“We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British parliament in one of its periodical fits of self-righteous morality.” Or so Macaulay might have said about the nights of 21st May and 16th July this year when MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage, accompanied by much cheering, applause and self-congratulation. The votes created, too, an oleaginous and telling unanimity amongst government and opposition party leaders, the latter of whom is paid by the taxpayer actually to oppose the government in power.
And at the subsequent celebration party at Downing Street for the gay great and good (surprisingly and unnecessarily excluding Peter Tatchell (here)), the parliamentary smugness turned to colonialist superiority – originally honed no doubt on the playing fields of Eton – as the prime minister promised to export gay marriage around the globe (here). This of course closely followed his previous threats to cut overseas aid to poor Commonwealth countries and former British colonies that refuse to jump to his gay agenda (here).
Apparently, therefore, we British are the world leaders on gay marriage and the uncivilised untutored peasants in Africa and Asia need to follow our lead or be brought to heel. The sun will never set on Britain’s imperial reach while David Cameron is at No 10 as, clearly, he now intends to re-paint the whole globe Empire pink (here).
There was more prime ministerial politics of fiction and special effects too: “We’ve set… something of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time,” the premier opined to the fawning company (here). But his legislation was without democratic mandate or legitimate consultation, was rushed and bulldozed through parliament without full debate, is without safeguards on matters of conscience for public servants like teachers and registrars, and is recognised to be full of unplanned and unintended consequences. Only a self-satisfied politician with his head in the clouds could consider this “good legislation” delivered in “good time”. Your mirror is lying, Mr Cameron.
The superior and exclusive nature of the celebrations would be irrelevant if they weren’t so spot-on symptomatic of the whole wider issue. Brendan O’Neil has written searingly about how the top-down elitist drive for same-sex marriage by ”tiny handfuls of sharp-suited gay lobbyists, lawyers, celebrities, commentators and the Notting Hill/Hampstead sections of the political class” has “completely destroyed the meaning of social progress” (here).
He is killingly accurate too in describing the new gay marriage conformism – “the slow but sure sacrifice of critical thinking and dissenting opinion under pressure to accept that which has been defined as good by the upper echelons of society” (here).
And as usual with upper echelons, the travails of people in the inferior classes are ignored. It is not just coincidence that while the gay leadership were drinking Pimms and hobnobbing with Mr Cameron on the manicured lawns of the sunlit gardens at Downing Street and he was telling them with monumental insouciance – but without noticeable dissent – that Britain is now “the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe”, the real gay community outside the bubble was and is undergoing a huge health crisis.
“Alarming rise in HIV amongst gay men,” cried the recent headline in The Independent (here). Based on a study published in The Lancet it showed that the 20%+ annual increase in HIV infections amongst gay men was due to their increased use of party drugs and unprotected sex. “This is one of the most serious public health issues we face in the UK and it must be treated as a public health priority,” said Yusuf Azad of the National Aids Trust.
“Young gay men 15 times more likely to develop genital cancer than straight men,” shouted Pink News (here) on the day the same-sex marriage Bill became law, using figures taken from the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. The HPV virus can cause penile, anal, throat and cervical cancers as well as penile and anal warts. As the lifestyle and behaviour of gay young men makes them particularly susceptible to the infection, the British Medical Association has argued that the NHS’s HPV vaccination programme should be extended to include them.
Even more concerning was an article by businessman and gay campaigner Ivan Massow (here) published three weeks earlier. “Am I the only one to notice that the gay scene today seems obsessed with drugs? Obsessed with sex. Unable to take responsibility for its part in the spread of HIV. Inhabiting a soulless and empty world of hedonism.
“Each week the number of kids who die while out clubbing or in south London apartments from drug overdoses or choking on GHB goes up… Prosecutions are practically non-existent as the gay scene hides behind its new anti-discrimination laws and calls any such policing ‘homophobic’.
“We the gay community are becoming a group of people who suddenly have everything and nothing, all at once.
“It’s a miserable way to live. Chemically-induced highs and kids addicted to ‘chem-sex’ is all fake b****cks (my asterisks, Alan). B****cks that leads to depression and, frequently, death. B****cks that is just plain boring and ultimately empty.”
Massow, who personally pushed hard for gay marriage, admits with surprising honesty what we all knew, that gay leaders like him in steady leafy civil partnerships are “not representative”. No, neither are the gilded gay groupies who attend Downing Street soirees.
Same-sex marriage will, in the event, be taken up only by a miniscule minority who will be feted, facebooked, photoed and make glossy national headlines out of all proportion to their numbers, no doubt alongside a beaming self-congratulating David Cameron. It will be media heaven.
But meanwhile gay young men will be ruining their lives and dying for lack of appropriate intervention, alone in the hell of empty south London flats. Same-sex marriage has done nothing for them.
I doubt they think Britain is the best place to be gay.