Now Tony Abbott has warned Turnbull not to break faith with the Australian people to allow a free vote on same sex marriage. This is because a group of Coalition moderates (i.e. not religious nutters), including Warren Entsch, Dean Smith, Tim Wilson, Trent Zimmerman, Trevor Evans and Melissa Price have indicated their intention to raise the possibility of a free vote will eventuate.
Abbott’s position is that there should be a plebiscite to decide such an issue. However, up until 2004, same sex marriage was effectively legal in Australia, and it was the Howard Government who changed the Marriage Act (1961) to prevent any state or territory from legalising it. It is funny how that didn’t require a plebiscite to decide the issue. Abbott is relying on the forgetfulness of the electorate to make it appear like he is not lying
Abbott stated that “Malcolm Turnbull made a clear commitment that the marriage law would only change by way of a people’s plebiscite, not a free vote in parliament. I am sure he’ll honour that commitment. This isn’t about same sex marriage, it’s about keeping faith with the people”
Other conservatives have said similar things, and they are all lying. For Abbott to say that it is about keeping faith with the people, thereby intimating that as an election promise it must be kept, is the ultimate hypocrisy. Who, prior to the 2013 election stated that there would be no cuts to the ABC, SBS, Education or health, and did precisely the opposite? Abbott, of course.
When Abbott says it is not about same sex marriage but about keeping faith, he is lying again. It is precisely about same sex marriage, and nothing else. The religious right wing nut jobs foam at the mouth when same sex marriage is even contemplated. Abbott even famously said that he found homosexuality “confronting”. Somebody should have told him it is not compulsory. These religious right wing nut jobs in parliament are backed up by the nut jobs in the Australian Christian Lobby who will invent all sorts of pretend ‘sky will fall’ scenarios to argue the case against same sex marriage. All of these are rubbish, of course, otherwise, why would the sky have not fallen on the Netherlands since they allowed same sex marriage in 2001, Belgium in 2003, Spain and Canada in 2005, South Africa in 2006, Norway and Sweden in 2009, Portugal, Iceland and Argentina in 2010, or Denmark in 2012? Perhaps it is because same sex marriage is not compulsory, so if you do not want to do it, you do not have to. This prurient obsession with what people do in their bedrooms and how they arrange their lives seems peculiar to religious nutters, and I suspect it is one of the reasons that religion is falling out of favour all around the world.
What makes me wonder about the values some christians have, is epitomised by a relatively young couple in Canberra, Nick and Sarah Jensen, who vowed to get a divorce if same sex marriage was legalised. One wonders what was going through their heads when they thought this might be a good idea. If same sex marriage is legalised in Australia, and it is only a matter of time before that happens, will the Jensens still get divorced? If they do, then that says much about their marriage. If they don’t, then that says much about their veracity and thereby, their religious conviction (No. 9: ‘thou shalt not bear false witness…’). One thing is certain, if they do get divorced, there will be a massive party, as over 140,000 people plan to attend. Better hire the MCG!