The Judge RANTS!
Time for one of those 'solidarity-with-downtrodden-bloggers' moments, chums.
Oliver Hotham is a history student and blogger.
A few days ago, he wrote a piece about a strange organisation called Straight Pride UK. This organisation (I use the word in default of a better, since for all we know it's one gender-confused bloke with an axe to grind) believes that the 'tide' of gay rights has gone far too far and that heterosexuals in Britain have now become an oppressed minority (a similar trope is regularly employed by American fundies, although SPUK have yet publicly to espouse the view that the State is preparing gas chambers for their extermination).
Having read what their website has to say, Oliver Hotham e-mailed them a set of questions which, as someone interested in journalism, culture and politics, he was interested in having answers to.
An (the) individual e-mailed Hotham back a few days later with a reply which he - having corrected some apparently atrocious grammar - published in full on his blog.
Shortly after the piece went viral, SPUK's 'Press Officer', one Nick Steiner, e-mailed Hotham demanding that the piece be taken down because he (Hotham) did not have SPUK's consent to do this.
(Small, unimportant piece of data: the original reply from SPUK was headed, "Press Release")
Hotham replied that Steiner's request was patently absurd.
SPUC then went to Wordpress - upon whose platform Hotham's blog appears - and, by use of a clearly fraudulent copyright claim under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (Sonny Bono's last curse on human culture before he took tree-hugging a little too literally), got Wordpress to pull the piece without so much as a whimper.
Moreover, SPUC then had the gall to threaten Hotham again unless he removed all references and links to them from his site.
Luckily by that time, other bloggers had got hold of the removed article and republished it on their own sites. SPUC seem never to have heard of The Streisand Effect. I think they have now.
Nonetheless, stuff like this can't be disseminated too much. So, in support of Oliver Hotham, I republish his original piece here.
(Thanks to Unity for the tip-off)
It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah
There has never been a better time to be gay in this country. LGBTI people will soon enjoy full marriage equality, public acceptance of homosexuality is at an all time high, and generally a consensus has developed that it's really not that big of a deal what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms. The debate on Gay Marriage in the House of Commons was marred by a few old reactionaries, true, but generally it's become accepted that full rights for LGBTI people is inevitable and desirable. Thank God.
But some are deeply troubled by this unfaltering march toward common decency, and they call themselves the Straight Pride movement.
Determined to raise awareness of the "heterosexual part of our society", Straight Pride believe that a militant gay lobby has hijacked the debate on sexuality in this country, and encourage their members, among other things, to "come out" as straight, posting on their Facebook page that:
"Coming out as Straight or heterosexual in todays politically correct world is an extremely challenging experience. It is often distressing and evokes emotions of fear, relief, pride and embarrassment."
I asked them some questions.
First of all, what prompted you to set up Straight Pride UK?
"Straight Pride is a small group of heterosexual individuals who joined together after seeing the rights of people who have opposing views to homosexuality trampled over and, quite frankly, oppressed.
"With the current political situation in the United Kingdom with Gay Marriage passing, everyone is being forced to accept homosexuals, and other chosen lifestyles and behaviours, no matter their opposing views. Straight Pride has seen people sued, and businesses affected, all because the homosexual community do not like people having a view or opinion that differs from theirs."
Are your beliefs linked to religion? How many of you derive your views from scripture?
"Straight Pride aims are neutral and we do not follow religion, but we do support people who are oppressed for being religious. Only today, Straight Pride see that two homosexual parents are planning to sue the Church because they 'cannot get what they want'. This is aggressive behaviour and this is the reason why people have strong objections to homosexuals."
You say that one of your goals is "to raise awareness of the heterosexual part of society". Why do you feel this is necessary?
"The Straight Pride mission is to make sure that the default setting for humanity is not forgotten and that heterosexuals are allowed to have a voice and speak out against being oppressed because of the politically correct Government.
"Straight Pride feel need to raise awareness of heterosexuality, family values, morals, and traditional lifestyles and relationships."
Your website states that "Homosexuals have more rights than others". What rights specifically do LGBTI people have that straight people are denied?
"Homosexuals do currently have more rights than heterosexuals, their rights can trump those of others, religious or not. Heterosexuals cannot speak out against homosexuals, but homosexuals are free to call people bigots who don't agree with homosexuality, heterosexuals, religious or not, cannot refuse to serve or accommodate homosexuals, if they do, they face being sued, this has already happened.
"Straight Pride believe anyone should be able to refuse service and speak out against something they do not like or support.
"There is a hotel in the south of England, called Hamilton Hall which only accepts homosexuals - if this is allowed, then hotels should have the choice and right to who they accommodate."
What has been the response to your campaign?
"The response to Straight Pride's formation has been as expected; hostile, threatening, and aggressive. Homosexuals do not like anyone challenging them or their behaviour.
"We have had support from many people saying that if homosexuals can have a Pride March, and then equality should allow Heterosexuals to have one too. After all, the homosexual movement want everyone to have equality."
Why would you say that heterosexuality the "natural orientation"?
"Heterosexuality is the default setting for the human race, this is what creates life, if everyone made the decision to be homosexual, life would stop. People are radicalised to become homosexual, it is promoted to be 'okay' and right by the many groups that have sprung up.
"Marriage is a man and a woman, homosexuals had Civil Partnerships, which was identical to Marriage with all the same rights, they wanted to destroy Marriage and have successfully done so."
If you could pick one historical figure to be the symbol of straight pride (just as figures like Alan Turing, Judith Butler or Peter Tatchell would be for Gay Pride) which would you choose?
"Straight Pride would praise Margaret Thatcher for her stance on Section 28, which meant that children were not taught about homosexuality, as this should not on the curriculum.
"More recently, Straight Pride admire President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his stance and support of his country's traditional values."
How do you react to anti-gay attacks and movements in Russia and parts of Africa?
"Straight Pride support what Russia and Africa is doing, these country have morals and are listening to their majorities. These countries are not 'anti-gay' - that is a term always used by the Homosexual Agenda to play the victim and suppress opinions and views of those against it.
"These countries have passed laws, these laws are to be respected and no other country should interfere with another country's laws or legislation.
"We have country wide events which our members attend, and ask people their opinions and views, on such event at Glastonbury this year was very positive with the majority of people we asked, replied they were happily heterosexual."
For the record, Straight Pride did not respond to these questions:
"Pride" movements such as Gay Pride and Black Pride were making the argument that the stigma against them meant that proclaiming their "pride" was an act of liberation from oppression. Can being heterosexually really compare?
A problem that Gay rights activists cite is the issue of bullying, and the effect this can have on young LGBT people. Do you think a similar problem exists with straight children being bullied by gay children?
I will obviously add to this if they do respond.
© Oliver Hotham 2013
As Ken White reports at Popehat, Straight Pride have now made their Twitter feed 'private', but have posted a quite remarkably dumb statement on their Facebook page. As I don't 'do' Facebook, I rely on Ken's republication of it here, complete with grammatical incompetencies.
Warning! Multiple Levels Of Stoopid Alert!
"Straight Pride (UK) Statement"
"A Straight Pride Project (Straight Pride (UK) ) over in the UK has been facing a tough time in the last 24 hours, all thanks to a history student called Oliver. https://twitter.com/OliverHotham. He contacted Straight Pride's (UK) Bureau pretending too be a journalist asking questions. Turns out that he is not a journalist but a seemingly underhanded follower of the Homosexual Agenda who like to call people bigots for not agreeing with what they see as homosexual perversion. They have a right to these views and opinions.
"Oliver was very bad didn't tell Straight Pride (UK) that he would be putting what Straight Pride (UK) told him online for all to see, ( It was a private release for him) and thus he did do Straight Pride (UK) contacted the blog hosts and was removed.
"Now Oliver has been very naughty and given out the material so other offending individuals have posted it, in turn causing a a great deal of illegal Harassment, and unwanted contact, which is protected by law Under The Protection From Harassment Act in the United Kingdom.
"Straight Pride (UK) did ask him nicely to ask those he has provided the content to, to remove it, but so far both he and the other offenders have not.
"Straight Pride (UK) are not as worried as the other individuals who have been harassed, scared, stalked, had bomb threats, but Straight Pride UK are taking action and precautions because this is not right. One person should not be able to start a harassment campaign against something or someone because they don't agree with their views.
"Straight Pride (UK) do have this matter in hand and all will be sorted shortly where the project can get back to Promoting being Heterosexual. If nothing this has proved that society needs Straight Pride and heterosexual events, to enable heterosexuals to have the right to speak out against the alternative lifestyle.
"Straight Pride (UK) and other Bureaus are not homophobic, and believe in traditional values and lifestyles and the right to speak as someone finds. Straight Pride UK do not believe in Unequal Rights, of which in the United Kingdom now has. There are two separate sets of rights, once for heterosexuals and one for homosexuals, with the homosexuals rights having the ability to trump those rights and beliefs of the heterosexuals, and those of faith.
"Straight Pride (UK) ask heterosexuals from far and wide to gather together and stand up and be counted in this now overly politically correct world everyone finds themselves in.
"In finishing, to Oliver you have had your fifteen minutes of fame, perhaps now is the time to get back to your homework or maybe by now you will have been offered a position by the UK Socialist Press.
Head of Operations
Straight Forward Bureau, Moscow."