Even supporters of Safe Schools are publicly shamed when they don’t sing the LGBTI tune perfectly.
In response to a celebrity-endorsed petition calling on Malcolm Turnbull to instigate a new, national anti-bullying program, the LGBTI community criticised the petition.
The organiser of a petition calling for a new national anti-bullying program to replace Safe Schools has reaffirmed its appeal for “tolerance” following criticism from the LGBTI community.
The petition, published by Stop Bullying Australia on Change.org on Tuesday, called on Malcolm Turnbull to deliver an anti-bullying program “that everyone can agree on”. Musicians Troye Sivan and Missy Higgins, comedian Joel Creasey and actor Guy Pearce were among the signatories.
The petition, signed by nearly 3,300 people 16 hours after its launch at midnight on Monday, called for a program with “tolerance and mutual respect of LGBTI people at its core”.
“Make no mistake of our request: we do not seek a program that seeks approval of the way certain members of our society live. We seek only mutual respect and tolerance.”
Even though the LGBTI lobby describe same-sex marriage opponents as “intolerant,” a call for “tolerance” was somehow not exactly “on message” for the campaign. Instead, they responded ferociously:
It [the petition] was met with criticism for its apparent concession to conservative criticism of Safe Schools, and for equivocating on the goals of equality and acceptance.
The phrasing of the petition was construed by Fairfax as “a concession the Safe Schools program went too far in antagonising conservatives”.
The director of GetUp’s campaign for marriage equality, Sally Rugg, said of the petition: “This 1950s tolerance bullshit is offensive, completely tone-deaf and detrimental to the campaign.
“Privileged, cisgender celebrities have no right to speak for the LGBTI community on what students need.”
It is incredible, is it not? The LBGTI lobby usually leans on elite celebrity endorsement for most of its campaigning (because they know that the average Australian doesn’t agree with its agenda). Sally Rugg has no problem when “privileged, cisgender celebrities” use awards ceremonies or other platforms to push for marriage redefinition. But as soon as the celebrities don’t sing the exact same words to the exact same tune as the lobby expects, they no longer have the right to speak for the LGBTI community – or, it seems, for themselves.
Ever the grandest subjects for irony, the LGBTI lobby is arguably “bullying” those who want to support them. Once again, it is showing what it thinks of free speech.
Even if some of the petition is misguided, its call to combat all forms of bullying without the political ideology, and the author’s desire to listen to legitimate criticisms of the program is commendable. Apparently though, those advocates of “equality and tolerance” have none to spare for “non-members” of their community. It goes without saying that the more citizens they isolate, the more desperate they will become.