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Tony Abbott: Verbis tribus tantum

Beginning this by saying that I think that same sex marriage is NOT what we should be discussing, and then immediately talking about same sex marriage may make some of you think that I’m inconsistent enough to be Tony Abbott.

However, I want to make the point that we shouldn’t be talking about same sex marriage because it should have been put to a vote and passed by now. The main arguments I’ve heard against gay marriage are in fact arguments against gay relationships themselves. For example, the argument that children deserve a mother AND a father has often distracted us into arguing that the children of people raised by those in a gay relationship haven’t turned out to be three-headed monsters, rather than making the simple point that – as this is already something occuring in our society – why shouldn’t these people be allowed to solemnise their relationship with a marriage?

Ok, Cory, I understand that you don’t approve of gay people, but they exist and have lives and some of them have children and and you seem to be saying that can’t stop that, but you can sure as hell, stop them getting married just to show them that they’re not normal like you. Thank god, say most of us!

Similarly, the idea that caterers or wedding photographers or printers could be forced to abandon their principles and service gay clients strikes me as slightly absurd. For a start, I’m not sure that too many people would want a photographer or caterer who had made it clear that they disapproved. And if people want to put a sign in their window telling us all that they don’t want to provide wedding services to gay people then that’s ok. Some of the rest of us could point out that we don’t want to provide services to people like them and I’ll leave it to others to boycott their business, but as far as I’m concerned they can just take their business and …

Oh, I seem to be distracted.

Anyway, I find the whole argument as strange as the one about Adam Goodes where people asserted that they had every right to boo whomsoever they liked, but nobody could call them racist because that hurt their feelings.

And as for the idea of a plebiscite, well, that sounds all very well. Unfortunately, the thing about deciding people’s “rights” to vote doesn’t have a very good history. Partly because the people who are seeking rights are often the people denied a vote. “The men took a vote and decided that there was no reason to give a vote to women!” If everybody votes that people with the surname “Murdoch” should surrender all their wealth and work as slaves, it might get through because of a certain hostility to one member of the family; for the rest of the family it may be considered a breach of their rights.

Mm, I planned to talk about Abbott’s strange love of coal and his determination that come what may we must protect our coal industry. He seems to have no similar commitment to cars, textiles or ships.

Yet I found myself talking about same sex marriage.

Strange that.

By the way, the title of this – Tony Abbott: Verbis tribus tantum is Latin:

“Tony Abbott: Three Words Only!”

It seems his motto!

 

15 comments

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  1. Matters Not

    Watched Morrison on 7.30 tonight argue along the lines that when it comes to deep and personal matters it should not be the politicians who decide but the people at large. Now who could argue with that.

    Then I reflected on ‘declarations of war’ and other really, really important matters – you know going to Vietnam, Iraq (for both the first and second times) when Australian lives were lost and are constantly put on the line (examples only). Such decisions were considered to be the prerogative of the (conservative) government of the day and were considered to be too important for even the Parliament to decide let alone the ‘people at large’.

    But when it comes to who joins hands (or glands) with another then the Government mustn’t be the decider. Nor the Parliament, even though it’s clearly within their power and responsibility, as decided by the High Court. No, now it’s only the people who should decide. But not now. Heavens above. Not now. Because it’s the government of the day which decides important things. Apparently we need ‘time’ to decide but the ‘time’ may never come because its again not the people who will decide the ‘time’ nor is it the Parliament which will decide the ‘time’ but it’s the (conservative) government which will decide the ‘time’.

    It appears it’s the government of the day which decides what issues will be ‘voted’ on, by whom and under what circumstances, including timelines.

    And it’s called ‘democracy’.

  2. bobrafto

    3 words

    Stop the Gays!

    He can now add this to
    Stop the Boats

    Abbott is now scheming on how to send the gays to Manus and Nauru to avoid any further debate on the matter.

  3. bobrafto

    I Stopped the gays!

  4. Matters Not

    While ‘stop the gays’ may be his preferred ‘mantra’, I think ‘Turn Back the Times’ is a better descriptor of his intentions.

  5. Colin

    Here’s 3 words for Tones. Eight Hundred Thousand.

    That’s the number of unemployed people in this country, according to the ABS stats for July (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/6202.0Media%20Release1Jul%202015)

    (actually it is officially 800,700. No doubt the real figure is far higher)

    As always, Abbott is grabbing on to a relative non-issue to hide his government’s inadequacies in the real issues.

  6. keerti

    “Grabbing arelative non- issue?”
    I thought that was what his budgie smuggers were there for!

  7. Pilot

    Tony Abbott has his fingers firmly lodged in his ears and refusing (again) to listen to what the majority of Australians think. A person’s sexuality is their own private business, not public interest. A person’s right should NOT hinge on their sexuality, their creed or the religion, but old Tones and his mob of fascist followers have blown that right out of the water.
    In my view, ALL references to sexuality should be removed from legislation covering marriage simply because it is inherently discriminatory and against the principles upon which Australian character has been built. Yes, we have a pockets of bigots and racists, but the majority of us believe in a fair go for all, not simply for those who see themselves as “born to rule”.
    Anyone who feels threatened by the gay community really needs to seek professional help, because they are clearly unhinged.

    We need to further our goals as a Nation in the 21st century, not fumble around in the 19th century and going backwards.

    Abbott and his mob are only using this as a diversion from their incompetent management of the Australian economy.

    Abbott must go
    For Australia to grow!

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I respectfully (for once) instruct Tony Abbott that his new new three word slogan for Australia is:

    Equality, Compassion, Innovation.

    I also instruct Tony Abbott that he must immediately rewrite all his policies to ensure that they reflect these fundamental imperatives.

  9. Spot On!

    “However, I want to make the point that we shouldn’t be talking about same sex marriage because it should have been put to a vote and passed by now. The main arguments I’ve heard against gay marriage are in fact arguments against gay relationships themselves. For example, the argument that children deserve a mother AND a father has often distracted us into arguing that the children of people raised by those in a gay relationship haven’t turned out to be three-headed monsters, rather than making the simple point that – as this is already something occurring in our society – why shouldn’t these people be allowed to solemnise their relationship with a marriage?”

    Spot on RB! On BOTH counts – That arguement conveniently or ignorantly forgets that same sex couples are allowed to adopt children or become artificially inseminated now with each result providing children into a same sex household. So it falls completely flat.

    “Tony Abbott has his fingers firmly lodged in his ears and refusing (again) to listen to what the majority of Australians think. A person’s sexuality is their own private business, not public interest. A person’s right should NOT hinge on their sexuality, their creed or the religion, but old Tones and his mob of fascist followers have blown that right out of the water.
    In my view, ALL references to sexuality should be removed from legislation covering marriage simply because it is inherently discriminatory and against the principles upon which Australian character has been built. Yes, we have a pockets of bigots and racists, but the majority of us believe in a fair go for all, not simply for those who see themselves as “born to rule”.
    Anyone who feels threatened by the gay community really needs to seek professional help, because they are clearly unhinged.

    We need to further our goals as a Nation in the 21st century, not fumble around in the 19th century and going backwards.

    Abbott and his mob are only using this as a diversion from their incompetent management of the Australian economy.

    Abbott must go
    For Australia to grow!”

    Could not agree more Pilot – good slogan! But good grief that’s 7 words – someone will have to sit down and explain that to TA.

  10. John

    “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.”
    Pierre Trudeau

  11. diannaart

    Sounds sooooo warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it? Let the people decide. However, as many here have noted, ‘the people’ don’t even get a look in on sending our people to war, rescuing (instead of incarcerating refugees), stopping subsidies to; polluting industries, private schools, need I bother mentioning taking real and immediate action on climate change?

    SSM isn’t an issue where people are physically in danger, unlike women and children throughout the world who fear being home, being away from home…, therefore, better to spend a bucket load of dollars to ‘let the people decide’ sometime in the future – when the world has, what exactly? Solved all the problems that have vexed humanity since someone stood upon a rock and declared himself leader? Without any evidence, apart from human history, I know it was a ‘himself’.

    OK, so instead of resetting the constitution to what is was before Howard, without any approval from anyone but himself, clarified marriage as between a man and a woman (and not the other way round either), didn’t cost much, nor did it take any time at all. SSM can be achieved in less than a day, it really is that easy. But the time isn’t right…. apparently.

    Maybe that’s what we should do then, ignore the issue of SSM until every other issue is solved. Yes, I have no doubt that SSM is being used by Abbott as camouflage for his absurdly myopic cockup on emissions reduction target . Meanwhile Abbott and his troglodytes are free to arrange an expensive and loaded question (a la Howard’s republic) for a referendum, or whatever, sometime in the future.

    Think I’ll go and wait for pigs to fly…

  12. diannaart

    Of course I wrote the above post as if equality is a given and that LGBTI people are considered a part of that equality. To achieve SSM, a vote from every elected federal politician would achieve that end (not only Abbott can play with numbers); an inclusive vote by every person currently in office as elected by the people – which might take as long as 6 hours – I believe we have the time for that.

  13. Mercurial

    “Similarly, the idea that caterers or wedding photographers or printers could be forced to abandon their principles and service gay clients strikes me as slightly absurd.”

    Sorry, you’re wrong there. The provision of goods and services is subject to anti-discrimination legislation, and one of the grounds for discrimination is sexual orientation.

    So yes, caterers and wedding photographers would be obliged, or face action under the anti-discrimination laws.

  14. Mercurial

    …as Richard Ackland puts it:

    Actually, the law has already thought about the consequences of marriage equality and done something about it. It’s section 49ZP of the Anti-Discrimination Act (NSW) and I’m sure there are comparable provisions in other jurisdictions. For the benefit of people worried about “mutual respect”, this is what it says:

    “It is unlawful for a person who provides, for payment or not, goods or services to discriminate against another person on the ground of homosexuality:

    (a) by refusing to provide the person with those goods or services, or

    (b) in the terms on which he or she provides the person with those goods or services.”

  15. Annie B

    Colin said : “As always, Abbott is grabbing on to a relative non-issue to hide his government’s inadequacies in the real issues.”

    The Government may delude themselves into thinking that a ‘look over there’ finger point, will ‘hide’ their inadequacies – that relative non-issues will ‘cover up’ their total stuff-ups… but in fact they do not.

    Everyone can see exactly what the inadequacies of this government are, and how they go about trying to hide them, with bumbling ineffectual efforts and grabs at preposterous public statements.

    Thing is, even the LNP avid followers can see it as well ( and they probably choke on it ) … but being what a great many of them are – died-in-the-wool LNP voters / admirers – because their family history way back, dictates that they also must follow like sheep – those people will not change their views. The Devil itself, could lead the LNP and all it’s little ministerial demons ( oh zip my mouth !! ) …. and the true blues would still vote for them.

    A few lucid, clear thinking LNP bods are indeed scratching their heads and wondering these days – just hope there are enough and more of them, come election day, to tip the scales way over and away from ‘familial thinking’ … and into decency, a genuine desire for better for our country, and a way forward for proper democracy.

    Cos we ain’t got that now … no way, no how.

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