LEAVE HIM ALONE

I congratulate Matthew Mitcham for his gold medal diving win and wish him and his partner Lachlan the very best.

One point I would like to make, however, is that Matthew’s medal is not our medal. Sure, our community has done lots to make it easier for people to be out and thank God it wasn’t a situation as in the book The Front Runner. However, we do put people on a pedestal and then sometimes bump them off the podium when they express an opinion that doesn’t fit in with the mainstream opinion of our community.

Would we still love Matthew if it didn’t work out between him and Lachlan in the long term and he ended up hooking up with a woman, for instance, who wasn’t a gay icon like Kylie Minogue? Say a Pauline Hanson type instead.

It does take all types to make this planet interesting and if Matthew ended up later in life hooking up with a Pauline Hanson type further down the line (will she still be looking for romance by then?) in an odd-couple type of relationship, I hope that we would still love Matthew for what he has done for boosting the spirit and image of our community while the time was right.

If he does want to serve as a Mardi Gras mascot or Gay Games mascot that is his choice unless he feels he can’t handle some of the flak and hype that goes along with those events.
He is first a human being and then a diver. It isn’t up to us to decide if he has the stamina to be our community sexpot dolly.

We should still support him regardless of his and his partner’s decisions re the Gay Games and the Mardi Gras issue.

-” Layne, Surry Hills

SPEAK, FRED

A popular Christian preacher admitted that he had lied about having cancer to cover up his interest in pornography. And another child abuse scandal has erupted at yet another Christian school.

But not all is doom and gloom. Our Olympic athletes have come home, bringing with them achievements and medals which we can be proud of. One of them, our last gold medal winner, actually achieved perfection in his sport.

Obviously, it’s time for Australia’s supreme Christian leader, self-appointed but never denied or rejected by any other Christian leaders, to give us comfort. The best way to do that would be by way of a motion in the NSW Legislative Council to congratulate our Olympic athletes and tell them how they inspire us, how we look up to them, and how glad we are to have them as role models. Especially when they achieve perfection.

So how about it, Fred?

-” Grant, Page, ACT

DIFFERENT VIEW

It amazes me that in less than one generation (25 years) the gay community has gone from gay rights to equality.

The gay rights movement was about legalising homosexuality. It had nothing to do with family values. Being gay is having sex with the same sex, nothing more.

Mardi Gras has not represented the gay community since before 1991. It has now been hijacked by the heterosexual thinking and family values queers. Getting married, having children and family values is about the heterosexualisation of the gay community.

The family values gays and lesbians have used the Mardi Gras to parade to the world that we are the same as them. We have children, and have family values like them. We are not different.

Yet the vast majority of gays and lesbians are single or in some form of same-sex relationship.
Gay men especially are more likely to be single and always will be.

Two decades ago gay men would never have contemplated having children or family values. They would just be gay, meet someone and fuck their brains out and would never have gone down this path.

If I was meant to be married or have children and family values I would have been born straight. But I was not, I was born gay. I have never wanted or tried to be anything I am not.

I would not change my life for anything in the world.

If you want to go down this path, then it is your choice, and you should not be forcing this agenda onto the rest of the gay community.

There is something very seriously wrong with the gay community and this path they have chosen. I once felt proud to belong and be part of it. But not now. This is why the gay community is in the mess it is in.

I am glad I lived in an era when it was good to be gay, as it is certainly not good to be gay today.

-” John, Surry Hills

LESSON TIME

Andrew Woodhouse is wrong (SSO 933). He understates the full adverse effect Sacha Blumen’s Labor Party has had on Oxford St and our gay identity.

Changes to the Liquor Act in recent weeks mean that the Director of the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing now, personally, decides who gets a liquor licence. More straight clubs could pop up anywhere soon, exacerbating the club/crime nexus.

Who elected this government-controlled person and how is he accountable to the public?

Labor deserves to be sent a lesson it will never forget at the 13 September council elections: no more big local liquor lord or developer donations.

Despite what Meredith Burgmann says, developer donations may have already percolated down to her local branch before she decided to run for office.

If she is so convinced I am wrong she should put a fully audited set of her campaign team’s accounts on her website for public scrutiny: put up or shut up.

-” Brian, Kings Cross

TIME TO STAND

Andrew Woodhouse’s recent letter raises interesting questions about who bears the responsibility for the current state of Oxford St. Frank Sartor? The City of Sydney? The State Government? Some combination of changes in the retail mix and all of the above?

Quite possibly -“ but it seems a long bow to connect these things with the sixth candidate on the Labor ticket (Sacha Blumen) in the current council elections who has never before run in an election nor worked for an MP. Perhaps Dr Blumen’s mistake, in Andrew’s eyes, is to be associated with the Labor Party.

It would be good for Woodhouse to put himself forward for Sydney’s Lord Mayor and contribute that way.

-” David, Surry Hills

DRINKING PROBLEM

The latest spin to come out of Clover Moore’s office is commentary on new civilised liquor laws, apparently in response to overwhelming support from residents, business and the tourism industry.
I am affected by the destructive behaviour of drunken louts and I awake to fights and abuse in Surry Hills.

In what is another generalised sweeping statement by the Lord Mayor, she has really shown just how out of touch she is with the community she represents. Clover Moore should be focusing on the responsible service of alcohol and limiting the access to alcohol (as opposed to providing more venues).

The mix of aggressive testosterone-filled young men and binge-drinking culture is a recipe for disaster.

Melbourne has already tried this experiment and is still trying to contain the resulting damage. To quote a report in the Melbourne Herald Sun 08/08/07:

Five young men have died in the past 18 months after being punched in or outside a licensed venue or private party, a Herald Sun investigation has found. Dozens more have suffered brain injuries and face a lifetime of rehabilitation. Almost all the victims are men aged between 17 and 35, and alcohol was involved in each case. Melbourne’s CBD is the worst area for drunken violence. Police attend serious assaults every weekend.

I sent this article to Clover’s office and didn’t even receive an acknowledgement. When will these idiots realise that more booze in an already volatile environment will equal more violence, not less? How does more booze make a society more civilised?

-” Brett, Surry Hills

COME TO CANBERRA

In spring, with Floriade just around the corner and all, a gay or lesbian couple’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of commitment ceremonies in Canberra. Did you read that right? You did. Read on.

We all remember that the ACT’s civil union legislation was first struck down and then held up by two Federal governments because the government of the ACT wanted to include a ceremony in the process of getting civil unions registered. This desire was a wicked one, we were told by Christians of all sides, because it would have led to the mimicking of marriage, which is a Federal government power only.

Put to one side the fact that the Salvation Army mimics defence, which is also a Federal power only. And the fact that it’s the High Court which should decide whether any such mimicry is legally good or bad. The Christians had their way.

Thank heaven they did. The result is that, in the ACT, gay men and women are not limited to some boring ceremony run by public servants or by -” shudder -” the ACT Attorney-General himself. No way. Instead, gays and lesbians may hold their own ceremonies in Canberra, quite free of any control, and make them as colourful, fabulous, outrageous, orgiastic or whatever as they like. At last, gays and lesbians have something to thank Christians for.

By the way, this includes the gay or lesbian couple being told, You are not married according to Commonwealth legislation but you are married in the sight of God. That would be legally correct and true too.

It’s a statement which straight de factos make about themselves all the time. Nothing and nobody could stop anyone from saying it. Christians, after all, will tell you that a marriage is something which occurs between the couple alone; any priest, minister or celebrant is merely a witness.

Ladies and gentlemen, Canberra looks forward to being your host and to enjoying your inventiveness.

-” Steven, Belconnen, ACT

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