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August 10th 2017 print

Noel Gardner

Gays Against Shrieking Bullies

To go by media coverage of the loudest activists for same-sex marriage, gays come in only one flavour. I'm here to refute that. Yes, I'd like the law changed, but it's no big deal. The backlash likely to be spawned by the hectoring and hysterics of rainbow bullies is far more concerning

gay parade nycI suppose this should be appearing under my real name, but it’s just too risky, and from my perspective that is the saddest of many sad things to arise from this entirely counterproductive fracas about same-sex marriage, plebiscites and postal surveys. If you are not gay perhaps you don’t get what is going on. I am gay, have always been gay, and will die gay. It is not an orientation about which I had the slightest choice, and until just recently I believed myself to be living in an era which, if you are in your seventies like me, you thought would never, could never, come about.

Until attitudes changed I lived a lie. God forgive me for a hypocrite, but there was a time when I even told poofter jokes to help keep my secret. Then the flaming young things went to the barricades and over a decade or two the fear of exposure that stalked me and so many others lifted and vanished. I remember once walking out of the bar of the Graham Hotel on Swanston Street in Melbourne in about 1972 and bumping into a woman I worked with. The Graham was in those days a well-known gay hangout; to be seen there was to be instantly convicted of being a sexual outlaw by the standard of the time. Would she gossip about me at work? Would I be fired, which they could do in those days? So far as I know she never said a word to anyone, which supports my sanguine view of humanity – we’re most of us, gay or straight, basically decent people.

Most, but not all. What pains me greatly is that it is the members of my “gay community” who are now doing their utmost to bring homosexuality into ill repute. It’s the reason I am using a pseudonym. Disagree with the noisy gay goosesteppers, as Bill Leak so accurately drew them, and you risk attack. At a social gathering about a month ago I ventured the view that gay marriage would be nice but no big deal. Two members of the younger crowd immediately gave me a hard time, although now that I think about it, being called an ‘Aunty Tom’ is rather funny.

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Do those dinner party critics of mine read the papers and see how Melbourne is being hit with a crime wave – push-in robberies, carjackings, you name it – and I think to myself that these are far more important things that need fixing. Or I look at my electricity bill and wonder with my partner how just two of us and a dog (not a cocker spaniel, Mr Keating) could run up a quarterly bill of almost $800. Public safety, affordable power, the very future of this country — they are important issues whether you are LGBTQI or straight as a billiard cue. How much support do the shriekers think they gained by making a target of Margaret Court?

Nevertheless, when the same-sex marriage thing first came back to life in recent months, I thought ‘Why not?’ Now I wish the whole subject would go away before permanent damage is done.

Consider it this way. If same-sex marriage becomes law by legislative fiat, those who oppose will rightly conclude that they were robbed of their promised right to decide the matter in the voting booth. If same-sex marriage isn’t passed into law, noisy activists will get even louder and alienate even more people. If you are gay, and by that I mean quietly gay like the straight population is quietly heterosexual, not making it the centrepiece of how you present to the world, neither prospect is anything but worrying.

I don’t want to be represented by the Roz Wards of this world. I don’t want little children being introduced to the ‘gay lifestyle’ in the classroom, let alone “gender fluidity”, under the pretense of an “anti-bullying campaign”. These are things you can only work out for yourself, and being nudged in one direction while being told it is the only direction that you can take is so wrong it makes me profoundly sad. As a boy I would dress in my mother’s clothes sometimes, but I didn’t become a transsexual when I grew up. What might have happened if some teacher had said to me ‘that’s what you are and I’m going to make sure that is way you will be forever’.

That I would be using a pseudonym to write this is proof of the fear I have in my heart. Tony Abbott has said that a ‘no’ vote in the postal plebiscite would send a message to bullies. He’s right about that, but not the bullies of old, the ones who could get you fired, throw you in the Yarra and make you live in fear. Now the fear is of being attacked, harassed and held up to public ridicule by gay activists and their media allies. Don’t the media realise that the loudest ones don’t represent gays like me? If journalists really cared about the issue, not the furor, they would look beyond Roz Ward et al.

Would I like to see gay marriage at some point in time? Yes, I would. But in the grand scheme of things it is a triviality, promising nothing that isn’t already available under the rubric “civil union”.

If the promised plebiscite had gone ahead without all this fuss and bother I believe it would have passed and passed easily. But not now, not when voters have been insulted, shouted down and abused for a homophobia that exists more in activists’ imaginations than it does in real life.

Noel Gardner is the pseudonym of a retired professional. He and his partner have made their lives together for more than three decades

Comments [14]

  1. Doubting Thomas says:

    Bravo.

  2. Warty says:

    As the Quadrant has always supported debate, free of political correctness, I feel this is an appropriate forum to offer quite a different argument to that put forward by Noel, but one that will get up the nostril of more than one reader, such are the times in which we live.
    Noel is of the same generation as I, and would be every bit aware of attitudes through the 1950s and into the sixties and seventies. I was also aware of and involved in the students’ movements in the late 60s and early 70s, and was part of that whole anti authority atmosphere, with little understanding of the long term consequences of our liberation movement, being passionate, angry and largely out of control as I was. I now live with the consequences of some of those long-term outcomes. I don’t regret anything I said or did back then, but I have grown decidedly more conservative and hopefully a bit wiser.
    My perspective has begun to shift from the perspective of the ‘individual’ towards concerns for a society as a whole, and my considered opinion is that we are experiencing a descent into a strange mix of anarchy, yet with some of the trappings of the tyranny Noel has indicated; and I don’t see the finger wagging being restricted to the LBGTI lobby by any means. Many of the same people fling some of their invective at the Church, at men’s movements, even at the sort of people that read the Quadrant, the Spectator, the Catallaxy Files and other sites you may never have heard of. Noel’s perspective is of course that of an individual, and one of a small minority in society, but his argument doesn’t not justify changing the mind-set of society as a whole. Let me explain.
    A significant number of those student activists back in my time did not become more conservative, but went on to colonise schools, the universities, the advertising industries and the MSM (to name just a few of the many institutions). Some of the brightest and most creative were homosexual, and they have been working on the community consciousness since then, initially at a subliminal level (a particular perspective here and a quiet viewpoint there) until we had collectively reached a position that homosexuality was no longer taboo, dare I say shameful, and that which had been illegal, going back into the mists of time, became legal.
    Yet the momentum did not stop there. We need only go back a bare handful of years to see that today’s SSM champions, like Tony Abbott’s sister, Penny Wong and Bill Shorten himself, who will now actively campaign in support of SSM, were all supportive of the traditional definition of marriage. One needs to ask how and why they took this extra step. Believe me they haven’t adequately articulated the reasons. It’s the momentum.
    My personal view is that the gender fluidity that Noel rejects, and the bestiality that the Supreme Court of Canada legalised in June 2016 were inevitable steps in the direction of the undermining of Western Civilisation, of which morality was a mainstay.
    Yes, I was once a supporter of moral relativity, long before I knew there was such a term (in fact I don’t think there was) but I have become sufficiently conservative to believe there is such a thing as absolute morality and absolute truth. It is just one has to work to discover it, and that’s a life’s work (and I’ve wasted half of mine).

    • MattP says:

      Thanks Warty for the fascinating insight. As the offspring of baby boomers I was born into this menagerie of moral decay. What I see from my parents generation is a generation that (where Christianity is concerned, especially the paedophile sins of the Churches) strives to throw the baby out with the bath water.

      Where I sit in the context of time within the 20th century (a child of the 70s), I see a church where a cost analysis ought support the staying of the church. It’s benefits outweigh its crimes or sins.

      No surprises that I see a Cultural Marxism at play, or the consequences thereof, in our modern society. And no surprises that I see the solution being in the restored appreciation of Traditional Marriage (aka mum and dad families) and a Church that has the courage to speak into the public spaces. It is exactly those institutions which need to bite back, and bite back hard. Instead I hear whimpers, but throw my voice in the mix regardless. If I don’t, who will?

      As the renowned atheist, Richard Dawkins, surprisingly said, to paraphrase, he feared that Christianity was a bulwark against something worse. It took him a long time to reach that conclusion, but I cannot fault him on the sentiment.

      I spot you posting round and about: here, The Cat, The Oz. I appreciate your wisdom. Maybe some won’t call it that, but I certainly do.

      Thanks

      PS what I see in those movements from to 60s and 70s, and the earlier attitudes, could be summed up as a rebellion against expectation. Expectation as predicated on a moral standard, so the origin of autonomy theory. I would be interested in your take on that.

      • Warty says:

        No, I thank you for your comments. I couldn’t agree more with the comments you make with regards to the truly desperate need for the church, despite the number responders to Quadrant articles who, though conservative, happily proclaim their atheism. I cannot for the life of me see how you can hope to retain the relics of our Western Civilisation and yet reject Christianity out of hand. One respondent to two of the articles I had written to the Cat claimed there was no such thing as the Western Civilisation, and then supplied a dodgy site as support. The next time he said indignantly ‘I told u the Western Civilisation doesn’t exist’. His part-texting choice of words said it all.
        I agree with your final comment, that the movements of the 60s and 70s reflected a rebellion against expectation, as you put it; against the standards insisted upon by our parents, our teachers and indeed the church. There was a revival of decency in the 1950s, with its emphasis on family values etc. I personally rebelled against school, hated my parents chipping me about the way I wanted to dress; about putting my napkin on my lap (‘serviette’ was not a word permitted) about the friends I wanted to mix with . . . the list seemed endless. But when one has waded through one’s 20s and then 30s (as Jody says) the grey matter kicks in and by the time the 40s and 50s arrive the rebellious sod has become more like his parents than he’d ever envisaged.
        My grandmother was in her 20s during the 1920s and had apparently been every bit as wild as our rebellious young of the 60s and 70s, yet her daughter, my mother was conservative and judgemental, and quite frankly appalled by the things granny continued to do and say. So there is an element of truth about the skipping a generation bit. But there was something in the air much earlier than that if you read some of the romantic literature and its positioning of women: the suffragettes didn’t just come out of the blue: there was indeed a movement in the air; a ‘rebellion against expectations’ as you put it, even back then.

        • Finn MacCool says:

          I cannot claim to be a Christian, yet I can appreciate that my values are based on my Roman Catholic background. I can also appreciate the good work of relgions. The rise in atheism and agnosticism has not supplied a replacement for the moral teachings of the Church. I can now see how this held society together; that’s something I never thought I would say. I think today’s society is like a biblical story where people were able to indulge their most base desires and abuse anyone (like Pell) who calls them out on it. Strangely enough, I live in hope that the pendulum will swing back to a more conservative society. I used to think “conservative” was an epithet but now I understand that it means building on the best of the old. This includes not changing the definition of marriage.

  3. Jody says:

    Two excellent contributions; thank you gentlemen!! Jordan Peterson says that in your 20′s you are allowed the indulgence of ‘being stupid’ in your views because you don’t know anything; that you only left your parents dependency a few years ago. He says that in your thirties, if you’re still stupid, nobody is going to extend that sympathy to you because you should have grown up by then. In this way society ought to be very unforgiving. That hugely brave man make a whole lot of sense to me.

  4. johnhenry says:

    Author says: “Would I like to see gay marriage at some point in time? Yes, I would. But in the grand scheme of things it is a triviality…”

    Not to mention that “gay marriage” make a mockery of real marriage, and that’s not a triviality.

    • johnhenry says:

      Please excuse my typo – I meant *makes* a mockery of real marriage. I should also have continued by adding that I believe the sinister purpose underlying the “gay marriage” agenda is just that – to make a mockery of real marriage, to make it a meaningless joke. No personal offence intended toward Mr Gardner.

  5. Michael Galak says:

    Profoundly sad piece. I cannot help but feel for the Author. He is uneasy and concerned about the future, and, in the words of Freddie Mercury, “and everything that goes with it”. This lonely voice of sanity and moderation, the voice of common sense and tolerance is being made so much more lonelier, while threatened by the perceived personal danger and the necessity to be anonymous, to use an assumed name.
    “Noel” is quite correct to point out in his piece, that the issue of the SSM is being used as a distraction from the bigger societal issues , not to mention as a weapon against against the Western cultural foundation. My overall impression is that the entire gay community being manipulated to someone else’s agenda.

  6. Bill Martin says:

    Three of the heartiest cheers and lots of hurrahs for Noel Gardner! Almost certainly the same wonderful man who commented in the same spirit in response to a recent Quadrant article on the same subject. For what it’s worth, it always seemed obvious to me that all the noise and fuss about the issue of SSM and other gay-related matters was the doing of a ratbag few, both gay and straight, with minimal support or interest from the vast majority of the gay community. Those few have been doing untold damage to the otherwise nonchalant attitude of Australian society towards homosexuality. Right now they are doing their damndest to alienate enough people to vote no on any sort of upcoming plebiscite. Strange as the parallel seems, Aborigine activists are doing the same thing in the matter of “recognition”.

  7. padraic says:

    I agree with the sentiments expressed above by Michael Galak and thank the author for his views. I have always said that things of the past should stay there, especially when they are no longer in the present. To pretend that bad things which happened in the past are still a present issue to be confronted leads nowhere. I remember after the War the anti-Japanese feeling in Australia was palpable, but as generations moved on it went away. There was no Japanese Mardi Gras insulting Australians or other overt hostility of the kind currently displayed by the activists mentioned by Noel Gardner. It will turn out to be very non-productive. There was much more mutual respect around in the 60s and 70s.

  8. Keith Kennelly says:

    I don’t care.

    Or I didn’t care. Probably still don’t.
    Don’t really know BUT having witnessed the absolutely pungent nature of the yes crowd I’ve decided to vote and vote NO as often as I can!

  9. Rayvic says:

    The author is to be commended for his views.

    It should be remembered that under current law, SSM couples are already treated ‘equal’ to opposite-sex couples. Whereas most Australians assume that there is material discrimination against same-sex couples, few know about the 85 laws changed in 2008 giving same-sex couples equality under the law with heterosexual couples. There is truly no argument for ‘marriage equality’ as both same-sex and heterosexual couples are treated equally under the law.

    If it were possible to conduct a secret poll of so-called ‘gay people’ eligible to vote in Australia, what percentage would vote for so-called same-sex marriage (SSM)? Would it be the majority? If so, would they press for suppression of basic freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, as has happened in Canada and other countries where SSM has been legislated? Apart from the hard-core homosexual activists, I would be surprised if it were the majority of gays.

    Given the way that the case for SSM (or should I say, for destruction of traditional marriage) is being driven in Australia, and given retention of the current human rights machinery, Australia would inherit a suppressing totalitarian homosexual activist culture as bad as that pervading in Canada, should the ‘yes’ vote be successful.

  10. whitelaughter says:

    The author is right to be worried. This is going to be ugly.

    My long term views on homosexuality were formed in the early 1980s when it was announced that the need for homosexuals to avoid giving blood had resulted in a massive shortage of blood donations: that such a small proportion of the population had been giving blood so freely to me seemed to be a classic case of “by your fruits you shall know them”, and so for decades I was mildly pro-gay and quite solidly willing to rip apart the stupider anti-gay arguments floating around (as much because I enjoyed arguing as out of principle, I’ll admit).
    Now, with Waffen-SSM in charge? Not a chance.

    And the next generation? They won’t remember the bad times, and will hear about them from proven liars, so will quite justifiably discard the stories as probable falsehoods. They’ll only see the evils, Safe Schools and so forth. They’ll fight back – and probably ban homosexuality again.
    I hope that the decent gays of old can die peacefully of old age before the lynch mobs come for the snowflakes – because lynch mobs don’t discriminate, they’ll hang the innocent with the guilty.