Freshly Doug Monday

A row is simmering over sex education in Tasmanian schools, with one eminent child psychologist labelling opponents of the inclusion sexual diversity as “unhelpful, puerile and out of touch.”  He was responding to statements by the state opposition education spokesperson attacking a new state sex education curriculum that would include gay issues.,

There seems to be an orchestrated campaign against truthful accurate sex-education under way by the forces of the Catholic right. Arch conservative attack dog Miranda Devine recently used her column to attack the NSW Proud Schools anti-bullying program as brainwashing of children. Kevin Donnelly, writing in The Australian, claimed that it was all a lefty plot to recruit children to the ‘gender wars.’ Both of them use the argument that we are such a tiny minority, we must be abnormal. Donnelly doesn’t just attack Proud Schools, but also the national curriculum paper describing the proposed health and physical education syllabus.

Although he does not come out in his article, Donelly is another of the Christaliban front men: his ‘Education Standards Institute’, established in 2008, “favours an education system based on standards, equity, diversity and choice and the values and institutions that promote liberty, democracy, an open and free society and a commitment to Christian beliefs and values,” and champions the right of parents to send their children to independent, especially Catholic, schools.

We must always remember that it is only these shills and mouthpieces of the Catholic hierarchy, and the hierarchy itself, that so stridently howl down attempts to teach children the real truths about sexuality and diversity. The congregations, especially in the US Catholic pews, are for the most part heartily sick of the Church’s ignorant pronouncements on other people’s sexuality, and wish the clergy would take the beam out of their own eye and display a little Christian humility. But such dissent is seldom given a public airing in Oz.

Certainly there was no humility on display last week when the Victorian government inquiry heard evidence was ripping into the endemic church culture of obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting fugitives, concealing and destroying evidence, and generally being more concerned to save their own skins than those of the unfortunate children that fools still entrust to their care.

Instead of opening doors, books and files so that the truth can be uncovered and the guilty and their enablers made to pay for their crimes, the church instead provided a spokesman to call the accusations “grossly misconceived, damaging and plainly wrong.”  If they have nothing to hide, then they have no reason not to invite the police into the church and show them everything. Meanwhile the hierarchy blundered on, moving to defrock a priest for holding mass with, among others, gay catholics.

In other news: a gay Chicago teen was shot and killed, while a trangender sex worker endured rape and torture in Dubai. A Thai-based transgender-crewed airline ran out of money and its only plane was grounded in South Korea, stranding the passengers. And the Village People pretended there was absolutely nothing gay about them or their songs. Their next single will be an eighties-style disco anthem, entitled “Who dear? Me dear? Gay dear? No dear!”

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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)