In the late 70’s a similar campaign was launched ‘SAVE OUR CHILDREN’ by Anita Bryant. Whilst there was some initial success with Bryant’s campaign eventually sanity prevailed and equality granted for gay and lesbian people.
Peter Madden and others have taken a quote made 10 years ago by academic Dr. Graham Willett out of context. Knowing it is actually impossible to convert or recruit people to become homosexual, Anthony Venn-Brown contacted Dr Willett regarding the actual quote used by Madden and determine its context. You can read his reply below the press Christian Democratic Party press release.
Peter Madden Press Release: PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM HOMOSEXUAL RECRUITMENT
Christian Democratic Party candidate for Sydney warned listeners of the 2GB Radio station last Saturday (Feb.19th) that one of the main objectives of the Homosexual and Lesbian Mardis Gras is recruitment.
Mr. Madden said after the interview: "It is clear that the Mardis Gras is about many things but the most dangerous aspect is the recruitment agenda of the event. The issue of the thousands of unsupervised drunken teenagers at the mardis gras raises many questions as to why Sydney parents allow their young teenage children to attend the Mardis Gras unsupervised." He went on to say "I think many parents would think differently about letting their children attend if they understood the recruitment agenda of some homosexuals and lesbians."
Mr. Madden backed up his statement by quoting homosexual author and one of the intellectual champions of the Australian homosexual movement Dr. Graham Willet (Senior Lecturer at Melbourne University) who said in regard to defiance and recruitment: "I think the idea that sexuality is genetic is crap. There is absolutely no evidence for it at the moment, and I think it is unhealthy that people want to embrace this idea. It does reflect a desire to say, "it's not our fault", as a way of deflecting our critics. We have achieved what we have achieved by defiance, not by concessions. I think we should be recruiting people to homosexuality.... If you believe it's genetic, how are you going to make the effort" [to recruit]? [CAPITAL Q WEEKLY, 3 Nov. 2000, Page 17.]
In once again affirming his dedication to see the Homosexual and Lesbian Mardis Gras moved from the streets of Sydney to a stadium he said "This is yet another vital reason why the NSW government needs to get the Mardis Gras off the streets into a stadium. If parents are unaware of the danger or simply won't protect their children from the predatory nature of those wishing to recruit young people into homosexuality then the government needs to step in and provide protection."
I contacted Dr Willett personally for clarification on the statements he'd made earlier. I got a reply email from him disturbed that a statement he'd made 12 years earlier was being misconstrued. In his reply email to me on Wed 2/03/2011 12:30 PM he said this.
‘As to recruiting, I think we should recruit gay people to our community as Christians recruit to their communities. And for the same reason – we are happier if we are part of a collectivity, rather than isolated and alone. The gay community – for all its faults – is a pretty good place to be for gay people (and for our friends). As to recruiting to homosexuality – this is, as far as we know, not possible. In the spirit of scientific openness I suppose I should keep an open mind on this. But, unlike the Christians and the heterosexuals, we have never tried to recruit to our lifestyle. For the rather obvious reason that most of us spent our childhoods being recruited to heterosexuality – it didn’t work and it made most of us pretty unhappy.’
Senior Lecturer in Australian Studies
University of Melbourne