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Australia: Same-Sex Marriage a Step Closer?

Greens MP Adam Bandt (Photo: Wikimedia)


Australia’s parliament is currently debating a private members bill about same-sex marriage. (Private members bills are proposed laws that are not introduced by the government. Individual parliamentarians may free to vote according to their conscience depending on their party’s policy on the issue.)

This one is not to change the law, merely to consult with the public about the issue:

The ALP government does not support legalisation but is under pressure to change its stance:

Labor agreed at its last national conference in 2009 not to support gay marriage, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out a conscience vote on the issue.

But Labor will now support a Greens motion which calls for all MPs to speak to their constituents about gay marriage.
Labor backs talks on gay marriage

Many in the Oz blogosphere have strong views. The Conscience Vote, “Politics for the human’, examines the issue in detail, arguing for its importance and urgency:

As long as the government enshrines this discrimination, the tireless work of those who give their time, money and – sometimes, horribly – their lives to build trust, rapport and respect between all Australians regardless of their sexuality will continue to be undermined.
Same-sex marriage – yes, it’s that important

Iain Hall gives his thoughts from his Sandpit:

If the likes of Adam Brandt are so sure that the community supports their position why are they not advocating that this be put to a popular vote at a referendum? Well it probably has something to do with the fact that although a lot of people support the right for anyone to fuck any other consenting adult and for anyone to set up whatever sort of household they please they are actually quite content with the definition of marriage in the current marriage act and they see no reason to change it.
The claim that the push for “Gay” marriage is all about “love” is just utter bollocks

In a post for Menzies House, a ‘community for conservative, centre-right and libertarian thinkers and activists’, Mark Sharma attacks Greens leader Bob Brown:

…the Greens are relentlessly bringing up gay marriage and attacking Australian families. Why is Senator Brown doing all this? The only assumption one can make is that the Greens want to weaken our economy with a carbon tax and destroy our social fabric with gay marriage. A weakened nation would serve as a perfect launch pad for communism.
Threats to Australia

At Work, Love & Play, ‘discussion of the politics and culture of same-sex parented families’, Jennifer Power’s discussion starts with opinion polling:

Poll after poll shows a majority of the Australian public supports gay marriage. However, a recent Roy Morgan poll indicates that opinions on homosexuality vary quite dramatically across the country. Not surprisingly, inner-city electorates hold the most positive attitudes toward homosexuality, while negative attitudes tend to be congregated in rural areas…
To be or not to be

At STRONG SILENT TYPES—STUFF ABOUT MEN, Ultimo167 also sees a particular problem in rural electorates:

The current gay marriage debate hints at why homophobia blazes afresh in the bush…
..life can be tough for any fag living outside of big city Australia…
The resistance by our two major political parties to support gay marriage is driven, almost exclusively by number counting in those homophobic electorates ‘out there’.

.. I say, how can it be that pandering to bigotry should ever trump defending human rights?
Patterns of Gay Hatred Across Australia

All Australian’s Philip Maguire makes his viewpoint clear in the opening sentence:

The debate over the non-entity of gay marriage is with us again.

He views marriage as a heterosexual union for the raising of children:

…the denigration of the reproductive aspects of marriage by gays and others has been enormously detrimental. The “me” generation is more concerned with the rights of individuals than the collective rights of children to a decent home and family life.
“Marriage” debate is on again.

At still life with cat, Kerryn Goldsworthy takes up the connection between marriage and procreation, apparently also raised by parliamentarian Philip Ruddock:

So: does Ruddock think that not just gays and lesbians, but no women past childbearing age, and nobody of either sex who was born or has been rendered infertile, should be allowed to get married? And to take his remark to its logical conclusion, does he think that any existing marriage in which either partner has become unable to ‘procreate’ should be dissolved?
This can't be right, can it? Or can it?

William Kostakis, author of the novel Loathing Lola, has both experience and strong feelings to draw on, at his self-titled blog:

If you have two parents, be they opposite genders, or ‘gays’, and they love and support you, and they nurture you, then you know what? That’s what matters in the end. See, the funny thing is, my two female parents, they taught me to respect, and embrace, difference. My male parent taught me to hide my money in my new wife’s name so that I can avoid my parental obligations.
Dearest Douchebag

If change is coming, it is certainly moving slowly. It will be interesting to find out what the electors tell their representatives. Or will it be a case of hearing what you believe?

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