Call Me Dave this week boasted that he wanted “to export gay marriage” around the world. I support the idea that gay men and women should be allowed to get married and divorced just like straight couples. Why should the misery of this institution be the preserve of heterosexuals? Spread the pain. But at every level David Cameron MP just shows himself up as a member of a metropolitan Elite with a particular world view which makes me despise ever more.
My starting point is that as a libertarian I believe that you have every right to do whatever you want with your own body. As such there should be no differentiation in law between gay folk and straight folk. Homosexuality, like playing Hockey, watching Golf or going to Ibiza has never appealed to me personally but whatever floats your boat. So I am glad that gay folk can now get married in the UK. I am glad that my friend Abbe Aronson having broken my heart 28 years ago, marry her girlfriend next year in New York and look forward to attending the ceremony.
But let’s start with the gay community and its priority. Call Me Dave takes a very Western centric view of this. For him the moral crusade is to allow gays to get married across the globe. There are a good number of countries in Europe and States in America where gay marriage is either already legal or where it will become legal at some stage soon. But the “west” is but a small portion of the globe.
There are many countries where homosexuality is illegal. In Iran gays get strung up from cranes. In Gaza and Egypt it may or may not be illegal to be gay but they kill you anyway. In Cameroon it is merely five years in prison that awaits you. Uganda thinks that prison is not enough, gays might “reoffend”, and so is thinking of bring back the death penalty. In Somalia you might get off with prison but if you are in the wrong region (Puntland) it is a ritual stoning that awaits you.
I would have thought that the big issue for the global gay community was not to ensure total equality in a few Western countries, where basically discrimination against gays is minimal or at least not life threatening, but to ensure that gays are not imprisoned or killed in many more countries.
It is a measure of the arrogance of Call Me Dave that he thinks that he can export gay marriage to, say, Texas or Russia, where the folks will say “with respect we do not care what you think.” But with places like Cameroon and Somalia and Gaza Call Me Dave COULD make a difference. For you see we, and the EU, hand over large amounts of foreign aid (most of which is stolen by those in charge) to these places. If we are going to continue handing out aid (which I regret we will) surely we could say that a condition of receiving aid is that homosexuals are not stoned to death or jailed? I am sure that the kleptocrats who run some of these places are more concerned about their Swiss bank accounts than about the sexuality of some of their citizens.
So Call Me Dave could make a real difference to global gay rights in a way that would absolutely change (save?) lives. But instead he grandstands about an issue where he can make no difference and which is a priority only of a small metropolitan elite.
Meanwhile Dave’s obsession with the gay marriage issue also grates when there are so many other issues which concern folk in this country which need to be addressed urgently. I ask you to list your top ten issues. Do they include: the out of control deficit & ballooning national debt, immigration, the EU, Secret Courts & gagging the press, value for money in the NHS, MPs expense and salary abuse; our failed and illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Falling Education standards, tax rates, welfare reform and exporting gay marriage around the world. I offer you eleven issues. Which didn’t make your top ten?
The UK is hurtling towards bankruptcy. Our relationship with the EU is not working. We are still fighting illegal wars, civil liberties are threatened at so many levels, and the Welfare state is failing. That CMD obsesses about a peripheral issue where he can make no difference just makes him seem ever more of a despicable and pathetic little man.