CQUniversity Rockhampton will provide a forum for debate on human rights and homosexuality, as the first of a series of events harnessing constructive debate on contentious issues.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman says the University “is committed to opening our campuses to the community to provide a forum for the expression of ideas and informed debate, no matter how challenging the themes”.
All interested members of the community are encouraged to attend the free event, from 6pm-7.30pm on Tuesday, March 8, at Building 18 (the nursing building) on Rockhampton Campus. Light refreshments will be provided.
Participants will hear from Professor Dennis Altman AM, who is Professor of Politics and Director of the Institute for Human Security at La Trobe University in Melbourne. LINK here for more details on Professor Altman
The special guest MC will be colourful North Queensland MP Warren Entsch, the self-described ‘staunch heterosexual, gay rights campaigner and crocodile farmer’. LINK here for more details on Warren Entsch or link to his official page at http://www.aph.gov.au/W_Entsch_MP/
Professor Altman’s lecture summary notes that Australia debated decriminalising homosexual behaviour in the 1980s and today it debates recognising same-sex marriage.
“Meanwhile in other parts of the world people face death if they are assumed to be homosexual,” he says.
“Indeed homosexuality has become a touchstone for debates around human rights and universal values, and has implications for both international and domestic politics.
“This lecture will explore the reasons for the ways in which attitudes towards homosexuality are changing, and their impact upon the larger society.”
Mr Entsch is looking forward to describing his campaign against legislative homosexual discrimination as a member of the Howard Government, and facilitating questions and discussion from the audience after the lecture.
“Fighting for equal rights for homosexuals is something to which I have dedicated a very large part of my political career,” Mr Entsch says.
“Much has been achieved since I arrived in politics in 1996 in relation to the advancement of gay rights, but there is still a long way to go.
“I don’t believe that a person’s sexuality should define them and I have many gay and transgender friends throughout my life who have inspired me to continue this campaign. The situations I have witnessed first hand throughout my younger years of gay men being demeaned, disadvantaged and harassed, even in my own home town, brought me great sadness. Those experiences have had a profound impact on my life.
“Gay marriage is a topic that has received a lot of commentary recently, both in the media and in the political arena. While I do support gay unions, I do believe we have many other pressing priorities to focus on such as Medicare access and aged care support for couples, transgender and intersex people. These anomalies are frequent within the Commonwealth health system and must be amended as a matter of urgency along with the general Government bureaucracy facing the community.
“I look forward to sharing my views and the challenges I have faced and also hearing your thoughts at the conference.”
CQUniversity decided to provide a forum for constructive debate on human rights and homosexuality following a Roy Morgan Poll which found the electorate of Capricornia is the most homophobic in Australia.
The poll, late last year, sparked plenty of perspectives in the media.