Friday, November 02, 2007

Gay Bashers First

It occurs to me some might perceive my fury at Fundies First's continued obsessive stalking of teh gay as somewhat hypocritical. How can I get mad at a bunch of gay-bashers attempting to out a Lib politician, when I have form on outing myself?

I'll do a Kevin Rudd here and answer my own question: 'Fair enough point...but there's no real comparison in this particular case.' And here's why:

1. Ben Jacobsen clearly believes being gay or lesbian is a bad thing, and that a local member being such will negatively impact on their job representing their constituents. I don't. What I think is bad is when a queer pollie gets into a position of power and possible influence, and rather than lead by positive example of being out and proud (Brian Grieg, or Bob Brown on a good day), they are at best ambivalent (Penny Wong) or worst closeted (you know who) about their sexuality.

2. Jacobsen is only articulating the overall Fundies First philosophy. They don't attract candidates like this man - or supporters who seek to burn lesbians at the stake - by accident. Similarly, they don't preference all but two Liberal candidates - one openly lesbian, the other one of the party's most vocal GLBTI supporters - by accident either, as they did at the last election.

So Steve Fielding's statement that he has 'spoken to the candidate and told him that his comments were inappropriate and offensive' rings very hollow. He and his party may claim that a person's sexuality is a private thing that has no bearing on how they will deal with them, but their past acts clearly suggest otherwise.

3. Fundies First want it both ways. They go out of their way to keep teh gay down and denied equal rights in our relationships, parenting and access to the public purse, but as Jacobsen demonstrates it's not even enough for them for us all to stay quiet in the closet - we must make a public declaration too, presumably for ease of identifying targets for further persecution. Perhaps they'd like us to go around wearing pink triangles on our biceps? That worked so brilliantly the last time, after all.

4. If Charlie McKillop is a lesbian (and I don't mean to insinuate one way or the other), I sincerely hope that, if she chooses to stay in the closet, she will at least do justice to the man she is replacing in Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, by carrying on his tremendous work lobbying his party internally to act on their own alleged opposition to unjustifiable discrimination. After all, the seat takes in Cairns and its surroundings which I understand contains quite a bit of teh gay, so if nothing else it's smart and effective grass roots representation.

But given what's happened, I think it would be hypocritical of McKillop to accept any preferences from Fundies First, though I guess such a decision would be out of her hands anyway. Remember, even though Jacobsen has 'apologised' for his statement, he has still 'refused to say if it was still his personal view that all candidates should declare their sexuality' - i.e. his views, and no doubt those of many Fundies First candidates, remain the same, no matter how much the party leader tries to spin them.

Every statement like this is helpful in the sense that it scratches away Fundies First's thin veneer of pleasant secularity - they're neither - and given Labor is on track to screw them out of a preference deal and thereby not accidentally hand them a senate spot, as they did in 2004, hopefully after this election Fielding will remain the only Fundie First in federal politics we have to endure.

But on the flip side, statements like this remind you of the horror inherent in the possibility that, even if we finally get Howard out, Fundies First could control the Senate. And at that point, it wouldn't matter if Howard, Rudd or Patti Newton were PM - we'd be fucked.

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At 2/11/07 9:58 pm, Blogger JahTeh said...

'all candidates should declare their sexuality' Ha, I didn't think Fundies had any.


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