Marching to a gay beat

I don’t think any readers of this website will be surprised to know that Australian Marriage Equality thinks that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a great place to promote its political agenda.

That’s probably because the Mardi Gras’ constitution states that political activity, training and development are part of the organisation’s objects.

Good for them.

Obviously, anyone who doesn’t agree with this agenda is a bigot, according to the ‘vibe’ and, no doubt, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. And if that is the definition of a bigot, then count me in. I think that everything Australian Marriage Equality stands for stinks.

Anyway, this is what Australian Marriage Equality has to say about the Mardi Gras:

“This year the Australian Marriage Equality float is about the communities across Australia who are joining Team Equal.  In 2015, Australian Marriage Equality is undertaking our most ambitious nationwide campaign ever. We have identified the federal politicians we need to win over and we will be travelling to 25 electorates to work with their communities as part of the 2015 Team Equal local campaigns.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a great opportunity to demonstrate your support for marriage equality to the entire city, country, and world. Our floats continue to attract major attention from media, the community and politicians.

The theme this year will allow you to represent your town, city or community and send a strong message to politicians that Australian communities want marriage equality in 2015.”

It all sounds very political to me.

And marching along with Australian Marriage Equality in the same parade will be the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army, Warrant Officer Class One Dave Ashley, AM. Presumably, like everyone else in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, he will be demonstrating his support for marriage equality to the entire city, country, world and possibly even to the outer regions of the solar system.

I guess that also means Dave Ashley will be part of ‘Team Equal’, where everyone’s individuality has been replaced with a rainbow, peer group pressure and totalitarian conformity. If you’re a member of Team Equal, you can do whatever you like as long as it’s not normal.

I’m proudly not part of ‘Team Equal’. I am part of Team Married: that means I live with my wife and our children who were not built in a test tube and who don’t have biological parents living somewhere else. No homosexual relationship will ever be equal to that.

But back to Dave. Part of his job is to ensure that discipline and standards within the Australian Army are maintained. It’s a particularly important job, one would think, given that the military is constantly embarrassed by media reports of misbehaving soldiers.

And this is where it gets interesting.

On 7 March 2015, Warrant Officer Class One Dave Ashley, AM, is going to break a lawful general order. The penalty for this act of military disobedience includes up to 12 months imprisonment.

The order that the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army will violate applies to every soldier and officer in the Australian Defence Force and is found in Defence Instruction (General) 21-1 Political activities of Defence Personnel.

This document states in paragraph 28b.(2) the following:

Defence members must not, in any activity of a political nature, wear their uniform.

That is black and white. It’s cut and dried. There’s no room to move. And in any other circumstances a soldier who broke this order would be done and dusted. However, in the interests of ensuring that LGBT soldiers and their ‘allies’ aren’t singled out, they are singled out and exempted from all requirements of military obedience.

Except that there is no legal power to exempt soldiers from anything based on their sexual preferences, or orientation or whatever it’s called in February 2015. In fact, laws prohibiting discrimination on these grounds are in place precisely to make sure that this sort of thing does not happen.

So the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army is not exempt from anything and instead he is going to deliberately break this order. If I was still serving, I’d politely ask what other orders he intends to break.

Now, I may be wrong, but I don’t think a Regimental Sergeant Major can do his job of maintaining standards and discipline if he is giving the impression to the other soldiers that orders can be ignored at whim and fancy.

But that is exactly what Dave Ashley is doing.

ArmyMG-4-350x249Defence members are prohibited from wearing their uniform to political events, but LGBT members have marched at the Mardi Gras with groups like Australian Marriage Equality since 2013.

The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, once famously said that the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Now, I may also be wrong on this point as well, but I imagine that the Chief of Army walks past the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army on a fairly frequent basis. Just saying, you know.

Of course, all of this is made worse by the fact that the Australian Army is charged with defending Australia. This includes its laws. This includes its law on marriage. Like it or lump it, when Australian soldiers are training to defend this country, part of what they are training to defend is the definition that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

It is scandalous that the military is interfering in the democratic conventions in this manner to undermine extant laws. It has no business supporting a blatantly political rally that promotes ideas that Australians have rejected over and again at the ballot box.

Furthermore, groups like Australian Marriage Equality would cry foul if the Australian Army was marching in an event that promoted the political agenda of pro-marriage organisations.

I guess that just makes groups like Australian Marriage Equality an organisation of hypocrites. That, and the fact that they like to promote homosexual marriage by advertising people who have already decided that marriage is meaningless anyway. I always find it laughable that a divorced person thinks that they can speak with any credibility on the importance of ‘homosexual marriage’. Australian Marriage Equality thinks it adds weight to their case.

Presumably, the Chief of Army and Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army think they can get around the fact that lawful general orders prohibit uniformed personnel from attending the Mardi Gras by claiming that they are only there to support the LGBT culture celebrated at this sordid parade. Hence this grammar-diverse line from the DEFGLIS website:

“Defence’s visible presence at this national cultural event provides an opportunity for serving members to demonstrate to the LGBTI community, their deep pride and loyalty to their Service as well as signifying Defence’s commitment to an inclusive and respectful workplace.”

By the way, DEFGLIS is not a Defence organisation. It is a private lobby group that campaigns for homosexual marriage and the removal of rights and funding from Christian organisations. Despite this, it receives Defence support and has been allowed to give orders to Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen at previous Mardi Gras parades, and it is organising the 2015 Defence contingent as well.

But appealing to culture will not help the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army, or his marching buddies, who just happen to be filling in the equivalent jobs in the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

In fact, this is a murky little area that can only lead to disgrace for all involved.

For instance, the Sydney Leather Pride Association is planning to stroll down Oxford Street again this year, with its members probably clothed much as they were last year. Which is to say, not wearing much at all.

When the Australian Army marches in the Mardi Gras with this group, it is marching with an organisation that had no qualms about displaying on its webpage the colour ‘codes’ one should wear if they are interested in engaging in pederasty and bestialia, both of which are criminal offences. That information is gone now, thanks to the public shaming given to the Sydney Leather Pride Association by this webpage last year. But there was no apology and no admittance that what it did was wrong. And the organisers of the Mardi Gras, as far as I can tell, have not asked any questions about it.

The New South Wales police did send me an email though, stating that they monitor groups like the Sydney Leather Pride Association on a daily basis due to the concerning nature of the sexual activities that they promote. What an endorsement.

So this is really not the type of culture that the Australian Defence Force should be supporting so publicly. It’s dangerous and embarrassing for those who have worn the nation’s uniform so proudly on operations.

There’s also the fact that a Defence report found in April 2013 that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras vilified Jesus Christ. But that’s not all. It even went on to state that soldiers would be severely dealt with if they attended an event in uniform that vilified Mohammed in the same way.

Double standards anyone?

The same report also acknowledged the existence of radical groups at the Mardi Gras who engaged in lewd sexual behaviour during the parade in the presence of children. I struggle to understand how any taxpayer-funded organisation can deem the behaviour at the Mardi Gras as ‘culture’ that is worth accepting, let alone promoting. I also struggle to understand how the military, which is reeling from an ongoing barrage of sexual misconduct allegations can possibly think that associating with these groups is going to help address this problem.

Defence has a policy on unacceptable behaviour. It is also a lawful general order for those people who are interested in these things, like, say, a Regimental Sergeant Major. It states that a Defence workplace is any place where Defence members are on duty. That means when Warrant Officer Class One Dave Ashley, AM marches down Oxford Street in the Mardi Gras parade on 7 March 2015 it will become a Defence workplace. And Defence policy prohibiting religious vilification, political vilification and lewd sexual behaviour will apply.

It also means that Warrant Officer Class One Dave Ashley, AM will be breaking other lawful general orders that require him to stop unacceptable behaviour and to report it. Instead, he will be setting a standard by what he marches past and who he marches with.

I’ll have much more to say about the hypocrisy, double-standards, blatant discrimination and persecution by the higher ranks in the Australian Defence Force against any member who dares to cross the LGBT mafia within the military over the next few weeks. For instance, Defence turns a blind eye to the political nature of the Mardi Gras, even though its own reports recognise this fact. However, when current serving, non-LGBT personnel have asked for the same recognition and same freedoms as LGBT members to wear their uniform at ‘conservative’ events of importance to them, Defence has denied the request on the basis that orders prohibit uniformed attendance at political events.

And, for the record, these personnel do not support the idea of a military that marches in political events, but now that the door has been opened, they are just after the same ‘rights’ that LGBT service personnel enjoy.

But for this post, I’ll leave the last line to a Vietnam veteran. He wrote to me to express his disgust at the decision taken by Warrant Officer Class One Dave Ashley, AM to march in this perverted political rally. If the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army does happen to read this post, he might like to think about whether he really is proud of his decision to break with the long line of honourable soldiers who held this important position before him (and I was recently informed by a knowledgeable source that there was an officer assigned to reading my posts every day until my commission was terminated, so there is a good chance that Dave Ashley will be duly directed to its contents).

Of course, Vietnam veterans came from a military that was focused on fighting wars, so maybe that explains the disdain. The hierarchy of the Australian Army has not spent much time talking about Iraq or Syria or Afghanistan lately, and they have done even less to win those wars. But the Chief of Army has been up on stage with Angelina Jolie. In fact, just yesterday Lieutenant General David Morrison revealed that he had pondered feminism and the ideas of feminist-perspective authors more deeply than “any other big issue” while he had been Chief of Army.

It just shows you where the priorities are.

Anyway, this sentence pretty much sums up how many veterans feel. It comes from a regular reader of this website:

“I cannot imagine any RSM of the Army I knew putting up with this rubbish.”

Warrant Officer Class One Dave Ashley, AM is not like any former Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army. Current serving members know it. Veterans know it. And he knows it.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of seven children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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