Sunday, 8 January 2017

I'm sorry, Shan Ju Lin, I don't want to be treated like a patient

About 40 or so years ago, the routine treatment for gays in the army in Australia, besides dishonourable discharge, was to ensure that they received psychiatric treatment, which included being held in custody, then electric shock treatment, so that their brains would be zapped, and they would no longer have the impulse of being attracted to other men. This was the era when sex between men was illegal and could be career ending. Another era- and one that we don't want to bring back.

These days we are more enlightened. Back when Paul Keating was in power, after Australia got a drubbing at the United Nations because Tasmania still had the offence on the books of sodomy between men, the Commonwealth Parliament passed laws to make it a human right that those having sex in private were entitled to just that= privacy and not to be prosecuted.

Despite this history, in wades then One Nation candidate Shan Ju Lin who said on Facebook that "gays should be treated as patients". I am glad that One Nation dumped her.

I have asthma and have had it all my life. I am happy to be treated in hospital for my asthma and other ailments, but not for my sexual orientation.  I don't want either me or anyone like me to be treated like a patient- based on our sexuality,  dragged back 40 years, deemed mentally unwell, prevented from undertaking our jobs, demonised, being detained in a psych ward, and then having my brain zapped. Such a concept is abhorrent.

As then US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told the UN in Geneva six years ago: "Gay rights are human rights."

Or to put it the way Thomas Jefferson put it over 200 years ago: "All men are created equal." Anything less than that is not good enough.

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