Liberal MP Nicolle Flint says teaching respect will stop homophobia

Liberal MP Nicolle Flint has told the audience on ABC’s Q&A program that homophobic bullying can be reduced if people are just taught to respect each other.

Her comment received quick comeback from fellow panelist, singer Jimmy Barnes, who asked if that was her goal – why the government removed the Safe Schools program.

“I thought that Safe Schools program was a really good start to that.” Barnes said. “I couldn’t understand why that was being cut.”

“Where there was so many young kids struggling with their sexuality, and just their position in life in general. To cut funding to that seemed like an odd choice.”

Barnes said he felt the Safe Schools program has achieved exactly the goal that Flint was proposing.

Flint said she disagreed and anti-bullying programs needed to be across the board rather than focussing on an element such as sexuality.

The discussion was prompted by a questioner saying he’d felt unwelcome in Adelaide after growing up in Flint’s electorate of Boothby.

He asked what strategies could be implemented to stop young LGBTIQ+ people from feeling like they had to move to Sydney or Melbourne to be accepted.

“Adelaide is a great city, and we’ve got a history of tolerance and welcoming people.” Flint said.

“There’s a bit of history of throwing gay people off bridges.” interrupted host Tony Jones, with Barnes also noting that the city had a history of gay people ending up in the Torrens river.

In 1972 Dr George Duncan, a law lecturer, drowned after being thrown into the river by a group of men. It is believed his attackers were police officers. Public outrage over the crime lead to South Australia becoming the first state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1975.

Flint said that example was appalling, but South Australia in its earliest days had been a place where people came to seek out freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

Flint’s solution for reducing homophobic bullying is to improve the overall quality of pubic discourse. The MP said that in this term of parliament she’ll be working to encourage more civilised debate.

“Let’s all treat each other with more respect.” Flint said.

While the federal funding for the Safe Schools program saw its delivery cease in many states, it is still available in Victoria and Western Australia via state funding. In Western Australia the program has been rebranded as Inclusive Education.

OIP Staff


Tags: , , ,

You must be logged in to post a comment Login