Homophobes & bigots limber-up for the AFL’s Pride Round – are they a dying breed or on the rise in society?
While homophobes and bigots attempt to make Aussie Rules Football the latest battleground in their fight against marriage equality, targeting St Kilda and Sydney AFL Football Clubs in a campaign to derail the AFL’s first Pride match in June, the unanswered question is “Are they a dying breed or increasing in numbers?”
Public support for marriage equality has dramatically risen. But just how rampant is homophobia in the sports-attending population; have hearts and minds changed? If so, by how much; if not, why not?
Research from 2005 revealed Melbourne’s Inner City to be least homophobic (14 per cent) and the Outer South & East suburbs the most. Outside Victoria, the study identified the three most and three least homophobic areas of Australia. Overall the most homophobic areas were the Moreton area of country Queensland (excluding the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast), Central/South-West Queensland and the Burnie/Western district of Tasmania where 50 per cent believed homosexuality is immoral.
Following Melbourne’s Inner City as least homophobic Australian metropolitan areas were Central Perth (21 per cent) and Central Melbourne (26 per cent).
The Anti-Violence Project is encouraging the AFL, LGBTI community organisations and the state government to use the pending AFL Pride match in June to see how much has changed in the hearts and minds of people leaving their suburban lounge-rooms to attend AFL football matches around the nation since the 2005 research.
Read more about homophobic flyers, targeting marriage equality and the AFL’s Pride match, left on spectators’ cars outside the VFL game between Sandringham and Footscray last weekend. The flyers were headlined: “Children deserve a mother and father”, here: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-season-2016-st-kilda-sydney-targeted-in-protest-against-afls-first-gay-pride-game-20160429-goi52g.html