Family First Senate candidate for Queensland Wendy Francis has found herself the centre of a media storm, over comments she made on Twitter yesterday about gay marriage.
This morning my colleague Aaron Lucas did a great phone interview with Ms Francis for our radio station. I thought I would transcribe it and post it here, so readers can evaluate all of her comments/opinions.
You can also listen to the audio of the interview here.
JOURNALIST: We're talking about your comments on Twitter and your website yesterday regarding gay marriage. Can you just sort that out for us?
WENDY: Sure, I'd love to. There's 140 characters in a Twitter, this is just a headline. The headline's come out that gay people slur from me, and that is just incorrect. I am not homophobic. It is one thing to be homosexual, it's another thing altogether then to impose upon children not to have a mother and a father.
We are potentially putting generations of children being brought up without a Mum and a Dad. I spoke out about this when the surrogacy issue first came up. I personally believe that the best environment for a child is to have a mother and father, and if people don't agree that that's the best for a child, I personally think they've got rocks in their head. If we use children in any other social experiment, people would agree with me that it was emotional child abuse. We took children away from their parents in the Stolen Generation, and everybody would agree that was emotional child abuse.
At the moment, we are now changing birth certificates - this is what we can do in Queensland - we change birth certificates to make two Mums, two Dads. And all I came out and said is look, I don't think that is the right track to go down. We have no idea where this experiment is going to end up for our children. We don't know where it will lead, and what I want to stand up and say is what about the rights of the child, we are choosing for them, and they are not being given a chance to have a mother and a father.
JOURNALIST: But saying it's child abuse, that's a bit rich, isn't it?
WENDY: Well I specifically said emotional child abuse, and I did actually remove that from the Twitter because I realised that people have taken it out of context to what I'm saying. They've lost sight of it, because it just kept on going, more and more, and people were making it huger than what I was saying.
If any other social experiment was done on a child that we did not know what the results were going to be, I think you would agree with me that we would class that as emotional child abuse, and that's all I was trying to say.
I certainly didn't intend to make it this huge big storm. The Anglicare CEO Peter Kell, he says exactly the same thing when he's trying to get this bill rejected of same sex marriage as well, because he's saying children need the opportunity to have both a mother and a father.
This is not a gay rights issue. This is all about the best interests of the child.
JOURNALIST: I'm just trying to understand though. I understand you've taken the comment off Twitter, but then why remove the entire statement where it was in context off your website?
WENDY: I did because, we were just, we're a small group of people. Family First is a small group of people, we're a minor party, and the response was overwhelming. We actually could not handle the inundation of response, so we couldn't reply to it all, so I thought the best thing to do was to pull it down. The headlines also that were being generated, it lost sight completely of what it was saying. So I pulled it down because I was absolutely overwhelmed with the response.
JOURNALIST: Do you regret the comments then?
WENDY: Can't say that I regret them, because I still stand by the fact that children... the best interests of the child is to have a mother and father. Life is not perfect and that doesn't always happen. But I just think to go down the track of purposefully deciding that a child will not have a mother or will not have a father is not in the best interests of the child. So I can't retract the comments, but I regret any misinformation or the sensationalism that has happened from the gay lobby, I do regret that.
JOURNALIST: But taking down the statement - 'cause you're saying it was taken out of context and your statement IS in context - I'm still trying to understand why you would remove something that was in context?
WENDY: It was simply because I couldn't handle all the response. You just would not believe the hundreds of people who were trying to get in touch with us over it. I personally have had a process during this campaign of answering everybody who has talked to me or asked me a question. So I have actually responded to every email, I've responded to Facebook, and I could not respond. And so I felt that the best thing for me at the time was to pull it down so I could actually get the situation under control.
And also, it was actually being taken out of context, because it was all sorts of saying, you know, that gay people were child abusers and everything, and I'm not saying that. I'm saying that it's emotional child abuse to do a social experiment on children that we do not know what the end result is going to be. These are our next generation, they are children who are being denied the right to have a mother and a father. And that's all I'm saying, I want to stand up for the rights of the child.
JOURNALIST: I'd imagine that some of those responses from the public would not have been the most friendly?
WENDY: No, the gay lobby really came out very strongly against me.
JOURNALIST: Have you had any threats?
WENDY: Yes, I have.
JOURNALIST: Have you spoken to the police?
WENDY: No I haven't, no.
JOURNALIST: Will you be?
WENDY: No, I don't intend to, no.
JOURNALIST: So you're just hoping this matter will go away?
WENDY: I don't feel personally threatened. This is my opinion, and this is their opinion, and I believe they have the right to their opinion as I do. This is Australia. And I have the right to the opinion that I believe the best interests of the child is to have a mum and a dad. And so I'm just saying what my opinion is, and they are very strongly saying what their opinion is. You know, quite strongly. But I don't believe they don't have the right to say that, I believe they have the right to say that, and I don't at the moment feel personally threatened.
JOURNALIST: What's your message to same-sex couples who have children now? We're talking more than 4000 in this country alone. Surely they would be offended by your comments?
WENDY: I'm not sure it would be anything they haven't heard before, because as I say I'm not the only one saying it. Penny Wong is gay herself, and she has come out and said she believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Anglicare has come out quite strongly on the weekend and saying that their understanding is that children need the opportunity to have both a mother and a father. So I don't think that this would be new to anybody, sorry I don't think I'm coming out with anything new.
Both our major parties stand by the Marriage Act saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I'm not actually saying anything new. What I don't really get is that my comments have been taken and just really sent around so wildly. I'm not saying anything the other parties are not saying. The Greens certainly want this to be an agenda item - they want same sex marriage, they want children to be able to be brought up with just two mums or two dads. And for me that is a radical path that Australia needs to avoid. I think the Greens' agenda is absolutely radical, and I will do everything I can to stop that.
JOURNALIST: It's hardly radical though, when we've got many Western countries that have gone down this path now. I mean, we're kind of behind a bit.
WENDY: It's very radical for Australia to decide that a child does not have the right to have a mum. I think that's very radical. I think it's very radical for Australia to decide that a child does not have the right to have a father. That they will have a birth certificate with two mothers and no father. There will be no way of them finding out who their father was, because they don't have one. They have two mothers. I think that's very radical.
Here's the article she deleted. Someone should tell her you can never delete stuff off the net.ReplyDelete
Soz, linking might not work. Here's the article.ReplyDelete
Let’s end the gay marriage debate and protect children from abuse
Queensland senate candidate Wendy Francis has called on both Labor and the Coalition to draw a line in the sand and put the gay marriage debate behind them, saying the continued debate is destructive to Australia’s future.
“The best thing we can do for our children and their children is to send the message that marriage will always remain between a man and a women,” she said. Francis said that Australia would never recover from legalising gay marriage and those who advocate this are not thinking of the dramatic consequences.
“We’ll have kids growing up with no mothers or no fathers, we’ll create a parent-less generation, social problems including depression and suicide will be uncontrollable and any sense of right and wrong will be gone. Is that the Australia we want?” She asked.
Francis told Channel 7’s Sunrise program last week during a live debate that she would defend the current interpretation of marriage. “The homosexual community represents a tiny percentage of Australia. They have the right to be homosexual but they don’t have the right to dictate to mainstream Australia or to change the laws to suit their narrow agenda,” she said.
According to Francis, the gay agenda is self-centred. “Homosexuals who are pushing for this don’t care about children; they care only about their selfish desires. Children in homosexual relationships are subject to emotional abuse and legitimising gay marriage is like legalising child abuse.”
Francis said she is the only person who will stand up for the values that Australians care about. “The major parties are too scared to speak up for what is right. They are too politically correct.”
“It’s time for the voices of the people to be heard in Canberra. While the senate is dominated by the two major parties and the radical Greens, we will continue to slide down the path of moral erosion and ignore the concerns of mainstream Australia”
I agree with the notion that only having too mums or two dads is a social experiment but only in the context that every new cultural element is. The introduction of TVs into the household, the Internet, removing the elderly into nursing homes.ReplyDelete
If we follow Wendy's "logic" then we shouldn't be introducing any new concepts into the household and everyone should be raised according to a script of what's best for the child.
Personally if my wife and I were to change our minds and decide to have children the first child would be named 'Control' and the next one/s would have a very interesting lifestyle indeed.
She is fascinating in the same way that Hannibal Lecter is fascinating. I'm kind of envious of this interview, it would be so interesting to talk to someone who's so stubborn. Frustrating too I imagine.ReplyDelete
At this stage hadn't Bob Day already tried to cover by saying someone else had hacked her account?
Family first...I think they mean religion first!ReplyDelete
I think there are enough main stream Australians who know gay couples who would be awesome nurturing parents (just as there are plenty who know aweful hetro parents).ReplyDelete
Wendy claims to speak for mainstream Australia. I'm not so sure.
IF the mother/father paradigm actually really did work, as in create a solid foundation for young people to thrive in and grow without fear of being sexually abused or emotionally disrupted then Wendy would have a good argument for her case. H o w e v e r the society that has been created from 'normal' is begging for an alternative, and guess what, now we've got one.ReplyDelete
Don't blame religion for this tool....unless of course, you're just as narrow minded as her.ReplyDelete
Why can't we blame religion Moko? The reason she believes what she believes, is because it is written in the bible that marriage is between a man and a woman.ReplyDelete
Of course it is possible that someone can believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and NOT be religious, but that is not the case here.
Wendy has strong religious beliefs, and those religious beliefs are the drivers of her policy.
Look what five years of gay marriage has done to Canada!! "nothing!" What do you mean nothing? What is this "social experiment" crap? does she think that gay and lesbian couples aren't already in committed relationships bringing up children? She should tell the "every child deserves a mum and a dad" fairy tale to someone who had an physically, sexually and mentally abusive drunk for a father. Not sure anyone deserves that.ReplyDelete
I have a copy of her twitter feed. She did NOT say emotional child abuse. She said (and I quote "Children in homosexual relationships are subject to emotional abuse. Legitimising gay marriage is like legalising child abuse"ReplyDelete
Wendy wrote that.
She has lied here. I have a screenshot of her twitter feed.
If she lies here, she will lie in parliament.
So much for her integrity which she boasts about in her election pamphlet I got today.
So Wendy... Liar, Liar...your Kmart pants are on fire...
My bad.. I misquoted Wendy....ReplyDelete
Sorry about that Wendy.
What I meant to quote was you saying..
"I am a bigot, and a liar.... I have Gay tendancies and can't deal with them any other way than to harass other gay folk..."
Oh damnit. I got it wrong again.
or did I.
Family First = their idea of what family should be, first. IE their family first.ReplyDelete
"I believe the best interests of the child is to have a mum and a dad."ReplyDelete
What about single parents? Divorcees? Widows? I take it if the issue is not about gay rights - then family first is against these 'families' also.
The Lutheran Church in Sweden actually performs gay marriages. They've movied with the times and realised old prejudices are just prejudices, with little moral basis.ReplyDelete
Reason enough to become a Swedish Lutheran I think.
Luke, really can't be fucked getting into it, but people take different things from many trains of thought. Religion is no different. Her idea of faith is COMPLETELY fucking different to mine, but by you saying 'religon' is responsible you're dismissing the effort I put in to treat everyone with the respect they deserve, not kill the people that fucken shit me, and live the straight and narrow the best I can then someone like yourself comes along and dumps me in the same fucken box of bullshit as this stupid bitch without so much as opening your eyes to the possibility there's Christians out there that shudder at the thought of the shit coming out of this chick's head.ReplyDelete
Comprehend?. So, don't be a hypocrite, unless of course you want me throwing generalisations around about Marxism - Leninism being Atheists.
Personally, I don't agree with Ms. Francis. Although I do respect that we ARE a democratic country and we all have that free right of speech, we all have that free right to respond to stimuli. I think she is partially contradicting herself in a way. She says that every child should have that right of a mum and dad, but it's okay to have same sex couples. How is it possible for a child to have a mum and dad if their parents are either female or both male? I also think it doesn't matter. I have a friend whose parents are both women and she's as happy as Larry and isn't bothered by it at all. Society is changing and I think Ms. Francis need to wake up and realise this, and see that there is no way of stopping this, everyone has a right to marry who they want as long as it is in the law, which in this case, it is still completely legal to have same sex couples and people shouldn't be deprived of that. I'm sure that if children did have same sex parents, they'd be able to sit down and talk to their parents and they'd possibly have another friend who is the opposite sex to their parents who would be much like a mother of father figure to them. I think most people have a friend or mentor like that, so I don't particularly see the big deal. And as a child myself, I wouldn’t particularly mind if I had same sex parents, because all over, I would still have two loving parents who would care for me and look after me. End of Story. There is always a solution to a problem.ReplyDelete
Moko, I didn't mean to lump everyone that is religious into the same category as Wendy. I'm not saying all religious people believe gay marriage is wrong. You are proof that is an incorrect statement.ReplyDelete
The bible clearly states that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
I think you would have to believe that Wendy get's the motivations for her policies from there.
However, WE both agree that we shouldn't follow the bible on this one.
WE both agree that today's laws shouldn't be driven by a book that was written 2000 years ago.
The only difference between us is I've disregarded more of it than you.
It also says love thy neighbour. Treat those as you wish to be treated etc etc.ReplyDelete
The bible clearly states many things. It would be naive to to think the bible hasn't been altered and twisted beyond it's original intent by the people who only had access to it and began using it as a tool of control. You're DREAMING if you think this hasn't been done throughout history. 2000 years ago possibly, I think its been revised multiple times since then.
...and don't tell me what I believe. You've got NO idea.
Father Peter Kennedy, the South Brisbane priest who blesses gay couples relationships, is another prime example of where those who believe in religion aren't all biggots and homophobes.ReplyDelete
Religion at heart is about love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, etc. Just because some twist it into a thing of hate doesn't make it in itself a bad thing.
She certainly has got a lot of publicity out of all of this, and in terms of her target audience that may actually be to her advantage.ReplyDelete
Whatever the case, I think she needs a hug. Followed by a nice cup of tea and a lie down.
what a discussion on gay marriage were on twitter, thanks for posting the comments on here, in my opinion I think that gay marriage must not be legal at all, if they want to be and live together, then they are free to do it, but not marriageReplyDelete