THANK YOU

Thank you for marketing our community event so prominently and assisting us with making our Flagranti event such a success.

Your proactiveness in representing the entire LGBTIQ community is greatly appreciated, with SSO truly depicting Melbourne’s community voice.

As a not-for-profit, your assistance was/is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very muchly.

— Cinzio, 2011 Dance Committee, ArciLesbica

TO ADSHEL

I am deeply disturbed by today’s decision to remove posters promoting safe sex.

It has been asserted that these posters, which depict a homosexual couple embracing, are offensive to religious groups and to members of the heterosexual community. As a heterosexual male, I am deeply offended, not by these posters, but by the outrageous decision to remove them.

The condom is arguably the most important invention of the previous thousand years. Any suggestion that we should de-prioritise its promotion must be met with overwhelming evidence that the promotion is not meritorious.

Let us consider the evidence which has been tendered:

1. It is suggested that the posters promote homosexuality. Homosexuality is not a choice.

Is there anyone left besides religious zealots who believe that someone can choose to be homosexual? It is an ignorant point of view and to tender it as a justification to remove a public health warning is shameful.

2. The image is overtly sexual. It is difficult to see this as anything but a homophobic viewpoint. The image is uncontroversial when compared with images of heterosexual sexuality we are exposed to every day in a variety of media.

Both men are fully clothed. Their embrace would be more appropriately described as ‘affectionate’ than ‘sexual’.
The suggestion that this image is too sexual for children to see is blatantly discriminatory. Some complain that their children grow up in a world full of sexual messages from which they must be protected.

Who will protect the homosexual adolescents, who already face discrimination from a variety of sources, from growing up in a world where they are told that their very existence is offensive? Surely we are better than this.

3. The posters are offensive to Christian ideals. The history of tension between the Christian community and the homosexual community is well documented.

If Adshel is willing to submit to Christian objections that homosexual messages should not appear in public space, I trust they will extend the same courtesy to the homosexual community and ban any religious messages from appearing in a public space. Anything less would be tantamount to discrimination and homophobia.

I understand Adshel is a corporation and you need to consider your commercial interests when making such decisions, but with an issue as important as this, where such overt bigotry is at the heart of the complaints to which you have responded, you must surely take stock of your priorities.

Your company is responsible for promotions which exist in public space, and therefore has a responsibility to consider the public interest. I implore you to reflect on your business decisions and examine where your responsibilities lie, not just to your shareholders, but to the public.

— Tim

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