Over 150 people have signed a letter asking 20 of Australia‘s major corporations to support the Safe Schools program, which has recently been gutted by the government and thereby severely undermining its attempts to help young kids struggling with their sexuality and/or gender.
The letter is addressed to ANZ, Qantas, Telstra, NAB, Coles, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Jetstar, IBM, AGL, Canon, Airbnb, Star City Casino, NRL, Medibank Private, PWC, GoGet, Coopers and LUSH Cosmetics, targeted specifically for their pro-LGBTIQ / marriage equality stance.
“We understand your desire to show your support for us, for a cohesive workplace is a productive workplace,” the letter reads. “But our friends in your midst have families too, and they include young children at school.”
Some of the high profile people who’ve signed include cabaret star Paul Capsis, president of the Council of Humanist Societies Scott Sharrad, and Australia’s first openly gay newsreader Geoff Field, who told PEDESTRIAN.TV:
“I am proud to be part of this. We must keep up the fight for equality and get rid of bullying and homophobia.”
And boy-oh-fkn-boy, is that ever needed – just today the NSW parliamentary inquiry into Safe Schools heard from that the program “sexualises” young children by forcing them to look at gender as a mindset and not by their “wibbly wobby bits.”
YEAH GOOD ONE AUSTRALIAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION. Dickheads.
Since said companies *actually* received the letter, just two out of the 20 have publicly spoken out in support of Safe Schools: LUSH Cosmetics and SEEK.
LUSH told The Star Observer they were “disappointed” in how the program has been “derailed by a group of minority conservative politicians whose views we find a disgrace in today’s society.”
They called the changes to the program “a step in the wrong direction”, which saw “some of our most vulnerable young people be used as a political football. This program has been proven to save lives.”
And SEEK said that “any program that is designed to educate youth on sexual and gender diversity to combat homophobia we see as a step in the right direction”, and that programs like Safe Schools led to “a more inclusive and diverse workplace.”
Meanwhile, Qantas and Jetstar (who are obviously owned by Qantas) both said they’d “leave the detailed commentary about school curriculum to the experts”, while Telstra and NAB confirmed that yeah, they support diversity, but wouldn’t confirm if they’d publicly support Safe Schools. We’re guessing that means they wouldn’t.
And ANZ – one of the major supporters of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade which jazzes up and rebrands their ATMs to GAYTMS every year – have remained silent.
Photo: Getty / Bill Clark.