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2012: Oct-Dec

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Nutters Stick their Oars In...

A miserable NUS whinge about Warwick University rowers and their naked calendar

Link Here29th December 2012

The National Union of Students has had a whinge at student societies raising funds and supporting charities through 'naked' calendars.

Notably the University of Warwick's Boat Club has produced a female and a male naked rowing club calendar. The later (photographed) has heavily featured in the gay press because it is to raise money for the former rugby player Ben Cohen's StandUp Foundation that combats homophobic bullying. The Boat Club explains the background behind the calendars:

For the fourth year running, Warwick Rowing's Senior Men have stripped off to reveal all. Following the club's most successful season in it's 44 year history, the boys are proud to produce yet another calendar for your enjoyment. The club relies heavily on its fundraising events and this has turned out to be the most successful. We wonder why!

On top of the Men's calendar we are pleased to announce the arrival of our first ever WOMEN'S NAKED CALENDAR!! Our girls have followed in the footsteps of the Men and ripped off their lycra onesies for your pleasure and entertainment. They have decided that a portion of their calendar sales will be going to Macmillan Cancer Research and will be specifically spent on research into cervical cancer.

But of course where there's fun and fund raising, there's sure to be a few misery guts not far behind. The National Union of Students says that universities should be safe places which champion equality and dignity . Kelley Temple, the NUS women's officer spouted to the Times:

Not only do the women in these calendars find their photographs on pornographic websites without their consent, they also receive on-going harassment on campus. More generally they contribute to an increasingly toxic air of misogyny and objectification on some campuses.



Updated: Hero and Bigot of the Year...

Stonewall announce their gay heroes and bigots nominations

Link Here2nd November 2012

The Gay group Stonewall has announced the nominees for its annual Hero and Bigot of the Year Awards. The charity's 7th Stonewall Awards take place at the V&A on 1 November, and celebrate people who have made a positive impact on the lives of Britain's 3.7 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

The Hero and Bigot of the Year awards are voted on by Stonewall's supporters.

Shortlist for Hero of the Year.

An individual who has encouraged, inspired or achieved the most for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.

  • Ben & Jerry . Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded Ben & Jerry's ice cream in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont. Long-time supporters of equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

  • Jackie Crozier . Jackie Crozier was Manchester Pride Festival Director between 2005 and 2011.

  • Tim Franks . Tim's work with the lesbian and gay community began more than 20 years ago with his involvement in a peer run youth project in Nottingham.

  • Rev Giles Fraser . Giles Fraser came to national prominence in October 2011 as Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral during the Occupy London protests. He's long been an outspoken advocate of equality for gay people and tolerance within the church.

  • Jessie J . It's been another incredible year for Jessie J. As well as joining BBC One's The Voice as a celebrity judge she wowed a global audience at the Olympic Closing Ceremony. She tackled tabloid gossip about her sexuality head on, proudly reaffirming that she was bisexual and dismissing rumours as boring and untrue.

Shortlist for Bigot of the Year.

An individual who has gone out of their way to harm, hurt or snub lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.

  • Alan Craig . In October 2011 Alan Craig caused outrage by comparing gay equality advocates to the invading forces of Nazi Germany and dubbing them the Gaystapo . In an incendiary Church of England Newspaper article he claimed gay-rights storm troopers take no prisoners as they annex our wider culture and that the modest measure to extend marriage to same-sex couples was proof that Nazi expansionist ambitions are far from sated .

  • Simon Lokodo . Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan Ethics and Integrity Minister, disbanded the meetings of gay equality groups and arrested activists. According to Lokodo gay people are sick and seek to pervert children. For a so-called Ethics and Integrity Minister to peddle such inflammatory propaganda is an ironic tragedy for Uganda's gay population.

  • Lord Maginnis . Lord Maginnis made headlines by referring to same-sex marriage as unnatural and deviant behaviour and questioning if marriage equality would mean that every deviant practice has to be accommodated? Will the next thing be that we legislate for some sort of bestiality?

  • Cardinal Keith O'Brien . Keith O'Brien has been a prominent opponent of marriage equality and made headlines with deeply offensive comments about same-sex couples. He's stated that same-sex relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and compared equal marriage to slavery and child abuse.

  • Archbishop Philip Tartaglia . Philip Tartaglia caused outrage in July when he claimed that the late David Cairns MP had died due to the fact he was gay and that a conspiracy of silence prevented people from stating that being gay directly led to premature death.

Update: Christians Concerned about being seen as bigots

31st October 2012.See article from

Those nominated for Stonewall's Bigot of the Year award include a Cardinal, an Archbishop, a member of the House of Lords and the former leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance. They have all spoken out against gays in connection with government plans to extend marriage to gay couples.

Christian Concern have found a way to fight back against Stonewall's highlighting of nasty comments from senior Christians.

According to Stonewall's website, the Awards evening is supported by high street bank Barclays, global professional services firm PwC, the Queen's bank Coutts & Co and internet search engine Google.

Now in response to emails from christian campaigners, Coutts has informed Stonewall that it will withdraw its support for the event unless the Bigot of the Year Award is dropped. Barclays has also told Stonewall that unless the Award is pulled, it will not support the event in the future.

Update: Calling a Bigot a Bigot

2nd November 2012. See  article from

Cardinal Keith O'Brien has been awarded the Bigot of the Year award by Stonewall. His extreme stance on gay marriage was singled out at the awards ceremony in London.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson won Politician of the Year, but was booed for also criticising the bigot award. Davidson, who is gay, has been among cross-party support for a same-sex marriage bill which is being brought forward by the Scottish government, while Cardinal O'Brien has been a strong critic of the plans.

She said it was important for young people to see that politics, gender or sexuality should be no barrier to success:

But where I disagree with Stonewall in these awards is the need to call people names like 'bigot'. It is simply wrong.

The case for equality is far better made by demonstrating the sort of generosity, tolerance and love we would wish to see more of in this world.

Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane said:

It's fitting that Stonewall's 10,000 supporters voted decisively to name Cardinal O'Brien as Bigot of the Year.

We've never called anyone a bigot just because they don't agree with us, but in just the past 12 months the cardinal has gone well beyond what any normal person would call a decent level of public discourse.



Updated: Exploiting Easy Offence...

Sex shop whingers cite other people's easy offence at lingerie display

Link Here4th October 2012

Lovecraft, a licensed sex shop in Cardiff has been selling lingerie, adult books, DVDs and toys since 2001. But now 29 local nutters have objected to the window display.

In a letter to Cardiff council, Severn Primary School headteacher Julie Morris whinged that it featured four scantily female mannequins, one of whom is on her knees in a submissive pose :

I find this display offensive in that it portrays women as sex objects only. 

Many of the children at the school walk past the shop regularly and I am unhappy about them seeing such a negative portrayal of women on a daily basis.

We have over 500 children at our school with many of our children coming from Muslim families. I feel the lack of clothing on the models would offend the many Muslim families in the area.

In her letter of objection, Riverside's Labour councillor Iona Gordon said that as a woman she found the display denigrates women :

But I also object because I represent members of many ethnic minority communities, many of whom observe the Muslim faith. I know both Muslim men and women find the window display offensive on religious grounds.

Labour councillor Richard Cook claimed that the shop was in breach of the Sex Establishment Licensing Policy which states: No window shall contain any sign, advertising material, goods or display likely to cause an offence to persons passing the window.

The objections call for the window display to be blacked-out.

Lovecraft's owner Simon Sternchuss said he was being discriminated against, claiming his displays were no different to that of adult shop Ann Summers or lingerie chain La Senza.

If I had displays or pictures of naked men or women that would be considered offensive, but a dummy in a kneeling position is not offensive to anyone, unless you are a narrow-minded individual.

Update: Nutters Thwarted

4th October 2012. See  article from

A sex shop has been given permission to continue with window displays.

Ludicrous complaints had been received by Cardiff council about the mannequins in the windows of Lovecraft, on Cowbridge Road East, Canton. Councillor Iona Gordon claimed that mannequins, in particular one deemed to be in a submissive pose , offended the religious sections of the community as well as being in walking distance of local schools and local health centres.

But the council's Public Protection Committee renewed owner Simon Sternschuss's Sex Establishment Licence and did not impose any conditions on his displays.

Following the meeting Gordon said that she was extremely disappointed that the local community's opinion was ignored by the committee:

I think it's really bad that the decision has gone this way. We will continue to lobby and make that man take his mannequins down.

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