Thursday, 19 April 2007

Tory MP worried by polygamous gay immigrants

Conservative MP Mr Davies has warned that human rights laws and equality regulations could open the door for gays to demand similar recognition for multiple partnerships, with groups of men or women presenting themselves as polygamous 'families' according to the Mail.

The old fear of the promiscuous gay male has reared its head again, this time articulate by this particular backbench Conservative MP. The point is entirely baseless because, as noted within the article by Stonewall: "In all countries that have legalised gay marriage or any other form of same-sex recognition, polygamy is illegal" - so essentially this is a bit of a non-news story with little actual legislative relevance. What is interesting however is the language used to convey the fear of such an occurrence ever happening.

The way Davis phrases his points may be familiar to many: the fear of accepting a "pretended family relationship" (Sychin) as normal in law. What this story tells us in part is that good homosexuality requires bad homosexuality, Davis utilises the imaginary scurge of the polygamous gay immigrant to illustrate this point. Many of the arguments that have been made criticising same-sex civil partnerships also recognise this fact, suggesting such pairings effectively render those partnerships (such as polygamous pairings) that are not recognised by law - 'queer'. Many of the debates surrounding Section 28 involved an implicit acceptance that by articulating or codifying the gay male and female in law they may be subject to greater scrutiny ("By amending the law, we will make them part of a civil and civilized society" as one Labour MP once up it - Stychin 2003).

The progression towards acceptable forms of partnership and activism has been elsewhere acknowledged and commented upon (Warner 2000). It's not hard to find example within a UK/US political context; Stonewall, started as a riot, and is now a fairly servile state-depentent pressure-group participating in Pride events with corporate-backing that would rival the Olympics. Stonewall speak out, if only to assuage the fears of the 'confused' Member of Parliment.

Stychin: Governing Sexuality, 2003
Warner: The problem with normal, 2000


Anonymous said...

David Davies MP is notorious for making silly arguments, which often escape the realm of logic.

However, Stonewall have merely nipped his argument in the bud. They efffectively said to the Daily Mail (which may be hostile to their views and campaigns): "whatever your view on gay marriage, his concern is nonsenscal. It results from a misunderstanding of the tax and benefits system and the law regarding polygamy"). Thus, the argument (and by implication its proponent) are exposed for their ignorance and scare-mongering. This tactic discredits the argument from the off, albeit in a rather subtle way.

Meanwhile, the Labour MP you quote (Shaun Woodward) is given a critical treatment in you article. It seems to me that all he is saying is that citizens (electors) should have their relationships recognised by a liberal, democratic, pluralist state. His argument says that the law, in so far as it protects minorities should enshrine the principle "different, but equal before the law".

sibonetic said...

Note to anonymous, it's Philip Davies, not David, but P. Davies is known for his Homophobic rent a quote qualities by the right wing press, methinks maybe he doth protest too much. He came up in a little rant I had on my Blog, because he was spouting a load of homophobic nonsense.
if your interested

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to be pedantic, but you are wrong!

There is indeed a Tory MP called Philip Davies, who represents Shipley and is rather unpleasant to boot.

However, the man referred to in this post is, as I said, David Davies, MP for Monmouth (note, not David Davis).

Incidentally, to avoid confusion with his fellow Tory MP and erstwhile party leadership contender David Davis, he has taken to calling himself David T.C. Davies. For this reason he has earned the nickname Top Cat.

Here is the article that should clear up the confusion:

sibonetic said...

Sorry about that, it is so difficult to keep track of all the biggoted tories called Davi(e)s

feer said...

He sounds like a British version of Rick Santorum.

He was always fond of conflating homosexual relationships with beastiality.

The American christian-Right argument is essentially the same as MP Davies' here. That once you "break the barricade" of "immoral unions" , then whats the rational for keeping gay pedophile polygamist goatfuckers from having that particular sex act approved in law? A ridiculous slippery slope, to be sure, but that has always been their argument. And why they're so wild-eyed crazy about never ever ever allowing any sort of homosexual equality in law.

Cara said...

You write very well.

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