Bendigo councillor’s letter stirs controversy

Councillor Helen Leach’s letter to the editor has stirred controversy. Justin Ball’s Facebook post

Source: Bendigo Advertiser

A CITY of Greater Bendigo councillor’s letter to the editor inThe Herald Sunabout homosexuality in the AFL is being spread online by gay ambassadors.

Councillor Helen Leach’s letter, which was forwarded to theBendigo Advertiser,was reposted by well-known gay activist and Yarra Glen footballer Jason Ball on his Facebook account after it appeared in the Melbourne newspaper earlier this week.

More than 60 comments have been made against the post with Ball describing the letter as “ugly”.

In the letter, Cr Leach says “we don’t want issues such as homosexuality, or any sexuality, thrusted in our faces in the name of anti-bullying”.

“We won’t be attending any more games. Gay pride! What rubbish!”, it says.

Cr Leach said she was not a homophobe but was against the AFL using the game for any political agenda.

“I don’t think football should be a medium for any agenda,” she said.

“I don’t care for a player’s political affiliation or sexual preference, just that they can play football

“I am not homophobic. I know lots of gay people.”

Cr Leach refused to comment when asked if she could understand why people were offended by the letter.

This year the AFL footballers took part in Victoria’s Gay Pride March, held in February, for the first time.

Richmond midfielder Dan Jackson and Carlton’s Brock McLean walked behind Ball, who led the annual march down St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street with his straight teammates.

The AFL is believed to be considering a “gay pride” game this year.

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