|Some relevant thoughts from Justice Kirby.||(Australian HIGH
Michael Kirby, who declared his homosexuality some years ago)
Kirby was interviewed as part of a documentary called 'Outing Gay Hate'
broadcast on SBS Television, 13/02/2001. "...profiling the
murder, violence and vilification targeting gays in
program called for the "breaking of the code of silence"
about these injustices.
What is interesting for Rainbow Sash Supporters was how clearly Justice Kirby laid much of the blame for this injustice at the feet of the church and religious leaders. Coming from a man who is not from the religious world but has a unique view on our society, he speaks with a clarity that is worth reviewing, word for word!
SOME QUOTES from Michael Kirby:
churches of the 'Book', (the Bible) unfortunately have got themselves locked in, in some
cases, to an understanding of certain isolated passages of the Bible which
lead them to a belief that homosexuality is evil in God's eyes, and if
major churches, churches of great history and authority and power, preach
that homosexual acts, which are the natural outcome of homosexual
orientation, are intrinsically evil, -- evil! -- very strong language,
then you are bound to have many ordinary citizens who pick up those words
handed to them from authority and take the view that 'if that is evil then
I must do something to extirpate evil" and that leads on to general
denigration, to discrimination, to humiliation and to the great pressure
that gay and lesbian and bisexual people have to feel ashamed of
themselves and to look down on themselves.
This in turn feeds youth suicide and feelings of low self-esteem,
less than full achievement and all of this is really based on an
irrational assumption that people can "evilly choose" their
sexually orientation. They
don't, and they can't change it, and we have to face up to the
consequences of that understanding............"
....but there is a long way to go. Exemptions
in the State anti-discrimination legislation still allows church schools
to sack gay and lesbian teachers and a those schools remain free to teach
that homosexual acts our sinful)
some religious schools, it's really quite difficult for teachers to embark
upon a scientific explanation of homosexuality because the science
challenges the understanding of the holy book, and therefore if we are
serious about the very large number of pupils who are in church schools
and religious schools, of every domination in Australia, then it will be
necessary to reach out to those and not simply to say, "Well, They're
entitled to teach whatever they like in their church schools, it's a
matter of doctrine" insofar as that doctrine is causing hatred,
violence, pain and discrimination and the indelible attitudes to
homosexual people, which makes it difficult to change, then it may just
have to give, because protection of minorities is a very important
attribute of a democracy, and we have come to realise that in Australia in
my lifetime, in respect of women, in respect of people of colour, as the
White Australia policy was abandoned, in respect of aboriginal
Australians, and the next step on the journey is understanding it in
relation to homosexual Australians....".
in your home, you have been used to hearing gay people called
"poofters" and "queers", and talk of violence and
images of that kind about, then the best teachers in the world won't
........ One thing I learned in the work I've done in relation to the AIDS epidemic, was the importance of basing all strategies on scientific truths and on good data, and I believe the best way to get to people is through an understanding of the nature of human sexuality, of it's variety, of it's indelible existence, of its universality throughout the world, of its universality throughout all time, and that it's no big threat to other people. And if this can be accepted, then we may have a chance of changing things........"
the sexuality arises out of your orientation, then it is just irrational
to persist with a demonisation of the sexual acts because they are the
acts that are natural to a homosexual person: to reach out for fullness of
being, for love of another, for companionship and for fidelity and trust
in another human being. Now
this is good for heterosexual people, and it is noble and wonderful in
life and it ought not to be denied, and I don't believe true people of
spirituality would deny that to another human being, if they think about
it, but we've got to get that message over to the leadership of churches
and of the State in order to ensure that the instruction which is the
source of denigration and discrimination is changed......"
DISTURBING TRENDS IN RECENT HATE CRIME COURT CASES..
are seeing more recently in the courts cases which are being defended on
the basis that a person made a non-violent approach of a sexual kind to
another and that this is said to excuse the homicide of the perpetrator,
so that the so-called "homosexual advance defence"
is a phenomena which has burst upon the legal scene in the United
States and in other western countries and in Australia.........."
SOME PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON HIS OWN 'COMING OUT:
certainly received a number of letters of hate since my public statements
about homosexuality, most of them, I regret to say, written by people of a
religious background. These
are hurtful, but I believe they represent at a minority viewpoint in
society and you just have to wear them as an example of the changing
times. If the choice is
between silence and upsetting nobody, or honesty and candour and upsetting
a few who had demons in their minds, then I'm afraid people like me have
to accept the latter, and it is only by doing so, and by bringing home the
truth, that we will change things, but change we will, and change we must................."