Won’t anybody ever just think about the bloody children?
The Australian Christian Lobby and their supporters are really upping the ante in their campaign to bring down a national anti-bullying program aimed at preventing homophobia and discrimination in schools.
NSW Labor MP Penny Sharpe says she has received nearly 1000 Helen Lovejoy-esque emails from parents worried about the Safe Schools program, which (shock! horror!) wants to make sure that same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse young people feel, um, safe at school. Yuck.
“This campaign is based on misinformation about a program designed to support & keep LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex] kids safe at school,” Ms Sharpe told Fairfax.
“The ACL hides flimsily behind a veil of concern for children yet the emails sent to MPs are often homophobic & transphobic.”
Watch Penny deliver a passionate IGNITE speech on the topic (post continues after video):
The program, which is now operating in 450 schools across the country, was conceived of by Labor’s Bill Shorten and Penny Wong as a way to “tackle homophobia” and commenced last year under the Coalition.
Since then it has been shamelessly teaching “students that heterosexuality is not the norm, and encouraging students to explore sexual and gender diversity” or so the ACL’s campaign flyer claims.
A statement published on their website yesterday (which incidentally labels them a “voice for values”), reconfirms their assertion that the program is “dangerous” on the grounds that it teaches “radical sexual concepts not appropriate to minors”.
They take particular issue with a fact sheet on safe chest binding practice, from one of the program’s affiliates Minus 18, but also claim that it encourages boys to wear girls’ school uniforms and the despicable use of toilets for the opposite sex.
Imagine! A young person wanting to use a toilet that accurately reflects their gender identity, next they’ll be teaching such hideous, despicable, morally abhorrent concepts such as tolerance, respectful relationships and safe sex!
“The grounds of the concerns are self-evident when one reads the content examples we have supplied. The material is not about anti-bullying, rather it is radically sexual and represents reckless, potentially harmful advice to minors,” ACL spokesperson Wendy Francis writes.
Well yes, how could any straight-thinking person not be concerned by educational resources with such terrifyingly inclusive titles as “All of Us”, “OMG I’m Queer” and “From Blues to Rainbows”?
After all, everyone knows that rainbows are the apparatus of the devil.
“Thousands of Ms Sharpe’s constituents have sent her emails raising their legitimate concerns about the education of their children,” Ms Francis said.
“I am sure that they will be very upset to hear that she has written them off as mostly homophobic and transphobic. This is an unfortunate smear that ignores the legitimate issues raised by concerned parents and constituents and communicated to Ms Sharpe and other parliamentarians.”
The ACL’s Lyle Shelton discusses the Safe Schools program (Warning: may cause rage blackouts):
Indeed, Ms Sharpe, who is a lesbian parent of three, seems implacable to such well reasoned arguments as “Homosexuality is not natural”, which is odd, really.
She’s even gone so far as to urge Australians to vote for the ACL’s Lyle Shelton in the GLORIA awards (which highlight outrageous, ignorant and ridiculous comments about the LGBTI community), for this pearler:
“Dressed up as an anti-bullying program, it encourages children to cross-dress at school and demands the school accept this Children are presented with information that downplays the danger of sexually transmitted diseases and introduced to concepts every thinking parent hopes they won’t Google. Its ‘seven-ways-to-bind your chest’ advice to girls is one of the most shocking things I’ve ever seen done in the name of a government program.”
Gosh, Ms Sharpe. You should really get out more.