By JR on Friday, June 10, 2011
Just the suggestion of discriminating against homosexuals in the story immediately below led to opprobrium. But in the second story below, actual discrimination BY homosexuals was officially approved
No-gay Glee: Leeton High School musical leaves out Kurt Hummel accused of homophobia
A HIGH school has been accused of homophobia after leaving a key gay character out of its Glee tribute musical. Leeton High School, in Leeton, NSW, copped criticism after it emerged that its musical would not include one of the TV show's lead characters, openly gay teen Kurt Hummel.
Theories sprung up as to why the character, played by Chris Colfer in the TV show, was omitted. Some suggested it was because a student playing a gay character could be harassed by other children at the school. Others said Kurt was left out simply because none of the students who auditioned were suitable for the role, which requires a soprano voice.
NSW Education Department spokesman Grant Hatch denied it was because Kurt was openly gay. "Not all characters from the television show were written into the school's musical, but there was no conscious thought by the authors about which names or characters to exclude," he said.
"Rehearsal had progressed for a considerable time with the students before anyone involved realised that Kurt was one of the names from the show that had not been used." "We left out other minority groups"
The department said its anti-discrimination policy extended to drama productions and it "would not accept dropping a character from a script because of sexual preference".
The school's website promotes the show, Don't Stop Believing, as having a plotline "based on the typical teenage issues of popularity and peer pressure, love and the age old battle between sport and music". More than 100 students will be involved in the production, with 13 of Glee's main characters portrayed.
Mr Hatch said other minority groups represented in the original show had also been left out. "Even when the same (character) name is used, not all characteristics are transplanted," he said.
"For instance, no Asian, Afro-American, Jewish, obese, anorexic or wheelchair-bound students appear even though they are prominent in the television show."
Glee's official website describes Kurt as a "fashion-forward soprano" targeted by school bullies, who develops a crush on the high school quarterback and markets his own fragrance.
Homosexual bar allowed to discriminate against women
On palpably false grounds
A GAY venue in Collingwood has won the right to ban women to ensure its patrons are not subjected to attempts by predatory females to turn them straight. VCAT has granted Sircuit Bar in Smith St an exemption to anti-discrimination laws, allowing it to ban women because they make the men uncomfortable.
"The applicant primarily relies on the exemption to exclude women from the venue, other than on Sundays after 3pm," VCAT reasoned. "This is to ensure that gay men are not subject to attempts to change their sexuality, which reduce their comfort in the venue, which includes being fully accepted for who they are."
Despite the ruling, a spokesman for the venue said the club had never had a problem with women trying to turn gay men straight. "We haven't had that problem here. But it does happen that women try and turn gay men straight," said the general manager, who wanted to be known only as Steve.
"When I was at high school and came out, plenty of my girlfriends said come with me and I'll turn you straight. You'd have to ask VCAT why they made the ruling."
Sircuit is a two-level nightclub that includes pool tables, a maze, movie lounges, private rooms and a wash area. The venue is an active fund-raiser and is regularly used by gay men's social and community groups.
VCAT said it was important gay men had a venue where they were not subject to disparaging comments. "For gay men who wish to display affection ... those actions can readily lead to misunderstanding and disparaging comments which are not applied to heterosexual people," VCAT said. "The applicants wish to provide a venue where it is safe and acceptable to openly express homosexuality."
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission did not wish to intervene in the decision, and VCAT said it did not contravene the Charter of Human Rights.
Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke said she supported the exemption. "One of the objectives of the EOA is to promote recognition and acceptance of everyone's right to equality of opportunity," Dr Szoke said. However, Dr Szoke said complaints about women trying to turn gay men straight in nightclubs "would not be covered under our legislation".
Other gay venues have had less success in banning patrons. Last year the Peel Hotel in Collingwood lost its right to ask people their sexuality before they were allowed to enter.