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Wanted - new financial backers

By Graham Young - posted Monday, 7 February 2011

I wrote an initial blog piece about the incident, but an article by Christopher Pearson in the Weekend Australian - “Oversensitivity can only compromise debate”- has turbo-charged it and caused me to write this piece.

I’m going to make some general comments about the rights and wrongs of the situation later in the article, but the most pressing issue is obviously financial and if you value this site and what it does I need your help.

There are a number of ways of raising the $100,000 we need.

  • Voluntary subscription from users is one way, and I am proposing that we peg that at $50.

  • We also need more “members” of the site. We offer membership to organisations in return for providing them with their own page, complimentary advertising opportunities, and an open door to their submissions. The cost of this ranges from $1,000 plus GST to $10,000 plus GST, depending on the level of service provided.

  • And of course, there are lots of advertising spots available on the site. Why would someone advertise with us? Well they might just support free speech and the civilizing benefits that it brings and be happy to associate themselves with them, and earn a tax deduction at the same time. Or they may want to reach you as an audience. The advertisers that we had were not doing it from charity - On Line Opinion actually gave them a better return than most other sites.

So if you are associated with an organisation that could benefit from membership or want to advertise to our audience, or if you can influence someone who does, please email me. And if you feel the urge to make a voluntary subscription you can do that now by clicking here.

If you are interested in the rights and wrongs of the case, please read on.

My decision to publish Muehlenberg has been criticized as being deliberately inflammatory and “link bait”. It was nothing of the sort.

We published a series of articles on gay marriage after we were approached by Rodney Croome calling for a conscience vote on gay marriage, and in the context of the Prime Minister urging all parliamentarians to go out and consult with their electorates on the issue.

It is important to us that we cover the ambit of arguments as much as possible, so of course we approached writers from all sides, and received submissions from many more.


Muehlenberg’s article is a literature review of what a number of gay activists have said and extends their views towards the gay community as a whole. Similarly structured articles are written about almost every subject you could imagine. The conclusions that he draws seem to be a fair representation of the quotes he pulls together, whether those quotes give an accurate picture of gay relations or not.

It’s a researched article couched in fairly neutral language. Not only that, but Muehlenberg is someone who has earned a place in the debate, whether you agree with him or not and runs a small lobbying organisation.

And while Muehlenberg’s may not be a majority opinion he still represents a sizable minority, as attested to by the 116 people who were prepared to “like” the article on Facebook.

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Make a donation to On Line Opinion now. Click here to use your credit card, or make a direct transfer to BSB 014 278 Acc No 1101 03131 Account Name: The National Forum; Bank: ANZ; Branch: Woolloongabba.

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About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

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