A reader has drawn our attention to a rather scurrilous document that has recently been published by a Croatian gay-rights advocacy group we hadn’t ever heard of before. Despite being written in rather faulty English, the paper entitled “Neo-Conservative Threats to Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights in the EU” provides for most amusing reading. Whilst claiming to unmask the strategies used by “neo-conservative groups, including the Vatican” to “manipulate public and political life through the civil initiative channels, online media, petition platforms and social networking”, it actually provides a good insight into the growing paranoia of the gay & abortion lobbies. It clearly seems that the defeat of the Estrela and Zuber Reports and the massive civil society resistance against the Lunacek Report of the European Parliament, as well as the overwhelming success of the European Citizens’ Initiative ONE OF US has put them on the defensive: they are making the discovery that the silent majority is not (and in fact never was) on their side, and that it does not want to stay silent any longer. This is, obviously, bad news for them.
It is not quite clear to us what purpose is served by the pamphlet. Its value as a source of information appears rather limited; instead it contains a lot of name-calling and rather cloudy remarks about the funding of those ominous “neo-conservative groups”. But whom do they want to impress by this? With regard to their own funding the situation is quite clear: it comes from George Soros’ “Open Society Institute”. But why on Earth should a group that is financed by one single billionaire (who, as will be recalled, made his fortune with some clever but morally dubious speculations on currency exchange rates) be considered more legitimate than groups that are financed by the small contributions of their membership, or indeed by a faith community that represents far more than one billion members world-wide?
What is outright funny to observe is the apparent indecision of the gay lobby with regard to the posture they want to adopt. While usually their narrative is that of a small and oppressed minority at the margins of society, they are now also trying to make a claim that their values and attitudes are those of the social mainstream. This ridiculous posturing reaches its culmination point that the so-called neo-conservatives “achieve more influence than their support in numbers would imply, and that the whole movement is based on a small, marginal, but very well organized and financed group of advocates for a fundamentalist religious and political agenda”. This finding is underpinned by the fact that ONE OF US, the most successful European Citizens’ Initiative so far, was signed by “only” 1.9 million citizens, which should be compared with “500 million of the EU citizens who did not support this initiative”. Unintended by the authors, this nonsensical argument reveals only their own anti-democratic attitude, for the same reasoning could be used to debunk every and any ECI that obtains less than 250 million statements of support. And given that the pamphlet sets a particular focus on the situation of Croatia, may we just remind them that in that country it took the citizens’ initiative “U ime obitelji” just a couple of weeks to collect more than 700.000 signatures (in a country of 4.5 million inhabitants!) in favour of a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. So who speaks for the social mainstream, and who is marginal (but well financed)?
It seems hardly worthwhile to discuss or dismiss the entirety of what the authors of the paper claim to be their key findings. Much of its dramatis personae is probably true, although we cannot vouchsafe for it. And of course there are still many key players in the pro-life and pro-family movement who are still not getting all the attention they deserve. Indeed, the author of these lines must admit that he is somewhat jealous about not having been mentioned in the report… well, well, we will try to improve our score, hoping that we will get an honourable mention at the next such occasion. In the meantime, we offer our heartfelt congratulations to all those who are mentioned in the paper – it seems that your efforts are being noticed.
For those of our readers who like conspiracy theories, here is also a link to the abortion lobby’s hate-list, a hit parade of the “Top 27 European Anti-Choice Personalities”, which the author of these lines has been able to snatch from a secretive meeting of a group called European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) that was held in Brussels in 2012. The author of that paper was presumably Neil Datta, the EPF’s Secretary. A very similar analysis of the activities of their extremist, reactionary, anti-choice, anti-gay adversaries was offered by Mr. Datta and Bruno Selun (a leading figure of the European Parliament’s pro-sodomy network) at a conference organized by the European Humanist Federation in May 2014.