In 2013 Tony Abbott described marriage equality as the “fashion of the moment”. Now he says it would lead to religious intolerance, the stifling of free speech, and a regime of paralysing political correctness.
Just to be clear, political correctness is “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”
Tony seems fixated on protecting the Aussie right to sink the boot in and to keep the bastards out of our pubs – oh no, wait…. that was women and Aboriginals.
Tony’s concern for religious freedom comes from the man who thought the burqa should be banned, the man who called for a “religious revolution” inside Islam, declaring “all cultures are not equal”, the man whose government insisted the school chaplaincy program must not fund non-religious counsellors, the man who insists that our laws and our school curriculum should be based on some “Judeo-Christian” heritage.
Freedom to follow Tony’s religious beliefs?
Tony is concerned that businesses will be forced to serve gay people. Fine. Dean Smith’s Private Members Bill gave wedding related businesses the right to refuse to serve gay couples if the business could show a religious affiliation.
Master stroke I thought. You have to fill in forms to deny customers. What business owner in their right mind would want more paperwork so they could get less work?
His concern about the church’s rights seems misplaced. Perhaps Tony is not aware that the Catholic Church routinely refuses to marry people – people who aren’t Catholic, people who are divorced, for example. So no issues there.
Somehow I think they might just come on board rather than lose numbers.
As for freedom of speech, you gotta be shitting me.
ABC journalists and commentators have been instructed they may not use the term “marriage equality” for fear that the public might actually realise this is discriminatory.
Public service employees have been warned that their social media feeds may not show any opinion critical of the government even if they didn’t write it. They must spend their time deleting others’ comments.
Legal aid groups have been told their funding will be axed if they engage in advocacy.
Environmental groups have had their charitable status threatened and their ability to launch legal challenges curtailed.
NGOs have had gag clauses reinserted in their funding contracts.
Professionals working on Manus and Nauru, along with journalists, have been threatened with prosecution if they speak about the intolerable abuse that is occurring.
How on earth could allowing your sister to marry her partner compete with that for stifling free speech? In fact, how can it stifle freedom of speech at all?
When Tony Abbott mobilised forces to vote against Australia becoming a Republic, he used his usual sloganeering.
Don’t know? – Vote ‘NO’
No say! – No way! – Vote ‘NO’
Keep the status quo! – Vote ‘NO’
What will they be this time?
Tykes against dykes?
One can only shudder in anticipation.