December 14th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Why the Liberals were wiped out in Victoria

CANBERRA OBSERVED: First strike? With what?

VICTORIAN ELECTION: Cause of Liberals' decimation clear

Higher costs force up cover price of News Weekly

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Physician heal thyself

The panacea of free trade (letter)

Free trade: myth and reality (letter)

HOUSING: A solution to young home-buyers' nightmare

Universities: quantity replaces quality (letter)

Medicare (letter)

Ignored Australians (letter)

ECONOMICS: Just how real are Japan's money woes?

COMMENT: The cause one dares not criticise

SUGAR: Sugar cane farmers rally to unite industry

MEDIA: Counting the cost of the Pay TV war

HISTORY: Revisiting the Dismissal

ASIA: Taiwan Strait's delicate military balance

BOOKS: Dry: In Defence of Economic Freedom, by John Hyde

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The cause one dares not criticise

by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, December 14, 2002
There are certain taboo subjects which in an age of Political Correctness are pretty much guaranteed never to see the light of day. Many such topics come to mind. But the most obvious candidate is homosexuality and anything even remotely critical of it. For the most part, the mainstream media avoids such coverage like the plague.

Of course that is not to say that the subject of homosexuality never appears in our secular press. It is there all right - constantly. But it is only pro-homosexual material (with rare exceptions), that seems to make it through. Anything remotely smacking of anti-gay rhetoric - however mild - is off limits. There is no greater crime today, it appears, than to appear intolerant in general and "homophobic" in particular. And homophobia of course has been taken to mean anyone or anything that disagrees with any aspect of the homosexual agenda.

Activist courts

Examples of this new Pink Curtain are legion.

High Court Justice Michael Kirby, for instance, has been using every available opportunity lately to promote homosexual issues. As one of our leading public homosexuals, he recently argued that the Family Court of Australia should become involved in same-sex relationships as well. His remarks were well covered in the press. Dissenting views, however, were hard to find.

There was one exception - sort of. Soon after he made these remarks, I was invited to take part in an hour-long Radio National debate about the issue. It was a typical ABC debate: I was the token conservative voice pitted against a less than neutral host, against Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, against Tasmanian gay activist Rodney Croome, and against a progressive Macquarie University Law Professor who supported Justice Kirby's proposals. Four or five against one is a good, fair debate in the eyes of the ABC and many other media outlets.

The debate itself was interesting. I tried to make the case that opening up the Family Law Court to any and every type of relationship would not only devalue and undermine the institutions of marriage and family, but would put every sort of relationship on an even keel, even though they clearly are not. And I asked, innocently enough, why we should stop with two men or two women in a same-sex relationship. Using Justice Kirby's logic, why not include relationships involving three men? Or four women? Why not a football team? If we decide to radically redefine the family, let us at least be consistent.

Of course such reasoning was met by a chorus of indignation.

Mr Hulls argued I was trying to turn the clock back to the 50s. The good law professor said the same. To which I replied, "Since when has marriage and family only been around for a few short decades? It seems to me that any second-rate historian, anthropologist or sociologist can tell you that these institutions have been the norm in most societies throughout human history."

And on the debate went. As it was also a talk back show, some callers were on side, but some were quite opposed to my point of view. But I suppose one can argue that at least a debate took place, even if it was a very one-sided affair.

Later, Justice Kirby used the opening of the Gay Games in Sydney on November 2 to deliver another speech, again seeking to promote the homosexual agenda to ordinary Australians. He said that "we are a nation in the process of reinventing ourselves" and spoke of the "social revolution" in are now in. He went on to list his heroes: Alfred Kinsey, the American sexologist, Rodney Croome, Kerryn Phelps, and others who helped to remake society in their own image.

The only critical voice I could find in the mainstream press was was Australian columnist, Janet Albrechtsen (November 6). She referred to Justice Kirby's activism and said: "Beware judges talking of changing community values. It usually means values haven't changed. Rather, the judge wishes they had and believes that by announcing some change, the world will follow." A brave woman indeed to make such remarks.

Role models

Consider the new biography of the Australian Medical Association President, Dr Kerryn Phelps who decided to tell her story of how she left her husband and "married" her lesbian lover.

One of the remaining few media outlets willing to occasionally critique the gay agenda, the Melbourne Herald Sun published an opinion piece by columnist Sally Morrell on October 23. In it she suggested that Dr Phelps may be less than an ideal role model, since she told her own 16-year-old daughter, concerning her relationship, to either like it or lump it. That is, she put her lesbian lover ahead of the interests of her own daughter.

I and a few others wrote in letters supporting the columnist, which were published on October 25. In my letter I wrote that Sally Morrell was quite right to argue that Kerryn Phelps is a poor role model, and a pretty poor mother at that.

I said it was quite disappointing that this "professional" lesbian couple decided to put their own desires ahead of the very real needs of children. "But unfortunately", I said, "this is just a reflection of a wider problem in society where everyone demands his or her rights, but refuses to recognise corresponding duties. Thus children are being left on the social scrapheap while adults indulge their various whims and passions. I greatly fear for our children in such a society.

"The truth is, not all lifestyles are equal. Any lifestyle that says that children are just a disposable commodity is not in our best interests. And another truth emerges here: sexual preferences are not private matters but have very real social consequences."

On October 29 the Herald Sun printed a letter by Dr Phelps saying her critics were "ill-informed", and that Morrell's column was "disgraceful" and provoked "hatred".

But an interview with her daughter in that week's New Idea repeated the idea that the daughter was treated - should I say it, disgracefully - by her mother. She said she was "screaming out for love and attention" when her mother "came out" but was treated like a troublemaker.


The Morrell and Albrechtson pieces were unusual because they are so rare. Large slabs of the media will not touch gay issues, at least not with a critical perspective.

The homosexual lobby has intimidated much of the mainstream media into silence and/or a censorious view of the issue, that balanced and impartial discussions of it will seldom be found there.

Debate has been effectively stymied. Fear reigns supreme. Fear of "offending" the homosexual lobby. Fear of being politically incorrect. Fear of being sued or taken to court by the various Equal Opportunity Commissions, discrimination boards, and vilification legislation.

The Pink Curtain is well and truly up and things will only get worse.

  • Bill Muehlenberg

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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