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Thursday 26 January 2006 1.35pm
Martin Underwood wrote:
In response to the person that suggested the terms "gay" and "straight" were not in general use 20 years ago: I'm afraid that's just not true. I even remember the (hugely popular) Not The Nine O Clock News sketch "Are you a gay Christian", aired in 1979.

No, I was referring to the use of the word straight to describe heterosexuals!!!



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 26 January 2006 1.51pm by Lang Rabbie.
Thursday 26 January 2006 1.37pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
johnnyboy,
it's not just the gay community who find lying distasteful

I didn't suggest it was, I suggested some in the gay "community" may also have a problem with someone hiding their sexuality and by implication suggesting there is something wrong with being gay. I also wonder if what is portrayed as his strong Christain faith also played a part in surpressing his true feelings.



Edited 2 times. Last edit at 26 January 2006 1.40pm by jonnyboy122.
Thursday 26 January 2006 1.42pm
Kevin - a split of 56% and 44% is hardly representative of a big difference.
Statistically this difference (depending on the number of people who took part), could be counted as neglible.

if it was 60-40, then i'd be more likely to believe it.

it does still mean that for every 1000 people, 440 of them think it won't affect his ability to do a good job.

and this pole was published/reported in The Daily Mail...
i suspect the same pole done in The Sun, or The Independant would get very different desults!
Thursday 26 January 2006 1.57pm
I have known Simon Hughes since he first became an MP.
As far as I am concerned he deserves support purely on the basis of his work in the constituency over the last twenty years. The fact that he chose not to bare his soul to the nation regarding his sexuality over the years I respect - his private life should be private (in a perfect world). There have been huge pressures on gay people over the years which have made it sensible not to shout about your gayness if you are a gay man, as I am. Fortunately attitudes are changing and I wish Simon well for the future. He certainly has not upset me.
Thursday 26 January 2006 2.00pm
Martin Underwood wrote:
Ivanhoe, you seem absolutely wedded to the idea that we should re-consider our views on Simon Hughes based on the fact that he, up till now, has not outed himself.

No. As I have said, there is the option to take the stance that one's private life is private.

I am absolutely wedded to the idea that I can't trust someone who lies.

I like(d) Simon Hughes, and his sexuality (whatever it is) has nothing to do with that, but I have a lot less respect for him now because of the way he's dealt with this.

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 26 January 2006 2.13pm
[quote JonR]Kevin - a split of 56% and 44% is hardly representative of a big difference.
Statistically this difference (depending on the number of people who took part), could be counted as neglible.

if it was 60-40, then i'd be more likely to believe it.

it does still mean that for every 1000 people, 440 of them think it won't affect his ability to do a good job.)

Personally I find it quite shocking that it should be considered ok that 56% of people think being gay is a barrier to being leader of a political party. I don't see why sexuality has any bearing whatsoever on your political abilities and it amazes me that that kind of attitude (even in daily Mail readers) is considered acceptable.

I agree that it is a shame that Simon Hughes lied, but I also think it is a shame that he has been forced to talk about his personal preferences in this way. Clearly he didn't want to talk about it and I don't see why he should be forced to do so, or why he should conform to other people's categorisations. The whole debate of whether he is gay, bisexual or other is a case in point. Surely its up to him who he has relationships with, as long as it isn't damaging to anyone else. He may or may not feel comfortable coming out (which from my experience with a friend who is gay can be a much more difficult process than I imagined) and he may or may not define himself in a certain way. I don't see why he should be forced into those decisions to satisfy people's curiosity or counter their prejudices. Given the high levels of prejudice against gay people I think its understandable that he might not want to be open about it - the resulting furore indicates he might have had a justification.
Thursday 26 January 2006 2.17pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
paulh wrote:
Well yeah, but the flip to all this is: coming out is political death, unless you want to be a marginilised Tatchell drum banger.
Punters want a regular guy/girl. Famlee valuz.

Exactly. And this sorry state of affairs will carry on unless someone challenges it. So why are you praising Simon Hughes for running away from it and lying?

No no... never praised as such (you'll see most of my posts are dismay, plitically, yada)... I was just venturing that he might have made a 'career' decision, to deny, one that's backfired ultimately, but isn't necessarily betrayal. Most politicians manage far worse double standards (we can start with Oaten, but it's a long list, mostly tories...).
Thursday 26 January 2006 2.17pm
I don't see the problem:

someone asked if he was gay, he said 'no, but if he was he hoped it wouldn't affect how he did his job'

then a week later he says that he has had relationships with blokes.

this does not contradict itself - as he could be bisexual, or he could have been gay several years ago, and changed his mind, or he could have just decided to have relationships with blokes (as one night stands), and not again.....

he himself apologised for being misleading. I think he's handled it well (even thought I don't think there was anything to handle).

if it was my choice I'd still vote for him.
Thursday 26 January 2006 2.26pm
I'd still vote for him too. I've not lived here long enough to truly know but he sounds like a good 'rep' for our borough.

If I'm being honest, I think I'm getting annoyed because politically I saw him as the "the golden boy". The SE1 safe seat man that defied all odds. I used to be in Westminster and **** knows who my MP was, despite a rug full of leaflets attempting to tell me.
Thursday 26 January 2006 2.38pm
right, offski... back later. I'm in the George if you want to bother me. I'll stick out like a sore thumb. Guardian. Innit.
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