Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

Jack Lesgrin’s week: Stonewall have got it wrong. We all know it. So why are many on the left so nervous about calling it out?

16/06/2021, 02:40:00 PM

by Jack Lesgrin

Perhaps it was forever the case that some moral or political issues are so sensitive, so toxic that they stultify debate or cause rancour between former allies. The case of so-called gender-critical beliefs is such an example. Recently, Matthew Parris, a co-founder of Stonewall claimed that the charity has lost its way on the issue. New Stonewall boss Nancy Kelley also appeared to lump anti-Semitic beliefs in with gender-critical beliefs as part of her defence of legal remedies when “controversial” beliefs are “harmful or damaging”. In last Sunday’s Observer, columnist Sonia Sodha wrote an article with this at its core, headlined: “Stonewall risks all it has fought for in accusing those who disagree with it of hate speech”. The headline implies that the writer might be exploring this issue without fear of favour. The semantics were expertly crafted, providing the reader with glimpses, chimera-like, of supposedly bold positions taken by the columnist, which on reflection were more the repetition of others’ views. Hence it is “gender-critical feminists” who believe that “in a patriarchal society women’s bodies and their role in sex and reproduction play a major role in their oppression.” Ms Sodha didn’t actually say whether she believes it.

She then reflected on how her own “two decades of womanhood” had allowed her feminism to mature into “understanding that male violence is a more important tool of oppression in a patriarchal society than board appointments.” She cited horrific stats on male violence against women as rightly necessitating the need for “women’s rights to single-sex services, such as refuges and women’s prisons.” She notes that this clashes with Stonewall’s “campaign to abolish legal provisions for single-sex spaces, so that males who identify as women have the same rights to access them as those born female”. There are disagreements on whether being a woman is “solely based on a feeling or whether it is related to sex”, she writes. With reference to Nancy Kelley’s statement, she asserts, confidently, that “women must be free to express the view that it is risky to allow men who self-identify as women to access female-only spaces as default.”

Yet it’s hard to decipher from this what her personal views are. What she could have said, in clear terms, is that men who self-identify as women should not have access to female-only spaces. But she didn’t.


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We need to talk about where the trans self-id debate is taking Labour

11/10/2020, 10:51:15 PM

by Rob Marchant

Last Tuesday, Deputy Leader Angela Rayner stated her view that Rosie Duffield – yes, the Rosie Duffield who has been a champion of women’s rights and bravely declared her own domestic abuse story to Parliament – should “reflect” on the fact that she had “liked” a tweet which described transgender people as “cross-dressers”.

Although Rayner attempted to paint the debate as “toxic”, with “both sides” needing to calm down, this was a somewhat disingenuous deflection; there is no doubt about which “side” she herself has chosen and her criticism of Duffield was clear enough. She was felt to be “upsetting” people.

It is also well documented that, during the leadership campaign earlier this year, Rayner – along with Lisa Nandy and Corbynite challenger Rebecca Long-Bailey – enthusiastically endorsed the idea of self-id for trans folk.

Let’s take a step back for a minute: Duffield did not tweet anything herself. She “liked” a tweet by Maya Forstater, a tax specialist who lost their job for speaking out about her opposition to self-id,  which used a term, “cross-dresser”, which – as Forstater herself points outis frequently used by some trans people themselves. For the record, J K Rowling writes poignantly about Forstater’s case, as well as her own story of domestic abuse, here.

Ah, but she had previous, you say. Duffield tweeted that “only women have a cervix”, which is seen as “exclusionary”. She was then clearly pressured into making an apology. Seriously? Is this what the Labour Party has become, that someone is forced to apologise for stating a biological fact?

That is apparently all you need to do, in the modern Labour Party, to be found guilty of thoughtcrime and asked to “reflect” on how you have “upset” people. Indeed, I myself have probably already invited abuse and social media pile-ons already, via the last few, pretty anodyne paragraphs, and probably added insult to injury by mentioning the now-unmentionable-in-polite-Party-circles Rowling.


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LGBT rights shouldn’t be stopped by offensive cardinals

13/03/2012, 07:00:06 AM

by James Asser

Last week, Kevin Meagher in his article for UncutGay rights and testy cardinals” raised some interesting points about the balance between faith and politics and the need for religion to have its voice and it’s say. Quite agree. All sections of society have the right to speak out, my concern over the comments at the weekend by Cardinal O’Brien, is less what he wants to say more the way he has chosen to say it.

Kevin makes the point that the cardinal “doesn’t mince his words” which is a nice way of saying he’s bloody rude and offensive. How else can we interpret the assertion that gay marriage will lead to the “further degeneration of society into immorality” or that gay marriage is “grotesque” or that in a convoluted and bizarre analogy that it is comparable to legalising slavery?

We’re told that tolerance and respect is a two way street, I agree and I respect the cardinal’s right to disagree, and to articulate it, but I see no tolerance or respect in the remarks he made, just abuse.

Of course what is being missed is that the government’s proposed consultation relates purely to civil marriage. There are no proposals to require churches to undertake same sex-marriage, no proposals that they should be made to embrace it; in fact the government consultation doesn’t even cover it. It’s not even as if this is a revolutionary new concept, it is the logical progression from civil partnerships and the work done by the last Labour government and we should be proud of that.

LGBT Labour would argue that if and when same-sex marriage is introduced churches should have the ability to opt in, much as they now have with civil partnerships. That way those faiths such as the Quakers, Unitarians, Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism that have expressed support and a desire to carry out same-sex weddings can follow their own path, as much as the Catholic Church and C of E.


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Twitter 1 Greencoat Boy 0, says Grace Fletcher-Hackwood

06/06/2010, 09:00:30 AM

Imagine this scene – or, if you’re one of the many people it’s happened to, remember the last time it happened to you.

You’re with a group of friends and colleagues, heading to a pub after a meeting. There are a lot of you so you’ve booked ahead. Except that when you get there, the manager says he’s not going to serve you. Because you and your friends are gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender.

Oh, and by the way, it is 2010.

Maybe you’d have left without wanting to make a fuss. Maybe you’d have reminded the manager that he was breaking the law, and taken your custom elsewhere. (more…)

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