Hey there Guys,
Well today has been quite an adventure. A few months ago a small band of homophobic doctors made a splash in Australia after quoting dodgy statistics saying that the legalising of gay marriage was not only damaging to health but also to children. For a bit of a recap please be sure to check my previous post: Doctors In The Dark.
As a reaction to this blatent use of medical knowlege to forward homophobic aims a group was formed: Doctors For Marriage Equality. Today I have joined this group along with wonderful psychologists and clergy to help open discussions with a variety of Australian political figures to discuss the topic of equality of marriage, not just for gay and lesbian people but also transgender and intersex.
It has not been an easy pathway, let’s face it, the likely hood of being able to sit down with the Prime Minister Julia Gillard is very unlikely. She has publicly stated on numerous occasions that she is against marriage equality. She is currently unwed and a proud atheist.
So today we went about our business, talked to many wonderful politicians and advisors discussing the various health benefits of bringing the same rights of marriage to all Australians.
While we were inside Parliament house, outside was a small band of rather vocal anti-gay activists sharing their thoughts on why gay marriage should never be allowed. They even put together a bit of a song so thought I would share it here, after all, who doesn’t love a nice ditty…
Just in case you thought that was a little nutty, just wait till you see this press release today from Pastor Peter Walker, pictured in the video above:
“I’m convinced that homosexuals (re)produces themselves by molesting children,”
He said marriage should be a strong institution between a man and a woman, with the purpose of bearing children.
“In the absence of this biological principle, sex becomes very instrumental, the satisfaction of pleasure and, I’ll say it straight out, lust,” Pastor Walker said.
The National Marriage Coalition’s Peter Madden said the rally was not about “having a go at the poor homosexual”, but putting family values first.
“This rally has not been talking against homosexuals or speaking negatively, it’s about promoting family,”
The good news is that the rule of thumb is generally that the nuttier the statements are the easier they are to dismiss. Despite only 200 people being at the rally above they have managed to gain quite a flurry of press. More then 6000 people attended marriage equality marches Australia wide last weekend and there was hardly a blip on the media radar. Clearly homophobia and bizarre tactics are the key for media attention in the current political climate.
Adding to this however was the additional news that Julia Gillard will be the key note speaker for one of Australia’s most homophobic lobby groups, the ACL (Australian Christian Lobby). This is the same organisation who have released more then 122 press releases based around the evils of homosexuality, and other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. Heck their tweets are well worth checking out. Some of the more choice twitter moments include:
“Legitimising gay marriage is like legalising child abuse”
“Surely Tony Jones [an Australian political journalist] doesn’t think two blokes’ desire 2 b parents trumps a child’s right to its biological mother??”
I can imagine that the ACL must be absolutely rubbing their hands with glee at the thought that the prime minister of Australia has been willing to speak at their 2012 national conference. As noted by Star Observer:
“The ACL is an unrepresentative, anti-gay group which it is completely inappropriate for the leader of our nation to endorse in this way.
“Gay and lesbian Australians and our families want a Prime Minister who shows us equal respect and does not legitimise hate, and at the moment Julia Gillard is not that Prime Minister.”
A spokesperson for the PM told the Star Observer the PM had addressed the ACL on several occasions in the past, and would continue to do so.
So currently Australia is lead by a prime minister who is actively opposed to equality for all Australians when it comes to marriage and the benefits it brings. This is the exact opposite to the stance of the Australian Labor Party who changed their platform in 2011 to support gay marriage, who she just happens to be the leader of…. Hmmmm
We are living in interesting times.
So today having walked the hallways of the Australian political system I can understand two things…
Firstly that indeed full marriage equality is inevitable. It’s going to happen whether it is witnessed by this prime minister or the next. The key is going to be letting these politicians know as the chant goes… “we’re here, we’re queer, we just want fucking equality”…
We have a long road to go yet but each day is a step forward.
Yours in good health. (Oh and Julia, that includes the GLBTI community you have tuned your back on.)
To learn more about the health effects of discrimination against GLBTI people please check out this post:
Gay and Lesbian Health Issues In Australia