What did Neil Mitchell mean when he said “gay mafia” on-air on 3AW?

June 5, 2017

On the morning of May 26 I was invited to participate in an interview with Neil Mitchell regarding Margaret Court’s comments on marriage equality and related issues.

Just prior to the hourly news, while I was on hold waiting to be put to air, Neil made an on-air reference to “the gay mafia”.  You can hear him say this at the 58-minute mark here or listen to the clip here.

I would like to understand what Neil meant when he made this reference, as it is a term used by many people to vilify gay and lesbian people.

I have emailed Neil’s show asking the above.


From: 3AW 693 <noreply@jotform.com>
Date: 5 June 2017 at 11:35
Subject: 3AW Contact Form
To: Michael Barnett

Hello Michael,

Thank you for contacting 3AW. Your message has been delivered.

Please see a copy of your email below.

Thank you

3AW 693


Your Email;

Dear 3AW / Mornings team,

Last week I was invited to participate in an interview with Neil Mitchell regarding Margaret Court’s comments on marriage equality and related issues.

Just prior to the hourly news, while I was on hold waiting to be put to air, I heard Neil make an on-air reference to “the gay mafia”.  I am aware of other people who also heard this.

I would like to understand what Neil meant when he made this reference, as it is a term used by many people to vilify gay and lesbian people.

Thank you very much.


A straight colleague challenges the bigotry of Margaret Court

January 17, 2012

Today in the office two of my colleagues embarked on a conversation about the news around Margaret Court that was dominating the Australian Open. Both of these colleagues are heterosexual, married men in their late forties / early fifties, both with a reasonably firm grip on reality and both people who would speak up against intolerance and discrimination. In fact one, of South African Indian background, lived through the oppression of the Apartheid regime.

The conversation started off by my South African colleague asking the other what the deal was with Margaret Court and the rainbow flag protests that were being reported in the news.  My other colleague confidently said:

They need to pull her name off that stadium.  There’s no room for that sort of bigotry in a country like this.

I was sitting next to my colleague when he said this.  He’s not one to mince his words, and to hear this profoundly frank statement made me exceptionally proud to know him.

I posted the comment on Facebook (directly and via Twitter) as soon as what he had said sank in.  In the subsequent 10 hours well over thirty people have ‘liked’ my colleague’s comment, shared it once and reposted it once.  It has also attracted a range of supportive comments.

Clearly it has struck a chord.

I have to agree with my colleague. There is absolutely no room for this sort of bigotry in Australia. Increasingly the wider population is standing up to the hatred of homosexuality that has pervaded our society since the nation was founded.

It is incumbent on the leaders of our society, our governments, to fight the hatred and bigotry that same-sex attracted people face. It has to come from the very top, from the office of the Prime Minister. Sadly Prime Minister Gillard has, to date, shown herself to be completely lacking in the necessary skills to counter this hatred. Maybe she’ll discover them in time to make a difference during her ‘leadership’ but I won’t be holding my breath.

In the meantime I sit comfortable knowing that even if the leader of the nation has sold out to the homophobic right, there is an increasing number of heterosexual citizens who are prepared to stand up to the bigotry and hatred that their same-sex attracted compatriots are having to face.

Thank you to my colleague, and to every other heterosexual supporter fighting for our equality, our rights and our dignity.


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