Freshly Doug Thursday

Schoolboys, by Jo-jo Bean

Everyone – including me – is weighing in on the Jodie Foster thing. The best comment I’ve read was in the Guardian UK. So glad this incredibly fine newspaper is coming downunder, with an Australian edition online. Can I has job pls? 🙂

The other shitstorm was over the press release put out by the ACL pre-empting any government backsliding over religious exemptions to anti-discrimination law. The government came up with a particularly feeble-minded response: they’re not reforming the law, merely consolidating it. This is a breathtaking lie.

They are lowering the threshold at which someone could be found guilty of discrimination, adding sexual orientation and gender expression and identity protections, and outlawing anti-gay discrimination in aged care, to name a few. Sure sounds like reform to me.

What they mean is, they’re too scared to reform one of the worst features of the current law, the one that allows some of the largest employers in the country, schools, hospitals, breakfast cereal manufacturers and aged-care homes to fire people if they are ‘living in sin’, have a child out of wedlock, are gay, lesbian, bi or trans, or in some other way come to the attention of their Morals Police. This Iranian-style intrusion into people’s private lives will remain unchanged.

The religious hoons behind this travesty of justice are concerned, among other things, that kids might be taught about homosexuality in schools. There’s a great story here from a 16 yr old private schoolboy explaining why that’s exactly what needs to happen.

Mind you, we are lucky to have the luxury to debate and campaign on these issues. If we lived in Nigeria we might find ourselves “seriously beaten up, stripped naked and paraded around the community bounded together like animals on allegation that they were caught having sex together.”

Which we would be, if the likes of Cardinal Pell, Jim Wallace, Joe de Bruyn and the other godly puppeteers pulling our pollies strings had their way.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)