Bill Rutkin: 50th anniversary Campaign Against Moral Persecution


campaign against moral persecution bill rutkin

QNews welcomes letters from our readers on any subject relevant to our glorious communities. Please address to contact@QNews.com.au with subject line ‘Letters’.  Today, Bill Rutkin writes on the progress of our communities in the half-century since the formation of Campaign Against Moral Persecution and where to from here.

Robert French: Campaign Against Moral Persecution

Today marks 50 years since John Ware (1938-2011) announced in The Australian the formation of Campaign Against Moral…

Posted by Robert French on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Progress since the formation of Campaign Against Moral Persecution

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Robert French reminds us that 10 September is the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Campaign Against Moral Persecution. It is truly staggering to marvel at how far we’ve come.

Many of today’s community activists would clutch their pearls at the risks their forebears took merely raising their heads above the parapets in the firmly heteronormative Australia of earlier years. Those heroes won the first tiny victories in the gradual rollback of centuries of prejudice, persecution and criminality imposed on our communities.

In 2020, it is commonplace to see social media full of advertisements and impassioned pleas for support from various factions, groups, and institutions all claiming the mantle of the LGBTIQ+ community.

But what is this LGBTIQ+ community? Who are we? What do we contribute to society apart from fabulous street parties and since quite recently, amazingly tasteful weddings?

The 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported that 3.2% of a significant population sample identified as LGBTIQ+. A further 2.45% merited classification as unsure or maybe. That suggests that there are 774,080 card-carrying LGBTIQ+ Australians and also another 580,560 with membership pending.

Additionally, the 2014 Australian Bureau of Statistics’ General Social Survey found that 3% of the population identified as LGBTIQ+. Extrapolated to today’s population, the yield is 725,700 LGBTIQ+ people.

Although a minority in Australia, the LGBTIQ communities comprise a VERY significant minority.

Our numbers are probably sufficient to deliver most Federal and State elections. If we holidayed exclusively within our borders, Australia’s current tourism dilemmas would be largely solved. If we all ate out three times a week, Australia’s restaurants would probably all remain open. Well… any which refused service to an interracial same-sex couple would go to the wall but they wouldn’t be missed! I’m looking at YOU, unnamed café in Montville!

LGBTIQ+ community growing

LGBGTIQ+ as a demographic is apparently growing.

American research suggests that in 2020:

13% of Gen X (39-59) identify as LGBTIQ+.

20% of Millennials (23-38) identify as LGBTIQ+.

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31% of GenZ (13—22) identifies as LGBTIQ+.

The Australian Christian Lobby has good reason to be concerned! What our enemies characterise as the Gay and Lesbian recruitment drive that began 50 years ago, succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of the 1970s rainbow community campaigners.

Narrow-minded wowsers and lickspittle politicians

Or maybe Australian society just became better educated? Perhaps more people think for themselves now, instead of conforming to the behaviours dictated by priests, narrow-minded wowsers and lickspittle politicians?

If we achieved much, I suggest, for argument’s sake, relatively few shouldered the burden for us. Every community, even ours, contains battalions of armchair generals. These social media warriors hold the answer to every battle despite a dearth of study or experience. These casual combatants hurl ‘like’, ‘laugh’ and ‘angry’ emojis about the digital battlefield with great abandon before retreating in search of the warm congratulatory embrace of their camp followers. If only they dedicated some of that energy to the long, grinding campaigns that actually win us victories like same-sex marriage.

If you think I’m belittling YOU, you have time to prove me wrong. You can yet make a meaningful contribution

The large and critical task before 2020’s Rainbow Community is to consolidate our interest, our votes and our spending power so that we can protect ourselves, and take our rightful place in the sun. This can not happen in any way which threatens or diminishes others. Real democracy only thrives when there is real equality.

Early in 2020, Rodney Croome, arguably the community’s foremost activist, outlined the case. There have been developments since. Why not look into them and join with your sisters and brothers for this great work!

Bill Rutkin


For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.