What you do with your genitals in your own time is none of my business. (Unless of course there is force involved, but that should be pretty clear to anyone who hangs out here.) Which is why I’m not convinced by this: A day for gay MPs – National Coming Out Day – proposed by gay activist Gary Burns:
POLITICIANS should be given a chance to publicly declare themselves gay under a proposal by homosexual activist Gary Burns for a “National Coming Out Day”.
By all means, if you want to take part in a National Coming Out Day, then go for it. But it’s the expectation behind it that bothers me. Why do we (being heterosexual Australia) expect gay colleagues to tell us? Is it so we know not to stand too close in case we catch gay germs? Is it so we feel we can make an informed decision about going for a swim after work, because being seen in swimmers is like being seen in your undies, and then there may be the chance of a glimpse of pink bits in the change rooms? Because, like, oh my god, you hear about gay work colleagues making passes at their straight colleagues in swimming pool change rooms all the freakin’ time.
In a surprising declaration, Mr Burns said Mr Campbell brought the scandal on himself by living a secret life.
Sorry Gary Burns, but David Campbell’s sexuality is none of our business. He didn’t campaign on family values (which, of course, implies that gay people can’t have family values, which isn’t true), so his “secret life” is a matter for Campbell and his family.
In another shock Mr Burns – who has sued a string of media outlets for alleged homophobia – also rubbished comments by former High Court justice Michael Kirby that Channel 7 were “serial homophobes” for outing Mr Campbell as a user of sex clubs.
That Kirby link is to the Sydney Morning Herald, where they felt it necessary to mention that he is also gay. Because only gay people are talking about Seven’s disgusting piece of gutter journalism. And as for Channel 7, they hung their whole story off Campbell’s sexuality, so clearly they think being gay is scandalous and career-ending.
In The Australian, Mark Day writes:
But I think the times are changing and with them the rules and conventions of publicly dealing with personal issues. The increasingly open nature of public debate – the product of easily accessible and vigorous online commentary – is eroding the walls around ancient no-go zones.
Which means “because other people are public with their private lives, then we can disregard every public figure’s right to privacy”.
I don’t know if the “so what?” response was applied to the Campbell case before publication, but clearly he didn’t apply it to himself. He chose to resign before the Seven story hit the airwaves, apologising to his wife, family, colleagues and the community “for letting them down”. He clearly considered he had no choice – a judgment at odds with the next day’s online polls, which strongly indicated a public view that the report should not have been broadcast, and that Campbell had no reason to resign.
If he had decided to tough it out and argue – quite legitimately – that the use of his government car was perfectly legal and acceptable and that his sexual choices were his own business which in no way affected his job as transport minister, the public debate on this story would have centred on Seven’s actions, rather than Campbell’s.
Nice buck passing there. And the public debate HAS been about Seven. Across all media outlets, public comment has been in support of Campbell and disgust at Seven. Which suggests that Mark Day, who is a media commentator at the Oz, is completely out of touch.