Archive | April, 2010

Long time no blog

6 Apr

Well, it’s been a while since anything provoked enough of a reaction from me for me to want to blog about it, but it was only a matter of time!

So, a Conservative MP seems to have travelled back in time quite a few years and thinks it’s okay for B&B owners to turn gay people away. Really, Mr Chris Grayling, shadow home secretary, that’s alright is it? To discriminate against people because of their sexuality?

Mr Grayling was responding to a question from an audience at a speech he was giving, when he said that he feels it would be acceptable for, say, a Christian couple to turn away a homosexual couple from their B&B, if it was something which went against their faith.

This response was prompted by a story from the news last month. Michael Black and John Morgan were turned away from a Berkshire B&B because it went against the owner’s same sex guest policy. But what if they were just friends, or business partners? Would this owner have been more willing to accommodate the men? Probably.

In years gone by, B&B’s had signs up in their windows saying ‘No Blacks’, think about how that would go down in 21st Century Britain. The same level of disgust should be shown to discrimination against homosexuals. I couldn’t have agreed more with Ben Summerskill, chief exec of the gay rights group Stonewall, when he told the BBC that people weren’t forced to open their homes as commercial premises, and should therefore abide by the law. It’s a pretty sorry situation when there needs to be a law to prevent discrimination against homosexuals, but nevertheless, he is absolutely right.

In all this, it makes me wonder whether Mr Grayling would have been as vocal about his thoughts if he had realised they were going to be broadcast, (the Observer newspaper secretly recorded him) especially as it is a pretty crucial time for politics – the Prime Minister today announced that the General Election will take place on May 6th. (Expect a blog to follow!) The Conservatives will no doubt have lost a fair few supporters following this, and deservedly so I think. Now, I’m not preaching to anyone about politics, mainly because I don’t really have a clue, but is this the kind of Government we want? Obviously these are just the views of one MP, but in my opinion they shouldn’t be the views of anyone.

Grayling defended his thoughts, saying: “I made comments which reflected my view that we must be sensitive to the genuinely held principles of faith groups in this country.” So we must be sensitive to the principles of faith groups, but the principles of different sexualities don’t matter? Should homosexuals perhaps be segregated into different sections of public transport too, Mr Grayling, would that make you happier? Discrimination has no place in British society, and it should not come from people we put our trust into to ensure the smooth running of our country.

We’re living in a better world in 2010: black and white, gay and straight, Christian and Muslim – we all live side by side, there should be no difference between any of us. What is it going to take for people to accept that we all have differences, and that’s what makes the world go round?

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