Monday 21st of August 2017

a contradiction from the northern shores...

Abbott says vote no to marriage equality and 'stop political correctness in its tracks'

‘If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote no’ to same-sex marriage, former prime minister says

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"a plan" to go back to glorious victorian times ...


In keeping with its regressive policy platform, the Turnbull Government has taken Australia back to a bygone Elizabethan era, where sexuality raised blushes, rather than evoked freedom, writes deputy editor Michelle Pini.

JUST as we’ve only had 116 years since Federation to think about “progressive” issues such as becoming a republic or scientific developments concerning climate change, assuming we can be responsible for whom we choose to marry is getting a little ahead of ourselves.

This is the unwavering position of our current Coalition Government led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull — a politician who once espoused all of the above.

Sept 2012: Turnbull criticises church's opposition to gay marriage #auspol

— Myles Morgan (@ImMylesMorgan) September 13, 2016


Raising the hopes of Australia’s gay community once again, recently self-described “Elizabethan”, Malcolm Turnbull held an "emergency" Liberal Party meeting on Monday (7 August) to discuss the future of same-sex marriage. Many could be forgiven for thinking the Coalition’s nonsensical position of holding a plebiscite, at a cost of $160 million to rediscover the long-held and frequently polled public opinion on this issue, might be changed inside the secret discussions of this emergency Liberal Party meeting.

This possibility seems logical since former PM John Howard changed the Marriage Act to define marriage as a union "between a man and a woman" without a plebiscite the last time around.

But the Liberal Party has managed instead to take Australia firmly back to an Elizabethan era, more in keeping with its regressive policy platform, where sexuality raised blushes, rather than evoked freedom.

Oh, but something has changed and it seems we aren’t paying the Turnbull Government the big bucks for nothing, as Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann tasked with the job of breaking this momentous news to the media, emerged from the liberal party room with the announcement of a “plan”.

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To quote Gough Whitlam:

"I am rather disappointed in the Prime Minister. Before this campaign began we had a distinct understanding — that he wouldn't tell any lies about me, if I didn't tell the truth about him."



the sin of the abbott...

If only Christians fought like this for refugees. Imagine if the Coalition’s big men of faith threatened to tear down their own government unless it brings home the wretches we’ve imprisoned in the Pacific.

Surely there couldn’t be a greater service for Christ?

Or what about crossing the floor for the poor, the homeless, for battered wives and illiterate Aboriginal kids. No. What excites these Christian warriors is beating up on gays. I’ve watched it all my life.

They fought like hell to keep sex between men a crime. As they lost the backing of the public they went about their task more urgently. The rules of heaven were not to be swept aside by opinion polls. Sin had to be punished.

Mealy mouthed, they reckoned they didn’t want to send us to jail. Oh, heaven forfend! But they demanded the states set an example – a Godly example – by leaving criminal laws just as they were. That meant 14 years jail for buggery in New South Wales.

As the numbers drifted away from them the Christian warriors grew, if anything, more determined, better organised and nastier. Again and again, the end of the world was nigh.

They fought no-fault divorce law with everything they had. They fought legal recognition of de facto relationships. They attacked anti-discrimination laws and were given extraordinary exemptions from them. And they kept on fighting LGBTI reform until the last state, Tasmania, fell over the line in 1997.

Spectators look on bewildered. Times have changed. This is a secular country. Why these brawls? Surely these bigots know they’re on the wrong side of history?

We shouldn’t be bewildered.

Nothing is inevitable in the imagination of Christian warriors and no battle is quite as righteous as a battle lost. The God-given imperative is to fight and keep on fighting. Winning even a little delay is a triumph.

So much is at stake. But these days the warriors are a little shy of saying the truth: they’re doing Christ’s work on Earth. The euphemism de jour among the conservative Christians is “saving Western Civilisation”.

Only a handful of secular warriors are fighting with the army of the faithful. Of course, many Jews and Muslims share their Old Testament disgust. But right now in Australia they are leaving the latest battle in this old, old war to the Christians.

It’s a commonplace of the campaign for equal marriage that it has the support of most Christians in Australia. Catholics are particularly keen. And a Galaxy poll published a few weeks ago also showed their disquiet that crusaders against reform are claiming to represent all Christians in the country.

The bigots have been deserted even by their own followers.

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a contradiction from his sister...

Christine Forster has publicly demolished the case against same-sex marriage put by her brother, Tony Abbott, rejecting his view the marriage law should stay the same to defeat “political correctness” and protect religious freedom.

Forster said it was “simplistic and inaccurate” to label people who support same-sex marriage a “politically correct minority”, in an opinion piece for the Australian on Thursday.

Forster, a Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney who is engaged to her partner of the same sex, said that many marriage equality advocates “come from the conservative side of politics and on all other issues are derided as reprehensible dinosaurs by those who embrace political correctness”.

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