The Quotes of the Week VIII

Sunday 20th

“It’s still very difficult for me to tell my family about my life being a lesbian. They know I am a believer, they know I am religious, but going as far as saying I am a lesbian is quite hard. I remember thinking this is the only time I am going to get married, and my family weren’t there.

That was constantly going through my mind – I am having an Islamic nikah, doing as much as I can through my faith, but my family weren’t there.”

Asra, a lesbian muslim woman who has married her partner Sarah through a ‘nikah’ or traditional Muslim wedding rite, despite the faith’s ongoing majority opposition to same-sex marriage

Monday 21st

“The 72% figure for Christians is higher than I initially expected. If I had shut my eyes and considered how many people in my street are Christians, I probably wouldn’t have realised it was more than half. But if I had actually asked them in person then perhaps it would have been. Who am I to say if someone is Christian or not?”

Anne Atkins, author and contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, speaking about the controversy surrounding the “What is your religion?” census question amid the results of the last census

Tuesday 22nd

“I knew the Chinese individual we dissected alive. At the vivisection I could not meet his eyes because of the hate in them. He was infected with plague germs and… his face and body became totally black. Still alive, he was brought on a stretcher to the autopsy room, where I was ordered to wash the body. I used a rubber hose and a deck brush to wash him… The man’s organs were excised one by one.”

Yoshio Shinozuka, who was 16 when dispatched to a Tokyo medical school connected with the infamous Unit 731 during World War 2, a facility which tested the effects of germ warfare on live victims then buried them in an open grave; the location of which is about to be excavated

Wednesday 23rd

“After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.

Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit.

Furthermore, pursuant to the President’s instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President’s and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.”

US Attorney General Eric Holder, commenting on the reversal of policy which has led the Obama administration to denounce Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages

Thursday 24th

“The sun came out the moment she was removed from the building. It was like God turned on the lights.”

Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker, after the rescue of Ann Bodkin, a survivor pulled from the wreckage of the Pyne Gould Corporation offices 26 hours after the New Zealand earthquake hit

Friday 25th

“The amount of money is a matter between us and the employee. I can say the sum of money involved was a significant amount. We are very happy that the employee acted so quickly, that the person acted in such an honest way. It showed a lot of integrity.”

Jasper Van Zon, spokesman for the Alcoa Howmet company in Exeter which last week mistakenly paid an employee £2 million – 1000 times his usual salary

Saturday 26th

“He declared himself an admirer of Churchill and Tony Blair, whom he called ‘saddiqee’ – ‘my good friend’. It was clear throughout that he understood English, but chose to answer in Arabic.

So far, so harmless. But then came one of those malign rants he has been exposing his people to this last week via state television. I asked him whether Iran would get the nuclear weapons which had eluded him. Up went the rhetorical mushroom cloud. How dare the West think atomic technology was something only it could use? If Israel had nuclear weapons, then why not Iran? And then came the really loopy bit. Why shouldn’t the Palestinians have the bomb?

For all his attempts at appearing statesmanlike, there was this megalomaniac waiting in the wings. He had been trying very hard to sound reasonable but, like the scorpion who cannot help stinging the frog to death in Aesop’s Fables, being a homicidal maniac was simply in his nature.”

Journalist Colin Brazier, recalling the last known television interview of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi

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