Just when we thought the Daily Fail and Christian right couldn’t sink any lower, another homophobic attack is launched, this time against Tesco, of all places. Tesco, pet hate of anarcho-socialists all over the country (particularly if you live in or near Stoke’s Croft) have committed the most heinous crime against morality of them all – Supporting gay rights.
Admittedly, the Fail make a slight point in that by joining up with London Pride, Tesco have indeed pulled the plug on their ten-year support for Cancer Research UK, a cause very close to my own heart, and their Race for Life. I’m not going to take sides and say that Cancer Research is a more worthy cause, namely because I would be lying (they each have their own individual merits), but I can certainly see why people would be upset as to the decision that the supermarket giant has made. Cancers of many kinds affect at least one in three people in their lifetime, and statistically everyone will know someone who has been hit by it. Indeed many members of my own family have suffered, some died, fighting it.
What the Fail seems to lack in understanding here is that Tesco work on a rotational basis, changing the charities that they support. They have a Charity of the Year that changes annually, one that has included the British Red Cross (2007), Muscular Dystrophy (2009), CLIC Sargent (2010) and is currently the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Scotland. They change these set charities each year to help different groups as part of their ‘Corporate Responsibility’. Having supported Cancer Research and the Race for Life for the past ten years (bearing in mind that it started in 1994), it is highly possible that Tesco wanted to go in an entirely different direction.
I think the article in the paper proves the point I am about to make in itself – In describing Pride London as an ‘aggressive political organisation’, they are showing that homophobia is alive, well, and living in their headquarters. It is certainly something I’ve come to expect from opinion writers such as Melanie Phillips, who I’ve blogged about before, so their disguising this attack as a legitimate news piece really shouldn’t surprise me. With quotes from columnists at the ‘Catholic Herald’ and the head of ‘Anglican Mainstream’, it does nothing for the massive religious movement calling for equality either.
No matter what the figures they quoted may suggest, 11 in 100 people would consider themselves LGBT, not the meagre 1% used in the column. In addition to this, you don’t have to be gay to support gay rights. I would argue that a vast majority of society support gay rights, perhaps not in their entirety, but still quite considerably. The rest are readers of the Fail and anyone else stuck in the 17th century who believes that those who engage in ‘buggery’ should be hung, drawn and quartered for their crimes against God and each other.
Of course the Bible does specifically state that homosexuality is a sin (most clearly at Leviticus 18:22), but you don’t see the Fail advocating selling one’s daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7) or putting people to death for working on Sundays (Exodus 35:2)? As I stated in my blog on Phillips, the values of society have changed. You can be moral and gay. You can be moral and work on Sundays. If you can’t do that, Priests are pretty much stuffed.
Suggestions that we should boycott Tesco for supporting gay rights on grounds of defending Cancer Research aren’t the only arguments that the Fail have made. They have in the past also demanded the avoidance of many supermarkets and fast food outlets on the grounds that they sell halal meat, under the guise of support for the RSPCA. With such a history of xenophobia, what confuses me is why people read that paper and believe what it says? It makes the spin of Fox News in the US look practically harmless, which is why I would suggest that the sensible among us boycott them.
To read the original article on the Daily Mail website, have a gander here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2060559/Tesco-backs-gay-festival-drops-support-Cancer-Research-charity-event.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
To read up on the charities supported by Tesco, you can look here:
British Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org.uk/
Muscular Dystrophy – http://www.muscular-dystrophy.org/
CLIC Sargent – http://www.clicsargent.org.uk/Home
Alzheimer’s Society – http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
Alzheimer’s Scotland – http://www.alzscot.org/
Cancer Research UK – http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/
The Race for Life – http://www.raceforlife.org/
Pride London – http://www.pridelondon.org/
For more on Homophobia, please take a look at gay rights charity Stonewall: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/