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How Tony Abbott Changed My Thinking On Gay Marriage

A few weeks ago, Bill Shorten was proposing a private member’s bill on the legalisation of gay marriage. I thought that it was smart politics. Throw up something like this and wedge the Liberals between those stuck in the middle of last century and those who haven’t quite made it past the nineteenth.

Of course, Tony Abbott had the answer:

“If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, I want it to be owned by the Parliament, and not by any particular party.”

Well, that put a stop to Shorten. I had to agree with our honourable PM that it would be better if this was a matter that went beyond the petty Parliamentary point-scoring where poliiticians are expected to do all they can to make the other side look bad.

You know the sort of thing. In Victoria yesterday, there was a disturbance at the remand centre with prisoners allegedly rioting because of a smoking ban to be introduced today. The Liberal Opposition Leader blamed the Andrews Government who were elected last year, saying that they’d mishandled the situation. Of course, I don’t remember the Liberals suggesting that riots or disturbances in detention centres were their fault when they were in government. Yes, the difference is obvious, while detention centres are full of people who’ve attempted to enter Australia illegally and therefore have no respect for our laws, jails are full of the sort of people who donate to the Liberal Party.

But moving back to gay marriage – which Senator Abetz assures me that you’re not interested in, so I thought I’d better talk about something else just to keep you reading – I’ve now had to reconsider my position again.

Apparently, while it shouldn’t be owned by any political party, a spokesman for Mr Abbott reminded us last night that it was “rare” for a private member bill to be voted on.

So now I have to reconsider my position yet again, because it seems as though Parliament is not the place to discuss this. As the Government Whip, Andrew Nikolic, reminded us this is “a poor attempt by someone to generate momentum on an issue where there is none”.

Well, all you people changing your profiles on Facebook because of the US Supreme Court’s decision need to realise that you’ve been fooled – by someone (Nikolic wasn’t specific about who that is, but it’s clearly only one person) – into thinking that there’s some momentum on this issue, take a good hard look at yourself. Nikolic will decide what has momentum and the circumstances under which it comes to Australia.

And Senator Abetz, aka “The Black Knight”, assures us all that it’s just a flesh wound and that the debate on gay marriage is far from over, and if he his way, it shouldn’t even be started because, well, there are more important things like security and jobs and the economy and security and jobs and attempting to chew gum while walking at the same time and jobs and did I mention security, and there’s no reason to think that people want this and no we shouldn’t have a referendum because people don’t want one, and it’s just the media pushing it.

Bloody media, but remember, Betzy, Malcolm Turnbull assured us just a few days ago that – ABC excluded – the media have a right to be as opinionated as they like.

If you missed Senator Abetz’s wonderful performance on the ABC, don’t look it up. Just trust me, it answered all the questions I had and meant that I’ve realised that the Liberals went to the last election with a clear policy on gay marriage and Tony Abbott’s suggestion that a “conscience vote” might be looked at, wasn’t a promise, just a simple statement because, well, the party room can look at anything.

As for the US Supreme Court decision, Abetz reminded us that it’s not a democratic institution by quoting one of the dissenting judges: “Such decisions should not be made by unelected judges, but by the people”, which is very similar to the Liberal policy on the stripping of citizenship, the Arts, and just about everything. And as the duly elected representatives of the people, it’s the Liberal Party who should make all the decisions. While the judge Senator Abetz quoted was outvoted by the other judges, she still sees the rule of the majority as the important thing in a democracy. As does Senator Abetz, in spite of the fact that he chooses to quote from the judge who was outvoted.

You see, we should leave it to the people. But we don’t need a referendum on it, because people don’t want one! How does Eric know? Well, when people approach him in shopping centres, it’s not men asking if he’d like to marry them, it’s people telling him what a great job the government are doing on security and jobs. And stopping the boats. Nobody ever mentions gay marriage to him, so therefore the opinion polls are wrong and it’s all just a media beat-up like the republic, which nobody wanted either.

Besides, Australia doesn’t need to do what everyone else is doing. When we introduced that Carbon Price, weren’t we going alone and ignoring the rest of the world… Ok, that may not be the best example given we’ve scrapped it and the rest of the world seems to be doing more. But Austria voted down gay marriage, we don’t hear about that in the media, do we? And we should do what Austria does because people confuse us with them anyway. Similarly, we should also do what Asia does, according to Eric Abetz, because this is being called the Asian Century and people can’t have it both ways. If we’re going to follow Asian when it comes to human rights and working conditions, then we need to follow them with regard to same sex marriage too because we need the sort of consistency that the Abbott government demonstrates.

So after listening to Tony and Eric, my final understanding of the position I should have is this:

  1. Gay marriage legislation does not belong to any political party.
  2. Gay marriage legislation does not belong to private members.
  3. Gay marriage legislation does not belong to the public.
  4. Gay marriage legislation does not belong to a group of judges.
  5. Gay marriage legislation does not belong to anyone and therefore we can’t make a decision on it.



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  1. Kaye Lee

    Tony Abbott says…..

    “I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment.”

    “I think it would be very wrong for a politician in a sector with democracy like this to advance a position that could not be justified other than by appeal to religion. It would be very wrong, and frankly I don’t believe there is any, where a serious Catholic politician in Australia who has ever done that.”

  2. grey&grumpy

    Well I’m damm happy that you have cleared up this whole debate on same sex marriage. I was getting dizzy…

  3. Kaye Lee

    It’s very interesting what you find on government websites at times. This is from the Australian Institute of Family Studies….

    The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) based at the University of Melbourne has collected data on 500 children aged 0-17 years from 315 LGBT parents.

    On measures of general health and family cohesion children aged 5 to 17 years with same-sex attracted parents had significantly better scores when compared to Australian children from all other backgrounds and family contexts. For all other health measures there were no statistically significant differences. These preliminary findings indicate Australian children with same-sex attracted parents are developing well.

    Children in lesbian- and gay-parented families generally report harmonious relationships with their parents, whether or not they were born to heterosexual couple parents who subsequently divorced, or in the context of a planned same-sex family.

    A randomly sampled representative survey of 44 young people raised in lesbian or gay parented families in the US, found the teenagers described relationships with their parents as warm and caring. Other studies have also found that lesbian-parented children reported more warmth from and interaction with their parents than their peers raised in heterosexual couple families.

    Children who are parented by lesbian couples display greater security of attachment to parents, are more likely to perceive their parents as available and dependable, and are more likely to discuss sexual and emotional issues with parents.

    Bigner and Jacobsen (1989, 1992) surveyed gay and heterosexual divorced fathers who were members of parenting groups. In responses to their inventory of parenting practices, the authors found the gay fathers were more responsive to their children’s needs than the heterosexual fathers, and reported more use of reasoning strategies with children.

    So we are not objecting to marriage equality on the grounds of religion, and, as reported by the government itself, studies show that the kids of gay couples are doing well… I can only assume it is because a few male Liberals think it’s icky.

  4. Peter F

    Wonderful performance from Erica today ‘ our neighbours haven’t, so why should we?: I just lover the way the Libs can cherry-pick their beliefs. Has his short attention span obliterated his memory of the fact that the USA changed this week? Of course, we are not in the habit of following America’s example, are we!!

  5. brickbob

    Ábbott and Abetz are quite happy to follow America into wars to kill people,but wont support people who love each other,yes cherry picking indeed.”””

  6. Florence nee Fedup

    We don.t want a referendum. Very hard to get through. More than fifty percent could vote yes, and still fail. No need for plebiscite.

    Abbott is intent on one thing to be discussed in the next few months, He wants attention kept on his fear mongering when it comes to security.

    We will see more useless wasteful trips like the one he made to Singapore. Playing chief salesman for international corporations. Even small business is waking up to him. Did one hear him raised with the Singaporeans the role they play in taxation evasion by major companies in this country. This week senate hearing, which were only aural were revealing,

    He is cocky, because he knows his election is not far off. Be surprise if parliament sits after winter break.

  7. stephentardrew

    The voice of the people, well a small minority.

    Now Tony your job is to represent Australia not the Catholic Church.

    Bit hard for you old fossilised fella to give recognition to the uneducated secular swill isn’t it.

  8. Möbius Ecko

    Exactly Peter F. It was the same mob in opposition who said we should only bring in carbon reduction measures if our neighbours and the major countries do. Our neighbours and the major countries are falling over themselves implementing carbon reduction measures yet this Abbott government is falling over itself to not do so.

  9. Kaye Lee

    That report I referred to before raises some very relevant points. Aside from the kids of gay parents doing as well if not better than their peers, they found that “The country in which children are raised appears to have a bearing on the likelihood of experiencing bullying or teasing, indicating that the prevailing socio-cultural climate of support for same-sex relationships has some bearing on child wellbeing.”

    Yet again, the Abbott government’s stance is harming children.

  10. olddavey

    Gay marriage is a Pandora’s box, just ask Ecca.
    The same as the bunch of returded swamp slime “running” the country at the moment.

    Please don’t comment on my spelling, I am correct!

  11. stephentardrew

    At last the photo tells all.

    Rainbow connection.

  12. Garth

    Kaye Lee … they don’t care about children in same-sex relationships. I think the logic would be similar to the way they detach themselves from the harm children experience through mandatory detention ie. these kids shouldn’t be in that position in the first place so any harm that comes to them is through their own actions (or that of their deviant parents). What a load of crap … it makes it easy to distance yourself from the consequences of your own decisions – something which this ‘government’ excels at. Remember, ‘a government of no surprises and no excuses’ ?? Yeah right!

  13. Geoff England

    This government are the biggest pack of lying arse wipes I have seen in my 40 odd years of voting.

  14. Annie B

    I almost laughed. … If I had it would have been a malicious and gleeful chortle. … So I didn’t.

    On the Channel 9 news last night, Victoria, I happened to hear the grating tone of ‘tones voice’, droaning on – yet again. …. Channel 9 from what I have gathered, is a follower of the Murdoch regime – right ? … Bows and scrapes to the wizened old master of mayhem – Rupe !

    On the question put to him about changing laws to include gay marriage, he ummed and ahed his way to the following : … ( not quite verbatim but close enough )

    “I believe there is some speculation that a private members bill will be presented – ah – but – er – I have been in politics for 21 years, and in that um – time I have only ever seen two or three private members bills presented, and they didn’t fair too well ”

    Cut to Ch 9 reporter ( can’t recall her name ) …

    ” In the past 21 years there have been at least nine private members bills presented to Parliament, and they have ALL ( emphasised ) been passed ”

    One against his duck ‘ouse, from his loyal media servants. !! 😛

    ( for all I know she might have been fired after that resounding correction of the mad monk ).

    [ I confess however, first to a grimace and then a wide grin. ]

  15. gangey1959

    OK Rossleigh.
    If no-one owns it, what do I do with my decision? Do I put it out with the hard rubbish, or the recycling? I cant just put it in the bin with my other rubbish. Maybe I should stack it in the shed with my other bad attitudes, or should I donate it via a charity bin and let some other poor soul who really needs it take care of it.

  16. Eva

    I’m certain Abbott still feels ‘threatened’ by all those homosexuals who are falling over themselves to gay-marry him after seeing him in his budgie smugglers. Oh wait, that didn’t happen? Well, apart from the budgie smuggler thing …

  17. Mercurial

    Gillard should have tried that with the carbon tax. Might have worked:

    “If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, I want it to be owned by the Parliament, and not by any particular party.”

  18. gangey1959

    Bloody Hell Rossleigh.
    Now I’m really confused.
    What is ‘Same Sex’ ?
    As far as I can work out. we all have ‘same’ sex.
    Oral sex, not oral sex, with or without accessories.
    I think that just about covers it.
    Unless of course you are some kind of perverted deviant who considers young children and violence against the other person fair game.
    Then its not same sex at all, and you need at least cardinarial(?) permission. Don’t you, mr pell.
    Anyway, back to my question.
    Are we going to be allowed to have any sex at all?
    As for marrying ones partner, I’m all for it.
    The more weddings, the more alcohol getting consumed leads to more of the same sex as before.
    Who cares if both grooms are wearing dresses.

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