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Queer Editorial

coexist.jpg Quiver
 

Religion shouldn’t impinge on people’s basic human rights. Surely that's not too much to ask, is it?

Growing up as a kid, I remember bonfire nights with a lot of affection. We never had our own fireworks but there were displays at the church, and our priest used to light Catherine Wheels and hand out sparklers. When I think of those days I smile. It’s just a shame I don’t feel able to go back to church now – what with some (no, not all) religious people asking for the right to refuse me equality on the grounds that my very existence stops them practising their faith. Love the sinner, not the sin; that’s how it goes right?

If one more person tells me it’s OK to be gay nowadays, I swear I’ll lose it completely. The government, in September/October this year, conducted an online survey to collect LGBT experiences, and some of the comments on the threads below the link made me cringe/fume/cry. Why isn’t there a straight pride? There is: it’s every day. How does me having the same rights as everyone else make straight people less valuable? Homophobia cuts across lots of divides. So, I urge you, if you are LGBT – and no matter what you think of the shower in office – please keep an eye out for the results of their survey. I found out too late about it to link to it here, but I hope 1000s of queers spoke their minds. At the end of the questionnaire there was a 500-words space for anything else you wanted to say. One of my points was that religious leaders – of any persuasion or denomination – should have no say in policymaking. I said other things, but as it was private and anonymous I will keep most of that to myself. It’s just I was surprised to notice how sad I felt when I remembered those bonfires nights I enjoyed as a child. Honestly, I wish we didn't have to fill in forms and questionnaires; I wish we could all just wave our sparklers together and accept each other for who we are.

Governments elsewhere are starting to roll back legislation that prevented service provision refusal on the grounds of the right to religious freedom, and we must fight the slide back to something truly horrible. If you love god I am happy for you, but that shouldn’t mean I get treated as a lesser citizen.