Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eat up your ice-cream

Ben and Jerry's have renamed one of their flavours of ice-cream to HubbyHubby to celebrate the fact that same-sex couples can now marry in Vermont. Sweet!

Now you can eat ice-cream for equality. Fantastic!

Hat-tip to Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits, and best wishes to Isaac for a full recovery from his illness.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A manifesto

John Shelby Spong has issued a manifesto. I love it.
The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be. Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society have to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal, recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dismantled as the policy of our armed forces. We will and we must learn that equality of citizenship is not something that should ever be submitted to a referendum. Equality under and before the law is a solemn promise conveyed to all our citizens in the Constitution itself. Can any of us imagine having a public referendum on whether slavery should continue, whether segregation should be dismantled, whether voting privileges should be offered to women? The time has come for politicians to stop hiding behind unjust laws that they themselves helped to enact, and to abandon that convenient shield of demanding a vote on the rights of full citizenship because they do not understand the difference between a constitutional democracy, which this nation has, and a "mobocracy," which this nation rejected when it adopted its constitution. We do not put the civil rights of a minority to the vote of a plebiscite.

The battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished. A new consciousness has arisen. A decision has quite clearly been made. Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state. Therefore, I will from this moment on refuse to dignify the continued public expression of ignorant prejudice by engaging it. I do not tolerate racism or sexism any longer. From this moment on, I will no longer tolerate our culture's various forms of homophobia. I do not care who it is who articulates these attitudes or who tries to make them sound holy with religious jargon.
Yes! Yes! Yes!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Right-wing Pagans

I am horrified to learn (rather belatedly) that the leaked BNP membership list apparently includes a number of Pagans.
"Window cleaner. Former pig farmer. Pagan prison chaplain. Hobbies: growing mistletoe, rune-making (wood)"; "Active Odinist/member of pagan organisations." A student is "willing to give talks on medieval/dark age subects" and "interested in ... setting up a British pagan group".
I am also shocked to discover that, if it is true that the window cleaner and former pig farmer is a Pagan prison chaplain, he was not properly vetted by the prison service. And if he is a Pagan-Federation-accredited prison chaplain, the Pagan federation should not allow him to represent them.

It has long been observed that some Odinists have right-wing tendencies (though by no means all, as the Heathens against Hate campaign demonstrates). The other two Pagans described above may not be Odinists, however.

There is no place in Paganism for far right politics. Pagans are supposed to be tolerant and inclusive.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Stonewall guide for LGBT asylum seekers

As part of their resources on immigration, asylum and international issues, Stonewall have produced a guide to help people through the maze of applying for asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Although claiming asylum in the UK on the grounds of sexual orientation is possible it can be a very difficult process. Asylum seekers may have to prove that they are LGB and that they cannot be "discreet" about their sexual orientation to avoid persecution in their home country.
Download Stonewall's guide to asylum and humanitarian protection for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.[PDF]