Land Rights for Gay Whales

Early 1980s

Donated by Donated by Hannah Middleton

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

The slogan ‘Land rights for gay whales’ is sometimes used by people with conservative political views to categorise or mock people on the ideological left of the political spectrum. The slogan parodies the issues typically supported by people with left-wing views. For example, Tony Abbott writes in his 2009 book Battlelines that as a student representative of the Democratic Club (sponsored by the anti-communist National Civic Council) in the 1970s, he joined

a grand coalition of NCC, right-wing ALP, Jewish and Liberal students … working against the ‘land rights for gay whales’ type of activist who’d dominated student political bodies since the Vietnam War era.

However, the slogan was also embraced by the same ‘pinkos’ and ‘greenies’ it parodies—a wittily ironic expression of political identity and solidarity.

The donor of this badge, Hannah Middleton, writes:

Activists sending themselves up! I always loved this badge, but never wore it in public.