Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Saints and Sinners

There are rare days that I'm jealous of queers. Seeing as there's nothing as queer as February 29th, may as well make it today.

Harassed and ridiculed as they are, LGBT aren't subject to arrest and imprisonment. They don't face blatant and legally permitted employment discrimination, or submit to Random Gay Testing. LGBT aren't marginalised and medicalised as an illness.

Not any more at least. Homosexuality was legalised back in 1986, and its listing as a mental illness was removed from the US dictionary of unnatural behaviours, the DSM, in 1974.

Dope fiends are criminals still. Our homes and persons are subject to search without warrant at any moment. We are arbitrarily excluded from work opportunities. Prozac, Aropax and booze habits are all good. Cannabis is bad, even if the death toll favours the former prescriptions. And if we happen to like our pastimes of weed, speed or acid, we are called addicts.

So pardon me if I don't sing the praises of visiting UN representative on Drug Addiction, Christopher Kennedy Lawford. Good on the the NZ Drug Foundation bringing him across the pond. His spot with Kim Hill showed a complex and seasoned personality. Russell Brown gave him some good rope on Media 7.

But in the end he gets thrown in the same box as the Born Again Ex-Smokers and Born-Again Christians, with all the baggage that entails. All this submission to a higher power bullcrap that Alcoholics Anonymous has in its 12 step program is no better than believing in L Ron Hubbard's cult or Islam.

If there's ever a fight between a church and a pub, I will always side with the pub. Call it harm reduction.