Archive for the ‘Gay Paganism’ Category
(Photo: Exorcism in Russia – Source Unknown)
Exorcism of gays in the UK
Protest against abuse by fundamentalist Christians
London – 23 July 2009
Fundamentalist Christian churches in Britain are performing exorcisms on lesbian and gay people in a bid to purge them of their homosexuality.
“The exorcism rituals involve the casting out of alleged demons and witches that supposedly possess a gay person’s soul and turn them away from heterosexuality,” said LGBT human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“There are claims that gay teenagers and young adults are being subjected to exorcisms at the insistence of their parents and pastors, in an attempt to rid them of same-sex attraction.
“The exorcisms can include traumatic emotional scenes where the victims are surrounded by a group of church elders who scream at them to drive out the evil spirits and who sometimes shake their bodies.
“When this is done to youngsters under 18, it is a form of child abuse and the police should intervene to stop it.
“Some gay adults have been pressured into exorcisms by their family members or faith communities. Other victims are people with learning difficulties or mental health problems. They have been preyed upon when they are in a vulnerable state and are not capable of giving fully informed consent.
“There needs to be a thorough police investigation of all the churches that are doing these exorcisms,” said Mr Tatchell.
One London church admits it does exorcisms on four or five gay people every year. This church, United Pentecostal Ministry in Harrow north London, was exposed by The Metro newspaper late last month:
The church pastor, Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide, said he did the ritual to cast out the demons and evil spirits that he believes are responsible for homosexuality. Sometimes people were calm during the process but sometimes their body convulsed, he conceded.
Exorcisms can be performed on gay children or on those who are suspected to be gay. There is no minimum age for the exorcism ceremony because a demon could possess a person at any age in life and could incline them to “wrong” sexual thoughts and behaviour, said Rev Ogbe-Ogbeide.
“United Pentecostal Ministry says it performs four or five exorcisms on gay people each year. It is just one of hundreds of fundamentalist churches in Britain. Gay exorcisms are likely to be performed in many of them. It is possible that dozens or even hundreds of LGBT people could be subjected to exorcism abuse in the UK. Because it takes place behind closed church doors and is kept secret, it is impossible to give an accurate assessment of the numbers involved,” added Mr Tatchell.
What you can do:
1) Protest to Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide
United Pentecostal Ministry
8 Angel Road
Harrow HA1 1Jy
Calm, compassionate, rational arguments are likely to be more effective than a rant.
2) Ask your MP to press the police to investigate this church and other churches who perform exorcisms on gay people, in order to check that criminal acts of assault and homophobic abuse are not taking place. Cite the Metro letter below as evidence.
3) Report Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide to your local police. Ask them to commence a criminal investigation to determine if the law is being broken. Give them a copy of the Metro article that follows as evidence.
4) Report what responses you get to the LGBT press and to the local paper.
Thank you, Peter Tatchell, OutRage!
Homosexuals left traumatised by ceremonial ‘cure’
25 June 2009
Gay exorcisms are regularly being performed in Christian churches in Britain, it has emerged.
The ceremony is being carried out to rid worshippers of the supposed demons which make them homosexual.
The pastor of one Pentecostal church in north-west London said he held four or five exorcisms a year and claimed they always worked.
However, gay campaigners said the 20-minute ritual often traumatised those on whom it was carried out.
Details of the practice emerged after a video of the exorcism of a 16-year-old American boy was posted on YouTube.
The footage was taken down amid calls for the church leaders involved to be prosecuted.
Here, the Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide, who runs the United Pentecostal Ministry in Harrow, said he carried out the ritual to cast out evil spirits that were responsible for homosexuality.
He added: ‘The evil spirits are telling you what’s wrong is right, the opposite sex is not attractive.’
There was no minimum age for the ceremony because a demon could take hold at any point in life, said Mr Ogbe-Ogbeide.
Sometimes people were calm during the process but sometimes their body convulsed.
‘There are some who speak but we know this is the demon. The demon can speak through anybody,’ he added.
Mr Ogbe-Ogbeide last performed the ritual in January to help a young man, who was planning to marry his girlfriend but said he was also in love with another man.
He added: ‘He said if it carried on it would upset their plans to have kids and he wanted to live in matrimony.’
But the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said it was frequently contacted by people left traumatised by the experience.
Chief executive the Rev Sharon Ferguson, said ‘a lot of fundamentalist groups believe homosexuality can be cured’.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said he had heard of exorcisms on children, which was child abuse ‘pure and simple’.
He added: ‘Some adults who have been pressured into exorcisms have been preyed upon when they’re in a vulnerable state and not really able give fully informed consent.
‘They’re maybe people with learning difficulties or mental health problems. There needs to be a thorough investigation of all the churches who are doing these exorcisms.’
In March, it was revealed that a fifth of therapists, many in the pay of the NHS, had attempted to ‘cure’ patients of homosexuality.
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Vatican’s anti-gay witch-hunt continues
The Pope’s plan for psychological tests to purge gay men from the priesthood is a new low.
By Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
The Vatican has announced the “psychological screening” of all new applicants for the priesthood, in a bid to weed out men who are deemed to be psychologically flawed. It has taken this initiative following the widespread sexual abuse of children by its clerics.
In a diversionary tactic to deflect attention from the child sex abuse scandal, one of the main aims of these psychological tests is to weed out gay men, not paedophiles.
The Vatican identifies homosexuality as a deep-seated personality disorder and psychological flaw; condemning same-sex acts as “grave sins,” “objectively disordered”, “intrinsically immoral” and “contrary to natural law.” Even men who have a gay orientation but abstain totally from sex are condemned by the Pope as possessing a “tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil.”
Accordingly, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has issued a new document, Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood.
It proposes psychological tests to root out men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” from seminaries.
Estimates of the number of gay men in Catholic seminaries and the priesthood typically range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research in the US by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood. A similar proportion of priests is thought to be gay in the UK and Europe, including a number of bishops and cardinals.
The new Vatican document states that seminary candidates should undergo psychological evaluations whenever there is a suspicion of personality disturbances or doubts about their ability to live a celibate life, such as any manifestation of masculine weakness or a homosexual orientation.
When assessing a candidate’s ability to be celibate, the Vatican document insists that “it is not enough to be sure that he is capable of abstaining from genital activity” but that it is also necessary “to evaluate his sexual orientation”.
It advises that would-be priests must have “a positive and stable sense of their own masculine identity.”
Surely all this makes Pope Benedict himself a prime candidate for psychological testing and exclusion? After all, he wears a dress, loads of jewellery, Prada shoes and has a penchant for high church, high camp ritual and theatrics. While I don’t want to indulge in stereotypes, Benedict is not exactly macho. In fact, he’s quite effeminate. He is also surrounded exclusively by men, has an unusually young and handsome male private secretary and has no known close friendships with women.
He would not be the first gay Pope. There have been several others, most scandalously
Pope Julius III (1487 to 1555), who was more a pederast than a homosexual. He took a 13 year old boy as his
lover and made him a cardinal at the age of 17, showering him with such wealth that he became one of the richest men in Europe.
Anyway, I digress.
Commenting on the new Vatican document, Cardinal Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, advises:
“The candidate does not necessarily have to practice homosexuality. He can even be without sin. But if he has this deeply seated tendency, he cannot be admitted to priestly ministry precisely because of the nature of the priesthood, in which a spiritual paternity is carried out. Here we are not talking about whether he commits sins, but whether this deeply rooted tendency remains…It’s not simply a question of observing celibacy as such. In this case, it would be (required for him to have) a heterosexual tendency, a normal tendency.”
This indicates a serious hardening of Vatican homophobia. It reverses the previous Catholic stance that only same sex acts are wrong, not the homosexual condition itself.
Cardinal Grocholewski elaborated:
“In a certain sense, when we ask why Christ reserved the priesthood to men, we speak of this spiritual paternity, and maintain that homosexuality is a type of deviation, a type of irregularity, as explained in two documents of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith….Therefore it (same-sex love) is a type of wound in the exercise of the priesthood, in forming relations with others. And precisely for this reason we say that something isn’t right in the psyche of such a man. We don’t simply talk about the ability to abstain from these kinds of relations.”
The Vatican is recommending that the people who do the testing should have “solid human and spiritual maturity”, and a “Christian concept of the human person, sexuality, the priestly vocation and celibacy”. In other words, conformity to homophobic Catholic doctrine takes precedence over professional qualifications.
It is now revealed that the Catholic Church in England and Wales has jumped the gun. They have already introduced psychological tests for candidate priests.
Who conducts these tests? What are their qualifications? Have the tests been vetted and approved by a professional psychological authority? What is their scientific validity and reliability? Do they operate within a professional code of conduct? Is there sufficient protection for vulnerable applicants exposed to these procedures? Even if candidates consent to being tested, is that sufficient? These are questions the Catholic Church has not answered.
The Vatican’s new policy aimed at excluding gay men from the priesthood is bigoted and hypocritical. It will encourage dishonesty, fuel homophobia and lead to Vatican sex spies snooping on trainee priests.
If these rules had existed in the past, many existing archbishops and cardinals would have never been allowed to enter the priesthood. Given the high proportion of gay clergy in senior positions in the Vatican, this new policy is rank hypocrisy.
Instead of paving the way for witch-hunts and purges of gay seminarians, the Pope should concentrate on rooting out child sex abusers. Sadly, the fundamentalists in the Vatican have often chosen to protect paedophile priests, while hounding gay clergy.
PETER TATCHELL HUMAN RIGHTS FUND:
Donations are requested to help Peter Tatchell’s campaigns promoting human rights, democracy and global justice. Peter is unpaid and receives no grants. He depends on donations from friends and supporters. To download a donation form or a standing order mandate, go to Donations at: www.tatchellrightsfund.org
London – 8 September 2008
“The Vatican is panicked that allegations about Cardinal Newman’s sexual orientation may derail its plans to make him a saint”, said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay rights group OutRage!
“The Pope’s spin doctors have gone into over-drive to denounce claims that Newman was gay and to justify his exhumation and reburial. This reburial is contrary to Newman’s instructions to his executors. He wanted to be buried with the man he loved and with whom he lived for much of his life, Father Ambrose St John.
“Following news stories suggesting that Cardinal Newman might have been gay, the Pope ordered Archbishop Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Sainthood, to go on the offensive and issue a stern rebuttal.
“Archbishop Amato asked Father Ian Ker, an Oxford theologian and Newman biographer, to assert the Cardinal’s heterosexuality, which he did in an article published on 2 September in the Vatican daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
“Although he denounced suggestions that Newman could have been gay as “quite horrendous” and “absolute rubbish”, Ker offered no evidence of the Cardinal’s heterosexuality, only speculation and conjecture.
“Why are Ker and the Vatican being so defensive? After all, in a major theological document authored two decades ago by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict), The Vatican conceded that having a gay orientation is not a sin. Why, then, does the Catholic Church apparently have such a big problem admitting that Newman might have been gay by orientation?
“Ker claims that the Newman-St John relationship was typical of the “loving friendship” between two heterosexual men that often occurred in the nineteenth century.
“But many of these platonic relationships were, in fact, expressions of latent homosexuality which never found physical expression because the men concerned lived in a homophobic culture where they either had no conception of the possibility of same-sex love or, for religious reasons, dared not express this love sexually.
“Ker’s article is full of bald assertions that Newman was heterosexual, but it offers no proof or evidence. It dismisses the possibility that the Cardinal could have had a relationship with St John and even condemns the plausible suggestion that he might have been gay and celibate.
“How can the Vatican be so sure? Were its spies in Newman’s bedroom every night of his life?
“The history of the Catholic Church is littered with popes, cardinals, bishops and priests who were secretly gay.
“Down the ages, lots of clergy have had gay relationships. Indeed, about one-quarter of the current Catholic priesthood is estimated to be gay. Why should anyone be surprised by the suggestion that Cardinal Newman might have had a same-sex relationship? It would not be extraordinary. It is fairly normal in the priesthood.
“It is impossible to know whether the relationship between Newman and St John involved sexual relations. Equally, it is impossible to know that it did not. That is why the Vatican’s and Father Ker’s denials lack credibility. They claim to know something that is unknowable.
“Why should we believe The Vatican? It has a sad history of dishonesty and suppressing the truth. It lied, for example, in its anti-safe sex propaganda which claimed that condoms have tiny holes through which the HIV virus can pass. The church’s lies, promoted by the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, were exposed in a BBC Panorama programme, Sex and the Holy City, broadcast in 2003.
The denials about Newman’s sexuality should be treated with the same contempt. Even if the Vatican knew he was gay, it would never admit it. The Pope would deny the truth to suit the Vatican’s homophobic agenda.
“Although we cannot know for certain, it is not unreasonable to believe that Cardinal Newman could have had a loving, long-term same-sex relationship with the man whose grave he shares. The passion of his letters and writings about Father Ambrose suggest this possibility.
“There is little doubt that Newman and St John were mentally and spiritually in love; sharing a deep bond and intense relationship. They were inseparable; living together for over 30 years, like a married husband and wife.
“The Christian historian Alan Bray has done major research on the relationship between Newman and St John, sifting through the Cardinal’s diary, letters and notes. His findings are published in his book, The Friend (2003): http://tinyurl.com/6qq5nb
“They include the following admission that Newman wrote in his diary about Ambrose’s love for him: “From the first he loved me with an intensity of love, which was unaccountable.” He later added: “As far as this world was concerned, I was his first and last…he was my earthly light.'”
“Newman stated that St John was “fair and Saxon-looking, my Angel Guardian,” who, he said, had come to him as Ruth came to Naomi and as the angel Raphael came to Tobias.
“Reflecting on St John’s death in 1875, Newman compared their love to that of a married couple: “I have always thought no bereavement was equal to that of a husband’s or a wife’s, but I feel it difficult to believe that anyone’s sorrow can be greater than mine…This is the greatest affliction I have had in my life.”
“While we need to be careful about making stereotyped assumptions, it is true to say that the Cardinal was not exactly macho. In his portraits, he looks quite camp. His soft, gentle, effeminate demeanour is typical of what we often associate with some gay men (and, to a lesser extent, some straight men too). There were allegations during his lifetime about his circle of young homosexual friends. Close relations with women did not feature at all in his life.
“To be fair and to err on the side of caution, given both men’s rather orthodox religious beliefs, they probably did not have a sexual relationship. It is likely that they had a gay orientation but chose to abstain from sex. Sexual abstinence does not, however, alter a person’s orientation. A person can be gay and sublimate their gayness into spiritual and artistic pursuits, and into strong, intense platonic same-sex relationships, which is probably what Newman and St John did,” said Mr Tatchell.
For further information, see my 4 September Guardian website article:
Violating Cardinal Newman’s wishes:
Bigoted clerics stir up anti-gay witch-hunts in Africa
London – 2 July 2008
“This breakaway Anglican faction is fundamentalist, homophobic and sexist. It opposes equal rights for women and gay people, and is allied with hardline church leaders whose bigoted teachings are fuelling anti-gay witch-hunts in many countries.”
The condemnation comes from human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who yesterday (1 July) picketed a meeting at All Soul’s Church in London of the newly-formed Anglican fundamentalist sect, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FOCA). Mr Tatchell was joined by his OutRage! African colleague Brett Lock and gay Christian and Ugandan gay rights activist, Kizza Musinguzi.
When they tried to enter the church, they were violently ejected. Mr Tatchell was punched in the chest by a church steward.
Photos of the protest are here:
“Archbishop Peter Akinola is backing the state-sponsored persecution of lesbians and gays in Nigeria. He is orchestrating a wicked victimisation campaign against the Nigerian gay Christian leader, Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria,” added Mr Tatchell.
“The Archisbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, has stirred up prejudice against gay Ugandans in a society where anti-gay hatred and violence is rife. In 2006, he excommunicated a heterosexual bishop, Christopher Senyonjo, because he defended gay people against persecution.
“Jesus Christ is recorded in The Bible as condemning many sins but he never once condemned homosexuality. The anti-gay campaign of the breakaway Anglican leaders is a perversion of Christ’s gospel of love and compassion. These splitters are Old Testament fundamentalists, not true followers of Jesus Christ,” concluded Mr Tatchell.
Kizza Musinguzi is a gay member of the Anglican Church of Uganda. He has witnessed first hand the homophobic campaign by his church leaders. Mr Musinguzi was jailed and tortured in Uganda because of his gay rights activism. He is currently seeking asylum in the UK.
“The church is supposed to be all-loving. It is not acceptable that it has one set of rights for straight Christians and a lesser set of rights for gay Christians,” said Mr Musinguzi.
“When Archbishop Orombi takes a stand against gay people, he signals to the population that it is okay to discriminate against gay people. He supports Uganda’s vicious anti-gay laws, which stipulate life imprisonment for consenting same-sex relationships. Orombi is encouraging prejudice and hatred. His victimisation of Bishop Senyonjo is cruel and vindictive.
“Gay people in Uganda face imprisonment, torture and mob violence. Many are driven out their communities and left destitute. The government excludes gay people from its HIV programmes, leaving them to die without medication. The Church of Uganda is exacerbating this homophobia, neglect and persecution,” said Mr Musinguzi.
The Westboro Baptist Church has declared its intention to protest at the funeral of actor Heath Ledger, who died yesterday. The statement from the church is reproduced below.
28-year-old Ledger was best-known for his Oscar-nominated performance in gay-themed cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain.
The Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, has generated publicity by protesting at the funerals of US service personnel killed in action.
They first came to prominence for picketing the funeral of murdered gay teen Matthew Shepard in 1998.
In a statement released today Mr Phelps announced his intention to picket Mr Ledger’s funeral and said:
“Heath Ledger thought it was great fun defying God Almighty and his plain word; to wit: God Hates Fags! & Fag Enablers!
“Ergo, God hates the sordid tacky, bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as Brokeback Mountain – and He hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it.
“Heath Ledger is now in Hell, and has begun serving his eternal sentence there – beside which, nothingelse about Heath Ledger is relevant or consequential.”
It is as yet unknown if Mr Ledger will be laid to rest in his native Australia or in America.
While US laws regarding freedom of speech and assembly protects the Phelps’ and the tiny Westboro Baptist Church in their home country, it is unlikely that the Australian authorities would find their tactics acceptable.
Today Australia’s Prime Minister paid tribute to Mr Ledger:
“It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation’s finest actors in the prime of his life,” he said.
“Heath Ledger’s diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor.”
Australian actors Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman also expressed their shock at the loss of such a considerable talent.
I had such great hope for him,” said Gibson, who cast Heath Ledger in The Patriot, said.
“He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
The Westboro Baptist church operates a website called GodHatesFags and have protested at over 100 funerals of soldiers killed in the line of duty in Iraq.
Their campaign, called “Thank God for Improvised Explosive Devices” involves protesters holding up signs and chanting slogans such as “God Hates Fags,” “America is Doomed” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” at the widows of the servicemen.
“Corpus Christi”, a play that depicts Jesus as gay, is set to open in Australia at Sydney’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in early February. There has been predictable outrage expressed in the media. The Anglican Bishop of Sydney, Robert Forsyth, described the play as “deliberately offensive” and “historical nonsense”.
The play portrays Jesus and the disciples as gay men.
Terence McNally, who wrote the acclaimed play, created a gay Jesus partly as a way of exploring the feelings of rejection and persecution he experienced as a gay youth growing up in Texas. When the play opened in the UK in 1999 in addition to taking harsh criticism from conservative Christians, McNally became the target of a fatwa issued by an Islamic group.
Assuming an historical Jesus existed, why is it considered outrageous by some to speculate that he may not have been heterosexual in orientation? In the Bible mention of homosexuality is rare, in part because it was considered taboo in the context of Jewish customs. Being homosexual in a patriarchal and homophobic culture of that time would tend to push you to the fringes. Jesus was certainly far out on the fringes. He was an outsider – in his own words “despised and rejected”.
Nor was Jesus even remotely respectable. The Pharisees accused him of being a drunkard and partying with “sinners”. So clearly there was an aspect of his behavior that flew in the face of conventional conduct.
There is no record of Jesus engaging in any sexual relations with women. He remained unmarried. However we do know that he spent most of his time in the company of men. There are passages in the New Testament that indicate he had a special love for one particular disciple.
While it is true that the culture of his day tended to be much more demonstrative in terms of gestures of physical affection between males, than exists for example in contemporary American culture – nonetheless the following verse from John 21:20 suggests an unusually intimate connection between the two men :
“Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?”
The Greek term used to describe the love Jesus had for this disciple is “agape”.
A Short History of Vatican Vice by Aidan Maconachy
Clement VII had sex with page boys.
Benedict IX was into bestiality and bi-sexual orgies.
Boniface VII was described as a “monster” and a criminal…
Benedict XII was a notorious drunkard.
The reign of Innocent VIII was called “The Golden Age of Bastards”.
Leo I was a sadist and torturer.
Julius III sodomized young boys.
Clement VI frequented prostitutes.
Anacletus was into raping nuns.
Paul II enjoyed watching naked men being racked and tortured.
Then of course there is the child sex abuse scandal in current times.
– “Gay marriage is eeeeevil!”
– “People in glass house…”
– “Shouldn’t throw stones.”
Peter Tatchell celebrated his fortieth year of campaigning on 10th December, Human Rights Day.
The Australian-born activist began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15.
Now, at 55, his eyes still have the vividness and energy of a teenager, and he has no intention to retire, because, he says, there is still much work to do.
Speaking in his home in South London, surrounded by hundreds of documents on human rights issues, books and magazines about LGBT rights, and satirical posters of religious leaders, he talks about his long career and his many experiences.
But the list is so long, including campaigns against apartheid, dictators and torturers, and in favour of green issues, gay marriage and revision of the age of consent, that it is hard to believe he can cope with all that.
PinkNews.co.uk: How can you manage to campaign for all these issues?
Peter Tatchell: With great difficulty. I haven’t got much leisure time, not nearly as much as I would like. I desperately need an office, and a couple of paid staff to work.
Most of my campaigns are in response to appeals for help from individuals and organisations in Britain and around the world, but I get many more questions that I can possibly cope with, so I have to choose.
I tend to focus on issues where there is very little knowledge or coverage.
PinkNews.co.uk: For example?
PT: I helped highlight the loss of benefits to many same-sex couples in civil partnerships, that was an issue that no other organisation was covering.
I have taken up the cause of a number of gay Muslim asylum seekers, who couldn’t get help from other organisations. Until recently, very few Western gay organisations were supporting the campaigns of activists in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Iran, Palestine and Iraq.
PinkNews.co.uk: What about the UK? What do you think about gay rights here?
PT: We have got formal legal equality, but we haven’t got liberation. Even the battle for equal rights is incomplete. We still have a ban on same-sex marriage, which is a form of sexual apartheid.
If the government banned Jewish or black people from getting married and offered civil partnerships instead, people would be on the streets.
But the LGBT community has rolled over and accepted this inferior, second-class legal status.
PinkNews.co.uk: What exactly do you think gay people should aim for?
PT: Equality is not enough. There is little point being equal in a fundamentally unjust society. The idea that straight people live in some kind of paradise is absurd.
We need to transform society, not to conform to it. I advocate civil commitment pacts, in which people can choose their own individualised, tailor-made partnership agreements.
In our society there is a great variety of relationships and the law needs to recognise this diversity.
PinkNews.co.uk: What do you think about the Vatican and its attempts to hamper protection and recognition for gay people?
PT: The sooner someone outs Pope Benedict, the better. His homophobic policies remind me of the Inquisition, and the Hitler Youth, of which he was a member.
All the closeted homophobes in the Vatican should be outed, they are destroying the lives of LGBT people worldwide.
PinkNews.co.uk: A few days ago, the pope said that gay people threaten peace, how would you respond to that?
PT: These are the rantings of a semi-deranged Christian fundamentalist and a theocrat, whose ego is so enormous that he believes he has a hot-line to God.
If any ordinary person in the street did it, they’d probably put them in a mental asylum. It is amazing the indulgences that are allowed for the so-called “men of God.”
Pope Benedict he is the ideological inheritor of the Nazi homophobia. He’d like to eradicate homosexuality, but since he can’t put LGBT people in physical concentration camps, is doing his best to put them in psychological concentration camps.
PinkNews.co.uk: An issue that you are fighting for is the change of the age of consent.
PT: I am astonished by the way so many LGBT organisations are reluctant to challenge the often unrealistic age of consent that exists in Britain.
The age of 16 is totally out of step with young people, as the average age they start having sex is 13 or 14 in the UK.
I’m not saying that they should have sex, but if they do, they shouldn’t be criminalised. Under British law, two young people, gay or straight, under the age of 16, who kiss or cuddle can face a prison sentence up to five years.
PinkNews.co.uk: What is your view of the LGBT organisations in the UK, such as Stonewall?
PT: Stonewall has a very conformist, assimilationist agenda. It doesn’t question the legal status quo, it merely conforms with it.
Obviously equality is better than inequality, but it isn’t sufficient and is not liberation.
PinkNews.co.uk: Let’s talk about yourself. What is the thing you are most proud of?
PT: Many. The citizen’s arrest of Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe in 1999 and 2001, for his crimes against humanity. The ambush of Tony Blair in 2003 to protest against the impending war in Iraq.
The interruption of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1998 during one of his sermons, to condemn his discrimination against gay people.
PinkNews.co.uk: Name a person you admire.
PT: There is more than one. Gandhi, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Sylvia Pankhurst.
PinkNews.co.uk: OK. To finish, in two words maximum, how would you describe these people or groups?
Pope Benedict XVI: homophobic hypocrite.
Rowan Williams: coward.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad: theocratic fascist.
Russian President Vladimir Putin: Stalin lite.
Stonewall: equality only.
Gordon Brown: new Blair.
Tony Blair: tragedy.
Outrage! (the movement founded by Tatchell in 1990): effective.
A Roman Catholic Cardinal has suggested that gay people should be banned from political office.
Latvia’s Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis resigned last week and the Archbishop of Riga Janis Pujats warned new candidates not to support LGBT related issues.
He asked that all candidates running for the post of Prime Minister state whether they intended to “defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life.
“Anyone who is not a stern advocate of the people’s moral values, must neither run nor be nominated for prime minister,” he said, urging candidates to give a public answer on the issue, as he said people were “entitled to it.”
During public debates yesterday, all three Prime Ministerial candidates voiced tolerant views about people with different sexual orientations.
In May the controversial Cardinal defined homosexuality “total corruption in the sexual arena” and “an unnatural form of prostitution.”
He also called on people to take to the streets of Latvia’s capital Riga to oppose the Pride march on June 3rd.
“If there are 1,000 sexually crazy people acting foolishly in the square of Pride, then the people’s march in Riga should have at least 40,000 or 50,000,” he wrote in a letter.
“That proportion would give the government and public thought enough reason to leave sexual perversion outside the law.”