Amnesty International and same-sex marriage

Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
6
John Waters and David Quinn both make the same point in their columns today, to wit, that Amnesty International, which once stuck very clearly to saying that prisoners of conscience of both right and left wing regimes ought to be freed, has now become a mouthpiece of the politically correct left.

Their jumping off point was a speech given by Amnesty Ireland head Colm O'Gorman in Belfast on Tuesday, in which he described anyone who opposed same-sex marriage or adoption as a bigot (those weren't his exact words, but that was his plain meaning).

For me, Amnesty stepped over the line from being a genuinely non-partisan pro-human rights group into a left-wing talking shop years ago, when they put up posters regarding immigration policy highlighting John O'Donoghue, Mary Harney and Bertie Ahern. The tagline read something like "Some say they don't do enough about racism. Some say they are racists."

I'm not a member of Fianna Fáil and wasn't a member of the PDs. In fact, I find Mary Harney to be objectionable on a lot of issues. But I found (and still find) that sort of labeling of politicians to be disgusting.

Mr O'Gorman's description of opponents of same-sex marriage are of the same ilk. They are designed to shut down discussion about the issue through labeling people as bigots. It's a sad way for an organisation which is supposed to be about the protection of human rights to end up; attempting to silence free speech.
 


Factorem

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
567
Amnesty Internation: full of left wing middle class hippies who couldn't get a job when they left college.

Be careful which receptacle you leave your spare change in folks.
 

sauntersplash

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
3,445
Amnesty Internation: full of left wing middle class hippies who couldn't get a job when they left college.
It's actually quite difficult to get a job in Amnesty International. There are a lot more left wing middle class hippies than you might imagine.
 

Factorem

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
567
It's actually quite difficult to get a job in Amnesty International. There are a lot more left wing middle class hippies than you might imagine.
Ah yes, the cosseted "save the world" types who "go travelling" until they're 40 and expect someone to give them a job when they come back from "finding themselves".
 

The Caped Cod

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
3,527
What's the issue here? Same sex marriage, abortion, O'Gormans statements or Amnesty's position? Or indeed all of the above?
 

SilverLining

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,364
This thread will soon be taken over by opus dei agents and all reasonable rational discussion will cease. Or has it happened already ?
 

sauntersplash

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
3,445
Ah yes, the cosseted "save the world" types who "go travelling" until they're 40 and expect someone to give them a job when they come back from "finding themselves".
That's quite the stereotype you've got there. It must be reassuring to look upon the world in such a way. I envy your lack of imagination.
 

myk

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2004
Messages
405
Amnesty moved long ago from just campaigning on prisoners of conscience to campaigning on human rights issues generally. It seems John Waters is only realising this now.
 

LDF

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,157
Amnesty moved long ago from just campaigning on prisoners of conscience to campaigning on human rights issues generally. It seems John Waters is only realising this now.
I guess people have different perceptions of what constitutes human rights. I would not see abortion as a human right and I would not see same sex marraige as a human right. That doesn't mean other people don't have the right to hold that view.

However Amnesty, as a brand, has moved a considerable distance from the vision of its founding fathers. I don't see the problem in pointing that out to people.
 

Hewson

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
8,272
By the way, you can read Waters piece here, and Quinn's piece here
I've been a lifetime supporter of Amnesty in their work to highlight issues of political abuse, repression and the use of torture and the death penalty in different countries around the world.

O'Gorman's attempt to shift Amnesty's moral emphasis onto more critically social issues is extremely disappointing and will only lead to confusion in people's minds as to what the organisation is about. There are enough proponents of gay marriage and adoption in Ireland without O'Gorman dragging Amnesty's good name into the melting pot.

AI needs to stick to basic principles, the ones it was intended to address. Gay marriage is not one of them.
 
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
6
It's worth pointing out that, while most of what Amnesty traditionally stood for, freedom of conscience and the right to oppose the Government peacefully, was uncontroversial, Amnesty's new stances, on abortion and on same-sex marriage are extremely controversial.

For example, if you were to ask people worldwide whether Aung San Suu Kyi ought to have her freedom restored, the vast majority would say yes. These stances cost Amnesty nothing, and they are true to its founding principles.

If you were, on the other hand, to ask people world wide whether there was a right to abortion, or a right for people of the same-sex to get married, you would find a much higher proportion of people would oppose those propositions.

Amnesty's increased radicalism on these controversial social issues is hurting their core mission, the protection of the freedom of conscience.
 

JCSkinner

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Messages
1,247
Website
skinflicks.blogspot.com
I joined Amnesty some years back in the hope that they might be a voice to speak out against ongoing human rights abuses in Northern Ireland, only to find that, firstly, they don't permit people to complain about abuses in their own countries, and secondly, that despite obvious British occupation of the North, they don't let people in the South comment on that either.
Any criticism of the North by Amnesty comes from, guess where? London HQ of course. And of course, there simply isn't any. Too much work dealing with America in Iraq, I guess. Hold on, silly me. They don't complain about that much either.
I'd have stayed in the organisation to assist the funding of the good work they do in highlighting the appalling conditions suffered in Palestine and Zimbabwe.
But if they're now entering the arena of social experimentation and are committed to the erosion of the tradition of marriage, then they'll be getting a resignation letter from me.
 

TommyO'Brien

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
12,132
Amnesty moved long ago from just campaigning on prisoners of conscience to campaigning on human rights issues generally. It seems John Waters is only realising this now.
He always has been a bit slow. (Ditto with Quinny.)
 

The Caped Cod

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
3,527
Heterosexuals, like homosexuals, are prohibited from marrying people of their own sex. It is no more valid to allege wrongful discrimination in this context against gays than to argue that cycle lanes “discriminate” wrongfully against wheelbarrows.
What? This stupid moron is unbelieveable. A heterosexual who wishes to marry someone of his own sex would be..wait now..oh yes, a Homosexual. This idiotic fool likens unmarried heterosexual couples to homosexual couples completely avoiding the very obvious fact that heterosexual couples can choose to marry, even if they are happy the way they are, in order to protect their children. Homosexual couples do not have this choice. Whatever about bigotry, I say stupidity seem to be Water's biggest problem. Fùcking tit.
I wonder if the fact he married a bald woman who later became a priest has anything to do with world view.
 

imokyrok

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,490
What? This stupid moron is unbelieveable. A heterosexual who wishes to marry someone of his own sex would be..wait now..oh yes, a Homosexual. This idiotic fool likens unmarried heterosexual couples to homosexual couples completely avoiding the very obvious fact that heterosexual couples can choose to marry, even if they are happy the way they are, in order to protect their children. Homosexual couples do not have this choice. Whatever about bigotry, I say stupidity seem to be Water's biggest problem. Fùcking tit.
I wonder if the fact he married a bald woman who later became a priest has anything to do with world view.
If memory serves me right he didn't marry her just impregnated her. Funny how - right wing religious nutters pick and choose which bit of their social mores to obey.
 

benjamin

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
31
I've been a lifetime supporter of Amnesty in their work to highlight issues of political abuse, repression and the use of torture and the death penalty in different countries around the world.

O'Gorman's attempt to shift Amnesty's moral emphasis onto more critically social issues is extremely disappointing and will only lead to confusion in people's minds as to what the organisation is about. There are enough proponents of gay marriage and adoption in Ireland without O'Gorman dragging Amnesty's good name into the melting pot.

AI needs to stick to basic principles, the ones it was intended to address. Gay marriage is not one of them.
Your post is either extraordinarily uninformed or entirely disingenous.

O'Gorman does not set Amnesty International policy, as you would surely know if you were involved in any significant way. Policy is set through a global democratic process and in Ireland by Amnesty members here.

The membership here required the section to begin to work on same sex marriage as a result of a membership motion proposed and passed by the membership at the organisations annual conference in 2008. The motion called upon the Irish section to act upon Amnesty International's global policy on same sex marriage which for the record is;

End discrimination in civil marriage laws on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and recognise families of choice, across borders where necessary;
Thats the global position of Amnesty International.

I imagine it must be quite a challenge for Colm O'Gorman to be spokesperson on this given the personal dimension and that people will use that to undermine the organisations work in this area.

JC Skinner is also entirely wrong re Amnesty's policy on working on won country issues. This changed in 2002, largely due to Amnesty Ireland's efforts. Amnesty has been active on NI over the years, especially on violations of prisoners rights etc.

Amnesty works within recognised international borders, so the Amnesty office in NI works to the Amnesty UK section, not Amnesty Ireland. However, Amnesty Ireland took the lead to develop and deliver the highly respected human rights education programme 'Lift Off', in partnership with the INTO, the Ulster Teachers Union and Amnesty UK. They have ben very active in that regard.
 

JCSkinner

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Messages
1,247
Website
skinflicks.blogspot.com
JC Skinner is also entirely wrong re Amnesty's policy on working on won country issues. This changed in 2002, largely due to Amnesty Ireland's efforts. Amnesty has been active on NI over the years, especially on violations of prisoners rights etc.
Bollox. I've been told myself that Irish Amnesty members can't deal with the North. It's done by London. So who's lying, you or head office in Dublin?

Amnesty works within recognised international borders, so the Amnesty office in NI works to the Amnesty UK section, not Amnesty Ireland. However, Amnesty Ireland took the lead to develop and deliver the highly respected human rights education programme 'Lift Off', in partnership with the INTO, the Ulster Teachers Union and Amnesty UK. They have ben very active in that regard.
Who gives a sh!t? The place, you may or may not have noticed, is occupied by a foreign power, military on the streets, courts without juries, houses raided without warrants, bigot marches forced through people's streets, there's no end of human rights abuses to choose from.
What does Amnesty tackle? Let's tell the teachers about human rights in far off places.
Well done.
Resignation letter now signed, and direct debit cancelled come Monday.
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top