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Anorak | Violent Australian bigots have the say on same‑sex marriage

Violent Australian bigots have the say on same‑sex marriage

by | 22nd, September 2017

In Australia a debate over gay marriage has turned nasty. Australia’s 16m registered voters are answering a question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” We’ll know the answer on November 15th. And whatever the outcome, the result is not legally binding. The poll is being conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the body that oversees elections.

It’s popularity contest. The Government will use toe vote to gage what the people want. Greens’ party leader Richard Di Natale said the plebiscite could “give a megaphone to hate and homophobia”. Opposition leader Bill Shorten said a campaign “would be an emotional torment for gay teenagers”.

Indeed, the debate has become brutal.

 

Religion is playing no small part in the row. The Telegraph reports:

Imams and Islamic leaders are ramping up a campaign against same-sex marriage, using their sermons in mosques across Australia to urge the Muslim community to vote no.

Islamic Friendship Association of Australia head Keysar Trad has begun a tour of prayer halls in a bid to thwart same-sex marriage, comparing gay love to incestuous relationships­.

“We might love our mum and dad intensively but you don’t denigrate that love with sexual behaviour,” he said.

Not everyone is as confused as Mr Trad. But, boy, are they ever intolerant. In Canberra, one woman is paying the price for thinking for herself:

A small-business owner has sacked a staff member who came out in support of the “no” campaign in the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite.

Madlin Sims, who runs a party entertainment company in Canberra, said she was taking a stand on the issue, likening it to employing a staff member who posted racist material online.

The sacked contractor was a woman who took photos of events and often posted them on Facebook. “Today I fired a staff member who made it public knowledge that they feel ‘it’s okay to vote no’,” Ms Sims wrote on Sunday.

“Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech. Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner I can’t have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online.

“1. Its bad for business. 2. I don’t like s**t morals. 3. I don’t want homophobes working for me, especially in an environment with children.

“It’s not okay to vote no.”

And now former PM Tony Abbott has been headbutted by a 38-year-old man wearing a “Vote Yes” badge. The Daily Telegraph reports:

The former prime minister said he was headbutted after attending a private function on Thursday.

Speaking with 2GB radio after the incident, Mr Abbott said he was confronted by one male while walking back to his hotel on Thursday.

“A fellow sung out to me, ‘Hey, Tony’, I turned around, there was a chap wearing a ‘vote Yes’ badge’, he says ‘I wanna shake your hand’,” he said.

“I went over to shake his hand and he headbutted me.”

Mr Abbott said his attacker “wasn’t very good at it”, but said the blow did make contact.

Abott, who earned two Blues for boxing while at Oxford University, is attracting not a lot of symapthy from ‘yes’ voters. This one stands out:

I would *love* to headbutt Tony Abbott. Guess I’ll never get the chance now.

— 🌈Peter Mattessi (@pmattessi) September 21, 2017

Peter Mattessi writes for the BBC. He’s done nothing wrong. He’s made no threats. His views are just part of a debate about love and equality.

 

Peter Mattessi

 

Is the media biased?

The Daily Telegraph has more:

An ABC staff member has applauded the alleged assault on former Prime Minister Tony Abbott by a same-sex activist…

The email was responding to a breaking news alert from ABC News 24’s producer and presenter Jason Om that Mr Abbott had been attacked in Hobart.

Om’s email was titled “Abbott headbutted” and read: “Tony Abbott has told 2GB he was subjected to a ‘Liverpool kiss’ in Hobart by a man who supported same sex marriage.”

The email alert went out at 8.12pm, after Mr Abbott was allegedly headbutted by a man wearing a YES campaign badge who had asked to shake his hand.

Less than a minute later, the reply all from the employee responded: “Good.”

The Australian adds:

An ABC spokesperson said: “The email was unacceptable and the staff member in question, who is a technical operator and not a journalist, has been counselled. It was a one-word lapse in judgment by one person rather than a general reflection of the entire ABC.”

Vote now and vote often.



Posted: 22nd, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink