The tendency of the wealthiest and most educated Australians to lecture at and preach at the rest of the country will do much to alienate and undermine support for full equality for gays and lesbians in this country.
In a different era, politicians took the religious and cultural concept of marriage and enshrined it in their Marriage Act, defining it as a â€˜union between a man and a woman.â€™
THE THIRD WAY
Our own view is that this shouldnâ€™t change, unpopular as that view might be in the inner-city circles in which we mix. But we hope that a consensus can be built around providing for a non-religious version of marriage that gives gays and lesbians exactly the same legal status and protection and responsibilities and obligations as a married couple. The Brits call it a civil union and that seems to be a perfectly reasonable third way between opposition to any change and politicians imposing a radical change on marriage for which they seem too lazy to engage in any actual consensus building.
Once â€“ and probably still â€“ the vast majority of Australians once believed that Australia ought become a republic.
And yet the Australian Republican Movement dominated by Sydney investment bankers and know-all celebrities couldnâ€™t have done more to alienate and destroy support for moving on from a rather eccentric English monarchy. There was too much preaching and whining and not enough genuine consensus building.
Australians ultimately didnâ€™t like being talked down to on the issue of the republic and we see the same signs emerging on gay marriage.
CYNICS CASH IN
Advocates of change have to win support through argument not demand it through petulance and bullying. With opportunists like the Greens party who have nothing to lose by cloaking themselves and using the gay and lesbian community with ruthless and reckless cynicism, there are great dangers ahead.
Even chaps thought quite socially conservative â€“ who might think their reputation in need of a political makeover â€“ are getting in on what some might think a very cynical and cheap act. Yes, thatâ€™d be you Mark Arbib.
Heâ€™s happy expressing his apparently strongly held views in interviews with friendly Sydney Morning Herald journalists. And thatâ€™s understandable, heâ€™s taken a hiding for being a â€˜faceless manâ€™ who knifed Rudd. Arbib demonstrated great wisdom and courage in removing Rudd, more than we thought he could. But he doesnâ€™t like the snobs and toffs of Sydneyâ€™s inner-city thinking heâ€™s a villain so heâ€™s keen to win their hearts as being a nice guy after all.
What isnâ€™t nice â€“ of course â€“ is leading Australiaâ€™s gays and lesbians into an ambush of homophobia and amplified bigotry and stupidity.
Letâ€™s see how the Senator goes actually making the case in the parts of the state that loyally vote for him in the Senate, hoping theyâ€™re electing someone whoâ€™ll stand up for them not for north-shore Sydney.
Those who botched the republic change are a powerful cautionary tale for those pushing for change to anything.
If youâ€™re too lazy to build consensus and slowly win allies to the cause of the most controversial changes, if you go for the slam-dunk, you greatly increase the risks of failure and generating hostility for a community that doesnâ€™t deserve it.
HATRED IS OUT THERE
And letâ€™s face it, in the parts of the country where our countryâ€™s most cynical opportunist â€“ Marxist Greens party politician Adam Bandt who was elected with Liberal party preferences â€“ doesnâ€™t visit, there remain very confronting views about homosexuality that are perhaps shocking to some of our inner-urban readers.
When Gary Morganâ€™s researchers asked Australians whether they thought homosexuality was immoral, youâ€™d have thought many would just laugh in response, these days.
But thatâ€™s not the case.
In Labor Lefty Kirsten Livermooreâ€™s electorate in Far North Queensland, 44.7% of her community think homosexuality is â€˜immoralâ€™. Yes, immoral.
In her mate Regional Development minister Simon Creanâ€™s electorate in suburban Melbourne, 36.8% of the electorate he safely represents from a long distance in leafy Middle Park agree with those in the far north.
In Laborâ€™s heartland, thereâ€™s not a lot of love for gays and lesbians.
And that is sad. Shocking even, for those who â€“ like Greg Barber MBA and us â€“ rarely venture outside city limits.
THE GOOD GUYS ARE WINNING
In time, I believe this will change. It is changing, prior Roy Morgan polls had the â€˜immoralâ€™ brigades much bigger in number.
Acceptance and tolerance will beat ignorance and fear eventually.
Think about how far weâ€™ve come in defeating racial prejudice.
It used to be common. It is now much less so.
Itâ€™s still there but is in retreat as perhaps never before.
Changing the definition of marriage â€“ drawn from religion and expressed by politicians â€“ in the Marriage Act will not help that process of acceptance. It will trigger an unholy confrontation that will go well beyond the normal party political conflicts.
THE GREENS HAVE NO DECENCY
The only party not divided by it is the increasingly poll-driven Greens party, who now deal in secret opinion polls they wonâ€™t source, focus groups and â€“ as we exposed months ago â€“ engage in the most cynical political trickery and manipulation with fake letters to the editor and cramming talkback lines with operatives. They donâ€™t care about uniting the nation around tolerance and compassion and acceptance, their aim is to divide and rule and they donâ€™t care who they hurt along the way.
We canâ€™t help but think of our mates who just want to live their lives and be treated the same way who just happen to be gay. It goes without saying that there should be equal rights, in all respects, including those who want their personal relationship to be acknowledged as a â€˜unionâ€™ by the state. We donâ€™t know any gay person who wants to be used as cannon fodder in semantic and cultural wars by cynical heterosexual politicians hoping to be seen as cool by inner-city hipsters.
The objective of good and decent people in this debate must be to defeat and destroy – not inflame – prejudice.
The Greens political party is truly the focus of evil and cynicism in modern Australian politics.
On this issue, perhaps more so than any other, we can see the Greens partyâ€™s black heart. Their rhetoric is love, their currency is votes. They do nothing to tackle and defeat homophobia where it actually occurs, they merely seek to cash in on a popular inner-city cause where they get their votes and donations. Itâ€™s sickening.
Genuine leadership is about taking risks to lead people where they might not otherwise be. The Greens are just preaching to their own choir and couldnâ€™t care less about the damage done to the cause of defeating ignorance and exclusion in all its forms and all across our nation.
A compromise that gives gay couples their own entirely equivalent civil union is the right way of making progress without undermining what is far more important which is that we drag people out of the gutter of prejudging gays and lesbians as â€˜immoralâ€™. Civil unions or partnerships â€“ as occurs now in Britain â€“ have the same legal effect as a marriage without provoking a pointless and destructive semantic and religious war. A war we very much doubt can be won by the ultra-left and where â€“ we can be sure â€“ cynical politicians will start waving the white flag as soon as they think the issue could cut short their own careers.
Defeating prejudice is a far more important priority than secular and anti-religious Australia picking a big and unsustainable fight with the millions of Australians who go to church at least once a month and who believe that marriage is a religious institution as ancient as their faith not one divined by Canberra politicians.