"Some people are gay. Get over it" - Well, quite
If homosexuality is to be made part of the norm, it will only occur when homosexuals behave normally – that is, to be as discreet as heteros in their sexual lives
According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), just 1.6 percent of the UK population is gay. So how does it come about that homosexuality is addressed out of all proportion in law-making, politics, and society generally? There are 13 ‘gay’ rights national organisations – is that not a bit excessive?
There is a whole body of law dedicated to ‘gay’ rights – adoption, discrimination at work, civil partnerships and much more. If a crime is motivated by homophobia the sentence is tougher.
With the exception of the ‘hate speech’ aspect, all this is civilised and reasonable. (All ’hate speech’ legislation is inherently oppressive and an affront to free speech, at times carried to the point of absurdity, such as the arrest of a student for suggesting that a police horse was gay).
‘Hate speech’ is a crime of its own, but it only cuts one way. Use the word ‘ginger’ and the ceiling will fall on you, as Jeremy Clarkson discovered. But if a homosexual uses the word ‘breeder’, absolutely nothing will happen. You may use ‘queer’, but only if you are.
Equality of treatment for sexual minorities is the mark of a civilised society. Over the centuries the treatment of male homosexuals has been a blot on Britain’s legal and social history.
The Buggery Act of 1593 prescribed hanging. Imprisonment, stiff fines, beatings were the lot of gays. Chemical castration was used, as in the disgraceful case of Alan Turing.
The personal consequences of being ‘outed’ were colossal; loss of employment, social ostracism, ruination of career, suicide – all for ‘cottaging’, loitering in or near a gents’ toilets.
The legal sanctions were abolished post-Wolfenden, but not the social stigma. Even in the supposedly liberated ‘80s, discrimination was rife. The Tory MP Harvey Proctor was hounded out of his seat after he was convicted of a minor offence. Now the prevailing attitude seems to be that people are not particularly bothered about sexual orientation.
This is not so in too many parts of the world. At this time, Uganda is proposing life imprisonment for homosexual acts. Gays go in danger of their lives in Nigeria and other African countries. Jamaica is intensely homophobic. As for Islamic countries…
It is assumed that gays want to be seen as ‘normal’. And why not? In many cultures homosexuality is a matter of indifference.
So why does the gay community insist on being so ‘in your face’, with ‘gay pride’ marches and other unwarranted displays of overt sexuality, which many will find inexpressibly vulgar, offensive and repellent?
On a different plane, we have had the politically damaging, divisive debate on gay marriage.
In itself this is an oxymoron; ‘marriage’ is the union of a man and woman for life (hopefully). The House of Commons may have many powers but changing the English language is not one of them.
It was pushed by the gay lobby, even though a tiny minority of gays will take advantage of a law that gives no practical advantages that are not conferred by a civil partnership – gesture politics at its worst that caused massive divisions in the Tory grass roots.
If homosexuality is to be made part of the norm, it will only occur when homosexuals behave normally – that is, to be as discreet as heteros in their sexual lives. Few people are in the least interested in what other people get up to in private.
As the actress Mrs Pat memorably said ‘It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses’.
Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world
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