Australian Christian right fights to prevent same-sex marriage
Why do there seem to be so many seemingly straight men who spend ridiculous amounts of time and energy thinking about gay people?
This week brought a brand new attack on our Antipodean gay friends who are campaigning hard for equal rights to marriage – with a 500-strong rally from the Australian Christian right, who are keen for marriage to stay a firmly heterosexual institution.
I’m no particular fan of marriage – with my psychological history I prefer to stay far away from state-run institutions – but if the golden band is your thing, I’m happy for you to wear it, whether you’re gay or straight.
But some Australian politicians are begging to differ.
For example, Barnaby Joyce, Nationals Senate leader was reported in Pink News this week as declaring at the rally: “We know that the best protection for…girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband, and I want that to happen for them. I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me.”
Hmmm. I don’t know about you, but I can spot several flaws in that argument straightaway.
Firstly, ‘girls’ don’t get married – women do. And the Christian right are linking gay marriage to paedophilia?
Secondly, marriage does not come with a guarantee of a secure relationship with a loving husband – Mr Joyce has clearly confused marriage with the ending of your average Disney animation.
Moreover, if marriage is so great, why are so many more Australians choosing to co-habit instead – according to this frankly fantastic article by Adele Horin.
And lastly, Mr Joyce doesn’t want “any legislator to take that away from me“?
Funny, I could have sworn we were talking about his daughters a minute ago.
Like I say, isn’t it weird that so many straight men are often so interested in what women and gay people are doing?
It’s almost as if they represent an incredible power interest trying to hold on to their dominant social structure – but that would be a ridiculous conspiracy theory, right?
Yet even if I wanted to take the arguments of the Christian right seriously on this one, they’re making it very difficult. Frankly, some of the opinions shared at the rally sound as if they’re actually playing for laughs.
Take our friend Labour MP John Murphy: “My electorate accepts that all people are equal, but my electorate also accepts, in fact rejects, that not all relationships are equal.”
Meanwhile, Bob Katter, of the Australian Party, said: “Gay is one of the most beautiful words … no-one should have the right to take that word off us.”
Take it ‘off us’? What does that even mean? Take it where?
Seriously, if these people had a point, they wouldn’t sound so desperate and, frankly, stupid.
And it seems as though the majority of Australian Christians agree, because 53 per cent of them support same sex marriage.
Now, seriously, isn’t it time we put this sort of thing to bed and got on with the serious business of, of, oh I don’t know, creating peace in our time perhaps?