A Western Australian Liberal MP has warned colleagues and parents about an anti-homophobic bullying program for schools that he claims is a gay “lifestyle promotion program”.
WA Government backbencher Peter Abetz has hit out at the program that promotes tolerance and understanding of teens who self-identify as gay, lesbian or transgender.
The ordained former pastor of the Christian Reformed Church said the (SSCA) program that began in Victoria, was really a Trojan horse that pushes the views of the “militant gay lesbian lobby” to teens.
The reports the MP said bullying was indeed a real problem and programs that targeted all types of bullying were a preferred option.
But Abetz, a cousin of the federal Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz, said the SSCA program was “really not an anti-bullying program”.
The program is funded by an $8 million grant over four years, bestowed by the former federal Labor government, but the WA MP believes it to be more clandestine.
“In fact, when you look at it closer, it really is little more than a gay, lesbian, transgender lifestyle promotion program,” Mr Abetz said in a presentation delivered to the WA Parliament this week.
“The militant gay lesbian lobby is trying to get this into our schools to ‘normalise’ what they consider the LGBTI agenda.
“I think in Australia most people are quite tolerant. Most people know someone among their relatives or workmates who is a lesbian or gay or whatever, and they don’t bat an eyelid – they just accept them as human beings with inherent value and you treat them with dignity and respect.”
The WA opposition spokesman for disability services, mental health and child protection, Stephen Dawson told the newspaper the comments are “misguided and homophobic”.
Yet Mr Abetz drew attention to the posters and literature from the program, due to be rolled out in July, that advocate such things as allowing all students to wear whatever piece of their school uniform they choose regardless of gender.
The program’s website says it is already operating in 243 schools and has helped more than 25,500 students.
It provides several pamphlets to promote understanding of LBGTI-related issues with such titles as “OMG My Friend’s Queer” — topics Mr Abetz hit out at.
“I think any parent – I certainly would have been – would be outraged if a boy who has the physical parts of a male body decides he wants to identify as a member of the female gender and is allowed to use the girls’ toilets or join the girls’ sports teams,” Mr Abetz said.
“This program clearly does (advocate) that.”