“The battle lines are now entrenched. The Greens will not cease their campaign from one Parliament to the next and have made this cause pivotal to their identity.” Paul Kelly in the Weekend Australian
We all know that there’s going to be a fierce and divisive debate at the upcoming Labour Party conference, around the issue of same-sex marriage. The aim of the protagonists is to make it a part of that party’s policy platform. Many who are pushing it naïvely believe that with the vote of the minority Greens they can then make it law.
It seems they have become so persuaded by their own propaganda that they’ve made a serious mis- step, part of which, was to pitch their survey questions on the assumption that same-sex marriage was an issue of justice, discrimination and inclusion.
They knew of course that egalitarian Australians are pretty sympathetic to a fair go. But the more the issues have been aired the more it has become clear it’s not as simple as they wanted us to believe.
The community consultation.
Adam Brandt, the new Green member of the lower house, had thirty members of the lower house do a community consultation to check the level of acceptance of same-sex marriage in the community. The report is in, and in the words of Paul Kelly “It has been conspicuously under reported.” Of the thirty MPs twenty clearly signalled their community’s rejection of the idea of same-sex marriage, and of the remaining ten only seven gave support to actually change the marriage law. The seven open to change were certainly not the suburbs where people are predominantly about the business of raising young families.
Behind the scenes senior Labour ministers who had been ideologically committed to the same sex marriage cause, conceded that realistically it was most unlikely to pass in this term of government.
Political realists know that Parliamentary sentiment would at present be significantly opposed to the proposal, with a large number of Labour MPs committed to joining the overwhelming numbers on the coalition side, to vote against same-sex marriage.
Once again they’re out of touch.
The gay lobby raised their voice and the Greens, Get Up, the ABC and the Melbourne Age newspaper, all seemed to concur with the inference that ‘religious prejudice was the main blockage to progress.’
Many feel that those committed to lobbying may have made a tactical error in pushing for same sex marriage, because whatever you think of it there is significant sympathy to same-sex civil union, if it is not understood to be marriage.
And beating the discrimination drum loudly was clearly disingenuous and less than honest because there are eighty separate pieces of legislation removing discrimination.
No! It was cultural, and political, and mistaken.
It is politically mistaken.
It is mistaken politically because once again the Labour party seems to be following the Green agenda. It will further undermine the already thin moral authority of Prime Minister Gillard, who has already made it clear she opposes same-sex marriage.
It will inevitably elevate an issue that will further divide the Labour Party. With Labour’s primary vote of less than thirty per cent, it is unlikely to positively change the esteem the government is held in.
While there are many openhearted people ready to be sympathetic to what they believe to be the gay relationship dilemma, it certainly does not help to brand them as closed minded and illiterate religious nuts. As Paul Kelly pointed out, such a step, expresses total disregard, respect or empathy for the validity of the traditional point of view. For centuries it has been a common belief that marriage is between a man and a woman for comfort and procreation.
Paul Kelly went on to say that ‘this step will constitute the starkest repudiation by the Labour Party of its long ties with the Christian tradition. Its abandonment of the traditional idea of marriage has disturbed both religious and nonreligious people, many of whom have kept their heads down in the present climate of intimidation.’
More significantly it will herald Labour’s belief in a new social creed, that neither marriage or child rearing should be the preference of a man and woman union. The Green Labour coalition may just find they have kicked a hornet’s nest. In many ways the debate has only just begun, and I for one welcome it. There are many profound, cultural, social, and psychological reasons why the last thing we need now is to further undermine or confuse, the very institution of marriage that when done well, lays the foundation for a healthy and humane Society.
As former Prime Minister once said to a couple of gays who were pushing for same sex marriage, “I admire your attempt but you’ll never convince me that two blokes and a dog constitute a family.”