Friday, 15 July 2011

Gay Rights Roundup Down Under!

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Hello girls and guys!

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Sarah & Megan (+ bouncer) back in 2008

I’m Sarah and I am very excited to be a part of the gay rights roundup on the WWDN blog. I know Megan from university in Cardiff and we have kept in touch ever since we graduated and I now live in Australia. I am very much into gay rights and because I live in Australia Megan has kindly asked me to contribute every so often when something comes up that Wegan might not have heard about over the pond.

I’m going to get stuck right in and start with our lovely female prime minister here in Australia, Julia Gillard and her anti-gay stance on same-sex marriage in Australia.

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Yes, unfortunately Gillard does not support the legalisation of gay marriage and she states that whilst she is in office the policies on same sex marriage will not change. In fact it seems to be her personal beliefs that govern rather than it being what the public want.

On gay marriage, Gillard said: ‘I do find myself on the conservative side in this question’ (of gay marriage) and she declared there are ‘some important things from our past that need to continue to be part of our present and part of our future’ (not gay marriage). She commented on the Marriage Act and said that, marriage being between a man and woman – ‘has a special status’.

Insultingly, what she is implying is that same sex couples should not be able to marry because she believes such relationships to be inferior to male-female relationships. What a kick in the face! She is unwilling to allow for laws to be passed to allow gay people to marry because they just aren’t special enough in her book. Who gave her the right to judge and decide what should and shouldn’t be a part of OUR future? She is very unprofessional to let her personal beliefs interfere with her governing so much. As a leader of a government you would think she would want to keep the public happy and that she would value their opinion. Especially considering that 60% of Australians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and 80% of same-sex partners believe they should have the right to marry.

Gillard also said it was important for people to understand their Bible stories ‘not because I’m an advocate of religion – clearly I’m not – but once again, what comes from the Bible has formed such an important part of our culture.’ Yes you heard her correctly, she is saying that we shouldn’t allow same-sex marriage in Australia because it wasn’t sanctified in the bible. What a stone age and archaic view she has on the governing of highly developed westernised country! Well if it is her personal opinion that, in particular, we should uphold what the bible has to say on the sanctity of marriage and keep that a part of our future, then I might like to uphold what the Middle Ages had to say about red heads. Yes that’s right if we delve into the Middle Ages we would find that red hair was thought to be a sign of beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration as well as sign of a witch, a werewolf or a vampire. But hey, you don’t see me going around trying to stake Julia in the heart do you?

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You may ask, what reason could Julia Gillard possibly have for personally opposing same-sex marriages? Well as Labor leader she can claim to be upholding party policy, even though the ALP in her home state of Victoria has voted overwhelmingly to end that policy. But as a ‘personal’ stance, her opposition to gay people marrying is inexplicable. I have tried to figure out why she would be against it…..

• She is an atheist, so it can't be because she believes God ordained marriage as a holy sacrament and condemns homosexuality as a sin.
• She has no children, so it can't be because she believes there's an obligatory link between procreation and the right to marry.
• She is in a de facto relationship, so it can't be because she opposes legally recognising different types of relationships.
• She is a female leader, so it can't be because she believes in some kind of profound biological difference between the sexes.
• And as Australian’s first female Prime Minister, she can't believe that discrimination in the past justifies discrimination into the future.
For those that argue that she is working towards ‘equality’ because she has stated that Labor supports civil partnership schemes, I will tell them to look at US and British studies showing that these schemes do not provide the legal equality or social recognition that comes with marriage. If they then say: ‘but Labor has supported financial entitlements for same-sex couples’ then I would reply that we cannot live on bread alone.

Most of all, we will keep asking why a Prime Minister who should have every reason to personally support equality, betrays her fellow citizens by continuing to oppose it.

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3 comments

  1. I bet she is a closet gay.... she looks like Jodie Foster!!! xx

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  2. Wouldn't be surprising ;) lol

    M x

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  3. Sarah, such a well written article- I agree with every point! My girlfriend and I moved from London to live in Sydney for a year until last November, and we quite liked her over Abbot- I' m really surprised to hear that she is against same sex marriage! As an atheist, I find it hypocritical that she is against gay marriage, as she sighted the bible as a reason! We think maybe there are alternative political motives at play here- as the first female Prime Minister I'd think she'd want to play it safe almost, in some issues, not change too much at one time- after all, look at how she became PM in the first place- they interrupted 'Farmer Wants a Wife' on tv one evening to tell me Kevin Rudd was ousted, and next thing you know, in came Julia! It doesn't make it okay, far from it, especially considering Oz's thriving and growing gay population, but I suppose it could be a factor. Hopefully she will see the error of her ways and, along with the rest of the world, gay marriage can be legalized. xo

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