Friday, 31 December 2010

Fagburn Awards 28: Evil Queen Of The Year

Lord Browne.
Former Chief Executive of BP. Oversaw a severe programme of cuts that has led to a string of ecological disasters like this year's Deepwater Horizon explosion and Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Resigned after committing perjury due to his own closetry.
Headhunted by David Cameron to oversee a severe programme of cuts in the Tories' government spending.
The Browne Review recommended lifting the £3,000 cap on university tuition fees.
And the rest, as they say, is you making history...

Fagburn Awards 27: Queen Of The Year

Neil MacGregor.
The wonderfully erudite director of the British Museum and writer and presenter of A History Of The World In 100 Objects.
The best radio programme in the history of the world - which involves illuminating yet wrily amusing comments about Roman Art and pederasty.
Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

Fagburn Awards 26: Yawn Of The Year

Any article about gay men and sport.

Here's yet another story from today's Independent about Gareth Thomas.
Fair play to Mr Thomas, but these are always 'He's a gay/dog and he plays rugby/rides a bicycle!!!'
It also starts with Fagburn's other Yawn of the Year; "I'm not a gay [insert your profession here], I'm a [insert your profession here] who happens to be gay..."
Which happens to be a fatuous cliche.

Fagburn Awards 25: Bigot Enablers Of The Year

The Daily Mail for their sinister ongoing campaign of backing homophobic bigots and demonising equality legislation in the name of what they have hilariously dubbed "Christian discrimination".
They also employ Richard Littlejohn, Jan Moir and Andrew Pierce.
Fucking hopeless.

Fagburn Awards 24: Dubious Statistic Plucked From The Ether Award

The Office of National Statistics "Estimate of the population who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual" is 1.5%.
Which might explain why Fagburn's still single etc etc...

Fagburn Awards 23: So Many Stories, So Few Facts Award

Gareth Williams - The "MI6 Suitcase Murder Spy" guy.
This week's rumour; 'Friend insists Gareth Williams was not gay - and was being trained by MI6 for undercover role' (The Daily Mail).
At the time of typing "Mr Williams' death remains suspicious and unexplained and inquiries into the circumstances continue."
Poor sod.

Fagburn Awards: Gay Uncle Tom Of the Year - NEWSFLASH!

UPDATE: Cometh the hour, cometh the gay cunt.
Today in the Daily Mail we get a rancid opinion piece headlined;
'The Mail's ANDREW PIERCE is both adopted and gay. But that doesn't stop him saying... Why I'm repelled by Elton and his partner's grotesque selfishness'

Fagburn's original commendation now follows;
It's The Daily Mail's anti-gay pet gay snoot queen, Andrew Pierce.
Two pieces of pissy Miss Pierce's gay uncle tomfoolery stood out this year;
'Why I, as a gay man, abhor these TV queens'
and 'Why I, as a gay man, agree with the Pope - Harriet Harman's equality mania only promotes intolerance'
Yup, those are the actual titles in the Mail.
Fuck off, Andrew.

Fagburn Awards 22: Anti-Gay Christian Bigot Most Likely To Be Caught Up In A Gay Sex Scandal in 2011

It's gotta be Stephen Green, nutter-in-chief of Christian Voice.

The BBC got Green on the 6 O'Clock News to comment on Elton John's baby - in the name of "balance".
The BBC did the same thing last year in a Newsnight report about the homophobic murder of Ian Baynham.
Well done the BBC! Another winner...

Fagburn Awards 21: TV Programme of the Year (Revised)


Fagburn Awards 20: Scoop Of The Year

David Cameron spectacularly fluffing his lines in an election time interview with GT.
Terrible PR for the former PR guy.
Great bit of PR for GT/Gay Times.
Let's hope they do more of "this sort of thing" in 2011, and less asking TV talent show contestants how much they love their gay fans.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Fagburn Awards 19: Fuck-Up of the Year

Stonewall and gay marriage - ridiculous and embarrassing vacillation ahoy!

Fagburn Awards 18: Rumour of the Year

William and Chris.

Fagburn Awards 17: Gay Myth Buster Of The Year

Canadian journalist Joe Clark has spent a year researching the facts behind the manufactured fallacies of the Pink Pound and the gay market;
"If you believe what you read, "gays” (really just gay males) are a lucrative group, a “dream market” made up of high-income earners who demand nothing but the best. "That’s a great image for a minority group to have, isn’t it?
"Gay marketers, using unreliable data, relentlessly promoted the image of well-off, desirable gays (usually gay-male couples) all through the ’90s. It’s become a stereotype.
"But it isn’t true. The overwhelming consensus of over 60 research papers on lesbian and gay incomes holds that gay men earn less than straight men..."

Check out Clark's excellent website Gay Money: The Truth About Lesbian & Gay Economics - Research Of The Year Award!

Fagburn Awards 16: Quote of the Year

It was very nearly Supreme Court judge Lord Rodger's much misquoted and (deliberately) misunderstood line about gay asylum seekers and "Kylie and cocktails", but...
Fagburn makes no apologies for choosing this below from today's edition of The Guardian from the ever brilliant Zoe Williams as Quote of the Year.
It says much about these times - and rather handily also keeps you up to speed on the only news story of this last week: To Elton and David a child...It may be a bit over the top, but hey, technically it's still Christmas.

"What's amazing is that the people who do deride the Furnish-Johns on the basis of age and lifestyle, the people who are wondering whether this baby is an "accessory" (because they're gay, and gays are only interested in handbags) are so outnumbered by those who don't. Almost nobody in the mainstream is decrying Elton John's age, because without a subtext in which we all disapprove of his lifestyle, it wouldn't make sense. It has no engine, it would sound vindictive. So even the hoariest old traditionalists rejoice at the tidings. Homophobia might not be dead, but we're seeing the final twitches of its rodent bones; it's slowly turning into one of those things only children do. It's quite a moment. And on Christmas Day!"

Zoe Williams, The Guardian, Rejoice at Elton's News. And That Homophobia Is Dying
The Guardian's media analyst Roy Greenslade looked at how other newspapers reacted to the news here.

• The Babies Go Elton John CD shown is available in a couple of good record shops. Probably.

Fagburn Awards 15: Gay Uncle Tom of the Year

It's The Daily Mail's anti-gay pet gay snoot queen, Andrew Pierce.
Two pieces of pissy Miss Pierce's gay uncle tomfoolery stood out this year;
'Why I, as a gay man, abhor these TV queens'
and 'Why I, as a gay man, agree with the Pope - Harriet Harman's equality mania only promotes intolerance'
Yup, those are the actual titles in the Mail.
Fuck off, Andrew.

Fagburn Awards 14: Coming Out/Going In "Guys My Twitter Has Been Hacked" Award

Joe McElderry.

Pre-cog Photomontage - Perez Hilton

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Fagburn Awards 13: Thing That Reminded Me How Much The World Has Changed 2

I spent Christmas with an old friend - fantastic.
I came away thinking how we didn't spend all our conversations asking "How is he?" - meaning "Is he close to death?" - or talking about all the funerals we'd been to.
Thank fuck.

Fagburn Awards 12: Hero Of The Year

It's usually a toss-up between Noam Chomsky and Mark E Smith, but this year it had to be their secret love child, whistleblowing wonderboy Bradley Manning.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Fagburn Awards 11: TV Programme Of The Year That's Not Glee

1. Ray Davies - Imaginary Man
Julien Temple is known as a beautifully inventive documentary-maker. Here his invention lay in just letting Britain's greatest - and maddest - songwriter speak for himself.

2. Birds Brittania
The name was a nod to the award-winning BBC4 strand of music documentaries. The programme was an entrancing social history of Britain told through its changing birdlife.
You won't get things like this when Rupert Murdoch runs the world, you know?

3. Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights
Made me laugh more than anything else this year. Big fan of Chomsky too. Can't be bad.

Fagburn Awards 10: Band Of The Year

The Drums, The Drums, the yummy Drums...

Fagburn Awards 9: Defence Of The Year

Something else that Stephen Fry wrote this year may have garnered more attention, but this was brilliant.
Mr Fry used his blog to condemn The Independent On Sunday's inclusion of Louie Spence on its Pink 100 List 'Rogue's Gallery' of Bad Gays.
"By singling out Louie Spence for lofty disapproval, by sneering at his “mincing” they are turning their back on, dissociating themselves from, insulting and demeaning a fine man and whole way of being... Do they want people like him not to count, do they see him as being guilty of a choice in his manner and his demeanour, just as homophobes everywhere accuse all gay people of choosing their sexuality and preferences? How dare they of all people dismiss a gay man in a few contemptuous, bigoted phrases because he doesn’t fit the “type” that they think a gay man should exemplify? ...The IoS panel who chose to scorn Louie owe him an apology, and they owe an apology to all like him. There was a time when polari and Julian and Sandy and limp-wristed mincing and winking innuendo were all that came between a certain kind of gay man and his pride, his self-respect and his ability to hold his head high in a hostile world. Read Quentin Crisp’s The Naked Civil Servant or watch John Hurt’s glorious portrayal. It is not the only way for a gay man to be, no one is saying it should be, but it is a wholly proper and acceptable manner (not to mention an often loveable and witty one) and to see it traduced with superiority by the very people who should be supporting and endorsing it sickens me. I have stood up and spoken for Stonewall and its campaigns to stop playground bullying and taunting: it is of course the effeminate and overtly camp boys (or butch girls) at school who first come in for that sort of attention, the kind of attention that alcohol and a gang mentality can turn all too readily into gay-bashing and severe violence. Is it now official Stonewall policy that only “straight-acting” gays are acceptable, that today’s Quentin Crisps and Kenneth Williams’s can count themselves as outcast from “the community”? Bah. They should read a bit of Judith Butler and think a bit harder about gender and identity."
"I give up my No 3 position in the Pink List and award it to Louie Spence. Until the next time… pip pip."

Fagburn Awards 8: Crime Of The Year

Cengiz Akyüz (42), Ali Haydar Bengi (39), İbrahim Bilgen (61), Furkan Doğan (19), Cevdet Kılıçlar (38), Cengiz Songür (47), Çetin Topçuoğlu (53), Fahri Yaldız (43), and Necdet Yıldırım (32).
9 humanitarian and peace campaigners murdered by the Israeli thug state, May 31 2010.

Fagburn Awards 7: Cliché Of The Year

Brokeback Coalition.

Fagburn Awards 6: Albums Of The Year

Hunx & His Punx - Gay Singles

In 2010 gay Girl Group tropes rocked my world...

The Drums - The Drums

Justin Bieber - My Worlds Acoustic

The Magnetic Fields - Realism

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

John Grant - Queen of Denmark

Tracey Thorn - Love And Its Opposite

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Fagburn Awards 5: Books Of The Year

London Triptych - Jonathan Kemp

A book you want to press into strange mens' hands and say; "It's like this."

Finishing The Hat - Stephen Sondheim

He's not bad with words.

The Big Book Of Gaydar Uncut! - jockboy26

There have been many attempts to write a gay guide to gay life - they usually fail as they are written by posh nerds who know as much about gay life as Fagburn knows about Chinese opera.
This book - hilariously, brilliantly - shows what daft buggers we are.
It's like this.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Fagburn Awards 4: The Thing That Reminded Me Most About How Much the World Has Changed

Teenage Dream.

Fagburn Awards 3: Front Page Of The Year

I would normally just type "words fail me", but...
Most shameless fuckwitted frontpage of the year.
This story also gave us the phrase "Kylie and cocktails", in the running for both quote and cliche of the year.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Fagburn Awards 2: Sports Personalities Of The Year

1= Max Brick & Tom Daley.

Fagburn doesn't care about you, but he has always thought that the only sport that really matters is the Diving 10 Metres Platform Synchro.
Our boys won gold medals at it at something called the Commonwealth Games this year.
Well done, lads.
It was very much a joint effort - it had to be.
Though some papers ran profiles of the adorable (official!) Tom Daley afterwards that wrote Max Brick out of the story.
Even though the same newspaper had run "ironic" Pass Notes about Max Brick two weeks before about how every newspaper kept writing Max out of this story.
Tom Daley - Fagburn loved the moving backstory about you and your wonderfully supportive dad and his battle with cancer, and your own battle with school bullies.
Max Brick - we love you just as much and your own battle with a silly blinkered media-driven world where two become one.
Kudos to you, young sir.

3. Matthew Mitcham - Also a diver. Australian. Gay. Adorable.

4. That cute Portugese one who plays the footyball.

Fagburn Awards 1: The It Gets Better Video Most Likely To Make Anyone Want To Kill Themselves

And the winner is this sick-making suicide-inducing sentimental schlockstorm from some achingly insincere over-pampered poove called Chris Salvatore.
You won't.

Bradley Manning: The Independent's "Under-appreciated Hero of 2010"

Fagburn was really pleased to see Johann Hari write about the plight of Bradley Manning, placing the Wikileaks whistleblower first in his list of "Under-appreciated Heroes of 2010" - making up for their patronising front cover story last Saturday (above).
"While we were all fixated on Julian Assange, the story of the young American soldier who actually leaked the classified documents passed almost unnoticed. If Manning was mentioned at all, it was to be described as an impetuous, angry kid who downloaded the documents on to a CD and leaked them as a result of a "grudge" or "tantrum"..."
"To prevent the major crime of torturing and murdering innocents, [Manning] committed the minor crime of leaking the evidence. He has spent the last seven months in solitary confinement – a punishment that causes many prisoners to go mad, and which the US National Commission on Prisons called "torturous". He is expected to be sentenced to 80 years in jail at least. The people who allowed torture have faced no punishment at all. Manning's decision was no "tantrum" – it was one of the most admirable stands for justice and freedom of 2010."
Hear hear.

The Christmas Lecture: "Get A Time Machine..."

There's a very interesting essay on Richard Dawkins website about change and how we make it.
And boy, does Fagburn love anything to do with the mighty Richard Dawkins.

The Gays Are Winning – And the Religious Right is Losing: What Nontheists Can Learn from the Success of the Homosexual Rights Movement
By Gregory S Paul

"The gays are winning. The culture war. The same culture war that religion is losing. Do not think that the gains of the former are not connected to the loses of the latter. Do realize that atheism is the friend of gay rights in a way that religion can never be, and that the gay cause is to the benefit of secularism. And that the rise in the fortunes of gays has important lessons for the atheist cause.
"When I pointed out that the gays are winning a couple of yearsat OpEdNews it did not seem as obvious what with the laws and amendments banning same sex marriage. And hate crimes against homosexuals continue. But the opening of the U.S. military to the service of out of the closet gays for the first time in the nation’s history, the lopsided Senate vote to that effect with major Republican support, and the large majority popular support for the historic change is making the success of the same-sex crowd undeniable. But to get an even better appreciation of how far gays have come let’s conduct a thought experiment.
"Get a time machine. Go back to, say, 1958. Destination, any well-populated place in America will serve our purposes. Stand on a heavily traveled sidewalk with a clipboard and pencil and pretend you are doing a survey. Ask folks as they pass by if they think gays, err, homosexuals, will ever be able to get married. Or serve without discrimination in the Army. Here's what will happen. Chances are fair you will get beat up, especially if you are in the south. After all, they are still into lynching the occasional black. Even if you don't get assaulted, people will look at you like you are insane. What's that? Homos carrying guns in the Marines. Getting married? Who could be crazy enough to imagine such a thing? What are you, some sort of pervert? Perhaps a faggot red (back when red meant pinko)? Who did you say you're taking this survey for? Get back on the time machine, quickly. Move forward in time to, say, 1988. Do the same thing. Chances that you'll get beat up will be far less. And remember to say gay, not homosexual. But the ultimate response will be similar. Gays, getting married? Say what..."

Now read on...

Happy Christmas.

Censorship Junkies: Coming For The Gay Press

There's a very interesting and worrying essay on Cif by James Gray, on the broader aims of many campaigners against internet porn and the "sexualisation" of children, and on "how the debate around children and sexual material is increasingly shaped by religious conservatives."
"...The Front Page Campaign, for example, receives widespread support from feminist activists, yet its motivations seem antithetical to feminist aims. It not only calls for the covers of explicit lads' mags to be covered up, but also those of the "growing number of gay magazines for both men and women".
Yup. Check the Front Page Campaign's website and click on the 'gay magazines' section, illustrated by a doctored copy of a GT Sex Issue floating threateningly around the head of a frightened child.
"There are a growing number of gay magazines for both men and women. Some of these contain sexualised front covers, whether routinely or occasionally. They also advertise adult services and sex toys.
"Gay magazines have been found on low shelves and without age restriction. This magazine was on sale in a WH Smith travel store at the eye level of a 4 year old child, fully front facing and unbagged."
It has been a long struggle to get gay magazines in major newsagents and independent outlets, and not hidden away on the top shelf, or bracketed with pornographic magazines.
Censorship junkies like the Front Page Campaign must not be allowed a single hit.
And the gay press must never again be hidden away like being gay is something shameful.

Richard Littlejohn: Irony Takes Own Life

Is it worth even documenting that Richard Littlejohn has used his column in the Daily Mail to defend some homophobic Christian cranks?
'Happy Christmas, now call off the war on Christians'
Like a kid's Christmas stocking, Littlejerk managed to cram just about everything into this one.
That Xmas Is Evil poster, Islam4UK, Luton, Wooton Basset, ‘yuman rites’ legislation, "spiteful gay bigots", "a small seaside boarding-house", "a British Airways worker", "a ­modest crucifix", "a devout Christian registrar who objects to conducting civil partnerships", "a Christian NHS worker who faces the sack for ­giving a colleague a booklet about the potential dangers of abortion..."
As Littledick's rants go, it's actually quite reasonable;
"I’m not advocating turning the clock back to the 1950s, just pleading for a little goodwill all round. What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?"
Richard Littlejohn asking what's so funny about peace, love and understanding!
You couldn't make it up.

Ann Widdecombe On Dale McAlpine: No Offence

Is it worth even documenting that Ann Widdecombe has used her column in the Daily Express to defend some homophobic Christian crank?
"The best outcome of the police arresting a street preacher called Dale McAlpine for saying that homosexual acts are sinful (no more than the teaching of most major religions) is not the compensation of £7,000 which they have now been obliged to pay him but the issuing of guidance to police telling them that the right to free speech means the right to express unpopular views..."
Much of what Widdecombe argues today are such bland truisms that Fagburn finds himself agreeing with her.
"In a free society a person should even be able to call for the outlawing of homosexual acts, zero immigration or women not allowed to work and meet with raised eyebrows rather than handcuffs and the cells. What we once would have regarded as cranky we now regard as criminal. If anything shocks us there is an immediate call for a law against it..."
Yes, there have been a couple of Christian nutters being visited by the police after doing something "allegedly" homophobic - but Widdecombe must be aware that if a complaint is made against someone then the police have a duty to talk to both parties.
Dale McAlpine was charged under the Public Order Act with using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress."
He was shouting/preaching/being annoying in a west Cumbrian shopping centre, and told a passing shopper homosexuality is a sin.
A Community Support Officer went and had a quiet word, and they got into a lively discussion.
You can watch Dale McAlpine being spoken to and arrested thanks to the Christian Institute.
The Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case.
That's what the CPS is there to do; if someone from the police service has acted overzealously or been a bit daft.
It's only worth wibbling on about in print if you have a hidden agenda of trying to portray Christian bigots as a persecuted minority, as Ann Widdecombe does.
The mendacious ballroom dancing batty old witch - no offence.

Glee Vs Ugly Betty: TV's Gay Teen Queens Bitch War!

Mark Indelicato, who played the adorable gay teen, Justin Suarez on Ugly Betty, spoke to about his reservations about Kurt, the adorable gay teen character in Glee;
“I just don’t understand why the gay character is portrayed as the weak link — or the person who can’t stand up for themselves... I think every gay character on TV —whether it be a boy or a girl, or even somebody questioning their sexuality — I would like to see them portrayed as stronger and more independent, not as squeamish.”
Mark does point out that Justin didn't actually come out until the penultimate episode of Ugly Betty's run.
Watch the interview here.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Announcement: The First Annual Fagburn Awards

As news is likely to slow to a trickle over the Christmas and New Year winterlude, from tomorrow Fagburn will be announcing the winners of the first annual Fagburn Awards.
A look at the best and shittest in the world of politics and the lively arts with a distinctly bent bent.
All winners will receive one of the lovingly handtooled Fagburn Awards statuettes pictured above, crafted out of solid gold and egg substitute.
The first instalment will appear here on Christmas Eve.
Thank you.

Nikki Sinclaire Vs UKIP: Yup, They're Bigots

The former UKIP MEP and continuing lesbian, the oddly spelled Nikki Sinclaire, has won her sex discrimination case against the loopy right-wing party.
The Press Association reports;
"Nikki Sinclaire had the whip removed by Ukip's leader, Nigel Farage, in January after she refused to sit with members of the far-right Italian party Lega Nord, claiming that some of its members were homophobic."
Sinclaire now sits as an independent.
"Ukip made no defence when she lodged a discrimination suit against it at an employment tribunal in Exeter and a default judgment was made in her favour..."
"Sinclaire says [Godfrey] Bloom, an MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, called her "a queer" as she passed him in the hallway of the European parliament in Strasbourg. Bloom denies the allegation, which is being investigated."
I'm glad she won, but ffs what did she expect from this raggle-taggle band of saloon bar Little Englanders?

The Daily Mail: Xmas Is Evil

I'm not sure why The Daily Mail is getting angry about this poster, which they claim has been flyposted in Tower Hamlets by "an Islamic hate group".
STDs, debt, teenage pregnancies, abortion, raves, blasphemy, promiscuity, night clubs, crime, paedophilia, paganism, violence, vandalism, alcohol, drugs... if I could be arsed there are probably horror stories about all of these in today's Mail, as per.
Interesting they don't specify homosexuality on the poster - it's not on their laugh-a-minute website either - presumably they're giving it the ok.
Ah well, it is Christmas...

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Bradley Manning: Supporters Call for End to Inhumane Treatment

Quantico, VA, December 22, 2010 – After trying other avenues of recourse, the Bradley Manning Support Network is urging supporters to engage in direct protest in order to halt the punitive conditions of the soldier’s detention. Bradley Manning, 23, has been held in solitary confinement in military jails since his arrest in late May on allegations that he passed classified material to WikiLeaks..
In the wake of an investigative report last week by Glenn Greenwald of giving evidence that Manning was subject to “detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries”, Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, published an article at his website on Saturday entitled “A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning”. Coombs details the maximum custody conditions that Manning is subject to at the Quantico Confinement Facility and highlights an additional set of restrictions imposed upon him under a Prevention of Injury (POI) watch order...
The Bradley Manning Support Network calls upon Quantico base commander COL Daniel Choike and brig commanding officer CWO4 James Averhart to put an end to these inhumane, degrading conditions. Additionally, the Network encourages supporters to phone COL Choike at +1-703-784-2707 or write to him at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, and to fax CWO4 Averhart at +1-703-784-4242 or write to him at 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, to demand that Bradley Manning’s human rights be respected while he remains in custody.

The Bradley Manning Support Network

[Continues in comments below...]

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Obama Speaks

The Advocate interviews President Barack Obama on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and gay marriage - his first interview with the gay media.
On same-sex marriage he says his “attitudes are evolving.”
“Like a lot of people, I'm wrestling with this. I've wrestled with the fact that marriage traditionally has had a different connotation. But I also have a lot of very close friends who are married gay or lesbian couples.”
Fagburn was actually quite moved by hearing Obama speaking about this in the White House today - if nothing else he does give good rhetoric.
Can't see why anyone would want to join the US military myself - unless they're going to do a Bradley Manning (allegedly).
But anyway... Fagburn is looking forward to the future when we think how daft it was that we even had these debates.

Equal Love: With This Spreadsheet I Thee Wed

The Guardian online has produced a fun little spreadsheet of the data on civil partnerships in the UK since they were introduced in 2005.
After an initial splurge it's now fallen to 6-7,000, but at present is dropping by about 1,000 a year - at this rate maybe there will be none in 2016.
One thing that stands out is the numbers for male and female "formations" are roughly the same, but women are about twice as likely to dissolve their CPs as men are.
The website for the Equal Love campaign - OutRage's legal bid to overturn the twin bans on same-sex civil marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships. Equality for all, gay and straight - is here.
The Independent today has a great article by Joan Smith; 'Even the ancient Romans had different forms of marriage'
"...I'm sure Tony Blair meant well when he introduced civil partnerships, but it has become clear that he landed us with is a typical New Labour fudge. Now he has taken himself off to the Catholic Church, we are sorely in need of bolder, braver and more modern politicians to clear up the mess."

The illustration is from the Australian group also called Equal Love, who are campaigning for same-sex marriage. It's hard to illustrate a story about gay marriage without having another sodding stock photo of two mini groom figurines atop of a wedding cake.

Gareth Williams: Bondage, Barcode and Drag Cabaret

A press release from the Metropolitan Police today...
OFFICERS from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command investigating the circumstances into the death of Gareth Williams (date of birth 26.09.78) in August continue to appeal for information.
Police have issued two e-fits of a man and a woman they wish to speak with in connection with the enquiry.
They are described as of Mediterranean appearance, aged between 20-30 years-old.
They called at 36 Alderney Street, Pimlico, SW1 late one evening in June or July, 2010.
Having gained access to the communal area of the building, they intimated that they had a key to Gareth's flat, number 4, and were last seen walking towards it. It is believed they said they had been given the key by a 'Pier Paulo', or something similar.
At this stage, officers are making a further appeal and are urging this man and woman to come forward and assist, so that they can be eliminated from our enquiries.
There are also a number of other points on which officers are asking the public for their help.
Gareth was attending Central St Martins College, Clerkenwell, on a fashion course for beginners - police are urging anyone who knew or met him through the course to come forward if they have any information.
In addition, Gareth's wardrobe contained a collection of female attire, such as dresses and shoes, which were new, and seemingly unused, worth in the region of £15,000, as well as a collection of wigs. If anyone knows where, or when he might have bought such clothing, officers would very much like to speak to them.
Police would also like to hear from anyone who met Gareth on a visit he made to a drag cabaret - 'Bistroteque' in Mile End on 13 August 2010. Gareth had bought tickets for two other shows at the same venue. They also want to speak to anyone who saw Gareth in May 2010, at the 'Barcode' gay bar in Vauxhall, south London, when there was an unconfirmed sighting of him...

[Continued in comments below]

Chris Bryant: A Pantomime Dame?

You can watch George Osborne mocking Chris Bryant with the riposte "At least I'm not the pantomime dame" and David Cameron's pathetic "explanation" here.
All together now; "Oh yes he is!"
Is parliament a big pantomime - or has it turned into a public school common room?
Fagburn fears it's the latter.

Rob Halford: Metal Thought For The Day

"Well, musically [things] have not changed at all. On a personal level it has changed dramatically. It’s like when any of us step out of that closet and we set ourselves free there is a tremendous feeling of elation. You can be who you are without having to hide, without having to lie, and it makes you stronger, and more complete as a person. That’s the main thing that I was able to experience when I made the announcement, and from that point on my life, my personal life which has always been kind of a public life anyway was finally revealed, and it was a great lot of pressure lifting off of my back. It really was the best thing to do. It is the best thing for any of us to do if we find that we are able to step out and be who we are without having to be something that we are not."

One of Fagburn's most favourite and wonderfully incongruous rock stars, Judas Priest's Rob Halford opens up in an interesting Q&A in San Diego Gay & Lesbain News.
Let us rock!

Comedy Double Acts: Strange Bedfellows

"Double acts have almost always had two performers of the same gender, usually male, with the most famous female one, French and Saunders, still following the model of chums with a big/little, small/tall contrast. One reason could be that audiences seem to prefer double acts to be friends or enemies (bickering is part of the shtick), without any sexual tension. Morecambe and Wise famously shared a bed in their domestic sketches, as Laurel and Hardy had before them, with the joke depending on the asexuality of this arrangement, although biographies have revealed that Morecambe expressed concerns at being thought homosexual.
"This tension has been interestingly explored in recent duos where one of the performers is gay. Stephen Fry told me that he had never felt any flicker of sexual interest in Hugh Laurie, and was relieved by this, because he felt their partnership might otherwise have collapsed. For a while, Walliams's status seemed ambiguous, meaning it was conceivable that he and Lucas could become an item. Walliams now has a wife, though – so again we have a contrast, a difference, helping to give the double act its power."

Marl Lawson explores the dynamics of comedy double acts in his Guardian column.
If Mr Lawson wasn't so tragically fugly Fagburn would ask him to marry me.