TUCKED away in the western suburbs on Findon Rd is a little corner shop marked “Christian Supplies”.

I’ve never been inside so I can only guess what they sell there — Bibles, probably. Bookmarks with the Lord’s Prayer on them. Loaves and fishes, that sort of thing.

I’m also guessing they’ve probably never had any complaints that the giant rainbow painted on the side of their building “promotes homosexuality to children”.

This despite the fact that there’s a primary school just 500 metres up the road and, well — there it is. A big, beautiful rainbow, sparkling away in brightly coloured paint for all to see.

Lucky that shop isn’t in the Marion Council area, or the anti-gay brigade might have already trooped in and painted over it with something less overtly sexual, like a half naked man nailed to a cross or something.

Because we all know what a rainbow means, right? GAY SEX.

Yes, I’m sure that Christian supplies shop would say the rainbow is a symbol of God’s everlasting covenant with Noah and all living creatures on Earth, but actually it means dirty, sleazy gay sex.

Well, according to Marion councillor Jerome Appleby and his supporters it does.

This week Cr Appleby got all upset at the idea that the Marion Council might hang a rainbow flag — the international symbol of gay pride and equality — off its council chambers, complaining it was all too sexual.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for the council to be promoting homosexuality when there’s a primary school up the road. Society is highly sexualised enough without council getting involved as well,” he told The Guardian Messenger.

I can only assume from this that Cr Appleby is the sort of person who sees a rainbow flag and feels compelled to explain gay sex to children, because I fail to see how else a sheet of fabric with coloured stripes on it could “sexualise” them.

Here’s an idea: if your child sees a rainbow flag and asks what it is, you don’t actually have to launch into a graphic explanation of homosexuality. You could just say it’s a symbol of love. You could just say it’s a symbol of equality. You could just say it’s a bloody rainbow flag.

But to me protecting children isn’t really the issue at all. To me people’s cries of “think of the children” are just a mask for what the real problem is: latent homophobia.

The same sort of babbling could be heard earlier this week when it was suggested that gay Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham might dance with a male partner in the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

Online comment boards were full of people calling for a boycott of the show, frothing at the mouth over the idea they would have to “explain all this” to their poor, innocent kids.

Presumably these same people explain all the ins and outs (pun most definitely intended) of heterosexual sex when any of the other couples takes a spin on the dancefloor.

If you don’t want to “confront homosexuality” with your kids by two men dancing together on the telly, you could just say they’re, like, I dunno ... dancing?

The point is this: the idea that a rainbow flag or two men waltzing somehow sexualises children is nothing but hysteria concocted by those who fear, dislike and distrust homosexuals, but are too gutless to admit it.

Homophobes, your attempts to hide your prejudices behind faux concern for children is and always will be pathetic. I, and I’m sure many others, can see you.

First published in The Advertiser, June 25, 2015. Click here to read the original article.