Queerty is better as a member
If the BBC can ask web visitors whether Uganda’s gays should “face execution,” what’s wrong with The Sun quizzing readers on whether gays should serve in the cabinet?
Hurray! David Laws’ “rent boy” scandal (hah, see what we did there?) has succeeded in drawing the British press into the obvious trap of questioning whether one gay person’s stupid mistakes reflect negatively on us all.
“Should black people be cabinet ministers?”
“Should Christians be cabinet ministers?”
I can see everyone being fine with people asking those questions.
Should gay people be Cabinet ministers?
Jesus is society going backwards or have we come full circle and have to start all over again? Why is this his sexuality even a question in this day and age, especially in the UK – thought we had moved on as a country some time ago.
I weep that questions like this are being asked in the press, granted it’s a tabloid aimed at knuckle draggers but if this is relevant to the piece then why are they not asking similar questions of those who had previously been exposed for expense fraud.
If you look at the list of MPs all bar the current addition are married men and women, so why not ask things like;
“Should married people be Cabinet ministers?”
“Should human beings be Cabinet ministers?”
What next? “Should we allow women to vote?” or how about “Should homophobic journalists and editors be allowed to write this in national press?”
So only 5% of Brits think it’s bad for a gay to be a Cabinet Minister? Meanwhile 8-10% or more of Americans surveyed think it’s bad for a Black Man/Woman or Jewish Man/Woman to be President…and way more have an issue with a Muslim or Gay Man/Woman to be President. So, how about praising the British public for being more tolerant than the American public when asked such questions?
Well, yes, it is inappropriate. However, I think if you asked after asking about racial/religious diversity, the question would skew toward relevance and probably the results would be different.
If people realized that those three questions are the same (basically) they would (hopefully) be less judgmental.
Essentially, why can’t we be a pointed follow-up instead of the butt of the joke.
Um, are you guys reading this properly – 89% of Brits surveyed say it’s ok for gays to be top cabinet ministers! 5% say they don’t know, and 5% say No. You won’t find that in the USA (and not just because we don’t have a parliamentary system!)
These questions ALWAYS get asked when people of a minority group either run, are elected, or appointed to an important position. This was asked in 2000 when Gore chose Lieberman as his running mate, and it was asked in 2008 when Obama ran for President. If we had a gay American run for President, this would be asked in the USA by itself – it wouldn’t necessarily be followed up with all the other minority questions.
The reason why this question was asked is because the Deputy Finance Minister who was a key player in creating the coalition was outed and had to resign because he broke Parliament’s finance rules. He had to break the rules because he couldn’t let the public know he was gay and had a boyfriend living with him or he would be outed through finance forms and his family, who are Catholic and made him as a 40-something year old man feel the need to live a lie to his loved ones, could not find out he was gay for fear of something.
If he didn’t break the finance disclosure laws, they wouldn’t have asked this question as a poll at this time. It has nothing to do with the media in London being homophobic.
Well we could go round and round with this issue.
Personally I don’t have any sympathy with him. For several reasons.
He is only 44 and yet felt unable to come out!! Come on, Per-lease. I am a generation older than him and I came out. There’s no fucking excuse. He is like those anti union fuckers who refuse to join the union yet happily benefits from the wage negotiations made by the union. ie he benefits from other people’s hard work whilst contributing nothing.
There was a whole batch of Tory gays who felt able to come out when Tony Blair’s Labour Party swept to power in 1997 – even this guy’s party, the Liberal Democrats – had a great splurge of closeted MPs coming out whilst New Labour were in power.
But not him.
Another reason I don’t like the smug bastard is he was happily imposing massive cuts in public expenditure, effecting the poorest members of society. Yet this millionaire bastard was ripping off the taxpayer for nearly £50k each year – that is higher than the average wage!!!
And his excuse for ripping off the taxpayer for more than the average wage earner earns each year, despite being a fucking millionaire? Oh, because he was frightened of people finding out he was gay!!
The Sun and the poll still stinks.
Asking a question in a poll is hardly the same thing as endorsing *one of the possible answers in the polls.* How is anyone to know what the public really thinks if it’s somehow inappropriate even to pose the answers any specific group doesn’t like?
This is a frankly absurd position to take.
@ 8 – I totally agree, data is value-neutral. And I think it’s important to know that only 5% of the respondents are comfortable expressing support for discrimination at the highest levels of government.
I wish that there was a category which said ‘as long as he’s a good minister’ and it would have probably been bumped up to 95%. As for the other 5%, screw ‘em.
A couple of letters about this in the independent:
Gay equality is far from won
Reading about David Laws and his secret lover, James Lundie, put me in mind of Alan Bates and his secret lover, Peter Wyngarde, who complained, “I’m told to walk two paces behind Alan. If we go to a party, we can never arrive together. I have to arrive earlier, or later”.
Fast-forward 24 years. To ecstatic cheering, the Labour MP Chris Smith bravely announced, “I am gay”, to a rally in Rugby. Eventually he became a cabinet minister, reflecting honour and pride on the LGBT community.
Continuing to be defensive and closeted about his sexuality, the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury allowed homophobic elements in the heterosexual majority to portray being gay as a personality flaw, or worse. Mr Laws asserts that it was his right to keep his relationship with Mr Lundie private, unknown even to family and friends.
No doubt he would tell me it is none of my business to criticise. Wrong. It is my business. Over the past 10 years, his conduct has contributed to undermine and undervalue the lives of millions of gay people like me, making it more difficult to fight bigotry, discrimination and ignorance.
The personal and political tragedy was not only a great blow to the new coalition; it was also a reminder to all lesbians and gay men that the battle for gay rights and gay equality, even in the 21st century, is far from won.
The Daily Telegraph has done the country a grave disservice in depriving the government of an extremely capable Chief Secretary to the Treasury. I understand that had David Laws admitted his relationship he would have been entitled to a cohabitation allowance of £20,000 a year, a sum far in excess of the rent he claimed.
Considering the Sun is, next to the Mail, the most rightwing paper in the UK. And that it is the paper of the poorest educated, often racist, homophobic sections of the population, the fact that only 5% of responders oppose gay cabinet ministers is both surprising and encouraging.
True, but i’m not sure i’d put the Sun as the most right wing – you have the telegraph, express.
The sun is pretty much populist so tends to flitter, but considering their past backing of other parties, ‘rightwing’ isn’t necessarily the word
Having read the poll on the website, I’ve completely changed my mind about what the sun did. This was along side several other polls, about Laws, which asked different questions, one of which was whether he should resign.
In this context what the polls actually achieved was to show that the vast majority who thought he should resign were not saying so because he was gay.
So effectively, next to each other, the polls said ‘he should resign, not because he’s gay, but because he broke the rules’.
Puts it in a bit of a different light
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