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The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013, Second reading 5th February

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 10:15:13 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

So, the Government has published the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013 (that page by the way, bookmark it - contains links to latest version of the bill, details of progress and dates, and details of how bills progress through Parliament). It had it's first reading (I understand this to basically be "yep, it's a bill, it has words and everything" and allows it to be formally published) on 24th January.

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Hope. Maybe.

Sun, 13 Jan 2013 17:32:33 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

So, this weekend I was hopeful. I was hopeful that the #TransDocFail stories might hit the mainstream and highlight the treatment that trans* people face at the hands of the medical profession. As a queer, but cis, guy I was expecting some of it, but the sheer scale of it was flooring.

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Unwanted Christmas Gifts

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:03:37 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

Oh what joy to wake up to on Christmas morning, BBC News reporting on the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster's (head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales) views on equal marriage. Yes Christmas, that time of family, peace and goodwill to all, is truly the time to spew vile bigotry all over a portion of the population.

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2012 - Top 5s

Mon, 17 Dec 2012 11:36:00 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

So, 2012 was another busy year for gigs and theatre (one gig left on Wednesday). I thought I'd try and put together a couple of Top 5 lists but guess what: it's bloody difficult. But I've given it my best shot. I'm not even going to pretend I could put them in order so, chronologically, here they are:

Theatre

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Clicktivism

Mon, 17 Dec 2012 10:02:05 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

When I was a little baby campaigner doing stuff with Queer Youth Alliance (now Queer Youth Network), I was organising a campaign against plans by Kent County Council to introduce a local version of Section 28 - that pernicious piece of legislation which teachers felt prevented them tackling homophobic bullying and labelled homosexuality only as a "pretended family relationship". We had a petition, we organised a protest. I nearly had a heart attack when I found out that protests and marches have some regulations and got a lovely chap from the local police explaining that to me.

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No Mandate? err...

Mon, 17 Dec 2012 09:42:24 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

So, Peter Bone and fellow bigots have written to the Telegraph to complain, yet again, that there is no mandate for Equal Marriage, complaining about the fact that the 500,000 strong petition against Equal Marriage was "ignored" and expressing skepticism at the "quadruple lock".

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Writing to the endless void...

Sun, 16 Dec 2012 10:29:11 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

So, with the government proposing how they're going to implement Equal Marriage, I thought I should follow up with my MP. I wrote to her previously with a copy of my response to the consultation but heard nothing back (other than a postcard acknowledging receipt)*.

I may be a tad sarcastic in places, but here it is:

15th December 2012

Dear Ms Jones,

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Equal Marriage, from consultation to response

Tue, 11 Dec 2012 21:18:16 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

Back in June I responded to the Government's consultation of Equal Marriage. Now, the government has got back to us on how that consultation went and what they intend to do.

And it is a lot of great news. Let's not forget that the move itself is very positive and some of the changes in response to the consultation process are wonderful. That's not to say that everything is achieved from my wishlist, and there is definitely some room for improvement. But, on the whole.... WOOHOO!

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Quadruple Locking of Bigotry

Tue, 11 Dec 2012 19:25:16 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

So, today the Government launched its response to the consultation process on the proposals for Equal Marriage. A more general response is coming but for now I want to talk about a fairly significant WIN in the response.

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Some thoughts on Cineworld and Picturehouse

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 18:52:40 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

My experience of PictureHouse cinemas (City Screen in York and Liverpool's FACT) has been that they aren't just a cinema. They are art galleries, cafes, bars. They host film festivals (FACT regularly hosts LGBT film festivals and Homotopia events) and individual screenings. They hold events (I particularly remember a ridiculously fun double bill of Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge and an eye-opening double bill of Chris Nolan's Following and Memento) and Q&As. They show british films. They show queer films. They show european and world films.

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HOWTO: Buy a gift for penwing

Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:38:53 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

DO NOT - Please don't ask me what I want... I hate trying to come up with an answer and I don't know your budget and you're making me embarrassed...
DO - Look to my Amazon Wishlists for inspiration - I do try and keep them pruned and recent:

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News Story as Hydra

Sun, 11 Nov 2012 10:27:00 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

The current Big News Story here in the UK is around historical child abuse by high ranking people and the possible cover-ups. It started with allegations of Jimmy Saville abusing teenage girls while he was a presenter with the BBC and as part of his many other roles linked to his celebrity. It has moved on to cover the North Wales Child Home Abuse Scandal and allegations, which turned out to be untrue, about a particular senior Tory. In the process Newsnight and the BBC have face major criticism for both running and not running parts of the story.

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Bigots

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 19:19:31 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

You've got to feel sorry for Cardinal Keith O'Brien. I mean, here's a man who is the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland who can't even, on the basis of his religion, publicly proclaim that equal marriage is a "grotesque subversion of universally accepted human rights" and thereby declare people like me non human without getting called a "bigot". That's gotta hurt. To have it said that you have an "obstinate and intolerant" belief in a religion... to Dictionary Corner!:

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Atheism and Scouting

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:17:50 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

So, here I am killing time before I get to head on out to the Festival of the Spoken Nerd show and I thought I'd write something bloggy. Something bloggy about... well... how about Scouting and atheism after the George Pratt story last wek?

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Warrington Pride

Sat, 22 Sep 2012 17:29:49 GMT

Originally posted at penwing.site Please leave any comments there.

The relevance of Pride (from the perspective of both the events and the societal context) is contested both within and without queer communities. Often seen as nothing but a party, targetted at a specific sub-community and almost exclusionary of others, oranised by tourist or marketing boards and co-operation from local gay business, success measured by ús bought into the city, it is easy (and, in my opinion, correct) to pour scorn on those events.

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