Contributed from New South Wales
Rather than have the courage to come out and make a decision, the government has opted for a postal vote that is non-binding, even though prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has now declared himself as supporting the yes case.
It goes to show, yet again, how much he and the government are in control of the fundamentalist radical faction, working on a top down imposition of its view of the world.
They are joined by sections of the media that relies on promoting falsehoods and insults that accuse supporters of the yes case of being bullies. More than one headline has labelled the LGBT community of being the new fascism that is denying others from having a voice.
Loudest are the complaints coming from those who have open access to the tabloids and similar television and radio networks. They have a voice like no-one else has and to suggest that they and their views are being denied is laughable.
Claiming to be silenced is a tool used to promote fear and hatred of another significant section of the Australian community. Not for one second, do they consider the disadvantage faced by those who face discrimination because of their sexual or gender orientation. No. They would rather give space to those who insist that homosexuality puts children at risk of pedophilia, although there is not a single speck of evidence to back the allegation.
Just who are the real bullies?
Not all who are not in favour of same sex marriage are in the same boat. There are those who have a genuine reason for thew way they feel. But this is different from waging an orchestrated campaign to use the issue to promote a political ideology, based on a narrow view of the world that excludes others. It should be no surprise that many of the most vocal and insulting groups against marriage equality are the same ones that have been waging a campaign against Muslims.
Tony Abbot and his faction have been holding the No torch within the Liberal Party, under the guise of family values and the rights of children. The underlying assumption is that a same sex couple cannot create a loving family atmosphere and that children within this sort of family are missing out on not having a parent of the opposite sex around.
Others have taken up the same torch.
The suggestion being made is that only a family a family with both a mother and father can properly bring up children. What is conveniently forgotten is that many both sex parent families are dysfunctional and that a sizable proportion of all families are single parent ones. They do not fit within the tidy parcel and it suggests the motive is not protection of the family, but rejection of the LGBT community.
Take the Australia Marriage Forum, which claims to be about opening discussion on the issue. It does not such thing. Instead, it positions itself as the protector of the child, of free speech and campaigner to restrict politicians from spreading the alternative point of view. According to the Australia Marriage Forum, marriage equality is the Trojan Horse that will cause the spread of homosexuality and the destruction of society. So much for encouraging discussion.
The Marriage Forum is affiliated to the bigger Coalition for Marriage, which has within its ranks the most conservative and fundamentalist elements of some of the Christian faith denominations. They do not represent these denominations, because many within them that stand on the other side of this debate. The Coalition for Marriage also has within its ranks obviously political parties and organisations, from the conservative welfare communalists of the Democratic Labor Party and the National Civic Council, to the no-fascist CANdo and the Rise Up Australia Party.
Together, they have found common cause. This goes past the question of marriage equality, to embrace their idea of a society compelled to operate according to their restrictive rules, built around their version of white Judaeo-Christian civilisation.
Of course, this is cast on the claim of the familiar protecting family values. To most people these mean caring for one another, setting a good example as to how to contribute positively to society and raising children in a way that maximises the chances of becoming contributing and healthy citizens. No single group has monopoly on this and those who despise others because they do the same in a different way, do not represent true family values.
Another claim made by is that they are speaking for the “silent majority”. This is a silly claim, given that the polls show that most Australians support marriage equality and this view is strongest among the upcoming younger generation. An indicator of this were were Sunday’s Sydney and Melbourne rallies.
Most Australians are much more tolerant and sympathetic to the idea of a fair go. Perhaps this is why some of those who want to pull the other way, find themselves relying on mud slinging and hate.
The postal ballot has been designed to discourage participation. This means it could go either way, depending on whether the level of participation is high or low. Nor is the result binding on the politicians. Change may be held up for a little while. It will not be stopped though, because it is part of the progress of humanity against prejudice.
This does not mean that those who have a genuine belief on their own version of marriage should not be able to practice it. They have a right to do this. But when anyone tries to force their own version on others, this is wrong.