The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) It’s Okay To Say No video sparks a bit of debate. Here’s how to counter it.

The ACL’s video uses children to obscure their homophobia, but some people fall for it. The LGBTQI community are up there when it comes to groups who have debated their humanity so many times that we have an arsenal full of logical dialogue at our disposal to defend ourselves.

But sometimes, when issues do hit us close to home, it can be hard to stop emotions from inducing word vomit when confronted with a debate. Either that or you’re like me and are often rendered speechless from the audacity of bigots. In any case, it’s helpful. To have a few homophobia-devastating points in your back pocket to pull out when need be, so here they are.


Why are you so ashamed of femininity?

The ACL’s video opens with a woman almost tearfully expressing her concern that, given marriage equality, her son would be allowed to wear a dress to school if he felt like it.

What is it about male femininity that’s so terrifying to cishets? Why is casual dress considered cross-dressing when a man wears traditional (in Western society) women’s clothes, but not worth an eyebrow raise when a girl wears typically male garments. These days, if we want to think so archaically, fashion manufacturers are creating male clothes for women specifically. Indeed, if this oh-so-terrifying gender expression revolution came into being, male fashion brands would create feminine clothing for men. And I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that a lovely sundress is far more appropriate than those tiny 80’s jogging shorts.


Marriage equality is legal in 23  developed nations, including our bastardly neighbours.

The token international feature on the ACL’s video says that programs like Safe Schools become widespread and compulsory when marriage equality laws are passed overseas (what?). Developed countries worldwide have already legalised marriage equality, and we indeed aren’t facing a Ru Paul dictatorship. Even our friends across the bay in New Zealand have been performing genderless marriages for four years. Their biggest concerns are still the threat of a Planet of the Apes style sheep takeover and how to slip Barnaby into their parliament.

The program for sex and gender equality in schools in the UK was well underway before the marriage law was changed and is merely a compulsory call for schools to respect LGBTI people. Is teaching our kids to respect one another such an awful thing? And Canada, the country known for moose, maple, and kindness, has had marriage equality since 2005. Their Safe Schools equivalent is neither widespread nor compulsory, maybe because their kids are taught not to be little shits before hitting the school.

Disgust in kids role-playing a gay couple means you view the LGBTI community as sexual foremost.

Firstly, dear old “kids in year seven are being asked to role-play being in the same-sex relationship” lady has lied about that very claim, which you can read all about here.

But even if kids were pretending to be gay, why is that an issue? We can safely assume this role play involves holding hands at most, which is okay for kids to do until the label of fake romantic love is placed on it. Kids these days as young as thirteen are having sex, but according to the ACL, holding hands with a classmate of the same gender must be condemned. On top of that, we have kids playing straight relationships in primary school plays, far below the age of a year seven kid. Hell, we have toddlers pretending to be pregnant Mary in nativity scenes. Indeed that is age-inappropriate.

It’s a horrible aspect of homophobia that LGBTI couples carry heavy connotations of sex over love. We have the same love as straight couples (potentially more respectful, free of the straight male gaze and all, but we don’t want to upset them), so why are we viewed differently?

I was in fourth grade when I had to attend a sex-ed session. We learned all about safe sex and contraception well before I considered being sexual myself.  Don’t LGBTI kids deserve the right to know about safety the same way that straight kids are?

And if you weren’t a fan of the woman who raised the role-playing concern already, she told The Herald Sun, “What is the benefit to my son? He’s got a learning disability; he’s struggling with his time’s tables, he doesn’t need to deal with this.” Because disabled people can’t be queer.


Parents who are worried about losing the right to choose are too late

Newsflash: you don’t get to determine if your kid is gay. Queer kids don’t get to decide if their ignorant, snotty-nosed peers bully them. Parents of queer kids don’t get to choose what awful things are said to their children.

 In the same way, we leave it to schools to teach our kids their times tables; equality needs to go to them to teach about gender identity. Yes, we help our kids at home with their time’sequality tables. Surely the same applies.

If cishets spent a millisecond listening to queer people, one of the first things they’d be likely to hear is regret over all the childhood years lost from being ignorantly in the closet. Involuntarily being in the closet is damaging. Bullying is damaging. Surely we want to end that cycle.

Allow Kerryn Phelps to put your mind at ease.

The Dame Maggie Smith of Australian lesbians has come out with a Yes video brimming with poise and sensibility.

So go forth and quash the ACL’s horrible excuse for a video that has absolutely nothing to do with marriage equality at all. And if all else fails, raise one eyebrow sceptically, and say, “that sounds like casual homophobia to me,” watch them scramble to defend themselves, rinse, and repeat.