A desperate play
The Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace in a debate with Dr Kerryn Phelps on same sex marriage on Channel 7’s “Sunrise said that the campaign “would do great credit to Joseph Goebbels”.
Phelps, who is both Jewish and gay, is a human rights activist campaigning for same sex marriages and is married to Jackie Stricker.
Presenter and debate moderator David Koch cut Wallace off as soon as his remark was made…but the damage was done.
Phelps told J-Wire: “It was highly offensive to both Jews and Gays to introduce to this issue a Nazi propogandist. We are involved ina valid struggle and Wallace’s remarks were those of a man with no argument. It was a desparate play.”
Wallace’s full statement was “I would like to just say that I think this whole campaign would do great credit to Joseph Goebbels, because what we’ve had, we’ve had the demonisation”.
A spokesperson for Jewish Gay and Lesbian group Aleph told J-Wire: “It is with extreme disappointment and dismay that a representative of an Australian religious organisation has invoked the name of one of the most feared people of the Holocaust, in comparison with a minority group who are campaigning for equal rights under Australian law.
Tens of thousands of homosexual men were murdered under the hand of Joseph Goebbels, alongside many millions of Jews and people from a variety of national identities and religious beliefs. To be compared to this person, in the pursuit of equality and human rights is unconscionable. It beggars belief that an individual with a respected career in the Australian Defence Force is incapable of comprehending the gravity and insensitivity of the words he uttered on national television.
As a support group representing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from a Jewish background, the words of Jim Wallace and the Australian Christian Lobby hit our members and those in the community who share a similar identity with a double punch, and they continue to reverberate through the families and friends of these people and the communities they belong to.
There is no excuse for hate and intolerance of people on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. Equal rights in marriage will only benefit the wider community and help show the commitment and love people in all relationships, irrespective of gender, express for each other. All Australians will benefit from equal marriage rights.
It is time for the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, and the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, to stop listening to those who peddle hatred and intolerance, and start listening to those people who want equality and love. It is only then that Australia will become a much better country and the political leaders can know that they have made a worthwhile contribution to the welfare of all Australians, now and into the future.”
Yesterday was the National Day of Action for Same Sex Marriage sponsored by Marie Claire magazine.