Following on from last week's Scottish election, more than 50,000 responses have been submitted to the Scottish government’s consultation on the introduction of gay marriage (including ours!). SNP (Scottish National Party) ministers support the move but some in the party oppose allowing gay couples to marry. A ‘rainbow coalition’ of groups including The Equality Network, Amnesty International, Unison and the Humanist Society of Scotland all filed submissions supporting changing the law. Like the rest of the United Kingdom, gay couples in Scotland may enter into civil partnerships that offer most of the benefits of marriage but there are subtle differences. But a change in the law is opposed by most major religious organisations in the country including both the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church. The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland Cardinal O’Brien said: “As an institution, marriage long predates the existence of any state or government. It was not created by government and should not be changed by them. “Instead, recognising the innumerable benefits which marriage brings to society they should act to protect and uphold it not attack or dismantle it." - Love is attacking marriage?! News to us!
The Cardinal's comments get worse: “At the heart of this debate however there is one perspective which seems to be completely lost or ignored, it is the point of view of the child. All children deserve to begin life with a mother and father, the evidence in favour of the stability and well being which this provides is overwhelming and unequivocal.” - that may be one point of view, but has he seen the research into children of same-sex marriage? (You can HERE!)
The good news is that the deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said while the government would consider all views, she and her colleagues “tended towards the initial view” that gay marriages should be introduced! - Lets hope Scotland makes the right decision.
|One kilt or two?|
Speaking of surveys, nearly a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on world leaders to hold Russia to account for a draft law in St Petersburg which threatens to silence its gay community. The US and UK Governments have already issued statements expressing concern that the new fines would severely limit the freedom of expression and assembly by LGBT people. It could make for an interesting trip to Moscow for us after Christmas!
The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has said he is in favour of St Petersburg’s pending “gay propaganda” law, and wants it considered at a national level, Interfax reports. Kozak said the bill would punish “disgusting activity”. The law, which has been introduced by the ruling United Russia Party and roundly condemned by the international community, including UK and US governments, would see people and organisations fined for the “promotion” of homosexuality. It has already passed one initial reading and equates “lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism” with “paedophilia”. Fines range from 1,000 roubles (£20) for an individual to 50,000 (£1,000) for a business. Erm OMG! In this day and age it is so concerning how a few people's small-mindedness can dictate a countries attitude - fining people for expressing themselves is just awful.
Even some Australians are seeing red - the sister of Australia’s former Prime Minister and current Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has officially left the party over what she termed the “utter nonsense” of gay marriage. Loree Rudd said“I couldn’t work for a party that had endorsed homosexuals marrying. It is a horrible thing for them to be discriminated against and that’s why my brother introduced laws so they are not discriminated against. But to make that huge leap from their rights to breaking a commandment of Moses, to say homosexuals’ relationships is marriage, is utter nonsense.” Someone needs to tell her that the view that marriage can only be between a man and a woman is utter nonsense!
|Excuse the foul language, but it's aimed at a foul woman.|
In good news this month, the Australian Labor Party conference passed a motion to alter their platform and endorse the introduction of equal marriage rights for gay couples! One of the party publically came out in support of same-sex marriage “It’s just one of those really sad things when people are actively working to deny people their rights and dignity. Ms Rudd’s decision was what he would call “religious, not Christian”. Amen to that!
There is also good news from the States - there was an announcement last week that US presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich (who?)’s sister will support Barack Obama in the White House race, after describing her brother as being “on the wrong side of history” regarding gay rights. 'Atta girl!
In London, the Olympics is gaining more publicity tonight sees the unveiling of Pride House London, a festival run to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games. At an event tonight, held at London’s City Hall, details for the festival which will include live music, entertainment, LGBT art, sports and tournaments will be revealed. Next summer Pride House will welcome athletes, dignitaries, media, Londoners and visitors from around the world with a dynamic and entertaining programme in support of the LGBT community. Partners include the It Gets Better Project, UK Pride Sports, LGBT History Month and Diversity Role Models.
Actor and author Stephen Fry has been named an ambassador of Pride House. He commented: “I’m very proud and pleased to be an ambassador for Pride House London. All eyes will be on London for the 2012 Games and Pride House is an idea that brings together so many of the elements that makes London one of the greatest cities in the world and a beacon of tolerance, diversity and pride. Pride House is a symbol of how London remains one of the most truly cosmopolitan and accepting cities in the world.” Other patrons include former NBA basketball player John Amaechi, Team GB volleyball training squad member Claire Harvey, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, the chief executive of Diversity Role Models Suran Dickson, film producer David Furnish, author and journalist Dan Savage and New Zealand Olympic short-track speed skater Blake Skjellerup.
Last year, the organising committee of the London 2012 Olympic Games began to sell special pin badges aimed at LGBT people. The £5 badges were be the first in a series highlighting the six ‘strands of diversity’ and feature the 2012 Games’ logo against a rainbow flag.
And YAY! for the return of Girl Power! OK so Little Mix aren't quite the Spice Girls yet but in every interview we've read so far they have used the term - and who are we to argue! Not only that they have come out and said they are tee-total (alcohol free, for those like Laura who had no idea what that means) and drug free, we are all for clean living and at least if you start with that attitude you'll be far safer - cough cough Frankie who?! Another X-Factor over! Christmas really must be upon us! WELL DONE LITTLE MIX!
Our Christmas party pre-Paris went off without a hitch, although I managed to crack out a few of my chair dances (well it wouldn't be Christmas without them, would it?) and Laura's team came joint 1st in the pub quiz! Oh and we got to wander to the nearest tube via Old Bond Street and ooh and ahh at the beautiful Christmas window decorations and create our 'fantasy' shopping list! Christmas really is the best time of the year!
|Got something on the mind, Laura?|
Lots of love, Sarah & Laura xo