My dear fellow Australians, I have something I would like to say to you all.
It has come to my attention during the course of the same-sex marriage debate at the Labor National Conference that there are people out there, real people, with real feelings, who are being terribly distressed by some of the things being said in this debate.
And so, as someone who has in the past spoken up to voice my own opinions on the subject, I would like to apologise.
I am sorry that, through my support for same-sex marriage, I have, however inadvertently, hurt the feelings of those who think it is a bad idea. I apologise for the pain and suffering felt by anyone who found themselves upset or saddened by my disagreement with their own views. I particularly apologise to anyone who has found my - in retrospect, somewhat excessive - focus on concepts of fairness and equality to be at odds with their own principles to an offensive degree. I fully recognise and respect their opposition to fairness and equality, and accept that it was insensitive and wrong of me to vilify them for it.
I apologise for my persistent homophobia-phobia, and I assure those who are concerned about my relentless attacks on homophobes that I have turned a corner in my life, and with the help of my family, my faith, and my sponsor, I believe I can leave that aspect of my personality behind me. I am deeply and sincerely sorry if anything I have said and done in the past has offended any homophobe, and I regret enormously any disrespect I may have shown for their chosen lifestyle.
To those who are opposed to gay rights due to their extreme and/or insane religious beliefs, I apologise for my previous campaign of religious harassment and vilification. It was by no means my intention to suggest that your idiotic dogma was in any way inferior to anyone else's beliefs or philosophy, and I apologise if that impression was conveyed. I deeply regret any hurt or inconvenience caused to members of the religious lunatic community by my suggestion that their beliefs are not the only valid beliefs in existence, or any inference drawn that the government should not be run solely for the satisfaction of religious minorities. I cannot fully express in words how sorry I am that I may have hurt the feelings of anyone through my pig-headed insistence on not agreeing with them.
I am truly sincere in all this, but I feel I need to go further. The time is now for making amends for the unfortunate past.
And with this in mind I would like to apologise for the time in my teenage years when I engaged in a certain amount of physical contact and mouth-to-mouth affectionising with a young lady of Asian extraction. It was an action undertaken in the recklessness of youth, but I realise now that there may have been racists in the vicinity who may have been made to feel uncomfortable by the sight of my lip-locking with exotic females. With the wisdom of years I see now just how nauseated members of the bigot community are by the idea of the co-mingling of different races, and I am regretful that my impulsive actions may have contributed to any feelings of unease or offence that they might have felt.
I also apologise for calling these bigots bigots in the previous paragraph.
Furthermore, I have become aware that in the past on matters of race, I may have come down with a certain heavy-handedness on the side of equality and anti-discrimination. I recognise now that there are good, decent, honest Australians who wish only to live their lives free to detest and discriminate against those of other races without fear of harassment, and I apologise for making their lives just that little bit harder with my petty and ill-thought-out anti-racist attitudes.
I would also like to apologise to anyone who feels distressed or offended by my own marriage, and in particular my past insistence on allowing my wife to choose her own outfits, drive a car, and speak to adult males outside her own family. It is only recently I realised how my lenient and tolerant attitude towards my wife must have upset and wounded those who would prefer that women be treated as the possessions of their husbands, and I feel great sorrow that I have been the cause of such upset.
Furthermore I would like to apologise to the wider misogynist community for any psychological or emotional harm that has come to them as a result of any previous statements on my part to the effect that women might be human beings. It was not my intent to in any way smear or slur misogynists, many of whom are proud Australians worthy of respect, and I abhor the thought that my respect for women may have the cause of anyone else's angst or personal growth - it was not my intention to disrespect the beliefs of anyone else, or to make anyone a better person: if I have done so I apologise.
In summary I would like offer a sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who at any time has felt insulted by, attacked by, or in vague disagreement with anything I have ever said in the past. I am truly sorry for all of my statements throughout my life to the effect that anybody anywhere was wrong about anything, or that there are people who might on the balance of probabilities be stupid, insane, or nasty. It was not my intention, by saying what I think, to suggest or imply that what I think might in any way be correct, or that what anyone else thinks might in any way be incorrect, or to create the impression that any human being should at any time ever have to hear or read something they might not like very much. I can see now that my past actions have been in every respect an affront to basic human dignity, and I regret ever promulgating the idea that it is acceptable to label or describe fellow citizens in offensive ways based only on an accurate perception of reality.
For these and any other opinions I may have held that perpetuated the unacceptable oppression of my fellow human beings, I apologise without reservation. Thank you
(those of you who likewise wish to redress the injustices referred to in this statement can make a donation to the Association For the Assuaging of the Hurt Feelings of Bastards, or AFAHFB, c/o the Australian Christian Lobby)