An admission: I sometimes find the more radical demands by militant members of exotic sub-categories of ‘LGBT’ a bit irritating. Men who dress as women insisting that we all pretend they’re not men, for example – even if they’re not quite as wearisome as the Democratic Party’s Emily Lau. Mostly, though, we’re all pretty laid back about sexual orientation these days, probably accepting that, like left-handedness, such variations are part of mother nature’s mysterious way. Still, the first time I heard demands for gay marriage, maybe some 15-20 years ago, I couldn’t help thinking: they must be kidding. The concept was, to use an overworked phrase, counter-intuitive.
An unexpectedly big protest against gay marriage and adoption took place in France over the weekend. UK Conservative Party proposals to back full gay marriage have run into a similar sort of reaction from members and activists and outsiders. The ‘anti’ movement in the US is more religiously inspired, but I would guess there are feelings of unease among secular and otherwise moderate people there too. Some of the French protestors manage to present a philosophical objection on grounds of logic or semantics; why do we or the law have separate words for man/father and woman/mother? Among the more empirical-minded Anglos, it is perhaps a gut version of the same feeling: people should be free to be gay and have civil unions and all that, but not to twist everyone else’s reality to their own minority wishes.
That said, opinion surveys suggest that younger people find it easier to get their heads around same-sex marital and family institutions, and the political trend seems fairly steady in that direction. My own acceptance of same-sex marriage/parenthood is more of a shrug. Marriage can be plot to make women sacrifice their aspirations in order to enable a man have both a successful career and wonderful offspring. Or it can be a scam whereby a guy has to start again from scratch after a woman legally takes his kids, home and savings from him. You want to run such risks? Be my guest, whoever you are, with whoever you want. Also, I know of one same-sex couple in Hong Kong bringing up kids in a massively superior environment than that offered by the Mainland orphanage they came from, and there must be many such examples.
Most of all, however, I really can’t stand the sort of people who oppose gay marriage on religious/moral grounds. Which brings us to Hong Kong’s rally yesterday – not against gay marriage, not against gay equality of any sort, but against a public consultation on gay equality.
It was a crowd of fundamentalist Christians, including the inevitable Society for Truth and Light. Anticipating that even in Hong Kong’s oh-so-conservative, we-are-Chinese society, the tide of time is turning against them, the Christians are eschewing homophobia in favour of the language of liberty and pluralism. Even the demonstration was called a prayer concert for ‘inclusive love’. And the pastor interviewed on RTHK Radio 3 claimed that it was all about protecting freedom of speech. (He made this claim twice, and the interviewer incredibly failed to follow it up, which makes me wonder whether RTHK is among the government departments that have been infiltrated by the fundamentalists.)
Anything these fundamentalists oppose is probably worth supporting. The word is that Chief Executive CY Leung will broach the possibility of a public consultation on equal rights for sexual minorities in his policy address on Wednesday. Such an exercise is a well-established way to sink a proposal, but it would be fascinating to see how the civil servants would rig this one – through leading questions and spurious concerns about a lack of consensus – without making Hong Kong look idiotic. And this is a subject overseas media would pick up on. Chances are that with housing, air pollution and poverty on the administration’s plate, not even a consultation will happen. Which is a pity, if only to see the Biblical literalists getting worked up.
The Emily Lau-bashing has got to stop.
The best quotation for God botherers on the subject of their objections to gay rights is from Martin Luther:
“Aus einem traurigen Arsch kommt kein fröhlicher Furz hervor”
Merry wind does not issue from a sad behind. That says it all. Good old Martin.
In the UK meanwhile, it is all right to be a bishop and live with your boyfriend/girlfriend in holy wedlock as long as you do not do anything about it and remain/become celibate. This is such a kinky view of things, the mind boggles as to what kind of masochism goes on behind closed pews. How can the Church of England condone such indecency?
Perusing the Standard today, I was inspired by Luther and reminded of some more German proverbs but I made these up to go with some of today’s stories.
“The bigger the stool, the harder it is to flush.” (Clue – data protection).
” A Hong Kong person who pays for a cabbage wants a carrot for free.” (Clue – theft).
” Hong Kong policemen couldn’t detect a fart in a lift but they can defend Maltese Terriers.” (No clue at all).
So a bunch of people who believe in a talking snake (to borrow from Richard Dawkins) are insisting that two people who love each other should be discriminated against. That’s very inclusive.
Enlightening. Up to now, I always thought Emily Lau *was* a man dressed up as a woman.
If the government itself doesn’t recognise long-term heterosexual couples and discriminates against single people eg for housing allowance, I can’t see homsexual couples getting any recognition, if logic has anything to do with it.
In any case there is no homosexuality in China, or prostitution, or two-child families, which is of course why the population is growing so quickly.
Sorry, I meant unmarried heterosexual couples!
But what will the Islamists think?
I demand equal opportunity for men !
NOW TV channel 901 openly broadcasts straight male-female sex and lesbian female- female sex videos ( but with not a word of protest from the fundamentalists, nor the whatever-it-is-govt- obscenity-authority that vets XXX films )
But no male- male sex videos !?
Why is female- female “gay” sex OK but male-male “gay” sex not OK ?
What hypocrites we are !
And what BS these fundamentalists talk.
PS : @ TFF : As for the Islamists – let’s only employ gay flight attendants (and / or naked strippers) on CX. That will keep our home airline free from suicide bombers !
I don’t know about anyone else, but i’ve probably come across more lesbians in HK than anywhere I can remember. The ones ive met could be for all intents and purposes just like the daughters of those protesting ie, ordinary, decent, functioning members of society. Emily Lau is probably more like your average western garden variety lezzo. Either way its the rabid Christians who are likely to be of harm to others. The TBs just want to look after their schnauzers.
@RSP:………let’s only employ gay flight attendants…….
I think CX is one step ahead here.
@Maugrim: Emily Lau is a happily married woman. Are you ?
Interesting subject to be discussing just after ‘Christmas’ however, I note the ‘Happy Holidays’ brigade has got in first !
I was under the impression that discrimination based on sexual orientation, even in The Big Lychee, is unlawful ? Like most I’m in general agreement about an acceptance that some folk are ‘queer’ and if they want to get married, fine by me.
However Christians have a Holy book called the Bible and it’s pretty clear about homosexuality so don’t get married in their institutions, choose another arrangement, and then all hopefully should be satisfied.
Next Subject – Same sex marriage and Islam …
Joe, congratulations to her and Mrs. Lau.
A two-thousand year old etiquette book for goat-herders, which some people still seem to take take seriously, discriminates as follows (prices not adjusted for inflation);
(27:3) “Thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver.”
(27:4) “If it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.”
This means that a male-male couple is WORTH MORE than a mixed gender couple. So why are we protesting? Is Hong Kong losing its core values?
Leviticus also designates tattoos and eating shellfish as the kind of mortal sins that’ll earn you a bolt of righteous anger from His Almightiness.
@ Joe Blow
Certainly BA has this employment policy for male flight attendants.
Fortunately BA clothe their female attendants otherwise they would have no passengers at all ( who wants to be served by naked grandmothers ? )
There is no anti-discrimination lay in HK currently which protect gays.