Courier Mail writer Paul Syrvet skewers the new Australian ultra-conservative lobby group CANdo, the newest antipodean iteration of the just-about-defunct Tea Party movement, consisting of Alan Jones, Cory Bernardi and monarchy-enthusiasts Jai Martinkovits and David Flint. Their policy agenda is pretty much every angry teabagger’s wet dream, a mish-mash of “fuck off we’re full” level refugee bashing, pushing for corporal punishment in schools, ANGRY ALL CAPS RANTS ABOUT PINK BATTS AND JULIAR, putting gay marriage to a referendum and Ditch The Witch-style hysterics.
What this once great country needs is someone to stand up for angry, old, white men.
Enter, stage far right, David Flint AM (don’t forget the AM, very important), arch-monarchist, arch-conservative; just the man to put the pompous into the ceremony equation.
He’s flanked by the people’s pedagogue, talkback radio gibberer Alan Jones, Liberal party lunar right firebrand Senator Cory Bernardi and businessman, climate-change denier, land-rights opponent, trade-union buster and all-round grumpy, old, rich, white person, Hugh Morgan.
In the background we have Flint’s spear carrier at Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, Jai Martinkovits, a Menzies House disciple who appears to have the right pedigree when it comes to everything from climate-change denial to an abiding and unnatural fear of gay, Muslim boat arrivals.
These angry white men are aiming to form the Australian equivalent of the US Tea Party Movement that colourful grouping of far-right fruit loops, religious fundamentalists, climate-change deniers, gun nuts and garden-variety crazies who have coalesced around an ultra-libertarian, anti-tax platform.
The group is pushing for a referendum on marriage equality and has backed Cory Bernardi’s claim that gay marriage will lead to bestiality. Their website calls for a referendum on gay marriage, which they argue will result in “unintended consequences of change on the family as an institution.” Also, they argue, Muslims want polygamy and that’s why gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, which definitely makes sense and is not at all insane. Most of their arguments involve some tenuous link to Muslims, actually.
In fact, Flint backed up Bernardi’s recent comments, saying gay marriage is a slippery slope (presumably said slope is lubricated) ending in bestiality.
“All he was saying was that if you open up marriage to a wider group, then there will be calls for more. Perhaps that would be the next cab off the rank,” Flint said.
“Muslim people are allowed polygamous marriage but there will no doubt be calls for recognition, such as through the welfare system.”
The Tea Party’s Australian Facebook page helpfully carries a photo of a corpse with the caption “Every murder proves the victim did not have a gun”. This at least makes a break from the usual torrent of undergraduate and often photoshopped memes aimed at denigrating Julia Gillard, non-Christians, environmentalists, gays, single mothers, wind power …
All of it usually in VERY SHOUTY block capitals with underlining.
More crackers than a box of Jatz.
More crackers than a box of Jatz, indeed.
RELATED: Cory Bernardi pulled out of a planned speaking engagement at the European Young Conservative Freedom Summit as the British Tories frantically distanced themselves from him after linking gay marriage to polygamy and bestiality. Senator Bernardi was forced to quit as Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary, after the Opposition Leader (who’s hardly a rainbow flag-waving, card-carrying member of PFLAG) described the comments as “repugnant.” David Flint and Alan Jones are both self-hating gays, the worst kind of gay.
PREVIOUSLY: Eleven countries and nine US states now grant marriage licences to same sex couples, and exactly none of them have moved on to legalising bestiality or polygamy.
The mommy blogger to rule all mommy bloggers, Mia Freedman, offers some insights and tips for parents on how they should parse “the gay talk” with their kids.
The Gay Talk is the new Sex Talk. At some point, everyone with kids in their lives will have to sit down and explain what these words mean while trying not to giggle, squirm or look awkward. The fact that The Gay Talk is a relatively new thing is wonderful because it means same-sex relationships are no longer underground – unlike during my own childhood when I didn’t know any gay people.
In hindsight, of course I did. In fact, I was surrounded by them but in the ’70s and ’80s, the closet was much bigger and more oppressive so they were invisible to me. There were no openly gay celebrities, no gay characters in TV shows or movies and no gay people in public life. It’s only decades later that I realised my most beloved primary school teacher was a lesbian, an older cousin was gay and one of my favourite aunts was a lesbian, although she hadn’t told anyone yet, especially not her husband and kids.
My son’s best friend has two dads. My daughter’s classmate has two mums and two dads. My four-year-old’s pre-school teacher is gay. My son’s pre-school teacher was direct: “It’s a mistake to talk to kids about things when they’re not actually interested. At pre-school, it never comes up. We have the rainbow flag pinned up on the noticeboard next to the indigenous flag to signify that we embrace everyone and that’s enough.”
I think this is interesting, because one of those weird arguments that keeps coming up in discussions about marriage equality is that children should be protected from knowing that gay people exist. It’s usually framed in terms of schools being “forced” to teach that being gay is normal. In California in 2008, ads promoting the anti-gay Proposition 8 were able to very effectively capitalise on this fear, and probably carried the “Yes” vote over the line. Learning the lessons from 2008, the pro-marriage side forestalled this tactic in all four states that marriage equality was on the ballot this time around, airing ads dispelling this sort of fear-mongering, including this one from Maryland driving home the message that “values are taught at home”.
It’s irrational and entirely fear-based and it comes from this silly idea that if kids are aware of gay people then they’re more likely to turn out gay themselves, but I guess for some people it still resonates. In a very real way I think it’s also a huge dog-whistle for those people who believe that gay people are paedophiles after your kids.
The first response obviously is to remind them that kids aren’t “taught” about marriage at all – I don’t remember it coming up even once at school. But the second (and more visceral) response is to say “and so the fuck what?” What if that were the case? Why would you want your kids to be taught that being gay is abnormal? If they’re gay you’re not exactly doing them any favours, and even if they’re straight, at some stage they’re going to have to enter the real world and deal with gay people eventually. How many adults are there who witnessed anti-gay bullying at school, or engaged in it themselves, and wish they knew better at the time so they could have made better choices?
If my parents ever consciously tried to teach my siblings and me about gay people, I can’t remember it. I didn’t know any gay people growing up, and whenever they were discussed in our house it was always talked about in terms of dated ’90s stereotypes. Gay men were mostly hairdressers who partied a lot and had a lisp and stuff. When I was 20, my mum shrieked with glee over the phone when I told her that I had a boyfriend, but when I was a kid I vividly recall her making a few slightly dodgy comments about gay people that she’d be embarrassed about now. One time when we were watching some TV show, two male characters suddenly starting pashing on screen and she very hastily grabbed the remote and changed it. It didn’t take much for that attitude to change after I came out.
RELATED: Louis CK nails it.