Malcolm at Cock-Crow

https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/7020049467/in/photolist-bGkA42-btqLDE-9zMFUZ-9zQF99-bGkA8D-btqLG3-btqLR5-btqLSU-btqLES-btqLZN-btqLYo-bGkAgV-bGkA2V-bGkAdk-btqLRw-bGkA7V-bGkAfr-btqLK9-btqLJs-btqLPq-bGkAek-btqLLo-btqLQs-7LDDYB-CTsxFA-mB6Cv-DKk8xc-4FWBbL-a1Xqbt-vK11g-5tQFjY-vJZGv-vJZN5-vK1ca-vK1hL

Waiting for the word

Jesus told Peter, “Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” Peter furiously denied he would do any such thing. But he did indeed deny him three times. Then the cock crowed, and he remembered, and was bitterly ashamed, and wept.

When the lunatic religious extremists in the Liberal party went after the Safe Schools program, Education Minister Simon Birmingham was quick to defend it, saying,

“The objectives I think are perfectly reasonable objectives; there should be no more a place for homophobia in our schools than there is for racism in our schools, and we should be ensuring that every student is taught key attitudes around tolerance and acceptance of others.”

Refusing to shut the program down, he said it would be reviewed once its current funding ran out in 2018.

Malcolm Turnbull should have heartily endorsed Birmingham, but said nothing

The Australian Christian Lobby called for the immediate defunding of the program, saying 2018 was far too late.

Once: Malcolm Turnbull could have reiterated that the program would run its planned course before any review, but said nothing.

Cory Bernardi, with the backing of News Limited, said the program was prematurely sexualising children and indoctrinating them “into a Marxist agenda of cultural relativism”.

Twice: Malcolm Turnbull could have told Bernardi – who was too much even for Tony Abbott – that he was talking out of his backside, but said nothing.

George Christensen stood up in parliament and said Safe Schools amounted to a paedophile grooming program.

Three times: Malcolm Turnbull could have roared with laughter, and begged the public for tolerance and forgiveness for his deranged colleague, but said nothing.

Instead, he sided with the critics, ordering an immediate review of Safe Schools. Far from backing his Education minister, he told him to tone it down.

Birmingham obligingly stepped away from his previous robust defence of the program. He said the government would have done things differently, pleading with his colleagues not to forget that it was aimed at discouraging bullying.

The cock has crowed, Malcolm, and is crowing still, but time is running out for you to do as Peter did, and weep, and make amends.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/abcdz2000/4443413327/in/photolist-7LDDYB-bGkA8D-btqLG3-btqLR5-pzcKQ5-btqLYo-btqLRw-btqLZN-btqLJs-btqLK9-btqLQs-bGkA2V-btqLSU-bGkAdk-bGkA42-bGkAfr-bGkAgV-btqLDE-btqLES-bGkA7V-btqLPq-btqLLo-bGkAek-8Jd2Xz-tJvcK9-9Gwcz-fE6w8P-7rtSKN-dUmjTQ-dUmhPQ-dUmh21-7rtU1d-dxe7nR-uXSaw-uXSbA-a6WiDF-31BiR-5tAiaF-8kebyZ-7ZwHed-zevYU7-ocE8M2-5DPr7A-fmsxAW-yARS1-5PHHzu-5PDswc-5PDsDp-5PDsGv-5PHHHs

pic: abcdz2000

When the review of Safe Schools shows that the program is incontrovertibly doing the job it is designed to do, and needs no amendment, you must make the announcement in person. You must look Barnardi, Abetz, Christensen and the rest of the lunar right squarely in the eye, on the floor of the house, and declare that matter closed, and dare them to do their worst. And we will back you to the hilt.

Fail us again, and I have to ask, how much longer do you expect us to tolerate your support for the extremist agenda, as you shove us to the back of the bus, and our LGBTI kids under it? How much longer are we expected to tolerate your refusal to spend a scintilla of political capital on the LGBTI community, before we stop making excuses for you?

Should you fail to fully and publicly back Safe Schools 110%, how can we ever trust you to run a fair, honest and respectful plebiscite? We cannot.

The cock is crowing ever louder, Prime Minister. Will you, who sit for probably the gayest, most genuinely liberal, constituency in the country, continue to deny our children inclusion, acceptance, celebration and safety? Of will you find your courage and boldly lead our fight against the bigotry in your own party? The choice is yours.

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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)