In ancient Egypt, the Nile was the absolute lifeblood of the country; in Australia, it’s anything but. Instead, the word ‘Nile’ as much as anything else represents toxicity in politics … via “Reverend Fred Nile”. A member of the upper house of the NSW parliament, Fred represents highly conservative christian views that seemingly harken back not to the 20th century, but more closely to the 19th.
In his latest attack on same-sex attracted individuals, Fred has put forward a typically ill-informed argument against marriage equality:
The removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder has given homosexual activists undue credibility, and they have demanded that their sexual behaviour be affirmed in society, such as demanding that homosexual marriages be recognised legally.
The problem for Fred is he’s talking out of his proverbial. He prefaced that comment of course with the famous 1973 removal of homosexuality as a mental illness from the American Psychiatric Association. Yet Fred isn’t a psychologist. Some of us still aren’t all that sure exactly what he is.
Of course, he goes on to mix up “sex” and “marriage”, two topics which may have overlapping segments on a Venn diagram but are not in any way entirely inclusive or exclusive of one another. He also forgets that heterosexuals, both single and married, engage in all manner of non-monogamous sexual encounters as well, not to mention the full gamut of protected vs unprotected sex.
Fred Nile is planning on leaving politics in 2015, at which point he’ll be around 80 years of age. Having grown up in NSW, Fred and his oh-too-regular screen-time hung around like a bad spell throughout my entire life. Some of my earliest memories of TV and news was watching this man spew forth his backwater views on homosexuality.
And despite railing against it for decades, homosexual rights have continued to advance in spite of him. He’s led marches against homosexuality. He’s organised petitions, he’s protested Mardi Gras, and maintained a seemingly life-long tirade against homosexuality. Certainly for all of my life. Net result? GBLTI rights improving, year in, year out, decade after decade under his watch.
He’ll retire a failure, and go to his grave a failure. It seems a just reward for his behaviour.