real life

Is there a homophobic leaflet in your child's school bag today?

“Respect for all.” As long as you’re straight, that is.

An anti-same-sex marriage booklet has been sent home with school-children attending Catholic institutions around the country. Because, of course it has.

The ‘Pastoral Letter’ from the Catholic Bishops of Australia warns students that “same-sex friendships” are very different from “real marriages” and yet maintains that the church is staunchly against any form of discrimination.  Funny that.

“We deplore injustices perpetrated upon people because of religion, race, sex, age etc.” it reads, and yet refuses to recognise the legitimacy of homosexual couples or support same-sex union.

“Deep seated homosexual tendencies” and those who support marriage equality are ignoring the “very soul of marriage”, apparently.

anti-same-sex marriage booklet
An image from the booklet.

According to the booklet, marriage should not be a purely emotional union. It is about ‘purpose,’ and that purpose is procreation.

“What allows for this special kind of union between a man and a woman in marriage,” they state, “is precisely their difference and complementarity.”

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“Their physical, spiritual, psychological and sexual differences show they are meant for each other, their union makes them whole, and through their union ‘in one flesh’ they together beget children who are ‘flesh of their flesh’. They share the sameness of humanity but enjoy the difference of their masculinity and femininity, being husband and wife, paternity and maternity.”

The booklet dismisses same-sex couplings as “friendships” it also states that to treat them as equal to heterosexual partnerships is to do a “grave injustice” to the institution and values of marriage.

A page from the booklet.

Catholic children — of primary school age — are being told that same-sex marriage advocates have things “the wrong way around”, and must be taught the “true” meaning of marriage:

“We all know and love people with same-sex attraction. They are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbours. They need love and support like anyone else. But pretending that their relationships are ‘marriages’ is not fair or just to them. As Christians we must be willing to present the truth about marriage, family and sexuality and to do so charitably and lovingly.”

The Catholic Church’s publication and distribution of such a document is likely reactionary to the growing support for marriage equality in Australia.

Just stop. ‘Stop telling me Christians don’t support gay marriage.

As The Guardian reports, National director of Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome said earlier this week: “preach[ing] to a captive audience of children says that they know they’ve lost the debate.

“The fact that the bishops have asked for this material to be distributed to students shows how completely out of touch they are with the strong support for marriage equality amongst young people and also the vulnerability of young gay people and the children of same-sex couples in their schools to the prejudice and discriminatory attitudes in the material.”

“61 per cent of young non-heterosexual people reported experiencing verbal abuse and 18 per cent reported physical abuse.”

Poor mental health, depression and suicide are the fate of many young Australians who identify as LGBTQI — and with material like this being so widely circulated it is no wonder.

According to Beyond Blue61 per cent of young non-heterosexual people reported experiencing verbal abuse and 18 per cent have reported physical abuse.

Deplorable figures which will likely be exacerbated by the circulation of material such as this pamphlet in schools.

“A 15-year-old at a Catholic high school in Australia today wants to believe that they can find love, they can find an enduring relationship in their life,” says Croome. “There are many people in society that tell them that that won’t happen. The law tells them that won’t happen and now they have their own school telling them that shouldn’t happen.”

For more stories like this, be sure to check out these:

18 arguments against gay-marriage and why they are all bollocks.

We are one gigantic step closer to legalising gay-marriage.

People came #HomeToVote for gay-marriage in Ireland. It was beautiful.

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