Herald Sun, Andrew Bolt
FIRST, the media lied that Melbourne was “plastered” with homophobic posters by “no” campaigners.
Channel 10 even faked a picture of one.
Now, the media is spreading more untruths, false claims that three women in a “no” campaign advertisement are liars.
Last week, the Coalition for Marriage aired a TV commercial arguing for a no vote on same-sex marriage. It featured three women: Heidi McIvor, a Sale pastor; Cella White, a Melbourne mother; and Dr Pansy Lai, a Sydney GP and founder of the Australian Chinese for Families Association.
The women made two claims, in particular, that set off a furore.
First, White, warning how far the same-sex marriage push would go, talked of her son’s experience at Frankston High: “The school told my son that he could wear a dress to school next year if he wanted.”
Then Lai added: “Kids in year 7 are being asked to role-play being in a same-sex relationship.”
Since then, the women’s claims have been denounced as “rubbish” by Labor leader Bill Shorten, “patently ridiculous” by Education Minister Simon Birmingham, and “dishonest” by the Marriage Equality campaign.
Frankston High School’s principal said he’d asked his teachers if they had told White’s son he could wear a dress, and claimed: “It never happened.”
The women were widely abused in the media and ridiculed in a spoof ad on Channel 10’s The Project. Channel 9 and Sky News have been bombarded by complaints from viewers insisting the women lied.
Activists have, meanwhile, created an online petition — which has hundreds of signatures already — asking the Australian Medical Association to deregister Lai, who has also received threats that she would be confronted at her surgery.
One Facebook user urged gay-marriage supporters to burn down McIvor’s church; others have posted her phone number.
The smallest association with that ad has made people a target.
One man rang up the radio show I do with Steve Price and said he was scared: he’d publicly donated $120 to the Australian Christian Lobby, which had helped make the ad, and activists had tracked him down and threatened to ruin his business.
So the three women must have told some nasty lies, right, to cause such rage? Yet not one news story has noted what the women said was essentially true.
Take White’s claim that her son was told he could soon wear a dress to school.
Another mother, too scared to be identified, has since told Sky News this was said to children at assembly a couple of years ago. A father of another pupil has told The Australian he supports White’s claim.
But more damning is this: Frankston High is part of the controversial Safe Schools program, which indeed has produced material telling boys they should be able to wear dresses.
You can even download a poster it’s helped to produce for schools that shows a boy in a girl’s uniform, with the slogan “everyone should be able to wear the uniform that makes them comfortable”.
You may agree with that poster or not. That’s not the issue. The real point is that some students really are taught they can wear the uniform of the opposite sex. In fact, that’s already policy at the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.
It’s the same with the ad’s other claim: that year 7 children are asked to role-play being in a gay relationship. False, cried the media.
Fairfax columnist Clementine Ford scoffed: “I sincerely doubt there is a single school in Australia that’s asking year 7s to role-play being in any kind of relationship at all, let alone a same-sex one.”
Really? Last week, I went to the Victorian Education Department’s website and downloaded its All Of Us teaching guide for year 7 and 8 students.
It contained this role-playing exercise: “Invite students to imagine themselves in the role of a young person who is aged 16 years or older and is going out with someone they are really into … Tell students on the left-hand side of the room that their character is going out with someone of the same sex.”
Again, the women in the ad were right. So why were many in the media so quick to brand them “dishonest”?
It seems the commitment of many journalists to same-sex marriage is so fierce they cannot see or report evidence that doesn’t suit their agenda. This, sadly, means opponents who still dare to speak up will get smashed. Truth cannot save them.
Ask Heidi McIvor, Cella White and Pansy Lai.