I must commend Tony Abbott for rising to the challenge and addressing the GLBTI community directly on JOY 94.9, in the wake of his ill-judged remarks about feeling ‘threatened’ by us.
While he said little new, and much that was heavily conditional, he is at least talking to us, which is more than the Prime Minister has so far done.
But the hatred expressed in the online reactions to his appearance exposes how much still needs to be done. Take the comments on Andrew Bolt’s blog.
“I am not homophobic, I am homorepulsed. The thought of two men going at it turns my stomach. Then again so does slaughter houses, plumbers who have to unblock toilets, sewerage workers, baby nappies etc but this wouldn’t stop me from having a beer [with] them or cleaning up what needs to be cleaned.”
Strangely, Bolt offered no opinion, merely reproducing the transcript with a one-line introduction calling the interview ‘determinedly hostile’ (which it was not) — a theme picked up in some of the comments.
Allegedly I backed the Liberal leader into a corner, and dominated the agenda. “It sounded like little Douggie wanted nothing less than Tony prostrate on the ground, begging forgiveness.”
Pur-lease — I do have some standards left!
I was also attacked for things I didn’t do.
“Doug didn’t denounce gay pedophiles for infiltrating the churches and protecting the nefarious crimes of their gangs.”
“I especially disapprove of the fact that gay men who become priests and rape and assault teenaged boys manage to blame it on the Catholic Church and not on their disordered sexuality.”
“I want to oppose the thuggery and manipulation PC gays constantly use to silence people like me and traditional Christians from expressing ourselves in the way we see fit.”
Thuggery. Well at least I didn’t resort to veiled death threats.
“The Gays will do well to remember what the Jews know…. ‘when someone threatens to kill you, believe him’.”
Over on the Yahoo news blog there was more of the same.
“Tony Abbott should be demanding all gays be put to death — as the bible mandates… If elected — he will force the gays and lesbians back into the closet where he believes they belong. And if they dare to come out — well he’ll propose the MCG host a nice old stoning!”
There was a lot of anger at the Opposition leader for taking a Christian, rather than a Catholic approach. There was also anger at me for failing to subject Kevin Rudd to a similar inquisition.
For the record, I’d be happy to, any time.
Of course, if Rudd declines to directly address our community, he is in danger of giving the impression he secretly agrees with the likes of Bolt’s bloggers.
I’m happy to give him the opportunity to correct that impression. Prime Minister, come on down!