ACL Plans Legal Juggernaut

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pic by PeggyDavis66

There’s a new kid on the block in the never-ending quest of the Australian Christaliban to find fresh exciting ways to attack the LGBTI community. Or, in this case, a second-hand idea from their spiritual masters in the USA. Over there, they have the Alliance Defending Freedom, the biggest and richest anti-gay hate group in the world, who bankroll legal efforts home and abroad to

  • prevent the decriminalisation of homosexuality
  • recriminalise homosexuality where it has already been decriminalised
  • block marriage equality
  • protect the traditional family
  • anything else they can think of to hurt us

To this end ADF have provided funds, legal advice, and legal assistance on the ground to block decriminalisation in India, help draft Russian laws against “gay propaganda”, and more.

Now the Australian Christian Lobby is setting up it’s own little Australian copy, the Human Rights Law Alliance. But although HRLA is busily touting for donations, it’s not clear exactly what it will do with the money. A friend contacted Martyn Iles, former chief of staff at the Australian Christian Lobby, now Director, Legal Counsel at the Alliance, seeking information.

croppedquery-hrla

All good and pertinent questions, you might say, which the HRLA website does not answer. It’s ‘coming’ sometime soon. At present it gives little hint that its a front organisation for a rabidly right wing fundamentalist cult.

hrlawebsite

At first glance you might think they were about defending human rights, but in reality, like their US counterparts, they will be more about defending and expanding their rights at the expense of ours. The disclaimer at the end their emails makes their affiliation clear.

disclaimer-hrla

Iles reply reveals that the Australian Christian Lobby, despite employing staff “at a sacrificial rate, under sacrificial circumstances”, operates on an annual budget of $5m. They point out that this is about the same as the Institute of Public Affairs, which they claim does much less with a similar amount. Presumably because IPA pay rates are somewhat less ‘sacrificial’.

Lawyers who work for HRLA also adopt a ‘sacrificial’ attitude to pay, too, even though this causes “quite a strain on their families and finances.” They mostly work ‘pro bono’, i.e., free.

$5m a year despite all the sacrifices, does not stretch to funding legal cases which might cost “many hundreds of thousands of dollars” to take as far as the High Court. Which is where the HRLA comes in, leveraging the fundraising power of the ACL to extract yet more dollars from their support group of well-meaning but gullible ‘Christian’ millionaires and their families.

The question comes to mind: with this talk of “many hundreds of thousands of dollars”, one wonders quite what the ACL is planning next. You might like to call Martyn and ask him.

 

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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)