Well, we have an early contender for douchenozzle of the week: new Victorian Liberal MP Geoff Shaw.
Here’s one of Mr Shaw’s constituents, a young gay man objecting to the Liberals’ new plan to restore discrimination against gay people, unmarried people etc if the discriminator is a religious organisation – even a commercial business owned by a religious organisation where the religion has precisely nothing to do with the conduct of the business:
In his letter, Mr Quilligan told Mr Shaw that churches should not be allowed to ”impose their beliefs on others … in non-religious/mainstream or secular settings”.
”I’m 20 in a week. I’m able to vote. I want to work, live and love freely during the course of my life, and I want to do that without thinking that I can’t,” he wrote.
And here’s the offensive and asinine reply fired back by Mr Quilligan’s representative in parliament:
Mr Shaw replied the same day, quoting Mr Quilligan’s line back at him and adding: ”What if I loved driving 150kms per hour in residential areas?
”What if there was a convicted sex offender who stated that, or a child molester? Can they still do what they want? Under your statement the answer is yes. What if one wanted to get drunk, take drugs, steal and murder? What if one loved this? Can they also do what they want without thinking that they can’t?”
Um, no, Geoff, those things involve infringing other people’s rights. Dangerous driving puts other members of the public at risk. Sexual assaults and child molesting and murder and theft all have victims. Drug-taking and drunkenness are health issues.
In contrast, being gay victimises no-one. Consenting gay partnerships do not take away other people’s rights.
Essentially, the crimes against other people that you list are fundamentally different from a gay person wanting not to be discriminated against by potential employers simply for being gay.
There’s no alternative conclusion to draw from that email: Mr Shaw is an idiot. He’s an idiot who thinks being gay is somehow like committing criminal offences against other people. Worse, he’s an idiot with a vote in state parliament who thinks that he and other bigots have a right to discriminate against employees on grounds that have nothing to do with their employment, and that you’re oppressing him if you take away his “right” to do so. His right to sack them for no good reason trumps their right to be treated fairly at work. If you want to use his fatuous and offensive analogies, he’s like the… what was it? Oh yes, child molester, who argues that his imagined “right” to molest children, to wreck their lives to satisfy his own personal fantasies, is more important than their right to go about their day unmolested.
State Labor already left in massive discrimination exemptions, so that religious organisations and subsidiaries could sack employees on grounds of sexuality, marital status etc, so long if they could find a way that it was connected with their employment role.
But even that is not enough for the new “moderate” state Liberal government, already shaping up to be the worst since Kennett. No, religious organisations need to be able to sack the gardener for being gay. It’s the only way to keep their geraniums pure.
Oh, and you might have missed Mr Shaw’s maiden speech to parliament, which he opened with a parody of the “acknowledge the traditional owners of this land” recognition, acknowledging instead:
…the original owner of the land on which we stand – God, the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible.
Ooh, snap. Take that non-Christian indigenous people unfortunate enough to live in Mr Shaw’s electorate.
Well done, people of Frankston. Pissed off about the shoddy trainline, this is who you’ve put into parliament to represent you. Excellent work.