Religion, sexuality and retribution: placing the other in Sydney

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Religion and Retribution logic: Essays in Honour of Professor Garry W. Trompf, 2010, 1, pp. 347 - 368
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Australia is a notably majoritarian society, where the 'majority' is defined as white, heterosexual and Christian. At crucial periods in Australian history tensions involving minorities that did not conform to majoritarian expectations have flared up. The late nineteenth century was rife with racist and religionist tensions, particularly focused on the Chinese community, which influenced the Federation (1901) agenda for Australia: This agenda, enshrined in legislation such as the lmmigration Restriction Act (1901) and other Acts constituting the White Australia Policy,determined Australian immigration until the late 1960s. Sexual minorities, particularly gays and lesbians, have not generally posed the overt and public challenge to Australian values'that alien ethnic and religious groups have.However, there are important synergies between the two casesand the challenges they pose for mainstream Australia. What is central to majoritarian Australia is peripheral to them; what is normative is alien. Their communities gather in areas that are 'undesirable' or unwanted by the establishment, and their 'deviant' practices take place in mysterious, substantially hidden locations.
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