The Monster Within

Meet Hydra by Remelius

There is a many-headed monster within the Liberal National Coalition, with a stranglehold on the Prime Minister, leading us down a very dark path

As we are dragged, kicking and screaming, to this ridiculous, pointless plebiscite, we are continually told that we have to have it because, if ‘The Right’ of the Liberal Party, don’t get their way, they might do any number of unspeakable things. Chief among them, pull down Malcolm Turnbull and re-install Tony Abbott.

Lucy & Malcolm Turnbull: pic by Eva Rinaldi

Personally, I think it’s a big fat bluff and Big Mal ought to man up and call them out on it. But that isn’t going to happen. Whatever mysterious hold they have over ‘the party room’ (another over-rated mythical beast) and hence our PM, no-one is game to challenge them.

What is ‘The Right’? It is a many headed monster, including Kevin Andrews, Eric Abetz, Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison, and Corey Bernardi. Given that they have such a grip on the PMs throat, what exactly is their agenda, insofar as it affects G.A.Y. Australians?

One way to discern their thinking is to look at their friends. Especially their American friends. Their rhetoric on gay rights is a localised echo of what comes from the likes of the Liberty Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, The Heritage Foundation, with which they have intimate ties. They are the ventriloquists: ‘The Right’ provide the dummies.


Shortly after his defenestration, Tony Abbott jetted off to the USA to address (at their expense) the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). They love our Tony.

Troy Constable Photography

The recent Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) National Conference also featured the senior legal counsel from the Alliance Defending Freedom. Scott Morrison (our ‘how the hell did they find someone worse than Hockey for Treasurer’) was also there.

ADF works to prevent the decriminalization of homosexuality around the world: in fact, it does not believe it should ever have been decriminalized.

ADF supported criminal sodomy laws in the U.S. before they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2003, and works to defend laws in other countries that criminalize homosexuality. ADF also supported anti-marriage state constitutional amendments before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. ADF worked on Arizona’s SB 1062, in what was the first major battle of the recent wave of state-level “religious liberty” laws.”

One of the ADFs major tactics, when they’re not trying to keep transgender people out of bathrooms, is to shut down pro-gay activities and programs in schools. ‘The Right’ faithfully copied by attacking Safe schools

“The ADF has attracted trenchant criticism from the left for opposing “tolerance training” for schools aimed at reducing bullying of LGBTI students. Instead, it proposed “truth days”, in which homosexual behaviour was openly discussed as sinful.”

The ADF website speaks in language that sounds very familiar to Australians, forever shifting the argument against marriage (because frankly, they don’t really have one except perhaps, er, God) to one about the separate issue of children and parenting:

“The cultural battle over marriage isn’t about two individuals looking to legally establish their love. It’s much bigger than that, and much more is at stake. As marriage is redefined, children face a world that is less likely to affirm their need for both a mom and a dad. The focus of marital relationships shifts from selfless love to the desires of the individual. And the religious freedom of those who stand for marriage is threatened.”


Now where have we heard those arguments recently? From the Liberal right and from Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby, spouting about “creating a new stolen generation” and kids needing to know their biological “mum and dad.” Whenever Shelton is challenged on marriage, he reverts to talking about children and surrogacy instead.



“If you redefine marriage you are by consequence redefining parenting, unless you’re going to have a form of marriage that doesn’t have children that says, ‘no we respect the right of children to have a mum and a dad so we’re just going to allow two people to have a form of marriage’. That wouldn’t infringe on the rights of a child, but I don’t believe that’s what the same-sex lobby is talking about.  They want full equality and they want the consequences of that equality.”

He appears to float the idea of a form of same sex marriage that didn’t allow us to have kids. Tip: expect that argument to resurface during the plebiscite campaign, especially if it looks like the ‘no’ side is losing.

And who is Shelton very, very close to? Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews, and George Christensen, who has known Shelton since their days together in local government.

Kevin Andrews is in turn associated with yet another of these gay-hate groups, the World Congress of Families, and The Heritage Foundation, an associated think tank.image

“The Heritage Foundation and its political arm, Heritage Action, are a massive presence in the right-wing movement, with a combined income in 2013 of more than $120 million.

A recent email message from Heritage Action began by declaring, “Religious freedom is under attack in our country.”

Heritage is home to Ryan Anderson, a protégé of Manhattan Declaration author and National Organization for Marriage co-founder Robert George. Anderson has become one of the most energetic and visible opponents of marriage equality and nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and same-sex couples.”

All these groups work in concert against gay rights. And these are the people from whom Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Lyle Shelton, George Christensen, Cory Bernardi, Kevin Andrews and the rest derive their agenda. What these groups want for America, these blokes want for Australia.

Eric Abetz

Eric Abetz

“This network of anti-equality groups is engaged in a high-stakes effort to convince Americans that preserving religious liberty requires giving individuals and corporations the power to disobey laws that promote the common good and protect other constitutional principles like equal treatment under the law.”


And make no mistake: all of these groups are very active, not just in the US.They have a global army working against the G.A.Y. agenda. ADF has lawyers working in India to preserve the anti-homosexuality law, in Uganda to keep the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill alive, in Putin’s Russia, in the Baltic states and in Eastern Europe to ban ‘homosexual propaganda” and recriminalize gay sex.

“Liberty Counsel is an aggressively anti-gay organization, praising repressive anti-gay legislation in other countries and arguing that it is immoral for the U.S. government to encourage other countries to decriminalize homosexuality. Liberty Counsel also represents the rabidly anti-gay activist Scott Lively, who has campaigned against legal equality for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the globe. Lively recently said that the acceptance of homosexuality within the church is a “dress rehearsal” for the End Times. Australian politicians are convinced they will win the upcoming plebiscite on marriage equality, if it happens. They are determined to do so by all means possible, so expect all manner of black propaganda and dirty tricks. Fresh from their triumph, they plan on rolling back the protections we have won under anti-discrimination law. Followed by the rest of the US agenda, as exemplified by their close friends, the ironically misnamed Alliance Defending Freedom.

We are entering an evil time. Beware the many-headed monster in Mal’s party room.


G.A.Y. = Good As You

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)