Prop 8, Iran and the possibility of a gay footballer?
It all seems far too delicious a possibility.
In the week we learned that a Californian judge had overturned the ban against same-sex marriage, the Guardian is writing about how 8 out of 10 people polled reckon that it would be a good thing if gay footballers came out.
Have we finally reached that point? Have activists finally achieved equality? Is the struggle over? Do we just need a few high-profile footballers to emerge from the closet and then everything will be alright?
No. Of course it’s not. Look at the fallout on the internet about Prop 8. There’s even analysis about whether or not the decision to overturn the ban was fair given that the judge is allegedly gay himself. The fact that this didn’t pass quietly in the night shows there’s a predictable and vocal amount of discontent about the decision. That’s depressing in itself.
But the predictable commentary about Proposition 8 is nothing in comparison to the stark reminder presented by another Guardian story today. The piece about 18 year old heterosexual Ebrahim Hamidi who faces imminent execution following alleged torture in prison to confess to sodomy reminds us of the in-balance across the world.
Not only that, the story reminds us how legal process can be abused. Hamidi is – though quite how this is proved in any court of law I’m still not clear – straight. And yet the apparent shame of homosexuality and sodomy is used as justification. It’s a tricky story to pick up. Is it human rights or gay rights?
However that story is covered, it underlines something I still find incredible. I went through an intense and lengthy period of denial over my own sexuality myself. Now I’ve emerged from the other side of the tunnel I can see it for what it is. Needless yet understandable silliness.
And whilst I’d be a complete idiot to be so crass as to overlook local beliefs – that would show spectacular insensitivity on my part – I can’t help wondering whether or not in my lifetime we’ll look back on this and say to one another “Do you remember when there were some countries in the world which still punished men for having gay sex by executing them?”
I really hope so.