WHAT’S WRONG
I have just opened the website that has been set up by New Mardi Gras so they can get ideas about what’s working and what’s not working.
What’s the very first thing I see flashing at me — an ad from ANZ bank for a credit card.
PLEASE!
This is exactly what is wrong with New Mardi Gras — it’s become too corporate and commercial.
— William

CHEAP LAUGHS
I was shocked and angered upon viewing a McDonalds ad on television with a ‘gay’ theme earlier this evening.
It portrays a straight man’s exaggerated worries, firstly on being found asleep on the sofa against his apparently straight ‘mate’, and secondly upon the arrival of an obviously gay man on the couch next to him, who gives him suggestive looks.
I have written to McDonalds to register my strong disapproval of the ad, arguing that it portrays homosexuality and gay men as a threat and encourages outdated stereotypes of gay men as effeminate, mindless and sexually obsessed morons.
As a supposedly socially progressive organisation, McDonalds should be encouraging members of the community to embrace diversity and tolerate difference, not stigmatising one element of that community to elicit cheap laughs in order to sell a few extra burgers to homophobic men.
I have demanded that McDonalds remove this advertisement from Australian television and avoid similar derogatory references to what are already marginalised elements of the Australian community in future. I await a speedy response from the company in question.
— Don

ADOPTION EQUALITY
Equal adoption is about finding the best parents for children, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.
Evidence shows that the children of gay couples benifit from the same quality parenting as children of heterosexual adoptive couples. Adopton criteria should focus upon how well children can be raised, and loved by the parents.
The discriminatory and unfounded idea that a child receives any exclusive benefit due to the particular sex and relationship of the parents alone is out of tune with reality and denies a child the best range of candidates.
— David

DRUGS #1
We should be making drugs easier to get off and harder to get on (‘Make drugs legal’, SSO 1024).
This ex-judge [Ken Crispin] is politicised, and like many other judges, doesn’t realise the harm he causes.
Thankfully, he’s retired. Let him go.
— Andrew

DRUGS #2
I like the fact this guy [Ken Crispin] has obviously thought about the issue beyond the usual kneejerk reaction stuff our governments seem to be prone to.
Lots of things are bad for us — cigarettes and alcohol, for example — yet they are freely available.
We are adults and we are quite capable of making informed decisions about our own futures. We don’t need any more Big Brother government bullshit.
— Harrison

DRUGS #3
Drugs do not discriminate, we do.
We lost the battle the moment we decided to discriminate against some drugs. I love a good red, but that is worse for me than legalised ecstasy.
I would much rather have safe drugs made properly with warnings, and taxes from sales used to fund treatment programs for people who go overboard. We presently accept a system of poorly funded treatment programs that are mainly run by Christian charities. Of course we all want to flock to those! The current situation does not work. It is broken. There are many vested interests in keeping the current failed situation.
Other societies that legalised drugs did not fall apart. They blossomed. Crime dropped massively. Some people will always go overboard on drugs, alcohol, smokes, you name it. In countries that legalised drugs the treatment programs are much more sophisticated and funded properly.
We have to accept drugs, all drugs, are a part of our lives.
I do not like illegal drugs. I will not take them if they are legal. I know it is stupid — like I said, I take a good glass of red that is terrible for my body and liver. I have my own drug phobia, I guess.
But I do not want people getting messed up from backyard laboratories. I just accept that they are a part of life. You can get illegal drugs easily in many places including our jails. I do not like the misery illegal badly made drugs cause the community, and the taxes we all get slugged with for this.
The ambulances, the hospitals, the violence, the crime all add up. I am a realist. I know the cost to the community of illegal drugs is huge. We administer morphine to the sick; we know many community leaders have puffed marijuana. I have friends who take illegal drugs and never have problems.
Why not get rid of the huge cost to the community of illegal drugs, and create an environment of harm minimisation. You can either accept the high cost to the community with the current situation that has people taking illegal drugs anyway, or you can legalise the drugs and have a harm minimisation approach.
— Dave

DRUGS #4
The elephant in the room of decriminalising drugs is that it would take corrupt police out of the equation. One of the implemented recommendations of the Wood Royal Commission was to decriminalise the sex industry. One result — to remove the role police had in running it.
Recreational/ softer drugs provide police with easy arrests of users in nightclubs and dance parties, etc. Dealers of hard drugs (heroin, ice, etc) and their rackets are still left alone by cops (surprised?).
As concluded in the book Dirty Work by ex-detective and whistleblower Glen McNamara, where there is illegal activity, police will be where there is a profit to be made.
— John

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