Bryan Fischer, a Christian radio host in the US has gained notoriety world-wide and stolen some of the media attention around the US Supreme Court historic ruling on Defence Of Marriage Act last week, by saying the New Yorker magazine’s cover “promoted child abuse”, simply by featuring Sesame Street characters cuddling at the news.
This popular and long running New Yorker magazine features Bert and Ernie snuggling up to each other on a sofa, while an image of the US Supreme Court Justices appears on their television screen. It’s simple, it’s cute, it doesn’t have them kissing or in any way acting inappropriately yet that didn’t stop the anti-gay, anti-equality Bryan Fischer spouting out a great deal of hate.
The Christian radio host launched his attack during his Focal Point programme saying the characters were engaged in a “homosexual clinch”. Adding “I don’t know which is which” continuing: “This is grossly irresponsible for The New Yorker to promote this, they really are promoting child endangerment and they are promoting child abuse.”
Fischer also quoted figures from the heavily criticised Regnerus Study, published in July 2012, which was titled “How Different Are The Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study”. Its findings were refuted by many and deemed “flawed and misleading” with a lack of fact.
Many have believed that the two Sesame Street characters were a gay couple over the years, some 10,000 people even signed an online petition during 2011, urging the creators to allow the ‘couple’ to get married.
The Sesame Street workshop issued a statement at the time which stated: “Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though the Sesame Street Muppets … possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation.” Of course it had nothing to do with their Christian sponsors threatening to pull out if Bert and Ernie did end up getting hitched to each other.
Just recently the US Supreme Court struck down the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally defined marriage as between one man and one woman. A second case, centred around California’s Proposition 8, the Supreme Court ruled that such a ruling was not in its jurisdiction, nor was it in the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court, which previously ruled, therefore deferring the decision to a previous ruling by a district court which decided the ban was unconstitutional.
South Africa may be the only African nation that allows same-sex marriage and recognises gay rights, but that doesn’t mean it is free from homophobia and hate. News that a young lesbian had been found murdered and sexually mutilated last week was greeted with horror and sadness by gay rights campaigners and commentators.
The twenty-six year old was killed in what appeared to be a homophobic attack and was found with a toilet brush inserted into her vagina, in the Thokoza area, just east of Johannesburg.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender humanists are calling on British Members of Parliament to support an amendment to the Marriage Bill currently being discussed in the British House of Commons, that would give legal recognition to humanist marriages in England and Wales.
Straight humanist marriages are already legal in Scotland and when equal marriage is introduced in Scotland, humanist marriages will also be made legal for same-sex couples.
Adam Knowles, Chair of Galha LGBT Humanists, said, ‘Humanists have always been in the vanguard of LGBT rights and humanist celebrants in England and Wales have been conducting same sex weddings for many years. We’re really pleased that LGB religious people will soon have the choice of a legal marriage reflecting their deepest beliefs and we think that we should have the same choice and the same right. LGB non-religious people in Scotland are to be given that right by their Parliament; we are looking forward to our Parliament doing the same for us in England and Wales.’
A gay male couple were walking through a South London park during the early hours of Sunday 19th May when they were viciously assaulted by a gang of men, one of the attackers saying “stay down faggot.”
Christopher Bryant, 42, along with his partner Damon Truluck, 38, were walking home across Betts Park in Penge, in the London Borough of Bromley, when six men approached them. “We saw them too late to get away. We ran, and I was getting away, but they caught Damon, my partner, and so I doubled back. I tried to get them off him, and that’s when they thumped me to the ground.“ Mr Bryant told local media.
“When I looked up to see if he was ok one of them kicked me in the face, and said ‘stay down faggot’. Every time I looked up to see what was happening to Damon they either thumped or kicked me, and said ‘don’t try anything’. They went through my pockets and took my wallet and phone. But they kept hitting. Before they ran off they pushed us together and told us to stay still for 5 minutes or they’d kill us.”
The vicious assault took place not long after midnight, just hours after Mr Bryant had celebrated his 42nd birthday. The attack has left both men bruised and battered with Truluck also having injuries to his back and hip, finding it difficult to walk.
In a cruel ironic twist, before this anti-gay attack both men were raising awareness of Friday’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia through online magazine http://www.polarimagazine.com.
London’s Metropolitan police are investigating the incident but so far no arrests have been made.
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain is considering additional legal safeguards for its proposed equal marriage legislation in order to protect faith groups from the threat of legal action, if the legislation goes ahead, according to the Culture Secretary Maria Miller, reports Jason Shaw
During an interview with serious British newspaper the Telegraph, Mrs Miller said: “I would not introduce a Bill that would in any way impinge on a church’s power to decide who it marries. Faith groups should have the ability to control that. There are already clear protections within European law. Marriage is all about creating some stability in society.” she told the paper.
The possible introduction of protections for religious bodies in the bill comes after months of warnings from back bench MP‘s that European law increases the risk of faith organisations facing potential legal action if they refuse to provide gay couples with same-sex marriages.
The UK’s national radio scene just got a good deal brighter as Nick Grimshaw takes over the mic at BBC’s prime flagship breakfast show on Radio 1.
The delightfully witty and intelligent 28 year-old presenter breathed in like a breath of fresh air with his first breakfast show, waking up the nation as well as 1 Direction floppy haired hunk Harry Styles! So far the audience seems to be welcoming him with open arms and all indications are that the audience is set to rise rapidly.
The Alliance Party has voted in support of legislation to allow gay civil marriage. Party leader David Ford said the vote followed months of consultation with party members and associations. He said the proposals included safeguards for religious groups so they would not be forced into allowing their premises to be used. “Alliance has always stood for a progressive and equal society,” Mr Ford said, “Alliance will oppose any form of discrimination, whether it is based on age, race, disability, gender or sexual orientation. There are equality issues in allowing those in a same sex relationship to have only civil partnerships, which is seen as discriminatory. The motion also called for protection for faith groups, to ensure they are not forced to act contrary to their beliefs.”
A Welsh footballer’s Twitter stream featured an anti-gay comment about British divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield after they narrowly missed out on a medal at the Olympics yesterday.
Daniel Thomas, a semi-professional midfielder with Port Talbot FC denied he had sent the homophobic tweet, saying he himself had been the victfim of a “prank”.
Winston Peters, the leader of New Zealand’s minority political party NZ First, says he wont support equal marriage in New Zealand! He is also forcing the eight NZ First MP’s to abstain from a crucial vote on the issue.
Winston Peters told reporters this week that NZ First are arguing instead for a referendum on the issue after announcing the party’s eight MPs will abstain from voting when the current bill on the gay marriage comes before the New Zealand parliament.
“We believe there should be enough members of parliament who have got confidence in the public of this country to trust the public to decide this issue after reasonable debate.” he said.