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The rainbow, the cross and the crescent clash in the Australian Defence Force

By Bernard Gaynor - posted Friday, 31 January 2014

Unfortunately, in the clash between Christian values and homosexual political activism, the ADF hierarchy have made it clear that Christians are going to lose their voice or be sacked. This is despite ADF policies that:

·         encourage members to practise their religious beliefs,

·         recognise uniformed political activity is not supported in our democracy,


·         permit members to join political parties, conduct political activity and even run for office, but as private citizens without Defence support,

·         prohibit promotion of one form of sexuality over another,

·         prohibit sexually-explicit activity in ADF activities, events and social functions,

·         prohibit discrimination and harassment on political, religious and sexual grounds, and

·         give commanders the responsibility to prevent unacceptable behaviour.

For the record, I support these policies and want them enforced. However, it is clear that there are blatant double standards. This reduces morale and results in disciplinary failures. When it involves attacks on long-held Christian beliefs and the ADF’s violation of democratic conventions, it also jeopardises recruitment and community support.


These double-standards became very apparent in January 2013, when I nominated to contest the Federal Election with Katter’s Australian Party. During the national debate on Labor’s proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws, I stated that I would not allow homosexuals to teach my children (the end result of those proposed changes). At this point the ADF stepped in. It did not matter that it was into a political debate regarding education and human rights, nor that it pertained to my civilian work. Furthermore, no credence was given to my Catholic beliefs or the right that parents have to determine the religious education of their children, as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Instead, my commanding officer informed me that the Chief of Army had taken an interest in my views, and labelled them offensive and unacceptable. Essentially, Defence had formed the opinion that homosexuals have every right to teach my children, regardless of my parental consent. Defence released a public briefing stating that my views were ‘inappropriate’. I was told that personal political activity was unprofessional and pressured to resign.

From that point, I was not permitted to take part in any Defence activities. Throughout 2013, I received no workplace guidance, no performance report and was not permitted to parade. The ADF only contacted me to state that I was going to be investigated, charged or discharged due to my political and religious beliefs. I was even denied permission to receive my Long Service Medal in uniform.

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About the Author

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of seven children and formerly served as an officer in the Australian Regular Army, deploying to the Middle East on three occasions. He was recognised with the United Stated Meritorious Service Medal for his service in Iraq. He strongly defends conservative family values at his blog, Bernard is the founder of the Defence Force Conservative Action Network and a member of the Cherish Life Qld Inc. Executive Committee.

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