Unless you count that time I wrote to Michael J Fox in Grade 2, this is the first time I’ve written a letter to a public figure (Michael never wrote back and I don’t expect that you will, either.) Should I have opened with this letter with “How are you?” I guess if I’d started with that, you’d have to answer with “Prejudiced, backward and homophobic.” Because that’s what you are.
Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong announced yesterday that she and her partner, Sophie Allouache (yes, a lady) are expecting a baby through IVF and you quickly took the opportunity to speak out against this. You said it was “a very poor example for the rest of the Australian population.” You said that
Minister Wong’s decision to make the announcement about her partner’s pregnancy “just promotes their lesbian lifestyle…to make it natural where it’s unnatural.” You also said – and this one’s my favourite – “I’m totally against a baby being brought up by two mothers – the baby has human rights.”
Ordinarily, Fred, I wouldn’t give a flying continental what you think. Over the years that you’ve flapped off at the mouth I’ve tended to ignore your ramblings because while I’ve never agreed with them, they haven’t really affected me and I’ve always just dismissed you as a bit of a nutbar. But I couldn’t ignore what you said today, Fred, because last weekend I went to a birthday party.
A beautiful little girl named Jemma turned 1 yesterday, Fred, the same day you made your ugly comments. I went to school with her mummy, who invited me and my family to come over and celebrate. Jemma’s other mummy was also there, as was Jemma’s older brother and a whole bunch of their friends and family.
We ate party pies and sausage rolls. The kids tore through the house and around the back yard while the adults supervised and caught up over a few drinks. When the cake emerged we all sang Happy Birthday and gave three hearty hip, hip hoorays – just your standard one-year-old’s birthday party, Fred. And the birthday girl didn’t stop smiling the whole day.
I’m glad Jemma’s not old enough to read yet, Fred, because I know how devastated she’d be by what you said. To make it crystal clear for you how Jemma got here: Jemma and her brother share the same sperm donor dad. His sperm joined one mummy’s egg via IVF to make Jemma’s brother, who was carried and delivered by that same mummy. Three years later, the same donor’s sperm was used to fertilise the other mummy’s egg via IVF and made Jemma, who was carried and delivered by the same mummy who birthed Jemma’s brother. Got it? Read over it a couple of times if you need to, Fred. Unlike you, I think it’s important to take the time to understand.
If you wanted to be very strictly clinical, I guess you could argue that IVF is “unnatural” but that doesn’t make Jemma any more unnatural than an IVF baby born to heterosexual parents and I don’t think you’re suggesting all IVF parents are setting a “poor example.” No, Fred: I think you’re clearly saying lesbians are unnatural. And that’s a bloody shame.