Charles Jacobsen is an owner of a retirement village with an 11 hectare private estate on Moondah Beach. It sits next to a public foreshore reserve in Mount Eliza. It, in turn, is next to Sunnyside North, one of Melbourne's four "clothing optional" beaches. Jacobsen wants to build a 400 meter fence on the public foreshore reserve. Why? He wants to gay-proof the beach. No, I'm not being reactionary, he has explicitly stated that is the reason. He claims that Sunnyside North has become a pickup spot for gays, who will abscond into the brush of the public reserve engage in acts of mutual recreation and pleasure. (Does he really think it's only gays sneaking over there for, you should pardon the expression, a roll in the hay? Or should I describe it with the Australian slang term for outdoor camping, Earthing?)
Side note: I would want a fence built, but for a different reason. From my observations, most of the people who go to nude beaches are people you don't want to see nude in the first place. But I digress.
Mayor Graham Pittock made the obvious statement that the proposed fence explicitly targeted at homosexuals and violated Victoria's human rights charter. "'This was always about stopping behaviour that he [Mr Jacobsen] found disgusting. Obviously, people can't be denied access to public spaces because of their sexual preference.''
Jacobsen isn't done putting his foot in his mouth, either. He cheesed off more people by saying that gay men can be identified by their choice of luggage. Yeah, the hanky code is just soooooo 80's. "When we saw a man running along the beach with a backpack, Mr Jacobsen said this was a giveaway sign of a homosexual,' said Leigh Eustace. Yeah, you can easily tell the difference between gay and straight men that way. Straight men just keep bragging about their Ferraris.
As the fence is going to be built on public land, it has to come up for a vote, and there are pockets of support among the community. There's also resistance, as this cartoon from Matt Golding shows:
Let's hope common sense wins out.