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Day to Day Politics: You were warned, Mr Turnbull.

Thursday 31 August 2017

A new advertisement for the “no” case survey on marriage equality made its debut on television Tuesday night.

It features an unidentified women who claims that in countries which have legalised same-sex marriage, “parents have lost their rights to choose”. The unidentified women goes on to say her son was told “he could wear a dress” to school.

It is of course utter nonsense but there are gullible people in the community who will fall for the utter vulgarity of such an assertion.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has slammed the advertisement by opponents of same-sex marriage as “total rubbish” and the “I told you so” argument to blame Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The advertisement even suggests that the school curriculum including sex education will be changed if same-sex marriage is made lawful.

Shorten said that the advertisement was:

” … offensive and hurtful to LGBTI Australians and their families.”

“This is exactly what was predicted when Malcolm Turnbull decided to waste $122 million on a postal survey. He gave the green light to this rubbish.”

He is correct. Turnbull was warned about exaggerated claims and distorted facts and the harmful effects it might have on the LGBTI community. This advertisement might be just one example of the lengths the “no” vote supporters may go to misinform vulnerable members of the community.

The Australian Christian Lobby (Charismatic churches) continues to use half-truths or post truths. On its website are claims that “Redefining marriage will threaten everything except the kitchen sink. It includes freedom of speech; your religious freedom”, etc, etc This is no different from Tony Abbott saying:

”If you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote no. If you’re worried about religious freedom, and freedom of speech, vote no”.

One can only hope that the hyperbole and hypocrisy doesn’t get out of hand but if my experience with the Republican Referendum is anything to go by, it will. Abbott hasn’t even loosened up yet.

Trying to turn this debate away from what is a simple proposition about one group of people being equal to another group into some sort of Christian cultural crusade is wrong on many levels.

It should be remembered that priests, clergy and ministers have been marrying non-Christians for years without public controversy.

One Government Minister, Simon Birmingham came out against the advertisement but he seems to be a lone voice in a government full of homophobes and self-righteous Christians.

On a positive note while stopping short of advocating a “yes” vote, St Ignatius’ College in Sydney and Xavier College in Melbourne appealed to Pope Francis’ teachings on love, mercy and non-judgment, and urged the school community to dwell on their own consciences.

Anyway, before we all get ahead of ourselves the High Court is set to make its judgement on the legitimacy of the plebiscite next week. My guess is that it will rule the proposition invalid in which case Turnbull will be made to look foolish and leave the door open for Shorten to say that same-sex marriage will become a reality within 100 days of a federal Labor government being elected.

It could have been all that simple

Who is the villain in all this? When weighing up your answer please take into account that Turnbull is the Prime Minister, Shorten is not.

Is it a Prime Minister who believes in marriage equality and before accepting the position of PM opposed a plebiscite? A PM who would spend an enormous amount to confirm something already known just to appease the right-wing of his party.

But of course last October he signed a written agreement with the Nationals that included going ahead with Abbott’s plebiscite. To do otherwise would likely cost him the prime ministership. So it’s more about self-interest than marriage equality.

A Prime Minister who could bring on a vote next week to settle the matter in the manner.

Or is it Bill Shorten who advocates the Parliament doing its job. However, it may end it will be Labor who will claim the moral high ground.


A legal marriage offers equal protection under the law.

With a legal marriage, you are immediately the next-of-kin.

A legal marriage offers all the citizenship rights of The Constitution.

A legal marriage is immediately valid, unlike de facto rights.

A legal marriage offers immediate joint property and inheritance rights.

A legal marriage offers undeniable rights to benefits and insurance.

The rights of a partner in a legal marriage cannot be denied by blood relations.

A legal marriage is a sworn, binding contract that can only be broken in a court of Family Law.

Straight people don’t have to believe in God or go to church to get married, so why is religion suddenly a big issue when we’re talking about gays getting married? And most importantly, we’re talking about civil marriage here, so it’s a civil rights issue. If the church does not want to marry, gay people then so be it. They need not be compelled to do so.

Gays, I am sure, would be happy at the registry office. I do concede though that Christian gays would prefer a religious church ceremony.

Even if Christians believe the homosexual union of marriage is wrong does it follow that they have the right to impose that view on an Australian secular society?

The bottom line is that marriage is about love and commitment, a big commitment. If someone is willing to make that kind of commitment, we should not be stopping him or her. We should be saying “go for it”, and “we’ll be there to support you every step of the way”.

“It’s really simple. If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t marry someone of the same-sex.”

In other words, why not allow gay marriage?

My thought for the day

“Love is when there is an irresistible urge for the need of the affection of another and the irresistibility is of its nature mutual. It has no gender”.

 594 total views,  2 views today


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  1. Terry2

    In Australia at federation we adopted the Westminster principle or convention of Parliamentary sovereignty (also called parliamentary supremacy or legislative supremacy) which holds that, in the doctrine of the Separation of Powers, the legislative body has absolute sovereignty, and is supreme over all other government institutions, including executive or judicial bodies.

    In practice this should mean – in the current context of the Claytons’ Plebiscite – that as the legislative body has twice rejected a plebiscite and the associated funding then for the Executive to try and achieve their objective by a devious strategy to rename the plebiscite as a survey and find another way to divert public funding is a repudiation of parliamentary sovereignty.

    The constitutional options that the Executive have as I understand it are to accept the will of the parliament and drop the plebiscite or go to the Governor General and call another Double Dissolution election [if they are game].

  2. Kaye Lee

    The government has bypassed Parliament using a special fund reserved for “urgent and unforeseen” matters, but given MPs have spoken publicly about the issue for so long, that would be a “tough ask” to justify in court, Professor Williams said.

    “What about this survey is urgent, except for the fact that it is necessary because of the government’s own political imperatives?”

  3. paul walter

    I observe my comment regarding Prof George Williams on Meet the Press a day or two ago concerning the shaky legal foundation of this fund for the purpose the government is trying to employ it, has disappeared.

  4. Terry2


    It will be interesting to see how the High Court approach this. From what I am seeing it is a case of the Executive defying the parliament and this decision will test the strength of the convention of parliamentary supremacy.

    Another matter that is now coming to the fore is that the plebiscite/opinion poll has no draft legislation supporting it and whilst this is not a matter for the HC it does beg the question of whether we should be participating in a non-binding, voluntary paper opinion poll which would, if passed, be translated into legislation and we are not seeing the legislation because it has not been drafted.

    Is this the mad hatters’ tea party ?

  5. Jagger

    So, the Christian lobby who have grown men running around in dresses, are frightened school boys might want to do the same.

  6. havanaliedown

    The world went mad when Julia Gillard was arguing against gay marriage:

    Snowflake Safe Space Warning: Includes an bizarre bible interpretation by Julia.

  7. Mark Needham


    Any comment about Julia?

    Mark Needham

  8. wam

    Dear Lord,
    you and the homophobes have the same thought on “Love is when there is an irresistible urge..” homo sex is irresistible and seduction of the young is rife is the fundamental case for no. When you add a former labor leader’s
    Apparently it is now possible to be genderqueer, demisexual, twospirit, asexual, pansexual, polyamorous, fluid, femme, gender-binary, gynephilic, SAAB, MSM/WSW, skoliosexual, agender, androsexual, bicurious, cisgender, demiromantic, down low, FtM/F2M and MtF/M2F.

    I swear those last two featured in one of the Star Wars movies.

    I’m a supporter of same-sex marriage and would like to vote Yes in a plebiscite. But clearly Labor and Liberals have in mind a far broader definition of marriage.

    It won’t be restricted to heterosexuals and homosexuals.

    Then finish off with no worries about misleading ‘facts’ and outright lies in the ads

    Show the rabbottians are unbelievably desperate to deny equality and will do a little johnnie fix on the question hope it doesn’t achieve the same result as republic???

    why why why

  9. havanaliedown

    I’m against Same Sex Marriage. You get married, and from then on it’s the same sex.

  10. Michael Taylor

    You seem to be against everything that’s not an idea of the conservatives. I do hope you enjoy living in the 1950s.

  11. guest

    I fail to see why the opinion of a former PM should be dragged out as some kind of sure sign of corruption and hypocrisy in the Labor Party, when it is quite clear that Julia Gillard was not an advocate for any marriage at all. And she is not alone in that opinion. Just take a break and keep to the topic.

    Misleading advertising is not admissible.

  12. Leanne

    Can I use part of that, on a Marriage Equality post please John Lord?

  13. helvityni

    …there are signs here that the Liberal voters among AIMN posters are getting rather worried, and their voices turning shriller…

    Not only is poor Bill seen as a Cuban, Keating’s much envied Zegna suits are dragged out of the wardrobes once more, and even our dear unmarried Julia is all of a sudden seen an advocate for marriage…. I saw Whitlam mentioned in one rant…? He’s gone, he can do no harm to any Liberal, not Tony, not Turnbull…

  14. Michael Taylor

    guest, it’s just his usual “hey, look over there!” attempt at a distraction. Whenever he can’t find anything positive to say about his beloved Liberal Party (which I admit would be hard to do), he drags out something negative from the past about the ALP.

    Which – on this occasion – displays his ignorance. If he’d been paying attention (!!!) he would have noticed that everyone on this site was critical of Julia Gillard’s stand on same-sex marriage.

  15. Kaye Lee

    We can talk about the opinions of former prime ministers or we can talk about former opinions of the prime minister

    August 2015…..

    Government frontbenchers who spoke in favour of a free vote at last night’s party room meeting included cabinet ministers Mr Turnbull, George Brandis and Christopher Pyne, junior ministers Josh Frydenberg, Marise Payne, Simon Birmingham and Michael Keenan, and parliamentary secretaries Scott Ryan, Kelly O’Dwyer and Darren Chester.

    The Communications Minister, a prominent advocate of same-sex marriage, warned the Prime Minister’s strong disposition for a public vote would become an incessant distraction for the Coalition in the lead-up to the next election and into the next term of parliament.

    “One of the attractions of a free vote is it would have meant the matter would be resolved in this parliament, one way or another, in a couple of weeks,” Mr Turnbull said in Canberra this afternoon.

    “The reason I have not advocated a plebiscite after the next election is that it would mean that this issue is a live issue all the way up to the next election and indeed at the next election, and if we are returned to office, it will be a very live issue in the lead-up to the plebiscite itself.

    “I want to be clear. I think it is an important issue, but particularly between now and the election, the more time I can talk about the economy, about jobs, about innovation, about digital technology and digital efficiency, the happier I’ll be.’’

  16. Richard Ure

    Do we have any idea of the proportion of people who are undecided? Are these folk amenable to advertising or even social media debate?

  17. havanaliedown

    Hmm, living in the 1950s… before my time. But it sounds nice. Imagine a time when:

    One wage-earner could service a mortgage on a new house in a Sydney suburb.

    “Rush hour” at either end of a working day was that – an hour.

    Newspapers reported actual “news”. Any biased opining from a journalist was under a heading clearly labelled “analysis” or “opinion”.

    Many families had access to a weekender or holiday house a few hours away by the seaside.

    Shops were closed between lunchtime Saturday, until Monday morning.

    Holden proudly made motor cars in Australian factories.

    Unions had a load of members working in manufacturing jobs.

    There was such a thing as “personal responsibility”.

    Men dressed like men, not 11-year-old boys – and took their hats off in restaurants.

    Women dressed and behaved like ladies.

    If you couldn’t afford something, you’d save up for it – or go without.

    When buying a coffee, nobody wasted time making “soy-chai-decafs”.

    Immigrants were proud to work on national infrastructure schemes like the Snowy.

    Refugees like Lowy and Saunders weren’t drawn by a Centrelink cornucopia.

    There was no such thing as the Middle Eastern Organised Crime squad.

    There was no such thing as crystal meth.

    Sporting champions weren’t spoiled loudmouthed overpaid brats.

    A pub fight ended merely with one combatant on his arse, a call of “he’s had enough” and a handshake.

    There were no tedious acknowledgements of the “original custodians” at public gatherings, or leftist nitwits complaining about how we have robbed them blind – make things right and give them your house.

    Society wasn’t divided into “victimology groups”.

    Wankers in BMWs were yet to come into existence (Attention BMW Drivers… as a matter of fact, you DON’T own the f#cking road!).

    There was no such thing as leftist hypocrites that constantly bang on about climate change but are happy to jet off on planet-killing C02-spewing pleasure jaunts to the USA whenever the fancy takes them.

    etc etc

    Oh the six-o’clock swill and domestic violence on the Boo-50s side.

  18. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I’ve fixed it for him:

    “I want to be clear. I think it is a great distraction between now and the election, the more time I can deflect talk away from our failures about the economy, about jobs, about innovation, about digital technology and digital efficiency, the happier I’ll be.”

  19. Möbius Ecko

    You can put the NBN on that failure list.

  20. johnlord2013

    Gillard was locked into her stance by a influential Catholic union leader who held sway on her Prime Ministership.

  21. Kaye Lee

    No wonder they want to talk about Labor’s policies and Bill Shorten – though the “politics of envy” is going to be a tough line to sell.

  22. Mark Needham

    To no one in particular, Michael.
    No, I am just stirring the possum, with the people who are “so Bloody sure, that we are correct in our view, that anyone else’s view is WRONG”.
    Now, the next question is, where do we sit in this behaviour.

    Surely, everyone is allowed to have a belief in something, right or wrong.

    But to always sit, and denigrate, accuse and stifle, the bugger who differs, with an absolute air of conviction. It is not that, you believe in what you do, it’s that you do not allow others to have an “Honestly Different View”.

    Beliefs, don’t bother me, denial, does!

    tell me I am wrong,
    Mark Needham

  23. wam

    everyone, mr taylor? She, as PM, was unmarried and against marriage nothing to do with the current discussion.

    Arguably the only people against her stand were the no voters. Not many of those here?

    trumball said his signature achievement was helping people achieve their dreams unless they are not hetero sexual wives and husbands and a strong economy with double labor’s debt

    Mark mix views which may have factual evidence and beliefs without and you are wrong

  24. Mark Needham

    To someone else, not in particular.

    I am not a “Liberal Supporter, National Party, nor Greens, nor Labor……………I really do not like the sort of people that we have in politics at this point in time.

    I despise, Turnbull, ( beholding to Business)with a capital D. Shorten ( beholding to Unions) and so on. I just do not like them Pauline, Katter, are really just in it, for WIIFM.

    I have no love for modern Unionism. Banks are a wart on the bum of humanity.

    Australia, should take back, its Bank, CBA, its Railways, its Power Generation Distribution, its Communications and everything else that has been given/sold to promote, “”””COMPETITION”””.

    Federal politics, new Departments.
    Ministry for Waste, Efficiency, Rorts Fiscal Exuberance, and Bull Shite.

    You, are all part of the same problem, as I too, am a part of it.

    As a final ‘bleat’ I have donated more of my Energy, Dollars and Votes, this past 10 or so years to the left, in this country.

    I just throw back your ‘sometimes comments’, to try and make you see, what it is, that you are saying. Questioning validity, in the context of your comment. I am not trying to say that you are right or wrong, just validate, that which you espouse.

    Fully bleated,
    Mark Needham.
    PS. And I believe in Australian Identity Card.

  25. Mark Needham

    With that answer, I know exactly to whom I am talking. I am not saying you are wrong or right, it is just that in my mind, I know where you are in the “Great Puzzle of Life”,

    According to,
    Mark Needham.
    PS. Do not ask me what I think of you, because “It Does Not Matter”…!

  26. Michael Taylor

    Mark, I agree that individual ideas need to be discussed. But on this occasion I was just giving it back to someone who gives it to us. Sadly, he has nothing else to offer.

  27. Mark Needham

    Mark Needham

  28. Michael Taylor

    Absolute truth, Mark. He has history here and elsewhere.

  29. Michael Taylor

    Take yourself, for example. You state your opinions, and whilst I or anybody else may not agree with them, we welcome you having your say and you will always have the opportunity to do so.

    You don’t come here with the clear intention to troll. I will continue to point out the efforts of those that do.

  30. Jai Ritter

    We knew it was going to get ugly and I believe it’s going to get really really nasty if the pigeon carrier survey actually goes ahead. I just your average straight white aussie atheist but I’ve been advocating for marriage equality for awhile now for the reason that I’ve studied in the community social services field and work in disability and also a strong advocate for mental health. I care about people’s well being and I feel the opponents of marriage equality really don’t see the effect this has on the lgbtqi community. This isn’t just about equality, this is about acceptance and one’s identity. Not feeling equal, accepted or knowing who you really are has devistating affects on someone’s mental health and then that has a huge affect on an already struggling mental health system.

    I’ve been in a “defacto” relationship with my gorgeous aboriginal girlfriend for 6 years now. Can you imagine the shit hitting the fan if in 2017 we were told sorry, you can marry her, she’s black.

    You know, same sex marriage is literally no different.

    Ps. For everyone who has friends in the lgbtqi community, shoot them a message and say hey, I’m behind you , I support you and I’m here for you.

  31. Wayne Turner

    “Budget emergency”? “Debt crisis”?

    But,can waste millions on a non-biding vote,judging how other people can live,that doesn’t effect the rest of us.

    A wasteful and dumb policy,by the dumb COALition. Parliament should just do their job.Those that don’t want to do their job in parliament,should quit and get a real job then.

  32. wam

    thanks mark glad to fit your image but the post contained not my words but the words of mark latham which will be spread at every barbie and church meeting.

    I will vote yes because, unlike gillard and the cohabiting young who disregard the institution pf marriage, I have been faithfully married for 50 years after a 4 years courtship and would wish that on every couple,

  33. LOVO

    Wam, ya gets less time for murder…jest sayin ?

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