No one's mentioned Thatcher's specific antigay period, during Clause 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, in response to the inclusive policies of the Labour Left-led Greater London Council. It may have been a paper tiger, but UK Christian Right groups like the fundamentalist "Christian Institute" later tried to use it to stop local councils from supporting local HIV prevention programmes, and providing ameliorative social services to lesbians and gay men, as well as inclusive educational curricula.
It fell to her successor, John Major, to preside over the long overdue reduction of the gay male age of consent from twenty one to eighteen, and for the Blair administration to legislate for age of consent equality at sixteeen, a mistake that New Zealand fortunately never made.
Here's my take on her legacy:
Having updated my own blog on the issue, I can only agree with you, namesake. Apparently, two of Cpl Hughes' straight colleagues ended their lives during the same tour of duty- which leads one to consider that indeed, there obviously are some urgent general operational issues that need to be addressed in this context. Damned good article in the Herald on this subject:
”Defense deaths tied to training gaps” New Zealand Herald: 05.03.2012: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869239
According to a recent article on Gay Star News, LGBT military suicide appears to be a serious problem in the United States:
“Closeted gay soldiers more likely to attempt suicide” Gay Star News: 01.03.2013: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/closeted-gay-soldiers-more-likely-commit-suicide010313
Granted, we officially ended military service discrimination twenty years ago, back in 1993, but do military policies and procedures reflect that state of affairs? And apparently the NZ military is being shortchanged by the government...
NORML and Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis, George, but you're right. They don't seem to realise that they're seen as single-issue zealots, apart from the medicinal cannabis issue. It's sad, really. A serious senior politician needs to sit down with them and tell them the political facts of life.
Which does raise the interesting question of how much overlap currently exists between the Christian Right and the narcoconservative 'anti-drug' pressure groups. Konrad is quite right about the Conservative Party and drug prohibitionism, given recent comments by Colin C on that very matter. They've got a funny way of showing it with alcohol policy, given that when marriage equality emerged as an issue, everything else was immediately neglected (including the Alcohol Law Reform Act).
Still, one does suspect that given marriage equality and adoption reform will mostly conclude LGBT legislative reform apart from more substantive protections for the transgender community, the Christian Right will cast around for something else to depict as A Threat to The Family Unit. I suspect either euthanasia and/or drug policy will be the Moral Panics du jour in that context.
What I'd like to know is why TVNZ's Seven Sharp chose to legitimise faux Investigrunt editor Ian Wishart through interviewing the somewhat dotty fundie about his own rancid sectarian anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. And while we're at it, why didn't anyone ask Wishart about why Investigrunt has no published circulation figures, who really funds it, and its actual ownership?
Which isn't to say that I didn't rather enjoy David's stroll down memory lane. Excellent work.
And being (cough cough hack) somewhere on the grey end of the rainbow is a similar such corrective. I'm becoming olde and crinkly enough to remember these alleged 'good old days' myself and they weren't. I tended to pal around with dykes rather than spend much time with the narrow minded brain dead scene queens of ChCh as it was in the early eighties. And we could do with the brutal and repressive homophobia against PLWAs in the early days of HIV/AIDS, thanks very much.
All social movements tend to go through a utopian stage, as a reflection of their marginality. However, the more effective ones settle down to the hard, practical slog of legislative reform and forming strategic professional alliances to advance pragmatic, incremental objectives. And I speak as one who shouldered his fair share of picket signs back in the day...
Ye goddes, I agree with Namesake again. Must be mellowing in my 'middle youth" (shudder)...
Craig Y :)
Ha! Caught the phobes lying about something!
According to FF, good fundies "support" civil unions now because they offer substantive relationship equality to LGBT couples in the context of legislative guarantees. In which case, how does McCoskrie explain French antigay organisation Avenir de la Culture attacking the French Catholic Bishops for wanting strengthened French PACS and opposing even this weak 'concession' to LGBT 'equality' on the basis that:
"The Pact of Civil Solidarity (PACS) to which Bishop Daucourt refers is a contract, considered far less than a civil union, that can be granted both to homosexuals and heterosexuals, which can be dissolved at will by either party, and gives tax advantages to the couple as if they were married"
Matthew Hoffman: "French Catholic Bishops endorsing homosexual unions, undermining pro-family cause" Lifesite: 16.01.2013: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/french-catholic-bishops-endorsing-homosexual-unions-undermining-pro-fa
Well, it looks like the same-sex marriage equality angle will soon be fixed. At which point, we can laugh derisively at Oz and snicker at how backward they are. That's what you get for electing a Ginger PM, I suppose...