Monday, 26 October 2015

Germaine Greer Continues To Insult Trans Women

Just days after coming under scrutiny for transphobic statements made on BBC Newsnight Germaine Greer has delivered yet another foul mouthed rant filled with transphobia and swearing.

Feminist author Germaine Greer was due to speak at Cardiff University next month, but chose to cancel her appearance herself (yes, despite what some extremist feminists are saying Greer cancelled the appearance by her own choice), after a number of people protested her appearance.

Protesters spoke out about her appearance following a history of transphobic statements, including denying transgender woman as 'man's delusion that he is female', saying that trans women are 'some kind of ghastly parody' and hat trans women will never know what it's like to have 'a big, hairy, smelly vagina'.

Her interview on Newsnight can be added to this history of transphobia and transmisogyny as she referred to Caitlyn Jenner as a 'he/she' who 'wanted the limelight that female members  of the family were enjoying' and that claiming that trans women do not 'look like, sound like, or behave like women'.

When approached by the Victoria Derbyshire Show to come onto the programme and speak about the incident she refused, stating that she was unable to do so due to 'travelling' and instead gave the following statement.

'Just because you lop off your dick and then wear a dress doesn't make you a fucking woman.  I've asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I'm going to wear a brown coat but that doesn't turn me into a fucking cocker spaniel.  I do understand that some people are born intersex and they deserve support in coming to terms with their gender but it's not the same thing.  A man who gets his dick chopped off is actually inflicting an extraordinary act of violence on himself.'

Victoria Derbyshire bravely read out the statement (minus the swear words and replacing dick with penis) to transgender actress Rebecca Root, star of the hit television show 'Boy Meets Girl'.

Root said 'That leaves me absolutely gobsmacked.  Beeping gobsmacked, in fact.  This is something that I would equate from the worst of the gutter press - not from somebody of such academic standing, a woman who should know better.  It's just ridiculous.'


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Richard Dawkins Insults Transgender Community

Academic and author Richard Dawkins has spoken out following the petition to stop transphobic feminist Germaine Greer from speaking at Cardiff University.

Dawkins, who has expressed some extreme and insulting views in the past, took to twitter following the incident in which Germaine Greer appeared on BBC Newsnight to decry the petition.  He said, 'Students who suppress a distinguished scholar's lecture because they disagree with her have no place in a university.'

'Those who think it's nonsense are entitled to stay away.  Or come and argue.  They should not censor views they think are nonsense.'

'A university is not a 'safe space'.  If you need a safe space, leave, go home, hug your teddy & suck your thumb until ready for university.'

Following on from this Dawkins even went on to post a tweet questioning if trans women are women.  It stated 'Is a trans woman a woman?  Purely semantic.  If you define by chromosomes, no.  If by self-identification, yes.  I call her 'she' out of courtesy.'

Both series of tweets have been met with a number of complaints, prompting Dawkins to go on the defensive, even complaining that he was getting hate after stating that he 'wished to be courteous'.

The things that Dawkins fails to understand is this;

Yes, a university may not be a 'safe space', but to claim that people who disagree with a 'distinguished scholar' should not be at university is farcical.  At the best Dawkins is trying to say that there should be no room for any debate or differing opinions in a place of learning.  At worst Dawkins is completely blind to the idea that prejudice views can be harmful.

Because that's the thing, Germaine Greer isn't simply giving an alternative view to other people, she's spouting abusive words and statements designed to demonise and invalidate trans women.  She's using every platform she can to use slur words like he/she and claim that trans women are always and forever men, opposing the spread of such sentiments isn't censoring 'views they think are nonsense'.

If a university, or any establishment, booked a speaker who expressed deeply homophobic or racist views people would be praised for trying to stop the spread of that kind of hate speech, but as far a Dawkins seems to be concerned when it comes to trans women it's simply disagreeing with someone.

Something that can be seen as being supported by his follow up tweets, stating that trans women are not women because of their chromosomes.  Despite anything else said in that tweet, or in follow up tweets he did say that trans women are not women.

Turning around and saying that if it's down to self-identification then trans women are women, or that he calls trans women ''she' out of courtesy' means nothing after that first statement.  He's giving those who would argue against trans women's identity a clear cut statement that trans women are not women.

And to say he calls trans women ''she' out of courtesy' is downright insulting.  If you call a trans woman she 'out of courtesy' rather than because you believe she's a woman you're basically saying that she's not a woman.  I don't call people he to be courteous, I do it because that's who they are.

Once again though, this is a case of someone feeling that because they're 'famous' and because it's the transgender community they're completely immune to the consequences of the hate speech they spout, of the insults and disrespect they feel they're entitled to say.  He insulted the trans community and their supporters, but now that he's being called out on that he's 'getting hate'.

Well yes Richard, you are getting hate.  You're getting exactly what you deserve for spouting false, hateful opinions as fact and expecting to get away with it.  You are not a 'victim' in this, you are not the wronged party.  If you didn't want to have people complain about you and call you out on what you say, don't spout hate towards minority groups.


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Some Feminists Are More Harmful To The Trans Community Than Any Other Group

I'm sure many of you will be aware of the commotion on the Internet being caused around the feminist icon Germaine Greer at the moment, where some people are calling for her to be banned from speaking due to transphobic statements she's made in the past.  The arguments exploded further after Greer appeared on BBC Newsnight and went on a spree of outdated transphobic views that tried to argue that trans women are men and have no right to be called women.

Whilst some people are saying that Greer is an ageing second wave feminist whose views are becoming less and less relevant in modern feminism and society, despite all of the good things she accomplished in the past, it does highlight some very real and dangerous views held by not only her, but a large number of feminists.

If Germaine Greer was alone in her opinions it would be one thing, but unfortunately she's not.  Whether by listening to her views, or the views of others who share the same sentiment there are large portions of the feminist community who seem to be incredibly comfortable in insulting, excluding, demonising and harassing the transgender community.

Whether or not they class themselves as TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) or even a radical feminist, there are women who go out of their way to cause harm to this incredibly marginalised group of women.

Trans women are shunned by so many groups for breaking the taboo of 'giving up their masculinity' and 'becoming women' that a great deal of trans women are drawn to the feminist movement.  Whether that is from having a greater understanding of misogyny and the difference in the way women are treated since the loss of male privilege, or the simple desire to see equality, trans women will often fight not just for their right to be seen and accepted as women, but for all women and womanhood to be seen as valid and just as capable as their male counterparts.

Tran women join the feminist community hoping for acceptance and a sense of community, after all, we're all women fighting for equality right?  No, unfortunately not.  Trans women get shunned in the feminist community.  Not every feminist engages in this behaviour, some are full respecting of trans women's identities, but enough harass and abuse trans women within the feminist community to make this a serious problem.

I have literally just come from such an encounter to write this article.  I shared a tweet about the Germaine Greer argument and was met with what can only be described as harassment from a member of the feminist community.  This woman refused to acknowledge that trans women are women, calling me a 'man who is harassing real women' for sharing a single tweet, and calling for me to 'leave women alone'.

Rather than jump down this woman's throat and start a fight I tried to engage into a reasoned discussion with her, and simply tried to explain how opinions such as hers are harmful to the trans community.  Instead of a reasoned argument though I was met with a wall of hostility.  She continually called me a man and used male pronouns after my asking her not to multiple times.  She suggested that me 'thinking' I am female is a delusion and that 'it's a fact' that I'm male.

I was told multiple times that my believing myself to be female has no basis in reality and that it's a 'fact' that trans women are never men.  I was told that my belief in that, and my refusal to listen to a 'real' woman telling me I'm not female is a threat to all women.  She told me that by not listening to her I was a danger and a threat and that she would 'continue to show others this'.

At one point she even told me that she would 'definitely not take a white man's word' that trans women are female.  This shocked me, as she was not only engaging in transphobia, but appeared to be beginning to start using racist arguments too.  I was shocked by this, and even more surprised when she said that a I was displaying white supremacy, claiming 'white supremacy is belief that your race is superior.  And you're showing that by expecting a black person to take you at your word.'

I was not only being told repeatedly that I was not a woman after explaining how damaging that is, but was then being called racist because the person I was talking was black.

I couldn't win, I couldn't even get this woman to see that what she was doing might be hurtful, no matter what I was in the wrong.  My views were flat out ignored because I was trans, and that automatically made me the enemy.

Part of the problem is that there are no laws protecting trans women from hate speech.  Things that would be considered deplorable if they were directed at people of colour, people of religion or peoples sexuality are acceptable because there are no negative consequences for saying them about trans people.

Trans women are women, that's not something that needs other to accept to be true, it's just as is.  But continuing to deny that and harass trans women because you disagree, and using feminism as a shield to do so is damaging not only to the trans community, but the feminist movement too.


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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Bestselling UK Author James Dawson Comes Out As Transgender

British young adult author James Dawson has come out as transgender during a recent interview with the website Buzzfeed.

Dawson, who has stated that for the moment he still wishes to be referred to with male pronouns, has written a whole host of award winning books for teenagers, including 'Say Her Name', 'Hollow Pike' and the international bestselling 'This Book is Gay'.

He told interviewers that he felt 'different' as a child and would often wish that he would 'wake up a girl'.  With little to no knowledge of transgender issues during his younger years and the things society were telling him James grew up believing that his attraction to men must mean he was gay.

'Given that I had been told I was a boy and I knew that if you are a boy that fancies boys that makes you gay, that was the only alternative I could see.'  He told Buzzfeed in a recent interview.

He says that despite this he always felt that his life as a gay man 'felt like role-play' and that this caused him to often struggle to maintain relationships due to intense insecurities.  'I could never understand how they could love me, because I felt like a sham, the worst specimen of manhood going.'

'I didn't understand what they found attractive.  There was always this thought; 'what do they even see in you?  You're not a man'.'

James went on to say that meeting a young trans girl  called Charlie led him to realise that he was actually a transgender woman, not a gay man.

James will begin touring the country in just under four months time as part of World Book Day celebrations, and hope that this will coincide with the start of his hormone treatment.

'I hope that in a year or so I will be considered a woman and can go out as a hetrosexual woman and date men and not have to dwell in specialist underground lairs,' he said.  'I want to be able to walk in the sun as a woman.'


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Monday, 19 October 2015

Trans Activist Diana Sacayan Killed in Her Home

Renowned transgender activist and LGBT+ community supporter Diana Sacayan was found murdered in her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 13th.  According to reports from the local news network, The Buenos Aires Herald, it is being reported that Diana was stabbed multiple times by someone that she allowed into her apartment, suggesting the killer was known to her.

Despite initially believing the murder to be as a result of a robbery attempt, Buenos Aires police are now entertaining the possibility that Diana could have been targeted due to being transgender, or her work within the LGBT+ community.

Diana was well respected within the LGBT+ community in her home country, having worked with the LGBT+ rights group Movimento Antidiscriminatorio de Liberacion as well as acting as Trans Secretariat on the board of ILGA, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

It was initially due to Dianas lack of appearance at the 30th National Women's Meeting, held in Mar del Plata on the weekend of the 10th of October, that made her friends concerned for her whereabouts and safety.

Following Diana's death the charity Amnesty International is calling for action to tackle the shocking level of deaths within the trans community in South America as the murder rate has risen dramatically.

The charity have issued a strongly worded statement to the Argentinian government demanding that better steps be taken to document and investigate the murder of trans people.  In the last month three trans women have been murdered in Argentina, Marcela Chocobar, Coty Olmos and Diana Sacayan.  All three women were heavily involved in transgender equality and activism causes.

According to the Trans Murder Monitoring Project, South America has the highest number of recorded murders for trans people in the world, having documented 1356 cases since 2008.


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Friday, 9 October 2015

Transgender Man Convicted Of Revenge Porn

23 year old Jesse Hawthorne has become the first transgender person in the UK to be convicted for posting 'revenge porn' images on the internet.  Jesse reportedly posted the explicit images of his ex-girlfriend online after the couple split following his transition.

Jesse admitted to uploading the explicit images to Facebook with the intent to cause distress, and was subsequently issued with a restraining order.

District Judge Smith-Jones told the court, 'This was a very serious matter.  It was more than just payback, it was revenge.  You carried this out without regard to the thoughts and feelings of the victim.'

Reports state that Jesse fell out with his girlfriend, and eventually broke off their relationship, when she told Jesse, who was then identifying as female, that she dis not want him to transition to male.  Following the break-up of their relationship Jesse returned to his ex-girlfriends home to retrieve a puppy that he had given her as a gift.

Newport Magistrates Court heard how when Jesse tried to take the puppy his ex-lover's new partner threw him against a wall.  the following day he uploaded the two images to Facebook as an act of revenge.

Prosecutor Jamie Dewar told the court, 'He did it out of anger.  The victim said she had sent the extremely intimate images to Jesse while they were in a relationship together.  She felt distressed, alarmed, humiliated, and embarrassed by what she and all her Facebook friends saw.'

Jesse Hawthorne has been sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for a year.  He was also given a 25-day rehabilitation requirement and must do 150 hours unpaid work.

Siobhan Blake, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said, 'I hope that this case serves as a further reminder that this type of vindictive behaviour is against the law and will not be tolerated.  The distress caused by offenses of this nature is considerable.  Those who engage in this type of activity should be in doubt that they can expect to find themselves in court.'

Even though Jesse did break the law and engage in the horrible act of revenge porn, it may be worth noting that he did so following his girlfriend leaving him following her not wanting him to transition, a physical assault by his ex-girlfriends new lover, and a campaign against him on social media where his ex and her friends tormented him by calling him a 'fucking freak', 'fucking Frankenstein' and a 'dyke on roids'.

Perhaps Jesse would not have engaged in such terrible behaviour is their were actually laws in place in Britain protecting transgender people from abuse, and that he felt any complaint raised against his treatment would have been taken seriously.


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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

David Cameron Defends Human Rights Deal With Saudi Arabia

It's currently the Conservative Party Conference, yesterday we heard that equality is vitally important to the Conservatives from an Equalities Minister who voted against marriage equality, and today David Cameron has stated that 'gay equality is at the core of the Conservative Party mission'.  
After seeing how people who vote against LGBT+ rights get assigned to positions vitally important to equality that statement seems untrue, however, when you find out about a deal Cameron made with Saudi Arabia it becomes frankly absurd.

Last month Saudi Arabia was elected to head the United Nations Human Rights council, a position that they were only able to achieve after a deal with Britain, and David Cameron, to secure them a seat in the council last year.

This appointment as the head of the council is nothing short of appalling, and to find out that they were only able to get into that position due to the government of my own country makes me feel physically sick to my stomach.

For those not in the know, Saudi Arabia are one of the worst abusers of Human Rights in the entire world.  Torture is legal and used frequently.  Women have little to no rights and are frequently segregated in what many refer to as 'gender apartheid'.  LGBT+ people and their rights are completely unrecognised and frequently punished with imprisonment and even death.  Freedom of press does not exist.  Anyone who speaks out against the government and their oppression are almost always arrested, tortured and killed.

This is the kind of country that Britain makes deals with.  These are the kind of people that a political party that says equality is core to them and that LGBT+ rights are 'at the core' of their mission want to work alongside.  A country that does not believe in equality, a country that kills people for loving the 'wrong' person.

In a sit down interview aired on Chanel 4 news yesterday news presenter Jon Snow challenged David Cameron with his links with Saudi Arabia.

Mr Snow asked, 'In November we did a deal with the Saudis that we would back them into joining the human rights council of the United Nations, providing they backed us.  Now that sounds a bit squalid for one of the most human rights abusing regimes on earth.'

The Prime Minister replied, 'Saudi Arabia is a member of the United Nations, but we completely disagree with them.  We completely disagree with them about their  punishment routines, about the death penalty, about those issues.'

Not happy with the response Mr Snow pressed on, 'So why did you do this deal then?  They're not the right sort of people to be doing any sort of deal on human rights.'

Cameron continued to try and dodge giving a straight answer, insisting that 'we have issues with their policies' was adequate explanation as to why he made a deal with them.  He eventually caved to the questioning and admitted that 'We have a relationship with Saudi Arabia, and if you want to know why, I'll tell you why.  It's because we receive from them some very important intelligence and security information that keeps us safe.'

The interview can be viewed below, with the questions on Saudi Arabia beginning at 5:26.

One of the things Jon Snow mentions in the questions is about a young boy, still a teenager, who is facing execution for peacefully speaking out against the Saudi regime. This child is going to be executed.  He is going to be beheaded and his corpse will be crucified and put on public display for three days.  That's the country our equality loving government works with and makes deals with.  

That horrifies me, and it should horrify you.  If I'm being completely honest, writing about what that young man is going to face has left me in tears.  It's horrific, and the British leader is working with a government that wants to do that.  It's reprehensible. 

We all know his reasoning, that we are provided with 'intelligence' is only part of it.  Oil and money are a bigger part.  Britain has made a deal with a monster for profit.  And personally, if it is for intelligence to keep us safe, the price for that safety is too high.  We shouldn't be working with people like this, we should be stopping this from happening.  Instead of that though our government is putting a price on freedom and human life, they're saying that as long as they're profiting from it they'll allow atrocities and support those committing them.

No matter what David Cameron or his party says I will never, never, believe for one moment that they believe in equality.  Their actions are speaking louder than any speech they can give.  Right now I'm ashamed to be British.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Trans Woman's Murder Case Enters Court, Husband Blamed

A UK court has been hearing evidence today about a young transgender woman, who was found with wounds consistent of being beaten to death, with the husband accused of causing her death.

Vanessa Santillan, aged 33 at the time of her murder, was beaten to death by her husband Joaquin Gomez-Hernandez after being found sleeping with another man according to prosecution at The Old Bailey this week,

Media outlet The Daily Mail has claimed that Vanessa worked as an escort, and after walking in on Venessa having sex with a client Gomez-Hernandez killed his with with trauma to her head and neck.

According to statements given by Gomez-Hernandez to police after finding Vanessa having sex with a client he left their flat to go shopping, returning later in the day to find the flat locked and his wife failing to answer the door.

Gomez-Hernandez states that he proceeded to break into the flat with a group of friends, where they found Vanessa dead.  After finding his wife's body he phoned 999 to call for an ambulance, but was later arrested under suspicion of murder.

Court Prosecutor Brendan Finucane QC said, 'Although their is evidence they were loving towards each other, there is some evidence of discord.'

Joaquin Gomez-Hernandez continues to deny the charge of murder.

The trial is currently ongoing.


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Nicky Morgan Claims Equality Is A Core Conservative Policy

It would appear that anti-equality Equality Minister Nicky Morgan is even more deluded than we already thought.  Making a speech today at the Conservative Party Conference the Secretary of State For Education and Minister For Women and Equalities made claims that the Conservative Party believes strongly in equality whilst simultaneously bashing the Labour Party.

Morgan said in her speech 'I hold not one but two jobs in government.  You know what they say - if you want a job done well, ask a busy man.  If you want two jobs done well, ask a busy woman.  it's the same philosophy - the belief that everyone  should have the same chances in life, that underpins my other job as Minister for Women and Equalities.

'Equality for us isn't about quotas, pink vans or separate train carriages.  Instead, it's about that core Conservative philosophy, which says the fact that you happen to be a woman, to be gay, to be from an ethnic minority, you should never have a barrier to you achieving your all.

'Unlike the Labour Party, we practice what we preach - because women are the backbone of this party, and unlike Jeremy Corbyn, we have put them at the forefront of this government.  That belief in equality of opportunity has been our guiding principal for the past five years.'

I've already made some of my views and opinions on Nicky Morgan clear in a previous article, that I believe having a Minister for Equalities who actively voted against marriage equality and publicly proclaimed that she stands by that vote should not hold the position that she does.

Her complaints that people can't 'get over' her vote have been falling on deaf ears, and her claim that equality is a core Conservative principal is sure to be met with the same level of scepticism and outright dismissal.  But perhaps she's correct, perhaps putting women 'at the forefront of this government' is key to the Conservative.  Maybe it's that important that one particular woman has been put in a position she clearly has no right to be in.  Yes Nicky, I'm talking about you.


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Transgender Woman Targeted in Pipe Bomb Attack

On Saturday 3rd October 27 year old transgender woman Rachel Keys was sitting at home alone watching television when an explosion rocked her home and left her covered in shattered glass.  It transpired that her Belfast home was the target of a pipe bomb attack in what police are calling a 'sectarian hate crime'.

'I was just watching TV in my living room,' Rachel described, 'suddenly the window came through, there was glass everywhere and there was a big bang and a flash.  I was covered in glass.

'To be honest I was completely dazed, I didn't know what was happening.  It scared the life out of me.  I just ran out of the house screaming to my neighbours.  I didn't even have time to get my poor cat, Jessie, who was sleeping in the bedroom.  I was terrified, shaking and upset.

'The police came and cordoned the place off and evacuated us all to the local community centre.  I was totally dazed.  One of my neighbours is epileptic and I was worried about her not being able to get her medication.  Another neighbour has a child who is autistic, another is a pensioner.  It was awful for them, just awful.

'I just moved to my home in December, it's a quiet area.  I liked living here.  I was getting my place done up bit by bit.  It was my home.  You think you'll be safe in your home.  You think you'll be safe in your home, that it is a sanctuary, but this has just shown me that it isn't.

'The police have told me that I can't go back home.  They said I have to be moved to emergency housing.  It makes me really sad that people won't allow others to get on with their lives, to live in peace.  It makes me sad and angry.  It's not fair, it's not right.  I don't deserve to live like this, I've done nothing wrong.'

Police are investigating possible motives, but Rachel feels that she was targeted for the attack due to her being transgender.


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Monday, 5 October 2015

Doctor Who's Deaf Character Is A Great Step Forward

Saturday saw the third episode of series nine of Doctor Who 'Under The Lake' air.  As a fan of the show I though that it was a good episode.  We're in an underwater base with a group of survivors being chased through small dark corridors by ghosts with black holes where their eyes should be.  It was tense, it was creepy and it was fun.  Everything that makes a good Doctor Who story.

What immediately jumped out at me about the episode though was the inclusion of the character Cass, who after the death of the team leader in the opening minutes of the episode becomes the De facto leader of the group (well, as much as you can be when The Doctor is around).  You see, what's interesting about Cass is the fact that she's deaf.

With an episode set in the not too distant future it would be easy for the show runners to create some kind of sci-fi device that made the characters deafness something minor, hell, we have hearing aids now so there's no reason to think the technology wouldn't progress far enough by 2119 to help people hear.  Instead of any hearing devices though, the character communicated only through sign language via her interpreter Lunn.

For the first time in the show's history we're given a deaf actress, Sophie Stone, playing a deaf character that communicates in a very real and everyday way, rather than something that feels far removed or alien.

Cass isn't once treated as 'handicapped' or 'disabled' during the episode.  No one treats her with pity or acts differently around her because she's deaf.  Despite the fact that she has Lunn interpreting all of what she says and what characters say to her people talk to her directly, not her interpreter.  In a world where so many deaf people are treated differently or ignored in our society it is refreshing and amazing to see Doctor Who embrace the fact that having a disability doesn't in any way change who someone is.

Sophie Stone was the first deaf actress to study at RADA, and the first deaf
actress to appear on Doctor Who.
Cass is strong, passionate and brave, she puts the lives of her crew first and takes action when it's needed, not because she's deaf, not to balance out that she can't hear, but because she's a real person.  She would act the same way whether she could hear or not, and the show knows that in they way that she's written and the way that she acts.

Her deafness has even come into play in an important way, allowing her to lip-read the silent muttering ghosts and giving The Doctor the chance to figure out a part of the bigger picture.  Her relationship with her signer Lunn is also quite important, her intuition at something being wrong with the strange alien writing the crew finds in the sunken space ship makes her stop Lunn from going inside.  This has already been shown to make him immune to the ghosts wanting to kill him, something that could come to be massively important in the second episode that could help to save the day.

I've seen a lot of incidents where people in real life are treated as less able or less competent because of what other people would see as a disability, so to see a television program showing audiences that being deaf doesn't mean that you're less able, that you can't be a leader is a great thing.  It might not mean much, it's only light entertainment after all, but if this show can take even a tiny step towards influencing people to see people with disabilities as regular people, to be treated equally and fairly, then it's only a good thing.


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Nicky Morgan Angry That She's Still Held To Account For Anti-LGBT Views

Last week I was in the same room as Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities.  The experience was not a pleasant one.  I didn't speak to her in person, she left the venue before anyone was able to get the chance to leave their seats, practically running from the building, which is unfortunate because I wanted to ask her some very specific questions.  It would appear, however, that I'm not the only person with these questions on their minds.

The question would be, 'why would someone who is a Minister for Equalities vote against marriage equality?'

I appreciate that some people will say that this is a non-issue, that the vote happened in 2013, and the vote passed despite her voting against it.  Some could also go on to say that Morgan has tried to explain her actions already, stating that she believed because she received criticism about marriage equality from 'a lot' of people in her constituency it was the views of the people she represented that it should be opposed.

There are many excuses that she could make towards why she voted against equality, but so far none of them have adequately explained why a person who voted against equality should hold the position of Equalities Minister.

Pink News are reporting that Morgan has 'slammed' people who cannot accept that she has changed her mind on the subject and can't accept that she 'got it wrong'.  It would appear that the age old 'I stood against a marginalised group but am now receiving criticism for doing so, I'm being oppressed/bullied' response has come into play.

Personally I don't care if Nicky Morgan feels that people can't 'get over' her vote in 2013, because it's not just her vote that is an issue, following the vote in 2013 she spoke to press the following year and stated on record that 'I stand by my vote in 2013.  But yes, obviously, since then, having spoken to lots of different people, and realised quite how excluded people in same-sex relationships felt from the institution of marriage, and marriage is a pretty important institution in our society, I have realised that yes, if the vote were to be re-run, I would probably vote in a different way'.

Is this the sign that someone went on to change their mind?  No, not really.  Look closely at what she says.  First of all, 'I stand by my vote in 2013', straight off the bat she's saying that she believes that she was right to vote against marriage equality and saw nothing wrong with doing so.  Despite whatever else she says beyond this point she has already said that she believes she was in the right to vote against it.

But why would she feel that it's okay to have voted against marriage equality?  Her personal faith.  Like so many other people who stand against LGBT+ rights she has used her personal faith as a shield to her bigotry.  'I have a personal faith, but that's not going to dominate every decision I make in relation to my constituency or to my ministerial post.  But I also think people should be free to be open about their own personal faith.'

I'm sorry, but saying that you stand by being against marriage equality, then stating that it's because of your faith is wrong.  Saying that it's 'not going to dominate every decision' isn't enough, not only is that quite clearly saying that it's already colored your choice against LGBT+ rights, but that it factors into some of your decision making is appalling.  Faith should have no bearing what-so-ever on political decisions.

I'm not saying that people cannot have faith, I have no issue with people having faith or following religious tenets, but when those views interfere with the way someone is supposed to perform their job it becomes an issue.  When someone's job is to shape the way the country is governed, those views become even more problematic.  What separates Nicky Morgan voting against Marriage Equality because of her religious views and what Kim Davis is doing because of her religious views?  Government backing and spin doctors.  That's all.  It's the same kind of anti-gay views, but where Kim Davis has kept on going Nicky Morgan had the sense to shut up and try to have people forget.

Go back to that quote of her saying she may vote differently in the future.  She's saying that it's because of the backlash from people who don't think the same way as her that she could vote differently if called to do so again, not because she has come to believe that her initial choice was wrong.  If she believed that herself she would not 'stand by' her initial vote.  And pay close attention to the fact that she says she would 'probably vote a different way'.  Probably, not even 'I would vote differently, but 'probably'.  She's not even saying she would vote in favour for marriage equality.  Political double talk if I've ever seen it.

Her complaints that people still haven't let it go, that she's still being held accountable because of that vote mean nothing to me.  I don't believe your claims that you've changed your mind, because every time you talk about it you always say that it's because of the backlash you've recieved or the letters you've been sent that you 'might' vote in favor of marriage equality.

You're not sorry for standing against equality, you're not pro-equality, you're just upset that you're being held accountable for your faith based bigotry.  And someone who has acted like that has no place what-so-ever being a Minister for Equalities.

I listened to your speech last week at the HeForShe launch and it just sounded like empty rhetoric.  I didn't believe a single word of what you said, I don't believe for a second that equality is something that you care about.  That's the damage that your stand against marriage equality has done.  People no don't think that you stand for equalities, it's not a position that you actively believe in, but one you were just assigned to.

Then again, you do work for the same political party that wants to scrap Human Rights in Britain, despite numerous experts and millions of citizens telling you that you shouldn't do so.  So maybe a Equalities Minister who votes against equality is exactly the kind of person this government wants in that position.


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