Britain legalises suggesting horses can be gay

8:45 am - April 8th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    

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Here’s an amusing tidbit from this week’s New York Times magazine:

It is now legal in England to suggest that a horse is homosexual. The British House of Lords recently voted to amend Section 5 of the Public Order Act, a law that gave the police and courts the authority to punish a person for being insulting — to anyone or anything. The move essentially exonerates a drunken Oxford student who ran afoul of the act and was ordered to pay an £80 fine for asking an officer “Do you realize your horse is gay?” The horse’s sexuality remains undetermined.


Bizarrely, I’ve not seen any UK newspaper mention this ground-breaking change to our laws.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

1. loskristianos

It was reported at the time of the Lords vote:

I don’t believe there has been any legislation laid yet to amend the wording of the Act, which still states “threatening, abusive or insulting”, so I’m not sure “it is now legal” is strictly accurate.

2. Rob Hastings

There was a report in the Telegraph last week referring to the change, but now the paywall is up I can’t get to it (choosing as I do to invest my news buying pennies elsewhere)

By sober reports, it seems that many homosexual practices among animals have been observed and written up for scientific media, contrary to the claim that it is aberrant.

Try Wikipedia: Homosexual behavior has been observed in close to 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them.

Where have you been? It’s been plastered around everywhere. The BBC* (, The Huff (, The Grun (

I would have thought someone like you who follows politics so closely would have spotted the newspaper reports left right and center.

* Ok, the BBC is not a newspaper but it is a purveyor of news.

I don’t think the law has changed yet.


Homosexuality is “aberrant”.

“Aberrant” doesn’t equal “wrong”.

“Aberrant” doesn’t equal “wrong”.

True enough but “aberrant” – and references to religious scripts – seem to be the principal rationales for the repeating and strident condemnations of homosexuality.

Stepping back to gain perspective, I can’t fathom why homosexuality generates so excitement. As for religious proscriptions, we don’t stone adulterers and unchaste maidens as prescribed by the Bible. Why then keep on about homosexuality?

Bob B,
Something to do with “prevailing views” I guess.

The good news is that homosexuality generates increasingly little excitement, and this goes for a good many other prejudices.

Maybe we should have a day restricted to positive comments only about the Modern World.

Most of us wouldn’t last five minutes.

Jack C

“The good news is that homosexuality generates increasingly little excitement, and this goes for a good many other prejudices.”

That’s true enough but consider all the horse manure over appointing women bishops and gay clergy.

I could take that a tad seriously if they revived stoning adulterers and unchaste damsels as prescibed in Deuteronomy 22 but they won’t do that.

Was the officer engaging in sex with the horse ?
That could have given rise to the remark.
Just saying.

“His hors were goode, but he was nat gay”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

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