John Madden (Peters brother) Says Sorry

John Madden with Freedom 2 b[e]
After reading Anthony Venn-Brown’s open letter to Peter Madden requesting an apology, John Madden (Peter’s brother) contacted Anthony to ask if he could join Freedom 2 b[e] in the parade on Saturday.

‘I am so sorry that my brother’s recent unfair and ignorant comments about gay and lesbian people and the Mardi Gras parade have hurt and angered so many. We thought we had moved on from this kind of behaviour in Australian society. Regrettably ignorance about homosexuality still exists in parts of our society. Particularly some parts of the Christian Church.

I have been impressed with the responses to Peter’s rants that have sought to open worthwhile discussions with Peter. In particular “An open letter to Peter Madden (Written by Anthony Venn-Brown 07 February 2011)

I am disappointed and embarrassed by Peter’s recent comments which attempt to slur and marginalise members of our larger community A person’s sexual orientation should not affect how they are treated in our community in any way. We are by no means all the same and that is something that many of us openly celebrate.  I am proud of being an Australian. What makes the Australian community is the collection of the many and varied sub-communities that come together as one. I believe our diversity and our acceptance and enjoyment of that diversity is what makes us Aussie.

John Madden and wife Lisa (right)
I will march with Freedom 2 b[e] in the Mardi Gras parade and share directly in the celebration of a freedom that this community now enjoys. It wasn’t that long ago that this community had to hide ‘who they are’ to avoid unfair treatment and persecution. 

I would hope and expect that my children and my expected child, as adults, would be free to choose any partner without alienation from my family or society as a whole.

My hope would best be demonstrated by marching in the parade in support and out of respect for people’s right to choose and be who they are without prejudice and without judgement. This is what this country is all about.

John Madden

What about Peter Madden’s apology?

John Madden & Anthony Venn-Brown
I know some will think it’s a waste of time but I will continue to try and engage Peter in a respectful dialogue. I am the eternal optimist and have a belief that most people can change and that deep down inside most of us tend towards good and not evil. It has worked with others, maybe not as far back on the continuum as Peter…but I have seen people make substantial shifts over the years.

As I always say, the enemy is not individuals, churches or political parties; the enemy is ignorance. There are some of us even in our community who also once believed as Peter currently does. It’s just that Peter is 30 years behind the times

You can help me make this happen by making people aware of this site and writing rational, well thought out comments that I will pass on to Peter. The abusive ones I won't. He has received a barrage of those already..

Anthony Venn-Brown