Tag Archives: LGBTQI

Voting Yes

11 Aug

 

 

Friends of this blog know I’m not particularly enamoured of marriage as we know it. It’s an institution, as one wit noted, and who wants to live in an institution? Flippancy aside, my main objection to marriage is the entirely unwarranted privilege it is accorded in our society, a discriminatory privilege currently available only to heterosexuals.

Some of the most heinous behaviour of which the human species is capable is acted out in heterosexual marriage. Treachery and betrayal. Domestic violence. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children. Murder. The dark side of marriage ought to cause us to question its privileged position, but as a herd, we have a capacity for cognitive dissonance that is nothing short of astounding.

So voting Yes in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s disgraceful $122 million postal survey on marriage equality is a complicated decision, given that I think marriage as we know it is a bit of a nonsense in the first place. However, the reality I must accept is that marriage is an institution, and as such must be available to anyone who wishes to live in it. Excluding people on the basis of their sexuality is appallingly discriminatory, and makes second class citizens of anyone who isn’t heterosexual.

Add to this the allegedly illegitimate nature of Turnbull’s postal survey, about to be argued out in the High Court, and it becomes tempting to boycott the whole despicable process, rather than validate the PM’s sordid machinations with my participation.

However. You can be absolutely certain the No vote is, as we speak, marshalling all its forces to fight what the Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton describes as “the fight of our lives” against marriage equality. Lyle, you might recall, some months ago issued a paranoid tweet to the effect that nobody will know he’s straight if gays are allowed to marry. Unfortunately most of his public commentary on marriage equality is far darker than that idiocy, and you can be absolutely certain he and his supporters will be cranking up their homophobic rhetoric over the next few weeks. If we don’t vote Yes we risk a No victory, and I do not want to think about the myriad ways in which that will licence Shelton and his ilk, possibly for years.

The No contingent will not care that a reduced Yes vote comes about as a consequence of principled boycott. They will rejoice in their victory. Nothing good can come of this, so please vote Yes.

Turnbull has wedged the electorate. He has presented us with a singularly depraved process, one he admits will go nowhere as a Yes vote is non-binding. He has co-opted us into his internal strife. He has made the Liberal party’s turmoil ours. He has forced us either to join him in his corrupt process, or risk an ongoing abuse of and discrimination against LGBTQI people that will be validated by a No vote. For this he should never, ever be forgiven.

We all know the right-wing of his party stands ready to nail his testicles to the despatch box. In another desperate attempt to avoid this fate, Turnbull has outsourced his responsibilities to the electorate.

I loathe the situation in which the PM has placed us. I loathe that he has made us a part of his cowardice and depravity. I would like nothing more than to boycott his stinking survey. But I believe the only way of fighting back is to vote Yes to marriage equality, an overwhelming, resounding Yes. If nothing else, this will place Turnbull in an absolutely untenable position if he then refuses to accept this Yes, and will forever make a mockery of his claims to listen to the will of the people.

A Yes vote is a demand that everyone in this country be accorded equal access to what is recognised as a human right to marriage and family. It is a demand for an end to the perception of LGBTQI people as somehow inferior to heterosexuals. It is a demand for an end to heterosexual privilege and power.

Turnbull has co-opted us into his vile process. Turn it back on him. Don’t play into his hands with a boycott. Vote Yes.

Oh, and you can also will the High Court to chuck the postal survey as an option out on its carbuncled arse.

 

 

 

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Turnbull sells out young people to the deranged, to save himself

26 Feb

 

Malcolm Turnbull

 

One of the (many) problems I see with religious ideology is that it offers people whose intelligence and experiential curiosity is limited by cowardice and fear, a socially legitimised avoidance of the challenges of thinking differently.

This is what we’re witnessing in the current outburst of venomous denial expressed by Cory Bernardi, George Christensen, Lyle Shelton and their fellow travellers towards  the Safe Schools program.

This is an extremist group resistant to any change in what they perceive as the traditional order of things. They use nostalgic reification of “tradition,” underpinned by religious ideology, to legitimise what is nothing more than personal emotion and private insecurity.

This isn’t to say only religious people are closed to difference, or that all religious people are closed, and religion isn’t the only ideology that closes minds and hearts. However, in this instance, which is focused on human sexuality and its many expressions, the religious appear to be dominant in their vicious objection to there being any expression other than the one they endorse.

Not one of them is able to take personal responsibility and say, for example, I am frightened of sexual difference and its expression and this why the Safe Schools program causes me such discomfort. Instead, they resort to what they claim has been “traditional” for “millennia” and/or the will of a transcendental exteriority they define as a Christian god.

These are frightened, cornered people, and frightened, cornered people are no less dangerous than any other frightened, cornered animal.

As Nietzsche observed “…systems of morals are only a sign-language of the emotions.” This isn’t a difficult concept to test: what upsets us humans are inclined to declare in some way immoral, while what brings pleasure and ease is intellectually defined as morally good. But as Hamlet observes before Nietzsche “… there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Bernardi, Shelton, et al have embraced the man-made doctrine that any sexual feelings and expressions other than those their peer group considers right and good are aberrations that they have set about attempting to destroy, regardless of the consequences of that destructive rampage for their fellow human beings. They do this in the name of some god. They are, quite frankly, deranged.

They are now supported in this endeavour by our government, as Prime Minister Turnbull endorses their demands for an inquiry into a program designed to alleviate the suffering of children and young people who do not express their sexual feelings in ways the religious consider moral. That our government should agree to the demands of religious extremists rather than wholeheartedly support acceptance of differences in youthful sexual expression is appalling.

Turnbull’s  support of those who would cause suffering to the young, based entirely on religious ideology, must be greatly discouraging to young people as well as to those adults who want to make acceptance of difference commonplace.

Turnbull has made a Mephistophelean covenant with religious extremists. If there is such a thing as a soul, he has likely sold his in an exchange that benefits himself to the detriment of the young. Surely it must be clear by now to even the most optimistic that Turnbull is no improvement on Abbott, indeed, there’s probably an argument to be made that he is at best, little different and possibly worse.

Turnbull will continue to capitulate to the demands of the extremists in his party, to the detriment of the country and the majority of us living in it. He is a man without courage, and his ideology is personal ambition, and he is blinded by these factors  as much as is any other ideological extremist.

 

March of the Wankpuffins

24 Feb

Wankpuffin

 

Safe Schools Coalition Australia is a national coalition of schools dedicated to creating safe and inclusive learning environments for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families. The aim of the program is to prevent bullying.

Hard to see what anyone could find problematic about that. Nobody wants kids bullied, right?

Wrong. The Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton is once again prophesying the falling of the sky, as is his wont whenever the issue of anything other than heteronormative sexuality and the traditional family unit is publicly raised. Safe schools is “prematurely sexualising our children” he declared, and a whole bunch of good Christian women pulled their kids out of schools.

Shelton is now being supported by Cory Bernardi, a man of such astounding ignorance that he yesterday expressed outrage that children “as young as eleven” are encouraged by the program to contemplate issues surrounding LGBTQI people, a group of which some eleven-year-olds may be part.

This, Bernardi trumpeted, is indoctrination. I find the allegation a bit rich, coming from a religious zealot who teaches children there is a universal imperative to believe in a sky fairy from birth.

We do not send children to school to be indoctrinated, bellowed Bernardi, a statement of such breathtaking hypocrisy it momentarily left me gasping on the kitchen bench like a dying cod.

Bernardi has obviously forgotten the outrageous school chaplaincy program, a venture that consumes millions of dollars in the pursuit of religious indoctrination of infants and upwards in secular schools.

Bernardi’s ignorance about the sexuality of eleven-year olds reminded me of Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen’s equally ignorant observation, made at the time of Scott Volkers’ alleged crimes against children, when she declared it was ridiculous to think a thirteen-year-old girl could have an orgasm when fingered by a male swimming coach, and besides, Ms Cunneen went on, girls that young and younger don’t even have breasts for men to fondle.

Ms Cunneen is apparently a special friend of the Reverend Fred Nile, Christian Democrat and religious zealot in the NSW Upper House, who may have the deciding vote on whether or not the ICAC is gutted when the current parliamentary committee concludes its investigation into that organisation’s efforts to investigate Ms Cunneen on the matter of her son’s girlfriend’s accident in Ms Cunneen’s car.

Yes. I know.

I don’t know what cylinder is not firing in the brains of these people, but I do wish they’d get it attended to instead of projecting their neuroses onto the entire community.

Prime Minister Turnbull, whom Paul Keating has described as “one of those red bungers you light on cracker night, all hiss and fizz then it burns out” or words to that effect, has now proclaimed an enquiry will be held into the Safe Schools Program.

The wankpuffins are on the march, friends. Gird your loins.

So to speak.

 

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