Sunday, April 22, 2007

Polish homophobia? It’s not a phobia


Gay marchers face All-Polish Youth in Krakow.

Thirteen people were detained by the police – five of them juveniles - after counter marches through the streets of Krakow, Saturday.

Rival demonstrations took place from the Campaign Against Homophobia and the ‘Catholic-nationalist’ All-Polish Youth, which was recently expelled from the League of Polish Families because their far-right antics had become a PR disaster.

About 2,000 people attended the ‘Tolerance March’; March for Culture and Tradition, organized by the All-Polish Youth, could muster just 300 supporters, according to police estimates.

The All-Polish Youth had promised they were not going to allow ‘sodomites’ to enter Krakow.

The march was part of a tolerance festival by the Polish Campaign Against Homophobia, which finishes Sunday.

Homophobia?

Of course, All-Polish Youth is made up of bigots, who’s youthful energies could surly be put to more productive use – like joining model aircraft, or stamp collecting, clubs, perhaps?. But are these guys ‘homophobes’?

A phobia is a psychological condition – like arachnophobia – in which the sufferer cannot control himself and is a victim to his fears. Arachnophobes do not choose to fear spiders.

So according to the Campaign Against Homophobia, All-Polish Youth cannot do anything about their ‘fear’ of gays and lesbians, and, presumably, need therapy.

Bull

Prejudice against gays and lesbians is caused from political ideologies, which come from the top of society.

These prejudices can only be got rid of through political argument and cultural development.

There is free will - unlike fearing spiders - shown by members of All-Polish Youth when they decide to go on a demo, and throw eggs and the usual nonsense at gays on marches.

They don't throw eggs because they have a 'phobia'. They chose to be there and bring the eggs (bottles, rocks, etc) with them. They then chose to throw them. It's not some psychological compulsion.

So All-Polish Youth are not victims of a phobia, they are holders of bigoted opinions and far right political views.

We do not need a campaign against homophobia, we need a political movement in Poland arguing for genuine equality and tolerance.

So not Campaign Against Homophobia - it should be Campaign Against Bigots.

More?
All-Polish Youth
Campaign Against Homophobia

77 comments:

Harry said...

Do the Giertych Jungen really only have 300 members in/near Krakow? Times must be hard!

Anonymous said...

And how many members do you have in your gang brotha harry ?

http://www.polish-youth.org/

Harry said...

^ D'ya wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang?

D'ya wanna be in my gang? Oh yeah?


Sorry, you can't. Cowards who can't even put their name to the racist shite they write are never allowed into any gang or any association at all, which is why they join the other knuckle-draggers in the All-Polish Scatmunchers.

Although the writer of that song (and well known nonce) is nearly as low on the scum ranking as members of the Giertych Jungen.

Anyway, for now I'll be keeping it real in da ghetto.

Korakious said...

Say beatroot, how involved is the Catholic priesthood in Polish life.

I know that Poles are religious, but do priests come out in the open and make political statements etc?

I am drawing parallels with Greece you see and I am trying to see how similar the two countries are.

beatroot said...

Korak

Do priests make political statements in Poland?

Oh, yeah. Most don’t publicly. But there are a few high profile priests who do.

During the Solidarity strikes in 1981, the priest who consecrated the Solidarity monument in the Gdansk shipyard (to strikers who died in the 1970 riots) was made by Henryk Jankowski. He was a Polish hero.

Subsequently the guy appears to like making anti-Semitic statements and generally making a fool of himself.

He was sanctioned by the Vatican last year for the ultra-conservative rubbish he seemed to be addicted to telling media about.

He is the most high profile of them. But there are many who congregate around the Radio Maryja group – and they use the pulpit for political purposes.

But heh! When has the Church not used its position to push political ideas?

Always!

Harry
Calm down. There will worse than that to come. And when there is, calling it 'racist shit', or otherwise, is not good enough, and is on their level, not ours….

Damo said...

This is a very good article BR. To sink into a fatalistic perspective that there is no hope people can change their perspectives and fears about other people and their sexual preferences is indeed a dangerous one. We should always have hope that members of All Polish Youth, ONR et al. will not be too fearful and limited to expand their knowledge domain to include evolutionary biology and psychology, which grants us definitive proof that all types of species have natural (as opposed to the argument that homosexuality is nurtured by one's environment, etc.) same-sexual attractions.

As a Catholic who grew up in a small town ridden with bigotry towards homosexuals I invite all those who read this blog and support APY/MW, ONR, etc. and their prejudicial viewpoints on homosexuals to watch this video which proves same-sex relationships are entirely natural amongst many animal species. And though your lack of scientific education and knowledge may bar you from agreeing with the position that we humans are essentially animals, remember that even Catholic teaching accepts evolution.

And after all, if you think you are right, then what do you have to fear, apart from expanding your knowledge about the world around you and dropping unnecessary fears of people who you don't even sit down to talk or listen to.

Anonymous said...

The level of language used by Harry reveals a lot about himself...


Warsaw guy

michael farris said...

IME the level of religious commitment of Polish people is greatly overestimated.
My old guestimates (I first formulated around 10 years ago) were 15-20 % are hardcore catholics, 50-60 % are catholic to the extent they're anything 20-30 % call themselves catholic (but you'd be hard pressed trying to see any evidence of it) and about 10 % openly something else. I've never found any reason to change that.

But even the least openly religious are hesitant to openly criticis church officials or the pronouncements of the previous pope. The disagreements are there but only rare bubble up to the surface.

Also, up to a couple years ago, objections to homosexuality were not so much based in ideas of morality but in conformism (the majority of Polish people are committed conformists).

The current political constellation has unfortunately realized that anti-gay rhetoric translates into votes and things have gotten worse in terms of public acceptance over the last few years (though the young and educated are much less affected on the whole than the older and less educated).

beatroot said...

Damo
Completely agree with your first point, about calling something a phobia reduces human agency.

But...

video which proves same-sex relationships are entirely natural amongst many animal species.

Human sexuality is nothing like animals…

I watch my dog. Currently he is going craZy because all the chick dogs are on heat. But basically, my dog would shag anything…female dogs, male dogs, your leg, my leg, even the table’s leg. He is just a bundle of urges and that wants to screw things – he particularly likes pillows and puffy jackets, for some reason.

Humans are not like that. And if they are then they seriously need to see a doctor. Humans have sex in the context of relationships…and they make conscious choices about who they are gonna shag, and why.

Again, not something that troubles my dog.

So saying homosexuality is ‘natural’ misses the point. If it’s natural, or it is not, does not affect how we react to it. Even if it was ‘unnatural’ then that is no reason to throw eggs at it.

Mike
The current political constellation has unfortunately realized that anti-gay rhetoric translates into votes

That’s right. It helps nationalist groups for a narrative which says:

‘Oooo, European Union. Foreign stuff, a bit like socialism, that is brining in all this (un-Polish, atheist,) homosexual stuff. Vote for me and I will give you the missionary position. ‘

Damo said...

BR, I should have stressed that the 'tendency' appears to be natural. And I agree with you, there are many better ways to use eggs than throwing them at people you don't agree with - whether it's their musical taste, hairstyle, sexual preference, favourite vegetable;) etc. But the arguments from MW (All Polish Youth) and co. are that it is unnatural, against morality (as preached by the church) - though of course they themselves have a warped understanding of what defines moral and immoral behaviour.

The Kinsey Institute have lots of excellent resources on such topics related to sexuality.

One image that comes to mind when thinking of MW is the recently published one of Wierzejski with all them topless sweaty men at a concert. Or the former U.S. Evangelical gay-bashing preacher Ted Haggard who had a fall from grace recently. I wonder how many of the people who are so violently against homosexuality are repressing their own sexual tendencies and projecting a sense of self-hatred upon other fluffy characters who are willing to come out of the closet.

sonia said...

I think your point is moot. Every hatred, without exception, is based on fear. Hitler feared Jews, and therefore he hated them.

There is not a single person in the world that hates without fearing, deep down, the object of his or her hatred.

That's true even with 'politically correct' hatred. People who hate racism inevitably fear either to be victims of racism, or to be victims of a backlash against racism.

People who hate Bush are AFRAID of the consequences of his policies in the Middle East.

It's like that with every hatred. Fear is always underneath it.

sonia said...

And one more thing;

Homophobes are not just afraid of gays. They are afraid of BEING gay. And usually, their fears are well founded...

beatroot said...

Sonia seems to hale swallowed the New PC Handbook.

Left/liberals (which Sonia is not) use the words of psychiatry all the time to describe what are political ideologies.

When we used to have ‘isms’ now we have ‘phobias’….hatred’….what ever next? ‘Denial’?

If someone doesn’t like women in veils then they are Islamophobic. If someone challenges the extent or character of climate change they are ‘climate change’ deniers.

As soon as you start useing psychiatric terms for politics then anyone who disagrees with you has a psychiatric disorder, therefore you don’t need to challenge them in debate. You can just sideline them, censor them from saying such ‘irrational’ things …and we will all live happily ever after in our world where daring to say something that the EU doesn’t like (Holocaust denial) is banned.

But that won’t make people like the All Polish Youth go away. The only way to make a political ideology like catholic nationalism go away is for it to be challenged out in the open…and then leave people to make up their own minds.

geez said...

I don't see "Polish Catholic Nationalism" as necessarily a bad thing. What is problematic is what All Polish Youth and the League of Polish Families and their ilk are doing with it. Sorry but I am not about to advocate SDKPiL-like internationalism of any variety.

geez said...

BR wrote: Humans have sex in the context of relationships…and they make conscious choices about who they are gonna shag, and why.

The problem though is when the shagging takes emphasis over any kind of relationship, no? Shagging just for shagging sake is one thing if it's mutually agreed upon. But seems to me most folks still carry expectations into the shagging experience that are at wide variance with their partner(s), either because of one of the partners is lying or because there is no relationship to begin with --in which case they are acting like animals, no?

varus said...

Where to begin?, Well, i agree with several of you, Sonia has a fair point about the fear factor, but we are still left with Beatroot's main point of labels. It is two fold, firstly as BR put: it means we don't engage with the ideologies and defeat them rationally, but also it in a way rationalises them, as we use quasi-scientific language to talk about them, thus putting their ethos on a scientific footing.

Either way, open conflict in the form viewed at Krakow is not going to help, as these types of people thrive on conflict. If you victimise them,then they will relish the oppurtunity to be the 'heroic defenders of the true faith' and we could actually swell their numbers. If they want to demonstrate, fine, better to show your dislkie of their ideas through not being their and not allowing a media mention as has been the case with Krakow and other towns.

jannovak57 said...

Manufacturing homophobia then responding with the great political fraud, speaks volumes to the fragile or undeveloped state of civil society since the public isn’t taking the politicians to task.

There is no history of targeting homosexuals with repressive measures; in the 1930’s Poland decriminalized homosexuality well before most other European nations. How ever the long period of the Nazis and Communists (1939 – 1989) left a political legacy of enforced conformity and the need for the “identifiable enemy”.

To quote a western politician from the 1960’s “ the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation”. With at least 4% of Poland population being gay, society’s best bet would inclusion rather than persecution.

Today’s official rhetoric has a common theme gays are pedophiles and gay activism is based on spreading homosexuality to the rest of the population thus we must act against them. The scientific response, at the least majority opinion is these concepts are both utterly false. Although not formally proven and still debated the scientific community seems to be on the side of the biological explanation for sexual orientation and a condition at birth. The mainstream scientific community no longer supports the old view of treatable psychological disorder. The influence of the Catholic Church serves to muzzle people that may be inclined to a more rational view, since it’s position that homosexuality is a moral issue results in removing room for debate.

For our Polish politicians revving up this issued is perfect, as it takes no particular talent or skill like lets say working on the economy.

Sonia said... “hatred, without exception, is based on fear”

In this case I would say no not based on fear but rather cynical political expediency, if you look at the groups involved you’ll find they have no platform or vision with respect to developing the economy, agriculture or national infrastructure. We are dealing with groups at loss as to how to contribute to the construction of a modern society and therefore have nothing to offer. So there solution is to manufacture an enemy that will require their leadership in order to save society.


geez said... “I don't see "Polish Catholic Nationalism" as necessarily a bad thing What is problematic is what All Polish Youth and the League of Polish Families and their ilk are doing ”

I agree with you that “Polish Catholic Nationalism ” can be a positive force but it can be easily fine tuned into something really ugly and this is why a lot of established democracies stay away from using nationalism as an instrument for unifying society. Nationalism cannot be a substitute to concepts like civic pride, participation and duty.

Today’s Poland suffers from an under developed civil society which makes solving national problems very difficult or for that matter electing capable leadership.

opamp said...

Interestingly, have you ever seen in Poland an anti-gay demonstration which wouldn't be a direct counterdemonstration to a gay demosntration? I haven't, so I propose that this is the Campaign Against Homophobia who needs therapy here.

Not because of their sexual preferences, because these are natural. But what is unnatural is their modus operandi which is basically demonstrating on the streets that they like to take it in the ass from other guys. Sex doesn't belong on the street, period.

The reason of course is that a couple of LGBT activists have decided to make a carrier out of combatting homophobia...

beatroot said...

That is just not correct, Opamp. When I came here in 1996 there were one or two gay clubs in Warsaw – the Red Club and I forget the other one’s name. Things were much more underground than in western Europe. Much more. There was also a small gay parade every summer – a few hundred gays, a handful of skinheads hanging around.

The difference then was that it wasn’t a political issue. That started after Poland joined the EU. Gays started pushing more for rights, and far right political groups – up until then behaving themselves - started using the issue as a way of establishing a platform for their views.

Then things really got going when KacZynski, as mayor of Warsaw, denied gays the right to march.

So gays, and human rights supporters (me included) went ahead and marched anyway. Denying basic rights like that was a very primitive response and had to be opposed.

And after that political groups have been using the issue and gay groups have been pushing the issue more and more back.

So this is a political issue – and, to return to my main point – not a ‘phobia’. It’s politics.

jannovak57 said...

opamp said... “Sex doesn't belong on the street, period.”

This exactly is correct; this issued is fuelled only by the act of the street demonstrations and not any sizeable interest in the issue by the public. As much as peaceful assembly is a right the LGBT activists completely missed the boat on what would advance their cause, it’s like trying to make point by kicking yourself in the head. What may work in an American street is not necessarily going to get the same results in Poland. The response to the street demonstrations was predictable. It seems their efforts have completely backfired.

Harry said...

Anonymous said...
The level of language used by Harry reveals a lot about himself...
Warsaw guy


Yo Bitch! What da fuck wrong with yo? Bitch you don't eva speak dat way to me bitch. You even thin'k dat way way bitch, I get my glock an' I smoke you fool. Ya know what I'm talking about mothafucka!?!

Oh. Sorry all I guess it's true what the likes of Warsaw Gay say, us colonials, we can be properly schooled and taught to wash and shave but we can't ever be educated. How lucky Poland is to have the Giertych Jungen (aka Combat 187)!

Oops: tell you what, you keep your morality out of my life and I'll keep my sexuality out of your life. You're the one who started things by telling me about how I like to demonstrate in the street which hole I choose to take it in. I might venture how if you gave me the same rights as people who take it in the same hole as you I'd have no need to protest but instead I'll let you enjoy the view from you closet.

geez said...

Harry, maybe it's the demeanor of the demos, not so much the demos per se.

beatroot said...

the demeanor of the demos,

Ever had bottles, rocks, eggs (always the eggs) and other fresh produce, thrown at you by far right POlish bigots? I have. So I would agree about there being a little problem with the demeanor of the demos...

varus said...

Just a small thought to add. You think 'gay rights' causes problems and controversies. Well check this out: Robot Rights

geez said...

The demeanor of the "Youth" is a forgone conclusion. Thing is... there are so few of them. But even then, the more you stir them up, the bigger assholes they become and the greater the chance of people being hurt by them. Bottom-line: most people see them as assholes from the git-go.

opamp said...

@varus:

You think 'gay rights' causes problems and controversies. Well check this out: Robot Rights

Gah. The difference is the robot rights issues are completely hypothetical (because sentient robots are 30 years away all the time since 1940s) but the gay rights issues are real (if overblown).

@harry:

I might venture how if you gave me the same rights as people who take it in the same hole as you

If you feel that someone is denying you rights because of your sexual orientation, you are free to sue them for violating Article 32 paragraph 2 of the Polish constitution and related regulations.

Harry said...

^ So that's the bit which permits same sex marriage is it?

beatroot said...

Of course, gays don’t have the same rights as heros. Nuff said.

But let’s not get sanctimonious about this, Harry – the Brit. Gays don’t have ‘marriage’ rights in the UK either. When the consultation paper was going around about the change of law there, the word ‘marriage’ was conspicuous in its absents.

Gays do not have the right to ‘marriage’ cause the oh so caring sharing New Labour government balked at the idea of a ‘marriage’ between same sex couples. So they came to the flabby compromise of a ‘civil union’ – a legalistic term, and nothing more.

But back to the original point.

The effect of the campaign against Homophobia is flawed because of this idea that it is a phobia. The EU plays a major part in psychologicalising [?] political problems by its use of these terms – and its desire to ban ‘Holocaust denial’ – another stupid psycho term.

What this is saying is: because you don’t agree with me then you must be mad and need help.

By doing that you de-politicise a political issue.

It means you can very easily ban something (if it is just the ramblings of a psychological defective.
This is on the way to creating ‘thought crimes’.

opamp said...

So that's the bit which permits same sex marriage is it?

Could be. I see nothing wrong with going to the court to prove it. Duh, I don't even see anything wrong with deciding the case in a course of a civilized debate.

But I do have a problem with taking the matter to the streets "just because".

beatroot said...

So, Solidarnosc taking to the streets was a Bad move then?

Get real.

Poland is a repressed society in many ways (and that is not some left/right point I am making – they both stink) and I cannot see why you are singling out gays for protesting, when you don’t seem to sanction violent morons who feel threatened by what are very harmless marches by gays.

I have been on these protests. I have never seen violence – law breaking - started by gays. But I have seen lots of catholic nationalist morons disrespect the law.

And I think you should be honest enough to condemn those morons and celebrate the fact that you now live in a society where free expression is allowed (a free expression that has been won by people brave enough to stand up for what they believe in).

So I want to see you write that: in free societies people have the right to express views….even if you don’t like them.
I think members of the present government has a problem with that idea.

opamp said...

So, Solidarnosc taking to the streets was a Bad move then?

Back then we didn't have democracy, we're now supposed to have.

and I cannot see why you are singling out gays for protesting,

Because the problem does not lie with the "catholic morons". They are merely reacting (in their specific, moronic way). The problem here are LGBT activists who act willingly to provoke them. (My theory is that the activists really want to prove that they are a persecuted minority so they can get money from Bruxelles or something.).

Are they allowed to? Sure. But it doesn't mean that this is a right thing to do.

And I condemn law breaking.

beatroot said...

First of all, I didn’t write ‘Catholic morons’ I wrote ‘Catholic nationalist morons’ – a big difference, as I am sure you agree. So don’t try and misrepresent my views.

The problem here are LGBT activists who act willingly to provoke them.

Opamp – that just is NOT a problem. When you hear a point of view that you do not agree with, do you feel the need to throw things at people?

I would guess that you are civilized enough not to.

If I threw things at everyone I disagreed with then I would be a full time thrower of projectiles.

I get the feeling that someone whose only response – throwing something, or trying to attack someone – is an admission that they have no argument to counter.

So don’t accuse gays of starting the trouble. The problem is with those who can’t find a reasonable response to that challenge.

geez said...

I've seen and heard about gay pride parades where the demonstration aspect seems to get lost in exhibitionism. I'm talking about dry(?) humping behinds and the like. I am not aware of how folks in the demos in Poland have behaved but even if one or two folks did that sort of thing, I don't think that helps matters any.

opamp said...

So don’t try and misrepresent my views.

I am not. However in Polish politics the term "Catholic" has a strong connotation of "Catholic nationalist". a la ZChN. (Hey, I personally believe that the key to understanding Polish politics is understanding ZChN.)

So don’t accuse gays of starting the trouble.

Alright. Can you explain why they are taking the matter to the streets in the first place? It's not like they have used up all other options...

beatroot said...

GeeZ

I've seen and heard about gay pride parades where the demonstration aspect seems to get lost in exhibitionism


So, frigging what? That is much less ‘threatening’ to the general public than violence.

Mature people…mature societies…mature democracies can handle that. It really is mot a problem for a people who feel secure about themselves. (see…I am falling in to psycho speak)

What we have politically, in Poland, is a politics that feels uncomfortable with decent. UK and liberal ‘democracies’ are the same.

Phobia…denial….

Why are we so lacking in confidence?

beatroot said...

Opamp
Can you explain why they are taking the matter to the streets in the first place?

I can explain why I took to the streets (in Poland - not my country – not my problem) was because some idiot who was the mayor of Warsaw decided to deny a group of people the basic human right to demonstrate.

That was an outrage and a very pathetic thing for a future president of Poland to do.

I would never deny All Polish Youth the right to demonstrate. Ever.

So that is why ‘they’ are taking to the streets.

Treat everyone the same and they will not ‘take to the streets’.

geez said...

BR: So, frigging what? That is much less ‘threatening’ to the general public than violence.
Mature people…mature societies…mature democracies can handle that.


Oh please! Mature people don't need to do it in the road. I don't think anybody here is condoning the violent reaction of the assholes. That doesn't mean, though, that lewd behavior needs to be tolerated. If your dog started humping a little girl on the street, wouldn't you stop him?

jannovak57 said...

A Gay Pride parade or some variation of the theme could not possibly to more counter productive to the cause of tolerance. In the context of Polish culture this is the best way to loose public sympathy as little of it as may exist. The courts and public debate in appropriate forums would yield far more. It seems Polish gays are getting bad advise from foreigners who don’t understand Polish culture; they should resort to a more common sense approach. It should be noted they have achieved nothing except handing the lunatic right an annual political gift. Whether it’s a smart move or not it’s their right to demonstrate and having a counter demonstration on the same day and in the same area brings to question the authorities commitment to public order. Also the he tourists don’t take kindly to tear gas.

beatroot said...

Geeeesha

If your dog started humping a little girl on the street, wouldn't you stop him?

Dom’t bring my dog into this! I told him what you said and he is baring his teeth at you!

It’s also a rather ludicrous example. Nobody has reported any ‘crude’ behaviour on the march at the weekend. So where are you getting the idea they did anything that sensitive souls like yourself would get upset about? This is your crude imagination that is the issue here.

Jan
A Gay Pride parade or some variation of the theme could not possibly to more counter productive to the cause of tolerance.

Oh, I remember people in Britain coming out with that line of argument….about 25 years ago. They don’t anymore. Grown up a bit, you see. Got more ‘tolerant’. Poles will too. In time.

varus said...

Opamp said "the difference is the robot rights issues are completely hypothetical (because sentient robots are 30 years away all the time since 1940s) but the gay rights issues are real (if overblown)."

Well of course! :) This was more of a humorous aside, not to be taken to literally.

Jan,

the demo/counter-demo aspect i toughed on above, but am i getting you right, that marches are not part of Polish culture and they are counter-productive? If this is so, than why do Teacher's march?

geez said...

BR wrote: This is your crude imagination

Now, I'll spare you (and myself the time of locating) all the links to video of lewd behavior at Gay Pride parades in the U.S.

But please scroll up above to find where I specifically noted that I am not aware if this was also typically the case in similar Polish demos. If not, then I certainly have nothing against such serious demos.

But I still am not going to defend lewd acts in the street and it still seems to me, BR, from what you've written thus far, that you have no problem with such behavior -- because you are so much more mature than those of us who do find such displays, er, ah, yucky (be it done in the road by hetero, homo, or pooch.

jannovak57 said...

beatroot said... “Got more ‘tolerant’. Poles will too. In time.”'

Varsus said.. “If this is so, than why do Teacher's march?”

The reason I say the marches are counter productive is the Polish attitude to sex where it’s quietly accepted that having as much sex as you want with whom ever is ok, but just don’t force the rest of us to hear about it. In that light these marches get only a negative response. I find it hard to believe poles are that prudish when the reality of their behaviour says something else. However they seem intense about aspects of public conduct and etiquette. Am I off the mark o this?

eulogist said...

I think the issue with Pride Marches and their likes is not just having the right to march, to express yourself or to display lewd behaviour (*). I would agree with those criticising the Marches that these are all secondary things, so in this sense there is no real reason not to refrain from them.

The real issue here, however, is not the right to have sex with whomever you choose, but recognition: the very human need to be recognised and accepted by others, "warts and all", as an individual and a human being.

Recognition (and no, "don't ask, don't tell" is not the same thing)is of course important for adults who have learned to live with the prejudices of "regular" society, but very much more so for young people who are still growing up and trying to come to terms with themselves and with their own feelings. There is a reason why suicide rates are so much higher for gay adolescents than for straight ones, even in countries with advanced levels of official recognition of gays (e.g. in the form of non-discrimantory marriage laws).

Although you could argue about the form they should take, Gay Prides do have a useful function here. Not only as a litmus test for where we stand on the recognition bit, but also to show the world (including those still struggling with their sexuality) that gays exist, and that they are strong enough and feel secure enough about themselves to face society's prejudices. Probably they also work as a bonding exercise, making people feel less alone, and thereby stronger and more secure.

Visibility is key to fulfilling these functions. If that involves treading a few intolerant toes, so be it.

(*) On a sidenote as it is not really relevant in my argument: lewdness? Pot and kettle! Do you think one Gay Pride a year comes even close to compensating for all the straight lewdness gay people have to put up with every day (ads, TV, magazines, people snogging in the middle of the street etc etc)?

opamp said...

I do not know if gay pride participants in Poland exhibit lewd behavior, because I don't participate in such undertakings. I guess they don't, because if they did it would have been widely publicized. You cannot pull off such stunts in Poland. Yet.

But I am still opposed to the parades. Here's why: this is making a political case out of sexual orientation.

Now, if the gays wanted to demonstrate in favor of gay marriage -- that would be fine with me (granted of course there would be no lewd behavior), even though I oppose gay marriage. This would be a political demonstration in favor (or against) a political matter. But I find demonstrating only to exhibit one's sexual preferences very inaproppriate; it is equivalent to politicizing the things that should not be politicized.

Sex doesn't belong in the street. Politics don't belong in the bedroom.

eulogist said...

opamp, sexual orientation is political already. The heterosexual norm perspires everything from what is written in laws, to what is shown on TV, in films and in ads, to what is taught in schools - so much so that most people are not even aware of it.

Gay people have been persecuted, sentenced to death and put in concentration camps in the past (in Europe that is, outside it this still continues), and they still are the favourite scapegoat of politicians and the subject of widely accepted official and unofficial discrimination of all sorts (in terms of labour laws, housing rights, economic rights and family rights ranging from marriage to inheritance to who gets to decide when you or your loved one gets ill or dies).

These are all political issues, and the only thing they have in common is homosexuality. So please stop asking gays to demonstrate against each of hundreds of issues separately, or blaming them for making homosexuality a political issue. They were not the ones who started this.

geez said...

eulogist wrote: straight lewdness gay people have to put up with every day (ads, TV, magazines, people snogging in the middle of the street etc etc)?

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I'm not sure what you consider "lewdness" and I'm not familiar with the term "snogging." And I gotta admit, I don't care much for straight "lewdness" in public spaces either. Crotch grabbing and dirty dancing may have some artistic merit, but if so it's lost on me. And I don't even mind seeing gay (or straight)affectionate touching or kissing (as long as it doesn't get too carried away) in public places; but butt-humping is a bit much and I have more than once seen that in news videos of Gay Pride parades in the US.

opamp said...

The heterosexual norm perspires everything

Hm. The norm perspires everything. And this is bad? Sure, let's get rid of the norms. Or better yet, let everyone chose their own. Like this.

Maybe we should just stop pretending that gays are in all respects "normal" and start ensuring their basic rights are not violated. Oh wait. We are mostly already there ("catholic morons" notwithstanding).

Gays [...] still are the favourite scapegoat of politicians

Where? The scapegoat of Polish authorities is called the układ. Unless of course we consider Giertych to be reprezentative... And in the Western Europe we are aspiring to, gays are already politically untouchable (cf. the Buttiglione affair).

discrimination [...] in terms of family rights

Even the very progressive Holland still discriminates against certain kinds of unions: polyamory marriage good, polygamy marriage bad!. Why are the people not protesting this grave inhustice?!
Apparently, according to the LGBT activists all people are equal. Except that gay people are more equal than the others.

Anonymous said...

Harry : Are you gay?
just asking...

piotr

Harry said...

Anonymous said...
Harry : Are you gay?
just asking...

piotr


Hi Piotr,

Why don't you come and find out? If the guys at Lodi Dodi don't know where to find me then the girls at Rasko don't. And if they don't, I'm in Tomba Tomba. See you there sweetie.



opamp said...
Sex doesn't belong in the street. Politics don't belong in the bedroom.

Like I said before: you keep your morality out of my life and I'll keep my sexuality out of your life. Oh, and if you don't pray in my schools, I'll keep my logic out of your church

eulogist said...

geez: ...but butt-humping is a bit much and I have more than once seen that in news videos of Gay Pride parades in the US.

The key words here being "news videos" and "US".

News programmes tend to concentrate on the extremes. Average-looking people with flags and banners may make up 90% of the parade, but they do not make interesting pictures. "Butt-humping" does. So that is what you get to see.

FYI Gay Prides (in Europe at least) tend to be rather dull in reality - just those average-looking people holding rainbow coloured flags and some banners. In places like Brussels, a few half-naked men dancing (just that) on a van as part of a publicity campaign for a (commercial) local gay club is about the closest you get to "butt-humping".

In Tallinn, Estonia, where I participated myself in 2005, there was no butt-humping whatsoever. And wisely so, with memories of the Riga pride a few weeks earlier (where stones flew, though no butt-humping occurred) still fresh. Just the average-looking people holding flags and banners.

Given the political situation, I suspect Prides in Poland are like those in Tallinn. So I don't entirely see what the fuss is about (other than to provide an excuse for restricting freedom of expression)

eulogist said...

opamp: Even the very progressive Holland still discriminates against certain kinds of unions: polyamory marriage good, polygamy marriage bad!. Why are the people not protesting this grave inhustice?!

Oh I am sorry. And I also forgot to mention that I am all for world peace and enough food for all. Point is, that is not what this discussion was about.

Apparently, according to the LGBT activists all people are equal. Except that gay people are more equal than the others.

Funny to hear that from someone defending that the right to marry the person you love should be reserved to straight people.

opamp said...

Point is, that is not what this discussion was about.

Au contraire. The text I linked states, that in Holland a man can have two wives if they are bisexual, so the whole thing passess off as a gay civil union. If they are straight, than this is qualified as bigamy, which is a punishable offense. I'm sorry, but it doesn't get more discriminative than this. Yet, I see no LGBT activists protesting this kind of discrimation.

Funny to hear that from someone defending that the right to marry the person you love should be reserved to straight people.

What I find amusing here is that gay activists are allegedly fighting the discrimation with respect to marriage, yet they ignore the clear-cut case of discrimination of heterosexuals described above. So they are not fighting the discrimination per se, they are fighting for privileges for the gay minority.

Harry said...

opamp said...
Au contraire. The text I linked states, that in Holland a man can have two wives if they are bisexual, so the whole thing passess off as a gay civil union. If they are straight, than this is qualified as bigamy, which is a punishable offense. I'm sorry, but it doesn't get more discriminative than this. Yet, I see no LGBT activists protesting this kind of discrimation.


What I find amusing here is that gay activists are allegedly fighting the discrimation with respect to marriage, yet they ignore the clear-cut case of discrimination of heterosexuals described above. So they are not fighting the discrimination per se, they are fighting for privileges for the gay minority.


You pathetic little liar! It is most certainly not legal for a man to have two wives in Holland. Go and read article 80c of book one of the Dutch civil code. See what that says.


What I find most amusing is pathetic bigots who resort to more and more desperate lies in order to back up their narrow-minded drivel.

beatroot said...

the very human need to be recognised and accepted by others, "warts and all", as an individual and a human being.

That is a basic point, Eulogist, but a pertinent one. They march because they want some respect. Not much to ask.

I don’t believe that nationalists etc are ‘scared’ of gays…that’s nonsense….what gays do is offend those nationalists their view of what being ‘Polish’ means. This is why these people blame the EU.

I was walking past a church in Warsaw just before Poland joined the EU and there were three little old (Radio Maryja) ladies standing there with placards saying ‘No EU, no sodomites’. I was with a woman from BBC Radio 4 at the time, and she was fascinated by these people and what they could mean. The little old ladies tried to explain that the EU would bring all sorts of nasty things to Poland, including ‘sodomites’.

So this is not about some ‘fear’ of gays, it’s about how homosexuality offends nationalists, ultra-catholics, etc. What these people are scared of is that Poland will turn into a normal European society, full of different types of people.

The bigots honestly believe too that homosexuals = pedophiles. They are so backward, culturally, that they actually think that.

And I think it is telling that when Polish members of the EU parliament were asked yesterday to vote for a resolution that Poland was oppressing gays (and actually used the word ‘homophobia’, a majority of Polish politicians – disregarding if they were left or right, voted against it.

michael farris said...

I remember in the early 90's after almost a year of being in Poland a friend and I both were travelling as far as Berlin together (where our interaries parted).
Somewhere in the S-bahn (from one train station to another) I started to quietly, but intensely freak out at the clothing, body modificationset etc etc etc of the Berlin public.
Finally when we sitting quietly waiting for yet another train we had a little talk.
me: "Is it me or does everybody here look really weird?"
friend: "It's you, you've been in Poland too long."

That little re-entry culture shock was especially strange since I had come from (and was going back to) a university town in the US where the weird clothing, body modification etc etc etc factor was just as high as in Berlin, but my internal guides about what people were supposed to look like had been (temporarily) re-set without my realizing it.

So I'm sympathetic to the little old ladies (and others) for whom a lot of western european ways may seem bizarre and realize that adjustment time is necessary.

I just don't think Poland should be limited to their (limited) view of of the world.

beatroot said...

OPamp
But I am still opposed to the parades. Here's why: this is making a political case out of sexual orientation.

Two things: firstly, you don’t make an issue out of your sexuality because society doesn’t make an issue out of your sexuality. When you have prominent politicians like LPR’s Wojciech Wierzejski saying before a march last year that “If those deviants march in the streets then they should be bludgeoned,” then I think that is making an ‘issue’ out of someone’s sexuality.
If I said that creeps like Wierzejski should be bludgeoned then I think that would be incitement to violence. So why can a cretin like that get away with talking like that?
Because there is not the political and cultural will to tackle this problem.
So in that context, march and march again, I say. Going away and hiding this issue will never solve it.
That’s the point of a March.

opamp said...

@michael farris

Somewhere in the S-bahn (from one train station to another) I started to quietly, but intensely freak out at the clothing, body modificationset etc etc etc of the Berlin public.

I have used U-bahn/S-bahn extensively hen I was in Munich and did not observe any shocking abundance of extravagant lothing or body modification. In fact I ould argue that I have seen more such people in Scandinavia and Poland than in Munich.

Those backward Bavarians must be damn intolerant. Oh, wait...

@harry

It is most certainly not legal for a man to have two wives in Holland.


Which is exactly the problem! A man is not allowed to have two wives but this guy is allowed to live in a civil union ith two bisexual women. And the
Dutch government refused to annul his union.

So, Holland on one hand criminalizes polygamy, but on the other hand allows polygamous bisexual relationships. I'm sorry, but this is discriminatory in
my book. Either you allow polygamy or you don't.

Now please prove me wrong instead of resorting to name calling. Thank you.

michael farris said...

"In fact I ould argue that I have seen more such people in Scandinavia and Poland than in Munich"

In the early 90's? Where in Poland were people getting piercings and tribal tatoos in the early 90's?
During this same time frame an American of my acquaintance caused a mini-scandal at a student party by baring her ... shoulders.

And I'd spent most of the year involved in researching the deaf community in Poland (generally a lot poorer than the general population and generally more conservative - though more tolerant of sexual orientation issues.).

beatroot said...

Mike
And I'd spent most of the year involved in researching the deaf community in Poland (generally a lot poorer than the general population and generally more conservative - though more tolerant of sexual orientation issues.).

That is a genuinly interesting finding. Do you know why deaf people are more tolerant of sexual minorities?

And I agree with Opamp - let's cut out the name calling - we are not a teenage screamer's blog.

michael farris said...

It's a difficult topic to address briefly (and it's a complex topic with some conflicting data) but, briefly and superficially

- deaf people ime don't necessarily buy into the whole orientation idea. sex is something people do, not something they are. in lots of countries boarding schools with minimal adult supervision (and single sex living areas) have a similar effect as do same sex boarding schools everywhere...

- communication between the hearing and (hardcore) deaf communities is tenuous and ambiguous, deaf people have just not been targeted as much by anti-gay propoganda and deaf people are _very_ good at agreeing and nodding and not believing a word of what hearing people tell them (when they're not in the mood to do the opposite of what hearing people tell them)

- as a small, tight-knit, relatively closed community, the bar for exclusion is pretty high, you don't exclude someone from the group for trivial reasons like sex (very minor compared to some activities)

- on the other hand:

- more or less openly more or less gay deaf people are subject to lots of ridicule. but then minority humor is rough and deaf humor is very rough and almost everybody is subject to ridicult for something or other.
- the eqivalent of k---a among Polish deaf people is the sign for pedal (the thumb side of the 'okay' handshape taps the opposite shoulder a couple of times)

beatroot said...

V INteresting. So it's there (literal) social distance that makes them less influenced by dominant ideologies, etc?

michael farris said...

Roughly yes, though I'd characterize more as communicative and cultural distance distance (increased by the communicative incompetence of many hearing people that work in deaf-oriented institutions).

beatroot said...

But I was thinking of how much deaf people are excluded by hearing people in general…ignored…and how much media hard of hearing people miss out on.

And just imagine. Deaf people have never ever even heard Giertych speak! Now that is a big hole in their lives, surly?

Harry said...

Sorry Beatroot, I'm not calling opamp names: I'm stating the fact that he is a liar because he is. I’ll point out some of his lies and show what the truth actually is:
Here's his first lie:
this guy is allowed to live in a civil union
The Netherlands does not have civil unions. Civil unions do not exist in the Netherlands. Saying that they do is a lie. Dutch law has the concept of Geregistreerd Partnerschap: Registered Partnership, not civil union. The registered partnership is the equivalent of marriage.

Here's his second lie:
this guy is allowed to live in a civil union with two bisexual women.
The de Bruijns are not in a civil union: two of them are in a Geregistreerd Partnerschap and three of them have signed a Samenlevingscontract. A Samenlevingscontract is not a civil union, it is a cohabitation agreement. As mentioned above, the Dutch version of civil union is called ‘registered partnership’. Here is what the Dutch government have to say about polygamy:
“The law lays down the conditions applying to marriage and registered partnership, and they are the same in both cases. The main rules are as follows.
One partner only People may marry or enter into a registered partnership with only
one person at a time. A married person cannot enter into a registered partnership
with anyone else, nor can someone in a registered partnership marry another person.”
http://english.justitie.nl/images/marriage_registered_tcm75-28560_tcm35-14167.pdf
A cohabitation agreement is registered with the state and does not even need to be witnessed by any third party. It is a private contract between two or more people (it’s what Americans would call a property contract) and the only people who are in any way bound by it are the people who sign it.

But by now opamp’s on a roll, he thinks it’s time to switch lying tactics:
So, Holland on one hand criminalizes polygamy, but on the other hand allows polygamous bisexual relationships.
Notice how he is now backing off the civil union term and is now using ‘relationships’? Here he’s strictly telling the truth but trying to make out his words mean something different. This becomes clear when you read his next lie:
I'm sorry, but this is discriminatory in my book.
Clearly opamp’s book is not Book one of the Dutch Civil code because article 80a of that book says:
“A person can contract at the same time only with one other person, the same or other line a registered partnership. They that do not contract a registered partnership at the same time can married be.”
http://www.civil-code.nl/BW1/44177-The-registered-partnership.htm
So in other words there is no discrimination at all: a person can only be in one registered partnership or be married but not both.
But opamp doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good lie:
Either you allow polygamy or you don't.
But Dutch law does not allow polygamy.
Sorry opamp but your lies are busted. Keep believing everything you hear on FoxNews and reproducing it here: I’m always happy to fight lying bigots with a healthy dose of facts. And do notice what sources I’m using, then look at the z-list tabloid reporters that you use to back your lies: pathetic.

michael farris said...

from: harry
to: opamp

re: pwnage, ur

opamp said...

Sorry opamp but your lies are busted.

Thanks. I stand corrected.

beatroot said...

Harry
Sorry Beatroot, I'm not calling opamp names: I'm stating the fact that he is a liar because he is.

A liar is someone who consciously tells untruths. How can we know that Opamp deliberatly intends to deceive? We simply don't. I think he believes what he says.
Therefor, he is not a liar. So 'liar' is a meaningless thing to say and is just name-calling.

Harry said...

^ If he is not a liar, he must be a gullible fool. Who but a fool would believe what partisan websites say when they could check the real law for themselves?

While we can argue about whether the liar needs to know that what he says is a lie in order to actually be a liar (a.k.a. the Bush defense: 'I did not know that there were no WMD in Iraq, I repeated bad information, I can not be called a liar!'), we can certainly say that opamp made repeated false representations and was at best wilfully blind: I gave him the book, article and paragraph of Dutch law but he still went on with his claims. Hopefully next time he'll check the facts the first time he's called out on his statements.

opamp said...

we can certainly say that opamp made repeated false representations and was at best wilfully blind:

Hehe... I never knew I was that skilled in propaganda manipulation!

Anyway, I did re-research the case and the issue is a little more subtle. While indeed the Dutch law prohibits the polygamy with respect to marriage AND the civil union, it also defines a third instrument, the cohabitation contract. And the cohabitation contract can indeed be established between more than two persons. However the cohabitation contract does NOT have the legal effects of a civil union (=registered partnership) or marriage, so the whole case is moot. (At least this is my current understanding.) Thus consequently the whole argument built upon is moot.

I got fooled by the sources which have (intentionally?) confused the cohabitation contract with the registered partnership. Mea culpa. (Note to self: cross-check right wingers' revelations next time).

Anyway, I have nothing against proving me wrong provided there is no name calling.

Source

eulogist said...

While indeed the Dutch law prohibits the polygamy with respect to marriage AND the civil union, it also defines a third instrument, the cohabitation contract.

Not correct again. There is only marriage and the cohabitation contract. In either of these cases, the law makes no distinction between straight or gay.

Not that it matters. The whole polgamy thing was just a straw man anyway.

eulogist said...

Oops, yes, there is geregistreerd partnerschap too - again without there being a difference between gay or straight.

I got fooled by the sources which have (intentionally?) confused the cohabitation contract with the registered partnership. Mea culpa. (Note to self: cross-check right wingers' revelations next time).

Alexandra Colen, the author of that Brussels Journal article, is a bigoted nutter who is mostly famous for thinking that homosexuality is caused by a shortage of nubile young ladies. She is also an MP for the anti-immigrant Vlaams Belang.

beatroot said...

harry. Someone who repeatsb a false statement, while believing it to be true, is not a liar.

A lie according to a dictionary is :A falsehood uttered or acted for the purpose of deception;
an intentional violation of truth; an untruth spoken with
the intention to deceive.


There is no debate about it all.

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