john amaechi

‘I fear that the ideology and backward-thinking nature of these [Tory] candidates might serve to make me a second class citizen – or perhaps just more so’

SOUNDBITES — “It isn’t enough for politicians to steal electioneering rhetoric from impeached past-US Presidents (Nixon!) to try to make every person feel like the Conservatives are on their side. The LGBT community should have been cautious, and I think fearful for quite some time – Cameron’s own voting history on LGBT issues is less than stellar – and on a BBC ‘Question Time’ billed only for it’s inclusion of Nick Griffin, the Conservatives much touted minister for cohesion (Sayeeda Warsi) could only splutter like a cornered fowl when she was challenged about her views on the equalisation of the age of consent. As a black, gay man (amongst many other things) I was horrified that the only remotely brown face of Conservative power – and one ostensibly in charge of our societies “social action” couldn’t even spit out words in support of equality. Since then Chris Grayling – a man who can’t go north of Luton without insulting one minority community or another – managed to make his position on equal rights to services apparent and complete the Conservative trend. I have never been party political, I have always thought I am basically too hard on all sides to do more than point out the faults, but for the first time in a long time, I feel as I do when I am in America and a Conservative is in danger of election there. I now feel in personal peril for my standing as a full and equal part of British society. I fear that the ideology and backward-thinking nature of these candidates might serve to make me a second class citizen – or perhaps just more so.” —John Amaechi, the gay former NBA player, who lives in the UK, on the Conservative Party’s latest antics (via)

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #britain #business #chrisgrayling stories and more


  • Darren

    I have always voted (ever since I became 18) I strongly feel that it is a citizens duty to vote, but I have never been involved in the active support of a single party. However this coming election has changed all that, I have become a volunteer, I deliver leaflets, hand out signs and have donated money, I truly fear what could happen if the Tories are elected.

    I urge you all to vote and get involved, if you dont then you only have yourselves to blame.

  • Bill Perdue

    Labour has a much better record on GLBT rights than the Thatcherite Tories. (1) The problem is that Labour may lose because it’s moved so far to the right that it resembles the Democrats here.

    They recently busted a major railroaders strike and a strike by airline workers, doing the Tories job for them.

    Under Blair they participated in the invasion, occupation and subsequent genocides in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    One of the units Blair used in Basra was the infamous military murder machine called the British Army Parachute Regiment. In 1973 they were stationed in Derry in English occupied northern Ireland. They attacked twenty-seven peaceful, unarmed Irish civilians and civil rights protesters killing thirteen people, including seven teenaged men. Another victim died 4 months later. Two Irish civilians were run down by army vehicles. Five of those wounded were shot in the back.

    Antiwar activists and trade unionists are part of a hemorrhage of Labour voters looking elsewhere because Labour is now a twin of the Tories.

    Their differences are as cosmetic as the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

    (1) Tory, a derivation for the Gaelic (Irish) Tóraidhe, or outlaw. Later it was applied to armed royalists. English colonists in Ireland held strong monarchist and reactionary tendencies.

  • Paschal

    @Bill Perdue: How do you now so much about Ireland. I’m Irish myself (not Irish-American, f.y.i.) and it’s good to see someone who I would assume is American knows things about Ireland a lot of people wouldn’t know. Tony Blair was great when it came to the peace process in Northern Ireland and took a real interest in the situation in Northern Ireland.

  • James

    The Tory voting record is terrible regarding LGBT issues. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have given 97% and 96% support, compared to the Tories 27%

  • Bill Perdue

    @Paschal: Hi Paschal.

    I think you’ll find that many descendents of Irish immigrants keep up. A lot of us know about Bloody Sunday and have seen “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”. But just a little warning. They may have radical ideas about Ireland and send money to SF and at the same time be pretty reactionary when it comes to American politics. Maybe all those donations explain why Jerry Adams attended a St. Pats day event in Boston that GLBT Irish were barred from. He never raised a finger to protest our exclusion.

    I’m half Irish and half Sioux but like most Americans absorbed the melting pot culture of this country in childhood. There are no strong elements of native American or Irish culture in my family. I speak Huntley-Brinkley English and prefer hamburgers over fried bread or mashers and bangers any day.

    In terms of Ireland I’m waiting to see which left or nationalist party is smart enough to call for total secularization of schools, hospitals and social services (without compensation) to prevent rapes and secularization of the constitution to prevent political rape by the roman cult. A secularized school is far better than a cult school. In cult schools very young boys and girls with torn anuses and vaginas wander the halls going quietly insane and the presence of crucifixes on the wall does nothing to ease their desperation.

    Whichever party figures out that Ireland is ripe for that will jump ahead in votes and influence.

    I hope it’s SF.

  • Lamar

    I personally would perefer if Lib Dem won because they actually want gay marriage in the UK whereas the other main parties don’t.

  • Paschal

    @Bill Perdue: Well Sinn Féin is certainly left-wing, it’s very left-wing. All of my education so far has been Roman Catholic and my experiences have been good. The secualrisation of Irish society in general has changed the way the Roman Catholic Church and Roman Catholic organisations operate. While the Roman Catholic Church basically controlled the place in decades past, it has lost basically all of its power, certainly nearly all of it. Of course it still has influence but it has influence in the U.S.A. too I’m sure.

    The Irish Constituion has a lot of religious language but this reflects Ireland at the time the constitution was approved in a referendum in 1937. It has many good points too. Nearly all of the religious stuff has no legal effect and Ireland is more liberal on social issues than the constitution. Support for marriage equality is high and support for civil partnerships granting most of the rights granted to married couples is huge at 84%.

    Ireland does not have a separation of church and state. I’d love Ireland to have one though but Ireland isn’t a theocracy or anything by any stretch of the imagination. Almost all European countries don’t have a separation of church and state. It simply isn’t the practice in Europe. In the U.S.A. you have one but politicians ignore it all of the time while in Europe politicians don’t go on about religion all of the time. Politics in Ireland us very moderate, you could say boring. Good day from Ireland.

  • Paschal

    Note: The Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann) doesn’t clearly prohibit marriage equality. The Attorney General, who is appointed by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister), gave advise stating that marriage equality isn’t permitted but all the constitution says is that the State has to protect marriage without mentioning what it needs protection from. The Law Reform Commission, a statutory body which recommends changes to the law, has stated that marriage equality wouldn’t be unconstitutional.

Comments are closed.