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Conservative politician claims drag is ‘porn’

Nick Duffy March 1, 2018
Former ACL chief Lyle Shelton

Former ACL chief Lyle Shelton

A right-wing politician in Australia has claimed that drag is “porn”.

Lyle Shelton of the Australian Conservatives made the claim in response to plans for a drag show at a Sydney shopping centre as part of the city’s Pride celebrations.

Sydney’s Westfield shopping centre is set to host local drag legend Maxi Shield for the free show, titled Life’s a Drag, ahead of this weekend’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The news angered Shelton, who took to Twitter to claim it was “porn”.

Lyle Shelton

He wrote: “When porn, [rainbow flag emoji] & big business get together, children’s innocence loses.”

Shelton shared a message from Wendy Francis of the Australian Christian Lobby – the anti-LGBT group that until last month Shelton headed.

Francis wrote: “Westfield’s ‘adult only’ trend – A non-ticketed event in a busy public space does not allow anyone walking in that area to avoid what is expected to be highly sexualised adult entertainment.”

The pair have been thanked for giving so much free PR to the event, which takes place on Friday at midday at the Westfield Pitt Street Mall

A description states: “Life’s a Drag! Westfield Sydney, together with Byron Bay Cookies, celebrates 40 years of Mardi Gras with a fabulous drag show.

“Join host, Maxi Shield and her Queens and celebrate Sydney’s true colours, as they entertain you at Westfield Sydney’s first drag show.”

An anti-gay campaign group are now trying to get the event cancelled.

Homophobic pressure group ‘You’re Teaching Our Children What?’, which is believed to be propped up by the ACL, claims there is a risk that people who just happen to be shopping in the city centre on Pride weekend will be inadvertently exposed to gay content.

The group said: “The accompanying picture should be enough to warn parents this is NOT a child-friendly event. A Drag Queen in an uncomfortably low cut outfit is a taste of what kids will be exposed to.

“Our Message to Westfield: Stick to retailing and steer clear of gender ideology.

“Parents say NO to exposing kids to this ideology in their city and ask Westfield: is it SAFE to bring our kids into your shopping centres, or will they continue to be exposed to adult entertainment?

“Let them know it’s NOT okay to expose our kids to this and make sure you warn your parent friends to protect their kids from Westfield’s Celebration of Sexuality.”

Shelton is a fierce opponent of LGBT rights, who has been a driving force against equality in his roles at the Australian Christian Lobby and the Coalition for Marriage.

Representing the C4M, Shelton became one of the primary faces of the ‘No’ campaign during the country’s equal marriage plebiscite, while he has also rallied against transgender rights and spearheaded efforts to censor LGBT anti-bullying lessons.

The activist last month announced he would be leaving his role at the Australian Christian Lobby, to enter politics himself.

Shelton joined the Australian Conservatives, a fringe right-wing party set up by Cory Bernardi that has vowed to abolish equal marriage.

In a ACL video, Shelton confirmed he would be “joining a political party with the aim of entering politics at the next federal election.”

Shelton claimed that the country’s Liberal-National government had “capitulated” to the “green rainbow left”, claiming that the equal marriage campaign demonstrated “the lack of common sense and principles in Canberra”.

He said: “Watching a Coalition government tear itself apart over whether or not marriage should be between something as basic as a man and a woman helped me to realise that Australia’s conservative political party had lost its way.

“The Coalition government’s inability or unwillingness to even provide basic protections for freedom of speech and freedom of religion quite frankly left me stunned.”

He laid into transgender rights in his speech, claiming: “Elites are telling us we’re bigots if we don’t support teaching children their gender is fluid.

“You cannot enact policies that lack common sense, that lack prudence for the future or the wisdom of considering what is important for our children.”

The party is occupying an already-crowded area when it comes to the anti-LGBT conservative right, facing off against not only the governing Coalition but also Pauline Hanson’s far-right One Nation party.

During the equal marriage vote, Shelton’s group was lambasted by LGBT campaigners for its reliance on “dirty” tactics and employment of borderline hate speech to scare people into voting No to same-sex marriage.

The C4M launched TV ads claiming children would be forced to “celebrate” gay sex if the measure passed.

Shelton, claimed that kids will be “exposed to gay sex and gender theory” if the vote passes.

He insisted: “This is a direct consequence of the change in marriage law. Once you take gender out of marriage, you take it out of the classroom.

“This will only get worse if the law on marriage is changed; parents will lose their right to object.

“Australian parents can stand up against these radical programs being forced upon their kids by voting ‘no’.”

He also accused countries with equal marriage of “snobbery”.

He told an event: “There’s only about 20 or so out of 200 that have redefined marriage.

“It’s only a few Western countries that have decided they’re better than the millennia of human history and anthropology, so they redefined marriage.

“I think we’re showing a lot of chronological snobbery in a handful of countries in the west.”

He also cited UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s pro-LGBT speech at the PinkNews Awards as a reason to vote against equal marriage.

Speaking at the PinkNews Awards last year, Mrs May said: “Bullying in schools and on social media is still a daily reality for young LGBT people, and that has to stop.

“We need to keep up our action. So we are pressing ahead with inclusive relationships and sex education in English schools, making sure that LGBT issues are taught well.

“We are determined to eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying.”

Theresa May at the PinkNews Awards

Citing her speech, Shelton said: “If you change the definition of marriage, it affects the freedom of millions of Australians.

“What kids are taught at school becomes very controversial – we just saw last week the Prime Minister of England announcing that they want LGBTIQ sex education in all English schools.”

He added: “There’s no doubt it’s a David and Goliath battle. Our side is coming from a long way back, and the other side has a lot of momentum with support from the media and celebrities.

“If it’s a ‘yes’, we will obviously accept the democratic decision of our fellow Australians. But while there is freedom of speech, we’ll continue to advocate but it could take years or even decades to turn it back around. Australians will realise soon after that it was a mistake and that the consequences aren’t worth it.

“We want to preserve the definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Our gay friends already have equality under the law.”

Meanwhile the Australian Christian Lobby put out an email claiming their supporters may have to “put your son in a dress” if the vote passes.

The group claimed: “When parents like Marijke Rancie in our new TV ad visited her kids’ school and saw what the harmful “Safe Schools” program was teaching her children, she was shocked.

“They’d saturated the school with posters showing a boy in a dress.

“Now’s the time for us to push back and say NO to compulsory radical gay sex education like this, that teaches kids:

“*your gender is “fluid”

“* If in your mind, you’re “different” to the body you were born, boys should consider wearing a dress, and girls should wear boys’ clothes.

“* You should be able to use whatever toilets you feel like.

“Together, we can win this fight to defend marriage and oppose the de-gendering of our society.”

More: Anti-gay, Australia, Australia, Conservative, drag, homophobic, LGBT, lyle shelton, politician, porn

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