Imagine a gay couple living under the same roof as an anti-gay preacher. In the tradition of ABC’s “Wife Swap,” a new television series in Australia will explore just that. According to a report by news.com.au Monday, “Living with the Enemy” is a show that will deal with six of the most divisive social issues in the country. The show starts on Australian television network SBS next month.
The first episode will deal with the issue of gay marriage and will feature conservative Anglican minister David Ould from Sydney living under the same roof as an atheist gay couple from Melbourne, Gregory Storer and Michael Barnett. Just like “Wife Swap,” each will spend five days in the other’s home in an attempt to promote tolerance and an understanding of each other’s beliefs.
Storer and Barnett have to listen to Ould’s homophobic views while living under the same roof. In return, Ould attends gay pride with the couple to get an understanding of what gay love is all about. According to Ould, he got along “really well with the guys.” He said, “We had a fun time with them here in our home.” He also admits that his family grew fond of Storer and Barnett.
How did the couple feel about Ould? Storer said both he and Barnett actually liked Ould. Although nobody’s attitudes were changed with the experience, they found him to be a very loving “Christian type person” who was easy to get along with and warm hearted.
“David doesn’t think he’s forcing his beliefs on other people,” Storer told news.au.com. “But by the very fact that he stands up in church in front of his congregation – with us there in the church – and preaches to us that homosexuality is detestable, young people sitting there in his congregation hear that and this young person’s parents are going hallelujah and amen as a way of acknowledging that what he’s saying is right, that’s forcing your faith onto other people.”
Storer goes on to say that he doesn’t believe Ould is preaching hate, but doesn’t realize the harm he is causing to others. Ould, in opposition, believes it is the role of the Church to make sure there’s “proper, mature debate” about gay marriage. “Living with the Enemy” is a series that at least opens discussion by exposing people with opposite views to each other’s way of life and thinking. There will be six episodes, exploring different issues in Australian society. The show begins September 3 on SBS One. A similar series on American television would be quite interesting and if it is popular in Australian, perhaps it will be picked up in the U.S.