown upon polygamy.  Yet again, when one looks to the faith Michele Bachmann claims to follow so fervently, and is so self-righteous about, one finds polygamy being quite commonly practised, as it was among Jewish society of Biblical times.

There are two Biblical verses Christians opposed to homosexuality commonly fall back upon and both are in the Book of Leviticus;

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22, KJV)

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13, KJV)

The author of the Book of Leviticus was of course Moses – whom the Bible states had at least three wives; Zipporah is mentioned in Exodus 2:21, the unnamed Ethiopian woman (yep, Moses had an interracial marriage – take that Tea Party) appears in Numbers 12:1, while Judges 4:11 states that Hobab, the Kenite was the father of Moses’ third wife. And these are the three wives we know of. Moses (assuming he existed) as a wealthy and important man more than likely had a great many more wives. King Solomon is stated in the Bible as having 700 wives and 300 concubines.

Nor will the New Covenant argument wash on this one, for Jesus never condemned polygamy. In fact, Jesus states that the Levirate Law, that is the law given to Moses, would always endure (it doesn’t – because it is in fact diametrically opposed to the message of love which Jesus taught). Indeed, we find the following;

“If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.” (Deuteronomy 25:5, KJV)

Notice here that at no time does this stipulate that the brother-in-law of the woman should be unmarried, and in fact it would be rather unusual in Jewish society if he was. One can only assume therefore that Jesus, as an upholder of the Levirate Law, was fully in favour of polygamous marriage. Yet Michele Bachmann would have you believe it is a ‘deviancy’ which the LGBT community are attempting to enforce upon all.

Bachmann, playing the great American patriot, is as much on shaky ground on this one as she is on the age of consent. Some Scots-Irish (Ulster Scots) and Welsh settlers in America, both before and after the founding of the USA, either brought multiple-partner relationships. Polygamy was common among many Native American tribes and some settlers adopted this practice. Then of course there are the early polygamous practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. No doubt Bachmann would counter that these people were not Christians. Well, in the case of Native Americans she may be correct. However, those who adopted their practices would indeed have been Christians. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles will soon tell you just how strictly Presbyterian they, particularly those of Scots and Irish background were, and to a great deal remain. And if Bachmann wants to argue that Mormons are not true Christians, one can only wonder if she would say that in public, or to the face of the Governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, an active Mormon.

The point is that whichever way one looks at it, the USA, just like the Bible, actually has a history of polygamous marriage which no-one, not even Michelle Bachmann, can get away from. And that polygamy was never introduced by the LGBT community, but rather in many cases by Bible-believing Christians.

Everyone has the right to freedom of religion, thought and conscience. Michele Bachmann however is not practising that right. Just like so many ignorant bigots of her ilk today, she is attempting to cherry pick Bible verses to hide behind to support her own homophobia. This is clearly evidenced by her stating that any crackdown on hate speech is bringing in tyranny by “government controlled enforced speech and behaviour”. Basically, Bachmann is trying to argue for the right to go around spouting hate speech against those her limited intelligence chooses to be intolerant towards.

Even as an atheist, I would never seek to refuse anyone their right to their faith, so long as that faith is all-inclusive (as Jesus taught), evolves along with society and does not impinge upon the rights of others. If Michele Bachmann, however, is adamant to be a fundamentalist Christian, believing that the teachings of the Bible are not only true but should never change with the times, then I would suggest that she stops being such a hypocrite and leads by example, by stepping down from her governmental post, and remaining silent and subservient to her husband;

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (Timothy 2:12, KJV)