The 2020 Sydney Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) parade is nearly upon us. However, it never takes place on Shrove Tuesday or indeed on any other Tuesday. It is always scheduled for the weekend. Its choice of name is now therefore as witless and anachronistic as many of its floats. In my opinion a decent respect for the integrity of the church calendar at the very least requires that it be renamed “Samedi Sordide”—Sordid Saturday.
You need not feel shocked at this suggestion. I am reasonably sure homosexuals and their fellow travellers who participate in the march or watch in Oxford Street or from their homes via the inevitably lavish SBS or ABC television coverage won’t mind the “sordid” descriptor; indeed, they will probably delight in it. Sleazy, slutty, debauched, decadent, outrageous—these are all adjectives that are regularly used to self-describe the behaviour and the appearance of participants and to promote their after-march events. Look at the publications and posters advertising the event and you will be left in no doubt about this. Abandonment to impulse and appetite whilst proudly disclaiming any sense of shame in doing so is the central credo of the festival of which the parade is the culmination.
I used to think the participants appropriated the use of such words ironically, as black activists might have used the word nigger, and many people might imagine that is still what is intended. But how can that be? Lubricious exhibitionism is decadent; celebrating egregious immodesty in dress and language and behaviour is sleaze par excellence, whether it has a straight or a bent angle to its presentation. It is just that relentless media promotion of a narrative of faux-sanctity about homosexual grievance has stopped us calling out this kind of public behaviour for what it is.
I think we need to speak honestly about what this parade now actually “celebrates”. I started with the name. Let me now take a closer look at the purpose of the event. In doing so, it may be that I articulate the views of many readers who have been coerced into not expressing their own view about a significant event that closes down a substantial part of our biggest city every year.
We should start by pricking the conceit that the parade has any form of commemorative status. Often attempts are made to give it a kind of activist-genealogical connection to the Stonewall Inn riots in New York in 1969, when violent opposition to anti-homosexual policing practices in the more bohemian reaches of Greenwich Village erupted and lasted several days. No fatalities were recorded and the police got as good as they gave in terms of injuries. But the riots have acquired phoney propagandist stature in the modern homosexual narrative, just as the “Chicago Seven” trial following the Democratic Party Convention in 1968 acquired in creating a political “counter-culture”, or as the Lady Chatterley obscenity prosecution in 1960 acquired in creating “the permissive society”.
The decriminalisation of sodomy in nearly all of the various states of Australia was achieved forty years ago but prosecutions had become rare long before then. Nearly everyone (including me) would now hold the view that such laws should not be re-introduced, but that is a different question from whether they ought to have been repealed in the first place. Such a question involves a broader evaluation of the state we have reached after decades of dismantling of our social infrastructure. The moral imperatives that laws of that type sought to protect, such as the sanctity of marriage and the keeping of high standards of public decency and order for their own sake, were long ago extinguished by the leftist ascendancy in our institutions. This cultural revolution preceded and facilitated the evacuation of a specifically Christian content from our laws. In turn that accelerated the flight from personal adherence to a traditional morality, particularly a traditional sexual morality. One might as well now seek to introduce the sumptuary laws of Cromwell’s Commonwealth as laws against homosexual soliciting and intercourse. No one today would understand what social imperatives such a set of laws was seeking to preserve.
Should such laws be re-introduced into the kind of atomised and self-fetishing society in which we now live? No, of course not; it would serve no purpose.
But would we prefer to live again in the kind of society in which an understanding and acceptance as to why such laws existed would come to us as naturally as rain falling upon grass? That is a different and more difficult question and I can only answer it here by saying that I would rather walk down Oxford Street circa 1969 or 1959 or 1909 than in 2019 and for all kinds of reasons which speak to the depth and breadth of our civilisational decline.
In 2017 some homosexuals and their political supporters intimidated and sought to persecute many of those campaigning for a No vote in the postal plebiscite. I know this directly. I helped those who were targeted. The “human resources” officers of major companies aided and abetted the silencing strategies of homosexual activists by, for example, sending show-cause notices (that is, “demonstrate why you should not be sacked”) to Christian employees who posted polite messages on internal company blogs set up to discuss the proposed Marriage Act amendments; other employees were just sacked summarily for expressing private pro-traditional marriage opinions. I also participated in a number of quiet marches with placards promoting the No vote; we were regularly spat upon and sworn at (particularly by young women, for some reason). The Australian Christian Lobby offices in Canberra were set on fire after a car-bomb was detonated out the front by a notorious homosexual activist.
As anticipated, the Yes vote victory has seen an intensified leftist preoccupation with what Christians say in public and what they teach in their schools and the beliefs of those hired to teach in them. The mainstream media, led by the leviathan ABC, is now unceasingly vigilant for traces of “homophobia” in any public utterance. They savage and frequently destroy or derail the careers of those whom they target. Schools, professional associations, advertisers and politicians all now scrupulously self-invigilate to make sure that the latest fiat of the LGBTQ ascendancy is complied with.
And yet the organisers of the Mardi Gras parade still claim—in this regimented social environment, where homosexuality is cosseted and empowered and is itself intolerant of dissent—that the reason why a significant section of our biggest city must be closed down to permit dykes on bikes (their own description) and drag queens and young men in fluorescent underpants to gyrate and prance and proselytise down our streets is that homosexuals are in desperate need of reassurance that they are accepted by the wider population! This is either a disingenuous claim or a delusional one. That is not why they organise this parade at all. And it works against, and not in favour of acceptance, in any event.
Those that make a very public point of telling us that they are homosexual by organising or participating in the parade appear to believe every homosexual should want to do the same as them and talk about their sexuality incessantly. They are often in my experience shrill and attention-seeking and can be very funny or very tediously unfunny, the latter especially when they get together with their own. Their musical, recreational and sartorial preferences, too, are often of a very narrow bandwith. Victimhood seems to be a necessary part of their self-perception. Their sexuality, they believe, is at the root of all their life problems but also the source of all that is special about them. Their existence might be described as one long demand that society and all of its norms and institutions be reconstituted in their own self-image. Whatever the complex of causes and choices that made up their psychosexual development, all of them must be celebrated; none of them can be mediated or judged or modified. These are people who refer constantly to their sexual identity and for whom that aspect of their psychology and behaviour equates to their identity per se.
These folk don’t seem to make up the majority of the non-heterosexual population, very far from it, but they are the loudest and the most assertive and most organised and they have been allowed to acquire the copyright, it seems, to the authorised homosexual narrative.
Here then are the marshals and the foot soldiers of the Mardi Gras parade. They are not mere revellers or exhibitionists. They are the cadres of a movement that has carried out a wildly successful cultural putsch.
The rout of the natural and orthodox ceremony of marriage in 2017, and the licence the victors now exercise to publicly promote or condone (nearly) every form of sexual behaviour which our Christian heritage formerly regarded as deviant, have not led to the abatement of their hatred or resentment of that heritage; on the contrary, they have fed and sharpened it and garnered new recruits for the task of further diluting the Christian legacies of our culture. Just as feminism is demanding legal recognition of a woman’s right to choose infanticide, so the ideologues of Sodom and Lesbos will never be satisfied with our merely acquiescing to the ever-changing forms of their demands for acceptance. It is our private judgment of their conduct, a judgment that comes from our adhering to the old verities, that is profoundly intolerable to them and will continue to fire up the furnaces of their wrath for years to come.
Persuading ourselves that the Mardi Gras parade is just a harmless annual frolic of the demimonde will become a more difficult task each year. The ABC now promotes the parade to children on its children’s channel; police officers and soldiers make a point of their participation and of the fact that it is authorised by their superiors, thus telling us things about themselves we do not need to know and never wanted to know and undermining public confidence in the institutions in which they serve. The event has been a publicity launching pad and clearing house for all kinds of pernicious medical adventurism in recent years, especially in the field of gender dysphoria and of the rapid-onset female variety in particular.
In short, it is a political parade. It has made much of the blessing given to it by political figures, Turnbull and Shorten most noticeably in recent years. But the event is significant in much more than just the party political sphere.
Those of us who have different beliefs should not be afraid of saying what we think about their parade. Our saying nothing over the last three decades has had profound political consequences.
I am not suggesting heckling participants or physical disruption, as in the leftist playbook, of course. But you can mark your opposition in many other ways.
You could campaign for candidates at state and local government level who want to cancel any form of public funding for the event. You could make sure your children’s school isn’t permitting the event to be propagandised in the classroom, as many already do. If you belong to a church, you could ask your minister or priest or pastor why he cannot find the courage to preach against it. You could even pray for rain with Fred Nile.
You could do any of these things or many others. You could cease to be silent. That’s what I have just done.
Stuart Lindsay is a retired Federal Circuit Court Judge. He contributed the article “The Misguided Faith in Legislated Religious Freedoms” in the December issue.