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.


Interview on JOY 94.9 Saturday Magazine

April 11, 2017

On Saturday April 8 2017 I was interviewed by David “Macca” McCarthy on JOY 94.9’s Saturday Magazine regarding my activism and the recent smear campaign by The Australian and other News Corp media outlets.


Carl Katter libels Michael Barnett.

March 31, 2017

Carl Katter libels me.

20170331 Carl Katter 1

Carl Katter (Mar 31 2017)

20170331 Carl Katter 2

Carl Katter (Mar 31 2017)

20170331 Carl Katter 3

Carl Katter (Mar 31 2017)


Digital Activism: Human Rights and Equality – Talking Digital Media, Episode 11

May 3, 2016


Faith and Queer Identity | Stand Up Straight JOY 94.9

October 6, 2015

[NB: My first appearance in this interview is at 15:14 – MB]

Stand Up Straight / Religion / Faith and Queer Identity

Faith and Queer Identity

November 14, 2013 by

Michael, Michelle and Andrew

This weeks  show is “From Religion” I have two fascinating guys joining me:  Michael Barnett and Andrew Wheatland (from JOY’s Spirit Lounge). A Christian and a Jewish perspective, but of course, nothing is as you might think!

They tell their very different coming out experiences, and share their stories of being gay men and how this impacted on their relationship with their religion, family and friends.

Podcast: Download (Duration: 41:31 — 38.0MB)


Carl Katter, meet Barbra Streisand

August 16, 2015

On February 1 2013 Same Same published a story on Carl Katter’s political aspirations.  On August 10 2015 Crikey also published comments on Carl Katter’s political aspirations.  Crikey referred to the Same Same article:

Carl Katter has long flagged that he’s interested in a political career, saying he wanted to run before the 2013 election after joining the party in late 2012. We hope that preselection won’t tame Katter’s honest Twitter presence, including this exchange with Freedom Commissioner Tim Wilson in 2013 that was later deleted (and caught by SameSame):

The following snapshot of a Twitter exchange appeared in both articles:

Carl Katter Tim Wilson Twitter exchange

I run a public Facebook group called “Proud to be a Second-Class Australian“.  The aim of the group is to stimulate awareness of discrimination and to motivate people to campaign for LGBTIQ rights.  I post a significant amount of content as part of my activism.  Members can also post relevant content freely.  I like to ensure what I post is “warts and all”, in an effort to eliminate bias.

On August 10 I posted the aforementioned graphic to the Facebook group, including a link to the Crikey article.  I captioned the image “I said love, I said pet, I said princess.”  Shortly after posting the image I received a message from Carl Katter and then he blocked me.  Fair enough.  He’s entitled to do this.  He did this a couple of years ago too.  Some time in the middle he unblocked me.  I guess at that point he felt he wanted me back as a Facebook friend.

Here is what he sent me on both occasions:

Carl Katter Facebook messages

A little after receiving this message I got a warning on Facebook that I had breached their “community standards” and notification of a 7 day ban on posting to Facebook.  This means that someone had reported content I had posted on Facebook and Facebook had decided it was somehow inappropriate.  This is the message Facebook sent me:

Facebook message on Katter Twitter issue

I’m about 6 days through the 7 day ban:

Facebook 7 day posting ban

It’s been a frustrating week for me as this ban has severely limited my capacity to do my activism.  It’s been the busiest news week in 11 years on marriage equality.  It’s been the week in which I was the key player in breaking a story on a controversial reparative (“gay cure”) therapist coming to talk to a Melbourne Jewish child sexual abuse group.  It’s been the week one the biggest marriage equality rallies ever happened in Melbourne.  It’s been the week Carl Katter probably needed some good publicity in his election campaign.  It’s also been another week I’ve not needed more unnecessary distractions in my personal life.

So I ask the question why Carl Katter would not want me to post a picture that is already in the public domain, about comments he posted on Twitter two years ago.  Why would he block me on Facebook for doing this?  Why would someone concerned about Carl Katter’s reputation report a photo of a public Twitter conversation including him to Facebook that resulted in me copping a harsh 7-day posting ban?  I get no say in this outcome on Facebook.  I just have to cop it sweet.  I’ve mostly managed to work around it but it’s wasted my time and significantly diminished my capacity to fight for LGBTIQ equality during a particularly important week.

If Carl Katter is concerned about his image and if he wants to maximise his chances of winning the seat of Higgins, it certainly doesn’t bode well for him to piss off gay rights activists.

Why am I so harsh on him?  He’s abused me.  He’s abused my husband Gregory.  He’s abused other people in the LGBTIQ community.  If he is going to stand for public office he needs to stop abusing people.  Actually, he needs to stop abusing people irrespective of whether he is standing for public office.  But he is not going to get away with abusing people when he stands for public office.  Carl Katter needs to be accountable for his words.

Carl Katter, meet Barbra Streisand.


Put a Marriage Equality statement in your wedding ceremony

December 28, 2014

My husband Gregory and I went to Canberra for the wedding of our friends Melanie and Ari on December 7 2014.  That day was also the first anniversary of same-sex marriages being temporarily legalised in the Australian Capital Territory.

Ari invited me to deliver a message of Marriage Equality at the wedding, as a friend of his who is an activist for marriage equality and as a man who was recently married to a man in New Zealand.  I was honoured to have been asked and without hesitation I accepted.

Order of Ceremony - Mel & Ari - Dec 7 2014

Ari and Mel object to the Federal government’s refusal to legislate in favour of Marriage Equality in Australia and they, along with an increasing number of opposite-sex couples, are incorporating statements of protest in their wedding ceremonies.

I read the following statement:

Speech for Mel & Ari’s wedding – December 7 2014

Today… the celebrant will declare as a requirement that marriage is the coming together of a woman and a man.  Just remember that as these mandatory words are said today my husband Gregory and I stand in defiance of them.

I know Mel and Ari would rather this formality was not part of the proceedings.  So rather than let it diminish the occasion, I’m going to treat the clause as a gift from the government, to mark a point in time where we all aspired for greater freedom, equality, dignity and humanity.  When the discrimination in the law is erased and marriage is available to all, this will be a memento of the sweet success of that win.

I’m grateful for the friendship Gregory and I have with these two fine people, about to be married here today.  We value the respect they have for our relationship and without hesitation we deeply respect theirs.  As different as we may be individually, we share a love for our respective partners and in that, our relationships are truly equal.

If you’re attending a wedding between a woman and a man in Australia, ask the bride or groom if they’ve planned a Marriage Equality statement for their ceremony.  If they haven’t, send them this article and suggest they do it, in the name of equality.  It’s important, and it’s too easy.


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