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Homophobia as Party Politics: The Construction of the ‘Homosexual Deviant’ in Joh Bjelke-Petersen's Queensland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2016

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Extract

In 1987, years of frustration with Queensland's sexually repressive culture compelled a homosexual man named Cliff Williams to write to the national gay magazine OutRage. Williams outlined a number of the difficulties he faced being gay in Queensland and ended his letter with the exclamation, ‘To hell with homophobic Queensland!’ This exclamation captures many of the tensions in Queensland in the 1970s and 1980s. While these decades were a time of immense political change for gay and lesbian Australians, Queensland's political culture was particularly resistant to the gay and lesbian rights movement.

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Research Article
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 

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References

Notes

1 OutRage 46 (1987): 5.

2 OutRage 46 (1987): 5.

3 Nikolas Rose and Peter Miller, ‘Political Power Beyond the State: Problematics of Government’, British Journal of Sociology 43(2)(1992): 177.

4 For more on this methodology, see Catherine Marshall and Gretchen B. Rossman, Designing Qualitative Research (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998).

5 Gary Simes, ‘The Language of Homosexuality in Australia’, in Aldrich, Robert and Wotherspoon, Garry (eds), Gay Perspectives: Essays in Australian Gay Culture (Sydney: Department of Economic History, University of Sydney, 1992), pp. 31–57.

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6 Robinson, Shirleene, ‘Homophobia: Towards an Australian History’, in Robinson, Shirleene (ed.), Homophobia: An Australian History (Sydney: Federation Press, 2008), p. 3.

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7 Moore, Clive, Sunshine and Rainbows: The Development of Gay and Lesbian Culture in Queensland [St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2001), p. 142.

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8 Moore, Sunshine and Rainbows, p. 142.

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12 Shirleene Robinson, ‘Queensland's Queer Press’, Queensland Review 14(2) (2007): 5978.

13 Moore, Sunshine and Rainbows, p. 213.

14 Moore, Sunshine and Rainbows, pp. 142–89.

15 Moore, Clive and Jamison, Brian, ‘Making the Modern Australian Homosexual Male: Queensland's Criminal Justice System and Homosexual Offences, 1860-1954’, Crime, History and Societies 11(1) (2007): 27-54; Clive Moore, ‘The Frontier Makes Strange Bedfellows: Masculinity, Mateship and Homosexuality in Colonial Queensland’, in Garry Wotherspoon (ed.), Gay and Lesbian Perspectives III: Essays in Australian Culture (Sydney: Department of Economic History, University of Sydney, with the Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research, 1996), pp. 17–44: Clive Moore, ‘That Abominable Crime: First Steps Towards a Social History of Male Homosexuals in Colonial Queensland, 1859-1900’, in Robert Aldrich (ed.), Gay Perspectives II: More Essays in Australian Gay Culture (Sydney: Department of Economic History, University of Sydney, with the Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research, 1994), pp. 115–48.

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18 See particularly Willett, Graham, Living Out Loud: A History of Gay and Lesbian Activism in Australia (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2000) and Robert Reynolds, From Camp to Queer: Remaking the Australian Homosexual (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2002).

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31 Moore, Sunshine and Rainbows, p. 166.

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33 Gay Solidarity Newsletter [Brisbane] (1978): 4.

34 Gay Solidarity Newsletter [Brisbane] (1978): 4.

35 Gay Solidarity Newsletter [Brisbane] (1978): 4.

36 Gay Solidarity Newsletter [Brisbane] (1978): 4.

37 Gay Solidarity Newsletter [Brisbane] (1978): 4.

38 Gay Solidarity Newsletter [Brisbane] (1978): 4.

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43 AXIS (1976); 2.

44 AXIS (1976): 2.

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46 AXIS (1976): 2.

47 AXIS (1976): 175.

48 Age [Melbourne], 7 September 1983: 3.

49 Age [Melbourne], 7 September 1983: 3.

50 Queensland Parliamentary Debates, 28 August 1984: 272.

51 Queensland Parliamentary Debates, 30 August 1984: 356.

52 Angelides, Steven, ‘The Continuing Homosexual Offensive’: Sex Education, Gay Rights and Homosexual Recruitment’, in Robinson, Shirleene (ed.), Homophobia: An Australian History, p. 172.

53 The Australian, 31 August 1984: 3.

54 Courier-Mail [Brisbane], 31 August 1984: 2.

55 Courier-Mail [Brisbane], 31 August 1984: 2.

56 The Australian, 31 August 1984: 3.

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60 Australian, 31 August 1984: 3.

61 Weekend Australian, 17-18 November 1984: 1.

62 Sendziuk, Learning to Trust, pp. 56–80.

63 Weekend Australian, 17-18 November 1984: 1.

64 Weekend Australian, 17-18 November 1984: 1. See Sendziuk, Learning to Trust for more on the response in other states.

65 Peter North, ‘AIDS - Morality and Mortality: The Shaping of Preventative Strategies with Particular Reference to Queensland’, Master of Social Work thesis, University of Queensland, 1987, p. 111.

66 Weekend Australian, 17-18 November 1984, p. 1.

67 Cliff Williams, ‘To Hell with Homophobic Queensland’, OutRage 46 (1987): 5.

68 OutRage, May (1991): 19.

69 Sunday Sun, 23 December 1984: 5.

70 Sunday Sun, 23 December 1984: 5. See also Whitton, The Hillbilly Dictator, p. 110.

71 Sturgess, Des, Report of an Inquiry into Sexual Offences Involving Children and Related Matters (Brisbane: Queensland Government, 1986), p. 10.

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72 Sunday Mail, 23 February 1986: 11.

73 Sunday Sun, 23 December 1984: 4.

74 Sydney Morning Herald, 28 September 1985: 11.

75 Daily Sun, 21 September 1987: 31.

76 Sunday Mail, 10 November 1985: 3.

77 Sunday Mail, 10 November 1985: 3.

78 OutRage 31 (1985): 4.

79 OutRage 33 (1986): 8.

80 Weir, Greg, ‘Activity Heightens Over the Queensland Liquor Act on “Deviants” and “Sexual Perverts”’, Media Release, 5 December 1985, Greg Weir Collection, Vol. 14, MS 1895, Fryer Library, University of Queensland.

81 Daily Sun, 4 December 1985: 1.

82 Daily Sun, 4 December 1985: 1.

83 Daily Sun, 4 December 1985: 1.

84 Daily Sun, 20 November 1985: 1.

85 Daily Sun, 23 November 1985: 1.

86 Sunday Mail, 10 November 1985: 13.

87 Queensland Pride 1 (1991): 2.

88 OutRage 52 (1987): 12.

89 The Australian, 20 July 1987: 1.

90 Courier-Mail, 20 July 1987: 1.

91 Courier-Mail, 21 July 1987: 3.

92 Moore, Sunshine and Rainbows, pp. 183–89.

93 Whitton, The Hillbilly Dictator, pp. 145–85.

94 Dickie, Phil, The Road to Fitzgerald and Beyond (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1989), pp. 1718.

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95 Dickie, The Road to Fitzgerald and Beyond, pp. 1718.

96 Under section 208 of the Queensland Criminal Code, it is also still illegal for heterosexual couples to engage in anal intercourse.

97 Queensland Pride 3 (1991): 2.

98 OutRage May (1991): 18.

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