Losing Faith
As part of Pride Week, Sydney University’s Manning Bar hosted a discussion titled ‘Is Religion Homophobic’?
Guest speakers included Anthony Venn-Brown, evangelist and former convert with ex-gay therapies, Penny Davis for Crave and the Metropolitan Community church, Kim Gottlieb, gay activist and member of queer Jewish group Dayenu, and finally Shenin Wong on behalf of Buddhists.
While the talk tried to answer an age-old question, Anthony’s focus was on preaching, with the dais becoming another pulpit. Penny denied Christianity was homophobic, even though admitting there was a culture of hatred towards gays due to quotes in the Bible.
Kim confessed to participating in Orthodox Jewish discussion groups while retreating into the closet, and Shenin defended accusations the Dalai Lama rejected homosexuality as the Tibetan spiritual leader had since changed his mind.
Though little light was thrown on the subject, the debate did show many people were losing faith.
— Stuart
embrace change
There’s been some discussion of the financial position of New Mardi Gras. This makes everyone nervous. We’d all be much poorer without it.
Running a business is hard, keeping customers happy isn’t easy, staying ahead of the changing tastes, competition is tricky. NMG has done a pretty good job. (Particularly Marcus Bourget).
OK, mistakes have been made but it’s not a simple business they are in. Most businesses can make mistakes and fix them tomorrow or later that year. Not MG with only one shot each year.
Why isn’t the corporate appetite for involvement not pursued more vigorously? It would bring a secure financial footing and end the annual fear of problems.
A lot of big corporates would be keen to sponsor and be involved. Why? It shows their customers and employees they are cool, equal opportunity and grassroots connected.
Why does corporate sponsorship so offend people in our community? They seem to prefer a struggling parade, amateurish floats and program — as if it would be somehow more authentic.
Or is it the loss of control? But imagine the loss of control that could occur if it goes bust and the trademark and intellectual property are picked up cheaply at a liquidator’s auction.
Please everyone: move on, its no longer 1978 or 1991. Change is the price of survival. Embraced properly and with sound financing that big corporates can bring, the festival could blossom into something amazing.
An improved and stronger festival would bring greater acceptance by the broader community. And wasn’t this the point of the original protest and marchers back in 1978?
— Ian
NO LONGER SAFE
This has been going on and on. The gay community is no longer feeling safe at our clubs, because we’re afraid we will be bashed or attacked (‘Bashing inside venue’, SSO 1019).
I think just complaining about it will get us nowhere. I’m growing tired of these complaints. The gay community in Sydney should realise that either it opens a gay-only club or it will die. We should understand that if every gay leaves Arq, the Colombian or such, these clubs will quickly turn into nothing.
Instead of being afraid of change, do it. Write to the mayor, to our community, set up a group and lobby for our rights. Either that or we will return to the pre-’80s stage. Melbourne set an example that it is possible.
— Ed
CLOSED MINDED?
I am inclined to agree with the article (‘Bright lights, crack pipes’, x+y=u, SSO 1020). It is an interesting point.
If I want to be accepted everywhere, is claiming a certain area a gay-only zone a bit closed minded? Oxford St is far from saving as ‘ours’ anyway.
As for gay ownership of venues, I don’t know  — however, I have received appalling service at places like the Midnight Shift and Arq and the Colombian and have had some fabulous gay nights in venues that are not on the strip.
Who knows what the answer is? However, I don’t think it is to be found on the strip.
— Tim
NEWTOWN BETTER
Oxford St died years ago. Newtown has a lot more character.
I like the idea of having places that are for us where we can feel safe and comfortable to be ourselves.
I do agree, however, that we are more accepted in mainstream venues and society which is about bloody time!
— Wil
NO SURPRISE
Res: Libs granted conscience vote (SSO 1020), this comes as no surprise. Most of our community either forget or choose to forget that it was the Liberals under John Fahey and Attorney General John Hannaford who passed into law the Homosexual Anti-Vilification Bill way back in the 1990s despite Fred Nile and his mob of far-right looney tunes.
Most gay men seem to think the Labor Party and Clover Moore are the people to vote for. If this conscience vote gets up, I hope they might consider the Catholic right controls the Labor Party in NSW and we all know who the head of the Catholic Church is in Australia, don’t we?
— Colin
PG Grindr
Re: ‘Grindr to promote safe sex’ (SSO 1020), considering the new PG restrictions of this application, will this really work?
People have said that their photos have been deleted from this site for being even remotely suggestive of wanting to hook up for sex! Beautiful Boobs applications, though, abound on the iPhone.
— John
MARRIAGE SUPPORT
I think it is time to allow gay marriages in the civil court. I am not religious therefore I feel that the church can do what it likes but at the end of the day gay couples have just as good a chance of staying married as heterosexuals. In the end what difference does it make? Who does it hurt if gays get married?
— Robin

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