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Voting Yes

Friends of this blog know I’m not particularly enamoured of marriage as we know it. It’s an institution, as one wit noted, and who wants to live in an institution? Flippancy aside, my main objection to marriage is the entirely unwarranted privilege it is accorded in our society, a discriminatory privilege currently available only to heterosexuals.

Some of the most heinous behaviour of which the human species is capable is acted out in heterosexual marriage. Treachery and betrayal. Domestic violence. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children. Murder. The dark side of marriage ought to cause us to question its privileged position, but as a herd, we have a capacity for cognitive dissonance that is nothing short of astounding.

So voting Yes in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s disgraceful $122 million postal survey on marriage equality is a complicated decision, given that I think marriage as we know it is a bit of a nonsense in the first place. However, the reality I must accept is that marriage is an institution, and as such must be available to anyone who wishes to live in it. Excluding people on the basis of their sexuality is appallingly discriminatory, and makes second class citizens of anyone who isn’t heterosexual.

Add to this the allegedly illegitimate nature of Turnbull’s postal survey, about to be argued out in the High Court, and it becomes tempting to boycott the whole despicable process, rather than validate the PM’s sordid machinations with my participation.

However. You can be absolutely certain the No vote is, as we speak, marshalling all its forces to fight what the Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton describes as “the fight of our lives” against marriage equality. Lyle, you might recall, some months ago issued a paranoid tweet to the effect that nobody will know he’s straight if gays are allowed to marry. Unfortunately most of his public commentary on marriage equality is far darker than that idiocy, and you can be absolutely certain he and his supporters will be cranking up their homophobic rhetoric over the next few weeks. If we don’t vote Yes we risk a No victory, and I do not want to think about the myriad ways in which that will licence Shelton and his ilk, possibly for years.

The No contingent will not care that a reduced Yes vote comes about as a consequence of principled boycott. They will rejoice in their victory. Nothing good can come of this, so please vote Yes.

Turnbull has wedged the electorate. He has presented us with a singularly depraved process, one he admits will go nowhere as a Yes vote is non-binding. He has co-opted us into his internal strife. He has made the Liberal party’s turmoil ours. He has forced us either to join him in his corrupt process, or risk an ongoing abuse of and discrimination against LGBTQI people that will be validated by a No vote. For this he should never, ever be forgiven.

We all know the right-wing of his party stands ready to nail his testicles to the despatch box. In another desperate attempt to avoid this fate, Turnbull has outsourced his responsibilities to the electorate.

I loathe the situation in which the PM has placed us. I loathe that he has made us a part of his cowardice and depravity. I would like nothing more than to boycott his stinking survey. But I believe the only way of fighting back is to vote Yes to marriage equality, an overwhelming, resounding Yes. If nothing else, this will place Turnbull in an absolutely untenable position if he then refuses to accept this Yes, and will forever make a mockery of his claims to listen to the will of the people.

A Yes vote is a demand that everyone in this country be accorded equal access to what is recognised as a human right to marriage and family. It is a demand for an end to the perception of LGBTQI people as somehow inferior to heterosexuals. It is a demand for an end to heterosexual privilege and power.

Turnbull has co-opted us into his vile process. Turn it back on him. Don’t play into his hands with a boycott. Vote Yes.

Oh, and you can also will the High Court to chuck the postal survey as an option out on its carbuncled arse.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.


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  1. townsvilleblog

    I am happily married and will be voting ‘yes’ because everyone should have the joy of marriage.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Turnbull has ruled out any further action on marriage equality if the high court rules against the postal plebiscite. He must be shitting bricks because that will keep this a live issue at the next election where young people WILL vote.

    I am utterly appalled that ABC employees have been instructed not to use the term marriage equality. A prime example of how the ABC is moving into the role of spin doctor.

  3. Jaquix

    A list of things $122 million would provide us instead of this bad survey, is circulating on Facebook. It included 10 years worth of support for domestic violence victims! 100 teachers, 100 homes in Sydney at median price, and many other interesting and far metter uses for the money. Pollster companies were scathing, saying they could provide a robust poll within a week, far more accurate than Turnbulls, for less than $20,000. Its a simple matter of marriage equality. Bill Shortens speech yesterday will mobilse the Yes camp, urging community and sporting groups to get onto it is a master stroke. Abbott & Shelton campaign should pale into insignificance against the forces of good. Also good to see Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman (himself gay) stand up and speak up for the Yes vote. The final result could be surprising. I have the figures 65-35 in my head, with the Yes vote winning the day of course. Whatever way it goes, Turnbull just looks sillier and more ineffectual by the day. Next few weeks polls will be interesting too.

  4. Geoff Andrews

    If one answer to a two-faced question (sic) is non-binding, there is no need to ask the question.

  5. Joseph Carli

    I absolutely resent and abhor being coerced into some fraudulent survey to make an opinion on a subject that is the personal business only of the couples or individuals involved..How many of us have had unwanted and unneeded opiniated intrusions into our choices of relationships by family and friends?…in some cases having to tell them to eff-off!

    The Emperor Augustus was one of the first Mega Monarchs to “sanctify” the instution of marriage and the family with his confected pastiche of the “good family man” to the Roman People…where, in fact, he was a raging queen who forced Livia to divorce her partner when she was three months pregnant to marry Augustus so it could look like he was a hetrosexual with a legitimate child….because the law in Rome at the time was that only a “Vir” (alpha male type) could rule, and Augustus was of the effeminate side..(which is why, in my opinion, he murdered Cleopatra, as she knew that Augustus was Julius’s “toy-boy” when he had the urge for a bit of the old /DC )…But it didn’t stop the Roman sense of humour shining through when a saying went the rounds : ” Augustus must indeed be a favourite of the Gods as they allowed his wife so short a gestation”.

  6. Max Gross

    Turnbull’s reputation is in the toilet. History will consign it to the cesspool where it belongs.

  7. helvityni

    “Happiness is vastly overrated”, my learned friend said when his missus started divorce procedures,”she wasn’t so blissfully happy anymore…”

    Be we gay ,lesbian or heterosexual or anything in-between, we all ought to have equal rights to be manacled together forever or have series of happy or miserable marriages,to be happy ,unhappy or to shy away from it altogether… Mal and Co, leave it to us, move on with the times, like so many other countries have done…

    Are you a man or a mouse…

  8. Matters Not

    Are you a man or a mouse…

    Perhaps a poor set of options. Both are vertebrates.

  9. Matters Not

    Perhaps opposition to gay marriage, can be traced to the latent fear that it might become compulsory.

    What with slippery slopes and all that. Imaginations run wild.

  10. helvityni

    Maybe a mousy man, or what sounds a bit better: a manly mouse…

  11. stephengb2014

    Jenifer Wilson, I like your style. You have hit it right on the money.

  12. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, I had intended to boycott the vote but after listening to what you and Carol have had to say, I will now be voting. And I will be voting “Yes”. I like the idea that a “Yes” victory would put Turnbull in a hopeless position. He will do absolutely nothing, showing us how weak he really is as well as come under further fire for wasting $122 million. The thought of it is delicious.

    I’m fortunate that I have such smart people around me – like Carol and yourself – who can influence me with their logic.

  13. madeleinekingston

    Jennifer thanks very much for this excellent article. I agree with others that it is more than time to stop the discrimination and to make marriage. As much as abhor the process proposed and the absurd non-binding statistical survey to be conducted by the ABS with seconded AEC staff, I too will be voting Yes as a happily married women as I support the principles of equality. I agree that it is too dangerous to abstain as by default this will play into the hands of the naysayers.
    As to Turnbull, I believe his spineless approach and subservient position with the dominant right faction of the LNP will turn on him.

    Let us hope that the depraved survey proposed will be shot down by the High Court, though this will mean delays for those who have waited quite long enough to claim equal civil rights with everyone else. Meanwhile if tis non-binding survey goes ahead as a glorified opinion poll, it will harm many and further erode community confidence in this government. I wish that all the very best with this struggle.


  14. paul walter

    Michael Taylor, just read it and commented at Sheep and will say it mirrors my own deep resentment at being treated as a fool by the government and made a fool of by it.

    My response is identical to yours. I am seething. I never get past this mad government’s energetic attempts to dismantle a working democracy in aid of a mindless authoritarian vision of society.

    All the other comments here; tease out the various corruption of logic and principle involved,so I’ll finish by emphasising Helvi’s likening of Turnbull to a mouse, because he surely is one, as Abbott is a demented, flea-infested rat.

    And yes, Wilson is a gifted writer. I love her dearly, but sharply envy her talent and brains.

  15. wam

    It is no fluke the way to change a man’s mind is through the power of women.

    I am voting because trumball has said he expects over 50% will vote and, unlikely under the circumstances, it would great should there be enough yes vote to defeat the christian naysayers who, perhaps for the first time since the 50s, will act from the pulpit and worse will corruptly complete thousands of unused voting forms.
    ps i don’t want the ipa TO USE IT TO DESTROY COMPULSORY or preferemtial

  16. Kaye Lee

    I just had an interesting conversation with my son who said he won’t bother voting because he is sick to death of hearing about it (hardly an informed view but I am working on him).

    I pointed out to him that if those opposed mobilise and orchestrate a majority no vote, he will continue hearing about it until it gets done.

    (Ya gotta use whatever appeal works for the individual and his attention span wasn’t up to a discussion about fighting for equality)

  17. Clive Buckingham

    We got married, it was our choice.
    No one else were given a voice.
    If you marry I cannot see
    What that’s got to do with me.
    Yet I’ve been told I’ll have to say
    If one can marry if they’re gay.

    And we will now have a debate
    Full of bile and full of hate
    But our vote will not decide.
    It will further our society divide.
    And we will still not get a say.
    If one can marry if they’re gay.

    So why is the religious right.
    Fighting for this plebiscite
    For no matter what the finding.
    Our vote will simply not be binding.
    The the parliament will still get to say
    If one can marry if they’re gay.

    But let’s make sure this gutless crowd.
    Stand up and do us proud
    Let us reply to this plebiscite
    That marriage equality is our right,
    For me if I have to have my say.
    Like many others I’ll say yay.

  18. Kyran

    Shorten’s speech has been cited by many people on social media as the reason they will now participate with a yes vote rather than protest by boycotting.
    Two excerpts from Shorten’s speech worth repeating.

    “Voting yes is not about endorsing this illegitimate process, it’s about refusing to walk past our fellow Australians when they need us. This is my message for business leaders, sporting clubs, the union movement and community groups: it’s time to get involved; it’s time to organise and fight for equality. This survey is costly, this survey is unnecessary, this survey places unfair pressure on one group of Australians to justify their relationships. This survey is a political contrivance from a Prime Minister who spends all his time counting Newspolls. This survey denies the parliament the chance to lead. We didn’t need a survey to tell us to say sorry. We in this parliament led; we did the right thing and the community backed us.”

    “My final message to LGBTI people is this: and it’s a message to their parents, and their siblings, and their children and everyone who loves them: I know this has been a week of heartbreak, following years of disappointments. I know that some Liberals worked hard not to have this outcome and I respect them for that. I know that LGBTI Australians are frustrated, they’re angry, they’re sad, and they’re bewildered that it has come to this. But I want you to know: you are not alone. You are not alone in this fight ahead. Over the next few months, terrible things will be said about you and your families, about your lives, your identities and your choices, and the Prime Minister will not stand up for you. I am sorry you have to endure this. But Labor will stand up for Australians. I give you this promise: we stand with you. When you don’t feel like you have a voice, we will speak up for you. When you feel attacked, we will defend you. When we hear prejudice and discrimination, we will not cross the road and pretend it is not happening; we will call it out.”

    Just on the High Court challenge, which was lodged yesterday;
    “The High Court will this afternoon hear the interlocutory application for an injunction to stop any work taking place on the voluntary postal survey process.
    The Public Interest Advocacy Centre yesterday commenced proceedings in the High Court, seeking to stop the government proceeding with the postal vote on same sex marriage.”


    Mr Wilkie will be making a statement from the High Court (Melbourne registry) sometime after 3.30 pm today regarding the injunction. Should the injunction be granted, this whole stunt seems likely to collapse.
    On a lighter note, Tim Minchin has let one rip.
    “In a video posted to his Facebook page, Minchin reworks the lyrics to the Peter Allen classic I Still Call Australia Home.”
    As I understand it, his title is “I still call Australia Homophobic”. The interest shown in it is worth noting.
    “The song was viewed more than 300,000 times and shared almost 20,000 times within three hours of being posted.”

    talcum’s judgement, located somewhere between ‘Questionable’ and ‘Non-existent’ on the human scale of judgement, once more called into question. It seems he’s picked another fizza.
    Thank you Ms Wilson and commenters. Take care

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    What do most believe they are voting yes or no to?

    SS families and relationships are a part of our society, our culture.

    The vote won’t change that in any way. They are not going to disappear.

    Especially in a society where nearly half straight families bother with any marriage, church or civil.

    A “no” vote will see no change in culture or society.

    A “yes” vote will enable those who wish a recognition of the relationship, same choice as straight people.

  20. Florence nee Fedup

    Keep in mind Keatings remark of years ago. Turnbull has no political judgement.
    Admitting one got it wrong and moving on isn’t breaking promises. It says I got it wrong. That takes strength.

  21. Zathras

    Forget marriage – just make divorce illegal (as the Bible says), make it retrospective and declare all second and subsequent marriages invalid.

    The fallout from that would be fun to watch.

  22. Jennifer Wilson

    Michael, am delighted to have such influence, good on you for changing your mind.

    Zathras, I would love to see the fallout from your plan, and those who insist on the sanctity of marriage ought to be assisting you in its implementation.

    PW, thank you.

    Many thanks to everyone for reading, and thinking about this issue.

  23. Kyran

    Now I’m really confused. From the recently posted ABC article;
    “A challenge to the Federal Government’s same-sex marriage postal ballot has been adjourned to be heard on September 5 and 6 in the High Court, with a directions hearing to be held on Thursday.”
    The action was only filed yesterday. No hearing date had been set. How could it have been adjourned? I can only guess that it should read ‘the matter has been listed for hearing on the 5-6 September’.
    That distinction needs to be made given the rest of the report.
    “Two separate parties applied for a temporary injunction preventing the postal vote but told a hearing this afternoon that they would be prepared to put their bid on hold given the case was being urgently heard.”
    The injunction being sought was not to prevent the postal vote. That is the matter now scheduled for a hearing on the 5-6 September. The interlocutory application was for an injunction to stop any work taking place on the voluntary postal survey process in the interim.
    That is a rather significant distinction. Another extract from the article;
    “Mr Wilkie said both parties had agreed not to go ahead with the injunction because the matter would be heard September 12.
    “We didn’t need to pursue it because the Government has made an undertaking to the High Court of Australia that no papers will be distributed before [September 12],” he said.”
    Just to continue nit-picking, the matter will be heard September 5-6. Not 12. What I can’t fathom is why they dropped the injunction. Fair enough, the papers won’t be distributed before September 12, but the hate speech, the vitriol, the garbage, spewed forth by the likes of the IPA, the ACL, the abbott/howard coalition, will be distributed.

    Maybe we should be looking for other things to change in the Marriage Act.

    This will get ugly. And the wrong people will pay for it.
    Thanks again. Take care

  24. Florence nee Fedup

    Like most, I hope Keating has moved on. I don’t believe back in those times most of us would have perceived gays living in the open let alone creating families.

  25. helvityni

    Without further ado, we support America, if and when the war with North Korea happens: we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Americans, we are joined at the hip with them. says our PM ( how banal can you get), no need to spend millions on plebiscites or postal voting, we will be there for you…

    Why can’t we see our gay and lesbian people as our equals, with EQUAL rights to marriage… Why don’t we stand shoulder to shoulder with them….?Why can’t we be there for THEM…?

  26. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I intend to vote for Marriage Equality in the plebiscite. I would anyway coz it’s a basic human right.

    If everybody was as clever, motivated and nice like me, I’d be perfectly happy for plebiscites to decide everything.

    However, they’re not so referenda are more important as support mechanisms to a tired old parliamentary system dominated by only two major flipflop parties that makes simple parliamentary decisions like marriage equality too hot to decide on in the parliament.

  27. diannaart

    The No contingent will not care that a reduced Yes vote comes about as a consequence of principled boycott.

    A heart-felt thanks for your thoughts, Jennifer.

    I have been prevaricating about this latest LNP cunning stunt. In fact, I have been getting a “back to the future” feel about the entire thing – it was not that long ago a carefully set-up referendum was put in place with loaded wording to ensure, most of us voted a against Australia becoming a republic.

    So, here we are well into the 21st century being manipulated by the overly conservative and religious.

    I am on the electoral role, therefore, expect to see a an equal rights SURVEY appear in my letter box soon. I intend to call the uber-right on their own game and vote ‘YES’.

    Then wait to see how the federal government manages a resounding YES from the Australian public. Will they put votes ahead of ideology? Looking forward to wedding bells, even though, I have in my past, shouted at wedding procession; “Don’t do it, you are making a mistake!”

  28. Leni Johnson

    My current fear is they will exploit the strength of the Yes campaign by posing a Republic referendum style question, i.e. “Do you support the current definition of marriage?” I don’t trust them as far as I could throw them, and yes, i would be happy to throw them.

  29. Denise Buck

    Reminds me of the fairy tale ‘The Emporer’s New Clothes’. Everyone is laughing at you Malcolm!

  30. jacqui pedersen

    I am hoping for a resounding 95% yes vote to prove that this govt is not fit to represent the people.

  31. kerrilmail

    You have summed up my thoughts and feelings precisely Jennifer Wilson. I will post this widely.

  32. Johno

    Definitely YES from me. Love the video from Paul Minchin.

  33. Gangey1959

    He has no testicles to nail to anything.
    He outsourced them to get the job of figurehead.
    Last time we had a rigged plebiscite like this we were set up to vote FOR the queen. I wish the lnp sacks of shite would make up their bloody minds.

  34. kathysutherland2013

    I’ll be voting Yes ( though it goes against the grain the think that I have a right to give my permission to marry!)
    But I have a question about joining in Trump’s ego-fest against – Kim Jong Un- shouldn’t we have a plebiscite?

  35. Kaye Lee

    The whole idea of a vote on whether to give people their basic human rights is abhorrent. But we can’t leave the field open to the homophobes and religious nutters.

  36. Deanna Jones has a campaign going. The damned government could just amend the legislation again. So simple. This circus is causing harm to LGBT peoples. There is a walk of shame element to it. Hearing straight “Yes” folks discuss us like were not even there. My humanity is not a cool fun campaign, or a reason for you to change your facebook profile pic. Try to imagine, straight peeps, if we were the ones discussing you and your humanity. If we were about to vote on the merits of your basic human rights. If you can. This ‘debate’ is causing divisions amongst LGBT peoples already. I’m seeing it just in my own little pocket. Everyone is watching what they say, or arguing. Single people of all orientations will still experience prejudice. It feels more like a promotion of the institution than of equality. Even if the result is an overwhelming yes, we can’t trust this government and it’s trickery. A postal vote will not result in equality. Thank you to well-meaning straight folks, but try to imagine how excruciating and degrading this all is for us. It’s just so f*cking degrading.

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Deanna.

  38. Adrianne Haddow

    Jennifer Wilson, your well written piece encapsulates my feelings on this issue.
    We have been wedged, which seems to be the only thing this fascist government seems able to do with any success.

    Thanks for the link Deanna.

  39. helvityni

    “Try to imagine, straight peeps, if we were the ones discussing you and your humanity. If we were about to vote on the merits of your basic human rights. If you can.”

    Sorry to be ignorant: is the term ‘peeps’ a positive, negative or neutral expression ? I don’t often see or hear it…so I thought I ask….

  40. Adrianne Haddow

    Helvityni, ‘peeps’ is short for people. No value attached…. just young people- speak.

  41. Florence nee Fedup

    Keep in mind, this govt refuses to tell us what the legislation will contain if yes vote wins to take it back to parliament where it belongs.

  42. Deanna Jones

    Florence, it will be non-binding whatever the result. They also do not appear to have thought of silent voters.

    Thank you JMS.

    No problem, Adrienne.

    Helvi, I see Adrienne answered your question. But you could have googled. You’re already on the internet after all.

  43. diannaart

    This machination by the LNP is every bit as nauseating as it must have been in 1967 when “Australians” voted on whether First Nation people should remain classified as “flora and fauna”.

    As Jennifer Wilson stated so eloquently, even those who would rather not be involved in this exercise of the majority sitting in judgement of a minority, even if some of those do not even believe in the so-called “institution of marriage”, we must vote YES.

    Deanna Jones

    Every thing you wrote above is true – a rare thing, has truth become.

  44. Christina Heath

    Great article Jennifer. I have posted similar on Kaye’s article but just reminding readers, Nationals MP, Michael McCormack, Minister for Small Business is also responsible for the postal plebiscite. In 1992, when Editor for the Wagga Daily Advertiser, McCormack wrote in an Editorial “A week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society. Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay……………….”His vile spiel goes on a length. And this Neanderthal is now in charge of the postal vote.

  45. SurReal

    Thank you Jennifer, this article contains much calm rationale that is hard to refute.

    ‘Sanctity of Marriage’ Stats FYI (from the ABS – the most recent stats I could find):

    81% of couples lived together prior to marriage in 2015 (in sin, no doubt)
    Civil Celebrants have overseen most marriages since 1999 – with almost 75% being performed by Celebrants in 2015 (reflecting our SECULAR society)

    Denying any person the choice of marriage in light of these statistics seems ludicrous!

    @Deanna, I’m sorry you feel this way about us “straight peeps”, trying to align ourselves with you against this heartless, corrupt, and yes degrading process. In my example, I will stand between my daughter and this government in attempt to take the brunt of their offensive incompetence, and defend her right to have equality in this society with my dying breath, as I would with any other situation, on her behalf. I don’t discuss this because she is “not even there”, but because SHE IS! And this can be said of so many “straight peeps”, who know and love someone who is LGBT and are disgusted by how they are being treated.

    We didn’t design this process, we don’t endorse it or the idiotic government that will tie themselves in knots to give life to this travesty of a survey. So don’t shoot your allies, your “well-meaning straight folks” who share your blood and your lives. You are a part of us in most cases, not a class of people separate from us. Don’t assist this government with their divisiveness.

    The stakes are high for the vote on Marriage Equality being won. We need each other in this.

  46. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Kudos, SurReal

  47. Florence nee Fedup

    I have a concern after listening to a friend a day ago. He has doesn’t care what gays do. What he resents them making him to vote, so he will vote no. Took some time to explain it wasn’t the gays forcing him to vote. They wanted the vote to take place in the house. He needed to vote yes for that to happen. Sadly I suspect he will vote no, believing he is getting back at the gays. I suspect there are many more with same attitude.

  48. Madeleine Kingston

    OK. Thanks Sur-Real. I have to make this quick. My power supply will be cut off tomorrow for a planned outage and that’s the truth. Not even showers or heating. I will probably wander round supermarkets just to keep warm.

    May I please pro term congratulate you for Sur-Real for your inspiring response. As a non-member of the LGBTI community, I absolutely support the amazing efforts of the “progressive media” to promote the YES response to he unconscionable proposal of he Turnbull Government to seek to over-ride the express and/or implicit wishes of parliament.

    I am pretty concerned about attacks on “alternative progressive media outlets” to encourage the YES response, which hopefully will be over-turned by the High Court in their deliberations on 5 and 6 September.

    No time to go into details at this stage, but Helen Razer’s article in the Daily Review has raised a few concerns about journalistic objectivity. I have made one or two responses and one is pending moderation. Already one of my responses has been unfairly culled by virtue only of referring to recent AIMN articles. I am relentless and undeterred and usually willing to take the occasional rap for the team; though there are a few limits. I am not a punching bag or course. But I am tuff. I do not like to see abuse of minority groups. Full Stop

    May I draw your attention to this incredible article that seeks to actively encourage boycott of the proposed postal vote regarding SSM.

    I have real concerns and an happy to pursue this online in this or any other relevant article regarding the perceived attack upon “alternative progressive media” perceived to be supporting the YES position.

    Naturally I am equipped to explain my concerns; though a relatively now social media participant on a learning curve. With humility, I admit I don’t always get it right.

    Meanwhile would you kindly examine the slant of a particular article published in Crickey’s Daily Review on 14 August 2017.

    Naturally I have more to say, when rime permits, but meanwhile encourage all those motivated to support the YES response to SSM immediately hop on to this site and provide their views.

    Media lecturing and celebrity endorsements won’t win same-sex marriage vote

    Do it now. It is urgent. This article seeks to encourage boycott of the proposed SSM unconscionable and humiliating process. I do not agree that boycott is in the interests or those affected. Already impacted parties have been influenced.

    Cheers, Madeleine

  49. Madeleine Kingston

    Well if you really want to know @Sur-Real before my power supply is cut off in a planned outage.

    Media lecturing and celebrity endorsements won’t win same-sex marriage vote

    I was once accosted in a library by a fan of Helen Razer’s. He wanted to tell me how great she was and I was the nearest target. He said he daily digested her wisdom in the Daily Review. He was carrying in his hand a clip from one of her articles, but could not quite bring himself to part with it, so I did not get to read it. I listened with rapt attention, but did not get around to finding out how she was till just the other day. I hope I do not run into this man again since I could not bear to look him in the eye and tell him I do not share his opinion. He is not young and I was not sure whether this revelation would precipitate a heart attack.

    Razer’s astonishing article on same sex marriage begins with the following invitation:

    “Well, slap my arse with a postal ballot and call me Pericles the Dumber”

    With regard to the second part of her invitation, I am really tempted to call her Pericles the Dumber. Please speak up now before change my mind. Not that this is a term that would have occurred to me if she had not suggested it herself. As one of her readers has already suggested “Be careful what you ask for.” However this was not of course in the context of hurling invited abuse. Nevertheless, a most useful piece of advice. I take it I am free to adopt it and use the phrase any way I like? I may avoid the Pericles reference suggested by the author herself; since it is my position that she cannot be taken too seriously and the size of her ego is too problematic; I have observed and am now better informed; However general advice such as “Be careful what you ask for” from her readership; this I am most amenable to citing. If there are no objections, I will just carry on. That is no objection to adopting the phrase “Be careful what you ask for” I believe one of those useful generic platitudes with multiple uses. Thanks. Well said.

    Razer appears to have trolled through the responses that did not favour her position, and systematically defended it, though the article should have been enough minus the padding and the unrefined language.

    Her padding did go unnoticed by readers. One mentioned that she provided far too much information on her bunions, which she said may prevent her from actually tripping down to the post office to lodge her survey response. She then discussed her perimenopausal symptoms and her podiatrist’s inputs.

    “Well, so the f*ck do I, Malcolm. I work a fifty-hour week, I am fighting perimenopause daily with YouTube strength training videos and I have recently started seeing a podiatrist. I have bunions, Malcolm. Bunions.” I have many calls on my time and feet more urgent than this.”

    I assume that this lady is trying her hard at backhanded satire with colourful and unnecessary padding that could be best discarded. It is not working. Now Andrew Street, he can do it.

    One of her readers mistook her for a small ‘l’ liberal.

    Naturally I am trying to get acquainted with the proper protocols for effective communication. Is motivation enough?

    Cheers, Madeleine

  50. SurReal

    @Madeleine (I didn’t ask??). I’m not sure it’s appropriate to comment on another site’s article here, but my disclaimer is that a healthy debate is likelier to occur here, than there. Sincere apologies for the major derail, Jennifer.

    There are quite a few valid points in Helen’s article (ironically by someone who “resents being given a say”, so much so, that she had to have a say), particularly about the nature of this whole farce and the government rationale behind it. I think she still misses the main point of the whole exercise though; that of equality. If the ‘community at large’ is shown to predominantly vote “NO”, due to whatever (rigged) circumstances (or bunions!), then this could potentially become the model approach for other questions of equality, particularly in relation to Aboriginal Australians, Refugees, and women (who technically aren’t a minority but are treated like one – a double banger if you’re a female Aborigine or Refugee). She will be comforted too I think, when this issue begins to take on momentum, that it will be the grass-roots response to those explicit not-so-progressive “NO” responses that will build solidarity for the “YES” case. The MSM on both sides, are on a completely different playing field – both have other varying agendas, and it didn’t appear that sites like The AIMN were in her cross hairs.

    I don’t think I have anything to add to that particular discussion on that site, that hasn’t already been said by either yourself or the likes of Bernard. Apart from Helen herself, there is another definite “faux-progressive” commentator who has also appointed himself chief moderator and rebutter, in attempt to reshape the world according to his distorted views, so between them both, ironically again there is less of a healthy debate versus a “you’re an idiot if you disagree with me” vibe…and I’m not a fan of pig wrestling.

    Sorry to hear about your power outage, I’ve experienced similar – 19 times in the previous calendar year….I gave up counting this year. With the claim for compensation for hire of a generator in one instance refused, as I didn’t “follow procedure”. The procedure to procure the claim form online, submit it with supporting documents and wait patiently for 4-6 weeks (response came after 13 months) was from them, and no alternative ‘procedure’ was provided in the claim refusal :-/ Hope you do indeed keep warm, it’s freezing!

    PS: I’ll eventually figure out how to add emphasis with bold and italic, to make my posts less tedious to read.

  51. helvityni

    Madeleine and SurReal, I appreciate your posts, you a most welcome addition here. I have to say though that I was never impressed with Helen Razer’s views, or her interviewing style…she used to write articles for ABC’s Unleashed, I found her interviewing style most off-putting, rude, patronizing…

  52. SurReal

    Thanks @helvityni. Your description of her style, nails it.

    Thanks too, to @Jennifer Meyer-Smith.

  53. Madeleine Kingston


    I am separately responding to your thoughtful post and to @helvityini’s kind words.

    On the personal story that you have shared about your horrific experiences with the authorities and suppliers over power outages and what you were forced to endure with the authorities especially in terms of your request for compensation for the purchase of a generator. It is absolutely incredible that your request was knocked back because of alleged failure to follow due process and that you had to wait 13 months for a response upon re-lodging the request. Stories like these entrench my views about poor governance and control over outsourced essential utilities. I am so sorry you had to endure that.

    I have spent considerable time publicly participating in aspects of the energy policy debate and perceived inherent corruptions and distortions, also relating to the property development sector. I did not find that the relevant authorities had much incentive to take stakeholder input into account. Some of my inputs were to the Productivity Commission (Consumer Policy, Access to Justice, Business Regulation Quantity and Quality), National Measurement Institute, Australian Energy Regulator, state authorities.

    My power supply was a planned outage this time, but my husband and I have endured several outages, and on one occasion losing the motor of a refrigerator because of this, demanding immediate replacement.

    It was a freezing day, but better now that the heater is back on. It is gas but powered by electricity for the fan, and does not operate when the power is out.

    On the issue of bolding and using italics, I find that it is helpful to structure the content of a post in a word document first, format it there (control + B for bold [control + I for italics and control + V for paste. When I had links, I put the whole link in italics and blue before posting. Hope that helps.

    I would love to know how to edit posts once posted online.

    Cheers, Madeleine

  54. Madeleine Kingston


    I really appreciate the care you have taken to respond and have taken your tactful input as a more than respectful way in which to highlight your concerns. I would have been happy to withdraw both posts, but I have now had a response from you and from @helviytini so not sure how practical this would be. I would be great to have a delete or edit button provided against AIMN articles. It seems that a few of us share the same view of Razer’s style.

    As explained separately to @helvityini I was concerned about the approach taken, and felt that some posters to the Razer article were being unfairly or patronisingly treated and could use further support.

    Like you, I am not a fan of pig-fighting and can understand why you feel you would prefer not to participate on that Daily Review site against the Razer article. You have tactfully referred to another “faux-progressive” commentator also seeking to impose his views on participants by assuming the role of moderator in chief and rebutter. I absolutely agree that a healthy and respectful debate is difficult to achieve in such circumstances.

    You know far more than I do about the underlying agendas on both sides of the argument in MSM.

    I was disappointed that my efforts to assist a directly impacted poster on the other site were thwarted by culling from my post all references to excellent recent AIMN articles, providing links and titles at the express request of the post, and one to an SMH article (SMH The ABS is prostituting its reputation in the same sex marriage survey).

    John Waterford (2017) The ABS is prostituting itself with same-sex marriage survey. Sydney Morning Herald 11 August 2017.

    There are broader issues and I guess that my concern was that others were being influenced into boycotting the vote and were possibly being misled about whether active participation may compromising the chances of achieving a YES response to the proposed ABS voluntary survey that will in any case be non-binding. It is yet to be seen how the High Court will rule when it hears the matters brought forward by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) on behalf of their clients regarding the legitimacy of the proposed survey given that it would appear that both the spirit and intent of Parliament have been disrespected. The funds to be used through the Finance Minister’s budget are intended to be reserved for emergency matters or those labelled “urgent.” Either way the survey if it goes ahead will depend on tax-payers’ money, and by all accounts will be structured in such a way as to encourage a NO outcome.

    You have made some compelling points about an approach taken that may set precedents for other issues of equality, saying:

    “If the ‘community at large’ is shown to predominantly vote “NO”, due to whatever (rigged) circumstances (or bunions!), then this could potentially become the model approach for other questions of equality, particularly in relation to Aboriginal Australians, Refugees, and women (who technically aren’t a minority but are treated like one – a double banger if you’re a female Aborigine or Refugee.”

    Your point about responses to by the grassroots community to “those explicit not-so-progressive “NO” responses that will build solidarity for the YES case.

    I must say I have been impressed by the quality of the various articles on this topic that have been published by various AIMN journalists and it was in that positive spirit that I had tried to provide links to others possibly looking for a healthier environment in which to air their concerns.

    Jennifer, thanks again for your excellent Voting Yes article.

    Cheers, Madeleine

  55. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    i find myself skimming your posts coz they’re too long.

    Call me ignorant and illiterate all you like but try to craft your commentary to a length that people will respond to.

  56. Madeleine Kingston

    Hi helvityni

    You are very kind and I appreciate your feedback. I was hesitant during the preparation of my posts and in fact had held responses in a clipboard, intending to review the content before posting., but the posts disappeared before I could do that.

    I was motivated not so much by an intent to be critical of the style of another “progressive” outlet writer and had not intended to de-rail discussion. However now that you have said what you have said, I must say I share your viewpoint and did gain the same impression as you did from reading Helen Razer’s article and her approach with posters.

    One poster to the Razer article had expressly asked to be directed to other progressive sites and I immediately thought of the most recent AIMN articles including Jennifer’s – Voting Yes, John Lord’s A Dangerous Precedent; Rossleighbrisbane’s Malcolm you’re cornered; Kay Lee’s Freedom of Speech article, each of which I had participated in as a fellow commentator.

    I also thought of an excellent article in Sydney Morning Herald on 11 August on the involvement of the ABS (see link below).

    In the spirit of being helpful, and concerned about the manner in which this poster’s polite request for direction to other articles, especially those supporting the YES response, I prepared a list of suggested AIMN and SMH articles. My post was culled such that only the SMH reference was retained.

    In principle, I feel it should be possible to discuss the content of other articles if there is relevance to the topic in hand and if there is something that can be learned from sharing. This matter is pressing because of the very short lead time.

    My concern was the extent to which the Razer article appeared to be influencing many directly impacted by the SSM issue to abstain.

    As you already know, I am a strong supporter of equality issues right across the board and aside from this issue, as @SurReal has pointed out, there are broader issues to consider and an approach that may unduly influence minority groups to abstain from participation on matters affecting their fundamental rights.

    My proposal was to see if others would like to join the Razer article discussion in order to inject more balance, especially since the article appeared to be unduly flippant about the issue and very strongly seemed to support non-participation.

    I have separately answered the thoughtful response by @SurReal. He has referred to avoidance of pig-fighting and I certainly don’t blame him for that.

    You may like to read John Waterford’s article “The ABS is prostituting itself in the same sex marriage survey” (SMH 11 August 2017).

    Thanks again, and good luck with the fight.

    Cheers, Madeleine


    Me and my family will vote no! folks happily together 66 years + just because I have yet to marry,don’t need resort to bud!
    Anyone got a problem with that i’ll be the man and do what I gotta do to defend the constitution,screw the zio fake polls,
    now you put ye bosses and rulers before the vast majority of christian australians whoms familys defended this nation,
    ‘as if god did not design woman for man and vica versa the fact ye ignorant zio-jew wannabes are a disgrace to anzacs!
    forget what created you in the first hand is the very reason ye gonna fail one another epic bigtime as I speak in democracy,

    The world is full of opportunitys if ye don’t like christianity go to canada or new zealand and let australia be for woman + man
    ,because if ye persist to push the self destruct pro zio genocide banner,the time may very well come where in that moment of life and death ye gonna plea for mercy,albeit no salvation for repeat offenders,will be like ‘I did not even hear you oh liar’

    I expect 80-90% to vote no,for obvious reasons,australia is rare + beautifull,why give power to retards whom over the years only managed to transgress towards CIA genocide for what and she thinks australians will all die in vain for zio/nazi jews?

    This is what I mean judasm degenerates like narcissists only believe in evil,carefull what ye wish for,ye very well may gi’it!
    By the way north korean leader studied in switzerland,only protecting his peoples rights too,ye zio/nazi/facist hyppocrite,
    alot smarter than you too,live and bear it 2nd rater zioshill,crying for more blurd ignoramus up yours hyppocrite,I VOTE NO!

  58. ceridwen66


    Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.


  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    @jimi james

    Yo, Mon! Your diatribe resembles hip hop music hence my response.

  60. Madeleine Kingston

    My Dear Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    No-one requires you to read long posts whatever the foci. I don’t care. Please yourself. To be honest with you M’aam yours has been the only direct complaint about long posts. The truth of the matter is,

    I hope you will forgive inelegant language, but I don’t care a damn what you bloody think of me. Your cursory one-liners have not inspired me either.

    Kudos? Was this an actual invitation for engagement. . Madam you are so out of touch. How the bloody hell does one progress beyond these monosyllabic constructs. Madam may I ask you if linguistics is your special subject? No offence. Just asking.

    So far the Moderator has assured me that length is no problem. Are you a de-facto Moderator or simply a meddler and/or stirrer wishing to denigrate those that you and/or others deem to be easy targets.

    I will not stand for supercilious humiliation of those possibly less able to defend themselves dismissed as the “Hip-Hop” variety?

    Who exactly are these bullies with one or two-liner bullying tactics. For myself I don’t mind, but when it comes to denigrating the opinions or style of others that do not meet your expectations or reflect you views; may I please invite you take the proverbial leap?

    I consider you to be an almost a troll with limited capacity to actually engage; but that’s just my opinion. Madaa’m you may make whatever you like of that opinion. Once; but twice?

    Cheers, Madeleine Kingston

  61. Madeleine Kingston

    PS My dear Perceived Troll Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    Yo, Mon! Your diatribe resembles hip hop music hence my response.

    Have you finished with playing. Let the community judge what you are all about M’aam

    I am finished with you M’amm. We are all done and finished.

    We are done. Finito

    Toodle-Do and all that Jazz

  62. Roswell

    Madeleine, Jennifer’s “hip hop” response was to JIMI JAMES. She was not having a go at you.

  63. Madeleine Kingston


    I don’t care. She gave it a bloody good try previously directly attacking me 7th August 2017 for long posts that she could not be bothered to read that were addressed to others.

    I assume she is not the moderator who assured me that there were no word count limits.

    I defend JIMI JAMES, whatever his views and whatever his lacking skills.

    I see this woman as as the equivalent troll. Superficial, empty and attacking. I do not wish to discuss this any further. I am done finished. Ms Jennifer Meyer-Smith can do whatever she likes.

    I don’t like her style and that is that. No more discussion please. That is the end of it.

    Sorry. No deal.


  64. paul walter

    They don’t like Razer?

    Helvi, tv is definitely not her medium, agreed, but the short epigram, she owns.


    Always good for a read and a grin, you just have to be mentally flexible and well informed enough to read her properly. Am glad they put up a copy of her latest- apparently an opponent, what’s more- and as usual both informed and able to create smile-provoking energies in her crafty scatter-gun and sometimes rude pomo way, something I am always appreciative of in these grim times.

    The secret is in digging her inner city sophisticate persona, a sly caricature reinforced by tales of bawdy epics befuddled at all night late spots, as undergrad manglings of arts humanities topics issue forth like water from a fountain.

  65. helvityni

    Paul Walter, as I said earlier my views of Ms Razer are based on her articles on Unleashed (ABC) and some of her interviews. Rightly or wrongly, I always felt that it was all about her, she was perhaps a little too ‘dazzling’ for me…

    Madeleine, I think I’ll give up blogging altogether, whatever you say or do, you get abused.

    On another thread I was defending a fellow blogger, and I was called an “agitator”… 🙂

  66. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    my apologies for providing my clumsy feedback to your 17 August post but don’t you think your reaction is over the top, dear?

  67. paul walter

    Helvi, I hope you don’t stop blogging because some dickhead disagrees with you.

    You put into some thing solid what I was trying to get at, re Razer. The self-absorption/narcissism thing is parallel to what Kath and Kim do with their characters, portraying a national foible or characteristic in our wealthy and spoilt country.

    It seems satirical to me, though it may also be part of her personalty as well as her persona, as with many people. And why not, it is almost a virtue in this Hansonist dislocated day and age.

  68. helvityni

    Paul Walter, at times I believe that our enemies from Bob’s blog are still hounding us… 🙂

  69. Roswell

    helvityni, if anybody attacks you, just let me know. If I’m around at the time they’ll find they have me to deal with.

    You’re one of our favourites here.

  70. paul walter

    On a bit of a thought, I’ll concur that she does share a neurotic trait with many Australians, starting with Mathias Cormann.

    This trait involves a profoundly insufficient and incomplete understanding of Marxian thinking and like many people she does stumble embarrassingly clumsily as to what might constitute actual Marxist thinking on many social issues.

    Something in the upbringing, folks a bit McCarthyite?

    Who knows.

  71. helvityni

    Roswell, love ya too, we all need a guardian Angel… 🙂

  72. Madeleine Kingston


    Please don’t go. It has been a pleasure interacting with you and everyone likes you. I brought things to a head over perceived inappropriate online behaviour when I found someone else under attack, subtle as it may have seemed, over writing style. This is not a kindergarten and there is no call for personal criticism of people for any reason. The point of discussion is to share ideas on common topics of concern and to air those issues in a courteous and cooperative manner by way of raising awareness more broadly.

    When the conversation deteriorates into personal attacks and attention seeking behaviour the tone and quality of discussion deteriorates and impacts on others. I’ve seen quite a lot of bullying elsewhere also. Helen Razer for example, whose work we have discussed before, indulges in patronizing and rude behaviour as a matter of course. Mostly one is able to ignore this and move on, but the standard of dialogue needs to rise above personal attack and criticism at all times to make for a pleasant environment.

    More on topic, the time is getting closer to the Court Hearing for the two matters on foot for marriage equality. There are numerous articles covering this topic in many arenas and we are all looking forward to the time when equality will be achieved for all.

    Keep smiling. You are a very cheerful spirit and well-liked.

    Cheers Madeleine

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