SOCIETY: by Hal G.P. ColebatchNews Weekly
Gay activism encouraged in Australia's armed services
, June 22, 2013
An Australian Defence Force officer, Squadron-Leader Vince Chong, has received a decoration — a gold commendation — from the Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF), Air Marshal Mark Binskin AO, on May 22, for his leadership in a homosexual activist political organisation, the Australian Defence Gay and Lesbian Information Service (DEFGLIS).
This organisation has succeeded in having homosexual servicemen march as formed bodies in uniform — Navy, Army and Air Force — in the 2013 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Normally, servicemen are prohibited from marching in uniform in political demonstrations — indeed, it is very much frowned upon for them to take part in such demonstrations even in civilian clothes.
Furthermore, in various catch-all disciplinary measures — “conduct unbecoming”, etc — it has for a long time, perhaps always, been a standard rule of the armed services that people’s sexuality is their own business and it should not be flaunted.
While one or two such incidents may have little effect, it is possible to anticipate how, over time, a drastic change will occur in the armed forces’ whole culture as a result of an accumulation of such incidents.
The conditions of service make the necessity for discreet personal behaviour obvious — what with large numbers of men and women living in close confinement for long periods, under the command of officers and NCOs whom it is essential they respect as leaders, to the point of obeying them unquestioningly in the most dangerous situations.
Up until recent times, people joining the armed services have accepted that along with the job go certain restrictions on personal conduct and the need for decorum. This is important not only for internal discipline but also for the armed services’ image in the community.
Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF), Air Marshal Mark Binskin AO, left,
presents a gold commendation to RAAF Squadron-Leader Vince Chong,
in recognition of his efforts as chairman of the Australian Defence
Gay and Lesbian Information Service (DEFGLIS). The presentation took place
at a dinner, at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) on May 22,
held to mark International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
There is, of course, a corollary to recent developments in our armed services. The extraordinary favouring of homosexuals, such as seems to be happening here, must almost certainly lead to a disfavouring and punishment of those who are at all vocal about other inclinations, particularly, one fears, Catholic and evangelical Christians.
One former member of the ADF — a former officer who served in Iraq — has written: “Defence hierarchy are supporting homosexual political activism, the gay marriage agenda and sexual perversion by awarding Vince Chong for his leadership of DEFGLIS. And they are backing a political campaign to remove rights from Christian organisations.
“Furthermore, this support doesn’t just extend to providing bling for Vince. It also means that Defence will punish any member (who) offers a different political view to Vince.
“While this squadron leader was campaigning to have rights removed from Christian organisations, I was campaigning to defend those rights.
“While he was pushing his agenda that would see gay teachers forced upon Christian schools, I was busy opposing it.
“And when I said publicly that, as a parent, I would not allow my children to be taught by a homosexual, all hell broke loose inside the ADF — even though my statement had nothing to do with defence or defence policy.
“I was called into my commanding officer’s office for a little chat. I was told that my view about my children offended the homosexual community. I was told that my comment was inappropriate. And I was told that I had to take down my comment and cease political activity if I wanted a military career.
“In short, I was given an ultimatum. I must accept that I am required to be silent; that I cannot publicly state my political, religious and sexual beliefs.
“In contrast, I must also accept that Vince Chong and his buddies, as the new golden boys of the ADF, are not required to be silent on their political, religious and sexual beliefs. Instead, they can campaign politically and denigrate my religious beliefs in uniform. Furthermore, I must accept that Defence will support their agenda and award their leadership.
“Suffice to say, I ignored this order. It is an illegal order. It is an immoral order.
“However, I did point out the hypocrisy of an organisation that allowed homosexual officers to conduct political activity in uniform, while I was being punished for private political activity.
“But because I did so, I am now being kicked out of the Australian Defence Force.”
If this is correct, the case seems to be a matter for parliamentary investigation.
Hal G.P. Colebatch, PhD, is a Perth author and lawyer.