Saturday, October 22, 2016

Today in un-shut crumpet-holes...

Not so fast Wilde! Yeah, that thing where the British Government was going to start overturning convictions of men charged with gross indecency back when being gay was a crime? Well now it's not happening because Minister of Justice Sam Gyimah talked too long. Wait, wah? Long-windedness? In government?
Pictured: Justice Minister Gyimah not shutting his
crumpet-hole long enough for the bill to be voted on.
Parliament? Think the senate scenes in
the Star Wars prequels, but slightly
more interesting and you have it.
Yeah, the guy who as recently as this week was talking about how important it was to un-convict thousands for the crime of being gay just filibustered (a term with it's origins in piracy which the British call Privateering. Burn!) a bill that would do so. What gives? The thrilling drama of complicated parliamentary procedure gives that's what. The bill Gyimah just talked all over, called the 'Turing Bill' would have granted blanket pardons to anyone, living or dead, convicted of crimes that are no longer crimes, i.e. gay stuff or, as they would spell it gaye-stuffe.

Fun fact: goat rodeos are both a
metaphor meaning a chaotic shitshow of
a situation as well as a rodeo with goats.
So what's Gyimah's beef? He's concerned that that bill didn't make enough provisions for distinguishing between pardons for men convicted of having sex with other men and those convicted of sex with underage males. Instead, Gyimah is supporting a different bill that would amend an existing law that would overturn only the convictions of dead people while leaving the door open for people who are still alive to get their convictions overturned through a type of appeal called disregard process. Confused? Yes. We all are. The whole thing is kind of a mess. It's what the British would call a sticky wicket, or in American: an unmitigated goat-rodeo. 

But ok, it sounds like both sides are at least well-intended here. Everyone agrees that pardons for people convicted of being gay are long overdue, right? No. Not George Montegue, who was convicted in 1974 of gross indecency and is having none of it:

Pictured: a 93 year old gay Brittish
man, who's had quite enough of
this bullshit, thank you very much.
"I couldn't be more happier about it, except one thing: I will not accept a pardon. To accept a pardon means that you accept that you were guilty. I was not guilty of anything...I think it was wrong to give Alan Turing, one of my heroes of my life-wrong to give him a pardon. What was he guilty of? He was guilty of what they call me guilty of, of being born only able to fall in love with another man."

-George Montague, being right...well, he's
not right about more happier, that's just 
bad grammar, but everything else he said
is just spot on. Well done and cheerio

While it seems like the Minister of Justice's filibust-Privateering, just punched Britain's LGBTQ community right in the perfectly straight teeth (what? I don't buy into every stereotype...), and in many ways it did, maybe this is also an opportunity for people like George Montegue to get their point heard. Like, he's right, pardons are bunk. They need to expunge these convictions, issue a formal apology to everyone in turn and then the Queen herself should take every wrongfully convicted man out for drinks. 
"Sorry, sorry, so sorry, sorry, drinks are on me..sorry, sorry..."
-The Queen, with just a few thousand 
more of these to go and then, margaritas

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