Link Love: This is Ireland.


The Logistics of Arranging Abortions

Irish women have abortions. Every single day. Because of our laws, we aren’t able to do so in Ireland, so we travel. You hear a lot about the fact that women travel, as if it were an easy thing. We’ve all popped over to the UK for a long weekend or holiday, haven’t we? Travelling for an abortion shouldn’t be more complicated, should it?

Pro-choice activist Stephanie Lord tells us a little about what is really, really involved:

Do you have the internet? If you have, do you know how to delete your browser history so that your violent partner doesn’t know what you’re up to? Can you go to an internet café where nobody knows you? Bring tissues just in case. Do you know the number of the local women’s refuge?

Have you been to the doctor? How far along are you? Do you know the further along you are, the more expensive an abortion is? Can you get a loan from a Credit Union? Or will you go to a money lender? Do you have anything you can sell to raise the money? Can you lie to your parents or friends to borrow money? Can you max your credit card? Do you even have a credit card? Are there any bills that you can get away with not paying this month? Have you gone through all your old coats and looked down the back of the sofa? How long will it take for you to get €1,000 together? Can you get an extra €20 off the Community Welfare Officer? Can you not buy coal for the next few weeks? Are you on the dole? Can you use your savings? Can you defer your year at college and save the money for your Master’s Degree again? Is it Christmastime? Can you return any gifts for a refund or sell them for cash?

Women with money have options, women with nothing have babies.

Read the rest. There is far, far more.

Threesomes and blowjobs and Liveline, oh my!

Hold on to your seats and put down anything breakable, because you’re about to be shocked like you’ve never been shocked before. The latest scandal this week in Ireland has been over the fact that teenagers and young adults sometimes have sex. With each other. And that they sometimes experiment with sexy things.

I know. It was a surprise to me too. Who would have thought that hormone-flooded 16-25 year olds might possibly think of engaging in all sorts of deliciously sexy fun? They definitely wouldn’t come up with the idea on their own. Everyone knows that the only way to get a 16-25 year-old even thinking about sex is for an older person to write a matter-of-fact, clinical article describing how to be safe while you’re doing it.

At least, that’s what Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin thinks. If her name’s familiar to you, by the way, it’s because of her stunning revelation last year that “fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country” (I eagerly await her insights into the second and third causes of unwanted pregnancies, by the way). She’s now on the warpath again, because Irish youth website spunout.ie published an article a month ago about how to be safe if you’re having a threesome. Hop on your chaise longues and get out your smelling salts, because the kids of today are being exposed to such inappropriate scintillation as this:

  • Keep it safe. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it all before, but seriously keep yourself protected. Like every sexual encounter it is important that you practice safe sex, and that means using contraception, even during oral sex. Remember that condoms are the only form of contraception that protects you against both pregnancy and STI’s.
  • Do be aware that you’ll need to change condoms if you are switching partners during the threesome. Otherwise you could end up with some pretty nasty infections.
  • Only do it if you want to do it. Not ‘cause you want to keep your girl or guy happy or because other people say it would be great craic. You do not love your partner any less because you do not want a threesome.
  • Respect your partner. If your partner tells you that they want things a certain way, don’t ignore it during the threesome. That’s pretty uncool and will likely affect your relationship too.

I know, right? I could barely keep my pants on myself.

Turning off the snark for a moment, though, Sharrow from Activism and Agitation got on the phone to Liveline to give the country some much-needed uncommon sense about teenagers, threesomes and safety. 

Yes I did say, anal sex, oral sex, 3some and the phrase ‘promoting blowjobs’ live on national radio to Joe Duffy, who doesn’t intimidate me at all, sure he grew up in the same part of Dublin as my Dad and is about the same age and all. I did ring and tell my parents afterwards, as a polite heads up and they laughed and said they were proud of me.

You see back in the mid 80s they ran parenting courses in primary schools for other parents, including the sex educational model and they have always been advocates of sex education, so I didn’t lick it off a stone.

Read the rest of what she has to say! And yes, she has a link to a podcast of the whole thing. You know you want to hear it.

‘Women Working? We Can’t Have That!’

When it isn’t women having abortions and young adults having sex, it’s those pesky, uppity womenfolk thinking they can just march on in and steal all the jobs rightfully belonging to the menz.

Yes, you read that right. Right here in 2013 Ireland, there’s a possibility that parents (and we all know which ones) whose childcare costs are greater than their income may be forced to.. quit their jobs. By their banks. I kid you not.

These guidelines will apply to those who are no longer able to make their mortgage payments and seek to enter into negotiations with the bank. Under the guidelines, lenders will be able to impose restrictions on what customers spend their money on, and how much they spend. These agreements will be facilitated by state-appointed mediators.

The first step of the process will be an estimation of what a person/couple/family needs to spend on “reasonable living expenses”. They will be allowed this figure but must then forego any luxuries. These “luxuries” include a car (in some cases),health insurance and for some, childcare.

every (male) journalist and politician was discussing how “women” and “mothers” might be forced to give up their jobs (it’s only a silly hobby for them anyway!). They made the immediate presumption that it would be the woman of the house who a) earned less and b) would obviously be the one to stay back and mind the kids. Mind you, considering that the pay gap continues to widen with each year of austerity, and on average women are responsible for 86%of child supervision in this country, I suppose it’s probably an accurate assumption

Check out the rest here.

And one more thing..

Just in case you thought we were the only ones to have a country full of illiterates from in a decades-old bubble. It’s not just us. Check out Irish atheist activist Leonie Hilliard schooling a USian evangelical about the meaning of, er, bibliophile. Oops.

That’s (almost) it!

In the meantime, though, please do take a moment to watch this important, if NSFW, PSA from our friends in Sperm Defence:

AnOther Irish Abortion Abroad


Just like that. For the past four years of your life you’ve been in the 99%, and now, at 23 years of age, you are the 1%. Not in terms of politics, or economics – although both are related to what I’m talking about – but birth control. We forget that it isn’t 100% and we take it for granted that we’ll be okay, that we won’t get pregnant. But then our period’s due date arrives and… nothing. Days go by… nothing.

And you know. There’s something inside you that tells you that you’re pregnant. Your friends tell you everyone gets irregular periods, or you must be stressed… but you know. It’s just different this time.

But you take a home pregnancy test anyways because you hold on to a shred of hope that you’re wrong, that your body is wrong. It’s not. The results are shockingly quick, a little plus sign taunting you from inside its plastic cover, screaming your situation for the world to hear.

Today is a signal-boost. A friend of a friend has been blogging about her experiences travelling to the UK from Ireland for an abortion. For obvious reasons- it’s both stigmatised and personal- she’s blogging anonymously. It’s short- just three posts. It’s just one story of many.

 had a fight with my partner on the last night. He was becoming excessively protective about men being in close proximity to me. I’m generally quite an independent person, I like to dance with my friends and I can handle myself with regards to unwanted attention, so this kind of behaviour grated off me like nails on a chalk board. It was embarrassing and he made a few scenes and eventually we left early. I was drunk. I was upset. I vaguely realized then that this was his way of reacting to the news. But not until the morning after did I fully come to understand it.

He’s been so supportive that I forget that he must feel in some way helpless. He’s supposed to be my hero when I’m in distress (as I am his, if he were in distress) and that’s frustrating for him because he has done all that he can for me.

The weekend ended with a pit in my stomach as my friends and their jovial dispositions drove away and I was left to my own devices. No distractions. Only the reality that I am in a liminal and tense space.

There’s no such thing as the abortion story. Every abortion story is different. Every person is different.

From the packing of our suitcases, to going through baggage check, to the waiting at our gate, my partner and I were fixated on one thing and one thing only – this was not a holiday.

My bag was light, packed with practical clothes – not my usual skirts, bikinis, dresses, heels, shorts… simply baggy comfortable clothing – along with  medicine and sanitary pads.  Baggage check was eerily quick as we were so prepared. Our time waiting was edgy, there were no “airport pints”, no pictures to remember the moment, no cheer. I realized dejectedly that my innocence was being stripped away from me – I always enjoyed the airport. I’ve always had this fantastic relationship with it, associating it with happy memories and good friends and freedom. But now I was here, everything was grey and serious. It wasn’t that place anymore. It was now a place full of lonely business people awkwardly posing and talking through ear pieces.

Irish abortion stories have that thing in common, though, don’t they? Not all of them. These days they’re as likely to be accessed over the internet as through our more traditional boats and flights out. But any time one of us needs an abortion we must become outlaws- either by breaking the law or travelling until we are, literally, outside it.

This story does have a happy ending, you know.

Returning home, I feel like me. The airport feels celebratory again, I have an omelette and a smoothie and am happy and hyper, even though it’s extremely early in the morning.

When I arrive home I clean my entire room. I bring my dog for a walk. I plan what I’ll do with my Easter break. I look forward to visiting a friend that’s living abroad. I even plan to bake. Something I always do when I’ve free time but simply haven’t had the energy or will to do it over the past few weeks while waiting for this procedure.

I’m back to normal, I can get on with my life, the cloud has lifted. On top of that, I’m no longer afraid of judgement. It can’t effect me anymore. This is my life. These are my choices. Your opinion of them is absolutely none of my concern. I am happy and confidant.

I highly recommend reading the rest.

Life? Life, my ass.


TW for anti-choicery, abuse, and abuse of animals.

Pro-choicers talk a lot about how the anti-choice movement is not really about protecting ‘life’ or preventing abortions, but punishing and controlling women.

Of a Sunday morning, I like to take a look at PostSecret over my coffee. While people’s secrets run from the mundane to the adorable to the disturbing, until this morning I’ve never been actively shocked by what I saw.

This:

Continue reading

Highlights from the Ten Days of Action


I wrote a post for the Abortion Rights Campaign!

ARC’s 10 Days of Abortion Rights Action served the dual function of marking 21 years since the X Case judgement and demanding legislation before the summer is out. While we’ve yet to see that legislation, the energy, diversity, creativity and determination of everyone involved over the past weeks has been as heartening as it is inspiring. This time last year I would never have imagined events like these happening here in Ireland- but it’s been a long twelve months in abortion activism. My personal highlight from the Ten Days? Looking around the Sugar Club on Friday night to a room full of new faces. While I’m an unrepentant introvert in real life, there’s little that makes my activist heart happier than a room full of strangers- so I was even happier a week later, looking at photos of the Cork March for Choice and barely recognising anyone.

Demonstrations and cabaret, though, were only the beginning- although I wouldn’t envy anyone having to follow Dublin Nights for Choice‘s latest offering.

Check out the rest over at ARC.

Monday’s Action on X Demonstration: Photos


Monday marked 21 years since the X Case judgement. We’re still waiting for legislation. In the meantime, women are forced to leave the country, break laws, lie to employers, find money by any means necessary, just to access the medical care they need to save their lives and health. And sometimes, women are forced to die.

I’m out of words for now. Have some pictures.

legislateforx

womenslivesmatter

priorities

bigoted

forcedpregnancy

sineadr

TFMR

enoughtheocracy

worsethan

LGBTNoise

repeal8th

choiceireland

rosaries

nonsentient

The Abortion Rights Campaign 10 Days of Action


Yesterday morning, the Abortion Rights Campaign launched a nationwide 10 Days of Abortion Rights Action, which will take place beginning the first of March. Or, as I call it, this Friday. Ten days of action, because every single day at least ten women have to travel overseas for abortions they are barred from obtaining in Ireland.

You’re all probably sick to death of me rabbiting on about abortion in Ireland by now, but in case you’ve been under a rock: Abortion is illegal in Ireland. It is constitutional only to save a pregnant person’s life, and we don’t even have legislation for that. This leads (surprise, surprise), to dead women. ARC campaign for lifesaving legislation in the short term, and constitutional change in the long medium slightly less short term.

Greetings from Ireland

Postcards and Events

ARC and local prochoice groups are hosting a diverse programme of events throughout the ten days. Check out their website and Facebook events page for details of goings-on near you! They range from rallys and stalls to cabaret and comedy to talks and film screenings- there’s bound to be something that takes your fancy.

In addition to this, we’re running a nationwide postcard campaign to send 30,000 print postcards- and even more online- to TDs to urge them to legislate for X- that’s for lifesaving abortions- before the Dail’s summer holidays. Postcards will be available at all of the 10 Days events, or hop over to the ARC website and we can send them to you.

Ten Days of Action Launch

By the way

In case you haven’t noticed, all of the links above to the Abortion Rights Campaign’s website mean.. that the website is up! Check it out! Bookmark it! Subscribe! Tell your friends! Get involved!

Taking anti-abortion claims to their logical conclusions


Today’s guest post comes from Brian Carey.

Reductio ad wha?

Reductio ad absurdum, despite sounding more like a spell from Harry Potter, is an argumentative tactic where the point is to take a person’s view and to show that it leads to some especially unpalatable conclusion. The idea then is to say to your opponent “okay, you can believe that, but if you believe that, then you have to believe this, and isn’t this obviously wrong?” Hey presto. Reductio ad absurdum! Their argument is reduced to the absurd.

The problem with this tactic, as one philosopher once said, is that there is no conclusion so absurd that there won’t be someone who’s still willing to accept it. Reductio ad absurdum can never show that an argument is false, only that it commits us to some especially strange conclusions. But at the very least it can clarify what the real costs of holding a view actually are.

Here’s an example:

Abortion is murder?

“Abortion is murder” is not a claim made by everyone who is pro-life (so none of what follows applies to those people) but it’s fair to say that this is a common claim when it comes to arguments against abortion.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that this is true. What would follow from it? In other words, if we *really* believed that abortion is murder, what else should we believe?

First, consider the right to travel for an abortion abroad. If abortion is murder, should there be a right to travel abroad to commit murder?
Now, maybe one could object here and point out that it’s simply not practical to check whether a woman is pregnant before she leaves the jurisdiction, and one could point out that even if a woman is pregnant, goes abroad, and comes back without being pregnant, we can’t assume she had an abortion. Besides, Irish law can’t apply to what people do abroad, right?

A couple of things need to be said in response. First, while it’s true that Irish law doesn’t apply to you when you go abroad most of the time, that’s not always the case. Most countries, including Ireland, apply certain kinds of laws extraterritorially, which means you can be prosecuted here for doing something that might not be legal abroad. At the moment, this mostly applies to things like conspiracy to commit terrorism, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t necessarily be extended to cover murdering an Irish citizen abroad, even if murder is legal in that jurisdiction. (Remember, we’re assuming that abortion is murder)
Second, while it’s true that we can’t check whether every woman is pregnant, what if we had a woman who strides up to border control and proudly claimed that she’s travelling to the UK to have an abortion? There’s no practical difficulty here in working out whether she’s pregnant or intending to have an abortion – she’s just admitted it to us. Remember – if abortion is murder, we need to treat this case like we would treat a case of a mother who approaches border control with her two-week old infant and claims she’s travelling to the UK to kill it. Surely in that case we would at least want to detain the woman and subject her to a full psychiatric examination.

Finally, consider that those who object on practical grounds when explaining why women should have the right to travel rarely do so on principled grounds. This essentially admits that they would like to detain women if they could; it’s just that the logistical difficulties are too great
Consider now a woman who threatens to kill herself unless she is allowed to have an abortion. If abortion is murder, this is analogous to a woman who takes a 2-week-old child hostage and who threatens to blow herself and the child up unless we kill the child.

If the only choice in that case is between letting the woman kill them both, or saving the woman, maybe we ought to save the woman (since the child will die anyway). But if those are not our only options – if, for example, we could detain and arrest the woman without harming the child, then surely we ought to do that (in fact, if we had to kill the woman to save the child, this would also be justified).

If a woman makes a credible threat to murder me, it is right that she is detained until she is no longer a credible threat to my life. If abortion is murder, and if we apply the same principle consistently, then it follows that if we are presented with a woman who issues a credible threat (via suicide) to the life of her child, then we ought to detain her until such time as she can give birth and is no longer a threat to the child.

So, there’s the bullet that pro-life people must bite if they think abortion is murder. They must favour detaining suicidal women who demand an abortion (possibly women who have been raped) and force those women to give birth.

Unfortunately, I’ve recently pressed this argument against two pro-life people who decided that they would rather accept this conclusion than reject the premise that abortion is murder. That’s fair enough – at least they’re consistent. But at least arguments like this can make it clear exactly what is at stake if you really believe that aborting a foetus is the moral equivalent of murder.

A Religious Pro Choicer – Stephen Spillane


Guest blog by Stephen Spllane who blogs at StephenSpillane.com and SpiritualityIreland.org.

ImageSome people believe that it is impossible to be a practicing christian and be pro choice on the issue of abortion. But while it is true that a lot of Christians are pro-life, we all are not. Many of Ireland’s most militant pro-lifers are of course Roman Catholics, but other Christian denominations often get associated with them.

It is worth noting that in 1982 the Irish Council of Churches- the representative body for Protestant churches in Ireland- voiced concerns over the 8th Amendment. While all of them did oppose ‘abortion on demand‘, they foresaw reasons why an abortion should be an option.

This was repeated at the recent hearings in front of the Oireachtas Health Committee.

So how can you be a Christian and Pro-Choice?

Earlier this year I found this quote from Victor Griffin, the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, in 1982:

Abortion is morally wrong. However, at some time there may be rare unfortunate cases in which it is resorted to as the lesser of two evils. It is wrong to enshrine the Catholic view of this in the constitution

While for some abortion will always be morally wrong, who are we say to say it is morally right for a child to be born no matter what?

Morals to me are a personal thing. While there are very big moral positions that we all share (we should not steal, we should not kill etc), when abortion comes into the question everything goes a little grey. There is no hard and fast rule that we can apply as many on the Pro-Life side believe. We cannot impose our morals on others as we are not in their shoes. We are not in their position. If we were would we not like a choice? I know I would. Wouldn’t you?

Have we the right?

I recently came across an article on the website for the Association of Catholic Priests. The title caught my eye- “have we the right to insist no woman can ever have an abortion in Ireland?” That is the crux of the argument for me.

Why should anyone decide that a medical treatment cannot be given to you because of their religious beliefs? At the end of the day, that is why abortion is illegal in this country. It is because we decided way back in 1983 to enshrine that “Catholic view” of conception into our constitution. How is that right for those who are not Catholic? Or those who do not subscribe to all of the Church’s teachings? There’s plenty of those Catholics around!

Does it mean that if we had a Jehovah Witness majority in this country that we would have voted to ban blood transfusions? Its crazy. I have the greatest respect for Jehovah Witness’, Jews and Muslims who do not try and make those around them obey the same religious laws as them. It is time the Roman Catholic Church (and other Christian Churches) did the same.

We as Christians should be looking inwards and ensuring we live our lives right, as that is what we are asked to do during Lent. We should not be stopping women from choosing what they do with their bodies when it will have no effect on us. It is ridiculous that Churches in this country want to prevent women of other faiths and none from having an abortion.

While I envisage there will be some discussion at the Church of Ireland Synod later this year on this issue, I am not sure what way it will go going by the discussion last year on Human Sexuality, but it will be divisive. But it will most likely set the tone for the conversation in the wider society on this issue.

I look forward to the Government finally bringing in legislation on this issue, and it finally being allowed.

Pro-Life Vs. Pro-Choice: Missing The Point?


Today’s guest post comes from Penny. Blogging at Penny Gets Lucky about things like feminism and sexuality, Penny’s comments have been featured here before and I was delighted that she was willing to write a post for the Tea Cosy. 

A Difficult Topic

Abortion. It’s an ugly topic. Emotionally charged, difficult to sort out, and fraught with hyperbole on either side.

So I’m not writing this to discuss my views on abortion, per se. I consider myself both pro-life and pro-choice; the two are not mutually exclusive, regardless of what the rhetoric in each camp may say. I believe that every wanted baby should be given the best possible chance to make it into this world; and I believe every woman should be allowed to make a fully-informed decision as to whether she wants children or not. No one should enforce having babies; and certainly no one should enforce not having babies.

Right now, though, I think there’s a piece of the abortion-debate puzzle that’s largely getting ignored. We’re all so worried about what happens if abortion were made legal, or what happens if abortion were abolished, we’re forgetting to ask a fundamental question… What if we simply made abortion obsolete?

Making Abortion Obsolete?

Read the rest at the Tea Cosy’s new home

Responding to Alive


I received a comment in response to my post last week on Alive! Gay Pro Life Network from Andrew, who says that he’s one of the people behind AliveGPN. In the interests of clarity I’ve decided to re-post and respond to his comment, and the other interactions I’ve been having with AliveGPN, here. For clarity and to distinguish from other sources, quotes from Andrew are in Times New Roman.

Who are Alive GPN?

Hello friends. I’m one of the individuals behind Alive GPN. Some other gay friends and I who happen to be pro-life have become frustrated with our lack of representation within the LGBT community. We think human rights begin when life begins. So we decided to make a blog and a Twitter to give voice to some of these issues.

Yes, I’m gay. And yes, I happen to be male. So naturally, my perspective on gays and the pro-life movement will reflect my background. Everyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation should be able to speak out on such an important human rights issue.

Of course your perspective will reflect your background. However, a particular background is no excuse for erasing the experiences and existence of those other than you- namely, in your case, the female, trans*, nonbinary and nonmonosexual members of the LGBT community you claim to represent. If you had set Alive up as your personal blog there would be no problem. However, on your Twitter account you describe yourself as: “Alive! Gay Pro-Life Network- bringing together LGBT Americans in support of the right to life.”

This contradiction bothers me. You advertise yourself first as a ‘network’ that ‘brings together LGBT Americans’. Then you backtrack from this, saying that you are, in fact, a group of friends. Then you backtrack further and state that the reason that nobody but cis gay men are regularly mentioned in your blog is because you are one. Which is it, Andrew?

By the way, none of these things- being a network of LGBT Americans, a group of friends, or an individual- are illegitimate. They’re all perfectly valid ways to conduct your business online or offline. However, if you’re going to enter into discourse in good faith then it is your responsibility to give others reason to believe that you are who you say you are. There’s a reason I’m having this conversation with you and not, say, PLAGAL. PLAGAL are clear about who they are and take responsibility and ownership for what they do. I see no evidence that you have done the same.

I want, however, to return for a minute to your assertion that being a cis gay man means that you get to ignore the rest of your community without consequence. Sure, cis gay men get to have perspectives on any issues you please. However, those of us whom an issue directly affects- the cis women, nonbinary people and trans* men who have uteruses and are fertile- are entitled to question you. Our bodies are the site of the consequences of your opinions. Savita Halappanavar and Bimbo Onanuga were not cis gay men. They were women and their agonising deaths could have been easily prevented were it not for anti abortion laws in my country. The women of Termination for Medical Reasons are not cis gay men. The undignified and callous way in which their trauma is intensified could easily be prevented were it not for anti abortion laws in my country, too.

But I’m not here to talk about why I support abortion accessibility. I’m here to talk about my questions regarding you as an organisation. If you are a group of friends who represent cis gay men who are anti abortion, why not say so? Why claim to be something else?

Queerness and Language

The language used was not intended to offend anyone. I personally despise the word “queer” so I don’t use it in writing or in my personal discourse. That’s just me.

That’s an legitimate perspective. Thank you. I don’t want to press this one, as I know that ‘queer’ is a word that in some contexts continues to be used violently against people, and that it is contentious. However, as someone who identifies as queer, I’d have (more) concerns as to your erasure of people like me. How do you refer to people who identify as queer? Or, say, Queer Studies departments in universities?

Also, you don’t seem to have a problem with the word when it (seems to) suit your agenda.

Bullying

As someone who of course encountered anti-gay bullying in school, my intent was never to diminish the tragedy that continues to take place. The point was merely to note we have taken steps as a society to address the issue with new anti-bullying laws, awareness campaigns, etc. Yet unborn children do not have protection under the law when faced with the violence of abortion. Both are wrongs that must be ended in our society.

I have a lot that I could say on your view that abortion can be compared with homophobia. However, my intent with this post isn’t to discuss our views on abortion- there’s no question that we disagree strongly- but to raise my concerns regarding AliveGPN as a group. I’m happy to discuss abortion at a later date.

Instead, let’s go back to that Twitter account description: “Alive! Gay Pro-Life Network- bringing together LGBT Americans in support of the right to life”. If you are a network of LGBT Americans, as well as people who condemn homophobia and anti-gay bullying as strongly as you do those who provide necessary medical care to pregnant people, then why did Geoff find that these were the top non-abortion-related accounts also followed by your followers?

Pontifex, the Pope‘s English account, comes above all others. He has described those who do not share my exclusive fetish for the opposite sex as objectively disordered and having a “strong tendency ordered towards an inherent moral evil.

Paul Ryan repeats his election trick of coming second, despite campaigning tirelessly against marriage equality, adoption rights, and military career options for the LGBTQ community.

Mitt Romney trails Ryan considerably, both in homophobia and ranking, managing only to oppose marriage equality and unduly inconvenience children raised by same sex couples.

Michelle Malkin follows, her energies devoted to countering marriage equality.

The gender balance is further improved by the addition of Alveda King, who opines that “Homosexuality cannot be elevated to the civil rights issue. The civil rights movement was born from the Bible. God hates homosexuality“. 

Ann Coulter is perhaps included because she feels thatmarriage is not a civil right [for the LGBTQ community]”, or that she can “talk gays out of gay marriage”, or perhaps because she opposes sex education that may teach children about the “homosexual lifestyle”. She makes my job easier by issuing all quotes at a talk to gay conservatives.

If you are, as you say in your name, a network of LGBT Americans, and as you say to me, someone who is deeply concerned with anti-gay (pity about the LBTQIA folks, I guess) bullying, then why on earth do you associate with people who encourage and commit bullying against our community? What kind of real-live network of LGBT people overwhelmingly follows those who have made careers out of destroying our rights and our lives? Anti-gay bullying isn’t, as you say, a mere tragedy. It’s a travesty. And your so-called network is overwhelmingly made up of people who commit that travesty. You can say as much as you like that your “intent was never to diminish the tragedy that continues to take place”. Your actions, and your refusal to condemn homophobic organisations, say otherwise.

You could argue- and probably will- that you don’t get to control who follows you. Fair point. However, if you are being followed by homophobes then why aren’t you engaging with them? If you have an audience of people willing to listen to you and opposed to LGBTQ equality, when why aren’t you putting as much effort into winning them over to support your rights as you are into taking away the rights of pregnant people?

Finally..

If anyone shares our pro-life position and would like to offer their perspective, I would certainly welcome it! We all have full-time jobs and this is just a side-project for us so we’ll certainly welcome any assistance in building and improving it.

Feel free to email me: AliveGPN@gmail.com.

Y’know, I think you might have better luck with someone like PLAGAL than the Tea Cosy if what you want is help building your website! But thank you for engaging with me.

Right, Tea Cosiers! What do you think? Have you any questions for Andrew? Is there something I’ve missed? Am I being unfair? Am I being too damn nice? Let me know!