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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Queers Against NATO? Seriously?

The problem I have with identity politics is that once you've been put into a simplistic identity pigeonhole, some people expect you to hold a set of political beliefs which just don't fit. It's just as true for gays as it is for women and visible minorities. That is perfectly illustrated by the Toronto group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and now Queers Against NATO, who recently marched in Chicago to protest the NATO summit:
The anti-war movement and the queer movement are allied, according to the queer protestors, because queer people are affected by militarization.
"Last year alone NATO spent $1 trillion on arms expenditures and that's completely ridiculous considering the austerity measures being taken in this country," said Judy Heithmar, one of the people marching with the queer contingent. "Queer people are here demanding equality, education, healthcare and safe and affirming housing. The $1 trillion on war NATO spends could go toward advancing queer causes."
Queer people are affected by militarization? I suppose that's true in the sense that ALL people are affected by militarization. I'm sure the millions who were liberated from Communist tyranny by the collapse of the Soviet Union would agree that they were affected by NATO's militarization, but I'd wager that not many of them would march in protest against it. And yes, the $1 trillion that NATO spends could be used to advance "queer causes", but what special claim do they have on that money? It could also be spent on buying me a private island in the Caribbean staffed with handsome waiters who keep me supplied with mojitos for the rest of my life; am I entitled to it?

I resent organizations like Queers Against NATO presuming to speak on behalf of gays everywhere. I'm gay and I support NATO. I also support Israel and the Conservative Party of Canada, and I never use the word "queer" to describe myself.

Speak for yourself.


Anonymous said...

Since many fo these "queer" based groups excuse away Terrorsim by msulims as provoked by the Root-causes that make muslims want to kill. Lets ask the queers to look in the mirror to see what is is THEY do to cause the anger and gay-bash at THEM as the Root-causes for the homophobes to act-out from poverty and oppression by gays.

Onefineguy said...

Me thinks that the ultra-leftish wild ones infiltrate identity-groups (think the Occupy movement, the Quebec university students, the gays), pat them on the head saying "now, now we love you, THEY don't" then get these large groups of people to mobilize against matters which is of no direct concern. Next, nursing mothers against Asia-Pacific trade agreements.

Anonymous said...

Actually, its not NATO that's spending "trillions" on defence, but all NATO members. I suppose we can just divest ourselves of armed forces and the world will be transformed by a giant group hug.

john said...

"I'm gay and I support NATO. I also support Israel and the Conservative Party of Canada, and I never use the word "queer" to describe myself."

Sir, I'll disagree with you on gay marriage until the end of time but this comment - WOW! Good for you!

A statement worthy of admiration.

Now when the hell are going to post some more about physics?

Eric said...


Thanks for your comment. I'm sure we'll never agree on gay marriage, but many people disagree with me on that issue and we're still friends.

As for the physics posts - I write mostly about politics in this blog because it's an outlet for my outrage and my friends get tired of listening to me complain. I just don't get outraged about physics that often, so it's rare that I feel the need to vent about it. Plus I don't blog about work, so there's a limit to what I can write. Maybe when I retire (soon) I'll let loose.

Thanks for reading.