Was happy this morning hearing the Northern Territory first minister acknowledge the harm caused by the territory’s ‘buggery laws’ which were in place as late as 1983.
‘Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned for life with hard labour.’
In his speech the NT first minister said,
“The brutality of that language. More so, the brutality of the message: You are not worthy. You are not welcome. You are an abomination.”
As an older same-gender-attracted person I can say that is precisely what young gays had to endure but worse still was the resultant choice gay youth were forced to make – that been that to be accepted and loved by family, friends and community a same-gender-attracted young person had no choice other than to self-hate. The results were often disastrous and long-lasting because a person long socialised into self-loathing will make choices that are self-loathing, including trying to be like everyone else and going out with and even marrying a person of the opposite gender. This can lead to dangerous situations where the denied self will seek expression in any way available and possible as I think is the reason the Catholic church has experienced high levels of sex abuse problems. A Polish priest who a few years ago ‘came out’ and introduced his Spanish manfriend said that in his opinion about half of all priests are gay. I think it correct law is upheld but also that greater compassion should be shown to people who themselves are the victims of their wrong belief they could live a life that is against nature. Unfortunately we still live in a cruel self-righteous world and even if this initiative of the NT government is welcome it remains there is still a long way to go and there is a danger we are not becoming a freer more accepting society but rather one where the LGBTQI community has simply been admitted into the ranks of mainstream oppressors and so neutered as a movement that could challenge limitations on freedom of expression for example. As the saying goes – there is no free lunch and gay males may find one day that same-gender marriage was an overpriced hamburger from Greasy Jill’s takeaway.
Below is a link to a video of Harry Hay (founder of the first American gay rights movement) speaking on the subject of gay youth and self-hate.