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NSS President furious over theme of LGBT History Month

NSS President furious over theme of LGBT History Month

Writing this week for Gay Star News under the headline ‘How did LGBT History Month get hijacked by the gay community’s worst enemy?’, National Secular Society President Terry Sanderson, above, deplored the fact that organisers had chosen to include religion in this year’s event.

I thought LGBT History Month was supposed to be a celebration of our past struggles and achievements. I imagined it was there to honour those heroes who had paved the way for our present freedoms.

What is there to celebrate about religion’s part in our history? It is one continuous catalogue of persecution, discrimination and hatred leading sometimes to lethal consequences.

gay-history

The design for the badges and posters for the 2016 event was created by Gareth Marshall, of the University of Bedfordshire, who claims on the LGBT History Month resources page to have been inspired by the phrase “leap of faith”.

I chose this phrase because I believe It is a very powerful, and personal message. It is about believeing (sic) and having faith. both in one’s religion, and in oneself. It represents a risk we take for a better outcome and future, a push forward in acceptance and tolerance within and towards to LGBT community, and the strength it can take to come out as a homosexual, bisexual or trans person.

But Sanderson said:

Religious bodies have been the enemy of gay progress since the beginning of time. They have been cruel and vindictive on an individual level and relentlessly opposed to any general progress that might have freed us from a cage of fear and loneliness. It was Christianity that kept us in the closet, not just for centuries but for millennia. And it isn’t much better now.

It used to glory in burning us at the stake, but the Catholic Church has gradually, over the centuries, had its overweening power stripped away.
Now it has to be more constrained. That doesn’t stop it continuing to oppose any legislation that might make equality a reality in nations where it still holds sway. At present, it is fighting hard to stop Italy from legalising gay civil unions …

The current Pope, Bergoglio, is lauded as progressive, but as far as gay rights are concerned, nothing has changed under his leadership and nothing will. The hostility under Francis is as fierce as it has always been.

It is just the Catholic Church has learned the use PR more effectively and with the use of smoke and mirrors it has convinced many people that things are different now. They aren’t.

Even the supposedly benign and friendly Church of England recently threw in its lot with the Anglican bishops from Africa who mercilessly incite hatred against gay people. They demand punitive laws from their governments and often get them.

Islam, too, is intensely hostile to gay people and their relationships. Recent polling by the Pew Research organization in the USA showed that in 33 of the 36 countries surveyed, 75% of Muslims think that homosexual acts are immoral. And in some of them that translates into death sentences or long imprisonments for those having the audacity to love each other.

We have seen the horrible pictures of young gay men being thrown from high buildings by Islamic State fanatics – if that doesn’t kill them, the mob below is waiting with their stones to finish the job.

In India, the Hindu Nationalists have succeeded in reversing a court decision that briefly legalised homosexual acts. In America, the Mormons and the Baptists are relentless in their demands for anti-gay legislation.

In an attempt to appease the religious right, Donald Trump announced that if he becomes President, he will do his best to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who will reverse the legalisation of gay marriage.

He concluded:

I get annoyed with gay Christians who continue to put money into the collection plates of an institution that is actively trying to take away their human rights. It is depressing that so many gay people remain under the malignant spell of religion … What self-respecting gay person supports an institution that hates him or her? And why have we allowed our History Month to be hijacked by the apologists for this endless persecution?

• Sanderson will be talking about his new autobiography The Adventures of a Happy Homosexual for LGBT History Month at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL, Friday 19 February, 7.30pm, Free admission.

Hat tip: George Broadhead

14 responses to “NSS President furious over theme of LGBT History Month”

  1. harrynutsak says:

    Everyone is free to make up their own posters, but if you hire some religious fuck, don’t complain if he wants to paint jesus with his dick hanging out for your poster.

    And who said they represent all LGBT people? No one.

  2. Broga says:

    Bloody hell, that’s a crap poster. Religion is the first word in the line that I assume to be a motto.

    ” It is about believeing (sic) and having faith. both in one’s religion, and in oneself.” This, to me, is a call to have faith (a flaky concept) and for believing in a religion. Religion poisons everything and inserts itself into any gap it can find and then explains itself with weasel words.

    I’m not gay but to those who are you have my sympathy in getting entangled in this. Terry Sanderson tells it as it is – spot on.

  3. Justin Badby says:

    The pious worm their way into everything just like the worst kind of parasite, which is indeed exactly what they are … the worst kind of parasite.

    The world is littered with examples of the unctuous dishonest devious calculating tactic where the pious masquerade as something wholesome and worthwhile with the sole motive of disruption and destruction. An example is the Truth in Science mob. The name is the giveaway here. This is an organisation of fundamentalist creationists intent on smuggling their evil notion of intelligent design into British classrooms. They are nastily peddling sham documents as peer reviewed scientific papers to gather credibility. They mailshot schools with propaganda disguised as scientific teaching materials. The worst of their member is a one time Professor of Thermodynamics from Leeds University by the name of Andrew McIntosh.
    You Tube him and watch a liar at work.
    Google this … http://www.truthinscience.org.uk … and see the depths to which they plumb in the quest to pollute the minds of children.

    There is no honesty in religion … none. Its all delusion, deception and lies promoted by deluded deceptive liars.

  4. Laura Roberts says:

    Terry Sanderson hit the nail on the head. I’m so pleased to know the LGBT community has prominent members who understand what noxious enemies they have in the major religions.

  5. Rob Andrews says:

    They’re celebrating the wrong religions though. Forget the monotheistic desert beliefs. They are all male dominated fighters. This is just another example of the attempt of gays to ‘fit in’. Just show we are normal no cross dressing or flamboyant behavior.

    If gays want to honor a faith try Hinduism or neo-paganism. They at least leave us alone. But I don’t think this cellebration even mentiones any of the new faiths that have sprung up since the 1960s.

  6. Nick Billingham says:

    I share pretty well all Terry’s views on the appalling way in which religions have encouraged anti-gay attitudes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the subject is not a proper one for debate in LGBT history month. Thinking purely of the CofE I think there is reason to believe that attitudes among ordinary churchgoers are changing in line with, though some way behind, the general public. This will bring some pressure to bear on the hierarchy and it is in our interests to monitor and encourage this. Religion is not going to die out in the near future, much as we might wish it to. I believe that there are quite a few religious people who hold no personal animosity to us, but feel that they still have to think of homosexuality as “sinful” because their religion says so. We need to continue to pressure the bishops etc to soften their attitudes so that those individuals no longer feel they have to support an anti-gay line.

  7. Steve says:

    This is somewhat akin to remembering Holocaust victims and survivors by having a reenactment of the Nuremberg Rally. Disgusting.

  8. Vanity Unfair says:

    We can hope that representatives of LGBT organisations , when interviewed on this theme, will not hesitate to point out the history of organised religion’s dealings with LGBT people and also the still-practised discrimination that they have to endure.
    This could be an opportunity to publicise the current state worldwide while the churches expect praise for their belated understanding.

  9. Angela_K says:

    I really do wonder what the hell some of these LGBT organisations are thinking – or rather not thinking when they cosy up to these neo-fascist cults that hate us; they certainly do not represent me or the majority of LGBT people who despise religion. Unfortunately there are a number of Stockholm syndromed fools who are LGBT but still remain part of and actively support the very cults who in latter days would have us killed. “But we are changing religion from within” these fools whine – idiots all.

  10. I agree with gay humanist Peter Tatchell who describes organised religion as “the greatest threat to human rights worldwide”.

  11. The Pink Triangle Trust (the UK’s only gay humanist charity), normally helps to fund LGBT History Month, but pulled the plug this year in protest at the depressingly pro-religionist direction the organisation has taken. Instead, we donated the funds to an a Ugandan Humanist charity, which, among other humanitarian work, supports LGBT people who are being persecuted by religionists in that country. Unfortunately, the leftists who control LGBT History Month are the usual contemptible Corbynistas who want to suck up to religionists of every stripe. I’m sure Terry Sanderson would endorse the PTT’s decision not to fund LGBT History Month this year and would also urge all freethinkers to support and donate to the PTT charity via its website and on-line magazine, The Pink Humanist.

  12. George Broadhead says:

    Information about the Pink Triangle Trust and the magazine it publishes can be found on it website: http://www.thepinktriangletrust.com/

  13. Collingwood says:

    I count myself as gay, humanist and atheist. I only offer individual opinions, and not claiming to have any mandate to speak for anyone else.
    Personally I think it’s up to someone what they want to believe and try to respect freedom of conscience.
    But have to agree with a lot of Terry Sanderson’s comments. We are talking about history here ! For every Unitarian church or local Pagan moot who are welcoming to LGBT individuals we have to balance this with a huge weight of religious tradition who have seriously tried to harm and undermine us at every opportunity.It’s irresponsible for LGBT History month to somehow ignore the harm religion has done to us in the past and the misery it still can perpetuate.

  14. […] was the Pink Triangle Trust, and it withdrew funding from the 2016 event. When I ran a piece on the Freethinker website about History Month’s religious theme and the angry reaction to it by Terry Sanderson, President […]