Kirby accuses Pell on anti-gay religious instruction

Soon to retire High Court judge Michael Kirby has accused Cardinal George Pell of making it difficult for people to adopt a more tolerant attitude to gays.

Speaking on Justice Kirby revealed says only some of his colleagues have accepted his homosexuality and many had yet to get passed merely being tolerant.

However, he added he understands the discomfort of some people around gays.
"Often, it has to be said, it comes from religion," Justice Kirby said.

"It comes from people's religious upbringing, reinforced even to this day by religious instruction, and it has to be said, religious instruction from the two archbishops of Sydney.

"My partner, Johan, is not a believer and he constantly says to me, 'I don't understand how one of the most intelligent people in this country can take any of this stuff seriously'."

The judge, who must retire in March 2009 when he turns 70, says he is a Christian Anglican and that he has "hung in there" despite his partner's advice to leave the church. He has also accused Anglican Archbishop Peter Jenson of making it difficult for society to accept gays.

Justice Kirby said he took his partner of 38 years, Johan van Vloten, "along to dinners with the Queen and with the Governor-General and everybody's getting used to it".

Bishops hinder gay tolerance, says Michael Kirby (The Australian, 26/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
ABC Radio Sunday Profile - transcript and audio of Kirby interview
Justice Michael Kirby (Wikipedia)
Michael Kirby High Court Justices

Adelaide Archbishop backs equal rights for gay couples (CathNews, 17/03/05)
Pell rejects claims most priests are gay (CathNews, 20/08/01)
Pell comments after confrontation with gay group (CathNews, 205/03/02)

27 Nov 2007