Action Alert March 2016

This is an archived edition of Action Alert.

SBS Televises the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade was held on Saturday 5 March 2016. This year’s theme was “Momentum” around supporting a redefinition of marriage to allow for same-sex ‘marriage’ to become legal in Australia. As usual, the media exaggerated the crowd numbers – some said “thousands” in attendance, some said 300,000, and one report said 500,000 (despite the parade route only being able to hold less than 100,000 people). This year, Malcolm Turnbull attended the parade – the first time a sitting Prime Minister has done so (although he said he has often attended before being PM) – and Bill Shorten actually marched in the parade with his wife Chloe and family. Chloe even wrote an Opinion article that was published in The Age on 7 March about how wonderful it was to march in the parade.

SBS, one of our national broadcasters paid for by our taxes, featured the Mardi Gras parade in a program with extra stories and excerpts broadcast at night on Sunday 6 March. While snippets and comments were screened in news stories on most networks on the Sunday, SBS had a major television program at 8.30pm on the Sunday including the best of the spectacular floats and costumes in the parade with commentary from the hosts live on the streets, as well as interviews with celebrity guests. The coverage also included stories from participants exploring the messages behind the floats, covering issues of sexuality, equality, and discrimination that affect the LGBTQI community. SBS also streamed the parade live online on the Saturday night.

However, it could well be questioned whether SBS has seriously breached its independence and objectivity. SBS is supposed to be Australia’s independent national multicultural TV station that is charged with promoting multiculturalism and being ‘a voice’ for indigenous Australians. SBS was not founded to promote LGBTI issues or to act as a political advocate for changing the definition of marriage. SBS was founded on the belief that all Australians, regardless of geography, age, cultural background, or language skills should have access to high quality, independent, culturally-relevant Australian media. If SBS is to devote considerable resources to a television program about the Mardi Gras and to using its publicly-funded website to live stream the Mardi Gras to those who wanted to watch online, it could be asked when SBS has, if ever, devoted resources to specially promote Christmas, Easter, or Christian functions and events? If SBS is supposed to be a balanced organisation with no favouritism or bias towards any individual or group, why is there an apparent bias on LGBTI issues which are anti traditional marriage?

Contact Special Broadcasting Service Corporation [Locked Bag 028, Crows Nest, NSW, 1585, or telephone 1800 500 727, or email comments@sbs.com.au] to express your disappointment with SBS’s decision to live stream the Mardi Gras on Saturday 5 March and to screen the documentary on Sunday 6 March. If you did not watch either broadcast, tell SBS that you chose not to watch the online stream or the television program. Point out that the Mardi Gras Parade was not just a cultural event, but a political event with an overt message that marriage needs to be redefined in Australia, and if SBS is going to give that much airtime to an event with that political message, it ought to give similar airtime to those who believe that traditional marriage ought to be retained. In fact, most indigenous Australians and most ‘new’ Australians from Asian and African backgrounds do not support the redefinition of marriage! SBS ought to stick to its Charter instead of engaging in blatant and open bias in support of the LGBTI community.

* * * * * * * * * *

Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?
Psalm 94:16

* * * * * * * * * *

This monthly release is prepared by Pastor Brian Robertson (P O Box 2367, Bundaberg, 4670) to inform Christian people about issues within our society.  “Action Alert” does not promote any one political party, but encourages its readers to be “salt and light” by speaking out on some of these matters.  The views expressed in “Action Alert” are those of the author and are not necessarily those of a local church or a denominational organisation.  To the extent permissible by law, no church or denomination accepts liability for anything contained in this publication and any use made of it.