May 28, 2007

You can't swing both ways

Australia's equal opportunity law specifically says you can not be discriminated against based on your race, religious beliefs, or sexuality. Yet thats exactly what Peel Hotel is doing: they are banning people who are not gay.



Surprisingly, the courts have allowed them to do so, which is in my opinion an extremely stupid thing to do. These laws were put in place to protect the minority, not for them to use it to further segregate our society based on sexuality. You can't have laws which protect the minority against discrimination, and yet allow the minority to discriminate!



With the recent news of Scruffy Murphy's banning patrons based on race it appears our country - once so proud of its multiculturalism, acceptance and tolerance - is quickly becoming intolerant, inconsiderate and increasingly prejudiced. Rather than working out proper strategies to deal with undesirables - something all pubs, hotels, and other entertainment venues need to do - people are choosing instead to tar every one with the same brush: heterosexuals are abusive, people of Middle Eastern or Islander background are trouble makers, etc.



My religion teacher in high school once told me how his grandfather went on the payroll as Smith, not O'Donald because he would have been fired otherwise. I would like to think our society has progressed since those times. Our country is about embracing our differences and celebrating them, for it is these differences which lends vibrance and culture to our society and way of life. It is through understanding our differences that we live in harmony - not only with ourselves but also others on the world stage.



What Peel's Hotel has done, as Scruffy Murphy's has done, is send the message: You will not be judged by your actions, but by the actions of those who happen to have something in common with you - a minority who is noted only because they are trouble some. This is the essence of prejudice, the seed of racism - a slippery slope towards a sign on our borders saying "Not Welcome".





Cheers,

Steve