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26 JULY 2005


Homophobia in Australia is becoming out of control, and federal, state and local government bodies are doing nothing to curb i

Australian Communications and Media Authority,

PO Box 78


ACT 2616


Mannie De Saxe and Kendall Lovett, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity,

PO Box 1675

Preston South

Vic 3072

Phone: (03) 9471 4878

Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au


26 July 2005




Homophobia in Australia is out of control, and federal, state and local government bodies are doing nothing to curb it.


As a consequence, gay, lesbian, transgender people and people living with HIV/AIDS are being denied their basic human rights.


Religious bodies  foster hatred of groups which are not part of their religious dispensations.


Sports people – particularly in tennis (Copy of our letter to Tennis Australia is attached) – have been articulating their homophobia in the last few years with little or no consequences for their behaviour.


Added to their verbal abuse, both on and off the tennis courts, is the abuse by radio and television personalities who have behaved disgracefully and the organizations which employ them believe that these people have done nothing wrong.


Not only have they done wrong, but the consequences of their behaviour are immeasurable. Their words are assumed to give carte blanche to young people, both in schools and other institutions, and out of schools, to go and bash a poofter, either verbally or physically, resulting in traumas that may last a life time, if the assaults haven’t left dead bodies in their wake, as they often do.


The time has long passed when we can ignore the lack of responses from official bodies and organizations and regulating authorities  who fail to discipline those involved in the ongoing homophobia.


 JOHN LAWS, STEVE PRICE, SAM NEWMAN - HOMOPHOBIA ON AIR: There have been a few arguments about these three people in the gay media. It is being suggested that they are entertainers and they say what they do in order to create controversy for their programmes, sponsors, radio and/or television stations in order to draw in listeners/viewers. These sorts of discussions are flawed because there are anti-vilification laws in many states in Australia. The homophobic attacks by Laws, Price and Newman result in abuse, violence and often worse because the people perpetrating these assaults believe they have community support for what they have done which is why there are anti-vilification laws. Often this has proved to be the case when some assaults and murders have gone to trial, only to have cases dismissed or treated lightly due to “panic defence” and similar arguments being put forward. Members of the glt communities must protest and continue protesting, to stop these attacks on our human rights, attacks which, if carried out on heterosexuals, would lead to immediate outcries from the community at large!


Apart from John Laws, Steve Price and  Sam Newman, dating back to last year and early this year, the most recent “on air” manifestations have come from Eddie Maguire of the Nine Network, and  also Network Ten which has a programme called Big Brother, both programmes of which went to air on Monday 18 July 2005 with “Nancy Boy”, “Poofta and Poof” expressions being used repeatedly. These programmes were followed by the 60Minutes Channel 9 programme on 24 July 2005.




The following is an extract from the Sixty Minutes programme on Channel Nine on the night of Sunday 24 July 2005:

“SHEIKH KHALID YASIN: If you prefer the name of somebody on your clothes other than the name of the Muslims, if you prefer the clothing of the Kaffers other than the clothing of the Muslims, most of the names that's on most of those clothing is faggots, homosexuals and lesbians. God is very straightforward about this — not we Muslims, not subjective, the Sharia is very clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like that is death. We don't make any excuses about that, it's not our law — it's the Koran.

PETER OVERTON: And this on why young Muslims shouldn't attend university.

SHEIKH KHALID YASIN: The university is a gateway for deviation. You forget your Islamic direction. Now you have become compromised through some kind of intellectuality.”

The Prime Minister of Australia has been very vocal in condemning the Sheikh’s comments about terrorism and bombings, but so far he seems very mute when it comes to the abuse of homosexuals – why?


If these people had all used racist and sexist epithets in their programmes or in their sports, they would be called to account by their governing bodies. Because they are abusing homosexuals, no one stops them or censures them.


Well, enough is enough. If these situations are allowed to continue without restraints it is time for gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS Rights Groups to demand of governments and regulating authorities that penalties  be applied to those who continue these abuses.


Mannie De Saxe and Kendall Lovett


(Attachment – copy of letter to Tennis Australia)


Copies: (Shown on next page)


Channel 9 “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Executive Producer, PO Box 27                                      Willoughby   NSW 2068


Network 10 “Big Brother” Executive Producer Private Bag 5000

South Yarra Vic 3141


Channel 9 “60 Minutes” Executive Producer PO Box 600 Willoughby

NSW 2068


Editor, MCV, 32 Bridge Road, Richmond, Vic 3121

Editor, BNews and Melbourne Star, Level 1, 251 Swan Street, Richmond, Vic 3121

Editor, Sydney Star Observer, PO Box 939 Darlinghurst, NSW 1300

Editor, SX, Level 3, 140 William Street, East Sydney, NSW 2010



Letter from Australian Communication and Media Authority

3 JULY 2005


Bob Carr, Premier, New South Wales:
Carmel Tebbutt, NSW Minister for Education:

Ministerial interference with school curriculum

During the period of the last 10 to 15 years we have been fighting homophobia in the News South Wales education system.

At the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board’s gay and lesbian consultations, held between 3 and 6 times a year, members of the NSW Department of Education were asked to explain why a particular module dealing with sexuality was not compulsory in schools, whereas the modules dealing with issues such as racism, were compulsory. We didn’t ever receive a satisfactory resolution to this issue.

In the event, due to ongoing homophobia in the NSW government and its Department of Education, the situation is once again critical due to the intervention of the NSW Minister for Education, Carmel Tebbutt. The issue this time is over the Daily Telegraph article headlines “School sex furore: Students asked to imagine being gay.”

Carmel Tebbutt reacted to a complaint about the class lesson, which she has banned after “a community member” had complained to Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson.

The Federal Government’s homophobia is well known – the Prime Minister and his government, heavily influenced by the religious right – are trying to turn the clock back on the very hard-won gains by gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities during its 9 years in office.

The Carr government’s record is not much better, and every gain by these communities has only been achieved after intensive battles at all levels.

Now we have a minister of the Carr government responding to an article in the Daily Telegraph – further proof of the Murdoch and other media’s influence in governments and their responses to sexuality issues.

There are many ironies in the current situation, not least being the fact that the Daily Telegraph’s readers responded positively to the issue as did parents and students at the school in question.

We intend to publicise the issue as much as possible and demand that the Minister reverse the decision to ban the lesson. Homophobia is on the increase in Australia, due to most governments around the state, be they Coalition or Labor, and the religious right, and the outcome is an increase in violence, bashings and murders of gays, lesbians and transgender people around the country. Many young people struggling with their sexuality, particularly in regional and rural communities, where there are few, if any, support systems, attempt, or succeed in committing, suicide, and governments have a great deal to answer for in this regard.

Sexual minorities are entitled to the same human rights as all citizens in this country, but we have a long way to go, and issues like the latest one make the struggle that much more difficult.

We trust that the Carr government and the Minister for Education will reverse their decision immediately.

COPY TO: EDUCATION: Member No.: 66011

Mannie De Saxe, casual/part-time member of the NSW Teachers Federation, member of Lesbian and Gay Solidarity
PO Box 1675, Preston South, Vic 3072 Phone:(03) 9471 4878 email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au web:

Letter from NSW Government


Homophobia and Religion - the root of ALL evil!!!

This article appeared in the Sunday Age on 7 September 2008 and is yet again another reason - if any other reasons were actually required! - why religious organisations should not be allowed exemptions from the state's anti-discrimination legislation:

Gay support group gets straight 'no' from Brethren

Michael Bachelard

Jake Quilligan is angry at his group's rejection by the Phillip Island Adventure Resort. "To stop us booking the camp because of the sexuality of the group is pretty wrong," he says.

Photo: Craig Sillitoe

A GAY youth support group trying to meet to talk about homophobia has had its booking at a Phillip Island camp ground blocked because the resort owners, the Christian Brethren church, deplore their lifestyle.

The rejection by the Phillip Island Adventure Resort so angered the rural gay people's support group, Way Out, that they have challenged it in the Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission, and now the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. But the law is stacked against the young people: religious groups in Victoria are allowed to discriminate against anyone as long as it is done due to "genuine religious beliefs or principles".

The general manager of Christian Youth Camps, Glyn Mahon, told The Sunday Age that the church business had not been able to agree on the group's booking for safety reasons. "Our definition of safety, because of our Christian faith, does not support or include the promotion of homosexuality," he said.

Christian Youth Camps said it "desires all guests to experience Christian life and values, and it was the aims of the Way Out group in promoting a lifestyle to young people contrary to those values that was in question".

The resort is exempt from paying taxes because it is run by a church.

"I was very angry when I found out about it," says gay 17-year-old student Jake Quilligan. "It was immoral. To stop us booking the camp because of the sexuality of the group is pretty wrong."

Way Out's co-ordinator, Sue Hackney, said her clients were from country areas, and suffered terrible, sometimes violent, homophobia and high rates of suicide. The weekend camp, scheduled for the middle of last year, was intended to give them a break by the beach, where they could seek support and discuss how to combat homophobia in their towns. "It's a bitter irony that the very first thing we experienced when we set out to book the camp was a case of blatant discrimination," Ms Hackney said.

"The manager asked about the nature and purposes of our group, and the conversation started to turn. He said, 'We are a Christian organisation and it wouldn't be possible for a group such as yours to use the facilities'."

She said she believed that, particularly when running a commercial operation, church groups should not be exempt from the law. "If they can discriminate against us on religious grounds, they can discriminate against anyone," she said. "People who use contraception, people who have sex before marriage, people of any other faith, agnostics, atheists, you name it." Way Out ended up meeting at the camp of another Christian group, the YMCA.

Mr Quilligan felt the sting of a gay-hate attack last month in his small home town of Wedderburn, north-west of Bendigo, when somebody broke into his house and trashed it. "They went through the entire house, and anything of value was stolen," he said. "I had the mattress and pillows on my bed ripped and doused in accelerant. The nastiest thing was that there were messages spray-painted on the bedroom door and wardrobe — 'fag' on the door. "Violating is the best way to describe it. I felt dirty, just that someone even wanted to do this.It was crushing."

There is no suggestion that the Christian Brethren were in any way involved in the attack, but La Trobe university researcher Lynne Hillier said that discriminatory beliefs often turned into homophobic abuse, causing "terrible damage" to young people.

"This case is just another example of a really strong institution saying that these young people are so odious that we don't want them on our property," Dr Hillier said.

The Department of Justice is six months into a review of the exemptions in the Equal Opportunity Act, to see if they are compatible with the Human Rights Charter. It has received 500 submissions. A spokesman for acting Attorney-General John Lenders would not comment further.

The Christian Brethren church is historically linked to the infamous Exclusive Brethren, but broke away in the mid-1800s.

The Christian Brethren is now contemplating a name change because of the "negative connotations" of the Brethren "brand". But it remains a very conservative, evangelical church.

27 AUGUST 2008

This is from the Sydney Star Observer issue 933, 28 August 2008:

Homophobia and the Media - The Australian Press Council

Claims still need retracting

Andrew M Potts

Australia has many subcultures. It has a surfing subculture and subcultures devoted to various sports. There are also youth and music subcultures — goths, emos, punks, and ferals. And while mainstream Australia may disagree with some aspects of these subcultures, it knows of their existence, tolerates them, and knows how these subcultures network and where they can be found.

But while a majority of rapes and murders in this country are committed by heterosexuals, neither we, nor Paul Sheehan nor The Sydney Morning Herald would claim there was a subculture of rapists or murderers within the heterosexual community.

How then, when the vast majority of sexual offences against children are committed by men who identify as heterosexual, even when their victims are male, can the claim of “a subculture of pedophilia among gays” stand?

The Herald says we should not be offended because Sheehan made clear we weren’t all rock spiders. For me the inference that we tolerate a nest of spiders in our midst, however small, is offence enough.

It could be argued that within our community there are subcultures of drug use or promiscuous sex — a significant minority engage in both. On the whole we tolerate them, and most of us have a fair idea where either could be found.

In comparison the number of pedophiles who identify as gay is utterly miniscule, they are not known to us, we find them abhorrent and they are roundly condemned.

Long before the article in question went to print, Sheehan made clear his visceral dislike for our community — though his knowledge of us seems limited.

Our crime seems to be that “the lavender mafia” defended lawyer John Marsden, whom Sheehan loathed. Marsden himself claimed the opposite, saying the gay community deserted him despite his eventual exoneration in relation to claims he’d had sex with underage youths, with this publication singled out for special mention.

The slur against us in this latest article was a casual cruelty — a throwaway line. We featured merely as part of a line-up of straw men supposedly representing the forces of political correctness in this country.

The ruling by the Australian Press Council in this case was probably inevitable as the Herald published a range of letters opposing Sheehan’s claim.

But Sheehan’s own ersatz apology verged on the sarcastic — he’s sorry for our misunderstanding — and his claim of a pedophile subculture in our midst remains un-retracted.

What also remains is the question of why an august publication like the Herald employs a man like Sheehan other than to generate controversy and volume for the letters page. Sheehan might also consider that, if he cannot deal properly with such a serious subject in an article of 930 words in length, he should not deal with it at all.


Homophobia and Sport

This article and the one that follows were both in MCV issue 400, 4 September 2008, and shows, yet again, how far we still have to go, to achieve equality for gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS people in our communities. This proves, yet again, that the federal government's proposed legislation to remove discrimination in 'certain' areas will leave homo-hate still out there, flourishing in sport, education, media and all the other facets of our 21st century societies.

Tackling homophobia

Written by Richard Watts

According to Australian Football League (AFL) Media Manager Patrick Keane, the AFL’s existing rules and codes of conduct are more than adequate to police a case of harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, should such a situation ever arise.

“In terms of Rule 30, which is called ‘Racial and Religious Vilification’, under the terms of that, a person can lay a complaint on any form of abuse or harassment that’s directed towards them, which includes someone who abuses or harasses you for your sexual status,” Keane explains.

That may be the case, but it’s also true that the AFL rule in question makes no mention of sexual orientation; instead referring only to ‘conduct which threatens, disparages, vilifies or insults another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin’.

Conversely, the AFL Player’s Association (AFLPA) specifically acknowledges sexual orientation in its Code of Conduct.

‘AFL Players must not vilify other AFL Players on the basis of their race, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation or other related characteristics,’ item 3.4 of the Code states. It also prohibits AFL players ‘from making public comment that vilifies or tends to vilify persons on the basis of their race, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation or other related characteristics’. Dr Pippa Grange is the AFLPA’s General Manager for Psychology, People and Culture. She believes that acknowledging issues of sexuality such as discrimination and vilification are important to both the AFL and the AFLPA, but recognises that the AFLPA have “perhaps gone a little bit further in being explicit about it”.

That said she’s also aware that there’s much more that needs to be done on the issue. “We can get more explicit in the way we air topics around gender diversity and sexual preferences ... I think that any topic that involves diversity comes from a core value of respect, and when we talk to players about any of these topics more broadly, we’re coming at it from that angle; but we don’t do anything specifically to educate or raise awareness of diversity around sexual preference or gender diversity, and that’s possibly something we can look at, moving forward,” she explains.

Grange’s enthusiasm for fostering acceptance of sexual diversity among the AFL’s playing body is tempered, however, by her awareness that a culture of homophobia exists to some degree within football circles.

“Individually, when I speak to players one on one or in small groups, they’re really very tolerant. I haven’t seen examples of overt, explicit or spoken homophobia,” she says.

“However, the cultural, traditional norms that the whole group espouse are something different. I do think that homophobia is alive and well in AFL football - as in any groups of Australian males, particularly in traditions where the whole part of you being involved in it is the gaining of masculine capital. It is there, but I don’t think it’s implicitly stated, and I don’t think it’s deeply held by the individuals.”

However, Grange is also quick to point out that generalising about AFL players as a whole – such as suggesting that they are all homophobic, based on the words or deeds of one or two individuals – will not help anyone.

“What happens then is that [the players] withdraw their voice from the conversation; I think it could be a really powerful voice, and I really hope that on the whole we’re able to use the players’ voice for any role-modelling, and any power that the brand of AFL football has, in a really positive way, rather than as a negative label being applied to the players,” she concludes.

Grange’s perspective on homophobia in football culture is not shared by AFL Media Manager Patrick Keane.

When asked if the AFL has even a slight problem with homophobia, he replies simply: “No, we don’t.”

Nor will Keane speculate, when invited to do so, as to why Britain’s Football Association sees homophobia as a problem, whereas the AFL does not.

“I can’t speak for the British Football Association, only the AFL,” Keane said. When asked to conjecture, he replied shortly, “No”.

On its website, The Football Association (The FA) states that: ‘Male or female, an individual’s sexual orientation should never be a barrier to people taking part in – and enjoying – our national sport … As the guardian of the game in this country, The FA is uniquely placed to tackle issues such as homophobia … we can – and will continue to – amend the laws of the game to outlaw homophobic behaviour.’

The AFL, meanwhile, shows no such commitment, as illustrated by its response to the case of Ken Campagnolo (a Victorian football trainer who was sacked by the Bonnie Doon Football Club when his bisexuality was made public).

Keane agrees that the AFL is the peak body for football in this country, but says of the organisation’s response to Campagnolo’s sacking and ongoing discrimination claim: “That does not mean we are responsible for the actions taken by another person at another completely different level of football.”

As the peak body then, does he believe that the AFL has a moral obligation to lead other clubs?

“Yes, and we believe we do that,” Keane replies. But when asked if the AFL’s response to Ken Campagnolo demonstrates moral leadership, Keane can only repeat, “I said, we believe we do that”.

While the AFL is dragging its heels on this issue, other members of the football fraternity are adamant that the sport has a moral obligation to tackle sexuality-based discrimination. One such man is Eddie McGuire (pictured), the influential President of the Collingwood Football Club.

“The one thing that we are is the club for anyone who feels disassociated. We don’t care what your race, religion, sex or sexual orientation is - we believe absolutely in tolerance and respect and empathy,” McGuire tells MCV.

“We won’t tolerate – as long as I’m president of the club anyway – we won’t tolerate any form of discrimination.”

In terms of fighting homophobia, the Collingwood President compares the issue to the AFL’s successful battle to eliminate racism from the game.

“I refer it back to the same principles as tackling racial vilification – when we started to tackle racism, I had a lot of people come up to me and say ‘Thank god we’re doing this: I used to shout racial abuse because I thought it was what you were supposed to do, but I didn’t really believe it’. It’s the same classic pack mentality in regards to sexual orientation, and football should be leading the way in that regard,” McGuire concludes.

MCV editor Richard Watts was founder of the Collingwood supporters club the Pink Magpies.


Homophobia and Sport

Homophobia: out of bounds?

The AFL has achieved considerable success tackling racism in football. But unlike the UK, they have yet to tackle the silence and exclusion surrounding sexual orientation and gender diversity.

Doug Pollard reports:

The International Gay and Lesbian Football World Championship was held in London last week.

Forty teams, from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Uganda, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Japan and Australia took part in the competition, which was hosted by the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA).

Qualifying matches were played in Regent’s Park, and the finals at the club ground of League One team Leyton Orient FC.

English team the Stonewall Lions beat Argentina 5-0 in the final last Saturday, August 30. Peter Tatchell, Britain’s most prominent gay human rights campaigner, said the Championship “challenges the machismo and homophobia that is often associated with football in many parts of the world. “Gay footballers help break down stereotypes and prejudice. They are ambassadors for gay inclusion and equality. Gay football enhances understanding and acceptance of gay and lesbian people.”

The Championship was sponsored by (among others) Kick It Out, the peak UK body fighting racism in football.

Since October 2005, Kick It Out has adapted its programs to tackle homophobia, offering grants to local football clubs to encourage ethnic, sexual and other minorities to take up the sport.

England national soccer coach Fabio Capello endorsed the idea, saying in a Kick It Out media statement, “For me, [this] epitomises all that is good about football. Diversity, inclusion, harmony and respect.”

The governing body of British soccer (as the game is known in Australia), the Football Association, assisted the original London bid for the IGLFA World Championship with technical assistance and advice, and provided all the referees and officials for the tournament. Contrast that with the Australian Football League’s (AFL’s) approach to sexual minorities in football, and you can see how far we have to go. Why won’t the AFL follow the FA’s example?

Equity & Sports Ethics Manager Lucy Faulkner first set out the FA’s objective in 2003. She said, “What we would want to have in football is a situation where anybody should feel comfortable, regardless of their sexual orientation, ethnic background, or sex”.

Consequently, the FA adopted the following policy:
“Male or female, an individual’s sexual orientation should never be a barrier to people taking part in – and enjoying – our national sport. ... the FA will work to ensure every door is open for members of the gay and lesbian communities to participate and progress within football.”

Why doesn’t the AFL do the same?

We know from research by La Trobe University that young same-sex attracted people feel especially uncomfortable – in fact most unsafe – at sporting clubs and venues. In fact, only 19 percent of same-sex attracted young people say they feel safe at sporting events and venues.

The same research tells us that same-sex attracted young people are much more likely to become depressed and harm themselves because of their exclusion from social activities. So it makes sense – especially in country areas, where sporting clubs play a major role in the community – to make football and netball clubs places ‘where anybody should feel comfortable’.

The Victorian Country Football League is already taking the first steps towards this objective. But there’s been no leadership from the top on this issue; no action from the peak body for Australian rules football. The AFL pays lip service to inclusion, but takes no positive action on sexual and gender diversity. They would do better to study what the FA has done, instead of continuing to do sweet FA


The FA has:
• Expanded the role of its national free hotline for reporting racist incidents at matches to include homophobic comments and behaviour (2005).
“There is a problem with homophobic abuse in the game, directed not just at players but also referees and also opposing fans,” explained Faulker in a media statement, with crowds regularly taunting players as ‘poufs’ or ‘queers’ when they go down injured.
• Instructed referees that players or officials using homophobic language are in breach of Law 12, which bans offensive, insulting and abusive language on the pitch – and is punished with a red card offence. (A red card means the offending player must immediately leave the pitch and takes no further part in the match.)
• Secured the agreement of all clubs to change the rules at their grounds (2007-2008 season onwards), banning homophobic abuse, chanting and harassment. Offending fans can now be ejected from the grounds or arrested.
Two men were recently convicted of homophobic chanting at a game between Blackpool (the gay capital of northern England) and Preston North End. They were fined and banned from matches at both grounds for 12 months.
• Established Respect, a ‘program of activities to combat unacceptable behaviour in our game at every level, on the pitch and from the sidelines’, in partnership with the Premier League, the Football League, and players, managers (coaches) and officials.
• Formed a close working relationship with the Gay Football Supporters Network, to monitor the effectiveness of the anti-homophobia program.

But so far, despite all that has been achieved, the sport is not yet welcoming enough of homosexuality that a professional football player has felt comfortable to publically come out. Indeed, only one British football player has ever come out in the history of the game: Justin Fashunu, in 1990.

Fashunu, who was subjected to horrific racial and homophobic abuse by fans, players, and even his own team manager, suffered from depression, and eventually killed himself in May 1998.

Gay football team the Brighton Bandits are campaigning to have May 2, 2009 declared Justin Fashunu Day, asking Premier and League players to wear black armbands and observe a minute’s silence before their matches.

Would a gay AFL player who outed himself now fare any better?

Read about homophobia and the AFL here. Doug Pollard is an advisor to the RJM Trust, a non-profit organization working with a range of sporting bodies to address attitudes around sexual orientation and gender diversity in sport.

28 AUGUST 2008

The following article was in SX issue 396, 28 August 2008 and shows how homophobia is so entrenched in the media - well, in society in general, that it gets trotted out whenever possible by some of the more outspoken media "personalities":

Homophobia and the Media

When does a gay joke become a slur?

There’s a fine line between a harmless joke and an offensive gay jibe, writes Adam Bub.

In today’s world, it is not politically correct to make a gay joke in private circles, let alone in the public sphere. So when former Westlife crooner Bryan McFadden commented on radio that straight men should not wear pink, he sparked a chorus of public condemnation.

Speaking on New Zealeand’s More FM last week, McFadden said: “If you are not gay, a man should not be wearing pink. Saying pink is a form of red is the same as saying homosexual is a form of male”.

Soon after, McFadden went on damage control saying the comment was a joke. He claimed that he has gay friends (including former band mate, Mark Feehily) and that “to come to the conclusion that I am homophobic … is far from the truth”.

“If I was truly homophobic then I have picked the wrong industry,” he said in a statement. Perhaps, but did he cross the line?

Joke or no joke, the excuse doesn’t wash with prominent gay activist Rodney Croome. “I’ve heard Christian fundamentalists say they’re not homophobic,” Croome tells SX.

“Whenever people say derogatory things about gay men and lesbians they often skim over it and say it was a joke.

“I’d like to see him apologise and acknowledge that even if it was for him a joke, that for particularly young gay men who are coming out, it can have a devastating impact.”

Croome believes that gay jokes should be put through the ‘race test’ to ascertain whether or not they are offensive.

“The test is if you were to substitute a similar slur against Jews, Aborigines or Africans, and if it’s no longer funny, then in the gay form it’s not funny either,” he says.

The ‘just a joke’ defence was used in similar uproars over John Laws’ statements on 2UE Radio about US celebrity Carson Kressly being a “pompous little pansy prig” in 2004, and Sam Newman’s Footy Show comments, in the same year, that Melbourne should start a “cottage industry called ‘sphincter bleaching’”, commenting on the newly-appointed gay deputy lord mayor. Interestingly, both resulted in public apologies – not from the men themselves, but from their employers.

Dr Meredith Jones, lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, notes that the meaning and impact of such jokes comes down to the speaker and the context.

“It’s the same as how African Americans can call each other ‘nigger’ in a joking way, but for anyone who is not African American it is completely unacceptable,” Jones tells SX. In this instance, the same might be said for Matt Lucas when he played Dafydd Thomas in Little Britain.

But as Jones highlights, the rules must be broken for society to move forward.

“The only way that, as a culture, we can learn is by having people make mistakes as well,” Jones suggests. “You could say that this is kind of a side-effect of a culture that’s in transition. If we want things to happen faster then what we need is campaigns – we need to educate people about why that comment about pink clothes, being a man and being gay, is offensive.” Nevertheless, while humour can be used as a tool in the battleground for social and cultural matters, stereotyping minority groups can reinforce prejudices that many people have spent years fighting to dismantle.

5 OCTOBER 2008

On Sunday 5 October 2008 this email was sent to me.

The pathetic sender remains anonymous because of course he/she is too afraid to enter into any meaningful discourse on any of the items with which this coward has abused me.

He/she is typical of those who hide behind their anonymity because thay havn't got the courage of their convictions. It is easier to be abusive, and think they are great heroes of the zionist state by counter-arguing about arabs and Iranians.

It is really quite tragic when one views the situation in the middle east and this is what one gets!

BRAD COHEN Subject: palestine 5.10.2008

de saxe, you have had too many stiff arab cocks up your herpes backside.

why dont you write about how iran has murdered over 5000 homosexuals since 79, and how many mardi gras are held in the middle east outside israel.

you are a whigeing self hating brain damaged queer.

25 OCTOBER 2008


The following report from MCV - Issue 407 dated 23 October 2008 should be a wake-up call to the gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities in Australia.

For too long the complacency of members of these communities is evidence of how they have taken for granted the rights which they now have accorded to them in legislation in federal, state and territory jurisdictions. Activism is a thing of the past, "passe" to so many. "We don't do activism any more, we don't need to".

Not only is there still a long way to go to achieve equal rights, but it is very easy for those rights which we have achieved after years of struggle to be overturned at the stroke of a pen.

Here is the report:

Anti-gay threat emerges

Written by Peter Hackney
Wednesday, 22 October 2008

A coalition of organisations espousing the interests of ‘natural biological families’ has released a list of anti-gay policy proposals and represents a new threat to GBLTI communities, say gay activists.

"Gender Matters", a coalition of 17 groups and organisations, has released a list of demands on its website, They include:

• That marriage be “forever preserved as the voluntary exclusive union of one man and one woman”;
• That adoption be restricted to heterosexual couples;
• That IVF and other reproductive technologies are reserved exclusively for heterosexuals;
• A ban on same-sex civil unions and registers.

The group wants homosexuality registered as a medical condition and public funds committed to “curing” homosexuality, which they term “gender disorientation pathology”.

Last Thursday, it flexed its political clout with a submission to the Senate hearing on the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Bill.

Australian Coalition for Equality spokesperson Rodney Croome said Gender Matters is couching its homophobia in a new way, in terms of gender differentiation.

“Ordinarily, I would dismiss this kind of material as anti-gay hatred at the margins of the political debate,” Croome said.

“But by framing their rhetoric in terms of gender differentiation, they will strike a chord with more people.”

Australian Marriage Equality also expressed concern, but said it showed anti-gay groups were feeling threatened.

Warwick Marsh, the Wollongong-based founder of Gender Matters, refused to answer questions when contacted by MCV.


The 17 groups involved in this nefarious coalition must get as much public exposure as possible and they must be vigorously opposed by as many groups and individuals as possible.

Blog about them, put them on your web pages, expose their murderous intent at every opportunity, and ensure you work to see them closed down, if necessary by federal, state and territory attorneys- general under anti-discriminatory legislation. It is long past time that exemptions continue to be granted to these groups with their murderous statements which lead inevitably to bashings, assaults, bullyings and ultimately murder by the thugs influenced by their wicked teachings! Time for governments to act and act NOW!!!!!

It should be noted that this homophobic group has taken the name of a gay, lesbian, transgender, HIV-AIDS help group in the UK and used it with the deliberate intent of confusing people who may already be confused about sexuality and its problems and difficulties. This group is setting out to subvert any and every body who is supportive of these communities. Their religion-based mumbo jumbo must be exposed and stamped on before its viciousness takes hold of people who are already prejudiced before even understanding the basics of sexuality.

gendermatters homophobia

10 DECEMBER 2008


28 November 2008
Name: Mr Mannie (Emanuel) De Saxe
Email Address: josken1_at_pacific_net_au
Postal Address: 2/12 Murphy Grove Preston Vic 3072 Australia

To Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Subject: Roxon's health ambassadors

Comment: Health Minister Roxon appointed six men as health ambassadors, showing yet again her misjudgement in her portfolio. Two of the men are known notorious homophobes, one of whom has used an expression used by anti-semites who pretend to like Jews by saying "some of my best friends are Jews". He has said "some of my best friends are gays".

Homophobia is rampant in our communities leading to abuse, violence and murder of gays, lesbians,transgenders and people living with HIV/AIDS (GLTH communities).

Two of these six men belong to a group called the Fatherhood Foundation who published a paper entitled "21 Reasons Why Gender Matters."

While the ALP works on futile attempts at net censorship, this sort of hate preaching on the web will continue unabated.

The ALP is not known for its friendship with the GLTH communities and the support it showed for the Howard Marriage bill in 2004 is an indication of its approach. Discrimination against these communities is writ large and continues unabated.

Not only should Roxon be removed from the ministry, but the second of the homophobes whom she has left as one of her ambassadors must be removed immediately.

Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne

7 December 2008

To Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon

It seems that although you have got rid of one of the homophobic appointees as health ambassadors, the other, Barry Williams, is still there.

As far as members of the gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities are concerned, this situation is very unsatisfactory, and we will pursue the matter until homophobia is rooted out of those of us who are affected by this ongoing campaign of hatred waged by so many in the community.

We have also contacted the Prime Minister about the issue, and we are still waiting for a response from him.

Barry Williams is a homophobe and if he says he didn't read the "Gender Matters" document when he signed it, he should have, or else he is just trying to hide his homophobia in order to retain this appointment. What did he think a document containing 21 hate clauses consisted of?

We trust we will be informed as soon as possible that Barry Williams is no longer a men's health ambassador.

Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne

This is an automatically generated response.

Thank you for your email to Nicola Roxon MP, Federal Member for Gellibrand and Minister for Health and Ageing.

Due to the large volume of emails received, we are unable to acknowledge each email personally. However, we will reply to each email. Response times depend on the complexity of the issues raised.

If you live in the electorate of Gellibrand and have not included your name, address and any other relevant contact details in your email, please provide them.

Your email is important to us and will be dealt with in due course. However if you require any further information, please contact us on (02) 6277 7220. For electorate and local constituent matters, please telephone the Gellibrand electorate office on (03) 9687 7355.

If your email relates to an invitation or media enquiry for the Federal Member for Gellibrand and Minister for Health and Ageing it will be forwarded to the relevant staff member.

The Department of Health and Ageing have a number of National Information Lines for further information on a range of topics. They are available here -

Thank you again for taking the time to email Nicola Roxon MP, Federal Member for Gellibrand and Minister for Health and Ageing.

26 NOVEMBER 2008

This letter was published in SX on 27 November 2008:

Park sex for all

Written by Rachel Evans

Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) has received criticism of our campaign against police harassment of men in Sydney beats.

Those opposed say CAAH is attracting homophobic attacks of beat users by “outing” beats and police harassment therein. We should just move on, and police presence is helpful, not a form of harassment.

Firstly, any homophobic attack of men in parks is not the fault of CAAH outing a park. It’s the fault of the attackers emboldened by homophobic laws from governments, statements from right-wing shock-jocks, conservative religious leaders and other “leaders” of our community.

Secondly, the tactic of concealing ourselves never got us anywhere. Bigoted ideas and violence can’t be fought by hiding. Remaining closeted about what is a commonplace sexual experience for men who have sex with men, stigmatises reality for our community. Beat sex amongst gay/bisexual and straight men is quite common. The reasons for it are varied.

Being intimidated by police in beats is scary for men and can lead to suicide, according to a 2008 UK report, Guidance on Policing Public Sex Environments.

Decriminalising public sex at night is the way to counter homophobic attacks at parks. Police in Amsterdam, where park sex at night is being decriminalised, agree. Regulations alongside the decriminalisation include no used condoms to be left in the area and noise kept to a minimum.

In NSW being caught having sex in a park in the dead of night, under the cover of bushes is technically illegal under a Summary Offences Act – ‘Obscene Exposure’.

However, Wayne Morgan, Law Professor at Australian National University says prosecutions against men rarely take place.

More police raids against men in parks took place last weekend. We call on the community to support CAAH’s campaign to end police harassment of men at NSW beats. We call on the community to support our campaign to decriminalise public sex in parks at night.

CAAH is encouraging supporters to attend a vigil against police harassment on Saturday November 29 from 9pm at SPAIDS Memorial Grove in Sydney Park.

Rachel Evans Community Action Against Homophobia

17 MAY 2009

The following article was in one of the Murdoch papers:

The Footy Show adds insult to injury

By Claire Harvey

REMEMBER Matthew Johns' apology on The Footy Show last week? This is what followed in the minutes immediately after that apology.

And this is how deep the program's problems are.

Just after Fatty slapped Matty on the back, reporter Tim Sheridan introduced a sketch about "the other Johns brother", the youngest sibling in league's famous family, the brother who never really fitted into the family, the one who's been forgotten all these years, the one dad Gary doesn't really like to talk about.

Remember, this is before the story of Matthew's involvement in group sex really exploded.

Who's the other Johns brother? Elton. Elton Johns. Get it? Why do you think he didn't fit in? Because he was gay, of course, gay like Elton John the singer, a real total pansy nancy boy.

It was done up just like a 60 Minutes story on the life of Elton, the forgotten brother - all about how Gary and Andrew and Matty were really embarrassed that they had a gay boy in the family, and how Elton was going to give up singing and become a footballer, to try and fit in.

Elton Johns was really Matty, wearing a blond wig and big glasses and with a gap between his teeth, just like the real Elton John. We saw little Elton being dragged to the hospital by Gary, who pulled him up to the triage desk and said "I want to return this. It's faulty."

Andrew said it was hard having a gay brother. "I think the hardest decision was on Matthew, whether to get out in the backyard and play footy with me, or to mince about with Elton. I'm surprised he turned out to be so straight in a way. Sometimes I see glimpses of Elton in him. Like dad, I'm so ashamed of him."

Matthew Johns, playing Elton, said: "Dad only knew I was gay when he walked in on me and my boyfriend Ian."

"You dated Ian Roberts?" asked Tim Sheridan.

Now we're getting to the heart of the gag. Ian Roberts, as regular viewers of Footy Show sketches know, is the only top-level Australian league player ever to openly admit to being gay. He knows something about league's attitudes on sex. He's endured years of homophobic jokes, snide remarks, innuendo, mockery.

On The Footy Show, his name is invoked as a joke in its own right - it always elicits a chuckle.

Matthew/Elton: "I've decided to quit performing. Had a coffee with Knights coach Brian Smith, and I've accepted an offer to trial. It's a big call, not only because I'm quitting performing, but the fact that I've rooted for the Roosters all my life."

Ian Roberts was sitting at home watching that night.

He wanted to be sick. Roberts had felt nauseous ever since he'd heard about Johns' group sex incident.

He'd tuned into The Footy Show to see what Johns would say, and was disappointed that the apology, and Johns' subsequent remarks, have focused mainly on the pain of his own wife and family.

About the girl involved, Johns has repeatedly said he's sorry for her "embarrassment and pain" - implying that although she was an entirely willing participant at the time, she is now motivated by shame and anger.

"It was almost like he was the victim, that she asked for it," Roberts told me. "My God - that poor woman has suffered for all this time.

I've been hearing talkback callers this week saying she's being vindictive, that she asked for it. My God, she was 19!

"It's taken her seven years to mature. She was totally outnumbered in the room. She was a defenceless human being.

She was alone with all those men, and none of them said, 'Come on, guys, that's enough.' Not one of them was man enough to admit to this before now, and none of the other men who were in that room are brave enough to own their actions, to step up now and say 'Yeah, it was me.'

"And anyone who says she asked for it - shame on you. She was just a kid."

Roberts knows what The Footy Show is all about. In 1997, he was interviewed by Paul Vautin on the show. "We heard you were gay," Vautin said, "but we thought, 'That couldn't be right because he's too decent a bloke!' "

The Elton Johns sketch didn't make Roberts laugh.

"I was really disturbed to see Andrew Johns involved in that sketch, and Tim Sheridan," Roberts said.

"Guys, what you don't understand - you think it's funny, but there are gay kids in the suburbs who are killing themselves because they don't know what to do about their sexuality. They kill themselves.

"This poor girl has spoken about suicide. This is not a joke any more."

The Footy Show blokes have always made it clear to Roberts the gay jokes aren't personal.

"They've always said to me 'Come on, Robbo: it's a joke, we don't mind that you're gay.' Well, I don't mind I'm gay, either.

"I'm not talking about me. You can't hurt me. But you know what guys? There are kids out there you do affect."

After the Elton Johns sketch ended, Vautin promised more skits to come.

You might want to check with the boss first, Fatty.

HOMOPHOBIA PART 4b - Forum at UWS Bankstown
HOMOPHOBIA PART 4c - Homophobia and University Horrors
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5a - Same Sex Marriage Issues Part 1
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5b - Same Sex Marriage Issues Part 2
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5 - Same Sex Marriage Issues Part 3
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5 - Same Sex Marriage Issues Part 4
HOMOPHOBIA PART 6a - GLTH Suicide Part 1
HOMOPHOBIA PART 6b - GLTH Suicide Part 2
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - PREFACE
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - INTRODUCTION
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 1 - AUSTRALIAN 1971-1980
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 2 - AUSTRALIAN 1981-1990
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 3 - AUSTRALIAN 1991-2000
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 4 - AUSTRALIAN 2001-2010
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 5 - AUSTRALIAN 2011-2020
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - INTERNATIONAL - Part - 1 A to I
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - INTERNATIONAL - Part 2 - J to S
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - INTERNATIONAL - Part 3 - T to Z
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RECOMMENDED READING LIST




Mannie's blogs may be accessed by clicking on to the following links:

MannieBlog (from 1 August 2003 to 31 December 2005)

Activist Kicks Backs - Blognow archive re-housed - 2005-2009

RED JOS BLOGSPOT (from January 2009 onwards)

This page updated 11 SEPTEMBER 2012 and again on 15 OCTOBER 2016