Cassandra 2012 Headline Animator

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

No need to apologise or resign for speaking the truth

Big’ot, n.  One who holds irrespective of reason, & attaches disproportionate weight to, some creed or view. Concise Oxford Dictionary, Fourth Edition, 1950.

My dictionary may, like me, be a little on the decrepit side of old but I would contend that the definition above accurately describes someone who opposes gay marriage. So why is Nick Clegg afraid to use it? The fact that he – or, more accurately, “someone in his office” – considered doing so apparently offended some Tory back-benchers.

I haveblogged about this subject previously, prompted by a series of news items. Once again the Nick Clegg story coincides with remarks by an Irish judge that have resulted in calls for that person to resign. Those making the call believe that Irish Travellers will be unable to receive a fair trial from this judge because he remarked that some people from the defendant's ethnic background were like “Neanderthal men abiding by the 'laws of the jungle'".

It would seem that the judge’s view is shared by a significant number of ordinary Irish citizens. In the town where I live there was held today a funeral mass for a Traveller lady. The wake last night was attended by a large contingent of her relatives – she is reputed to have 86 grand-children – and local publicans closed their bars for fear of the mayhem they expected to occur should large numbers of young Traveller men be granted admission.

A judge will have seen people of that ilk being brought before the courts for riotous behaviour and will base his comments on that experience. This does not mean that he will mete out punishment to Travellers that is in any way disproportionate to that meted out to non-Traveller perpetrators of similar crimes.

To return to the Nick Clegg story, my previous blog about free speech which included particular reference to the subject of gay marriage produced an interesting discussion via the Facebook message service with Will Faulkener who presents a dailycurrent affairs discussion programme on my local radio station. In the course of that discussion he described an interview with an openly gay woman councillor who argued against gay marriage on the grounds that marriage not blessed with children is inferior.

I would contend that such a view fits precisely the definition of bigot quoted above. Are elderly people who marry, often to great media delight, in an “inferior” relationship on account of their inability to bear children? And what about those heterosexual married couples who either cannot, or choose not to, have children? Are they to be regarded as not properly married? Surely only by those who have little or no regard for reason.

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