Mia Freedman Apologises for Comparing Gay People to Paedophiles

Mia Freedman

On Channel Ten’s current affairs panel program ‘The Project’ last night, Mia Freedman caused controversy for comparing gay people to paedophiles.

Freedman is the founder and editorial director of Australian womens’ website Mamamia.com.au. The writer and media consultant was arguing in favour of a national paedophile register.

“We accept that gay people can’t change who they love and who they’re sexually attracted to, so why do we think that people who are sexually attracted to children can be rehabilitated?” she said.

“Name and shame them. I want to know where they are.”

Backlash to Freedman’s comments on social media was swift. Many took to Twitter to express their disagreement:



Freedman quickly took to Twitter herself to apologise:  



Freedman also wrote a lengthy statement on Mamamia, which read in part: “Let me be absolutely clear: I unreservedly apologise to anyone I have upset, confused or outraged and to anyone who thought I would ever ever ever stand with bigotry or homophobia.

“I know the facts: there is no link between homosexuality and offending against children. And after the hundreds of hours of live TV and radio I have done, I should have known better; it’s dangerous to try and make a complex point about such an important topic in 10 seconds.

“The point I was trying to make was this:

“Sexual orientation is real; it cannot be ‘cured’ or ‘changed’. We reject the idea that gay people chose to be gay. We reject the idea that straight people choose to be straight. As a society we have come to accept the intractability of sexual orientation.

“So why do we assume that people who have sexual feelings towards children can be ‘cured’ or have those feelings changed with therapy? Instead, shouldn’t we accept that the feelings of paedophiles cannot be changed but that acting on those feelings can – and must – be restricted.

“The idea that someone could – or should – be ‘cured’ of their sexual orientation is repugnant. So that’s what informed my analogy. Was prime time TV in a 10-second sound bite the right place to make that point? Clearly not.  I was trying to raise concerns about our capacity to rehabilitate child sex offenders and I chose a bad example to try and do so.

“What devastates me most is the idea that I have unwittingly handed ammunition to haters and bigots who might read two words in a headline and think I was on their side. That distresses me and horrifies me beyond belief.”

Some have been forgiving of Freedman’s “lousy analogy”:


However, some do not regard Freedman’s intentions as entirely positive:  


Freedman said in her statement that she had deleted Twitter from her phone after the comments on social media became “too intense”.

Sophie Joske



email-iconSubscribe to OUTinPerth’s E-Newsletter and keep up to date with the latest news.Sign up now.



Tags: , , , , , ,