Duncan Hodgson takes you through all the best of February 2012 as well as some of the very worst!
March is upon us and now we’re really getting stuck in to 2012 – but before we forget about February lets take a look over the highlights and the lowlights!
February was, of course, LGBT History Month, a chance to celebrate our achievements and remember the struggles which we have been through. A string of events up and down the country marked the seventh LGBT History Month from film screenings to exhibitions and much more besides. In Blackpool we saw the pride flag flying above Blackpool Tower and the newly installed lights glimmering in pride colours for the whole month. With such progress in the battle against homophobia and the fight for equality it is all the more important that we remember how we got this point – and LGBT History Month does just that.
- Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone struck at out the church this month, telling them that they “don’t own marriage” or have the right to dictate who can marry. The comments come as the public consultation on the legalisation of gay marriage is about to begin. Featherstone also went on to say that the government was entitled to change the law to allow same sex couples to marry as it was a ‘change for the better’.
- Daniel Radcliffe released a video in February in support of the Trevor Project helpline for LGBT young people. Radcliffe has previously championed the LGBT youth cause along with being an open supporter of gay marriage. He told BullettMedia.com: “The fact that I am straight shows that straight people care about this as well”.
- It was that time of year again when BRIT Awards controversy is on the cards. This year we saw Adele taking home two awards in what has been a bumper awards season for her, plus the teeny-tiny Ed Sheeran picking up two for himself. As Adele gave her acceptance speech she was cut short by host James Cordon and gave the finger to “the suits at the BRIT awards” – you go girl!
- Notorious homophobe and Republican Presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum has this month had his portrait recreated in a collage made of gay porn images. Santorum has publically stated that if he makes it to the White House he will reinstate the ban on gay people serving in the military, describing its repeal as “social experimentation” and “tragic” – well Rick, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke!
Lord Carey has been out on his soap box this month telling us what he thinks about gay marriage. The former Archbishop of Canterbury said that gay marriage would be “cultural vandalism” while speaking at the launch of the Coalition for Marriage’s petition against its legalisation. Thankfully we couldn’t care less what Lord Carey thinks and supporters of gay marriage are out in force with their own petition – Coalition for Equal Marriage!
- Earlier in the month the world was shocked at the death of actress and singing legend Whitney Houston. Houston, aged 48, was found dead in her hotel room shortly before she was due to perform at a pre-Grammys party. Her funeral was televised across the world and watched by 750,000 viewers at its peak on US station WABC.
- The Education Secretary, Michael Gove has stated that existing equality legislation does not cover the national curriculum for schools. The comments come after the the TUC’s Brendan Barber wrote to the Education Secretary expressing his concerns about a booklet containing homophobic comments, which had been distributed in some Roman Catholic schools in Lancashire. The booklet claims that “the homosexual act is disordered, much like contraceptive sex between heterosexuals. Both acts are directed against God’s natural purpose for sex – babies and bonding”.
- Bookmaker Paddy Power has come under fire this month for producing a constraversial advert which asks viewers to “spot the trans ladies”. The advert told viewers that it would “send in some beautiful transgender ladies” and asked them to “spot the stallions from the mares”. We’re frankly disgusted by the blatant transphobia at work here and won’t be frequenting Paddy Power’s establishments any time soon. The Advertising Standards Agency has said that a full investigation is under way.
- West Ham player Ravel Morrison has been fined £7,000 by the Football Association for sending a tweet which included homophobic language. Morrison’s tweet was reported as saying “Crack head? Go suck out u little faggot your a guy that talks if u see me you try slap me I’m in manchester every week”. With the struggle ongoing to drive homophobia out of football, behaviour like this just isn’t helping – maybe this dent in the bank balance will encourage Morrison to consider his words, though he does get paid £12,000 a week.