Orlando shooting brings hate to its natural conclusion



The tragedy in Orlando, Florida over the weekend is hate brought to its natural conclusion. In the wake of competing truths, this is what emerges and perhaps what matters most, if we are to make our way past.

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen stands over the bodies of his victims which are sheathed in rainbow flags, and objects that they were 'behaving imorrally'. Cartoon by Fiona KatauskasSo far, analyses of what happened at Pulse nightclub — an LGBTQ venue — follows a pattern made familiar in recent years.

The gunman Omar Mateen, for instance, is described as having been unstable and aggressive. The upshot being that the violence bears no further explanation than individual choice, a flaw in character.

It is an explanation that withers wretchedly against the incandescence of 300 lives, of which 49 were extinguished and 53 wounded.

It is also inadequate against a host of other elements: the ideologies internalised by the perpetrator (including notions of masculinity), the circumstances in which he was able to access assault rifles, biases that are now heightened by the violence, the temperature of political responses, law enforcement accountability, and public perceptions of global threat.

At the epicentre of all this is a place where young, queer men and women had felt safe and free to be themselves. It was a Latino-themed night, drawing many whose families had moved north for a better life. The nightclub itself was named by its co-founder for her brother, who had died of AIDS in 1991. Pulse, for the heart that beats on.  

It lies arrested at the intersection of the hatreds that continue to grip western societies. The dead are almost all black, brown, gay and working class. The gunman bears a Muslim name. Based on comments from his ex-wife, he harboured contempt for women — a trait he shares with lone-actor shooters such as Anders Breivik (Utøya) and Elliot Rodger (Isla Vista).

If, as Dr Cornel West has often said, justice is what love looks like in public, then injustice must be what hate looks like, and there is perhaps no greater injustice than murder. Mass murder is hatred realised in full grotesque proportion.


"When we adopt discriminatory language and policy, we shift further toward the prospect of real violence."


What this means is that the little things we do to validate hatred are not inconsequential.

When gays and lesbians are spoken of as if they are sub-human, when their relationships do not bear equality before the law, when their parenting or teaching is described as child abuse, when their murderers can lodge a defence based on 'provocation', when their presence is policed (all the way to the toilet in the US), then their safety is rendered at particular risk. Society is held together or comes undone through the permissions that we give each other. These permissions lie along a continuum, from embracing difference to rigid hostility. When we adopt discriminatory language and policy, we shift further and further toward the prospect of real violence.   

The response from the global LGBTQ community to the violence in Orlando has something to teach us in this regard, though it is a lesson that has come at unbearably painful cost. As public figures latched onto Omar Mateen's (speculated) ethno-religious motives, the pushback was unambiguous. In a widely circulated Facebook post, writer and activist Nic Holas seethes: 'I'm angry at the conservatives who bully and lobby to make our lives worse, who today will use the dead bodies of my queer siblings and their friends to try and make me hate Muslims.'

Comedian Rebecca Shaw reinforced this sentiment in an SBS article: 'If you are someone who has argued against our humanity, who has used hateful rhetoric, who has fought actively against our rights — you do not get to use us now, pretending to care for us and love us, wielding us like a hammer that you can use to nail an agenda against people of a different faith. You are disingenuous, and we see you. We remember the damage that has been caused to us, the deaths that are on the hands of people of all sorts of religions. You do not get to use us this way.'

In the harsh aftermath of Orlando, it is clear that love does not always win despite what rainbow-flagged advocates might say, and it can be hard to struggle on amid the erasure of queer lives. But at the very least it shouldn't be so easy for hate to prevail.

'You do not get to use us this way.' If only this could become our standard response every time public figures look to cultivate animosity, fear and resentment.


Fatima MeashamFatima Measham is a Eureka Street consulting editor. She tweets @foomeister .

Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas

Topic tags: Fatima Measham, Orlando, Omar Mateen, gun control, LGBTIQ



submit a comment

Existing comments

The church and contributors to this publication have and continue to promote a view that LGBTQI people are not equal to straight people, are not entitled to civil institutions including marriage and are sinners. The murderer in Orlando committed a hate crime justified by his belief in God and the sin of the people he killed. While the church and some contributors would never support this action, they do actively validate the kind of thinking which leads people to think homosexuals are less than. It's much easier to kill when you don't accept another's equal humanity.

Morgan Hitchcock | 14 June 2016  

People enjoying a night out in a gay nightclub, tourists sitting in a café on a Sunday afternoon, passengers and crew in an aircraft flying high over ocean and land, a woman or less often a man trapped in a domestic violence situation. All lives lost to power, hatred and mental illness. I wish it wasn't so. "You do not get to use us this way". May we remember.

Pam | 15 June 2016  

As more emerges about the life of Omar Mateen the more I see him as a classic psychopath like our very own Martin Bryant. There are more like them out there and the easier we make it for them to access firearms the easier it is for similar incidents to occur. That is one of the continuing and eminently preventable tragedies of modern life.

Edward Fido | 15 June 2016  

A terrible thing; terrible. A 'perfect storm' where the fundamentalism of hatred, of ISIS, of whatever other psychotic ideology joins forces with the 'gundamentalism' of the NRA (National Rifle Association). Fancy citizens having access to such high-powered military weaponry.

Peter Day | 15 June 2016  

A powerfully-written analysis, Fatima. You call all of us to account and deep reflection.

vivien | 15 June 2016  

This is a tragic example of what can happen when deep hatred takes over a person's life. I believe that there are many factors that led to this situation. It was helped because of the fact that the US political system has done little to control access to military style weapons - especially by those with medical health problems. Sadly too, many Americans seem to have a "wild west" type of mentality and this is lived out - both at home and abroad. This is why there are so many deaths of US citizens at home. In addition, the US Military Industrial Complex (MIC) can easily get support from much of the US populace for the wars it instigates and its undermining of democratic governments overseas. Professor Noam Chomsky, in the past, has also accused the US media of "manufacturing consent" for the crimes committed by the US MIC. The US Government needs to show some leadership regarding gun laws and ordinary Americans of good faith need to challenge the US MIC's control of their politics at home and abroad.

Andrew (Andy) Alcock | 15 June 2016  

Added to the hate crimes recently, are the 19 women put in a cage by IS and burned alive, while hundreds watched.

Jane | 15 June 2016  

It seems to me that most of the comments to date have missed the point that, I think, Fatima is making. This was an attack on queer people because they were queer. It was motivated, so it seems, from hatred of queer people as a result of religious indoctrination. It was facilitated by the free access to military type weapons, which also influenced the scale of the tragedy. But it wasn't CAUSED by guns, or even a psychotic individual. It was caused, so far as we can tell, by hate for gays and lesbians as a result of religious teaching. Could something like that happen here? Well we don't have the free access to weapons, but we do have the teachings and we are due for a referendum soon when all the hate mongers will be doing their best to denigrate 'deviant' sexual practices and so as to exclude gays and lesbians from access to CIVIL marriage. While the discreet will clothe their message in notions of 'we hate the sin but love the sinner' yet still exclude them from full membership of the Church, the extremists will not pull any punches. And who do we have to thank for this? Tony Abbott, and now Malcolm Turnbull.

Ginger Meggs | 15 June 2016  

@Margaret Hitchcock. You wrote, "...and some contributors (to this publication) would never support this action...". From this is it to be concluded that you are suggesting there are other contributors to this publication who would support this action? Is this, in fact, what you wanted to say? If so, on what basis do you impugn the characters of others with such a monstrous and hateful accusation? Bring forward evidence to support your assertion. For my part, I hope that you were not thinking through the full implications of what you were writing. You would be correct to say that not all contributors here share your views on the worth, validity or morality of same-sex relationships. However, why do you conclude that these people must necessarily hate those whose lives or actions they disapprove of?

Gerald Lanigan | 15 June 2016  

This article reminds me that the LNP will want a plebiscite on Marriage Equality if they get into power. What hate will be unleashed then - with the claim that the haters are doing God's will. It's all a matter of degree - vile words, vile acts and murder justified by sick sad thoughts. I doubt you can blame that on any God. Sadly both the Bible and the Koran can be turned into tools for hate. Eureka Street publishes balanced opinion, powerful views. A strong, passionate article Fatima Measham.

Vineta | 15 June 2016  

Gerald, your selective quote from Morgan Hitchcock's (not Margaret btw) comments tries to oppose a point I don't think Morgan Hitchcock was making, possibly to deflect the discussion to safer ground for you. Taken in the context of the full comment and indeed in the context of Fatima Mearsham's sadly perceptive words, your indignation is misplaced. There is no "monstrous and hateful" accusation that you imply with your question. What is monstrous and hateful is that people are not allowed to be themselves. You water it down to people not sharing the same views on the worth etc of same-sex relationships, which itself is a put down of queer people, missing the point of the article - "the little things we do to validate hatred are not inconsequential".

Brett | 15 June 2016  

What particular "religious teaching" do you have in mind when you identify it as the source of hate, Ginger Meggs?

John | 15 June 2016  

"As public figures latched onto Omar Mateen's (speculated) ethno-religious motives,...." There's no need to speculate about religious motives. When ISIS approved of Mateen, they made his crime their own, and told the world that at least one interpretation of Islam is fatally homophobic. What Mateen's motives might have been is now redundant. It's been superseded by what ISIS has let the world know: that the next time a jihadist shoots into a crowd of homosexuals because they are homosexuals, ISIS will declare the jihadist to be a martyr for doing the work of Allah. Nic Holas' pushback may be unambiguous but, in taking shots at conservatives who bully and lobby (but do not kill), it might be said about his aim that if he were to shoot fish in a barrel, he would miss the fish. He would better serve homosexuals by expressing concern about a certain Middle Eastern brand of conservatives who prefer to dispense with the bullying and lobbying detour and just head straight for the kill.

Roy Chen Yee | 16 June 2016  

Thank you to both Fatima Measham and to Eureka Street for publishing this immensely thoughtful, wise article. I would especially commend it to teachers and principals for accelerating intelligent discussion among students about the horrifying dangers of divisive, contempt-filled thinking - whoever it is directed against. In quite new ways, we need to learn again what it truly means to keep one another safe. These conversations matter intensely.

Stephanie Dowrick | 17 June 2016  

It's an excellent article Fatima. Thank you. I do think that love is always at work even if it is slow, work and even in the very worst of times. And that hatred is always the loser.

kerry Holland | 17 June 2016  

An excellent article! Unfortunately, we now live in a sick world where most people have little understanding and empathy for other people who have a different culture such as race, religion and sexuality. The Catholic Church community (and this includes every one of Us) should show more leadership in demonstrating love and compassion to other religions and disadvantaged people such as refugees, the LBGTQ community and poor people around the world.

Mark Doyle | 17 June 2016  

@Roy Chen Yee I disagree. That ISIS is murderous is hardly a point of dispute. But to conclude that, therefore, LGBTI persons should not focus their response to 'conservative bullies' is incongruous. Whether the actions of the Orlando shooter were wholly or partially religiously motivated, contributed to by the society he was born into, or by self loathing of his own sexual identity, from the point of view of the LGBTI community the result is still 49 targeted murders. And whilst it's certain ISIS will give a guernsey to anyone who furthers their cause, 'approval' of the murders was not restricted to that "one interpretation" of one faith. Religious leaders, albeit fringe actors, just from within the country where the shooting occurred: Pastor Roger Jimenez, Pastor Steven Anderson, Westboro Baptist Church etc. were all quite happy to praise the deadly result, based on their own personal theological beliefs. The belief and/or desire that homosexuals deserve any physical harm which comes their way is not restricted to individuals within any one faith, or even just to persons of faith. As the incident in Los Angeles four days ago highlights, it only takes one person with ill intentions to potentially cause death and suffering on a large scale - http://bnonews.com/news/index.php/news/4556

Rashid.M | 17 June 2016  

John, I delayed in responding to your question because I thought the answer was self-evident. But David Marr in this article is are eloquent than I could be < http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/24/popes-fine-words-on-homosexuality-are-useless-while-the-catholic-church-still-calls-it-a-sin >. It's not of course limited to Catholicism but neither is it absent from Catholicism.,

Ginger Meggs | 18 June 2016  

Rashid.M: Jihadism and fringe American conservatism are not moral equivalents. The fringe conservatives are talk; the jihadists are action. The proximate cause of the Orlando deaths was a ballistic argument from a jihadist, not a verbal argument from a conservative. Many religious traditions disfavour homosexual activity. I'm sure the Dalai Lama is no fan of gay sex. But he doesn't shoot homosexuals; neither do your "fringe actors". Christianity is unambiguously against violence to anyone. The proximate, the immediate, cause was jihadist-based hate of homosexuals. The shooter knew what he was doing. ISIS confirmed that. Casting a wider net is using dead people for political opportunism.

Roy Chen Yee | 21 June 2016  

@Roy Chen Yee: Two points. Firstly, the LGBTI community is perfectly capable of doing both, i.e. "pushback" (as you describe it) at Christian conservative bullies, as well as "expressing concern" about the conduct of ISIS types. Your advocacy of only doing one over the other doesn't follow as it's not an either/or choice. You're right that violent Jihadism (killing gays) and fringe American Christian conservatism (celebrating the killing of gays) are not moral equivalents. But to the persons living alongside and being bullied by the more pervasive latter, deflective comments along the lines of "Well it's not like those Christian Conservatives are actually killing you" kind of miss the point. That point being, and secondly, that the root cause of actual violence is hatred. And as such, the line between killing out of hatred, and espousing hatred that may contribute to violence and killing, is a thin one. As an Ahmadi Muslim I find Islam to be as unambiguous about such violence as you find Christianity to be. But no matter our personal beliefs, the reality is that LGBTI persons do face church approved violent persecution in Orthodox Russia and do face vigilante killings in Christian African countries, including Uganda with its much debated 'Kill the Gays Bill'. (https://www.thenation.com/article/its-not-just-uganda-behind-christian-rights-onslaught-africa/)

Rashid.M | 21 June 2016  

Roy, for an opinion on the equivalence of talk and action see your own prophet's comment Matthew 5:28.

Ginger Meggs | 22 June 2016  

Am I correct to assume that Matthew is not your prophet, on the precedent found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son where the elder brother says "your son" instead of "my brother"? If Matthew isn't, then, I suppose, you're under no obligation to believe the person whom he's reporting when that person says what he does say in 5:17-20, which, of course, calls into question why in your posts you suggest that the Church should change its ways in disobedience to 17-20 above instead of simply calling for it to be abolished as a mere carrier of superstition. Verse 21-22 is documentary evidence for why Christians should never hate homosexuals in thought or word. As to moral equivalence, no, because even the Westboro Baptists do not condone murder, "GOD SENT THE SHOOTER to #Pulse in Orlando! The murderer is in hell! (Galatians 5:19-21) Repent all!" and "The foolish hypocrite should have made a sign with God's message; not commit his own abominable sin!" being two of their messages. An adulterous thought is a thought of wanting to commit adultery. Do you have any evidence that the Westboros, as a virulent example of fringe conservatism, think of wanting to commit murder?

Roy Chen Yee | 22 June 2016  

Rashid.M,: "Your advocacy of only doing one over the other doesn't follow as it's not an either/or choice." "Nic Holas seethes: 'I'm angry at the conservatives who bully and lobby to make our lives worse, who today will use the dead bodies of my queer siblings and their friends to try and make me hate Muslims.' " Perhaps Holas is only speaking about fringe dwellers but I don't think so. He's lumping in anybody who has an intellectual argument against homosexual 'rights'. The Catholic Church isn't asking him to hate Muslims. If he reads the Catechism, he'll know that the Church says: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." As it wasn’t the so-called 'bullying and lobbying conservatives' who killed his compatriots, why, so close after the event, isn't he talking about the jihadist conservatives who did and the implications of this for homosexuals in Muslim nations? Or, for this day of international significance for homosexuals, aren’t they of sufficient fraternal importance to be remembered publicly because the agenda is to make both kinds of conservatives out to be the same?

Roy Chen Yee | 22 June 2016  

@Roy Chen Yee: Thanks for better contextualising your remarks. Obviously I can't speak for what Nic Holas precisely thinks or meant. His qualification, "conservatives who bully", appears to exclude conservatives who don't. But not knowing enough about him, or whether the scope of his anger actually includes 'anyone and everyone' who holds any sort of argument against homosexuality, precludes me from offering an informed opinion of him. But I wouldn't agree with the proposition that any criticism of homosexuality (whether scripturally based or not) is ipso facto either evidence of, or a catalyst for, hatred of LGBTI persons. I think there can be a valid distinction between respectful disagreement, and hateful acts, including hate speech and vilification which may contribute to them. Kind regards.

Rashid.M | 22 June 2016  

"An intellectual argument against homosexual 'rights'". You see Roy, this is where I have a problem. I can't see any intellectual argument here, no more than I can see an intellectual argument against the "rights" of black people or redheads, to use a clichéd example. Gay people are who they are; it isn't a matter of choice. While the church in large part has not openly condoned the killing of gays in recent centuries, it has rarely been openly welcoming of gays either. You may take some comfort from saying you don't hate gays and never want to kill gay people, but think about all the "little" things that happen, like not allowing gay people into church leadership, refusing communion, allowing sermons that are hostile to homosexuality. They hurt. I'm not exonerating Muslim homophobia at all, but Christians also need to look into their hearts to see if they have a Christ-like attitude toward their gay siblings. Is that asking too much?

Brett | 22 June 2016  

Wow Roy, a ten-line response to a one line observation ! Perhaps my fault was to pick a text that was somehow related to sex. Perhaps I should have quoted the admonition to do nothing that might cause another to stumble. How would you judge Eddie McGuire's recent comments? Likely or not likely to contribute to the physical abuse of women? To be censured or excused?

Ginger Meggs | 22 June 2016  

Morgan:Disapproval does not necessarily encourage violence. I disapprove of murder, but I also disapprove of capital punishment

Lenore Crocker | 23 June 2016  

The real injustice in my personal experience in religious (Muslim , Christian, Jewish or Buddhist) teaching condemning same sex relationships is that it presumes that people can simply become heterosexual. I'm not one to claim that sexual orientation is innate from birth, but from my personal experience, and from recent findings from scientists, there does appear to be an epigenetic correlation. Having said that 0 the scientists working in this area don't see it as a blanket explanation for variations and human sexuality - and rightly so, because they operate from the consensus that sexual orientation is benign - unlike religion. So if religion expects those they regard as "deviations" from the approved heterosexual norm to remain celibate in order to live a moral life, they must admit that "conversion therapy" is necessary. If St Paul was wise enough to recognise that heterosexuals could not maintain a state of celibacy and abstinence, why would we - 2000 years later - expect someone with a homosexual orientation to be able to be celibate?

AURELIUS | 23 June 2016  

We're not talking about 'disapproval' Lenore. We're talking about belittling, labelling as deviant, abnormal and dangerous, about restricting full participation as a citizen, about exclusion from civil and religious rites,and we're talking about the disdain and then hate that flows from those actions.

Ginger Meggs | 24 June 2016  

In response to Lenore, it isn't quite that simple. To disapprove of murder is to disapprove of someone's action. That's fair enough. To disapprove (or worse) of GLBTI people is to disapprove of who people are. We are who we are and I don't think any of us has the right to approve or disapprove of that. Disapproval of people indicates non-acceptance and points to intolerance. I'm not saying you encourage violence but it brings me back to Fatima's point about the little things we do, often without thinking of the consequences.

Brett | 24 June 2016  

The big question to the Orlando massacre is "why?" We have an opportunity not to subject gay people to more prejudice with the up-coming plebicite. Already, the ACL(Aust. Christian Lobby) has asked for the federal anti-discrimination act to be suspended for the duration of the Pleb. I wonder why? :(

jackalision | 27 June 2016  

"Perhaps I should have quoted the admonition to do nothing that might cause another to stumble." If you're thinking of 1 Corinthians 10:32, Christians mustn't behave so as to push someone else away from God. Certainly, that rules out being impolite or oppressive towards homosexuals. But so is not letting them know that the Bible very unambiguously says that God disapproves of homosexual practice or, even worse, subverting Church doctrine and practice to mislead homosexuals into believing that God is neutral towards or approving of homosexual practice. There's nothing that Christians can do about it: what's in the Bible cannot be removed from the Bible. Homosexual practice is a sin. Full stop.

Roy Chen Yee | 27 June 2016  

Full stop indeed Roy ! But if I were you I'd be careful about saying that 'what's in the Bible can't be removed' or I might start quoting some of those very difficult bits that Christians choose to ignore it gloss over. And why do you refer to people as 'homosexuals' as if they were somehow different from 'homosapiens' ? Don't you see that even that language diminishes their humanity and could make it easier for someone else to see them as less than human or on some way dangerous and therefor 'fair game' for some more destructive act ? You say that 'homosexual acts are a sin' but that's only a religious construct. In civil society, homosexual acts are (no longer, no thanks to religion) a crime. There are no victims, no perpetrators.

Ginger Meggs | 02 July 2016  

Yes I find Roy'Chen Yee's views on biblical morality not much different to the fundamentalist attitudes of the Westboro Baptist Church who believe "God hates fags". It's really an obscene slap in the face to single out so called homosexual "practice" from other aspects of a an LBGTI person's life - it shows a shallow and immature and unhealthy understanding of sexuality and sets is up as some deviant activity that hereterosexuals must simply perform reluctantly in order to reproduce - and yet sexuality as far more than simply what someone does with their gonads. For me, sexuality and sexual "practice" include a broad spectrum of activities - the least important of them involving my gonads. So Roy, according to the bible I read, Jesus would be condemned for the "homosexual practice" you regard as sinful, simply for reclining at table with John, the beloved disciple. ANd yes the other condemnations of homosexuality overwhelmingly refer to sodoisttic rape and paedophilia - the actions the Catholic CHurch itself has been using as power thing, and which it's denied and covered up. But in today's context we're talking about consensual activities between adults - not the context of the bible.

Aurelio | 04 July 2016  

"You say that 'homosexual acts are a sin' but that's only a religious construct. In civil society, homosexual acts are (no longer, no thanks to religion) a crime." This quote is irrelevant to our exchange. When you used on 22 June a pseudo-quote to suggest that the Bible forbids Christians from saying things that cause other people to hurt or kill homosexuals, you were only displaying part of a wider picture. The full picture is that while the above is true, also true is the fact that the Bible forbids, as well, homosexual practices themselves. After all, without context, "the admonition to do nothing that might cause another to stumble" could also mean that two men in Miami, in kissing each other, and causing Omar Mateen to stumble, were thus also responsible for the deaths of fellow homosexuals 378 km away. Or that it was Caroline Wilson's doing the self-assured, outspoken woman thing that caused the caveman inside Eddie McGuire to stumble.

Roy Chen Yee | 04 July 2016  

"So Roy, according to the bible I read, Jesus would be condemned for the "homosexual practice" you regard as sinful, simply for reclining at table with John, the beloved disciple....But in today's context...." In today's context, males in the Middle East walk hand-in-hand without being homosexual in act or inclination. In the context of 2000 years ago in the same part of the world, why can't the scene of a very young St John resting his head on Jesus' breast be a common sight indicating a younger brother-like affection for an older male mentor? "But in today's context we're talking about consensual activities between adults - not the context of the bible." We're talking in the context of Eureka Street which, it says, is influenced by Jesuit values and Catholic Social Teaching. Well, wherever those values come from, it's probably odds on that they come from the context of the Bible, which also has things to say about consensual activities between heterosexual adults.

Roy Chen Yee | 04 July 2016  

Roy, I thought we were talking in the context of a disturbed man, apparently with his own sexuality problems, who murdered dozens of GLBTI people and their friends and family members, simply because of who they were. I thought the context of Fatima's article was that, while most people who oppose GLBTI people (itself not an accepting concept) won't actually try to kill them, the fact that they hold such views points the way to discrimination and worse, springing from the "little things". We might have moved on from the Old Testament call for death to gays, but the context of that call has only been pulled back in some minds. It hasn't been removed. That's my concern. I hope you don't think my comment is irrelevant.

Brett | 07 July 2016  

'Or that it was Caroline Wilson's doing the self-assured, outspoken woman thing that caused the caveman inside Eddie McGuire to stumble [?]' ! Do you realise, Roy, that in asking that question, you are parroting the Imán who sought to blame 'immodest' dress for provoking 'caveman lust' to motivate young Muslim males to rape? It's called 'blaming the victim', Roy.

Ginger Meggs | 07 July 2016  

"....deaths of fellow homosexuals 378 km away. Or that it was Caroline...." Ginger Meggs, if that full stop between 'away' and 'Or' is a problem, please feel free to pretend it's not there.

Roy Chen Yee | 12 July 2016  

Brett: 1. "....most people who oppose GLBTI people ...." Most correspondents here ‘oppose’ Pauline Hanson. They oppose Hanson's ideas, not the person herself. Most people who oppose GLBTI people oppose the ideas that they hold, not the people themselves. 2. "the fact that they hold such views points the way to discrimination and worse, springing from the "little things"." Nicky Minus didn't agree with the NSW government's takeover of local councils. Is it a logical progression from holding that opinion to spitting on the administrator? If it is, the administrator might have to face the outraged spittle of the NSW government for sending letters to councillors of various other municipalities to gauge their support for Safe Schools and same-sex marriage. 3. " We might have moved on from the Old Testament call for death to gays, but the context of that call has only been pulled back in some minds. It hasn't been removed. That's my concern." In Christian theology, the New Testament 'fulfils' the Old. There's nothing in the NT about harming people whom you don't like (as even the Westboro Baptists agree).

Roy Chen Yee | 12 July 2016  

Roy, you are trying to split hairs on a bald head. I don’t know Pauline Hanson personally. I understand from those who have met her that she is a pleasant, friendly person who is more intelligent than she is often portrayed in the media. People do like her. I don’t like what she stands for. I don’t agree with some opinions of the extreme survival of the fittest conservatives who write on this blog. We disagree about ideas and policies. Your comment “Most people who oppose GLBTI people oppose the ideas that they hold, not the people themselves” is, I suggest, an excuse. “GLBTI” is not a set of ideas or a philosophy, it is who people are; it is what people are, individual people. It is not one solid group but includes the diversity of human sexuality outside the “norm”. If I replace “GLBTI” with “heterosexual” or “black” your comment would be open to ridicule. Despite what you say Roy, if someone opposes the “idea” of GLBTI, they are opposing the people themselves, even if it is just in the small things Fatima wrote about. I’m sure the Westboro Baptists know they don’t have to physically hurt people to harm them.

Brett | 14 July 2016  

Brett: True hermaphroditism isn’t an idea or philosophy but the rest (GLBT) is the idea that mind can prevail over matter. Transgender is pretending that physical reality can be changed. Ex-males will still have XY sex chromosomes and ex-females XX, for all the medical and surgical suppression that is going to be self-inflicted. Bisexuality, as far as ‘marriage’ is concerned, will be a culture-changing three person polygamy or polyandry where one partner is of the same gender while, simultaneously, the other is not (with a mix of natural and surrogate children). The real issue for monogamous gays and lesbians is not ‘sexuality’ (ie. mode of sexual activity) but whether society should by law permit them to ‘have’ children regarded by the law as exclusively their own, when the idea of ‘having’ is really a stealing from the child of a relationship with one of its natural parents. So, no, opposing the GLBT idea is not opposing the individuals themselves but the reality-bending they are wanting the rest of society to pretend isn’t happening, viz. that sexual non-normatives can produce natural families so that children enjoy their human right to bond with their natural binary parents.

Roy Chen Yee | 25 July 2016  

Roy, a provocative and emotive twist to bring the discussion on hate around to marriage, having children and even stealing from children their relationships with a biological parent. I question the relevance in this context, as I do your discussion of biology. Biology is a physical fact but this is not simply a case of “mind over matter” and chromosomes. Reducing it to those terms ignores the physical and emotional struggles of GLBTI people and steals away the ability of GLBTI people to be who they are. If you are born male or female you have to stay that way forever is an unreasonable straitjacket to force people to wear when with medical and scientific knowledge it doesn’t have to be that way. We should leave the discussion of marriage until that subject reappears in Eureka Street, but I will say it is not your place or mine to say what the “real issue” is for gay and lesbian couples. I’ll leave it to gay and lesbian and other people to decide what their own “real issues” are. And yes, opposing GLBTI people is exactly what it says it is.

Brett | 28 July 2016  

Would it be un-empirical to wonder, if two gay men are talking about ‘our’ child, how this can be so when there’s not one womb between the two of them? So, there is a missing parent, and a violation of at least two sets of rights: the right of a child to be bonded to both natural parents and the right of any rational onlooker, in an empirical world where material progress depends upon the democratic freedom to describe a thing as it is, to call a spade a spade. Same-sex couples do not ‘have’ children. They raise children, partially procured from an exiled natural parent, as their own. But, should a same-sex couple ‘divorce’, the child is very likely to be given into the main custody of the adult that provided half of its genetic matter. Why? Because it’s always been assumed that a child is considered to be related to a parent by genetics. But, if so, why is the other natural parent in exile? Same-sex ‘marriage’ is the Trojan horse through which society, being the naked emperor’s audience, is forced to accept as normal the strained logic of a same-sex couple’s ‘our child’. Every child has two parents. Why, in a same-sex relationship, is one of them missing?

Roy Chen Yee | 16 August 2016  

Roy, you seem intent on moving this discussion of hate onto children and families. Not sure why. The same arguments you put forward can be made against adoptive parents who have no biological link to their children (yes, THEIR children). If you have no argument against these adoptive heterosexual couples (and I hope you don't) then your arguments are selectively going down the path Fatima wrote about here and which I keep coming back to. Rather than a black and white opinion about who cannot raise children, it might be preferable to look at the quality of parenting provided by each couple. Much harder to generalise of course when talking about good parents. But then I have to wonder if a discussion on hate is really the best place to talk about children and families.

Brett | 16 August 2016  

Similar Articles

Pugilist-poet Ali's race legacy still packs a punch

  • Fatima Measham
  • 08 June 2016

The contest over Ali began even as news spread of his passing. His legend straddles the violence of his sport and the violence in which he refused to participate. Boxing is brutal but it has rules and finite duration. In war, there are no rules and no one wins. Ali recognised a larger violence, chose his enemies, and reimagined bravery. Attempts to sublimate this legacy - such as comments about him 'transcending' race - resemble the appropriation of Martin Luther King Jr by conservatives.



Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up