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Old 28th August 2015, 05:00 PM
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Default Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

While the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) normally doesn't buy into talk of a "Victoria/NSW" rivalry, this week's treatment of the movie Gayby Baby in these two states provides a stark contrast – a "tale of two cities".

Firstly to NSW, where the Education Minister banned the screening of Gayby Baby during school hours, following an alleged "backlash from parents", opinion pieces telling a 12 year old girl that she was "not normal", predictably ignorant comments from religious spokespeople about "promoting a gay lifestyle", etc.

In fact, it was all a tabloid media beat-up. Not one parents' complaint had been recorded, and the Burwood students issued an open letter in response, that was far more measured, inclusive and compassionate than the adults supposedly trying to "protect" them.

Of particular note was this attempt at justification by Minister Adrian Piccoli:
"During school hours we expect them to be doing maths and English and curriculum matters. This movie is not part of the curriculum and that’s why I’ve made that direction."
In response, AFA member Steve Brooks asked the pertinent question:
"…he claims school is about maths, english and curriculum matters… so where exactly does SRI [Special Religious Instruction] fit into this schedule of maths, english and curriculum matters then?"
Excellent question, Steve.

On to Victoria, where Premier Daniel Andrews slammed the NSW Gayby Baby ban as "cruel rubbish" and strongly supported the film being shown to Victorian students to promote inclusion and acceptance. This comes only a week after the Andrews government moved to exclude SRI from class times, only allowing it to be conducted at lunchtimes or before/after school. In their place – classes on histories, cultures, faiths, ethics, domestic violence and respectful relationships.

AFA President Michael Boyd commented:
"The difference either side of the border couldn't be more marked. Victoria is clearly moving to make their state education system more progressive, secular, non-discriminatory and inclusive, while NSW is unfortunately moving in the opposite direction – despite being the home of the Sydney Mardi Gras.

Sadly, the NSW government appears to have overreacted to media hysteria and tired religious complaints about 'promoting a gay lifestyle'. Surely in 2015 religious voices and tabloid newspapers don't still control what NSW school students are exposed to?

Steve Brooks' question also touches on an important issue, and we think it warrants a considered response."
The AFA strongly endorses the Victorian initiatives, and calls on the NSW government to reconsider its stance – and to address Steve's question. Because we're all wondering about that, too.


Michael Boyd

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Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595
Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: president@atheistfoundation.org.au
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  #2  
Old 29th August 2015, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities



A shout-out to stevebrooks, whose incisive post on this subject not only provided the overall impetus for this Media Release, but also the key question for the NSW Education Minister that was quoted as well. It was a good one, and richly deserved to be front-and-centre.

Kudos, and thanks for agreeing to be quoted in the MR, steve.
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Last edited by Logic please; 29th August 2015 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 31st August 2015, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

Quote:
Amy, a year 11 student at Burwood Girls, says discussion among students about the media coverage and the government ban of the film has reflected an overwhelming sense of confusion.

'I think it's a bit weird that they've only targeted this film because we do watch other films [during class time]. Any film has a biased opinion. It's not that big of a deal,' she says.

Amy says the school follows the same protocol for the Gayby Baby screening as it does with its religious seminars, which run for a full period – 80 minutes – once per school term. Attendance is expected unless a student brings a note of exemption from their parents.

'People come and teach us about Christianity. I don't believe in it, but I'm not offended, and I'm not going to complain,' she says. 'But we can't learn anything else because the whole class isn't there.'

Neither Amy nor Milly expressed gripes about religious seminars trying to turn them Christian instead of that time being used for the "maths and English and curriculum matters" that Education Minister Adrian Piccoli is championing ...
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/gay...26-gj8g57.html
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Last edited by RealityRules; 31st August 2015 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 31st August 2015, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

The Telegraph published a very negative article on the same subject, basically agreeing that it is 'promoting a gay lifestyle'. They have become well and truly extreme in their right wing ways.
There was a disturbing cartoon by Warren accompanying the piece, showing a large man in a suit pouring rainbow liquid from a bottle marked 'brainwash' over the head of a young school girl.

I DO NOT buy the Telegraph, everyone at work does though, and I like to write abusive comments on the articles I take offence with . Particularly Mr Bolt's column, or Ms Devine.
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Old 31st August 2015, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

As a New South Welshman I would like to sincerely say "well done Victoria" and I hope that we can join you in the 21st century some time soon!
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Old 31st August 2015, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

Isnt it completely idiotic to say that something 'promotes a gay lifestyle'? What's a gay lifestyle? I'd have assumed that 'lifestyle' denotes a certain choice in the matter so does it imply that its ok to be gay but you must choose not to have sex with the same gender as yourself?

WTF? I'm so glad my kids reside in Victoria
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Old 31st August 2015, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

The dogmatists tried claiming being gay was a choice for ages. Over time its been called out so much they don't say that so overtly. They just use the term lifestyle now, but well spotted, yes it suggests "choice" which is bogus.
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Old 1st September 2015, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

There's more to the story - the Minister who complained seems to have done so out of spite -
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/the-truth-...#ixzz3kTpqQIgN
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Old 2nd September 2015, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

Another article about the Minister's spite -

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...shed-year.html

The film was never compulsory.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Media Release: A Tale of Two Cities

Summary
  • Documentary Gayby Baby was banned from being shown in NSW schools
  • It came after public debate over whether gay parenting film was political
  • Initially was to be shown at Burwood Girl's High School as part of Wear it Purple day - day for tolerance and support of the sexuality of young people
  • Local Presbyterian minister (and member of Generate) Mark Powell was behind a campaign to stop it
  • Mr Powell's scripture lessons at the school were slashed last year
  • Until that time the Generate "mission" in the school had been growing.
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Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

History isn't written by the victors. It's written by the people with the time machines.
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