New Australian book on marriage hits censorship roadblock
by Michael Cook | September 26, 2016
One of today’s Australian headlines is “We can already see how a ‘debate’ about love will lead to violence and hate”. The article was written after a bomb threat to an LGBT FM station in Melbourne by a strong supporter of same-sex marriage and vehement opponent of a plebiscite.
However, there may a grain of truth in her prediction, judging from the way doctor, activist and author David van Gend has been treated.
Dr van Gend, a general practitioner from Toowoomba, is the author of the just-published book Stealing from a Child: the Injustice of 'Marriage Equality'. He makes a strong case for traditional marriage, attacks the “genderless agenda” and critiques the push for gay marriage. He describes it as "a manifesto in defense of society's inviolable foundation: Father, Mother, Child".
I read an advance copy. Van Gend has firm ideas, but expresses them respectfully and insults no one.
So he was quite surprised when the printer contacted the publisher, Connor Court Press, on the evening before the book was launched to announce that the company would not fill the order. "Due to the subject matter and content of your book, unfortunately I have been instructed by senior management not to proceed with printing this title," the publisher was told.
If Connor Court had not had been prudent enough to run off a couple of thousand digital copies, the carefully planned book launch would have collapsed. "This was a shock,” says Dr Van Gend, “because you don't expect a printing firm to act as a political censor for the gay lobby.”
But this was act of sabotage number 3 for Van Gend.
Act of sabotage number 2 took place last week when Mercure International Hotel in Sydney cancelled the venue for a gathering of groups opposing same-sex 'marriage', after gay activists threatened hotel staff. According to The Weekend Australian the hotel received threats of physical harm. This was backed up by a coordinated social media campaign -- unlike the bomb threat.
Act of sabotage number 1 took place last year when a television advertisement around the time of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras banned at the last minute by the SBS network.
So, yes, some people in the community have become heated enough to threaten violence, impose financial intimidation and censor the free flow of ideas. But, by and large, it is not going to be supporters of traditional marriage. It will be the LGBT thought police. In fact, they have already started.
"We are meant to be an open society where great issues are debated freely. What's the difference between burning books and banning them being printed?” asks Van Gend.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.