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Controversial LGBTI anti-bullying petition scrapped in Australia

Controversial LGBTI anti-bullying petition scrapped in Australia

The mastermind behind a short-lived petition to convince Australia’s Prime Minster to introduce a new anti-bullying education program into schools has withdrawn it and apologized.

Ben Grubb wrote a lengthy letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about the issue. He had it co-signed by a lengthy list of celebrities including; Troye Sivan and Guy Pearce. The letter was then attached to a petition on Change.org.

But his efforts sparked a backlash from the Australian LGBTI community. Many labelled it transphobic and said it was pandering to conservative views.

But today Grubb released an apology saying he launched the letter with no ‘malice intended – just good intentions’.

‘One of the biggest mistakes I made— and it was made by me alone — was in the drafting of the letter, with the word ‘acceptance’ omitted from the framework proposed for teaching, and the letter referring to not seeking seeking “approval” of the way certain members of our society live,’ Grubb wrote in the apology.

‘Of all of the people I approached to participate in the letter, I was warned by about four of them that the approach I was taking was not one with which I should go down.

‘These red flags should have been warning signs to me.’

Why people were angry

Many people in the LGBTI community accepted Grubb’s apology.

Marriage equality and LGBTI advocate Sally Rugg told The Guardian that the backlash to Grubb’s letter was genuine.

‘It was promptly torn by the community and by activists but it wasn’t torn down as sport, [or] because people were angry that they weren’t consulted. People in the community were genuinely really hurt and frustrated, because it’s not part of the strategy that we’re all working on,’ she said.

‘It’s proof that when we all work together and listen to each other, good things can happen – which is perhaps where the project initially went wrong.

‘I think it’s proof of the strength of our community and that we are singing from the song sheet.’