Its patrons include
Kim Beazley’s father and Rupert Murdoch’s mother, and it’s called the
Australian Family Association. But according to a Crikey informant the
AFA is one of Australia’s fiercest anti-gay lobby groups.

A quick check of the AFA website
confirms that both Kim Beazley Senior and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch are
listed as patrons, and that the association’s literature compares
homosexuals to animals and equates homosexuality with alcoholism and
violent tendencies.

A sweep of the Association’s online journal, Australian Family, brings up an address given by American researcher Dr Richard Wilkins
claiming that “monkeys in zoos and overpopulated rats exhibit
homosexual behaviour.” But, he argues, “other animals eat their young
and kill their mates. We still have laws against homicide.”

An article by Roslyn and David Philips
claims that “studies repeatedly show that violence is
disproportionately associated with the homosexual lifestyle,” before
using the murder of designer Gianni Versace as evidence that
“homosexuals and bisexuals are disproportionately involved in murder.”
And according to the Philips, homosexuals are also more likely than
heterosexuals to engage in sado-masochism and sexual abuse, as well as
being more “accident prone.”

Then there’s contributor Mary Eberstadt,
who asks why “virtually every study” of gay mental health shows higher
rates of “depression, alcoholism, sexual addiction, sexually
transmitted diseases, and the rest.” And the National Secretary of the
AFA, Bill Muehlenberg writes that the development of homosexuality is no different from “the development of alcoholism.”

So
are the Beazley and Murdoch families are aware of the association’s
blatantly homophobic stance – and what does that say about their
patronage of such an organisation?

Peter Fray

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