This is the public complaint Storer lodged against OLO, at the Ambit Gambit blog:
I’m one of the ‘gay activists’ who ‘attacked’ online opinion, however, I took exception to some of the comments that where posted after Bill Muehlenberg’s piece, not the actual essay.
I defend Bill’s right to his opinions, he should have he’s stuff published, but it’s the disrespectful and outright hatred of the comments that follow that are objectionable. As a person who is gay, I find those comments disturbing and they shouldn’t have a place in our society.
And I did the right thing, I raised the comments with Graham Young, he made it clear he thought the comments where ok, so the next step is to approach the sponsors and advertisers to make them aware of the sort of site they support and to express my disgust.
Online Opinion does a great job in allowing people to express their opinions by publishing their articles. The comment sections leave a lot to be desired.
Comment by Gregory — December 20, 2010 @ 3:30 am
I note Storer says he is “one” of the gay activists that ‘attacked’ OLO. Therefore I and several other people took him at his word that he was “one of,” but one of how many we did not know.
I have since asked this question of his partner Michael Barnett, who approached me on this blog. This is the response:
Michael Barnett: I have the answers to your questions and you’d be surprised and disappointed with them.
Me: Well, tell us then.
Michael: I don’t need to tell you what I know. You can trust me.
Now Storer claims to have acted alone.
Actually, the next step isn’t an economic boycott. The next step is the Anti Discrimination legislation. That’s what it’s there for.
Gregory Storer, Secular Party of Australia‘s candidate for Melbourne Ports in the 2010 federal election, has emerged as the man behind a gay lobby’s successful efforts to persuade the ANZ Bank and IBM to withdraw advertising from On Line Opinion.
Gregory’s mission statement reads in part as follows:
I firmly believe that there should be a clear separation of church and state. I have a strong code of ethics and think that human rights should be paramount to the way we live our lives.
I would like to see an Australia that accepts its citizens for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or ethnic background. We are all people, we are all entitled to equal rights and as citizens of Australia we all deserve to be treated with respect, to enable us to fully participate in our society.
Noble sentiments, Gregory. How do they sit with exerting your economic power to bring about the closure of an on line community because you feel it has offended you?
In an email to me earlier today, Gregory stated that he had not bullied, or engaged in standover tactics in order to close down OLO, and that he does not even want to close OLO down.
So what, then, I inquired, did he imagine his lobbying of all the site’s sponsors to withdraw all their advertising dollars would achieve, if not financial knee capping of the popular site?
Still waiting for the candidate to answer that question.
As to how large the gay lobby led by Gregory is, I haven’t been able to ascertain that so far. There must be some members of considerable economic power, if they are in a position to persuade corporations such as ANZ and IBM to change their advertising placements.
A quick peek at Bill Muehlenberg’s website, and the website belonging to the Australian Christian Lobby, reveals there’s outrage in both camps against the ANZ Bank for its pro gay marriage stance, and its attempts to apparently influence Bill’s freedom of speech.
Looks like the candidate for Melbourne Ports has caused a very diverse group of citizens to ponder if their rights have been disregarded in his pursuit of On Line Opinion.
“The Pink Mafia” is Muehlenberg’s term, one which until yesterday seemed pretty excessive. But today, having learned the lengths to which Storer and his gang are prepared to go to exert their will on the digital reading public, maybe Bill isn’t too far wrong.
Now that’s scary.