Two London Universities Facing Student Backlash

Students at one of London’s premier universities ‘King’s College London’ are actively campaigning to have the photo of the former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey removed from a display of famous alumni, due to his deeply homophobic attitudes and statements.

King’s College London

King’s College London

The former Archbishop of Canterbury studied at the college and graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) 2:1 degree after which he was ordained.

According to various local media reports, the King’s College Student Union have described Lord Carey’s recent comments against equal marriage as “outdated, hurtful and offensive”.

Carey is no stranger to criticism, just a few weeks ago in October many equality campaigners were appalled after he invoked memories of the Holocaust during a speech concerning the religious opponents of same-sex marriage at a Conservative Party Conference fringe event. He said: “Same-sex relationships are not the same as heterosexual relationships and should not be put on the same level. Why does it feel to us that our cultural homeland and identity is being plundered?”

The former leader of the Church of England also warned that equal marriage would pave the way for traditional Mormon-style polygamous relationships, pointing to an application in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for a man to enter into a civil union with two women, “That is getting into a Mormon-style relationship,” Lord Carey said after the event. “It’s a slippery slope.”

“For more than two decades, Dr Carey has opposed gay equality and supported the legal discrimination against gay people, suggesting that same-sex love is inferior and a scandal.” stated veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell recently, adding “If Dr Carey said these things about black or Jewish people his display would almost certainly be removed. The stance of the King’s College administration looks hypocritical. They seem to have double standards on racism and homophobia.”

The university board has repeatedly stated it has no intention of removing Lord Carey’s image, thereby pledging support for his views and outspoken attacks on equality and gay people.
Meanwhile another London university is attracting media attention and condemnation for allowing a deeply offensive and homophobic hate preacher to make a speech on campus.

Brunel University in Uxbridge, west London confirms that hate preacher Abu Usamah at-Thahabi is due to make a speech to Brunel’s Islamic Society on Tuesday 27 November.

Thahabi is well known for his homophobic views and has previously urged that gay people should be punished with death. “Do you practice homosexuality with men? Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain,” Thahabi stated on camera during a national TV programme. “If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that’s my freedom of speech, isn’t it?” The controversial preacher was caught on camera addressing worshippers at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham.

He has repeatedly mocked Western attitudes, especially those towards women and verbally attacked both Christians and Jews. However the university authorities are allowing this man to speak – “The talk is going ahead as we have a legal duty to protect freedom of speech and we have asked for assurances from the Union of Brunel Students that this person will not breach the policies of the university, such as those on equality and diversity. However, if we are concerned that these policies will be breached, the event will not be allowed to take place.” claims its statement.

The question that arises for the university is where the lines are actually drawn between free speech and hate speech both in terms of legally and morally. Earlier this year, Thahabi was prevented from speaking at the University of Warwick’s Islamic Society, following a backlash by students.

Prey The Gay Away – St Petersburg

The Russian politician who introduced the horrifically homophobic St. Petersburg bill banning ‘gay propaganda’ has stepped up his campaign and crusade against gays by claiming in a recent interview that homosexuality is a ‘bad habit’ that can be treated by fasting and prayer,  reports Jason Shaw.

The deputy of the St Petersburg city legislature Vitaliy Milonov said that homosexuality was an illness, which can be cured and this hatemonger likened same-sex attraction to “a bad habit. His homophobic and

Speaking on the popular Russian radio talk radio show Ekho Moskvy, Milonov told how if his son told him he was gay, he would take him to a priest who should tell the young man that he was partaking in a bad habit that one can easily quit. “God can send many temptations upon us,” he said. “But the thing is, this illness is easily treated by fasting and praying. I do not know of a single case within the Russian Orthodox Church that a man would not be cured by his sincere repentance in this sin. People get rid of it, just like they get rid of kleptomania or, for instance, fornicators.”

Virtually every medical and psychiatric association in the world have long since proved that homosexuality is not an illness or something that could be cured. Equally there is uniform opinion that trying to prey the gay away is futile and in many cases harmful.

Milonov who also wants to outlaw abortion, is no stranger to controversy, he gained particular notoriety this year for his campaign against homosexuality and received a parody award in June for his initiative to ban homosexuality in Russia until 2015. One of his key aims was achieved in St. Petersburg this February when the city legislature approved a bill banning the promotion of homosexuality and paedophilia to minors, this includes holding any form or gay pride event or protest for equality.

Milonov has also vowed to prosecute a German rock group called Rammstein as they, in his view, violated the bill during a concert in St. Petersburg. Although it should be noted that the comment and concert took place in February and so far no legal action has been taken. However many Russian citizens have been arrested since this homophobic and wholly inappropriate bill became law.

 

Conditional Love (?)

James:

This is a difficult but necessary letter to write.
I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past.
Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house.
You’ve made your choice though wrong it may be. God didn’t intend for this unnatural lifestyle.
If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends, and family will understand.
Have a good birthday and good life.
No present exchanges will be accepted.
Goodbye,
Dad

This letter, only too common, was written by a prejudicial father to a recently out son, over five years ago. It just now has gone viral. (see http://”Shocking Letter From Father Disowning Gay Son Goes Viral,” Advocate.com., 8-8-12).

Beginning with LGBT ally Columbia University wrestler Hudson Taylor, it has spread, like a virus, to Huffpo’s Gay Voices, Towleroad, Pink News, The New Civil Rights Movement, and Truth Wins Out.

Rejection Hurts

For speaking the truth and sharing an important facet of his being with his father, James was rejected. He claims he never did drugs, was an excellent student, an obedient child…didn’t drink until he was 22 because it terrified him, and had just one speeding ticket in his life. “Yet, I am still seemingly deserving of this terrible act of hate and cowardice that one person can place on another.”

Why did James publish the letter?  He wanted to expose “persecution” from a homophobic parent.

Words Still Sting

Even though James says he is fine, he admits that the letter still bothers him.

Published online yesterday, with the title “This is how hate sounds,” the letter has been read by over 800,000 people. Using the name RegBarc, James told readers “to please pass your acceptance and love to the people you personally know who are going through this type of persecution and harm from their blindly religious parents/guardians.“

Find Your Family Elsewhere And They Will Come

Over 4,500 people have left messages of support that urge James to ‘stay strong.” Despite the sympathy, obviously James is still hurting. It has been five years since the letter was written, but as the studies from Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State bear out, the effect of  parental rejection carries on into adulthood.