Oh dear! Julia Gillard is set to address the Australian Christian Lobby in November.
Oh Julia Gillard, what on earth are you doing? The news is out that our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard is set to address the Australian Christian Lobby at their national conference in November. This news has many marriage equality advocates deeply concerned that the Prime Minister is addressing what they say is an extremist anti gay group.
In a media release by Australian Marriage Equality Gillard has been condemned by clergy and mental health experts.
Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich has said,
“Between January and June this year the ACL made over 120 statements condemning equality for gay Australians and said virtually nothing about poverty or homelessness, with some of its statements linking gay equality with the stolen generation, Nazis and paedophiles.”
“The ACL is an unrepresentative, anti-gay group which it is completely inappropriate for the leader of our nation to endorse in this way.”
Adding that the Prime Minister has never spoken at a gay and lesbian community event, including the Rainbow Labor caucus that is within the Labor party itself.
“Gay and lesbian Australians and our families want a Prime Minister who shows us equal respect and does not legitimise hate, and at the moment Julia Gillard is not that Prime Minister.”
He also goes on to explain that the announcement has members of the Australian Labor Party concerned as well,
“Many within Labor are upset that the leader of their Party is supporting an organisation that campaigns against Labor’s core values or fairness and equality”
While Baptist Minister, Rev Carolyn Francis, has questioned whether the ACL represents the majority of Australian Christians,
“Many Australian Christians are concerned about the ACL’s statements because they contradict the central Christian message of love and compassion.”
“The ACL’s predominate focus on issues relating to sexuality is disproportionate with the priorities of scripture and Christianity.”
And Clinical Psychologist, Dr Robert Battisti, said statements previously made by the ACL have contributed to poorer mental health outcomes among same-sex attracted Australians.
“We know from local and international research that when same-sex attracted people are stigmatised and denied equality they have higher levels of anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation.”
“A lot of the fears around same-sex marriage are unrealistic and will not actually come to pass. What is realistic is actual improvements in mental health outcomes for many Australians as a result of marriage equality”.
I won’t deny that I am completely unimpressed at Julia Gillard’s move. This also adds greater suspicion to those rumours that had been circulating that she had previously made deals with the Australian Christian Lobby.
The lines are being drawn, which side of history will you be on Julia Gillard?
What are your thoughts???