With the brothers and sisters in Edinburgh and Russia

I’ve never been to Edinburgh during the festival before, so when I saw that Mark Thomas had organised a protest outside the Russian consulate I thought I would combine visiting a newly moved Italian (appropriately gay) friend, comedy and a bit of cheering. The comedy fest was organised to draw attention to human rights abuses and violence against gay people and in particular new laws in Russia banning the promotion of homosexuality. As with our own homegrown version Clause 28, I have always wondered how exactly those ever so worried people thought that homosexuality was to be promoted? 

   I shake my head in disbelief because to me it makes no sense. I don’t understand it at all. So at times it surprises me that hatred can be so ingrained. I am a great believer in the old saying about those protesting too much … Most homophobes I have ever met seem to know an awful lot more about gay sex than most – the answering machine messages we received when I worked for an MP during the equalisation of the age of consent debate from so called religious people were the most filth I have ever listened to. Whereas, the comedians speaking today were full of compassion, pride and solidarity.

    Best joke, taken from the People’s Manifesto: All those found guilty of committing homophobic hate crime must serve their sentence in drag. 

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