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Chris Ford: Garth McVicar and gay crime

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford

Yesterday, I saw a posting on FB made by a gay FB friend of mine. This posting was a link to an American website where gay criminals were on display for all to see.

It's not the gay criminals that likely keep the Sensible Sentencing Trust's Garth McVicar awake at night - far different.

Actually, the website showed anti-gay American politicians who had been caught in the act so to speak - caught in the act of procuring or having gay sex themselves. Hypocrisy writ large in the land of the supposedly free.

Politicians (mainly Republicans, how strange) who made a virtue before their Christian voting electorates of being so vehemently anti-gay that they probably wouldn't shake hands with one. Halleujah, and they laughed all the way to the polls on being anti-gay.

However, thanks to the ever omnipresent force of CCTV cameras, private detectives, police surveillance and highly observant members of the public - all important ingredients in the fight against crime, remember - these gay criminals (ooops, politicians) got caught literally with their pants down.

These homophobic politicans were exposed for what they really were - smug, right-wing hypocrites.

If I can also remember correctly, hasn't McVicar got a gay family member or close friend in his life? I can remember him making a statement in a Sunday newspaper to that effect some years ago. Even so, it is a well known fact that even where a person knows a family member or friend who is gay, it doesn't mean that they will be tolerant towards them or any other GLBT person for that matter.

Most of the blogs and media comment of the last 48 hours have called McVicar what he is - an out and out homophobe.

I wonder how comfortable GLBT members of the Sensible Sentencing Trust feel about McVicar today? Will McVicar stand up for the victims of GLBT hate crimes? Will he stand up when GLBT people are murdered or are the victims of violent crime for any reason? (If you're reading this, Garth, we would really like an answer!)

I know that he made the Marriage Equality Bill submission in his own name. However, when he did so, did he think about the fact that GLBT people are more likely to be the victims of crime than its perpetrators? It's a sure bet that GLBT people who may have conservative views about crime and punishment will not feel inclined to join or support his organisation, despite his having made the submission as an individual and not as a member of SST.

Anyhow, McVicar should also have read the website about the real gay criminals who lurk in our midst when doing his research - and they are the ones who say they are anti-gay when they're really not - and they do it for public gain!

(NB: I do appreciate, though, that for many GLBT people, it's difficult to come out to loved ones and society in general because of the stigma associated with being a member of a sexual minority grouping. However, when politicians or opinion formers do it knowingly and to win favour with bigoted constituencies, that's different. While people in this category are understandably in denial too about their sexuality or fearful of it being exposed, they are doing a grave disservice to not only themselves but their families, friends, the wider electorate and the cause of GLBT equality.)


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