Straight Pride UK v Oliver Hotham

No matter how often people run afoul of the Barbara Streisand effect, there are some people – and some organisations – who never quite get around to understanding the futility of their own censorious instincts.

Take a rather curious organisation by the name of ‘Straight Pride UK‘, a rather ridiculous and absurdly premised ‘campaign for straight equality’ that’s so out and proud that it’s domain name is registered through a commercial domain privacy service to conceal the identity of the site’s owner(s) and the only other contact information given is an 07010 telephone number, which is essential a personal telephone redirection service.

Look at the organisation’s website you could easily be forgiven for thinking that it’s a Poe, but apparently not as Oliver Hotham found out in a rather unfortunate manner…

A few weeks ago, when thinking of interesting things I could write for this blog, I remembered a weird organisation that gathered some attention on the internet a month or two ago.

The organisation is called Straight Pride UK. It’s a strange group which believes that the tide of Gay rights has gone too far, and that now heterosexuals have become the oppressed minority. Essentially their philosophy  is spun from the same reactionary cloth as “Men’s Rights activists”  –  the notion that, having essentially run Western society for most its existence, progressive demands that Christian white straight males share some of their total grasp on power is somehow a removal of their rights.

Anyway, I wrote to Straight Pride asking that they answer some questions. Stipulating that I was “a freelance journalist”, I sent them some questions, about what they do and what they believe.

About a week later they responded with an attached document with the title “press release”. I went through the questions, corrected the horrendous grammar, and organised it so it coherently answered the questions I’d posed. I also noted that two rather pointed questions I’d asked, regarding the problem of the bullying of LGBTI youth and the nature of other “pride” movements, had not been answered. I sent them an email about this, saying that I’d give them the opportunity to respond but, if they didn’t, I’d “make it clear in the article” that they avoided the questions. They didn’t get back to me for 2 days, which I thought ample time to write two sentences.

Fully satisfied that my journalism had made them look like the arses they are, I hit the publish button, and sat back, feeling all together really pleased with myself. I called the article “It’s great to be straight… yeah”, too, which I thought acutely summed up their philosophy and referenced a mid-90s dance album I rather like.

Then came the email from Straight Pride UK’s press officer, Nick Steiner:

“It has been brought to my attention that you have published the email that I sent you to, you did not state this in your email request, nor you did have consent to do this.

I therefore request that you take down the article that you have placed on your blog.

You have 7 days in which to do this, failing this I shall submit a DMCA to WordPress to have it removed.”

DMCA takedown notices are to US hosting services what libel threats are to UK-based service providers, a cheap and easily abused form of legal thuggery for those of a censorious bent that are far too often successful in forcing the removal of perfectly legitimate content from the internet on wholly spurious grounds.

So far as Straight Pride UK’s reasoning behind it’s takedown notice, it appears that for the time being these tweets provide the only explanation:

OliverHotham-StraightPrideAnd that’s it – in the organisation’s estimation Oliver is not an ‘official journalist’ and so he’s not entitled to quote their replies to questions he sent to them in an email, which was marked ‘Press Release’ in which he states that he’s a freelance journalist.

And if it’s not obvious already that Straight Pride UK’s action amount to nothing more than an absurd piece of censorious legal thuggery with no actual merit behind it, Oliver notes in his article that the next email he received from the organisation’s ‘press officer’, Nick Steiner, demanded that Oliver…

“…remove all references to Straight Pride UK, The Straight Forward Project, along with images, and links, from your Blog.”

Unfortunately for Straight Pride UK, a full copy of Oliver’s original article escaped into the wild and has been reposted by Mr Northice at his blog ‘Mr Northice Says…‘ giving Straight Pride UK a further opportunity to demonstrate their own stupidity as from his Twitter feed the organisation appear to be claiming that the inevitable Streisand Effect surrounding their behaviour amounts to ‘encourage of harassment’ which the ‘police are dealing with’.

I do wonder if whoever is behind that Twitter account appreciates that wasting police time is a criminal offence.

The one problem I can forsee here is that, like Oliver, Mr Northice hosts his blog with, which means of course that’s it’s susceptible to yet another completely spurious DMCA takedown notice.

The Ministry, however, is – as regular visitors will be aware – entirely self-hosted and as its now physically on a server in the European Union, but not in the UK, it’s no longer under an direct threat of a DMCA notice and so, having read the original article in full and judged to contain nothing whatsoever that would reasonably be considered actionable, either in terms of copyright or defamation, I’m going to repost the entire original article below…

… and if Straight Pride UK have any concerns or complaints then, as usual, is to refer the organisation to the leading case in half-witted censorious threats of litigation that are entire lacking in any actual merit, which is – of course – the reply to the plaintiff given in Arkell vs Pressdram:

Solicitors’ letter to Private Eye:

We act for Mr Arkell who is Retail Credit Manager of Granada TV Rental Ltd.

His attention has been drawn to an article appearing in the issue of Private Eye dated 9th April 1971 on page 4. The statements made about Mr Arkell are entirely untrue and clearly highly defamatory.

We are therefore instructed to require from you immediately your proposals for dealing with the matter. Mr Arkell’s first concern is that there should be a full retraction at the earliest possible date in Private Eye and he will also want his costs paid. His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply.

Private Eye’s reply:

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell.

We note that Mr Arkell’s attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.

And so, here’s the full article that Straight Pride UK don’t want you to read for reasons that are entirely unclear but which may – and this is purely my own honest opinion – have much to do with their own responses to Oliver’s questions creating the impression that they are a bunch of weapons-grade morons.


It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah

There has never been a better time to be gay in this country. LGBTI people will soon enjoy full marriage equality,public acceptance of homosexuality is at an all time high, and generally a consensus has developed that it’s really not that big of a deal what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms. The debate on Gay Marriage in the House of Commons was marred by a few old reactionaries, true, but generally it’s become accepted that full rights for LGBTI people is inevitable and desirable. Thank God.

But some are deeply troubled by this unfaltering march toward common decency, and they call themselves the Straight Pride movement.

Determined to raise awareness of the “heterosexual part of our society”, Straight Pride believe that a militant gay lobby has hijacked the debate on sexuality in this country, and encourage their members, among other things, to “come out” as straight, posting on their Facebook page that:

“Coming out as Straight or heterosexual in todays politically correct world is an extremely challenging experience. It is often distressing and evokes emotions of fear, relief, pride and embarrassment.”

I asked them some questions.

First of all, what prompted you to set up Straight Pride UK? 

Straight Pride is a small group of heterosexual individuals who joined together after seeing the rights of people who have opposing views to homosexuality trampled over and, quite frankly, oppressed.

With the current political situation in the United Kingdom with Gay Marriage passing, everyone  is being forced to accept homosexuals, and other chosen lifestyles and behaviours, no matter their opposing views. Straight Pride has seen people sued, and businesses affected, all because the homosexual community do not like people having a view or opinion that differs from theirs.

Are your beliefs linked to religion? How many of you derive your views from scripture?

Straight Pride aims are neutral and we do not follow religion, but we do support people who are oppressed for being religious. Only today, Straight Pride see that two homosexual parents are planning to sue the Church because they ‘cannot get what they want’. This is aggressive behaviour and this is the reason why people have strong objections to homosexuals.

You say that one of your goals is “to raise awareness of the heterosexual part of society”. Why do you feel this is necessary? 

The Straight Pride mission is to make sure that the default setting for humanity is not forgotten and that heterosexuals are allowed to have a voice and speak out against being oppressed because of the politically correct Government.

Straight Pride feel need to raise awareness of heterosexuality, family values, morals, and traditional lifestyles and relationships.

Your website states that “Homosexuals have more rights than others”. What rights specifically do LGBTI people have that straight people are denied?

Homosexuals do currently have more rights than heterosexuals, their rights can trump those of others, religious or not. Heterosexuals cannot speak out against homosexuals, but homosexuals are free to call people bigots who don’t agree with homosexuality, heterosexuals, religious or not, cannot refuse to serve or accommodate homosexuals, if they do, they face being sued, this has already happened.

Straight Pride believe anyone should be able to refuse service and speak out against something they do not like or support.

There is a hotel in the south of England, called Hamilton Hall which only accepts homosexuals – if this is allowed, then hotels should have the choice and right to who they accommodate.

What has been the response to your campaign?

The response to Straight Pride’s formation has been as expected; hostile, threatening, and aggressive. Homosexuals do not like anyone challenging them or their behaviour.

We have had support from many people saying that if homosexuals can have a Pride March, and then equality should allow Heterosexuals to have one too. After all, the homosexual movement want everyone to have equality.

Why would you say that heterosexuality the “natural orientation”? 

Heterosexuality is the default setting for the human race, this is what creates life, if everyone made the decision to be homosexual, life would stop. People are radicalised to become homosexual, it is promoted to be ‘okay’ and right by the many groups that have sprung up.

Marriage is a man and a woman, homosexuals had Civil Partnerships, which was identical to Marriage with all the same rights, they wanted to destroy Marriage and have successfully done so.

If you could pick one historical figure to be the symbol of straight pride (just as figures like Alan Turing, Judith Butler or Peter Tatchell would be for Gay Pride) which would you choose?

Straight Pride would praise Margaret Thatcher for her stance on Section 28, which meant that children were not  taught about homosexuality, as this should not on the curriculum.

More recently, Straight Pride admire President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his stance and support of his country’s traditional values.

How do you react to anti-gay attacks and movements in Russia and parts of Africa? 

Straight Pride support what Russia and Africa is doing, these country have morals and are listening to their majorities. These countries are not ‘anti-gay’ – that is a term always used by the Homosexual Agenda to play the victim and suppress opinions and views of those against it.

These countries have passed laws, these laws are to be respected and no other country should interfere with another country’s laws or legislation.

We have country wide events which our members attend, and ask people their opinions and views, on such event at Glastonbury this year was very positive with the majority of people we asked, replied they were happily heterosexual.

For the record, Straight Pride did not respond to these questions:

“Pride” movements such as Gay Pride and Black Pride were making the argument that the stigma against them meant that proclaiming their “pride” was an act of liberation from oppression. Can being heterosexually really compare?

A problem that Gay rights activists cite is the issue of bullying, and the effect this can have on young LGBT people. Do you think a similar problem exists with straight children being bullied by gay children? 

I will obviously add to this if they do respond.