Saturday, 29 October 2011

Third Vigil Against Hate Crime


The first vigil had been organised following the fatal attack against gay man Ian Baynham on the Square. This edition of the vigil now directed against hate crime in general but gathering mostly members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community.

Speakers included Lynn Featherstone (minister), Brian Paddick (out mayoral candidate) , Ken Livingston (mayoral candidate), Elly Barnes (No1 in the Independent's Pink List 2011), Sue Sanders (co-chair of Schools Out and LGBT History Month), and Stuart Milk (nephew of Harvey Milk). There were performances by a choir made up of members of London's three LGBT choir (London Gay Men's Chorus, Pink Singers and Diversity Choir) and the London Gay Wind Orchestra. No representent of the current mayor was present.

Two minutes silent were held at 8pm followed by the reading of names of LGBT and disabled victims of hate crime.

Other vigil were taking place simultaneously around the country, including at the Occupy London camp outside St Paul's cathedral.

My pictures of the night are on flickr here.
My pictures of the first vigil (2009) are here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A letter to the Catholic Church via one of its representants

Following the reading of this article on Pink News about the Catholic Chruch's opposition to marriage equality in Scotland, I decided to write the following email to John Deighan, the Catholic Church's parliamentary officer. I really hope I get a response to this question I have been asking myself for a while.

Dear Mr Deighan,

I was interested to read an article reproducing one of your recent statements about the possibility of marriage being extended to gay couples in Scotland. According to this article, you said the following: “Bishop Tartaglia was forthright in his assertion that proposals to legislate for same sex marriage would be harmful to society and to the government."

The fact that same-sex marriage would be harmful to society or various variations on a similar theme are one of the main argument cited by its opponents. These are however never accompanied with any reasons or explanation as to how exactly marriage equality would be harmful to society. What would it do to it? and more importantly: how would it do it?

This is all the more confusing that nothing particularly catastrophic seems to be happening in the few countries around the world that have actually opened marriage to same-sex couple.

I would be very interested to hear from you or your employers on this subject.

Regards and thanks,