Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

"Gay snub crew appeals rejected" - the correct decision!

This is the case of the Glasgow firemen who last June refused to hand out fire safety leaflets at Glasgow Gay Pride, citing moral objections.

I didn't blog about this at the time because I wasn't blogging about much of anything then and I saw it as just yet another tedious example of ignorant homophobia. Of course a number of the 'usual suspects', some bloggers and tabloid journalists, thought the refusal by the firemen to distribute the material was one they were entitled to make and that the disciplinary action against them was 'political correctness' gone mad.

Anyway, three of the firefighters and a crew manager who lodged appeals against the disciplinary action they received have seen them rejected and Deputy Chief Officer Eileen Baird upheld the decision to issue a written warning to the crew. She also decided that one watch manager should not be demoted, but is to be transferred out of Cowcaddens, Glasgow.

The thing that 'homophobes' (and even if that word is based on a flawed interpretation of its derivation, its usage is clear and well-known and understood by most people to whom the term 'homophobe' is not applicable) need to get into their thick skulls is that most homosexuals pay their taxes just like everyone else. That Glasgow Gay Pride, just like other Gay Pride events around the country, is conducted with the full knowledge and the approval of the local policing authorities and that it is completely unacceptable for public servants to take moral stances about citizens going about their lawful activities. I am in no way a 'militant' nor indeed have I ever participated in a Gay Pride event, but I support wholeheartedly those who do. I also refuse to tolerate the possibility that my sexuality may affect negatively the quality of service which public servants are prepared to deliver to me (*). It is not my usual style, but I am driven here to express my feelings very clearly:
We're here, we're queer, and we ain't goin' nowhere!

Get used to it.

(*) On the only occasion when this kind of thing had the potential to affect me personally, it did not in fact involve public servants, but employees of a private company, the car dealership where I purchased and serviced my cars at the time. The word 'Poof!' had been scratched quite deeply into the paintwork of the boot of my car when I was in a pub attending a regular social meeting of gays and lesbians, etc., which the publican and his wife allowed us to hold several times a month, and some of the local youths in the small town it took place in decided to induge in some petty vandalism against 'poofs' and 'dykes' by defacing some of the cars parked there. I was a little nervous about the reaction I might receive when I took my car for repair to the garage, but I must record here that all the staff I met, from the dealership management to the people in the workshop who actually did the repair work, behaved impeccably toward me and I was not made to feel 'uncomfortable' in any way; maybe I have just led a charmed life (apart from having my car vandalised, of course).

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