At Premier Health Partners, we have a substantial proportion of our clientele who identify as members of the LGBTQI community. Not all of our clients choose to classify their gender identity or gender preference, and that is entirely reasonable as their prerogative; I can understand why these people may be guarded about freely discussing matters such as this.
In the 21st century, we still have to endure prejudice and bigotry wrapped up as ‘freedom of religion.’
As a person of no faith, were I to make statements denigrating a particular fraction of our population on the basis of their gender preference or identity, I would be rightly held to account for moral bankruptcy and bronze-age ethics. How can it be that, if I were to state that I was a person of faith, this would suddenly make this okay? ‘Of course it’s not okay’ I hear you say, broadminded, inclusive, and intelligent 21st century Australian person that you are.
And how strange to see our old ‘friends’, the Australian Christian Lobby, getting on board and pushing the same agenda with a $100,000 donation to the cause. Hoping to spare Israel (Folau) the inconvenience of dipping into his $7 million dollar portfolio to defend his archaic bigotry, are we? Especially now that GoFundMe has curtailed his fleecing of the credulous of a tidy sum. Hmmm…
I will be the first to say that I uphold the rights of any individual to hold whatever belief they choose, practice it in their own home, and share it with like-minded friends. This does not extend to trying to share it with me, don’t preach it to my children in their schools, and don’t try to insert it into the arena of government, which should always be secular.
I applaud the GoFundMe administrators for their principled stand, and support the multiple petitioners now seeking to make a stand for free thought and reason.
To our LGBTQI clients, who must be wondering where the next attack will come from, after enduring persecution all their lives, and being aware of the persecution of their predecessors at the hands of the religious right over centuries, I would like to raise my voice and stand with you…and I invite all other free thinkers to do the same. Of all the diverse groups who make up our population who may deserve an apology for that which they have endured, none are more deserving!
Dr Alan Underwood
Dedicated to the memory of the late, great Christopher Hitchens, whose legacy lives on in his many books and publications, and his inspirational debates, lectures, and presentations, freely available on Youtube. I commend this body of work to you.