Wednesday 15 November 2017
When my children were younger I would say to them; “never assume anything.” Today I intend breaking my rule for the purpose of this article. I am assuming that at 10 am today it will be announced that the YES vote has come out on top of the survey into Marriage Equality with a vote of a little under 60%.
It is a momentous time for those who have supported Marriage Equality. But for those who are gay or members of the LGBT community it is the end of a long and sometimes unpleasantly frustrating journey that has seen its share of bitterness along the way.
Perhaps I have been a little premature is saying that it is the end because the forces of antiquated opinion, the extreme right of the Coalition, intend ignoring public opinion and are hysterically demanding, after being soundly defeated, that the new legislation neutralise the operation of state anti-discrimination laws in order that businesses, individuals, faith groups and employers in all of these areas can legally discriminate between customers on the basis of sexuality – or even support for a particular sexuality via attendance at gay weddings.
Even after running a campaign full of scare mongering (not that the YES camp were entirely innocent) they now contemptuously demanding so many exemptions that one would wonder why the survey was held at all.
And, incidentally, a $120 million dollar survey to find out something that was already known. Really, only fools would do such a thing. What they are proposing stands in contempt of the people, the survey and the Prime Minister who caved into them. It is simply a brazen act of an unbridled inability to accept the result. These are the same people who foisted the whole process on Malcolm Turnbull and the nation in the first place.
Malcolm Turnbull has bent over backwards to accomodate this group of sore losers: even though he was in the YES camp. Turnbull should cast off his willingness to cave into everyone and stand on his dig for once. Once again giving into Victorian Liberal senator James Paterson (who has actually voted ‘yes’ in the postal survey) will only further damage his already sullied reputation.
In contrast Turnbull has let down many moderates in the party and now is the time to confront the extremists and fight for a swift vote to establish Marriage Equality.
This sorry mess of a process having now gone through various stages of consideration from a free vote in the parliament to Tony Abbott’s plebiscite process, and finally a survey with a guarantee from the Prime Minister that the people’s will would be respected in the Parliament.
After a campaign full of nonsensical argument about kids, free speech, freedom to practice religion and a breakdown in the fabric of society. In other words, anything but Marriage Equality. The Prime Minister must today put Senator Paterson in his place and tell him to shut up.
If one examines all the surveys, the polls – all the evidence – would suggest an overwhelming victory for the YES team. The Australian people have responded with an 80% turn/out with many I suggest lodging a protest vote about the incompetency of the government.
No matter what, Paterson will not accept the people’s decision. He is not at all shy in stating his views. If he were to get his way, the current definition of marriage would not be altered in their formula, but merely appended with some deliberately ambiguous words.
As I said earlier, Turnbull must (with the polls going backwards) tell Senator James Paterson to go jump and take his bill with him. The current and well-received Dean Smith’s Private Members Bill should be passed without delay. Any delays would not only be undemocratic but immoral in the extreme.
Let’s not forget all the pain and disruption LBGT folk have gone through just to acquire a right that says that as a group they are the equal of any other.
My thought for the day
“The problem is we don’t believe we are as much like each other as we actually are.”