Mims' Musings

Posts Tagged ‘gay rights


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Today I woke up to an excited household. My parents were watching Pope Francis’s meeting with the Jesuits in the Philippines. My Mum is from the Philippines, and my Dad studied with the Jesuits there. Several of the Jesuits in the room are personal friends of theirs. I joined in watching the video, feeling happy that Pope Francis had experienced that Filipino sense of humour which I’ve grown up around.

Minutes later, this article came up, and my happiness quickly dissolved into anger:

Pope criticises Gay Marriage, backs ban on contraception

I was brought up as a Catholic, and stopped going to church regularly when I was about 15. This article has reminded me why I don’t subscribe to Catholicism anymore. I’m always respectful of other people’s faiths, but as this is the one I’ve been brought up in, it angers me.

I have been a feminist for as long as I can remember. This doesn’t mean man-hater, it means I believe in equality between everyone. Banning contraception perpetuates inequality between men and women, and saying people aren’t fit to bring up a family just because of their sexuality is just sick.

I think it’s absolutely appalling that in this day and age, we have someone with so much influence in parts of the world, enforcing a ban on contraception. How is the world ever meant to beat the outbreak of HIV/Aids if we have the head of a church saying using contraception is wrong?

Long before I stopped attending church, I was very uncomfortable with how patriarchal it is. I would refuse to say parts of prayers which use ‘man’ or ‘mankind’ as a shorthand of referring to the whole human population.

It didn’t take me long to expand this thought to realise that the whole message throughout Catholicism is that women aren’t the same as men.

Women caused all the sin in the world

Women are only worth a mention during a catholic mass if they’re a Virgin

Women aren’t good enough to become priests

But I don’t think my ideology is limited to feminism, it’s a basic human right that we are all equal, and to have control of our bodies.

The ban on contraception reinforces inequality. By condemning birth control, it condemns women to perpetual inequality. They’re unable to take ownership of their own bodies, and firmly puts them in a subservient bilogical role of maternal nurturers. Because if women weren’t busy having babies, maybe they’d get ideas and want to be leaders!

Before I decided to stop attending the Catholic Church regularly, I tried to find a compromise. My logic was that as there’s an ‘actor’s church’, maybe there’s a feminist church. I googled feminist catholic church, and my horror escalated as I browsed through the results:

Pope Warns Feminists

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Catholics Trapped by Feminism

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I literally wept while reading this. How could I continue to be part of a church which teaches people to think in this way?

As it seems women don’t stand a chance in the Catholic Church, it seems that gay couples have even less of a chance.

If heterosexual couples are such an ideal family configuration, then why can’t the same be replicated by a homosexual couple? Isn’t the key to it having loving parents? Why would it matter if a kid has two Dads, two Mums, or just a single parent?

It feels so much more personal that the pope has reinforced these messages in a country to which I attribute half of my heritage. They are a step backwards into times which humankind has since evolved from.

Wake up Catholics, it’s 2015.

Disagree with something I’ve said? Feel free to comment, I like a good debate!

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On Thursday evening I was driving home from my boyfriend’s house when I heard Iain Dale on LBC talking about the gay couple who were ejected from the John Snow pub in Soho after they were seen kissing.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the two men were first confronted by a fellow customer asking them to stop kissing. To which they politely replied that they were sitting in a corner, and as he’d had to turn around to confront them, perhaps he could turn away if he was offended. They were then asked to leave by a uniformed member of staff, then forcibly removed.

Iain Dale covered this story in the context of whether public displays of affection are appropriate, between either straight or gay couples. When a caller representing a pro family organisation called the show, I braced myself for what she might say, yet found myself shocked by the pure hypocrisy of what followed.

She was asked whether she felt public displays of affection were appropriate, she responded that between “normal” people they are, then a few minutes later, when asked if public displays of affection were appropriate between same-sex couples, she said that they weren’t. Although I knew that her reaction would be something along those lines, I found myself getting really angry with her tone which was laced with disapproval and judgement. Her main line of argument was that homosexuality is simply “abnormal”. When Dale replied with scientific statistics regarding what percentage of the population are homosexual, she was very quick to dismiss him as having “contempt for the norm”.

To my dismay as the conversation with Dale continued, and he tried to make the caller realise how unreasonable she was being, she clearly crossed the line from judgemental to offensive by comparing  homosexuality to paedophillia. She then tried to argue that lesbianism was acceptable as women had always enjoyed each other’s companionship, but she then described homosexuality between males as ‘grotesque’ to watch as they are “sweaty and hairy”. She then went on to describe watching public displays of affection between a male gay couple as “unnatural”  and that any “normal” person feels their stomach drop if they see them kiss.

I felt furious that an educated woman living in 21st century Britain could still hold such beliefs. Especially when she began to compare homosexuality with being like a “mental illness” or “disorder” like paedophillia. I also found it strange that this could happen in Soho, which is a liberal part of London with several gay pubs where pretty much any lifestyle is accepted.

Although I’ve been raised in a Catholic family and I happen to be straight, my parents have always taught me that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of class, race or sexuality.There will always be prejudice passed down from generation to generation through ignorance, but if you don’t show tolerance towards a particular group, then what’s stopping them from harbouring hate towards some aspect of you? Then will there ever be an end towards the spiralling cycle of hate?

Ultimately, maybe the answer as suggested by the couple who were kicked out of the pub, for an act of love and affection, not violence, is to simply turn away if you’re offended. Why cause conflict in someone’s daily life when there’s so much conflict around the world already?

What do you think? Disagree or agree with me? Comment, discuss, let’s have an intelligent debate instead of everyone continuing to live in ignorance.


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