“Same as a Paedophile”

Here’s a fascinating piece from “The Australian” newspaper

A PROMINENT Sydney gay activist plans to sue former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett over comments he made about the sacking of a bisexual trainer from a country football club.

Gary Burns, who successfully sued Sydney radio station 2UE over comments made by former 2UE announcer John Laws about homosexual men, says he will take Mr Kennett to the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

Mr Kennett, chairman of the national anti-depression body beyondblue and AFL football club Hawthorn, said in July this year the Bonnie Doon Football Club was right to dismiss bisexual trainer Ken Campagnolo because of his sexuality.

At the time, Mr Campagnolo was fighting his dismissal.

“The club felt that once this had been pointed out and you had this gentleman there who was obviously close to young men – massaging young men – it ran an unnecessary risk, and that’s why it decided it was best that he not perform those duties again. So the club was trying to do the right thing,” Mr Kennett said at the time.

“When you are in charge of a group of young boys, as this club was, as I understand it, it’s got to make sure.

“It’s the same if you have a pedophile there as a masseur, right?”

Do we know what the answer to this question is? That’s right – “no”.

Look at it from another perspective. Many of the best coaches of young female gymnasts are men, all the way up to olympic level. Would Mr Kennett ever suggest that these men should all be sacked because it is presumed that they would want to have sex with the girls they coached? Of course not, so why does he feel he can sack a man on the basis that he believes that since he is sexually attracted to men he would want to have sex with the boys in his care?

If there was evidence that this particular man had a history of paedopholic and ebophilic behaviour, then sacking him is justified. And, just to be controversial, if there was any evidence that men who are sexually attracted to men are more likely than not (read that very carefully before you come back to me on this) to abuse children then sacking him might be justified. But the simple fact of the matter is that neither of these things are true, so the sacking is purely down to homophobia. Campagnolo was sacked simply because Kennett feared that he would abuse children, but that fear had absolutely no basis in fact.

Such genuine homophobia (as opposed to what is sometimes called homophobia but is actually genuine conscientious theological objection) is something all christians should oppose.

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4 Comments on ““Same as a Paedophile”

  1. Ugh, that’s just reprehensible.  And it’s also a little scary.  I have an acquaintance who is an art teacher at an elementary school.  He is also gay and living with his partner.  I asked if he was out to any of the faculty members at the school, and he said no.  He wasn’t going to risk even the most remote possibility of losing his job, so when all the other teachers talk about their home lives, he’s pretty much silent.

    As a future schoolteacher myself, even though I won’t be actively homosexual, the very thought that someone might become paranoid about my mere attractions to men is a scary thought.  Conservatives in America somehow have it in their heads that gays and lesbians aren’t persecuted anymore (thanks to “The Gay Agenda” they always harp about).  It’s not true, at least not in the American South.

    And you’re right.  Christians need to be the first to stand up against such idiocy.  No doubt there are lots of conservatives in America (even some prominent writers) who would side with Mr. Kennett here.  That’s a shame.  In fact, many of them oppose adding “sexual orientation” to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act simply so these kinds of situations can continue.

  2. If only Christians would stand up against this sort of thing, while still making it clear that we don’t approve of same-sex sex, people might finally recognise that we have a principled position that is not just “pure homophobia”!

  3. You know, I don’t even get mad about this anymore. Although somebody has to keep saying it. I love children a whole lot, but I know exactly what would happen if people knew I also had male sexual attractions.

    I guess they wonder though if it would be in appropriate to put a man in charge of young girls on a sleepover–say–why not have the same concerns with a gay man and young boys. I don’t with me, but is that a valid question to ask?

    (This of course is not a sleepover situation.)

  4. Also, Jay, what about if a sexually active gay person were to hold a position in a Christian ministry that was at odds with his behavior; he certainly could not be fired under such legislation. Churches would be falling under the weight of litigation, and you know the ACLU would be waitng for this.

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