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The Forum > Article Comments > Threatened by gays > Comments

Threatened by gays : Comments

By Shane Ogden, published 16/3/2010

Tony Abbott has fessed up and admitted, honestly, that he feels threatened by homosexuals.

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Great article, Shane.

How do you reckon the homosexual advance defence (HAD) plays out in this? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10175

When political leaders claim to feel "threatened" by homosexuals, is this an endorsement of unequal punishment for crimes against homosexuals?

In his 2004 paper http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v11n1/golder111.html UNSW academic Ben Golder argues that "the male heterosexual body is inscribed by and within the narratives of the law in a particular way Ė as a bounded and impermeable unit Ė and that this inscription underpins the legal violence of the HAD." So Tony Abbott is not just expressing a personal opinion, he's also referencing a body of law that licences heterosexual men to commit violent acts upon homosexuals if they feel "threatened". To my knowledge, the recommendations of the 1998 NSW Attorney General's Working Party investigating the homosexual advance defence http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/clrd/ll_clrd.nsf/vwPrint1/CLRD_had have not been implemented, so in NSW at least, this defence is still available.
Posted by woulfe, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 11:37:55 AM
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If TV replays of Abbott in his budgie smugglers is not a threat of weapons of mass seduction, we need a new charter in the UN.

Abbott is observed a classic and persistent protagonist of straight-bashing, he straight bashes women who would dare contemplate the blasphemy of abortion, Indigenous Australians who ask their culture be respected, those alarmists who would dare deceive the public with the threat of global warming.

Check out the extensive posts on the thread; ĎLand of Opportunity; but not for monoculturalists,í and you may observe the same human malaise thatís been around as long as gays have. Bigotry.

Maintain the rage brothers!

However, in enlightened advanced western societies in the 21st century, weíre supposed to be above that arenít we? Unfortunately not it seems, for in the thread I refer to, not only are the banal, twisted, and moronic, bigots you find in every walk of life, evident as congregating on this and similar threads, like parasites to a corpse, those that claim entitlement to the realms of higher academic enlightenment, are observed accommodating of their acceptance of such malevolent potential.

As a straight, ethnic migrant, the illness of bigotry plaguing my demographic, is parallel to yours, there is no discernible difference of the underlying dynamics. However, as the author of this article perceptively observes, the majority of people are reasonable and tolerant. They simply need to be activated to deny this scourge that it may be kept in check and balance.

This translates to requirement of their activism for corresponding denial, of latent and pragmatic protagonists of this aberration, such as Abbott. Somewhere in there he may be a sweet guy, I confess I donít know, for alike other ethnic migrants Iíve been too busy looking over my shoulder for potential crazed rednecks Abbott assisted entrenching of their malevolent attitudes, in the years of the Howard era.
Posted by Ngarmada, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 2:57:09 PM
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I'm not an Abbott fan but I'm also no fan of the way Tony Abbott's opponents are overstating what he has said for political millage.

I like many others are thoroughly tired of politicians who won't say what they really think, those who will only directly say what is considered politically safe. I've not made up my mind if Abbott is giving us a sanitized version of his views but I saw the interview where Tony made those comments and took them as an honest admission that he is not all that comfortable with some aspects of homosexuality. I suspect that there are a lot of people who because of upbringing find homosexuality unsettling but accept that others are different.

If Tony Abbott is threatened but willing to accept the differences then great, if he is threatened and wants his fears put to rest by law then it's a problem.

He at the same time claimed to have changed some earlier views and claimed to have a number of gay friends. A man who is honest with himself perhaps (but I've not made up my mind).

In some ways possibly a lot better than other politicians who could not or will not admit to any such misgivings but refuse to act when it comes to true equality in law for homosexuals. If this is about a federal leader of a political party being willing to be honest about how he feels and doing so in a way that did not appear to shift the blame to gays then I'd much prefer it to the alternative.

For those inclined to misrepresent Tony Abbott to undermine him my guess is that doing will harm the causes of those opposed to him more than it harms him.

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 5:20:13 PM
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Yes a good article.

The transcript of the interview trying to cast Tony A. as a home loving mopsy - yuk - nearly made me hurl.

Ngarmada" <"Somewhere in there he may be a sweet guy...">

I would say there probably is. The trouble isn't with individuals. If his missus is happy to pretend that she is the last stop of authority in the household and to bask in the warmth of his reflected glory and of being the dutiful "good woman", then that's one thing. He may be very generous in sharing with her the authority and power granted him automatically by having a Y chromosome and a privileged background.

The difference is that other men who also have automatic privilege and heterosexual orientation are not necessarily kind and generous; women and children in their lives must remain dependent on their beneficence. Any who don't conform to heterosexual values must be despised and devalued without regard for their humanness or personal attributes.

The wider implications of this imbalance of power and influence are that white heterosexual males are authorities on determining what's 'normal' and ok - and everyone else must comply or be cast as abnormal or in some way despicable.

It isn't Tony Abbott personally that's the problem but what he works so hard to impose on others and the complete indifference with which he does it.
Posted by Pynchme, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 5:21:26 PM
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I tend to think, like RObert. that this is a bit of a beat up.

If you look at Abbott's other comments on this issue he speaks about the rights of all, gay or otherwise, to find happiness, committment and love.

Abbott does not phrase as we would like but he is being true to his own feelings. I don't think that his own discomfort equates to a wish for harm or injustice against gay people, nor leniency for gay bashers.

Glenn Milne on last week's ABC Insiders commented that Abbott had confided to him that his discomfort with homosexuality derived from what he witnessed in the seminary while training to be a priest.

The BIG ISSUE is can Abbott's, with his strong Catholic upbringing, make decisions in the interests of a secular democratic Australia on issues like gay marriage, chaplains in schools and abortion?

It is altogether possible for a politician to put aside his own personal views, whether Abbott has improved on that account even with his commitment to reinvent himself, only time will tell.
Posted by pelican, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 6:55:58 PM
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Now letís see, we have one poster who observes no potential for scepticism, of politicians who prodigally change their views in complete reversal, repeatedly, and another who is confident in the wink, nudge, Ďboysí back room confidences shared between politicians and political journalists.

You have to enquire, if those pursuing national leadership are observed repeatedly reversing their policy views, how did they get it so wrong in the first place? Not exactly inspiring for confidence in a national leader?

In terms of critical analysis, Iím having a bit of trouble with the credibility of such bases for intelligent consideration. If this keeps up Iím concerned I may start pitying the rednecks.
Posted by Ngarmada, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 7:46:20 PM
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