Monthly Archives: March 2016

Homophobia claims by same-sex marriage advocates are bullying

A winter election beckons and attitudes harden. No more so than those of gay marriage advocates.

It seems that the mardi gras crowd has a darker side.

Senator Richard Di Natale has called for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to disendorse George Christensen MP for his opposition to the Safe Schools program. This smacks of hubris.

In its pastoral letter, “Don’t Mess With Marriage”, the Australian Catholic Bishops reminded readers that “every man, woman and child has great dignity and worth”. Federal Greens candidate, and same-sex marriage advocate, Martine Delaney hauled Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous before the Tasmanian anti-­discrimination commission to justify his view on marriage. This smacks of hubris.

Marriage Alliance, a grassroots organisation whose aim is to preserve the definition of marriage, booked television advertise­ments late last year with all channels. The commercial standards regulator passed the advertise­ments. They were booked and paid for.

Channel 9 and Foxtel ran them. Channel 7 and 10 pulled them at the last minute, with no formal reason given. Following two complaints, the Australian Communications and Media Authority determined the advertisements were not in breach of the television codes of practice. The actions of Channels 7 and 10 smack of hubris.

In August last year, 47 indigenous leaders signed a Bark petition, presented to the parliament, saying that marriage is sacred, and that it is an affront to their ancient culture to redefine it. A full-page advertisement in The Australian followed, but there was no coverage in any other media. This action by other media smacks of hubris.

The Safe Schools Do Better campaign by the Safe Schools ­Coalition has been handed a yellow card by the federal government. The campaign quoted research that 10 per cent of schoolchildren are same-sex attracted and 4 per cent are gender diverse or transsexual.

In 2014, for the first time, the Australian Bureau of Statistics asked people about their sexual orientation. Three per cent iden­ti­fied as gay, lesbian or “other”.

Which is not to say that a ­greater number of people do not experiment.

Almost 9 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women ­reported ­either having feelings of attraction to persons of the same sex or some sexual experience with the same sex. (Smith and Badcock, Sexual Identity and Practices, 2012).

But mere experiment does not create the gender-fluid world the gay lobby asserts.

In attempting to de-normalise heterosexuality under the guise of bullying, Safe Schools went ­beyond its brief. That aspect of the program would more readily be achieved if teachers were more alert to bullying behaviour among students.

As for accountants PwC creatively producing estimates of the cost of the same-sex marriage plebiscite, these rational calculators might like to read the dissenting US Supreme Court judges on same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges 576 U.S. 2015).

The Supreme Court forced all Americans to accept same-sex marriage by ordering every state (over and above the 11 that had ­already done so) to license and recognise same-sex marriage.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the ­Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.”

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to ­accept their views.”

Australians should thank their lucky stars that they will have a say in this momentous plebiscite about the meaning of marriage.

When a member of the federal government in the early 1990s, I was approached by a homosexual member of the press gallery to ask if I could persuade the government to allow public servant “designated” partners, as an alter­native to “married” partners, to receive death and other benefits. I lobbied the prime minister on the matter but was rebuffed.

In 2009, the Australian government amended 85 commonwealth laws (The Same-Sex Relationships [Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws — General Law Reform] Act 2008 and the Same-Sex Relationships [Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws — Superannuation] Act 2008) to eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples.

Private homosexual acts are not an offence by law in any state jurisdiction. Rest assured, there is no discrimination in law against gay people.

Gay people are free to pursue their lives, especially happiness with a life partner.

But marriage is a “hetero-­normal” cultural construct based on biology.

Calling opposition to same-sex marriage homophobic is bullying. The gay community should ­restore dignity to the plebiscite campaign. If not, a backlash waits.

Safe Schools: tell concerned parents ‘tough luck!’

Safe Schools operatives have been coaching educators to dismiss parental concerns over the contentious sex and gender-­diversity program, asserting that parents are powerless to shut it down.

A Safe Schools national symposium was told by the program’s Victorian co-ordinator, Roz Ward, that schools could ­ignore concerns raised about the agenda.

“When people do complain then school leadership can very calmly and graciously say, ‘You know what? We’re doing it anyway, tough luck’!” she told more than 300 attendees.

Leaked video footage from the event, which emerged at the weekend, also appears to confirm what critics of the program have long suspected: that it was more about promoting radical political ideas around sexuality and gender than preventing schoolyard bullying.

“(It’s) not about celebrating diversity; not about stopping bullying,” Ms Ward said.

“(It’s) about gender and sexual diversity. About same-sex ­attractive, about being transgender, about being lesbian, gay, ­bisexual — say the words — transgender, ­intersex. Not just, ‘Be nice to everyone; everyone’s great’.”

Safe Schools project manager Joel Radcliffe, a fellow academic at La Trobe University, which spawned the program, told the audience that the issue of parental concern came up a lot when schools were considering whether to join the program.

“Parents … seem to have a lot of power (in) schools,” he said. “Parents don’t have the power to shut this down.”

The emergence of the video, which was shot in Melbourne in June 2014, follows the federal government’s decision on Friday to overhaul the taxpayer-funded program in light of an independent review.

Elements of the program, ­including homosexual role-play and asking students to consider gender as a fluid concept unaligned with sex at birth, have alarmed some parents.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has ordered organisers to curb their classroom campaign or lose their remaining $2 million in funding.

“Just as proselytising is not part of the school chaplaincy program, advocacy must not be part of the Safe Schools program,” Senator Birmingham said last week.

The Victorian government, which is pushing for the compulsory roll out of the program over the next few years, has said it will pick up the bill if the funding is cut, arguing that the program “saves lives”.

Launched in 2010, the program claims to be dedicated to creating “safe and inclusive” learning spaces for same-sex ­attracted, intersex and gender- diverse students.

It was created off the back of a campaign by the La Trobe University to elevate the interests of same-sex attracted youth in schools.

FamilyVoice Australia nat­ional research officer Ros Phillips said the video showed that the program was about pushing “rainbow ideology” not stopping bullying.

Ms Phillips said the organisation had received feedback from a significant number of parents who had been rebuffed when raising their concerns with principals.

A spokeswoman for the Safe Schools Coalition said the program aimed to reduce homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools.