I’ve just finished in the compulsory Queensland Human Rights Commission conciliation with two LGBTIQA+ drag queens, relating to a post on my blog last January. The complaint did not resolve and I now have an anxious wait to see if I am to be taken to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for the matter to be heard before a judge. The complainants have 28 days in which to lodge this action or it lapses. Thanks to everyone who has been praying, I will keep you updated as further news comes to hand. Below is the opening statement I made at the QHRC this morning.
I believe in our common humanity and that all people from the moment of conception to natural death deserve respect and dignity.
My faith in Jesus Christ, the greatest teacher of all time, teaches me this. My beliefs stem from the Christian teaching that all of us are created in the image and likeness of God.
In fact, Jesus of Nazareth is the only teacher in history who asserts the equality and humanity of all, no matter how vulnerable or how strong we might be at any given time.
I believe all people are equal but not all ideas are equal. Truth exists and error exists.
I do not agree with all peoples’ views of what constitutes the good life or what should be preferred in public policy.
In fact, people of good will (and sometimes not so good will) have always differed on such matters. That’s why we invented parliaments, that’s why we developed ways of debating each other that allow us to distil issues and come to settlements.
Freedom to disagree and argue, even robustly, is the hallmark of a free and open society.
However, I am here today because those who disagree with me are choosing not to debate me. They simply pulled a trigger available to them through laws widely regarded as flawed.
My alleged crime was to be moved by the courageous stand of Wilson Gavin and the young people who peacefully and courageously protested drag queen story time at a Brisbane City Council Library in January of this year.
When video of them calmly but firmly protesting appeared on social media, I recognised at least one of the young people with Wilson as a friend.
“Drag Queens are not for kids” they chanted. There was no yelling or screaming, as some later claimed. One of the protestors advised me last week that they did not even enter the area where children were.
When I first saw the footage, I wished I had known about the protest because I would have joined them.
Sadly, the social media backlash against Wilson and his friends was vitriolic. All manner of gay and left-wing activists, including some high-profile figures, attacked him in the most vicious manner.
Tragically for reasons known only to Wilson himself, he took himself to the Chelmer railway station in Brisbane’s inner west the next day and threw himself under an on-coming train.
I joined a number of prominent LNP parliamentarians who attended Wilson’s funeral at Clifton on the Darling Downs the next week. It was unspeakably sad.
As a long-time campaigner against gender queer ideology, including the dangerous and harmful idea that gender is fluid, I did some research on the two drag queens that were reading to children that day.
Given that the events at the Brisbane City Council Library were matters of public interest, I decided to write about what I had unearthed from publicly available information about the drag queens because I believe most mainstream parents would be deeply concerned.
Also, as a leader of the campaign to preserve the definition of marriage during the 2017 same-sex marriage plebiscite, I frequently warned that de-gendering marriage would lead to further efforts by LGBTIQA+ political activists to expose children to radical LGBTIQA+ sexual concepts and gender fluid theory.
I was scoffed at by the leaders of the so-called marriage equality campaign whenever I asserted this.
But even I was shocked how quickly after the legalisation of same-sex marriage things like drag queen story time, which seeks to normalise queer theory with children and gender fluid teaching in schools, have become embedded in schools and libraries.
Teaching children that their gender is fluid, against well-established science that it is not, is now compulsory in Queensland State schools and in many other states.
It’s no wonder there is a sudden epidemic of children presenting at gender clinics around the nation suffering from confusion about whether or not they were born in the wrong body.
There is also a growing de-transition movement by people who regret doing irreversible things to their bodies as children.
With all this in mind and with the material publicly available on the two drag queens’ social media pages, I wrote a blog pointing out the error of exposing children to such role models.
No one sought to debate me. My complainants didn’t try and refute me by engaging in intellectual debate.
They went straight to flawed legislation which meant they did not have to do the hard work of thinking through my arguments responding. Why would they when they can pull a legal trigger and seek to cancel me?
Wilson Gavin’s opponents didn’t debate him either. They sought to cancel him and in doing so they drove him to his death.
In the same way no one is debating me or critiquing my arguments. I am being hounded through an unjust legal process with the aim of cancelling me too.
Good public policy cannot be achieved through bad debate or when one side of a debate is silenced. That’s how totalitarian regimes work.
The idea that respectful public comment can be cancelled because it does not constitute the approved view of certain elites or identity groups is antithetical to Australia’s “fair go” ethos.
It is also anathema to the precious human right of free speech.
I sought to use my voice, my freedom of speech, to contribute thoughts I believe to be important to the public debate about whether or not sexual libertarianism and gender fluid ideology are harmful or not to children.
Mature people disagree but defend the right of each other to propound ideas which they each find offensive.
Offence taken because of a difference of opinion over public policy and what is appropriate or not for children should never be the basis for a legal action where the only purpose is to muzzle a dissenting point of view.
Debate and argument cannot occur without there being offence. Offence is the price we all pay for living in a free society.
I will make no apology for arguing that drag queens are not for kids. I will make no apology for arguing that advocates of gender queer theory and the so-called adult entertainment industry are dangerous role models for children.
My post was a reasonable articulation of the concerns shared by a great many mainstream Australians. People have the right to consider my arguments and debate them.
They can’t do that if they are cancelled.
I consider myself somewhat battle hardened. My office was bombed by a LGBTIQA+ political activist in 2016 causing shock and trauma to me and my staff (as well as $100,000 of damage to our building). After this another same-sex marriage activist by the name of Michael Barnet put my home address on the internet as a way of intimidating me and my family.
I have been falsely and routinely called a bigot and a hater, prominent LGBTIQA+ political activists like Benjamin Law helped get #eatshitlyle trending globally on Twitter and the ABC’s Q&A program has unsuccessfully sought to discredit me.
I have never sought to take anyone to a human rights commission or a tribunal.
But still, receiving legal papers from the Queensland Human Rights Commission compelling me to be here today sent a chill down my and my wife’s spines.
Two of my children who live overseas Facetimed me immediately concerned about where this process might lead.
We realise as a family we are at the mercy of laws that no longer respect the western tradition of free debate and argument but which now fall in favour of those who seek not to debate but to demonise.
It would be better if those who seek to use the apparatus of flawed laws to silence me actually engaged my arguments.
They should make the case publicly as to why inducting children into queer theory and adult concepts through queer and porn trade role models is beneficial to children.
In fact, given publicly available evidence, they should argue why putting role models like this before children is not harmful to them.
But none of that happened. A legal trigger was pulled to end the argument.
If I am wrong, tell me why. In public. Don’t seek to cancel me.
Sadly, ideas have been met with the law. That is cancel culture’s ultimate weapon.
To disagree is not to discriminate or vilify.
There is a public debate in Australia about the harms gender fluid ideology is causing children.
There is a public debate about pornography rightly spurred on by the #meto movement and the permission structure pornography gives to harmful sexual expressionism.
When entities like the Brisbane City Council make public libraries available for the proponents of gender fluid ideology and the porn trade to influence children, it is only appropriate that this be met with robust public debate and even protest, as brave Wilson and his compatriots did.
I don’t understand the complaint against me today. Vilification requires the incitement of hatred, serious contempt and ridicule. I have ridiculed no one. I respect every person, even those who I think have made terrible life choices. I also consider that everything I have said is the truth. Law shouldn’t be used to crush truth. My comments are not hate-filled, not contemptuous and do not ridicule – quite simply there is no vilification. My prose is civil, my message and tone are serious and deal with serious issues. Even by the standards of this flawed law, today’s claim doesn’t meet the legal test. There is no vilification. I respectfully ask that it be withdrawn.
I believe I should be compensated for the time and angst this compulsory and flawed process has caused me and my family.
I’d be happy to sit down over coffee and discuss my arguments with you. Better still, we should debate them in public and you should feel free to contest my ideas.
In the meantime your complaint should be withdrawn and we should interact as free and equal citizens instead of with this flawed legal power imbalance.