miss_s_b: (Who: Six (ot3))
2017-04-19 08:07 am

An open letter on the subject of Tim Farron's "homophobia" from the acting chair of LGBT+ Lib Dems

Dear media people,

I see that, thanks to Cathy Newman's interview last night, the thorny theological topic of Sin has raised its ugly head once more.

Let me get this right out in the beginning: I don't give a fig what Tim Farron's religious beliefs are. You know why? Because I am a Liberal. He could believe the sky is made from Puff the Magic Dragon's bumfluff, and I wouldn't care one jot, whit or iota. What I do care about, and care deeply about, is
  1. How Tim Farron votes in parliament

  2. How he treats people - LGBT+ people in particular - in everyday life
So lets do a little list of things which illustrate how Tim Farron views LGBT people:
  1. With one exception, Tim Farron voted fully in favour of same sex marriage. The one time he abstained? That was because he was trying to get an amendment passed on the Spousal Veto, a really nasty little clause which shafts trans people. Yep, that's right, even the time he abstained was because he was fighting for LGBT+ rights, not against them.

  2. He was the first party leader to issue a statement on the gay concentration camps in Chechenya. He condemned them in the strongest terms. And while the Greens have since joined in, none of the Tories, Labour, or UKIP have.

  3. He campaigned against section 28 from its inception, and thinks that refusing people service for their sexuality (like bakeries not baking cakes for gay marriages) is unchristian.

  4. He spoke out on the blood donation ban (I'm still banned from giving blood, by the way - because I have had sexual relations with bisexual men).

  5. He has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of trans women in prisons, and trans issues in general. When we had a trans rights motion before conference, he was there at 9.30am in the front row to vote for it. Not because of the cameras - there were no cameras - but because he is enthusiastic about LGBT+ rights, and not just G rights with a smattering of L like many politicians.

  6. When Lib Dem conference brought in an accreditation scheme that inadvertently discriminated against LGBT+ people, he listened to us at LGBT+LDs, and then he went to head office and batted for us till the scheme was changed, and eventually dropped.

  7. He has said to me personally that when poly marriage is made legal he wants to be the first on the invite list to our wedding.
Look, I could go on for hours here, but it is as plain as the nose on my face that Tim Farron is no homophobe. So why do the media keep treating him like he is? Well, in the past, he has made some missteps - accepting that intern from the gay cure people, for example. But if you actually look at what happened in that case? The second he confirmed those people were campaigners for a gay cure, he backed away, apologised fulsomely, and campaigned hard against the concept of curing gay people. Me, personally? I value a leader who will listen and change his mind when someone points out he's wrong - Cthulhu alone knows Cleggy never did.

The other reason is possibly a conflation of the word "sin" with the concept of "bad thing for which I am judging you" in general parlance.

Reverend Lovejoy delineates what sin is

I'm an atheist. Yes, I have A-level RE, but I do not know Christianity from the inside. However, even I have heard of the Christian concept of "judge not lest ye be judged". As Tom King says at some length in this twitter thread, the Christian belief means that you explicitly do not condemn people who sin, because we are all sinners and judging people is God's job. Whether or not Tim Farron believes that homosexual sex (or heterosexual sex, or wanking, or eating beef on Fridays, or anything) is sinful, this has no bearing on his actions because it is not his place to judge.

I don't pretend to understand that belief system. But I accept it, just as I accept Islam, and paganism, and the church of the flying spaghetti monster. I accept it because to not accept that people can differ in their beliefs from you and yet still be worthwhile people is fundamentally illiberal. I'll tell you something that is liberal, though. If a person believes in their heart of hearts that something is wrong, and yet still campaigns for the right of other people to do it because it's other people's right to make their own moral choices?

That, my friends, that is liberalism.

I await your forensic questioning of the Prime Minister on her voting record with regard to LGBT+ rights with interest.

Lots of love

Acting chair LGBT+ Lib Dems, bisexual polyamorist, and person who voted for Tim Farron to be her party leader and is happy that she did.
miss_s_b: (Default)
2013-09-17 10:00 am

The Blood is The Life 17-09-2013

miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
2013-05-21 10:57 pm
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Equal Marriage: Five thank yous.

I don't want to spend any time at all on my local MP, who voted the wrong way every single time, nor on the four Lib Dems who voted the wrong way, nor on those Lib Dems who abstained for whatever reason (some of whom we know are very much in favour of equal marriage but just couldn't make the chamber today, and others of whom are more... suspect). I do want to single out a few MPs, though, not just Lib Dems, who I feel gratitude towards for this getting passed today.

1, Lynne Featherstone - we wouldn't have had the bill at all without Lynne. I am an unashamed fan of hers, and the quiet, efficient way she goes about things, and her unswerving feminism coupled with her unbreakable LGBT ally-ness makes her a big political hero of mine. So thanks, Lynne, for getting the ball rolling on this, and helping to build it to unstoppable momentum.

2, Julian Huppert - has been indefatigable and measured both yesterday and today in making speeches. Was especially impressive today on the trans issues, which sadly did not gain the support of the house. This is something that needs to be pushed again and again until those whose marriages were forced apart by the state can get them back, and Huppmeister J represented today. Thanks Julian.

3, Caroline Lucas - spoke and voted on the right side on LOTS of amendments, and tweeted from the chamber lots to keep people informed. Stayed in there when most of the rest of the MPs had buggered off, and carried on debating and voting all day. Thanks Caroline.

4, Diane Abbott - resisted the urge for party political point-scoring, unlike so many of her colleagues, and just voted the right way, gladly and with grace. Thanks Diane.

5, Greg Mullholland - many people just assumed that Greg would troop through the no lobby with the other... well, I guess you could call them the Usual Suspects. Beith, Pugh, etc. But he actually wrestled with the issues, and came to a conclusion that he felt could be reconciled with his faith and his liberalism. He thought about it, discussed it with various relevant parties, posted his reasoning on his website, and was in every respect an exemplary Liberal MP - thoughtful, evidence-based, and transparent. I have huge amounts of respect for Greg, not just for the conclusion he came to, but the way he came to it, and utterly condemn those who are berating him on twitter for not being perfectly aligned with whatever THEY think is right. Yes, Summerskill, I'm looking at YOU. I remember 2010, and your hypocrisy is breathtaking. Anyway, thanks Greg.

The battle isn't over for equal rights, not by a long way, and there's still a lot of work to do before the T in LGBT+ in particular are not subject to institutionalised discrimination. But today's skirmish in the battle for equality was mostly a big step in the right direction, and I am glad the overall vote went the way it did, with as big a majority as it did. Now it needs to go through the Lords...
miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-05-23 11:35 pm
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My Answers to The Equal Marriage Consultation

Which you can find here: https://www.homeofficesurveys.homeoffice.gov.uk/v.asp?i=48356xhlqw
  1. Do you agree or disagree that all couples, regardless of their gender, should be able to have a civil marriage ceremony? - Agree

  2. Please explain the reasons for your answer, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words): - Because universal human rights should be universal, not denied to people because of their sexual orientation (or race or gender for that matter)

  3. If you identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual would you wish to have a civil marriage ceremony? - yes [I'd love to be able to marry my boys. Unfortunately, poly marriage is a WHOLE 'nother can of worms...]

  4. n/a

  5. The government does not propose to open up religious marriage to same-sex couples. Do you agree or disagree with this proposal? - Disagree – religious marriage should be opened up to same-sex couples [I am sad that there is no space here to qualify this - I don't want to force religious institutions to carry out same sex marriages if they don't want to, but it would be nice to allow those religions that DO want to to be able to]

  6. Do you agree or disagree with keeping the option of civil partnerships once civil marriage is made available to same-sex couples? - Agree

  7. If you identify as being lesbian, gay or bisexual and were considering making a legal commitment to your partner, would you prefer to have a civil partnership or a civil marriage? - Civil marriage

  8. The government is not considering opening up civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples because we have been unable to identify a need for this. However, we appreciate that there are a number of views on this issue.
    Do you agree or disagree with this proposal? - Disagree – civil partnerships should be opened up to opposite-sex couples

  9. n/a

  10. We would not propose introducing a time limit on the ability to convert a civil partnership into a marriage.
    Do you agree or disagree? - Agree - there shouldn't be a time limit

  11. Do you think there should be an option to have a civil ceremony on conversion of a civil partnership into a marriage? - Yes, there should be an option

  12. n/a [but if it WAS "a" I would totally tick yes and I think it's inhumane that no is even on there as an option. Making trans people get divorced and then remarried/partnered is one of the worst bits about the current legislation. I'm stacking up stuff for the "any other comments" bit...]

  13. n/a

  14. Do you have any comments on the assumptions or issues outlined above [about pensions and various other matters]? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words). - So long as same sex marriage affords the same legal rights as opposite sex marriage - i.e. all legislation referring to marriage will henceforth be taken to apply to all marriages, whatever the gender(s) of the couple - then no, I have no comments on the above.

  15. Are you aware of any costs or benefits that exist to either the public or private sector, or individuals that we have not accounted for in the impact assessment? If so, please provide details in the space below, limiting your response to 1,225 characters (approx 200 words). - Benefits are numerous, including mental health benefits to LGBT+ people, which will lessen the impact on the NHS; family stability benefits which impact on wider society; in purely fiscal terms, the treasury will benefit from the receipt of fees for marriages.

  16. Any other comments box - Religions who don't want to marry same sex couples should not be forced to, but equally, religions that wish to marry same sex couples should be allowed to; a blanket ban on religious equal marriage is nonsensical.

    Civil partnerships should be available to opposite sex couples if they want them.

    Trans people should not be forced to divorce and then remarry just because they are trans. This is one of the most inhumane things about the current law and needs to change. When this comes in compensation should also be offered for the people who have already been forced through this procedure.

I post this publicly just in case anyone wants to crib any answers. Obvs you might want to reword some of it a bit, but if you want to borrow my thinking, knock yourselves out.
miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-04-10 10:00 am
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The Blood is The Life 10-04-2012

miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-04-09 03:41 am
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My reactions to the #queerchat hashtag on twitter today

My sleep patterns are all to cock again, so I was having a scout about on twitter. I saw a very brave post by James, with the hashtag #queerchat and clicked on the tag. Now, #queerchat is normally what it says, queer chat, generally with a specified topic. Today's specified topic was initially education, apparently, but it very quickly turned into a huge, worldide litany of the horrors that non-cis-het people go through at school, often not just bullying from other students but from teachers too. My reactions have been many
  • Rage, horror and deep sorrow at what people went through in the past, and more so at what people are still going through now

  • frustration that there are still people who think that educating children about diversity is pointless, despite the fact that NOT teaching children about diversity results in bullying, pain, fear and occasionally suicide among vulnerable children; yet hope that these strident voices seem to be very much in the minority these days

  • I was really lucky to only get bullied a bit for being Tomboyish, with the odd lazy imputation of lesbianism being the only real "suffering" I went through.

  • I shouldn't have to feel lucky about that

  • much love for the bravery and fortitude of so many of the people who posted.

  • A fervent wish that people could just except that not everybody conforms to a percieved norm, and THAT'S A GOOD THING and we could all learn much from talking civilly to each other rather than flinging poo at people who don't conform. Fear of non-"normal" people is ugly and depressing.

  • I want to promote It Gets Better strenuously in schools. Because then it might get better quicker...
miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-03-27 10:00 am

The Blood is The Life 27-03-2012

miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-03-18 09:00 am

The Blood is The Life 18-03-2012

miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-03-17 09:00 am

The Blood is The Life 17-03-2012

miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-03-16 09:00 am

The Blood is The Life 16-03-2012

miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-03-14 09:00 am

The Blood is The Life 14-03-2012

miss_s_b: (Mood: Liberal)
2012-03-13 05:42 pm
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Signal Boost: Rainbow Support Fandom Auction

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] creatore_magico at Join In & Help Rainbow Support
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] felidaeryl at Join In & Help Rainbow Support
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] moonlit_violets at Join In & Help Rainbow Support

Rainbow Support is a fandom auction intended to raise funds for a variety of LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual) charities to support them. All winning bids will go to the organizations actively working to better the lives of the community, individually and as a whole and to organizations that are actively working to support and promote LGBTQIA rights.

Important Links

Approved Organizations
Offering Words
Offering Art
Offering Graphics
Offering Food
Offering Audio
Offering Something Interesting
Questions, Comments, Concerns
miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-03-08 09:00 am

The Blood is The Life 08-03-2012

miss_s_b: (Default)
2012-02-24 09:00 am
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The Blood is The Life 24-02-2012