Nicola Roxon has appointed a number of men’s health ambassadors to encourage men to speak about their health. Among them is the Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser AO, Governor of Victoria and founder and patron of Andrology Australia, Tim Mathieson, “businessman and men’s health advocate” but actually Julia Gillard’s personal hairstylist, Bill Noonan of the TWU, and Professor John Macdonald of the University of Western Sydney.

Fine gentleman all, although quite what Tim Mathieson has done to warrant the honour is a good question. That may be asked of Roxon this afternoon.

But a Crikey reader has pointed out, there are a couple of other more interesting ambassadors. Warwick Marsh, President of the Fatherhood Foundation, and Barry Williams, President of the Lone Fathers Association.

Marsh and Williams seem to have rather peculiar views on some male health issues. Worse than peculiar, actually. Downright evil is a term that springs to mind. Because they appear to have a problem with gay men. Marsh’s group has a website where it has brought together people “who believe in the natural biological family. The best way to protect children is for children to be brought up by a loving mother and father who are married.” On the site, you’ll find a quite loathsome document called “21 Reasons Why Gender Matters”.

This 23-page screed is mostly notable merely for promulgating tediously stereotypical views of people and their relationships. For example, did you know that about male and female complementarity that “in the marital embrace, it is experienced in the way that the men, being physically oriented to giving himself, at the same time receives the woman, while the woman, being physically oriented to receiving the man, at the same time gives herself to him.”

I never heard it called that before.

But the document also contains a long list of disgusting statements about homos-xuality, suggesting it is unnatural, a “preventable and treatable” illness, representative of immaturity, and associated with psychiatric disorders and drug addiction. “Gender disorientation pathology”, as the document calls homos-xuality, “will lead to increased levels of drug abuse and partner violence.” In particular, the document strongly associates homos-xuality with sexual abuse. “Gender disorientation pathology encourages the s-xual and psychological exploitation of children,” it says. On and on it goes, page after page, “supported” by nonsensical and misinterpreted studies, ranting against gays and lesbians.

Warwick Marsh and Barry Williams are listed as “authors and contributors” to this vile, bigoted garbage. These men should have nothing to do with any cause associated with men’s health, when they’re linked to a document that promotes the view that gay men are predisposed toward pa-dophilia, violence, drug use and psychological illness. The sort of view that encourages violence toward gays and lesbians.

Nicola Roxon should immediately demand Marsh and Williams dissociate themselves in every way from this stuff, or find some new ambassadors.

Peter Fray

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