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NCCL, the Paedophile Information Exchange, and the French Debate on the Age of Consent.

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French Debate on Sexuality and Age of Consent.

Patricia Hewitt has issued this statement.

NCCL in the 1970s, along with many others, was naive and wrong to accept PIE’s claim to be a ‘campaigning and counselling organisation’ that ‘does not promote unlawful acts’. As general secretary then, I take responsibility for the mistakes we made. I got it wrong on PIE and I apologise for having done so. I should have urged the executive committee to take stronger measures to protect NCCL’s integrity from the activities of PIE members and sympathisers and I deeply regret not having done so. In particular, Tom O’Carroll should never have been allowed to join the gay rights sub-committee.

The proposal to reduce the age of consent was not mine – it was the policy of the organisation and its executive committee at that time. I do not support reducing the age of consent or legalising incest.

I note some of the comments about Harriet Harman and her role. Harriet did not join the NCCL staff until 1978. She was one of two legal officers, neither of whom was a member of the executive committee.

There is absolutely no doubt that hysteria is being deliberately stirred up on this issue.

Some  points are essential to add.

  • Gay comrades were amongst the first who first brought the attention to the wider left of the danger that PIE represented. I recall this extremely well – given the gravity of the PIE threat. The issue was not, as Spiked on Line asserts, that “ a key role of any civil liberties group worth its name is to defend the rights of association of the most loathed sections of society, to ensure that even the profoundly unpopular enjoy the same liberties, most importantly freedom of speech, as the respectable and the right-on.” It was that PIE members were engaged in the acts it defended.

It is important to bear in mind that this was not just a British issue.

The below, from a petition defending paedophiles to the debate between Michael Foucault and  Guy Hocquenghem (well-known writer and gay activist) will perhaps help us recall what was happening in France at the same time.

French petition against age of consent laws

Le Monde of  January 26, 1977:

We received the following communication:

On January 27, 28, and 29, Bernard Dejager, Jean-Claude Gallien, and Jean Burckardt will by tried before the cour d’assises des Yvelines for lascivious acts with a minor of less than 15 years of age. Arrested in autumn of 1973, it is for more than three years now that they remain in remand. Only Bernard Dejager has recently benefited from the presumption of innocence. Such a long time in remand to investigate a simple `vice’ affair, where the children have not been victims of the slightest violence, but have to the contrary testified before the examining magistrates that they consented — although the law at present denies them their right to consent — such a long time in remand we do consider scandalous in itself.

Today they risk to be sentenced to a long prison term either for having had sexual relations with minors, boys as well as girls, or for having encouraged and taken photographs of their sexual plays. We believe that there is an incongruity between the designation as a `crime’ which serves to legitimize such a severity, and the facts themselves; even more so between the antiquated law and the reality of every day life in a society which tends to know about the sexuality of children and adolescents (thirteen-year-olds are given the pill, for doing what?).

French law contradicts itself if it recognises a capacity for judgement in thirteen and fourteen year olds, so as to be able to try and sentence them, but denies them the same capability with respect to their emotional and sexual life. Three years for caresses and kisses are enough. We would not understand if on January the 29th, Dejager, Gallien, and Burckardt would not be freed.


This has been signed by:

Louis Aragon,
Francis Ponge,
Roland Barthes,
Simone de Beauvoir,
Judith Belladona
docteur Michel Bon,psychosociologue Bertrand Boulin,
Jean-Louis Bory,
Franois Chatelet,
Patrice Chéreau,
Jean-Pierre Colin,
Copi,
Michel Cressole,
Gilles et Fanny Deleuze,
Bernard Dort,
Franoise d’Eaubonne,
docteur Maurice Erne,
psychiatre Jean-Pierre Faye,
docteur Pierrette Garrou,
psychiatre Philippe Gavi,
docteur Pierre-Edmond Gay,
psychanalyste docteur Claire Gellman, psychologue,
docteur Robert Gellman,
psychiatre André Glucksmann,
Félix Guattari,
Daniel Gurin,
Pierre Guyotat,
Pierre Hahn,
Jean-Luc Henning,
Christian Hennion,
Jacques Henric,
Guy Hocquenghem,
docteur Bernard Kouchner,
Franoise Laborie,
Madeleine Lak,
Jack Lang,
Georges Lapassade,
Raymond Lepoutre,
Michel Leyris,
Jean-François Lyotard,
Dionys Mascolo,
Gabriel Matzneff,
Catherine Millet,
Vincent Montail,
Docteur Bernard Muldworf,
psychiatre Négrepont,
Marc Pierret,
Anne Querrien,
Grisldis Ral,
Franois Régnault,
Claude et Olivier Revault d’Allonnes,
Christiane Rochefort,
Gilles Sandier,
Pierre Samuel,
Jean-Paul Sartre,
René Schérer,
Philippe Sollers,
Gérard Soulier,
Victoria Therame,
Marie Thonon,
Catherine Valabrgue,
docteur Gérard Valls,
psychiatre Hélène Védrines,
Jean-Marie Vincent,
Jean-Michel Wilheim,
Danielle Sallenave,
Alain Cuny.

“A similar letter, but much more prone to controversy , was published in the newspaper Libération in 1979, in support of Gerard R., accused of sexual crimes against children and then awaiting trial for eighteen months. The letter reports that Gerard R. lives with girls 6 to 12 years ”which flourished air shows to everyone, including their parents, they find happiness in him.”

The assertion was that a girl of 6 years could give informed consent to sex with an adult and she would be fulfilled was signed by 63 people , including Pascal Bruckner , Georges Moustaki and Christiane Rochefort . 

This letter was then reproduced in the newspaper L’Express 7 March 2001  . Apart Christiane Rochefort, it was not reported that the signatories of the 1977 letter has also signed the 1979 one.”

It is essential that we recognise the complexity and the muddled thinking of the position of people on these subjects.

This was an important debate  (1978, broadcast on France-Culture – radio).

It was published under the name of La Loi de la Pudeur.

MICHEL FOUCAULT: All three of us agreed to take part in this broadcast (it was agreed in principle several months ago) for the following reason. Things had evolved on such a wide front, in such an overwhelming and at first sight apparently irreversible way, that many of us began to hope that the legal regime imposed on the sexual practices of our contemporaries would at last be relaxed and broken up. This regime is not as old as all that, since the penal code of 1810 (1) said very little about sexuality, as if sexuality was not the business of the law; and it was only during the 19th century and above all in the 20th, at the time of Petain or of the Mirguet amendment (1960) (2), that legislation on sexuality increasingly became oppressive. But, over the last ten years or so, a movement in public opinion and sexual morals has been discernible in favor of reconsidering this legal regime. A Commission for the Reform of Penal Law was even set up, whose task it was to revise a number of fundamental articles in the penal code. And this commission has actually admitted, I must say with great seriousness, not only the possibility, but the need to change most of the articles in our present legislation concerning sexual behavior. This commission, which has now been sitting for several months, considered this reform of the sexual legislation last May and June. I believe that the proposals it expected to make were what may be called liberal.

However, it would seem that for several months now, a movement in the opposite direction has begun to emerge. It is a disturbing movement – firstly, because it is not only occuring in France. Take, for example, what is happening in the United States, with Anita Bryant’s campaign against homosexuals, which has almost gone so far as to call for murder. It’s a phenomenon observable in France. But in France we see it through a number of particular, specific facts, which we shall talk about later (Jean Danet and Guy Hocquenghem will certainly provide examples), but ones that seem to show that in both police and legal practice we are returning to tougher and stricter positions. And this movement, observable in police and legal practice, is unfortunately very often supported by press campaigns, or by a system of information carried out in the press. It is therefore in this situation, that of an overall movement tending to liberalism, followed by a phenomenon of reaction, of slowing down, perhaps even the beginning of a reverse process, that we are holding our discussion this evening.

””””””””””””

GUY HOCQUENGHEM. ………These new arguments are essentially about childhood, that is to say, about the exploitation of popular sentiment and its spontaneous horror of anything that links sex with the child.us in an article in the Nouvel Observeateur begins with a few remarks to the effect that “pornography involving children is the ultimate American nightmare and no doubt the most terrible in a country fertile in scandals.” When someone says that child pornography is the most terrible of present scandals, one cannot but be struck by the disproportion between this – child pornography, which is not even prostitution – and everything that is happening in the world today- what the black population has to put up with in the United States, for instance. This whole campaign about pornography, about prostitution, about all those social phenomena – which are in any case controversial – only leads to one fundamental presupposition: ‘it’s worse when children are consenting and worse still if it is neither pornographic nor paid for’, etc. In other words, the entire criminalizing context serves only to bring out the kernel of the accusation: you want to make love with consenting children. It serves only to stress the traditional prohibition and to stress in a new way, with new arguments, the traditional prohibition against sexual relations without violence, without money, without any form of prostitution, that may take place between adults and minors.

MICHEL FOUCAULT………what is emerging – and indeed why I believe it was important to speak about the problem of children – what is emerging is a new penal system, a new legislative system, whose function is not so much to punish offenses against these general laws concerning decency, as to protect populations and parts of populations regarded as particularly vulnerable. In other words, the legislator will not justify the measures that he is proposing by saying: the universal decency of mankind must be defended. What he will say is: there are people for whom others’ sexuality may become a permanent danger. In this catagory, of course, are children, who may find themselves at the mercy of an adult sexuality that is alien to them and may well be harmful to them. Hence there is a legislation that appeals to this notion of a vulnerable population, a “high-risk population,”as they say, and to a whole body of psychiatric and psychological knowledge imbibed from psychoanalysis – it doesn’t really matter whether the psychoanalysis is good or bad – and this will give the psychiatrists the right to intervene twice. Firstly, in general terms, to say: yes, of course, children do have a sexuality, we can’t go back to those old notions about children being pure and not knowing what sexuality is. But we psychologists or psychoanalysts or psychiatrists, or teachers, we know perfectly well that children’s sexuality is a specific sexuality, with its own forms, its own periods of maturation, its own highpoints, its specific drives, and its own latency periods, too. This sexuality of the child is a territory with its own geography that the adult must not enter. It is virgin territory, sexual territory, of course, but territory that must preserve its virginity. The adult will therefore intervene as guarantor of that specificity of child sexuality in order to protect it. And, on the other hand, in each particular case, he will say: this is an instance of an adult bringing his own sexuality into the child’s sexuality. It could be that the child, with his own sexuality, may have desired that adult, he may even have consented, he may even have made the first moves. We may even agree that it was he who seduced the adult; but we specialists with our psychological knowledge know perfectly well that even the seducing child runs a risk, in every case, of being damaged and traumatized by the fact that he or she has had sexual dealings with an adult. Consequently, the child must be ‘protected from his own desires’, even when his desires turn him towards an adult. The psychiatrist is the one who will be able to say: I can predict that a trauma of this importance will occured as a result of this or that type of sexual relation. It is therefore within the new legislative framework – basically intended to protect certain vulnerable sections of the population with the establishment of a new medical power – that a conception of sexuality and above all of the relations between child and adult sexuality will be based; and it is one that is extremely questionable.

MICHEL FOUCAULT: I’m certainly not going to sum up everything that has been said. I think Hocquenghem has shown very clearly what was developing in relation to the strata of the population that had to be “protected.” On the other hand, there is childhood, which by its very nature is in danger and must be protected against every possible danger, and therefore any possible act or attack. Then, on the other hand, there are dangerous individuals, who are generally adults of course, so that sexuality, in the new system that is being set up, will take on quite a different appearance from the one it used to have. In the past, laws prohibited a number of acts, indeed acts so numerous one was never quite sure what they were, but, nevertheless, it was acts that the law concerned itself with. Certain forms of behavior were condemned. Now what we are defining and, therefore, what will be found by the intervention of the law, the judge, and the doctor, are dangerous individuals. We’re going to have a society of dangers, with, on the one side, those who are in danger, and on the other, those who are dangerous. And sexuality will no longer be a kind of behavior hedged in by precise prohibitions, but a kind of roaming danger, a sort of omnipresent phantom, a phantom that will be played out between men and women, children and adults, and possibly between adults themselves, etc. Sexuality will become a threat in all social relations, in all relations between members of different age groups, in all relations between individuals. It is on this shadow, this phantom, this fear that the authorities would try to get a grip through an apparently generous and, at least general, legislation and through a series of particular interventions that would probably be made by the legal institutions, with the support of the medical institutions. And what we will have there is a new regime for the supervision of sexuality; in the second half of the 20th century it may well be decriminalized, but only to appear in the form of a danger, a universal danger, and this represents a considerable change. I would say that the danger lay there.

A summary of these ideas states,

 ” Ils défendent ainsi l’idée d’une autonomie de l’enfant et de ses désirs, s’opposant ainsi à la désignation de pédophilie de tout rapport affectif et érotique entre un mineur (notion juridique, et non biologique) et une personne majeure. En outre, ils soulignent la difficulté pour la loi (générale par nature) d’établir une limite d’âge (Foucault cite ainsi un juge, qui affirmait qu’« après tout, il y a des filles de dix-huit ans qui sont pratiquement obligées de faire l’amour avec leur père ou leur beau-père ; elles ont beau avoir dix-huit ans, c’est un système de contrainte qui est intolérable. “

They defend the idea of a child’s autonomy and its desires, and opposed the label of paedophile for all loving and sexual relations between and adult and a minor (a legal and not biological designation). ……

Written by Andrew Coates

February 28, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Witch Hunt of Gays Begins in Uganda.

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This front-page has been met with international outrage: l’Humanité calls it a “chasse aux sorcières médiatiques” (media witch-hunt). El Mundo reports the list of “200 personas homosexuales”. German media report, “eine Liste mit 200 Homosexuellen.”

The BBC states,

The BBC’s Ali Mutasa reports from the capital, Kampala, that many of the people named on Red Pepper’s list are known to be homosexuals, and some of them live abroad.

The list also includes some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay, the Associated Press news agency reports.

“The media witch-hunt is back,” tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, a prominent Ugandan lesbian activist who appears on Red Pepper’s list.

There was applause as Yoweri Museveni said: “Society can do something about it to discourage the trend”

Well-known gay rights activist Pepe Julian Onziema is also on the list, along with a popular hip-hop star and a Catholic priest, AP reports.

Uganda’s anti-homosexuality act

  • Life imprisonment for gay sex, including oral sex
  • Life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality”, including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive
  • Life imprisonment for living in a same-sex marriage
  • Seven years for “attempting to commit homosexuality”
  • Between five and seven years in jail or a $40,700 (£24,500) fine or both for the promotion of homosexuality
  • Businesses or non-governmental organisations found guilty of the promotion of homosexuality would have their certificates of registration cancelled and directors could face seven years in jail

Written by Andrew Coates

February 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Tomboy (film) Banned by French Catholic School.

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Not Suitable for French Catholic Students.

I am looking forward to seeing Tomboy – a French film which will be shown on BBC 4 this coming Sunday.

The more so as it has got up the nose of the increasingly hysterical French anti-gay movement Manif pour Tous.

The French site Rue 89 has this story today,

A Angers, des collèges catholiques privent leurs élèves de « Tomboy »

120 students at the catholic private school Saint-Martin d’Angers were due to watch the film on Tuesday.

But the cinema Les 400 coups had to cancel the showing, as the school refused to let their charges go and see the. The ban was the result of tressure from the  Manif pour tous, who link it to ‘gender theory’ ( la prétendue « théorie du genre ».

Two other schools have already followed this move.

Meanwhile a few years ago we see this when we Google the subject….

2008.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia’s main body of Islamic clerics has issued an edict banning tomboys in the Muslim-majority country, ruling that girls who act like boys violate the tenets of Islam, an official said Friday.

The National Fatwa Council forbade the practice of girls behaving or dressing like boys during a meeting Thursday in northern Malaysia, said Harussani Idris Zakaria, the mufti of northern Perak state, who attended the gathering

2012.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has banned gays and tomboys from its public schools, a report on the news site Emirates 24/7 said.

There was no indication how Saudi Arabia’s religious police would detect who among the nation’s student population were gay and tomboys.

Perhaps somebody will picket the BBC.

 

Update: Campaign to ban showing Tomboy in French Schools (32,225 people have signed up): Here.

France: President Hollande Gives in to Right-wing Hysteria on Family Law.

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French and British Bigots Unite Last Year.

(Reuters) – France’s Socialist government dropped plans on Monday to update family law this year after huge weekend protests by conservatives against gay-friendly reforms they say harm traditional families.

The government tried on Monday to reassure the protesters, who numbered over 100,000 in Paris and Lyon on Sunday, that the new law would not legalise assisted procreation for lesbian couples or surrogate motherhood for gay men who wanted children.

But when Socialist lawmakers insisted they would amend the planned bill to include those reforms, the government announced the draft law – which would also define the legal rights of step-parents in second marriages – needed more work.

“The government will not submit a family reform bill before the end of the year,” the prime minister’s office said.

Sunday’s protesters, many of the Catholics but also some Muslims, tapped continued resentment against the legalization of gay marriage last year to pressure the government not to go further and allow ways to help gays have their own children.

Reactions have not been slow in coming.

Le Parisien reports (freely  adapted),

Ludovine the Rochère, (the ultra-Catholic leader of the Manif pour tous), was glad, “”What stood out in this bill was that it was not conducive to the best interests of children and the family.”

For Yannick Moreau, UMP (main right-wing oppositon)  : “It’s a great victory for the popular mobilisation, quiet and peaceful (…) But we must remain vigilant: there are still ambiguities on the LDCs, the GPA with the circular Taubira which is still not repealed, or  the experiment with ‘gender’ (theory) in 600 of our schools with the  ABCD of equality. “

Christian Jacob, the leader of UMP deputies quipped: “In government, we went from cock up to panic. That said, the real victory will be for us when the government has abandoned its family policy.”

The left has denounced the betrayal of the government in yielding to “extremists.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Co-President of  the  Parti de Gauche (PG) , said that the left was “deceived, repudiated” because “with the PS, the right is cajoled, the bosses’ association, the MEDEFis  admired the church is blessed (…) Our time will come. I call for a severe punishment on the government in (this year’s) elections.

The National Secretary of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV – part of the government) Emmanuelle Cosse, said, “The day after the mobilisation of the reactionary camp this decision is of great concern. WE hope the government will go back on its decision.

For Inter-LGBT, which represents lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, the announcement came as an unpleasant surprise. The association stated late on Monday that the Hollande government was “no longer fulfilling their commitments: this follows a row of  setbacks and betrayals over the last months.” Here.

By contrast the ruling Parti Socialiste saluted this as a “good decision”.

Reports indicate that the government considers that this dispute diverts attention from its ‘pact of responsibility’ with employers.

An Ideology of Fear and Loathing.

The Manif pour tous, the Day of Rage, have, in just two weeks, shown that the French far-right is able to get people out in the streets. They come after a year of growing extreme rightist protest.

In some respects there are similarities with the last right-wing popular movement in France, the 1950s Poujadism. In 1956 his Union de Defense Commercants et Artisans (4000,000 members)  won  51 Parliamentary seats with  11% of the vote.

He stood up for rural France, opposed “Americanisation”, stood for maintaining the French Empire (above all,  in North Africa) but above all railed without end against taxation and the malfeasance of the French state.

Poujade’s movement attracted anti-Semites and the far-right, but was not itself fascist.

The Bonnets rouges have denounced taxation, and ecological taxes in particular. The conspiracy theorists of the  followers of Dieudonné echo the “anti-politics”  the Poujadists. His racism, under the name of ‘anti-Zionism’ has attracted traditional Catholic right and some touched by Islamist ideology.

There is a widespread disaffection with politics and the “system”.

There is however little sign of the organised anti-Parliamentarianism that Ian Birchall (hat-tip Paul Flewers) describes as a mark of Poujadism.

A better comparison perhaps would be with the mouvement de l’École libre in 1984.

This was organised by the state-subsidised French Catholic schools (École libre), in defence of attempts by the education Minister Savary to bring them under some kind of public control (Projet de loi Savary). The Law envisaged the creation of ” « grand service public unifié et laïc de l’éducation nationale » – a national secular education service.

That year, after demonstrations across the country,  in June, these movement attracted between 2 million and 850,000 supporters to a Paris march.

Apart from the mainstream French right-wing the Front National was prominent in the ranks of protesters.

A key aspect of its campaign  was opposition to French secularism (laïcité).

Soon afterwards President  François Mitterrand withdrew the proposals.

The latest Manif pour Tous stems from another  religious origin: the defence of the ‘family’ against “la théorie du genre” and LGBT rights.

If anybody is in any doubt about the religious basis of the hysteria against this, and against LGBT rights they should look at this site, famille chriétienne.

It is no coincidence they also rant against the alleged  secularism of the present Education Minister,  La laïcité de combat de Vincent Peillon

An Islamic site, Islam & Info, equals the Christians in broadcasting hatred of sexual equality and gay rights.

They post a video showing little boys being educated into being “good mothers” (“a vidéo montre que les petits garçons apprennent à être de bonnes “mères”).

President Hollande’s capitulation to these forces is unlikely to go down well with one core constituency of his party, teachers.

More anti-Gay Demos in France Sunday.

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Demo Against LGBT, Sexual Equality and against ‘Familyphobia.”

The ‘Manif Pour Tous’ movement is calling for a massive demonstration in the centre of Paris on Sunday, February 2, to protest against same-sex marriage laws that were passed by Francois Hollande’s Socialist government in 2013.

The mobilisation is Contre la familiphobie, les familles se mobilisent !”

This new “phobia” – against families – is apparently threatening France.

A central theme is opposition against “diffusion de l’idéologie du genre à l’école” which we have already blogged on.

The organisers aim to put an end to “ à tous ces projets LGBT et anti-famille que prépare le gouvernement” – all the LGBT and anti-family projects being prepared by the government.

Après avoir mené le combat contre le mariage homosexuel, la Manif pour Tous a appelé à manifester à Lyon et Paris contre la procréation médicalement assistée (PMA) aux couples de femmes, contre la gestation pour autrui (GPA) et contre l’«ABCD de l’égalité», un dispositif expérimental en primaire pour lutter contre les stéréotypes filles-garçons.

Libération.

After having fought against gay marriage, la Manif pour Tous, has called for demonstration against Medically Assisted Procreation (MAP) for all-women couples, against surrogate motherhood, and against the “ABC of Equality” (taught in schools) *, and a measure put in place in primary schools to combat stereotyping ‘girls and boys’.

In fact present legislation does not envisage giving PM treatment to lesbian couples, nor to authorise surrogate motherhood.

The Police, the paper further reports, are concerned that a delegation of Hussiers – court officials  - will take part in this march – presumably to act as “official” monitors.

*Les ABCD de l’égalité : un outil pour lutter dès l’école contre les inégalités filles-garçons.

The ABCD of Equality: a means of fighting straight from school age against inequalities between girls and boys.

The objective: “Transmettre des valeurs d’égalité et de respect entre les filles et les garçons, les femmes et les hommes, est une des missions essentielles de l’école, au fondement de la réussite de tous les élèves, les filles comme les garçons.”

Communicate the values of equality and respect between girls and boys, women and men – one of the essential objectives of Schooling, and the basis for achievement by all pupils, girls and boys.