My turn, Straight Pride UK

A student named Oliver Hotham posted the following on his blog. He had contacted an organization called Straight Pride UK (yes, apparently not a parody. Who knew?), telling them he was a freelance journalist, and asking some questions. They sent him a press release. Noting that some of his queries were not dealt with, he returned to them, asking them for further answers ‘for my article’.

Once he posted his blog, including their emailed press release, Straight Pride UK (you know, it really is hard to type that with a straight face) told him it was ‘private’ material, that he had no right to reprint it (despite it being a press release), and that, as he was not an ‘official’ (sic) journalist, he must take it down. Unable to take the time, or the possible cost, of legal action, he complied.

Now, as all except Straight Pride know, the UK has no system of accreditation for journalists. The National Union of Journalists may be as close as we come. As a dance critic, therefore, and an NUJ member, I am, apparently, more ‘accredited’ to write about Straight Pride (nope, still as ridiculous as before) than Mr Hotham. So, here is Mr Hotham’s blog. Please, ‘accredited’ journalists everywhere, do copy, retweet and disseminate, not only this fine piece, but Straight Pride’s shabby attempt to initimidate and censor.

AUGUST 3, 2013

It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah

There has never been a better time to be gay in this country. LGBTI people will soon enjoy full marriage equality,public acceptance of homosexuality is at an all time high, and generally a consensus has developed that it’s really not that big of a deal what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms. The debate on Gay Marriage in the House of Commons was marred by a few old reactionaries, true, but generally it’s become accepted that full rights for LGBTI people is inevitable and desirable. Thank God.

But some are deeply troubled by this unfaltering march toward common decency, and they call themselves the Straight Pride movement.

Determined to raise awareness of the “heterosexual part of our society”, Straight Pride believe that a militant gay lobby has hijacked the debate on sexuality in this country, and encourage their members, among other things, to “come out” as straight, posting on their Facebook page that:

“Coming out as Straight or heterosexual in todays politically correct world is an extremely challenging experience. It is often distressing and evokes emotions of fear, relief, pride and embarrassment.”

I asked them some questions.

First of all, what prompted you to set up Straight Pride UK?

Straight Pride is a small group of heterosexual individuals who joined together after seeing the rights of people who have opposing views to homosexuality trampled over and, quite frankly, oppressed.

With the current political situation in the United Kingdom with Gay Marriage passing, everyone  is being forced to accept homosexuals, and other chosen lifestyles and behaviours, no matter their opposing views. Straight Pride has seen people sued, and businesses affected, all because the homosexual community do not like people having a view or opinion that differs from theirs.

Are your beliefs linked to religion? How many of you derive your views from scripture?

Straight Pride aims are neutral and we do not follow religion, but we do support people who are oppressed for being religious. Only today, Straight Pride see that two homosexual parents are planning to sue the Church because they ‘cannot get what they want’. This is aggressive behaviour and this is the reason why people have strong objections to homosexuals.

You say that one of your goals is “to raise awareness of the heterosexual part of society”. Why do you feel this is necessary?

The Straight Pride mission is to make sure that the default setting for humanity is not forgotten and that heterosexuals are allowed to have a voice and speak out against being oppressed because of the politically correct Government.

Straight Pride feel need to raise awareness of heterosexuality, family values, morals, and traditional lifestyles and relationships.

Your website states that “Homosexuals have more rights than others”. What rights specifically do LGBTI people have that straight people are denied?

Homosexuals do currently have more rights than heterosexuals, their rights can trump those of others, religious or not. Heterosexuals cannot speak out against homosexuals, but homosexuals are free to call people bigots who don’t agree with homosexuality, heterosexuals, religious or not, cannot refuse to serve or accommodate homosexuals, if they do, they face being sued, this has already happened.

Straight Pride believe anyone should be able to refuse service and speak out against something they do not like or support.

There is a hotel in the south of England, called Hamilton Hall which only accepts homosexuals – if this is allowed, then hotels should have the choice and right to who they accommodate.

What has been the response to your campaign?

The response to Straight Pride’s formation has been as expected; hostile, threatening, and aggressive. Homosexuals do not like anyone challenging them or their behaviour.

We have had support from many people saying that if homosexuals can have a Pride March, and then equality should allow Heterosexuals to have one too. After all, the homosexual movement want everyone to have equality.

Why would you say that heterosexuality the “natural orientation”?

Heterosexuality is the default setting for the human race, this is what creates life, if everyone made the decision to be homosexual, life would stop. People are radicalised to become homosexual, it is promoted to be ‘okay’ and right by the many groups that have sprung up.

Marriage is a man and a woman, homosexuals had Civil Partnerships, which was identical to Marriage with all the same rights, they wanted to destroy Marriage and have successfully done so.

If you could pick one historical figure to be the symbol of straight pride (just as figures like Alan Turing, Judith Butler or Peter Tatchell would be for Gay Pride) which would you choose?

Straight Pride would praise Margaret Thatcher for her stance on Section 28, which meant that children were not  taught about homosexuality, as this should not on the curriculum.

More recently, Straight Pride admire President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his stance and support of his country’s traditional values.

How do you react to anti-gay attacks and movements in Russia and parts of Africa?

Straight Pride support what Russia and Africa is doing, these country have morals and are listening to their majorities. These countries are not ‘anti-gay’ – that is a term always used by the Homosexual Agenda to play the victim and suppress opinions and views of those against it.

These countries have passed laws, these laws are to be respected and no other country should interfere with another country’s laws or legislation.

We have country wide events which our members attend, and ask people their opinions and views, on such event at Glastonbury this year was very positive with the majority of people we asked, replied they were happily heterosexual.

For the record, Straight Pride did not respond to these questions:

“Pride” movements such as Gay Pride and Black Pride were making the argument that the stigma against them meant that proclaiming their “pride” was an act of liberation from oppression. Can being heterosexually really compare?

A problem that Gay rights activists cite is the issue of bullying, and the effect this can have on young LGBT people. Do you think a similar problem exists with straight children being bullied by gay children?

I will obviously add to this if they do respond.

[End of Oliver Hotham’s blog]

Whose review is it anyway?

Peter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager, has complained that Opera News, the US’s largest-circulation classical music magazine, has run negative reviews of Met productions. The magazine, supported financially by an affiliate of the Met, has therefore decided, rather than run nothing but puff-pieces, that it will, instead, not review Met productions (here).

What is this, a lesson in how to shoot yourself in the foot? Gelb looks like an idiot. Readers across the country no longer receive independent views. And classical music, which struggles to find an audience anyway, is the only loser.

Gelb is, it must be admitted, beleaguered. He needs to raise a quarter of a billion dollars a year to run his ravening beast of an organization. But to me he has always sounded like he lives in a weird bubble. I heard him on the radio last year, talking about a singer ‘making her debut’ in a role. Except that I had seen her sing it the previous year at the Royal Opera House in London. So, I assumed, to him ‘a debut’ only counted when it was in America. Then he went on, saying she’d sung it in Chicago. So now nothing happens until it happens at the Met?

And now, we discover, once it happens at the Met, we’re not allowed to read that some people didn’t enjoy it. Or why.

A Passive Rant

Last night at the Albert Hall, a concert by the Israel Philharmonic was disrupted by a pro-Palestinian demonstration. (A report on that here.) The rights and wrongs of that are worth discussing, although I’m not going to right now. My beef is the BBC’s reporting, or lack thereof.

All the proms are broadcast live – that’s part of the joy. Last night, listening on Radio 3 as usual, I suddenly heard shouting, then some yelling ‘Shame’, others ‘Out’. What was going on? Well, your guess was as good as mine last night, for Radio 3 after a mumbled sentence about ‘disruption’ cut away to a recording. Then they returned us for the ‘interval’ of a concert that never was, only for more shouting at the beginning of the second half to bring more mumbles of ‘disruption’ and another recording.

This morning, R3’s newscaster said that the broadcast ‘was forced’ off the air. This is where my hackles rise. ‘Was forced’, by whom, oh great BBC? Who forced you? Did demonstrators storm the recording booth and physically make you pull the broadcast? I don’t think so. The broadcasters made a poor decision last night, forgetting that the BBC is (we had thought) a news organization, and zipping into ‘control’ mode by not reporting on what was happening in front of their noses.

One could say that poor decision was spur of the moment, made on the hoof; it was wrong, but someone had to decide fast. But that was more than twelve hours ago. This morning, ‘was forced’ is a weasel way of saying, ‘Nothing to do with us, guv. The decision was imposed on us.’

When I was at school, I was always told to watch out for the passive voice: someone is hiding something. (‘The Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066’ probably means the writer of the sentence has no idea who fought the Battle of Hastings.) The broadcast ‘was forced’ off the air is hiding the fact that the BBC did not do its job.

Bad writing against the law?

Turkish publisher Irfan Sanci is facing jail for publishing William Borroughs. He has already been prosecuted for publishing Guillaume Appollinaire (no, truly). Now he is being prosecuted because the ‘Prime Ministerial Board for the Protection of Children from Harmful Publications’ has condemned Burroughs’ The Soft Machine as a book that ‘lacks narrative unity’, being ‘written in an arbitrary fashion devoid of cohesion.’

These seem to me to be literary judgements, and I’m not at all clear from the AP report what makes the Board qualified to pronounce. Even if it were qualified, it’s the linkage it is making that is surprising. Apparently, according to the Board, the book being written in this incoherent style makes Burroughs’ depiction of ‘coarse, sleazy, vulgar and weak aspects of humans’ create ‘an attitude that allows the justification of criminal activities in the readers’ minds’.

That’s giving what it has already announced by fiat to be bad writing a hell of a lot of power. Might it possibly be the case, therefore, that the writing isn’t bad at all? Or is the Board suggesting that only bad writing has this power, and therefore must be outlawed?

It is no joke for Irfan Sanci, but one is led by this to ask, when is the Turkish government going to outlaw woolly thinking? Because it would appear to me from their statement that the members of the ‘Prime Ministerial Board for the Protection of Children from Harmful Publications’ would all be in jail if that were the case.