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Festival of Dangerous Ideas defends Joanna Bourke over sex with animals is ‘last taboo’ comment

A festival has refused to bow to pressure and dump one of its speakers who sparked outrage after describing sex with animals as the “last taboo”.

Historian Joanna Bourke discusses the moral behind ‘animal-loving people’ and ‘zoosexuality’ at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney on September 17.

The planned performance has sparked a public backlash, with NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin joining the chorus and demanding that the event be suspended.

Festival curator Simon Longstaff, the executive director of The Ethics Centre, has insisted the talk continue, saying the public outcry was unjustified.

“To suggest that in a sense this promoted sex with animals is like saying that a historian covering the history of cannibalism is promoting cannibalism,” he said.

Historian Joanna Bourke discusses the moral behind 'animal-loving people' and 'zoosexuality' at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney on September 17

Historian Joanna Bourke discusses the moral behind ‘animal-loving people’ and ‘zoosexuality’ at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney on September 17

Festival curator Simon Longstaff, the executive director of The Ethics Centre, has insisted the talk continue, saying the public outcry was unjustified.

Festival curator Simon Longstaff, the executive director of The Ethics Centre, has insisted the talk continue, saying the public outcry was unjustified.

Festival curator Simon Longstaff, the executive director of The Ethics Centre, has insisted the talk continue, saying the public outcry was unjustified.

Mr Longstaff said Professor Bourke did not endorse bestiality and that the forthcoming lecture had been “deeply misinterpreted,” Sydney Morning Herald reported.

In 2020, Professor Bourke published a book called ‘Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love’ that seems to have inspired her festival presentation.

The book discusses perverse relationships between humans and animals.

‘Relationships between species can be complex, rich and satisfying’ and ‘love for animals could stimulate a greater love for people’ are some quotes from the book.

Mr. Longstaff said the book did not promote bestiality and in fact supported the fact that it was dangerous, perverse and wrong.

“It takes a certain kind of mind to think that loving animals should be sex with animals,” he said.

Mr Longstaff was outraged after claiming that the NSW Arts Secretary had not attempted to contact him about the event before publicly calling for it to be cancelled.

Mr Franklin said he wanted to drop it while speaking on 2GB on Thursday.

He also held a formal meeting with Create NSW on Friday and ordered them to contact the festival to drop the event.

Animal Justice Party member of NSW Parliament Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned about the professor's comments

Animal Justice Party member of NSW Parliament Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned about the professor's comments

Animal Justice Party member of NSW Parliament Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned about the professor’s comments

A man in western Sydney was charged Tuesday with multiple child abuse and bestiality offenses after police received a tip from a US team tasked with tracking down alleged pedophiles.

A man in western Sydney was charged Tuesday with multiple child abuse and bestiality offenses after police received a tip from a US team tasked with tracking down alleged pedophiles.

A man in western Sydney was charged Tuesday with multiple child abuse and bestiality offenses after police received a tip from a US team tasked with tracking down alleged pedophiles.

Mr Longstaff called the NSW arts minister the ‘minister for censorship’.

Radio host Ben Fordham said he had forwarded the link to the event to the office of the NSW Minister of the Arts.

“May I just make this clear, animals have no choice in this,” he said.

“So at a time when we’re concentrating on the word ‘consent’, I don’t know what the point is in talking about this topic, when you’re talking about a matter of consent at the beginning and end of the argument, and animals who are mistreated.’

Franklin’s office sent a statement to the radio station, demanding that the festival drop the speaker.

“Minister Franklin supports independent artistic expression, but creative works must be in line with community expectations and it is clear that ‘The Last Taboo’ is nowhere near those expectations,” the statement read.

The session presents a modern history of human-animal sex and looks at the 'changing meanings' of bestiality and zoophilia (photo, event bio)

The session presents a modern history of human-animal sex and looks at the 'changing meanings' of bestiality and zoophilia (photo, event bio)

The session presents a modern history of human-animal sex and looks at the ‘changing meanings’ of bestiality and zoophilia (photo, event bio)

2GB Radio's Ben Fordham (pictured) said Thursday that he had forwarded the link to the event to the office of NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin.

2GB Radio's Ben Fordham (pictured) said Thursday that he had forwarded the link to the event to the office of NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin.

2GB Radio’s Ben Fordham (pictured) said Thursday that he had forwarded the link to the event to the office of NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin.

Animal Justice Party member of NSW Parliament Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned about the professor’s comments.

Bestiality is the sexual abuse of animals. While I have not seen the full reading proposed for the FODI, it is very concerning that the blurb mentions the ‘love’ for animals. Animal cruelty is not love,” she said.

“Many animals suffer trauma and some die from bestiality – this is a grotesque form of animal cruelty. We must recognize that people who harm animals pose a risk to the wider community.

“While conversations about these topics are important, they should not be viewed as entertainment and should acknowledge the seriousness of the concerns.”

1661053831 791 Festival of Dangerous Ideas defends Joanna Bourke over sex with

1661053831 791 Festival of Dangerous Ideas defends Joanna Bourke over sex with

Mr Longstaff said Professor Bourke did not endorse beastiality and that the forthcoming lecture had been “deeply misinterpreted”.

It comes as a man in western Sydney was charged on Tuesday with multiple child abuse and bestiality offenses after police received a tip from a US team tasked with tracking down alleged pedophiles.

They found and seized a cell phone that later revealed files allegedly containing child abuse material, highly explicit conversations about abusing children and bestiality material, which police allegedly claimed was produced by the man.

As a result of the charges, 19 dogs allegedly kept in cruel conditions were also removed from the property.

Daily Mail Australia contacted Mr Franklin and Ms Bourke for comment.

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