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Plebiscite an abrogation of responsibility

By John Hargreaves - 19 September 2016 57

marriage equality

What’s all this rubbish about having a plebiscite on whether two people can “marry”? why all the fuss and why all the expense? Why can’t the elected representatives just get on with it and vote and change the legislation?

The conservatives know that the likelihood of a success in a plebiscite in normal conditions is not good as can be shown by referenda in the past.  This is just a tactic.  They say that this is such a conscience issue that we need a whole of citizenship conversation. Well that didn’t stop them just legislating against the euthanasia laws of the NT or the right to marry in the ACT!

Civil marriage is different to the religious ceremony and in many societies one has to do both, France for example. This is true separation of church and state. And so it should be here!

No one is asking the churches, mosques, temples or other heavenly gateways to change the teachings of their founders.  If the religious doctrine says “thou shalt not enter into wedlock with [insert description here]” then so be it.  But the secular world takes its lead from the progress of its society. It is acceptable to have different attitudes and morays in each of the secular and non-secular worlds. We have moved on, guys!

Let’s get this straight.  The advocates of marriage equality are not changing anything really.  Same sex couples have been together as partners and parents since forever and will continue to do so.

All this plebiscite will do is to give a platform for denigration, discrimination, diminution and will give the anti-LBGTQI movement a platform to cast doubt on the legitimacy of relationships and wreak pain and suffering on so many people.

With their sanctimonious self-righteousness and direct link to the Almighty, the far-right conservatives are going to publicly tell kids that their same sex parents are subjecting the kids to unnatural environments.  They will be putting confusion in the minds of these kids. Most kids just respond to love and affection, encouragement and support.  They don’t care if their parents are different to other parents.

It may have been the case in the past with parents of different colour, of different religion, of different careers but not anymore. This hasn’t been the case for decades and these far-right religious zealots should come into the modern and real world.  The Inquisition is over.

Torquemada has a new name and it is Bernardi! The Church does not rule in Australia and the sooner these people get it the better.

But we’re going to give every bible bashing, homophobic, fruitcake bigot a platform to spruik bile at those whose only problem is that they wish to have the same expression of their love as the rest of us.

And we’re going to pay dearly for it. The PM and ScoMo rant on about fiscal responsibility and economic strength. They constantly talk about their hero Jobson Groff. But they’re OK with chucking $160 million on a non-binding chatfest and are contemplating giving another $10 million to help both sides put their case.  What part about abrogation of their responsibility don’t they get?

For mine, I’d like them to get on with passing legislation and giving all people the same rights before the law.  Our law that is not canonical law.

What’s Your opinion?


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57 Responses to
Plebiscite an abrogation of responsibility
1
rommeldog56 7:52 am
19 Sep 16
#

I Disagree. There are some issues that i don’t want my “elected representatives” to vote on my behalf on, without asking me. This is one of them. But then again, Parliament can commit the nation to war without asking me I suppose – but wars hopefully come to an end. This is an enduring societal change.

Isn’t it the ALP who are denying their elected Parliamentary members a conscience vote ? Are they not required to vote to pass a same sex marriage law because its the ALP party platform/policy ?

Personally, I couldn’t care less whether same sexes can marry or not. Its been said before, but the federal Lib’s have a mandate to have a plebiscite. So, just get on with it and stop playing politics. Then the will of the people (as our elected representatives) can prevail.

2
Blen_Carmichael 8:21 am
19 Sep 16
#

“But we’re going to give every bible bashing, homophobic, fruitcake bigot a platform to spruik bile…”

Said the doyen of tolerance.

3
justin heywood 8:47 am
19 Sep 16
#

John Hargreaves says

“The far-right conservatives …….sanctimonious self-righteousness… bible bashing, homophobic, fruitcake bigot…far-right religious zealots…..a platform to spruik bile….”

The only name calling and bile I can see here John is by those who berate the government for asking the people’s opinion via plebiscite, which is, after all, what they said they would do.

Frankly I think any vote would reveal, as it did in Ireland, that most Australians aren’t the homophobic bigots that the chattering class would have us believe.

Having three very close relatives who are gay, one of whom who has been with his partner for 15 years, I can say from my own small survey that they don’t care about this issue half as much as the new guardians of our morality, the progressive Left.

4
gooterz 9:30 am
19 Sep 16
#

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

5
devils_advocate 9:47 am
19 Sep 16
#

“No one is asking the churches, mosques, temples or other heavenly gateways to change the teachings of their founders. If the religious doctrine says “thou shalt not enter into wedlock with [insert description here]” then so be it.”

Until they do. Freedom of expression/speech/marriage is a one-way door. Progressives get the benefit of it while conservatives do not. Religious institutions will be subject to discrimination laws and will face penalties for refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Part of the reason the left is opposing the plebescite is that they are worried that in the privacy of the polling booth, people will respond differently than they do in public opinion polls.

6
Mysteryman 11:25 am
19 Sep 16
#

“Why can’t the elected representatives just get on with it and vote and change the legislation”.

They have voted. Numerous times. It failed every time.

“Well that didn’t stop them just legislating against the euthanasia laws of the NT or the right to marry in the ACT!”

The right to marry in the ACT was nothing more than an idiotic political stunt by a Labor government that knew they were in contravention of the Constitution. And they blew nearly $1m fighting a legal battle they knew was lost before it began. And for what? Many of their federal counterparts, including Gillard, also voted against SSM when they had the opportunity to pass it. Stop trying to re-write history, John.

“All this plebiscite will do is to give a platform for denigration, discrimination, diminution and will give the anti-LBGTQI movement a platform to cast doubt on the legitimacy of relationships and wreak pain and suffering on so many people.”

I assume you haven’t bothered to look at the hateful, bigoted, slanderous tweets about the issue? They are almost entirely coming from the left, and those in favour of SSM. As usual, they’ve taken the authoritarian approach of “agree with us or we’ll vilify you”. It’s abhorrent and they should be ashamed of themselves. Hate speech on the issue of SSM is already alive and thriving, and it’s entirely the doing of the SSM advocates – particularly those in politics.

7
Deref 11:45 am
19 Sep 16
#

It’s not so much an abrogation of responsibility as an exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are doing everything they can to delay the inevitable, though Labor’s a little more subtle about it.

8
rommeldog56 12:02 pm
19 Sep 16
#

Deref said :

It’s not so much an abrogation of responsibility as an exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are doing everything they can to delay the inevitable, though Labor’s a little more subtle about it.

How so ? The Libs plebiscite is supposed to be early 2017, if it gets through labors opposition in Parliament. I would have thought that isn’t much of a “delay” ?

9
Paul Costigan 1:17 pm
19 Sep 16
#

Well said John. Good call.

For a read about what happens when you mix the secular state and religion, suggest a read of Don Watson’s essay:

https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2016/09/enemy-within

or for an extract (emphasis on fascism)

http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/don-watson-trump-and-fascism-20160822-gqy85o.html

and on how this country is “Being Turnbulled” – suggest reading this Guardian piece.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/17/malcolm-turnbull-doesnt-believe-in-marriage-equality-he-believes-in-majoritarianism

10
MERC600 1:39 pm
19 Sep 16
#

John have you ever thought about going back into the Assembly ?
You were much jollier in those days.

11
No_Nose 1:49 pm
19 Sep 16
#

I am in two minds about this.

Obviously the simplest and easiest way forward is a free conscience vote by the Parliament. The fact that a plebiscite was an election promise is no longer relevant, as the Government has already started reneging on their election platform (iron-clad super reform for example), so they have shown there is no good reason they can’t flip on this too.

It does however look as though our elected representatives are not going to do the job they are paid for, so in the absence of backbone, I guess only option is to hold the expensive and pointless plebiscite.

12
madelini 3:13 pm
19 Sep 16
#

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

Why will it have an impact on married couples and children? Will existing marriages suddenly be annulled? Will their legally binding agreement seem less important if more people can make their own decisions? What impact will there be on children, and why will it be more severe than the current divorce rate?

I also do not understand your reference to marriages between related persons. Can you please explain the similarity between that and same sex relationships?

13
justin heywood 5:12 pm
19 Sep 16
#

Deref said :

…. exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are…

Homophobes. Again. Fruitcakes, bigots. etc. etc.

In the minds of some, anyone who doesn’t agree with them on this issue must have a personality disorder.

Unbelievably, these same people claim it’s all about tolerance.

Not to mention rank hypocrisy.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/hargreaves-gay-note-in-bad-taste-20120222-1tony.html

14
John Moulis 5:38 pm
19 Sep 16
#

I can remember Gillard sitting next to Abbott on the front bench of the House of Reps chamber voting against gay marriage. I remember thinking that that was Gillard’s Meg Lees moment. In the same way that the photo of Lees shaking hands with Howard after doing a deal to bring in the GST was Lees and the Australian Democrats’ downfall, so too was that scene Gillard’s downfall. Unfortunately the party removed Gillard as PM because if they hadn’t she would have led Labor to a record loss against Abbott at the election rather than the modest victory Abbott had over Rudd.

15
Deref 5:40 pm
19 Sep 16
#

rommeldog56 said :

Deref said :

It’s not so much an abrogation of responsibility as an exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are doing everything they can to delay the inevitable, though Labor’s a little more subtle about it.

How so ?

The Libs plebiscite is supposed to be early 2017, if it gets through labors opposition in Parliament.

I would have thought that isn’t much of a “delay” ?

The plebiscite is nothing more than an opportunity for the bigots and homophobes to spew their hate – at our expense. The delay has given the government time to arrange to throw public funding at the completely unnecessary yes and no cases (we already know that some 70% of us want marriage equality), the, this latest delay is merely the latest – it’s probable that others will follow.

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