Sep 1, 2014

Little common ground and less understanding at pro-life conference

Freelance writer Connor Tomas O'Brien attended the World Congress of Families. He discovered angry protesters and outraged attendees -- with neither side willing to give an inch.

In the lead-up to the World Congress of Families’ Melbourne “regional” event, it was unclear whether convener Babette Francis was a Machiavellian manipulator or simply a woman who’d found herself in way over her head. From the outside, it certainly looked as though the conference were falling apart: after the original venue pulled out, the conference was relocated to a church in Glen Iris, then to Brunswick East, and then it appeared as though no church would be willing to host the thing at all. In the week before the event was due to take place, it was rumored that no insurance or security had been organised. Then, the day before the conference, both Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews and Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark decided to drop off the speakers’ roster.


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5 thoughts on “Little common ground and less understanding at pro-life conference

  1. SusieQ

    I’ve always been suspicious of people from Carlton too…..

  2. mikeb

    “Bigots are really shit,”

    Apart from the demonstrators having a poor grasp of written English they also fail to recognise irony.

  3. CML

    These people need a reality check. If they think outlawing abortion is such a good idea, then perhaps they need to see what happens to women who have a backyard job.
    I remember being in Sydney as a young midwife back in the early 1960’s, when many of these women were unceremoniously dumped on the pavement outside emergency, from cars which sped off in the night. Most of them had ‘gone wrong’ sometime before, and were barely alive at this stage. A few were saved, but most succumbed to their raging septacaemia and died quickly.
    What a total waste of a young life. It left a profound impression on me, and to this day, I continue to fight these pro-life lunatics. Abortion has been going on for centuries, and is unlikely to be stopped anytime soon. Best it be done under clinical and safe conditions.

  4. Sally Goldner

    (from me as an individual)

    ” “If they really wanted to challenge our ideas, why wouldn’t they come here, wait until question time, and then pose a question in a logical fashion?” asked Teresa Martin, state president of Cherish Life Queensland. ”

    Here are a few experiences I’ve had as a trans person and advocate or heard about first hand:

    Catholic conversion therapy proponent visits Melbourne. Asks for questions to be written down – but if question wasn’t acceptable after he read it to himself throws piece of paper away. (Catholic women sitting next to me turns to me and says “I’m ashamed to be Catholic).

    2010-ish forum on (then proposed) additions to federal anti-discrimination law. Fundamentalist Christian rants angrily about how “you homosexuals are a tiny percentage of the population, why should we listen to you?”

    Lesbian friend involved in 2008 changes to Victorian ART laws bumps into fundamentalist Christian in corridors of Parliament. Fundamentalist tells my friend “don’t take it personally.” Yes, tell lesbians the are unfit to be parents – but don’t take it personally – rrright.

    How is it possible to communicate logically with people whose emotions have such deep roots?

    A reminder that the real challenge for the world is not the so-called extreme left vs extreme right, but for moderation and reason to succeed over both extremes.

  5. Roberto Tedesco

    How can the “Catch the fire” ministries have a compound without smoke detectors? They obviously never live up to their nam. Very poor.

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