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Is it time for corporations to drop ‘woke’ inclusion policies?

 

ABC studio entrance
Image: iStock

The ABC has faced criticism for surveys that asked about employees’ gender identity, ethnicity and sexuality.

*Facepalm*.

First, why do the need to know? I mean asking about someone’s sexuality or gender identity? I have real issues with that. LGBTQ+ should be safe to come out if and when they feel comfortable. They shouldn’t be put on the spot like that.

This is just the latest of corporate ‘virtual signalling’. At worst, it may achieve the exact opposite of what they intended.

Corporations should learn from the Rugby Australia fiasco

(This is the LAST time I am ever writing about this).

The recently settled legal feud between Rugby Australia and former Wallabies player, Israel Folau shows how ‘inclusion’ policies can backfire.

You’ve probably heard the story a zillion times (I know I have), but for those who haven’t, here’s the quick  rundown.

Folau posted a paraphrase (NOT A QUOTE), of  a modern (and sometimes contested) translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 on Instagram. It’s commonly used by the Religious Right in the U.S. It’s used to condemn LGBTQ+ people.

Rugby Australia CEO, Raelene Castle then sacked the Wallabies player for an (alleged) breach of contract.

I wish she hadn’t. For months and months, journalists, particularly from Newscorp have obsessively defended Folau and attacked Castle. They painted Folau as a victim of discrimination because of his Christianity. LGBTQ+ people and their so – called allies have been made to look like the ones discriminating.

To add to the shit show, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (who’s gay and was vocal for same – sex marriage), has been accused of getting in Castle’s ear, creating pressure on her to sack Folau (Qantas is a key RA sponsor).

The Australian Christian Lobby has played the victim card for Folau. After Folau lost his GoFundMe page, the ACL Managing Director, Martyn Isles set his own donations page for Folau’s case. It gained A$2.2 million.

You read that right. A$2.2 million was raised for multi – millionaire ex Rugby Union. All because of what RA did.

 

Just this week, the Folaus (Israel and his wife Maria) and RA made a settlement outside court and apologies have been made. Israel Folau has received a payout, although the exact amount is not known to the public.

 

This has definitely blown up in Castle’s face. What’s more, it hasn’t done anything to further LGBTQ+ rights. In fact, it’s made conservatives dig their heels in, demanding ‘religious freedom’.

Virtue signalling does not encourage empathy

People are getting sick of political correctness. Many straight people don’t see why LGBTQ+ people need extra protection, more ‘rights’, etc. And why should they? Think about it. Straight people don’t have worry about coming out or have their identities questioned or demonised.

Generally, straight people of faith don’t have to struggle to find a community that is going to accept them for who they are.

Straight people are the majority who don’t have to think about these things (and more). I think that’s why many get frustrated for having LGBTQ+ issues ‘shoved down their throats’ all the time.

Better way to foster inclusion

Keep it simple. Foster a workplace culture of respect. Have policies that says that abuse is not going to be accepted, period.

i think it’s time corporations stop singling minorities out. Everyone is tired of it. Everyone should stick with their job description: Rugby Australia, focus on Rugby, Qantas, focus on getting people from A to B, etc. Leave LGBTQ+ protests to Mardi Gras.

 

What are your thoughts on the Israel Folau/ Rugby Australia saga? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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News Opinion/Commentary

Israel Folau can have his beliefs. People have a right to disagree

Rugby ball in front of goal posts
Image: iStock

Wallabies player, Israel Folau, has caused a storm after he posted on Instagram that gay people that don’t repent will go to hell. This comes less than twelve months since he expressed his view that marriage should be between a man and woman on Twitter. Rugby Australia are not planning to sack Folau, but will encourage him to be mindful of divisive comments on social media in the future. According to The Australian, Qantas and Swisse have threatened to withdraw sponsorship from Rugby Australia in revolt to Folau’s comments.

Here’s my take.

I actually agree with Rugby Australia for not sacking or suspending Folau.

I also defend the right of Qantas and Swisse to pull their sponsorship as a form of revolt. They can put their money where they like.

What Folau said would have hit a lot of people hard. The relationship between LGBTQ+ people and Christians has been rocky in the past to say the least.

While religious belief and participation is shown to be beneficial to people’s mental well – being, this can’t always be said for LGBTQ+ people. In fact, a number of LGBTQ+ people end up abandoning their religion because of the conflict between their sexuality and their religious affiliation.

Some attitudes and actions of some Christian (and other religious) organisations have been downright harmful.

So – called ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy; which is thankfuly becoming rarer, is known to be harmful and does not work. Multiple medical and psychological bodies around the world have publicly rejected the idea that sexual orientation can and should be changed. Some of them have also warned about potentially damaging effects of the practice. Conflict between sexual orientations and religious affiliation has also shown to be a risk factor to poor mental health and suicidal thoughts among LGBTQ+ people.

 

With all that said, Folau should be debated, not penalised or silenced.

People caould argue, what I said and linked above; that most medical bodies around the developed world reject the notion that sexual orientation can or should be changed. They also argue that sexual orientation can’t be chosen.

Christians also have different interpretations of the so – called ‘clobber passages’ in both the Old an$ New Testament that are often used as a justifications for condemning gay people.

Over the years, people have strongly argued that the bible doesn’t condemn LGBTQ+ people or same – sex relationships.

Chill and hear me out. The most common arguments of these Christians, sometimes referred to as ‘Side A’ Christians, are that the passages condemn same – sex acts (often committed by men), that were not consensual, were often committed against children or was committed as a ritual in idol worship (Corinthians, in particular, did worship Aphrodite).

Second common argument, which is kind of related, is the controversy over the interpretations of some of the Hebrew and Greek.

I understand why people are angry and hurt by Folau’s comments. I feel for people who have been damaged by the actions of certain Christians. However, I don’t think censoring or punishing people like Folau will ultimately do anyone any good.

Let Folau and those like him to have their say, then non – Christians and Christians alike can debate it out, then leave it alone. The LGBTQ+ community can’t be seen censoring people. Not after the hard – won battle of same – sex marriage in Australia.