Sometimes It’s Hard To Be A Christian

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‘Christian’ heterosexuals have suffered setbacks at both Casey and Albury Councils: meanwhile, more is emerging about the ‘Christian’ attempt to get Abbott to pass a Same Sex Marriage Bill.

CASEY

Councillor Rosalie Crestani,of the Rise Up Australia Party, failed in her second attempt to shut down Casey council’s pro-LGBT work. The Council instead passed a pro-gay motion. All this is taking a terrible toll on the poor dear: she has been reduced to seeking consolation with serial homophobe Bill Muhlenberg, who was nearly moved to tears.

Just hours ago I sat in a cafe with a brave young Christian woman who is standing strong on the issue of homosexuality as a city councillor. She was in tears as she spoke of all the opposition and enmity she is getting for her stance. All her colleagues – even so-called Christian ones – are turning against her. I was nearly moved to tears as well, and I prayed for her on the spot.

However, she soon bucked up, vowing to take the Council to both federal and state equal opportunity commissions.

“I believe that as a heterosexual myself I am being discriminated against,” she said.  “I’m not going to be bullied or browbeaten over this.”

In a new motion Cr Crestani calls for staff to be “made aware of the pressing public-health risks arising from the extreme promiscuity and medically dangerous sexual practices of persons of certain non-heterosexual orientations – practices which put those persons and their own communities directly at grave risk of disease and even of death”.

Out gay fellow councillor Rafal Kaplon pointed out that heterosexual get AIDS, too, calling her motion a cheap uneducated attack on the gay community. The text of her two motions, and the councils counter-motion, are online here.

ALBURY

The attempt by some rabid street preachers to intimidate Gary Hayward and Andy Stevens, proprietors of Yackandandah’s Buddha Shop and founders of local LGBTI festival Spring Migration has backfired, with Albury Council passing a motion in support of marriage equality. The council will also write to state member for Albury Greg Aplin and federal member for Farrer Sussan Ley advising them of the council’s support.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY

In the wake of my last post on the subject, a little more information has come to light. Apparently the Australian Christian Lobby is not involved, having been firmly instructed to butt out: the pressure for Abbott to “do something” about same-sex marriage is coming instead from “other senior religious leaders”, though no-one is able or willing to specify who they might be.

I was however able to confirm that their principal concern is the inclusion of ‘safeguards’  – for which read ‘special privileged exemption from anti-discrimination laws’ – for absolutely anyone who doesn’t want their premises or businesses tainted by same-sex weddings.

The interesting question then becomes (as on so many other issues) What Would Labor Do if such a measure were to pass? Will they pledge to remove the discrimination, or continue with their current religious cringe? Will they finally make marriage quality binding party policy?

Meanwhile no-one knows if the current administration, as much in thrall to a disfunctional PM as the Rudd government ever was, will get its act together. Every time this jittery horse is persuaded to stand still for a moment to ‘get this done and off the agenda’, it gets spooked and gallops off, with a cry of ‘not a priority’.

Perhaps we had better hope it stays spooked until it crashes into a fence and has to be put down.

The remarkable thing is that after years of the holy brethren saying ‘You can have all the rights but you can’t call it marriage’, this latest plan suggests the exact opposite. ‘OK, you can call it marriage, but you can’t have all the rights’. I wonder how our divine ‘leaders’ managed to contort themselves into that position? It’s awfully hard being a Christian.

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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)