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Wanted - new financial backers

By Graham Young - posted Monday, 7 February 2011


If gay readers are offended by it they should go after the writers of the original material as well as Muehlenberg - people like prominent conservative gay Andrew Sullivan, and his publisher, The Atlantic. Of course they’re not, because the object of the exercise is to use mock outrage to try to close On Line Opinion down.

And some gay readers claim not to have been offended by the article, but by some of the comments to the article. Gregory Storer, one of the activists who have been lobbying against us claims to have been offended by this comment because it refers to homosexuality as a “perversion”:

It's interesting that so many people are offended by the truth. The fact is that homosexual activity is anything but healthy and natural. Certain lgbt's want their perversion to be called "normal" and "healthy" and they've decided the best way to do this is have their "marriages" formally recognised. But even if the law is changed, these "marriages" are anything but healthy and natural. It is, in fact, impossible for these people to be married, despite what any state or federal law may say.

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These aren’t my views, but I don’t believe they are the sort of views that ought to be censored either. If Messrs Storer et al have a problem with them, then answering them on the thread is the correct course, not trying to suppress them. They’ll find many people who will agree with this poster as well as 1,310,000 results for a Google search on “homosexuality perversion”. They won’t change their minds by telling them they have no right to this opinion.

Which leads us to the question of whether it’s right for someone who disagrees with my publishing decisions to go to people who supply us with advertising and pressure them to withdraw that advertising?

Quite clearly it is not. It is a form of blackmail. It is an attempt to get me to break my fiduciary duty to my employer, as well as break the implicit covenant with you, our audience, to act impartially and fairly to all and to publish across the board without pushing a particular point of view. What activists like Storer are saying is that if I don’t act corruptly and prefer them against the interests of our stakeholders they will cause me financial harm and destroy something which you our audience also value.

As Christopher Pearson points out in his article, based initially on a post by Helen Dale at Skeptic Lawyer, it is also a form of secondary boycott, something which is also illegal. For me the secondary boycott issue is very much secondary to the moral and ethical aspects of this activity.

On top of this they financially damage a number of sites which have nothing to do with my editorial decisions, some of whom have, and probably will, editorialise quite strongly in favour of gay marriage.

From a political point of view this activity is quite stupid anyway. Bill Muehlenberg’s article has received many more reads than it might otherwise because of this activity. Indeed I have been contacted by one organisation that lobbies for gay marriage seeking to assure me that they had nothing to do with the activist activity.

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This sort of brown-shirt behaviour increases resistance to the aggressor’s agenda - it doesn’t help it.

Which leads us to the behaviour of the corporates.

I hope that the reasons the ANZ gave to Christopher Pearson were PR fluff rather than the truth.

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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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