Media Release

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The Press Council is mistaken in its ruling this week against former world number one tennis champion Margaret Court and has set a dangerous precedent against free speech, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Council wrongly ruled that Ms Court made a factual assertion about homosexuality when in fact she was merely stating her belief – a belief shared by many scientists and sociologists.

Ms Court’s January article in the Herald Sun newspaper states “I believe that a person’s sexuality is a choice.”

“This is clearly not a factual assertion, as the Press Council wrongly ruled,” Mr Wallace said.

“It is a sad day for free speech in Australian when the Press Council upholds vexatious complaints, one of which was from a known homosexual activist, that are clearly designed to inhibit free speech.

“Margaret Court’s view, which is shared by ACL and prominent scientists and sociologists, is entirely reasonable and uncontroversial.

“There is no scientific proof for a ‘gay gene’.

“In fact, the head of the human genome project, Francis Collins, says that homosexuality is a predisposition, not a pre-determination,”[1] Mr Wallace said.

Homosexual activists say they cannot control their orientation because it is genetically determined.

However, even if that was the case, prominent UK gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has said:

“[A]n influence is not the same as a cause. Genes and hormones may predispose a person to one sexuality rather than another. But that’s all. Predisposition and determination are two different things.

“There is a major problem with gay gene theory, and with all theories that posit the biological programming of sexual orientation. If heterosexuality and homosexuality are, indeed, genetically predetermined (and therefore mutually exclusive and unchangeable), how do we explain bisexuality or people who, suddenly in mid-life, switch from heterosexuality to homosexuality (or vice versa)? We can’t.” [2]

More recently, Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at University of Kent, has said:

“Thankfully, the experience of human endeavour tells us that who we are need not be determined by a biological accident.

“Yes, our genes influence our behaviour. But this does not determine who we are. We are not the slaves of our biology and possess a formidable capacity to make our own world and on a good day to even choose who we want to be.”[3]

John D’Emilio, US gay activist and professor of history and of women's and gender studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago, has this to say on the ‘born gay’ narrative of homosexual activism:

““[B]orn gay” is an idea with a large constituency, LGBT and otherwise. It’s an idea designed to allay the ingrained fears of a homophobic society and the internalized fears of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. What’s most amazing to me about the “born gay” phenomenon is that the scientific evidence for it is thin as a reed, yet it doesn’t matter. It’s an idea with such social utility that one doesn’t need much evidence in order to make it attractive and credible.”[4]

Mr Wallace questioned the Press Council’s qualifications to determine that Ms Court’s views were ‘probably inaccurate and potentially dangerous’.

“This is an outrageous and lazy ruling which has handed a victory to homosexual activists who are aggressively intolerant of any position which does not line up with their views.

“The Press Council must immediately rescind this ruling.”

Mr Wallace said it was laughable that the printed edition of the Herald Sun was not caught up in the ruling because it had met the Council’s ‘requirements’ by publishing an article asserting that homosexuality was not a choice.

“This article by the radio broadcaster Doug Pollard, from the homosexual station Joy FM, asserted that science proved homosexuality was not a choice without offering a shred of evidence.

“The push for same-sex marriage cannot be allowed to depend on the trashing of free speech,” Mr Wallace said.