Some background that might be of interest
Always desiring to dialogue instead of attacking an individual or organisation….….when I became aware of Peter Madden’s YouTube video I called the Christian Democratic Party headquarters saying I’d like to speak with Peter about statements he’d made.
The CDP gave me a mobile number. When I rang it turned out to be his new wife. I explained who I was and that I would like to meet up with Peter and have a chat.
In the meantime I realised I had actually known Peter when I was a preacher and had indeed been one of his lecturers when he was attending Bible College at Ps Frank Houston’s Church in Darlinghurst when it was known as Christian Life Centre (before it had the name change to Hillsong).
Peter called back later that day and we arranged to meet.
Our meeting lasted two hours. It was non-confrontational and respectful.
During the time we:
1. Caught up on mutual news not having seen each other for over 20 years.
2. I walked Peter through my PP presentation http://gayambassador2.blogspot.com/ so he understands where I’m coming from
3. Talked about his statements that are stereotyping, generalisations, fear-mongering, sensationalist and not the reality of what is happening.
4. Talked about how many LGBT people have found resolution of their faith and sexuality including myself.
5. Talked about how the new climate in the church which is asking two questions. Firstly has our attitude towards the gay community been appropriate. Secondly do we need to look again at our previously held beliefs about homosexuality. The answer to the former being NO! and the latter YES!.
6. He mentioned that he loves the sinner but hates the sin. I mentioned this is tired hackneyed cliché that never communicates it’s actual intention. My sexual orientation is not a sin for a start. The strongest word in that cliché is not love it’s hate.
7. I printed out and gave him two articles of mine that might give a clearer idea of what the parade is all about. A Divine Moment in the Mardi Gras Parade (http://gayambassador.blogspot.com/2007/03/divine-moment-in-mardi-gras-parade.html ) & Mardi Gras and Pride Celebrations – To participate or not???? ( http://gayambassador.blogspot.com/2009/01/mardi-gras-and-pride-celebrations-to.html )
8. I gave him an invitation to become more informed about the reality of gay and lesbian people and our lives.
After our meeting I wrote an open letter to Peter ( http://sxnews.gaynewsnetwork.com.au/feature/an-open-letter-to-peter-madden-008382.html ) and also put that up on YouTube (http://maddensaysorry.blogspot.com/p/open-letter-video.html )
Glenn Wheeler from 2GB read the newsletter and asked if I’d like to come the studio to speak about the comments and statements made. I suggested that he might also like to get Peter to come into the studio as well. Glenn contacted Peter and he agreed to come in.
You will find the interview here http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=8133
During the interview Peter made further outrageous statements such as being homosexual is unhealthy and that gay men have a shorter life spans of 20 to 25 less than heterosexual men….and they we recruited people into the ‘homosexual lifestyle’
It was then I felt it would be good to once again request an apology, not only for the false statements but also the unnecessary hurt he has caused LGBT people, their family and friends. To say nothing of the negative impact these comments might have on young gay and lesbian young people with Christian parents. They already live with a sense of alienation and fear believing if they come out their families will reject them. Research has shown this is a cause of depression and thoughts of suicide.
I invited Peter to have dinner together so we could discuss this further. He was unable to do that as he said he was going to the Mardi Gras launch to hear Peter Thatchell speak.
I suggested to Peter that all his current dramas about this issue could be dissolved by a simple apology. Then he could focus and the key issues as a politician he says he is really passionate about; such as families and youth binge drinking and suicide. After all….isn’t he now a politician instead of a preacher (I said)
To date he has not followed my suggestion.
So I thought it would be good for other LGBT people, family and friends to also make the same request…..and set up http://maddensaysorry.blogspot.com/ and also put a page on Facebook about it http://www.facebook.com/pages/Should-Peter-Madden-Say-Sorry/148387358555637
Will he apologise and admit that his assumptions are not based on fact but actually only being in Hyde Park one night and hearing stories from others? I don’t know………one voice asking for him to say sorry might not have an impact on him saying sorry…….many others asking the same thing might.
Silence says that comments made like this not only by Peter Madden…but anyone else for that matter ….is acceptable in Australian society.