Cited in The Guardian

07 Nov

I was quite amazed to find overnight visits coming from the UK’s famous Guardian newspaper, and Gay Erasmus is mentioned there by name. We are both referenced in Dave Hill’s The secret’s out, me by hotlink.

One sure measure of any society’s psychological wellbeing lies in its attitude to homosexuality – and Conservative America cannot cope.

In recent weeks the triple pillars of the mostly white, mostly Christian, mostly English-speaking world have provided the telling spectacle of big noise conservatives having their homosexuality exposed.

The smallest of these media explosions occurred here in Britain when loads-a-money Tory Gregory Barker, married with three children, MP for Bexhill And Battle and shadow environment minister, was revealed to have “grown close” to a male interior designer after separating from his wife. In Australia radio presenter Alan Jones, former coach of the national rugby union team and foghorn of the hard Right has been outed in a best-selling biography. And of course, topping the bill, that super-ministry heavyweight from the US of A, Ted Haggard, leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, confidante of the president and occasional intimate of (now former) prostitute Mike Jones, supplier of massages, crystal meth and, so far, only he, Jones and the Lord know what else…

According to gay Australian bloggers, Alan Jones too has been treated pretty gently in his homeland. See here, here, and also here, where Gay Erasmus noted “with not a little national pride” the difference he sees between Australian and American attitudes in relation respectively to Jones and to Mark Foley, the other Republican recently found to have an eye for the boys. And today, The Age argues that Jones’s power over politicians is the real story, rather than his sexual preferences. All quite encouraging from a nation that can be so hysterically protective of its proudly hetero “mate” culture…

I am not anti-religion or anti-American. As I have written before. I find blanket attacks on faith fail to recognize how individual, sustaining and enriching religious observance can be, and I thank America for its impossible optimism and its wealth of popular culture that has stirred and enlightened me for forty years. But one sure measure of any society’s psychological wellbeing lies in its attitude to homosexuality, itself but one aspect of its outlook on gender and the sexes generally. Conservative America is in a cage of its own making about gays. Ted Haggard is in that cage. He, his congregation and his political brethren would do well to learn from their allies in this world.

Except the Gay Erasmus link actually goes to Sam (Queer Penguin). I have fixed that here.


Some may be wondering, even though I don’t think it is relevant, but Dave Hill is not in the legendary “gay lobby” — he’s not even gay.

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One response to “Cited in The Guardian

  1. Jim Belshaw

    November 7, 2006 at 9:27 am

    Blow me down, Neil, that’s what I call blogging reach!

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