What’s the ‘Kirralie Smith Agenda’? The Australian Taliban?


Australian Taliban

This week, Kirralie Smith – anti-Halal campaigner, failed Senate candidate, Q Society member and member of Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives – entered the debate over marriage equality. Ms Smith posted a video on her Facebook page and on her website in which she talks about the ‘gay agenda’.

“… there’s an almighty push on to hijack the very institution they originally disparaged and opposed. Friends you need to ask “why”. When it comes to the same-sex marriage debate there are quite frankly a number of ‘useful idiots’ as Lenin coined them, who promote an agenda without understanding the purpose or goals.

When I was at uni [completing a Bachelor of Theology degree] I completed a three week ‘intensive’ called ‘Sex and Gender’. A guest lecturer came from the America where he served as an expert witness to the US congress on matters relating to sexual crimes. During one lecture, he told us that by 2020 gay marriage would be legalised in Australia … he said it wouldn’t end there. He stressed the end game was to redefine marriage so that polygamy and eventually pedophilia would become legal. He believed there was corruption at the highest levels of the US judicial system with organised pedophile rings.  He announced, 20 years ago, there was a real and dangerous agenda to push for legalised gay marriage so that the door would be open to change the laws on polygamy and ultimately lower the age of consent.”

Who Is Alan Sears?

The most common question asked as the video circulated on Facebook was “who was this mysterious ‘guest lecturer’? Ms Smith gives us some clues and, using those clues, I identified one person who neatly fits the bill:  Alan Sears.

Alan Sears fits with Ms Smith’s recollection of a person who served as an ‘expert witness to the US congress on matters relating to sexual crimes’. Sears, a lawyer, was the staff executive director of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, popularly known as the Meese Commission. The Meese Commission was a comprehensive investigation into pornography and its connection to organised crime as ordered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The Meese report was published in 1986. It was widely criticized for being biased, not credible, and inaccurate.

Sears views on the ‘gay agenda’ also mesh with Ms Smith’s description Sears is the founder of the Alliance Defending Freedom (an anti-gay extremist group), board member of the Council for National Policy and co-author of The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today (2003).

According to one reviewer:

“[Sear’s] entire book is made up of bogus research, fabricated statistics and other ‘tricks of the trade’ of homophobic “scholarship” and polemics.”

In his book, Sears says exactly what Kirralie Smith talks about in her video, that:

“Radical homosexual activists readily acknowledge that the redefinition of marriage is just a tool in their greater agenda to reorder society. While they will not admit it, children are just pawns to be used as they strive for total acceptance of their behaviour.”

Alan Sears. pic: National Catholic Register

Sears agrees with (anti-gay conservative lawyer) George W. Dent Jr. who predicts that:

“once same-sex marriage is affirmed, then other forms of “marriage” will quickly be affirmed as well, such as polygamy, endogamy (the marriage of blood relatives), bestiality, and child marriage.”

And goes on to say,

“Once marriage is redefined for same-sex partners, it opens the Pandora’s box to be redefined for any assortment of individuals. After all, if two men or two women have the right to be married, why not two men and three women, or two men, one woman, and a dog and a chimpanzee?”

Throughout the book, Sears links homosexuality with pedophilia.

The Council for National Policy

Sears sits on the board of governors of the Council for National Policy. That sounds impressive. But, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, (a highly regarded group which exposes anti-gay and racist extremists in the US), the Council for National Policy, is “a highly secretive group, and a key venue where mainstream conservatives and extremists mix.”

The Council for National Policy has deep links with Christian dominionism and reconstructionism (strategies which involve a Christian take-over of public institutions and world governments).

According to the SPLC:

“One of [the Council for National Policy’s] five founders, Tim LaHaye, is the co-author of the Left Behind series of apocalyptic Christian novels and a man who has described gay people as “vile,” said the Illuminati are conspiring to establish a “new world order,” attacked Catholicism, and once worked for the wildly conspiracist John Birch Society. An important member whose name was revealed early on was John Rousas Rushdoony, who is listed in the 2014 directory’s “In Memoriam” section and advocated for a society ruled by Old Testament law requiring, among other things, the stoning of adulteresses, idolaters and “incorrigible” children.”

This is the well from whence Ms Kirralie Smith draws her political inspiration.

Tim LaHaye & Larry B. Jenkins

Tim LaHaye & Larry B. Jenkins from “American Fascists” by Chris Hedges

Alliance Defending Freedom

Alan Sears, who has been so influential on Ms Smith’s views on the (alleged) ‘gay agenda’, is the co-founder and former CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a powerful conservative Christian law firm with a decades-long track record of litigating against LGBT rights.

From 1993-2017 as CEO of the ADF, Sears built a global team of more than 3,100 allied attorneys in 41 nations to fight for “religious freedom”, but the group is also involved with litigation involving “sanctity of life” issues and issues pertaining to “marriage and family.”

Other ADF founders are ‘all the usual suspects’ of American far-right fundamentalism and dominionism: James Dobson of Focus on the Family; Bill Bright and Larry Burkett of Campus Crusade for Christ; Marlin Maddoux of International Christian Media; and D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries.

Their views on marriage equality are completely in line with those described by Kirralie Smith. For example, an article published by NBC News says that:

“In his 2004 book “Marriage Under Fire,” co-founder, James Dobson, wrote that legalized same-sex marriage would “destroy the fundamental principles of marriage, parenthood, and gender,” lead to polygamy and bestiality, and bring about “the fall of Western civilization itself.”

According to its June 2015 financial disclosure, ADF’s work includes training and support, public education, and legal advocacy that:

 “champions inherent God-given freedoms that allow for the flourishing of all people throughout the world while affirming the dignity of every person as created in God’s holy image.”

But, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has:

  • supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad
  • has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad;
  • has linked homosexuality to pedophilia
  • claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.
  • works to develop “religious liberty” legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of religion.

And Kirralie Smith has the hide to talk about the ‘gay agenda’!

The Southern Poverty Law Centre has designated Alan Sears’ ADF as an activehate group”. The SPLC describes content on the ADF’s website as “virulently anti-gay”.

Tony Abbot with the founder of the Coalition for Marriage, Sophie York

Australian Connections

The ADF denies accusations it is behind an international effort to criminalise gay sex, but, as Crikey reported last year:

“The group is actively arguing against decriminalising gay sex in countries where it is still illegal. US progressive website Media Matters reported last year that ADF was actively arguing against decriminalising homosexuality in Jamaica, India and Belize.”

(the stirrer has also written about the ADF Alliance Destroying G.A.Y.* Freedom)

Last year, Tony Abbott controversially addressed the group during a visit to the USA. And a representative of the ADF, Dr Jeff Ventrella, spoke at the Australian Christian Lobby’s 2016 conference.

Jeffrey Ventrella, Alliance Defending Freedom

According to the SPLC, the ADF and its representatives have repeatedly engaged in defamation of and scare tactics against LGBT communities and persons in the USA and have most recently been involved in litigation regarding transgender persons use of bathroom facilities.

While I cannot place Alan Sears at a Sydney university in the mid-1990s, it is highly likely Mr Sears has lectured in Australia. His biography notes he “has lectured on legal and related historical topics in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, among other nations” and thatLegislators and law enforcement officials from many countries—from Australia to the European Union—have engaged his guidance.”

If it wasn’t Mr Sears, I would be interested for Ms Smith to enlighten me. It is curious that she didn’t share his name in her video. Perhaps she realised that the ‘credentials’ of this so-called ‘expert’ might be brought to light.

Kirralie Smith has done us a great service by inadvertently revealing the inspiration behind groups such as the Q Society and the Australian Conservatives. She has shown that her views, which dove-tail with those of her political colleagues, are inspired and informed by the extremist right-wing Christians who have been dubbed the American Taliban.

Never mind the ‘gay agenda’, Ms Smith, what is your agenda? The Australian Taliban, perhaps?

About the author

Chrys Stevenson is a freelance writer, speaker, blogger, historian and secular and skeptical activist, better known online as Gladly, The Cross-Eyed Bear http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/. She has a BA and first class honours degree in Australian history, literature and cultural studies.