A staffer from Senator Eric Abetz’s office has used his personal Facebook page to publicly humiliate a gay teenager over the Safe Schools program.
Josh Manuatu, (pictured) himself openly gay, also used an image of the minor beside a message which originally had been sent to him in a private forum.
Young gay Joshua, 17, was taking issue with Mr Manuatu after he went for the jugular of the “PC lefty lynchmob” in a column published in several Fairfax newspapers.
He suggested Mr Manuatu was a bigot and questioned whether he even knew how the Safe Schools program operated.
Thanking Joshua for his feedback, Mr Manuatu added: “Just because we disagree on a policy issue doesn’t make me a bigot – it’s that namecalling that I was trying to call out in my article.”
Joshua replied, saying Mr Manuatu was “the scum of the gay community that stops us from being progressive”.
Strong words from Joshua, who is a staunch advocate of the Safe Schools program having himself been a victim of bullying at school.
Now, Joshua is horrified that his comments, sent privately, have entered the public domain. He also said his comments had been posted out of context and the only attribution to any comments in the post was the unauthorised use of his image.
In his column, Mr Manuatu agreed that bullying was a scourge and must be dealt with but professed that the program was “a disgraceful form of social engineering dressed up as an antibullying programme”.
“I know of countless people in a similar position to me who are gay and conservative who think that the safe schools programme is bad and that marriage should remain the same but who are too afraid to speak out for fear of being attacked by the PC lefty lynchmob,” he wrote.
“Until they can demonstrate the tolerance that they demand of others they have absolutely no leg to stand on especially on the topic of antibullying.”
Mr Manuatu agreed, therefore, that everyone should be entitled to their opinion in “a genuinely open and free discussion without shouting down anyone with a contrary view”.
True, but was it necessary for the Liberal staffer to take to his own Facebook page and publicly belittle the socalled “lefty lynchmob”?
And, in doing so, he exposed a vulnerable young man who, somewhat ironically, left school early because of the very bullying the Safe Schools program is designed to eliminate.
Mr Manuatu himself seemed to have taken some pride in his post, stating: “Following my article in Fairfax today, I’ve received lots and lots of messages, many supportive but also many from the ever tolerant left. Thought I’d share a few because they manage to highlight exact lefty lynchmob I was trying to call out! Remember: these people support this alleged antibullying programme.”
All this in an age when suicide, especially among the younger gay community, is an ongoing blight on our society.
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