Somewhere over the LGBT rainbow……

The editors of the British Dental Journal should watch their back after publishing a letter by S Worthington, who rather dissents from the progressive agenda: –

‘Sir, I have been asked to consider wearing a rainbow lanyard at work to send a clear message of support to the LGBT+ community…I became concerned about the potential distress to other patient groups caused by such a personal display.’

Had anyone heard the word ‘lanyard’ in the last century?  Whereas before we simply had badges identifying the bearer, now the suspending strap has taken prominence. You can wear the organisation’s standard version, or you can choose the rainbow colours. Like the word ‘gay’, this joy of nature has been captured by the LGBT movement. Look around an open-plan office and you’ll see that the rainbow is ubiquitous, undoubtedly influenced by peer pressure. You don’t need to be gay to send the message: ‘I am tolerant and inclusive and I celebrate diversity’.   

Imagine a football match in which some players, from both sides, don a rainbow shirt instead of the team colours. Or more seriously, consider a situation in which someone has reported a homophobic incident to the police, and the attending constables have rainbow patches on their uniform. Unintentionally, a virtuous show of support for LGBT could be perceived as bias, with serious consequences for the accused.  Uniformed ranks participate in Pride marches, a politicisation that undermines public confidence in fair policing. And this is my argument about the rainbow lanyard: like any other vehicle of identity politics, it does more harm than good.

I know several gay people (including close friends and family) who do not feel a need to project their sexual orientation in the workplace; some for reasons of privacy, others because they dislike being primarily defined by their sexuality. Writer Douglas Murray, for example, is happy for people to know that he is gay but never publicises himself as such.

Inevitably the correspondent to the dental journal will be falsely accused of bigotry for raising his reasonable concern that a rainbow lanyard could make some people feel uncomfortable. While about two per-cent of the population is gay, over half is Christian and about a tenth Muslim. Many people of faith may be unbothered by a multi-coloured strap or what it signifies, but some devout followers regard homosexuality as a sin that should not be promoted in public services. Similarly, if most of the workforce was wearing a pro-Islam or pro-Christian lanyard, a gay person with experience of religious discrimination might feel offended.

As Worthingon argued, it would be wrong for any practitioners to declare their hostility to LGBT or religion on clinical premises. All patients deserved to be treated without prejudice, and they should also be treated without favour. As in other health professions, the professional code in dentistry states: ‘You must not express your personal beliefs (including religious, political or moral beliefs) to patients in any way that could cause them distress.’ After all, patients are there for dental work, not moral correction. Worthington concluded: –

‘LGBT+ patients can, and should, be helped to feel more comfortable with posters or leaflets in a waiting area, but a dentist’s surgery should remain an apolitical space.’

The dogma of identity politics is based on a flawed belief that differences must be emphasised. For many years in England it was received wisdom that school uniforms are an authoritarian anachronism, but the thousands of schools that went mufti destroyed morale and unleashed bullying of poorer or unfashionable pupils. Current ideology is likely to cause more division, not less. 

For sure, the most inclusive strap for a name badge is a uniform colour. Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, but it is not a special characteristic overriding normal dress code. Service users don’t want to know what service providers do in their bedrooms, and if any virtue is to be signalled it should be about the quality of service – not favouring of any client group. 

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16 Comments on Somewhere over the LGBT rainbow……

  1. The pojnt pf the rainbow sign is not to show support for gays, but to self-congratulate oneself for one’s own superior morality. The next step, of course, is to make such signs mandatory on all, since anybody *not* displaying the sign of superior morality is suspected of thoughtcrimes.

    • It’s very 1984 isn’t it. One wonders if, and how, they teach that book these days. While not blaming people for the way God or nature made them, I do wonder why we should be proud of it. Would one accept a march or a lanyard celebrating a group who claimed to be 10 Times a Night Don Giovannis I wonder.

      It’s too much to expect a pride march – still less a month as we had this year – for motherhood or something else worthwhile.

  2. The issue here is favouritism. Wearing a rainbow in support of one group favours that over another. Do dentists wear crosses to identify with Christians? Do they carry the Quran to show support to Moslems? Do they show support for any other groups? Jews? Chinese? Rastafarians? The answer is no. So they are giving privilege to one group only. Not real diversity then is it?

    • No. And the daft thing is that some of these things are not choices made in which valour or virtue are involved. Being proud of a disposition to shop around the corner is like being proud of having curly red hair. Maybe we should have Being Very Tall Pride Month or a Blue Eyes Pride March.

  3. Over half the population Christian? Don’t be ludicrous.

    Even if over half the country self-identifies as Christian (which I find doubtful), how many of those actually practice their faith? I’d be surprised if it reached as high as 10%.

    • It depends which survey you look at, and I suppose, which question is asked.

      It seems only about 6 million to to church “regularly”, and that means at least once a month. Not half by a long way, and of course doesn’t even begin to address the question of what they actually believe.

    • How do you know how Christians practice their faith? Does going to church prove it? Belief that Jesus Christ is God is all that is required. Similarly to be a muslim you must believe in one god and assert that Mohamed is his emissary. That’s all. Say that three times and you are a muslim.

      • Your third sentence is rubbish. Matthew 7.16.

        An Arab student of mine told me that I only had to say the shahada once, not three times, and I could have four wives. Naturally, like all true Englishmen I told him, ‘Once bitten …’

      • There is no salvation without the Eucharist. You may “consider yourself” a Christian, but the Lord will judge by your actions.

        John 6:53 – Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.

        • You can’t really believe that can you? That there is an entity so harsh and unforgiving, and that any human mind could comprehend it even there were? It would be like expecting an ant to understand English.

          No wonder the pagans thought Christianity was a mad cult that would never catch on (in much the same way as Christians later thought the Islamic heresy would appeal to the concupiscent and no one else). So, were the murderers of Hypatia Christians in your view? Or those responsible for the 137 dead in a Christian riot over who should be bishop?

  4. The fact that some feel pressured into wearing rainbow badges , lanyards or whatever is yet another instance of the alleged feelings if a tiny minority overriding those of a great majority.

    We often read of some demonstration of the majority culture being taken down because perhaps only one or two people have declared themselves to be ‘offended ‘ by it.

    Or even when they haven’t, as when it was suggested in the Daily Telegraph that the tradition of drinking champagne after a successful series by the England cricket team should be abandoned because Muslim players couldn’t participate,

    This is rule by minority. It is an insufferable attack; death by a thousand cuts, on the culture of Britain .

    • The Daily Telegraph suggested that????? How progressive of them.

      I think Eoin Morgan put an embargo on it because he didn’t want them all pissed at No. 10 and being an embarrassment like Flintoff & co.

    • Because it’s such exhausting work drawing attention to aspects of yourself no one gives a damn about?
      So much more trying and in need of emotional support than, say, bringing up a couple of kids.

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