Freshly Doug Wednesday

Memorial at Dachau concentration camp, where some senior Catholics are glad we were sent

A startling interview with gay theologian David Berger ‘reveals’ what most of us thought we knew already: there’s a sizeable cadre of ‘homophobic homosexuals’ in the highest reaches of the Catholic Church. Some would support a ‘Catholic jihad’ against people like us.

If you want to get on under Benedict (metaphorically speaking), then you have to be right-wing and backward looking, so I think we can take it that this Scottish Cardinal has high ambitions. He’s only the latest in a string of bishops (arch and otherwise), cardinals, and even the pope himself, to launch increasingly unhinged attacks on LGBTIQ equality.

In France they are calling on Muslims to join them in the next march against marriage: looking for some tips on how to do that jihad-thingy, are they?

The simple and logical solution to all this nonsense is of course to put religion back in the toybox and let Caesar take care of Caesar’s business – in this case, the solemnisation of marriage. UK Lib-Dem leader Simon Hughes wants marriage taken out of clerical hands, as is already the case in France.

The law should be the same for everyone – including religious people and organisations. If the churches find themselves find themselves unable to run their businesses in compliance with the law, they should get out of the business in question. Including marriage. I’m sure they could get a decent price for their hospitals, schools and clinics. Enough to pay all that tax they should no longer be exempt from either – churches and other non-profit organisations save more than $1 billion each year by paying less tax or none.

And finally, once again the cry has gone up: Melbourne needs a peak LGBTI organisation to speak for the whole community with one voice. No it doesn’t.

I’d like to propose that we stop talking about ‘the LGBTIQ community’. The LGBTIQ Community, when all said and done, was only ever a marriage of convenience. I think we’re grown up enough to do away with it now. We are not united by a single defining characteristic, like skin colour, country of origin, language, politics or belief. We are a loose and diverse coalition of vaguely related interests and characteristics. We are The LGBTIQ Communities – plural.

What our Communities need is a one-stop shop in each state and federal government whose responsibility is to ensure that all the other branches of the state take full account of our communities when drafting and enacting policies. One minister who is responsible for ensuring that the governments include us and meet our needs. We don’t need one voice: we need one ear.

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)