This month marks the 50th anniversary of the now famous Stonewall riots in New York. In the early hours of 28thJune, 1969, police carried out a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn, a notorious Gay bar in Greenwich Village. The response, however, was far from routine, because this time the raid was followed by violent protests and demonstrations. In every sense this was the beginning of the gay rights movement, with the drive by activists not just to win acceptance, but ultimately to ‘queer’ society, as laid down by Kirk and Masden in their highly influential book, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s (Plume, 1990).
Over the last 50 years the LGBT community has been spectacularly successful in achieving its ends, with raucous and sexually explicit gay pride marches spanning the globe. Global corporations – including banks, supermarket chains, internet providers etc, etc – all give their support, and this year Microsoft has announced a range of specially designed campaign buttons downloadable for free, also pledging $100,000 dollars to LGBT groups in Australia, Canada, the UK, and US (https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2019/05/30/microsoft-celebrates-pride-takes-action-for-equity-and-visibility/ ). You may want, by the way, for security, to copy and paste this link to your browser, rather than simply clicking on it). The selected UK group is Mermaids, described by Microsoft as, ‘the only U.K.-wide charity working to support transgender or gender non-conforming children, young people, and their families. Their goal is to create a world where gender-diverse children and young people can be themselves and thrive. Mermaids promotes education and awareness, and offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences to those in need.’
It may be remembered that Mermaids has been in the news recently for spreading dangerously misleading ‘cod science’ and encouraging transgender reassignment treatment for children without adequate assessment (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trans-ideologists-are-spreading-cod-science-m8n0pdbq3; https://metro.co.uk/2018/12/23/peep-shows-robert-webb-causes-controversy-criticising-transgender-rights-charity-mermaids-8279057/). For Microsoft, however, scientific and medical fact, along with child protection, is seemingly irrelevant – what matters is simply the promotion and celebration of ‘diversity’.
So let’s unpack this. Over the last 50 years the gay rights movement has transformed itself from a crusade for liberation into a campaign for ideological domination, where any and all dissent is branded homophobic and bigoted, and stifled at birth. No longer the under-dogs, the LGBTQ community lead the pack, and will tolerate no dissent. And especially, it appears, their object of hatred and opprobrium is ‘unreconstructed’ Christianity. In fact, we have come to the point where expression of views based on Scripture that do not endorse the new LGBT Weltanschauung are classed as ‘criminal’. The gay mantra is inclusivity and diversity, but this apparently extends only so far, and views that conflict or express reservation are rigorously suppressed.
Take, for example, the case of Australian rugby star and committed Christian, Israel Folau. In May this year, Folau posted on social media that those who are living in sin will end up in Hell, unless they repent. Adding a quote from Galatians 5:19-21, he said, “Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – Hell awaits you.” (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/apr/11/israel-folaus-rugby-career-on-the-line-amid-criticism-over-more-anti-gay-po, sts). For this, despite the fact that he at no time specifically singled out homosexuals, he was branded homophobic and a bigot, and sacked. Folau then mounted a legal challenge against Rugby Australia, setting up a GoFundMe page inviting donations to help cover his costs. Thousands of people donated more than £409,000, but then the page was closed down and the money refunded – because, GoFundMe said, the page promoted discrimination against LGBT people.
Given that in his initial post Folau was making a general point about the consequences of sin, and the fact that we all need to repent, it is hard at any level to justify the kind of vituperation and abuse to which the rugby player has since been subjected. However this is dressed up, it is a clear example of LGBT intolerance and bigotry, and should be condemned. It is not acceptable that so-called gay rights activists should be allowed to suppress all expression of Christian belief and doctrine, on the flimsy ground that it conflicts with their chosen behaviour and life-style.
The good news is that, after Folau was further vilified and condemned by the LGBT community, the Australian Christian Lobby has taken up his case, hosting a fundraising drive on its own website, to which they themselves have contributed $100,000. The new appeal has so far attracted over $1million, with the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney publicly pledging support (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/rugby-union/christian-fury-as-gofundme-axes-israel-folau/news-story/9db54737a6f6f52999d71af53d95d909).
It is ironic that, in the past 50 years, a movement which initially campaigned for acceptance and release from constraint, should have been transformed into one now attempting so vigorously to crush and suppress others. In a democracy, anyone should be free to express their honestly help beliefs and views without fear of attack. And, especially, in a society founded on Christian faith, believers should be free to manifest and express that belief. To hold otherwise is to follow the totalitarian dictates of Communism or Nazi Germany – as is the ideological demand that children only be taught LBGT values and behaviour, with the suppression of all else.
It is time for the LGB and Transgender witch-hunts to end. They have no place in a civilized society. Let those who take up the battle cry and proclaim ‘Inclusivity’ practise what they preach. And let this staggering hypocrisy end!