When the Chinese family who have a café in the small town near me put a sign in their window supporting ‘marriage equality’ I thought, that’s it for marriage as we understand it in this country. A café that knows its market, that serves steak sandwiches and dubious-hued fried rice to the very antithesis of inner-city smarties in a community with no apparent gay presence (there may be a few cheese-making lesbians out on a farm somewhere), that has commercial acumen enough to know how not to alienate its clientele – if the people running that, and lots of others like them, think gay marriage is OK, then gay marriage it will be.
The postal poll, ferociously and cynically opposed by Yes activists, who calculate they’re more certain to get their way by pressuring MPsMPs in a ‘free’ parliamentary vote, is timed for a November result (assuming Ahmed Fahour’s erstwhile stratospheric-salary funding facility can get its act together). That means another two months of shrill invective from the GLBTQIXYZ establishment against anyone who doesn’t see the need to change a concept as old as civilisation to suit the whim of a strident twentieth-first-century minority (the feminist component of which, be it remembered, has hitherto despised marriage as a male-devised trap in which to imprison and abuse helpless women shackled to the kitchen sink etc.).
Since this is officially a ‘survey’ not a poll, electoral restraints on comment do not apply, so it also means two months in which, as the Sydney Morning Herald puts it, ‘both sides’ ‘will be free to distribute misleading and deceptive material’. By ‘misleading and deceptive’, the SMH doubtless means arguments in defence of traditional marriage, warnings about what could happen to free speech and objections that ‘same-sex’ will be legislated as a mix-and-match right to marriage of all ‘genders’ and variants of same; and by ‘both sides’ one side, viz. the wicked ‘homophobes’ who oppose change. In the Fairfax world only morally stunted bigots don’t want gay marriage, whereas those in favour are presented as the voice of sweet reason, and if they blow up vans outside Christian premises, well, they’ve been driven to it by bigotry, haven’t they?
While on the subject of misleading material, look no further than the slogan ‘marriage equality’. This vote isn’t about marriage equality. We already have that. Everybody over eighteen, male and female, is equally free to marry. It’s just that there are restrictions on who you can get married to. If the law is altered to include same-sex marriage there will still be restrictions. What about ‘equality’ for ‘polyamorists’ and couples into incest? Unless they too can get the Marriage Act changed they’ll remain what the same-sexers consider themselves now, victims of prejudice, even as the joy bells ring out for the happy brides and brides of the new dispensation.
The same-sex marriage debate – if that is the correct term for a one-sided barrage of vituperation and attempts to shout down and censor the opposing view – is now resembling the run-up to that other inflation of a minority fixation into a Great Issue of Our Time, the republic. Just as they were before the republic referendum, the ABC and like-minded media are in favour of change and shamelessly unbalanced in their coverage. Add to their propaganda that of high-profile commercial figures like Alan Joyce, some of whose customers and shareholders must be against change, who have unfairly and irresponsibly backed the ‘Yes’ campaign – a form of blackmail, if you ask me. What sort of career move would it be for a Qantas employee to come out publicly against the boss’s opinion?
Where are the big guns of the ‘No’ campaign? Where is Paul Keating and his ‘two blokes and a cocker spaniel’ don’t make a family? Silent it would seem.
More’s the pity then that a golden opportunity was lost recently to put the arguments against change to a mass audience. The man who could have put it is he who you would think would be the cover boy for traditional marriage, Waleed Aly, the Left’s favourite Muslim.
As some Speccie readers might (one would hope) not know, Waleed is co-host of The Project, Network Ten’s nightly exercise in spoonfeeding modish leftism to a viewership of tradies and their families. On the show with him was over-the-hill ‘comedienne’ Magda Szubanksi, who after a spell as a paid fat-shamer has turned herself into a standard-bearer for gay marriage. While Magda pulled out all the stops in a tearful plea for her latest cause, Waleed sat silent – unusual behaviour for someone who is generally not shy of propounding the views of Islam (in a nice way of course, no threats of decapitation to those who disagree). Others on the panel, among them Christopher Pyne MP, were all understanding looks and sympathetic nods. Waleed remained expressionless. When at last Magda wound up her performance in a flood of morally superior lachrymosity (you can watch it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVXcZNcY1Yo), Waleed broke his silence to say that she had ‘outlined really powerfully what’s at stake’. She hadn’t. She had recounted a private experience of medical legalism but put no argument. He then invited her to hog the limelight a bit longer by asking if she was worried that ’young people’ wouldn’t bother to vote (oh but she was.)
Thus passed the perfect chance for a public figure who, if he is true to his religion is presumably against gay marriage, to tell us why marriage should stay as it is. What a shot in the arm for the ‘No’ cause this left-revered polymath could have delivered. True, Magda would have turned on him like a jowly tigress, but why would that worry a brave controversialist like Waleed, ever ready to put the most specious arguments to explain away the latest Muslim bomb and bloodbath? One hopes that his disinclination to take up the cudgels with equal passion against gay marriage was not motivated by a concern to retain the good opinion of his leftist admirers, who have not exactly been a hindrance to his advancement.
The Chinese café notwithstanding, I still hope that ‘No’ prevails, partly for the fun of seeing all the right people enraged and thwarted. Less frivolously, I hope the law is not changed because we have had enough chipping away at the foundations of our society and we need to recover some stability. Civilisation will not collapse without gay marriage, but it might for other reasons if certain external forces get their way. And they will if we don’t get our minds off parish-pump victim politics and remind ourselves that it’s a hostile world and we need to stand up to it. Otherwise, before we know it, we could find one of Kim’s rockets streaking down towards the marquee and ruining a gay couple’s wedding day.
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