New South Wales Premier ‘distressed’ after backing ban on showing ‘Gayby Baby’ film
The Premier in New South Wales Mike Baird has apologised, and said he was “distressed” after he backed banning showings of a gay parenting film.
Burwood Girls High in Sydney planned on screening the film Gayby Baby to students last Friday morning as part of “Wear it Purple” day – a equality campaign aimed at encouraging LGBT inclusion and support in schools.
However, the film was banned from being shown during school hours, by New South Wales’ education minister Adrian Piccoli.
State Premier Mike Baird backed the move: “I understand the intent of that is to provide an example of tolerance and that’s something I absolutely support,” he said.
“Should it be in class time? No, I don’t think so. Should it be optional? Yes, I do think so.”
Upper house Labor MP Penny Sharpe brought up the controversy at a budget estimate on Thursday.
She said she had heard from a gay parent who said she felt the government’s action on the film had sent a message to her kids that they were not normal.
“I want to cry because although I know our child is ever so loved and balanced and sensible, and fully supported as an emerging young person in their own right, I can’t really know what this does to them,” the letter said.
“I am outraged at the media, but more at the damage made so much greater with a government affirmation and intervention that ensured that the message of `unacceptable’, `not normal’, and `tacitly deviant, therefore worth less’ was slammed full force, without consideration, consultation or care, into the minds of children and families throughout the state.”
Mr Baird responded to say that he had been “very distressed by the way this played out.”
He said: “I have to say to her that I’m incredibly sorry. Everyone – every single person – has value. Everyone is normal.
He added: “The last thing I want is for any family to not feel loved and accepted across NSW.”