Cory Bernardi has singled out an organisation that has existed for four years in the latest criticism of LGBTI children receiving different treatment from other children.

The Pinnacle Foundation, which lists Michael Kirby and Kerryn Phelps as its patrons, has given scholarships to LGBTI students facing disadvantage for many years and announced its latest round of applications recently, causing it to be listed in conservative Bernardi’s weekly newsletter “Your Weekly Dose of Common Sense”. The newsletter features a section called “Things that make you go hmm…”, in which he lists news stories that have piqued the attention of the conservative, free speech loving, nanny state hating senator. He wrote:

In other news, The Australian cartoonist defends his latest ‘insulting’ work, more scholarships are created based on sexuality, and Clint Eastwood derides the ‘pussy generation’ obsessed with being PC.”

The thing is, the scholarships have not been recently created but have existed for many years. The Pinnacle Foundation’s website has specific criteria, including that recipients have “personal or social circumstances which provide significant challenges to the person completing their education” or have “been marginalised due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression”, among other criteria like academic performance and commitment to study.

Meanwhile, The Australian has extended its campaign against the Safe Schools Program to include other organisations that aim to support LGTBI young people, writing last week that the Australian Business and Community Network Scholarship Foundation has introduced scholarships that ask students about their gender identity and sexuality.

We hate to give them ideas, but wait for the big red “exclusive” in The Australian tomorrow — another private organisation doing what it wants with its own money.

Crikey has attempted to contact the Pinnacle Foundation, but has not heard back.

Peter Fray

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