Peter Dutton gay marriage comments are disgraceful

Posted on March 19, 2017 12:00 am

Australia’s immigration Minister Peter Dutton negative attitude towards the LGBT community are appalling to say the least. To claim that Australia’s big corporations are being bullied to support policies by external actors like advocacy groups sounds homophobic in my view.Dutton’s comments are a reminder that Australia is a long way from achieving the openness and tolerance toward people of diverse sexualities.Advocate groups have been calling for more protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Australia, a step in the right direction and with likes of Dutton, they should push the government to end discrimination and sporadic violence.I was delighted to see Qantas issue a statement saying the company would continue to express support for same-sex marriage and “other things we believe in”. “Qantas speaks out on a number of social issues from Indigenous recognition to gender diversity and marriage equality,” the statement said.”We do so because we believe these issues are about the fundamental Australian value of fairness and we’re the national carrier.”We respect the fact that not everyone agrees with marriage equality, but opinion polls show the majority of Australians do, as do many of our employees.” In my view, there’s need for business, political and community leaders needed to engage in public debate on LGBT issues.There should be more people speaking out, especially political leaders and powerful individuals whose influence is immense, like Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, because it will help to change the perception of the masses in Australia.There’s no doubt in my mind that when influential people like Alan Joyce fight against an established practice, other people will follow.Australia’s long history of opposition to this LGBT group has been embedded in conservatives minds and it will take a long time to change their mindset if comments by Petter Dutton are anything to go by.

There has always been deep antipathy toward these groups, and rejection. There is an understanding but it’s not yet openly expressed.Conservative Australians are strongly opposed to LGBT rights, studies shows with majority of them overwhelming opposed to homosexuality, with more than two thirds believing that gay people should not be accepted. Now this makes me wonder whether the likes of Peter Dutton think LGBT community doesn’t have a right to be recognised or exist.Acceptance of homosexuality is particularly widespread in countries where religion is less central in people’s lives like United States or Ireland but Australia in an exception. This is because in my view, Australia has high levels of religiosity, few believe homosexuality should be accepted by society.Opposition to LGBT rights exits even inside political class that the likes of Peter Dutton belongs to, with members of the political elites divided on whether to discuss LGBT as part of human rights issues. Some conservative members say LGBT people are abnormal, need medication or should be cured by religious guidance, meaning medical experts and clerics rather than the human rights commission have responsibility for the issue, very disgusting thinking in 2017! Am one of those who think LGBT community, like all Australian citizens, have the right to choose their sexual orientation without any institution, including the politicians like Peter Dutton, interfering.In fact with Petter Dutton comments, there’s need for more protection for LGBT people and should be discussed as a human rights issues. I think Alan Joyce’s decision is a good start. Australia needs people like Alan Joyce, who openly expresses his support for LGBT people, and there has already been same-sex marriage legalisation in several countries like Ireland. It will greatly helps to change the perception of the citizens and public.Australia is not yet at that stage and it’s impossible to hope for such a thing in the near future. There should be more people speaking out. Advocacy groups should be out to defend them and tolerance should be practiced openly like Alan Joyce has done.

LGBT people are marginalised in Australia, susceptible to becoming victims of violence or sexual assault and also discriminated against in the workforce. Is that what Peter Dutton want to continue? Every Australian should be protected, no matter what their sexual orientation is, and politicians like Peter Dutton should agree to support the implementation of the law that Alan Joyce and rest are asking the Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull to work on. Despite the criticism, i think Australian Marriage Equality organisation has done a good job and rebuke by some Government ministers who argue publicly listed companies should refrain from making political statements is rubbish. Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott who also signed the public letter saying the Turnbull’s Government needed to prioritise same-sex marriage is another prime example of influential Australians who are wisely behind the LGBT community.Turnbull government should protect the right of every Australian, including the rights of education and employment, adding that any discrimination that breaches those rights should be stopped, including for LGBT people and therefore he needs to ask his nonsensical ministers to mind their own business. The protection of LGBT people from discrimination is urgent in Australia, where discrimination is rife. The country need to see more concrete steps from the government regarding LGBT rights and thats why Malcom Turnbull need to act. If Turnbull’s government wanted to provide protection in a concrete way, it should have a concrete program for that, and that can start with same sex marriage laws.Discussion of the protection of LGBT people from violence and discrimination is an important agenda for Malcom Turnbull following the increasing number of cases of social discrimination and physical abuse against the sexual minority groups. There have been many reports of abuse and discrimination across Australia.There is a lot of sexual orientation discrimination out there, and the result of the same sex marriage laws will be to protect the LGBT community. Although your blogger isn’t gay himself,  time to support same-sex marriage as an essential right in Australia is over and its time to implement laws enshrining those rights in legal framework that works for LGBT community in Oz!

Contador Harrison