Adele Fisher: Turn Back Time
Over the past few weeks I have considered that potentially I was in some parallel universe, I was confused, perhaps I wasn't 40 and instead I was living in the heady, fluorescent, big haired but politically backward 80's or 90's.
I started with fact checking. Fuel isn't 50 cents per litre, bread isn't 54 cents a loaf, a kilo of tea doesn't cost $1.70 and houses certainly don't average $35,475. Clearly I had to move on from my confusion theory and accept that we were indeed right in the middle of 2012. I had to wonder what else could be going on when I read article after article that threatens the rights and well being of LGBTI Queenslanders and Australians in an extremely similar way to that which occurred two or more decades ago.
Let's take a quick peek at the activities of the past few weeks.
We find 2.6 million dollars’ worth of government funding removed, without notice, from one of the most valuable LGBTI community services, Queensland Association of Healthy Communities. The funding wasn't just removed, the new Health Minister proceeded to point the finger at QAHC for a range of questionable statistics on HIV/AIDS in Queensland. Two remarkable men, John Ebert and John Stafford, who have been together for 42 years, have eloquently told their story of how, when the then-Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen refused to fund the AIDS council they received support from the Sisters of Mercy. That's right, Nuns. The Sisters of Mercy had the humanity to know that a group of people were in need and that by providing funding and a house, which became a hospice for those who were dying, they did what was right and they did it without discrimination. These men, when interviewed for the Brisbane Times reported that, “They have heard the comparisons to the Bjelke-Petersen Government and having lived through the era they think this government is worse.”
Next we have the head spinning speed with which the LNP has sought legal advice to repeal the civil union laws in Queensland. Those pesky homosexuals were given rights but in keeping with the step back in time the LNP will do all they can to revoke those rights. Perhaps that's something Joh and the Nationals didn't do, to my knowledge, while they may not have given rights and funding I am personally unaware that they actively sought to remove services and rights of the LGBTI community.
Finally we have the 'gay recovery' therapies occurring around the country. Teenagers are being subjected by the Christian group Exodus to the belief that being homosexual is a psychological disorder which can be 'cured'. Other reports indicate there are a range of groups and individuals who continue to recommend these practices despite the Australian Psychological Society recommending in 2000 that these therapies be ceased . Another massive step back in time going on here, homosexuality was removed from the DSM of Mental Disorders in 1986. These therapies are outlawed in other countries due to the harm they cause, but yet, they are here and legal in 2012.
These acts of government and other bodies are unacceptable. As much as I love Cher, I do not want to turn back time.