Tagged with marriage equality

At least she’s consistent

Julia Gillard, last night on the 7 PM Project:

The night before on Q&A:

At a press conference on 2 August:

At least she’s consistent – consistently useless. Interesting to see how similar the answers were on the last two nights: she’s well drilled.

Gillard’s repeated argument that “there are a variety of community views on this topic” doesn’t hold water – the fact that some troglodytes in the Labor Party aren’t in favour of gay marriage does not justify perpetuating discrimination and unequal treatment. The ALP should discover some conviction about this issue and at least open the issue up for debate instead of constantly closing it down with this unsustainable, empty, unimaginative nonsense.

Until Gillard finds a way of answering this question in a more inclusive and open way, she will continue to fall in respect within the LGBT community.

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Julia on gay marriage

Julia had a press conference today. Julia said she’d decided it was time for us to see the “real” Julia, instead of the fake Julia the campaign managers have been forcing her to be. Julia wants us to see the differences between her and Tony Abbott. A journalist asked Julia her views on same-sex marriage. Julia – the “real” Julia, the Julia that wants us to know she’s different to Tony Abbott – said she has exactly the same point of view and the same party policy as Tony Abbott.

http://www.youtube.com/v/o7h15h6P370

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Gillard ascendant

julia10.jpg

Managed to get internet access again last night just as the rumours started to circulate of a Labor putsch, and a scant 12 hours later, Australia has a new Prime Minister – the first woman in the Lodge, the first atheist (that we know of), the first redhead (I think) and the first from the left of the Labor Party in my lifetime. This is good news for Australia and for the Labor Party.

Following this news from Syria, it’s hard to think how I would explain the change to Syrian observers, who have been living in a one-party state since the 1950s, and under a hereditary presidency for the last half century. Syria has a lot going for it, but a healthy democracy isn’t part of it.

I guess we could argue the toss about whether a party-room knifing represents a healthy democracy or not, but instead I’d like to nominate a few things I hope Prime Minister Gillard will achieve during her time at the helm of the ship of state.

Given her background, I’d expect a focus on workplace relations and social justice issues to be central to her ethos, just as foreign policy and managerialism were hallmarks of Rudd’s. I hope we’ll see a new conversation about asylum seekers and new approaches to meeting our responsibilities ethically and compassionately. The detention centre on Christmas Island must be closed, and the hysteria taken out of the national debate through some real leadership in this area.

Climate change is the other big challenge and I hope the new government will go back to tors and redevelop their emissions trading proposal in a way that makes real reductions in emissions and sets the foundation for a zero-emissions Australia. Meaningful investment in alternative energy is desperately needed and the coal lobby’s influence in this area must be shunned.

On health, I hope the ALP goes to the election with some real game-changing proposals for health reform, beyond the paper-shuffling of the recent reforms. A national dental scheme would be welcome. I’d welcome the junking of the 30% health insurance rebate, but I suspect that’s a bridge too far.

On communications, the proposed national internet filter should be immediately junked, and if possible I would like to see Senator Steven Conroy locked in a small, windowless room where he can do no further damage.

For me personally, I want my relationship to be recognised, properly, formally and at the federal level, through same sex marriage (unlikely) or a national civil partnership law. If nothing else, I want the debate on this issue to move beyond the rote recitation of the “one man, one woman” shibboleth.

And for Julia, I hope she can provide the leadership, and the resistance to factional influence, that the ALP and the country needs. Watching Kevin Rudd’s presser last night in my hotel here in Aleppo, I noticed he referred to unnamed forces influencing policy on climate change and refugees – which I took to mean that he had been frustrated in these areas by factional forces. The ALP needs a strong leader who can keep the factions in check, and keep the party to its promises. Whether Gillard is that person, I guess we’ll know in due course.

Finally, to Kevin. I will confess to a mote of sadness in the way that Rudd was deposed. Like a lot of Australians I had tremendous hopes for him in 2007 and it has been heartbreaking to see those hopes dashed. Rudd brought tremendous energy to the role of Prime Minister and carved out the beginnings of an enhanced foreign policy agenda for Australia – I hear he has said he will recontest his seat at the election and will serve on the front bench if asked. I hope Julia makes him foreign minister. It’s a job he could excel at.

Get the merchandise! Visit my RedBubble store for Julia 10 and PMILF T-shirts, hoodies and stickers – they’re going like hotcakes!

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Marriage or death: spot the difference

Guy Rundle on the AFA, Marriage Ambassors and gay marriage, in the Age:

Gay people shouldn’t get married, say the ambassadors. This would threaten heterosexual marriage, because gay people would be better at it. They’re more compatible because, let’s face it, taking up each other’s dumb hobbies can’t compete with matching junk in those stakes. Plus, gay men have a 200 per cent advantage in housework, making it impossible for wives to compete unless they got a useful labour-saving device called a ”wife”.

Marriage or death. Spot the difference

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Black Thursday

Today’s the last parliamentary sitting day in the current session and, if the pundits are right, the last day before the election. This is from the Senate order of business (“the Red”):

Government business – notice of motion –
No. 4 – Minister for the Environment and Heritage (Senator Ian Campbell) – First reading of the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 (debate to proceed immediately if agreed to)

So the Straight Australia Bill will, barring an upset, pass through our national parliament today, supported by an unholy coalition of cowardly politicians, religious nutters and hate merchants.

It’s a black day for decency, tolerance and the fair go, and today’s actions will have far-reaching effects on our national psyche and the status of queers in this country. Just you wait and see. For the first time in decades, a law is being passed which retracts, rather than extends, our civil rights.

Hopefully the debate will be at least interesting. I’ll listen in and post any observations that I come up with.

Meantime, this letter should be in today’s Sydney Star Observer:

My boyfriend and I are getting married in Canada on September 25 and no-one is going to take that away from us. John Howard can get fucked. Mark Latham can get fucked. George Bush, Pope John Paul II, Fred Nile, George Pell, Phillip Jensen, Alan Jones, Miranda Devine, Piers Akerman, Brian Harradine and Phillip Ruddock can all get fucked.

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A line in the sand

I really should have more respect for myself than to listen to ignorant bigots raving on about their stupid, mean prejudices, but here I am, listening to Parliament on the radio.

The House of Representatives is debating the Marriage Act Amendment Bill – the proposed law which would “outlaw gay marriage” (notwithstanding the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal anyway) and ban same-sex couples from adopting children overseas.

Right now, Tanya Plibersek is speaking, and of course she is the voice of reason, compassion and common sense. The lone voice. The honourable gentleman preceding her (didn’t catch the old bastard’s name) is more typical of the discourse around this issue. The argument goes something like this: marriage is the fundamental institution of society (so homosexuals must be excluded), marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman (and it can never change), and children are better off with married parents (and here’s the catch-22, kids: queers can’t marry, so they shouldn’t be parents).

It’s a very neat and tidy circular argument. And it completely ignores reality. Family – not marriage – is the fundamental unit of society, and families come in many forms. Marriage is only one way of forming families, but it also carries special rights and privileges, and in a pluralistic society, while those special rights and privileges continue, marriage should therefore be available to all. And children are best off in loving, supportive families, no matter how those families are constructed.

The honourable old bastard can’t see any of this, of course. Instead he talks about the “threat” to marriage and society posed by same-sex marriage and the need to “draw a line in the sand” to stop it.

This is the nub of my feeling about this issue. It’s all about the line in the sand. We queers didn’t draw the line, we have only ever argued that we deserve equal rights, we have never asked for marriage. But the line has been drawn. Its purpose is to contain us.

Our duty is to cross it.

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