Leading article Australia

Derailing the bandwagon

15 September 2016

1:00 PM

15 September 2016

1:00 PM

Malcolm Turnbull, George Brandis and the Coalition are to be applauded for sticking to their guns on the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite. A decision that carries as much importance as this one must be taken by the nation as a whole. Although this magazine supports the concept of ‘marriage equality’, as this controversial issue has now been dressed up as, we do not support the freeloaders and opportunists who have leapt onto the Same Sex Marriage bandwagon and whose actions, we suspect, may end up derailing it.

What is clear is that those gay and lesbian couples who wish to express their love for each other via traditional wedding rites should be allowed some emotionally satisfactory legislative means to do so. As has been pointed out by many conservatives, ‘marriage’ is a stable, healthy, powerful and indeed conservative institution within our democratic, egalitarian, secular Western society. That today’s gays, as opposed to their forerunners in the 70s and 80s, are keen to join this particularly old-fashioned institution is of itself testament to the durability of the ideal of marriage. After all, until recently the more common left-wing or anti-establishment view of marriage was that voiced by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who claimed to be ‘against’ gay marriage not because she was against gays, but against marriage.

Disappointingly, the pitching by the Left of the ethics of this debate as some modern version of abolishing slavery or giving equal rights to African Americans in the 60s has infused it with a moral dimension that has done more harm than good. Indeed, should the plebiscite fail (assuming it ever gets off the ground), gay couples will be able to point their ring-less wedding fingers squarely at Bill Shorten and Labor and Richard di Natale and the Greens for their disgraceful hyperbole and game playing, as well as at Dan Andrews, Mike Baird, Adrian Piccoli and all the other state leaders and teaching authorities who have willingly embraced the appalling Safe Schools gender fluidity programs in our schools. These people pretend to be friends to the gay marriage movement; they are anything but.

For mainstream Australia, who are entitled to have their say in this momentous decision, the most common sentiment is a benign yet hesitant acceptance of the concept of gay marriage. The reality is that some do not find it particularly appealing, but many are prepared to embrace the concept of gay married couples on the grounds that there are, as it were, no other strings attached.

Those strings include the expansion or even acceptance of the agendas of those who use sexuality as a political tool within our schools. Penis-tucking, chest-binding, and four year olds undergoing gender therapy is simply abhorrent to mainstream conservative Australia.

Equally, most Australians will not tolerate the emotional blackmail that has been deployed by both Shorten and di Natale: the idea that gay teens will kill themselves if the plebiscite goes ahead because of the ‘hatred’ that will be unleashed by religious folk. Not only is this the height of irresponsibility – virtually begging young mentally ill gays to martyr themselves – but it guarantees that many sympathetic heterosexual Australians who would otherwise have voted yes will simply turn away. As Brexit showed, you cannot bully and scare the population into agreeing with you.

A press release on the day of the announcement of the plebiscite summed up the problem: A network of organisations and leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities released a statement today condemning the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill. This network of LGBTI organisations and leaders have come together in support for marriage equality and, to express our opposition to the proposed plebiscite.

In other words, aggressive left-wing activists want gay marriage on their terms – or not at all. Democracies, alas, don’t usually work that way.

A year ago

It is more in sorrow than in anger that we reflect on the fact that twelve months ago 54 Liberal Party MP’s were so successfully spooked by bad opinion polls, a malicious press, an onion, a wink, a knighthood and a devious Communications Minister hellbent on achieving his ambition, that they chose to turf out the man who had led them to a landslide victory two years earlier.

The Turnbull coup has failed to deliver the promised economic leadership the country needs. The $6.2 billion ‘Omnibus’ cuts are at least a start, but there’s a mountain to climb. The reality remains: the coup was a dismal mistake.

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