Gay com­mu­nity s lives mat­ter

Shepparton News - - OPINION - TARA WHITSED tara.whitsed @shep­p­

I must have been de­luded to think a ‘‘yes’’ vote to mar­riage equal­ity would put a stop to ridicu­lous de­bates sur­round­ing the LGBTQI com­mu­nity.

Our coun­try said it. As a na­tion we stood up with the ma­jor­ity sup­port­ing same­sex mar­riage.

But here we are again — back in the ar­chaic-views ver­sus mod­ern morals box­ing match.

Let’s just hope the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion does not end up get­ting knocked off our equal­ity pedestal, like Conor McGre­gor in a Khabib Nur­magome­dov-like Lib­eral party smack­down.

This week de­bate has cir­cu­lated re­gard­ing re­li­gious schools, fol­low­ing a Lib­eral re­view into re­li­gious free­doms in Aus­tralia.

While the At­tor­neyGen­eral con­firmed there would be no changes to the sta­tus-quo, for­mer min­is­ter Philip Rud­dock’s re­port did un­cover the fact faith-based schools have al­ways had the Faith to the fore: right to dis­crim­i­nate on the ba­sis of sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­tity or re­la­tion­ship sta­tus. I get it. I do. Re­li­gion has been put first and fore­most in so­ci­ety for far longer than LGBTQI peo­ple.

While be­ing as­so­ci­ated with the lat­ter would see you im­pris­oned, be­ing re­li­gious was the norm.

But like United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump says, ‘‘it’s a scary time for young men’’; it’s also a scary time for the re­li­gious.

Be­cause, fi­nally, they’re no longer in vogue. And is there any sur­prise about why?

Young peo­ple are en­gag­ing with is­sues such as equal­ity, en­vi­ron­men­tal mat­ters, hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity.

We, on the whole, agree with abortion, same-sex mar­riage and a so­ci­ety which is equal; mean­while, Pope Francis is busily liken­ing abortion to ‘‘hir­ing a hit­man’’.

Given Chris­tian­ity was founded on the very ideal of ac­cept­ing all, shouldn’t it ac­cept LGBTQI staff and stu­dents in schools?

There is hope, with young Chris­tians com­ing out and say­ing they dis­agree with the re­port’s find­ings.

There is no doubt there’s plenty of Chris­tian peo­ple who also iden­tify as LGBTQI.

I know of one and he’s so faith­ful he had a church shipped onto his prop­erty.

So why are we back here again, talk­ing about LGBTQI peo­ple like their lives don’t mat­ter?

It is as sim­ple as this: our par­lia­men­tar­i­ans are get­ting more and more out of touch as a young gen­er­a­tion rises up. The white-haired men sit­ting on their red and green chairs just do not get it.

Yes, there are some great politi­cians in there.

But largely we’re at the lib­erty of de­ci­sions made by the elite, while the work­ing class sits back, pow­er­less, shak­ing their heads.

If the de­ba­cle this past week with the Opera House and Alan Jones has shown any­thing, it is just that.

John Lewis said it best in his re­cent opin­ion piece (The News, Fri­day, page 13): ‘‘We’re tired of trickle-down pol­i­tics — we need trick­leup pol­i­tics’’. ● Tara Whitsed is a News journalist. Sacha Baron Co­hen Happy birth­day to­day to Bri­tish ac­tor, co­me­dian and writer Sacha Baron Co­hen (1971-). Leg­endary satirist Baron Co­hen is back to his con­tro­ver­sial best in a new series, shin­ing a torch on the United States’ po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sions. He dis­guises him­self as four new char­ac­ters — his first tele­vi­sion cre­ation in 15 years — to hood­wink politi­cians, gun lob­by­ists and right-wing sup­port­ers for pop­u­lar stream­ing ser­vice show Who Is Amer­ica. Born in West Lon­don in 1971, Baron Co­hen’s mother came from Is­rael and his grand­fa­ther from Wales. Af­ter earn­ing his tele­vi­sion pre­sent­ing chops and de­but­ing an­other two trade­mark char­ac­ters, Aus­trian fash­ion­ista Bruno and un­couth English lad Ali G, Baron Co­hen spun all three cre­ations into his own show. Da Ali G Show, fea­tur­ing in­ter­views with un­sus­pect­ing celebri­ties and politi­cians, de­buted in 2000. It won a BAFTA for best com­edy the fol­low­ing year. Two years later the im­be­cilic, track­suit-wear­ing char­ac­ter starred in his own film, Ali G In­da­house. Bo­rat was his next per­sona des­tined for the­atres in 2006 as the rov­ing re­porter trav­elled across the US to ex­pe­ri­ence Amer­i­can cul­ture. It re­mains his most iconic work. Bruno was also given sil­ver­screen treat­ment in 2009, but to far less ac­claim. Baron Co­hen re­leased The Dic­ta­tor in 2012, tak­ing the mickey out of rulers akin to de­posed Libyan au­to­crat Muam­mar Gaddafi as Ad­mi­ral Gen­eral Aladeen. The fun­ny­man has ap­peared in Tal­ladega Nights, the Mada­gas­car tril­ogy, Hugo, Les Mis­er­ables, An­chor­man 2 and Alice Through the Look­ing Glass. He has three chil­dren with his wife, Aus­tralian ac­tress Isla Fisher.

Pic­ture: AAP

Pope Francis took aim at abortion and the Rud­dock re­port re­vealed dis­crim­i­na­tion in re­li­gious schools this week.

Pic­ture: EPA/Paul Buck

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