Nothing in politics is inevitable.
News at the weekend that New South Wales is scrapping “Safe Schools” is proof of this.
Those of you who have prayed, given money, letterboxed, written to politicians and shared posts on social media should take great courage from this.
It is okay to respectfully push back on the political agenda of those seeking to re-shape what it means to be man or woman, boy or girl.
I know that the overwhelming majority of people involved in this campaign are not motivated by bigotry or hatred towards anyone. That is one of the myths perpetrated.
No-one in their right mind wants to see any child bullied for any reason.
But “Safe Schools” founder Roz Ward freely admitted the program was not about bullying but about overturning notions of “heteronormativity”.
All this without parental consent or a community debate. Shouldn’t we all discuss this before it becomes a thing in our schools?
Much of the hard work in NSW has been done by our friends in the Greek Orthodox and Chinese Christian communities.
And hundreds of ACL volunteers have given up Saturdays to letterbox more than one million pieces of literature.
Some of the printing has been funded by ACL supporters, some by the supporters of other organisations.
There has been a concerted effort by many people. Thank you for your part in it.
Speaking up and taking action is working.
But this is no time to stop. Our work is only just beginning.
While a courageous education minister in Rob Stokes has acted, the idea that gender is fluid has taken deep roots in education departments, universities, the Australian Labor Party, sections of the Liberal Party, The Greens (especially The Greens) and sections of the media.
And Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT are continuing with Safe Schools-type programs. The battle is far from over.
When ACL and other organisations started raising awareness about “Safe Schools”, no one believed us.
ACL media release after media release detailing the material recommended by “Safe Schools” went unheeded.
As Ghandi said, “first they ignore you”.
Instruction for girls in chest binding to squash their breasts, penis tucking for boys and advice on surgery with or without parental consent was some of the shocking material promoted by “Safe Schools”.
Links to homosexual night clubs disappeared from “Safe Schools”-promoted websites after material was exposed in Parliament.
The then assistant education minister Scott Ryan seemed genuinely shocked by the material we presented him.
It was so extreme, people thought it could not possibly be true.
But a brave mother, Cella White, went to the Herald Sun newspaper in February 2016 to tell what her children were being subjected to at Frankston High in Victoria.
Boys identifying as girls were to be allowed in girls’ toilets at school.
Children could choose which uniform they wanted to wear, regardless of their biological sex.
As a mother, Cella was deeply uncomfortable. Her courage was a game-changer in the debate.
Anti-bullying has been a strong focus of schools for many years. If there are gaps in schools’ strategies, these should be addressed.
Children struggling with issues of gender or sexual identity should be rendered every support.
But this should never mean teaching children that their gender is a social construct and that it is up to them to decide if they are a boy or a girl.
Biology is not bigotry.
It is okay to celebrate a win. As mentioned, the battle is not over. While ever the threat of removing the gender requirement from marriage looms, you can be sure that teaching children their gender is fluid will not be far behind.
Thanks again for taking action. Please continue to spread the word. Re-post this blog on social media. Please help us to continue to break the silence.