The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Zero tolerance

In many parts of the world, Christians dislike Jews and Muslims. Muslims dislike Jews and Christians. And Jews dislike Christians and Muslims. Such is the level of their hatred for one another in some places that they employ suicide bombers to carry out violent attacks, decimating cities and lives. World leaders have tried for decades to mediate, preach tolerance and avoid bloodshed. Most of their methods have failed miserably, but there’s one thing guaranteed to unite the most fundamentalist members of these religions; one thing to get them to sit down at a table and agree with each other; one thing to bring them out onto the streets protesting and marching together, and that is homosexuality.

It happened in Poland, Russia and Israel last year as local GLBT groups attempted to organise gay pride celebrations, and more recently in the UK when the shocking announcement was made that new legislation would be passed to ensure that people could not be refused services on the grounds of their sexuality. These radical and ‘out there’ laws mean that businesses and organisations will be unable to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality. Jeez, whatever next? Protestors (hardline, fundamentalist Christians, Muslims and Jews) claim the rules will force them to promote gay rights in contradiction to their teachings and could persecute those who ‘disapprove’ of homosexuality on moral grounds.

I can quite understand their outrage and totally see their point, because the same legislation last year gave full legal protection against discrimination to people of faith. This is a real pain in the arse because where does it leave those of us who ‘disapprove’ of organised religion and the acts carried out in its name? Such as the setting-up of fake abortion clinics by Christian extremists who use them to terrorise vulnerable women into keeping an unwanted child. Or the gang rape of a woman, Mukhtar Mai, as ordered by a Muslim tribal council in Pakistan as punishment for an alleged honour crime committed by her 12-year-old brother, who was also beaten and sodomised by the four men (told in her own words in a moving and inspiring new book In the Name of Honour).

No, the kind of legislation that makes it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexuality, race, gender, disability or religion is not to be encouraged. Because if discrimination is outlawed, it could lead to all sorts of detrimental effects on society. People could become more tolerant and learn to live in harmony. One country would negotiate with another to try to strike an oil deal instead of using war to get it. Shit, fights over oil could even become a thing of the past as world leaders embrace environmentally-friendly fuel! Incidences of rape and sexual violence would plummet, and we’d eventually all start to get along so well together that there would no longer be a need for separate spaces. The gay nightclub would be over. Fuck that. We need more scapegoats to victimise. I nominate the Buddhists and Hare Krishnas – they don’t get nearly enough bad press.

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