Thursday, June 26, 2008

Round up : Nadine Dorries and the HFE Bill, The home secretary telling Iranian Gays to get in the closet and shock horror two men kiss on TV

A round up of reactionaries, a carnival of them perhaps !

First off it seems Nadine Dorries is putting up another amendment, even though all the ones cutting the rights of women were defeated in the Commons. The F Word has the story :

A colleague has just informed me that Nadine Dorries MP has again used the HFE Bill to table another amendment to the Abortion Act to restrict access by lowering the time limit to twenty weeks from twenty-four.

The Bill has finished its second reading and is awaiting a date for the Report Stage. Evan Harris MP has tabled two amendments to expand abortion rights and my colleague believes that Nadine Dorries has issued her amendment as a reaction to force another debate at the third reading of the Bill.

Next, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said that if gay people are 'discreet ' then they won't be persecuted in Iran :

Gay and lesbian asylum-seekers can be safely deported to Iran as long as they live their lives "discreetly", the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has claimed.

In a letter to a Liberal Democrat peer, seen by The Independent, Ms Smith said there was no "real risk" of gay men and lesbians being discovered by the Iranian authorities or "adverse action" being taken against those who were "discreet" about their behaviour.

... in her letter to Lord Roberts of Llandudno, Ms Smith rejected a call for an immediate halt to the deportation of gay and lesbian asylum seekers. "We recognise that the conditions for gay and lesbian people in Iran – and many other countries – are such that some individuals are able to demonstrate a need for international protection," she wrote. "We do not, however, accept that we should make the presumption that each and every asylum-seeker who presents themselves as being of a particular nationality or sexuality, regardless of their particular circumstances, should automatically be ... allowed to remain in the UK.

She added: "With particular regard to Iran, current case law handed down by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal concludes that the evidence does not show a real risk of discovery of, or adverse action against gay and lesbian people who are discreet about their sexual orientation."

Gay campaign groups estimate that 4,000 Iranians have been executed because of their sexuality since the late 1970s. Ms Smith suggests it is far fewer.

Hmmm, so would 1000 or 2000 be OK?
And why should LGBT hide their sexuality and live in fear of being discovered. It seems to imply its some sort of luxury , I mean would she suggest to a black person who faced oppression due to their skin colour that they paint themselves white? Who knows with New Labour . Looking back to this country when gay sex was illegal, where at least LGBT people were not executed, there were many living miserable 'pretend'lives in fear of discovery.In Iran the stakes are higher .

Right, now on to the heinz ad story:

The corporation decided to withdraw the light-hearted Deli Mayo commercial within days of its launch because it was "listening to its consumers".

The Advertising Standards Authority said yesterday that it had received 202 objections from viewers, a high number in such a short time but that total is only a quarter of the complaints that came in for a Volkswagen Polo advertisement that drew accusations of cruelty after it featured a shivering dog outside a car.

The ASA said viewers had complained that the Heinz scene depicting two men giving each other a quick kiss goodbye was "offensive", "inappropriate" and "unsuitable to be seen by children". The jokey commercial depicts a classic morning scene at a family home as the children pick up their sandwiches for school. "Mum", however, has been replaced by a male New York deli worker clad in a chef's hat and apron. As the father of the house grabs his sandwich and bids goodbye with the words "See you tonight, love", the deli worker looks affronted.

"Hey, ain't you forgetting something?" he says as the father returns to give him a peck on the lips, calling after him: "Love you. Come straight home from work, sweet cheeks."

A spokesman for the ASA said it has yet to decide whether to investigate if the commercial breached its rules, adding: "Homosexuality in itself is not a breach but they could look at it from the point of view of taste and decency."

Taste and decency !! They weren't fisting on national children's TV ffs , it was a quick kiss . Why does it bother people so much. There are lots of adverts of heterosexual kissing and many a lot more sexualised . The advert actually played up to stereotypes in that the 'mum' was the one feeding the kids and kissing goodbye to hubby as he headed off to work.

It may come as a shock but not everyone lives in suburbia with 2.4 children in a heterosexual marriage with a good ol' fashioned mum in the kitchen. Lesbian and gay people can be parents too.

Heinz stated :

Nigel Dickie, a spokesman for Heinz UK, said the Deli Mayo ad was intended as "a humorous take on a slice of life" but the company had decided to pull it last week, before the ASA complaints, because of "consumer feedback".

Nope thats not consumer feedback, that's 200 bigots . Oh and the advert was not shown during children's TV, not that I see that as a problem, because the product is unhealthy! There is a boycott of heinz being organised;wonder if they listen to those consumers.

Pic : Stonewall campaign poster

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