Scream if you're losing
When civil partners, Steven Preddy and Martin Hall tried to check into a rather dreary looking b+b called the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Cornwall in 2008, they were not expecting to get involved in a ground-breaking legal case regarding gay rights. But the owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull refused to let them share a double bed, pointing out that only married couples were allowed to do this.
Because sex before marriage is a sin isn't it. And the Baby Jesus told them to hate gay people. Or something.
Unfortunately, the law didn't see it that way, and the Bulls lost the case.
Actually, I keep having visions of the Baby Jesus at the moment. He keeps appearing to me, just when I'm on the loo. "Lubin!" he snaps. "I want you to hate Peter and Hazelmary Bull. Those fuckers have completely misinterpreted My Message and have twisted it round for their own evil ends. Honestly, send them hate mail. Make an effigy of their faces and burn it. Devote your life to hating them. It'll please me. Go on. Do it. Do it!"
I wouldn't be surprised if you said "You're crazy" but actually, you MUST accept this admittedly bizarre account because I say it's true, and the Baby Jesus wants you to have faith, not ask difficult questions or look for proof. However, actually, what's more surprising is my response to the Baby Jesus. I always say "Look Baby Jesus, you can try and get me to hate people all you want, but it's not going to happen, because I know it's wrong, and frankly, I don't want anything to do with you, if that's your game. So go away, even if you ARE real, I'd rather not bother thanks. Oh and close the door on your way out."
Sadly, the writers of several of Britain's most spiteful newspapers must have their own hate-mongering version of Baby Jesus visiting them, as there has been a sudden surge of putrefaction in the past week. First The Mail published this cartoon:
I've had to shrink the cartoon down to fit the page but one of those scary gay skinheads has a SWASTIKA tattooed on his arm. That's particularly low seeing that so many gay people were murdered in Nazi concentration camps. If the Daily Mail had a record of writing about gay people which was more balanced, instead of consistently painting them as violent, scary, flamboyant, liars, child prosyletisers/molestors, strident, shameless and promiscuous, then this cartoon might not be so bad. But it's just more of the same. You'd think they'd learnt their lesson after Jan Moir's tasteless and judgemental attack on dead Stephen Gatley and all gay people everywhere. But no, they're now claiming gay people are Nazis.
Then James Delingpole, writes in Telegraph Why on earth shouldn't hotel owners be free to turn away gay couples? This piece is illustrated with a picture from Tom of Finland (just the one on the right of course).
I can freely admit that I've probably met more than my fair share of gay men over the last 20 years. And the number of them who look like the swastika skinheads, or even Tom's leather-man, I can count on one hand. Instead, when I think of all of the gay men I've met, all I see are normal-looking men, maybe a fraction skinnier or beefier than straight men, maybe with a bit more hair product, maybe slightly more fashionably dressed, maybe smiling a bit more than straight men. But no leather. No swastika tattoos. No caps. No mohawks. Boring actually.
Just to throw a bit of balance on the debate, I'm going to write the word "Christian" in a minute, and then illustrate it with a picture. Not of a nice Christian like Thora Hird in Songs of Praise, but this one..
Here's a picture of any old Christian
There you go. Now I've brainwashed you a little bit into thinking that all Christians have hideous split ends, witchy hair, giant foreheads, insane leering eyes and a hunch.
See - we can all resort to nasty unrepresentative stereotypes to put a cruel point across.
Here's nice Thora instead, enjoying a glass of wine while she listens to "All Things Bright and Beautiful". Not all Christians are horrible.
The bed and breakfast ruling isn't going away though. Today there's an article by uber-hater Melanie Philips (again in The Mail), grudingly titled Yes, gays have often been the victims of prejudice. But they now risk becoming the new McCarthyites. Philips seems to have gotten her knickers in a twist because "schoolchildren are to be bombarded with homosexual references in maths, geography and science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda."
Note the casual ticking off of The Daily Mail's own homophobic, bullying agenda. Use of the word "homosexual" rather than "gay" - tick. Reference to children - tick. Reference to the "gay agenda" - tick tick tick. (Honey, we do have an agenda, and it's to get you to do something with your hair.)
I gave a talk about the Daily Mail's homophobia at a conference last year, and bizarrely, in the audience was a woman who admitted (rather ruefully) that her husband worked for The Mail. She claimed that they weren't all raging homophobes, but quite nice people really. I wobble from thinking that Melanie Philips doesn't believe a word of what she writes, but she's just doing it because she knows that a particularly ignorant and glum sort of person laps up that sort of tripe, and she wants to keep her job, and thinking that she's a Tool of Satan.
Whatever her motivations, it mustn't be much fun being Melanie.
"I can see your dirty pillows!"
I often suspect that other people are having more fun than me. But Melanie's the one person I know who isn't. Instead, she's sitting at home, slapping herself and pulling her hair, like Carrie's Mother, furious that somebody, somewhere, might be enoying themselves "All that dirty touching!.. The cheap roadhouse whiskey on his breath! First comes the blood, then comes the boys! No Mama!" Slap!
So, even though the Baby Jesus wants me to hate Melanie Philips, and people like her. I know that hate is wrong. So I'm just going to feel sorry for them instead. Sorry because they're losing. And it's not kind to gloat. Sorry because life is so much nicer for people whose main drive is based on love rather than hate. Sorry because I suspect that something went very wrong in her life, and it's too late to fix it. Sorry Melanie. I'd say better luck next time. But this is the only go you get. Sorry.