Gordon Brown issued a formal apology to Alan Turning last night in response to the petition I mentioned last month. This is very good news, as indeed is the fact that over 31,000 people (last I looked) have signed the petition.
On the downside, over at The Outer Alliance there is news of a speculative fiction market that refuses to accept any LGBT material, or even an ad for such material elsewhere.
Personally I am happy for anyone to set limits on what they are prepared to publish. If I were running a fiction magazine there are things I would be reluctant to accept. Stories that get their “entertainment” value from violence against women, for example, or stories in which the main villain is a gross stereotype of a gay man and there are no other gay characters in evidence. I’ve spoken out against such things before, and been criticized for doing so, but I did so openly and I think that anyone not prepared to accept LGBT material should be open about it and be prepared to defend that stance.
More specifically I object strongly to the idea that to even mention same sex attraction, or the existence of trans people, is somehow explicit sexual content that is obscene and pornographic — something that should not be mentioned in polite company.
And finally, if you don’t mean to equate being gay with being a pedophile, don’t do it. If you do the whole “whoops, I did it again” thing, no one is going to take your apology seriously.
But basically all anyone has to do is read. Go take a look at what Gordon Brown has to say about gay people, and then take a look at what Jake Freivald has to say about them, and ask yourself which one of them sounds like the better human being.
By the way, the ad that caused all the fuss is now visible in my sidebar. I’ll have an article in that issue of Crossed Genres (I was asked to provide it when I was in Boston last month). It will be about Heinlein.