The AIDS crisis brought out the best in the LGBTIQA+ communities and their supporters but the worst in some others. In WA, a mother took her 15-year-old out of school rather than have him hear about safe sex.
The Canberra Times reported in July 1990 that Beverley Carson spat the dummy after learning an HIV-positive speaker had addressed her son’s Year 11 class.
Luke Coomey and Safe Sex Education
HIV Hero Luke Coomey gave hundreds of talks in WA schools and other venues to educate and inform the public about HIV. Thanks to the efforts of Luke and other volunteers, countless young people received life-saving information about safe sex.
WA’s Labor Education Minister Kay Hallahan paid tribute to Luke following his death in September 1992.
“As the founder of People Living with Aids, he worked tirelessly to raise community awareness and understanding of the disease.
“Mr Coomey embarked on a lecture tour of Perth high schools to relate his experience of AIDS to students.
“He touched the hearts of the hundreds of students who benefited from his lectures.”
“An erroneous and heinous doctrine”
But down in Albany, 400km south of Perth, Beverley Carson disagreed.
She pulled her son out of school the moment she heard about the safe sex talk.
“When I realised the school had permitted a homosexual to preach what I consider an erroneous and heinous doctrine known as safe sex, I got angry.
“It would be far more appropriate for schools to have someone teach the gospel of God and no sex outside of marriage.” 😖
However, the ‘committed Christian’ did not find much support among her fellow residents.
The Canberra Times reported her stand caused a major debate in the rural town. Judging by the letters to the local newspaper, most people supported the school hosting Luke’s safe sex message.
More history of the AIDS Crisis:
Bill Rutkin and Sister Angela Mary: the unlikely allies who spearheaded Queensland’s response to the early AIDS crisis.
Luke Coomey, R.I.P. ❤️
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