Manchester councillor Pat Karney, who’s responsible for the city centre, wants to ban the Christian Voice demo from chanting vainly at future Pride parades. The tiny band of narrow minded protesters have been a fixture of the parade for a few years. Last year I filmed an interview with one of them before the parade started. Annoyingly I have yet to get the footage onto a computer to do anything with it. They’re something of a sad bunch- except in their own heads where they’re no doubt fighting bravely against a tidal wave of sin and perversion- but they definitely shouldn’t be banned.
Twenty or so homophobes with banners get lost amongst the thousands of people who’ve come out to see the spectacle, spot friends and enjoy themselves. It’s almost symbolic- a tiny minority calling for a return to bigotry and oppression surrounded by the mass of open minded and joyful humanity. They shouldn’t be banned, that just feeds into their self righteousness and imagined martyrdom, they should be allowed to come back every year and humiliate themselves. Perhaps the realisation will filter through to some of them that they’re missing out on the joys of being a decent caring human being and find a nicer denomination or (even better) none at all.
As pointed out by some of the commenters on the report, Karney’s call, if not outright hypocritical, does show a lack of joined up thinking. If hate laws must be used to silence a few delusional god-botherers why weren’t they used last year to keep the English Defence League out of Manchester? The EDL’s values are just as wrong, if not moreso, and they’re a far nastier bunch to have to deal with. If you try to stop evangelicals showing their ignorance in public then you’re giving the Catholic church room to call for protesters with valid questions about clerical child abuse to be hidden away when the Pope visits.
Let Christian Voice protest all they want. The crowd will prove how wrong they are.