It is being launched, courtesy of the taxpayer, at a reception in the Speaker’s official residence on Monday evening, where Mr Evans ‘will celebrate his decision to go public’.
His Grace is very much in favour of any initiative which alleviates the suffering, injustice, prejudice and irrational discrimination endured by any member of any minority group. It is incumbent upon all reasonable human beings to love their neighbour and to be Good Samaritans wherever they can and whenever the opportunity to do good presents itself.
But a tax-payer subsidised support group aimed specifically at the LGBT (that is lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community really is at the extreme of inclusivity.
How many transgendered people work in Parliament?
Or is it unknown because they are not ‘out’?
Could someone please explain to His Grace why lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered need their own taxpayer-subsidised network in the Houses of Parliament?
And why the Speaker in particular is lending his support to this?
He is the network’s president. But to how many other minority support groups in Westminster has he bestowed his patronage?
His Grace is loath to ‘bang on’ about this (as he will doubtless be accused of doing), but whilst he is undoubtedly appalled by all manner of appalling persecution and discrimination against people because of their gender, disability, race, sexuality or waist size, he remains at a loss to know how forcing minority agendas down the throats of the majority is supposed to mitigate: indeed, it rather inflames resentment of other groups.
We appear to be developing a politico-philosophical phenomenon which would have engaged JS Mill no end: the tyranny of the minority.
And one dare not question this (actually, His Grace dares, but, unlike the SAS, does not therefore win). To question is taboo: to question is to be hateful, phobic, bigoted, etc., etc.
So, His Grace will not question too much: he will do as David Cameron has done and join with the national chorus of harmony on the matter…
Could they not have thought of something a little more… umm…, well, a little bit… better?
It doesn’t even make sense: Parliament is where one parleys with others: to parley is to talk, confer and debate: Parliament is the parlement, où l’on faire parler.
So ParliOut is to ‘talk out’.
But that is to filibuster.
As opposed to come out.
That would be VenirOut.
But then you lose the link with Parliament, which Mr Speaker is so keen to emphasise.
ParliGay would be more hip, but the emphasis is disproportionately on the homosexual male; the lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered might feel a little hard done by, which defeats the objective.
How many other minority groups have support networks in the Palace of Westminster?
Is there one for disabled people?
This is a genuine question.
Are there not more disabled people in Parliament than there are transgendered?
What other minorities might feel discriminated against?
And lumping the subcontinental karma-samsara traditions together, how about ParliHinBudSik?
Let’s not forget the adherents of most persecuted faith of all, who, although they outnumber both Jews and Sikhs in the UK, have no formal recognition on the 2011 Census Form.
Perhaps what exercises His Grace on this matter is that it is actually more difficult to be ‘out’ as a Christian in Parliament than it is to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.
And Christians in politics certainly get a much tougher deal from the media.
And His Grace does not mean ‘out’ in the sense of a ‘fairly classic Church of England faith (which) grows hotter and colder by moments’. He means ‘out’ as a devout and committed Christian who might wish to support the institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman; who might define certain behaviour as 'sin'; who might wish to abolish abortion or at least mitigate the abuse by a reduction in the upper limit; who might wish to retain bishops in the House of Lords; who might wish to sustain the tradition of prayers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob before each session of Parliament; who vigorously supports church schools and educational autonomy; who might defend the Establishment of the Church of England, and retain the XXXIX Articles of Religion and the Act of Settlement.
How hard is it to be ‘out’ in these beliefs?
Homophobia (as it is defined in the vernacular) is a hateful and unacceptable prejudice.
But Christianophobia (which has not even entered the vernacular) is as real as any irrational phobia, and Pope Benedict XVI is right to draw our attention to it during Advent.
Mainly because the Archbishop of Canterbury dare not speak out, for fear of being mocked and misrepresented by the media, or lectured to by the Prime Minister.