I wish the Australian Christian Lobby [ACL] would do more work on Christian goals – such as helping the poor or preventing war – instead of complaining about programmes that defend gay teenagers.
– Tony

My brain went into lock-mode — like a computer — when I heard this news for the first time; it was so inconceivable.
After processing for a short time, I finally came up with a single word of confusion: ‘What?’
Here is a perfect example of why small numbers of obsessed people are so divisive — they churn out the same tired old rhetoric about “alternative lifestyles” and how “the children” will be damaged by exposure to them, and then trumpet these as “Australian values”.
Disagree and you’re suddenly labelled unpleasantly.
But to call for cuts to funding for children who are at risk? How is that going to help?
They conclude that gay events are “bad for the kids” yet demand funding be withdrawn to prevent the bullying of kids.
So, exposure to so-called “alternative lifestyles” is worse than being beaten up in the schoolyard, ostracised, and driven (in some cases) to suicide by your peers.
When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy.
– Lisa

The two biggest cheers every year that I’ve been at the Victorian Pride March are for the Rainbow Families contingent and the Victoria Police.
So are the ACL opposed to family values or to law enforcement?
– Miki

Congratulations to Australian Marriage Equality for taking the fight for gay rights to where it is needed – the churches.
Unfortunately AME are wasting their time if they think meeting with George Pell will soften his position on gay marriage. Pell is a career bureaucrat who will simply use the media coverage to preach his gay-hate message.
Gay rights activists need to be far more confrontational on this issue. The odd protest rally outside Pell’s official residence would be a good start.
— Peter

I must say I support the decision of the RSL.
You would think anyone seeking to use the name of any organisation or person would at least pay them the courtesy of requesting permission before taking any such action.
Nobody doubts the admirable service of many current and past members of the GLBT community in service of the nation, including the RSL, but endeavouring to align the RSL with a Midsumma event without permission only smacks of controversy.
It is a lovely tribute to remember Val Eastwood et al for their support and contributions to the advancement of our community and I do applaud the motivation behind this event.
So well done for the concept, and hopefully some common sense and courtesy will prevail in bringing this event back to Midsumma.
– Lea

Is it any wonder that the Catholic Church is so hated? I have never been a religious person but, I was raised to be a good, decent, honest and tolerant person.
I am a 25-year-old gay man and I have never come across any other institution that fosters as much hate as the churches.
How is it that the Catholic church can be so intolerant of same-sex marriages but are all too happy harbor priests and sex offenders who assault young boys?
I am constantly disgusted by this church, and for a message like this to be imposed on people celebrating Christmas should have many of its followers hanging their heads in shame.
This is a new age: one of tolerance and acceptance. I believe in same-sex marriage for all those out there who want to be granted the same rights as straight couples, but I cannot help but think to myself – why would anyone want to be a part of an institution where messages of hate and intolerance are an everyday part of its teachings? Even on Christmas!
I am sure this is not what Jesus had planned. Love knows no bounds.
— Tim

First off, full disclosure: I was, until fairly recently, a board member of the ALSO Foundation.
I mention that because it means I’ve worked pretty closely with the organisation over three years, know it well, and have held great affection for its vision, values and purpose.
So I’m surprised and horrified that, so soon after the appalling tragedy off Christmas Island in December last year, ALSO is running a fundraiser event called ‘Boat People’. There’s no question that the intent of the fundraiser is wonderful. The timing is simply shocking though.
I’ve no doubt the theme was locked in months ago, and bad things can happen that can’t be planned for.
Though saying that, when assessing whether ‘Boat People’ was really a witty, ironic and edgy way to get people to attend a party about GLBTI multicultural rights, one might have paused and remembered the widely reported coverage of recent years: specifically, the exploding refugee boats and sunken refugee boats that have ended the lives of scores of souls at sea. At least, that’s my particular perspective.
When I shared that perspective on the ALSO facebook event page, (a perspective shared by quite a few others that had got there before me), I soon found my comments – and all the dissenting comments – deleted by the moderator.
As a former board member for ALSO I’m really saddened by that.
Openness to feedback is a wonderfully refreshing quality that the Crusader Hillis has brought to the role of CEO.
Please may we see that spirit of openness return to the online forums as well? Because there’s really no point in using social media to connect with the community, if you aren’t prepared to actually have a conversation.
– Natasha Roberton

While I see both sides to this, I feel compelled as a ex-serviceman of 14 years to side with the RSL.
The RSL represents all the men and women, the widows and widowers of returned servicemen that have put their lives (literally) on the line for protection and service of their country and it’s people.
I have also been a long time advocate for the rights of the GLBT community but it is not equal to the sacrifice to one’s country.
The RSL in this day and age are fighting for the recognition of the many GLBT that served their country – past and present. We should respect the RSL and what it represents.
Surely there is another creative title that can be used without denigrating a symbol that means so much to so many, regardless of sexual preference.
– Scott

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