Same Sex Marriage & Real News

Well, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed the second reading in the House of Commons. Now it is off to committee for tweaking and going to the House of Lords. A hard task because there are 26 unelected Bishops of one flavour or another who are members of that House.

I have to say that in this, I stand with Cameron (even though nearly half of his Tories voted against the Bill) because this is the right thing to do.

This is Cameron

This is Cameron

Cameron enjoys my wrath on most things, but on this he earned a qualified respect.

The bleating of the religites in the papers and on the comment threads has been staggering. All the irrational arguments you can think of:

*The sky will fall in

*Next thing will be polygamy and/or polyandry and/or bestial sex

*Or – the next thing will be incest

*The debasement of traditional marriage

*Betrayal of the electorate

*Increased incidence of child abuse

*Increased incidence of bullying

*Increased incidence of HIV/AIDS

*God’s wrath will be upon us

*Great Britain will be the laughing stock of the world

*Homosexuality will become a much larger percentage of the population

It has gone on and on and on and on. Mind you the newspapers have had a field day. Up to their eyeballs in articles, blogs, opinion pieces, quotes from the bishops and others, hand wringing and despair. Loud wailing and gnashing of teeth.

But, I think this is one step closer to a state run and managed civil marriage register and celebrants will be state employees.

The Humanists don’t want this because they think it will threaten some of their income stream. The Secularists want this because it removes some religious privilege which is the aim of secularism.

This is Great Britain where there is an established church and it gets the special privilege regardless. I mean the Queen heads the Church and is Defender of the faith anyway and even if Charlie takes over from her, he has said that he wants to be the Defender of all faiths. Good grief.

In the meantime, in the real world, a Tunisian democrat politician, lawyer and activist has been assassinated presumably by Islamic extremists as he was outspoken against Sharia law and Islamists in his country. (Late edit) The Tunisian Government has collapsed because of this.

Shokri Belaid - shot to death

Shokri Belaid – shot to death

Lars Hedegaard - the guman missed

Lars Hedegaard – the gunman missed


A Danish critic of Islam was shot at by (probably) an Islamist.

Nahla Mahoud

Nahla Mahmoud






And this woman Nahla Mahmoud slams the idea of Sharia law in the UK or anywhere else. Read what she has to say – the possibility of this law being acceptable in the UK makes me sick.

Japan and China keep fronting up to each other over disputed territory. A tsunami hits the Solomons and people are dead. The French and Malian forces clash with militant Islamists outside Gao.

Little girls are still having their genitals cut by trusted mothers and other female relatives. Although, a small light of care comes from Comic Relief and other trusts including Rosa that have collaborated on a £1.6m programme to tackle FGM in the UK. In the UK, can you believe it!!

Rosa's Chairman

Rosa’s Chairman

But the Mother Grundies are bleating about same sex marriage in the UK, shock, horror and how it will end civilisation as we know it. Unbelievable.


Orang-utans – cruelty, rescue and ultimate extinction

One of the things I can never and will never get used to is man’s inhumanity to other species. In particular the primates that are so closely linked by DNA to us. Know that the abuse of those powerless to protect themselves affects me deeply.  Family of orangs laying on boardwalk (Kalimantan, Borneo (Indonesian Borneo))

You see people advocating saving humans in favour of other species in dire straits. It is the moral dilemma question and it doesn’t matter how you answer it, you don’t feel comfortable. At least I don’t.

There are 7 billion humans on the planet at the moment and the dwindling number of other primates is solely down to our behaviour in relation to the planet we inhabit with them. There are an estimated 20,000 orangutans left in Indonesia and Borneo.

No one would really deny we are a rapacious species and extremely self centred. We don’t give much, If any, concern to the other species which attempt to share this planet. And if they get in our way, watch out. Extinction will be the end game. Theirs and ultimately, ours.

We dig up as much ground as we are able in order to remove all manner of fuels, metals and dangerous substances. We then pollute our atmosphere by processing these materials while leaving enormous scars on the surface of the planet.

We eat all available foodstuffs while tearing down hitherto ‘unused’ habitat to engage in more food stuff production to the detriment of every other species making a living in that habitat. In fact we eat so much that species’ stocks are depleted in the seas, in the wild and in the air.

We breed without restraint or thought for future generations while taking up more and more available space to build shelters for our burgeoning human population.

In the meantime, we imprison (for status) other primates and then neglect or deliberately mistreat them. Some zoos are appalling displays of inhumanity while others try to emulate a life in which endangered species may feel secure enough to breed.

This story came onto the Mirror in the UK. Now I know this paper is more a tabloid than a newspaper and I have found that over 60,000 complaints came in from readers condemning the incarceration of the featured Orang-utans. The complaints were directed to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment Ministry in Malaysia. This link is to an article about the Melaka Zoo.

The first photo is horrific:

Fear and comfort. Siblings caged and malnourished

The second one indicates some rehabilitation. These photos are by Sean Whyte who was moved to write this book: The Ape Crusaders.

Rescued and relaxed. There is hope.

There is a terrific orangutan rescue centre that was featured on the Eden TV channel (I think). The series detailed what was done at the centre which is located in West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. The number of baby orangutans brought into the centre because their mothers had been killed by forestry and other workers is alarming. Some scenes were pretty hard to sit through, I have to admit.

Talk about familiarity breeding contempt. And greed for palm oil plantation land is leading the charge.

The Indonesians have lived with orangutans for so long that they have become nonentities and most certainly do not feature as our cousins but more as food. And now the Indonesians want the forest habitat for palm oil production. So basically, it is extinction time for the orangutans.

“There have been 125,000 protected orangutans killed, captured or sold into the illegal wildlife trade over the past 40 years without a single prosecution.” from a story in another tabloid: the Sun.

These great apes are known to be friendly, intelligent and personable. They used to be mainly fruit eaters but their habitat is not affording them the amount of food their populations need and there are stories about the orangutans having to resort to killing and eating the slow loris. I don’t know how common this is. There are rescue centres for the slow loris as well as other endangered species.

There is any number of rescue organisations and here’s one called the Centre for Orangutan Protection.

I may be a squishy person about animals – well, I know I am – but I defy anyone who has an ounce of compassion to look into the eyes of this baby orangutan and not see ourselves.

Hiya. Rescue is good.