High court judge Michael Kirby talks about religion and sexuality

‘I don’t want any old gent in frocks to take my religion from me,’ says gay former Australian high court judge

High court judge Michael Kirby talks about religion and sexuality
15 June 2012

Retired high court of Australia judge Michael Kirby has spoken about reconciling his homosexuality and his Christianity.

In an interview with Jesuit media channel Eureka Street TV that was broadcast this week, Kirby describes himself as a ‘Protestant Anglican Christian’.

The legal academic who served as a high court judge from 1996 to 2009 says in the interview that he gets a ‘rather hard time’ from his partner of 43 years, Johan van Vloten, about his church attendance.

‘He says the church has always been horrible to women, to people of colour and to gays, why do you have anything to do with it?’ says Kirby.

‘But, I don’t want any old gent in frocks to take my religion from me and to me it is still an important aspect of my life.’

Words from Kirby’s submission to the Senate inquiry into same-sex marriage were recently used by Australian Christian Lobby in an anti-gay marriage video, but Kirby argues that God is not anti-gay.

Kirby examines five pieces from the Bible that seem to be anti-gay and shows they can’t be interpreted as such in a modern context. He makes parallels with the legal professional where ‘you have to read text in the light of context and purpose’.

‘The context is the love of God for all of us,’ argues Kirby. ’It’s just inconceivable that God was choosing this cohort of people who don’t chose their sexuality and can’t change it and being beastly to them… It’s really not feasible.’

Watch the video here:



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