I'd never heard of this, but apparently :
Some native American anthropologists claim that primitive Navajos used to honour men known as the "nadleeh" – said to have "two spirits", one masculine, one feminine – who were allowed to dress like women, and to perform their duties.
In traditional pointy-head style, this meant that the Navajo were cool dudes, who "recognised sexual diversity in their community". How unlike our own straight, repressed Christian forebears ! Don't bogart that peyote, Don Juan !
That slightly scary feminist student who would witter on about Native American spirituality is now Diversity Co-Ordinator with a budget. There seems to be a cluster of them in the North West.
"The Navajo Lesbian and Gay Health Strategy for Preston, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre currently has 50 local organisations signed up to its lesbian and gay friendly assurance charter mark scheme. This includes NHS health care services including Accident and Emergency, GUM Clinics, GPs, young people’s sexual health services as well as other statutory and voluntary services. The charter mark ensures equity of access to services and equality of employment and includes access to training, resources, support, funding and policy making for all organisations involved."
It was Navajo Chartermark literature which led to the Wyre Borough Thought Police incident.
Strangely, the real Navajo nation don't seem too chuffed.
The native Americans, however, are furious. Their attorney-general has written a letter, passed to The Sunday Telegraph, expressing "great concern".
The 300,000 Navajo live on a huge reservation in north-eastern Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, and enjoy considerable independence from Washington. They make many of their own laws, including one passed overwhelmingly in 2005, banning homosexual marriages.
Louis Denetsosie, the Navajo attorney-general, says in a letter to the Roberts: "The Navajo nation is greatly concerned regarding the use of the word Navajo in any context, but even more so when it is used to express a view or policy that is contrary to Navajo law."
Last night, one of the lawyers who acted for the Roberts, Tom Ellis, of the Manchester firm Aughton Ainsworth, said: "At a time when gay activists are pressing for laws that will give them a right not to be offended, it appears that some groups, including many funded by the taxpayer, are prepared to offend a whole nation."
Miko Peled on the Holocaust and free speech
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