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. I cannot believe I have just written that sentence to an Australian company in 2011.

Is there anyone left besides religious zealots who believe that someone can choose to be homosexual?

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


Christianity is incompatible with homosexuality (‘Billboards preach gay love to Christians’, Star Online).

There comes a time when you need to stop sitting on the fence trying desperately to make ancient dead religious texts work with 2011. They just don’t.

The Bible is just not gay-friendly. It never will be, because it was written in ancient history. You can’t debate with a 2000+ year old text from a culture that has nothing to do with ours.

Just deal with it and move on. Why do we want God so bad when he so obviously doesn’t want us and made it so clear so long ago?

It’s just like an unhealthy obsessive relationship where one guy pines over the other who’s just not interested — and gone really, really rotten.

— Daniel


Instead of this clever little project I would rather see Penny Sharpe prosecuting the case for same-sex marriage with Labor members nationwide (‘GLORIAs voting closes today’, Star Online).

I’m sick of Labor’s rhetoric on the issue and I want to see some action. Time for fun and humour on this ran out in the wake of the Victorian ALP conference when they couldn’t get the numbers from within Labor ranks.

How about a project that ensures Labor members with a vote on same-sex marriage in December aren’t, say, in Bali on the day, or at a basket-weaving workshop?

— Michael


Woohoo for the Progressive Rabbinic Council! (‘Progressive Judaism backs marriage’, Star Online)

This article makes me proud to be a Jew! Let’s hope other religious organisations listen, learn and act positively too.

— Larisa


I would love to have a schooner at your old-world pub, and suck up a bit of Sydney’s fabulous past (‘Gay-friendly pub for Camperdown’, SSO 1075).

Imagine the old days when hard-working men were six foot deep trying to get a middy before going home to the kids and their chops and mash. Their wives were in the ladies parlour earlier, sipping a single two-penny dark, shelling the peas wrapped in newspaper for dinner and listening to the local gossip.

Ah and yes, old Kinselas parlour. Was it in the ’60s and ’70s? Mad instant parties after 10pm closing time. Everything inactive was wheeled out onto the veranda to make way for the guests. Just a bit of the old history of gay Sydney.

— Peter

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