Knocking Down Straw Men

Glenis Willmott is the sole Labour MEP from the East Midlands, and is leader of the Labour group in the European parliament.  She’s generally a pretty level-headed person (we agree, for example, on nuclear energy).
But she couldn’t resist the temptation to jump on the band-wagon of frenzied comment in the blogosphere after my recent Tweet, where I drew a parallel between transsexuals and homosexuals.  

On her blog, she wrote “Mr Helmer was implying that homosexuality is a mental illness or some kind of disease that can be “cured”. This is an unfair and damaging stigma”
I replied to her: “No, Glenis, that was your interpretation, not my implication.  And if I may say so, a deliberately misleading and mischievous interpretation.  But Hey, that’s politics, I guess”.
At least Glenis admitted that she was putting her gloss on my words.  But most of the critics simply loaded my fairly innocent question with their own prejudiced and prejudicial baggage, and then attacked what they’d have liked me to say, or expected me to say, rather than what I’d actually said.  They’re creating straw men for the satisfaction of knocking them down.  The website lgbtnetwork baldly referred to “Roger Helmer MEP’s hate comments”, which is clearly libellous and actionable.  

Let’s recapitulate.  There are homosexuals who are uncomfortable or unhappy with their sexuality.  Some of these would like to seek help and advice.  And there are people who were homosexuals but now claim to be “former homosexuals”.  These people exist.  They have a right to their own opinions, their own choices, their own narrative. 
It seems to me that they deserve our understanding, and consideration, and sympathy.  And they have the right to seek help and advice if they choose to do so.
So who is the best friend of homosexual rights?  Those like me who insist that these people exist, that they deserve respect and the right to seek help?  Or those like the LGBT lobby, who seek to deny their existence, to deny them help, and to persecute the health professionals who might offer help?  As the Americans like to say, “Go figure”.

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1 Response to Knocking Down Straw Men

  1. There is nothing hateful in your comments, Roger. Nor, could your comments be used in order to incite hatred. Furthermore, in order to be considered libellous in court – a specific individual or organisation would probably need to be stipulated. I can see no controversial details in your comments regarding this topic. In the third from last paragraph of this post, you have simply emphasised the options which are available to these people. Keep speaking the truth!

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