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The worst kind of fudge: The Aussie vote on gay marriage

News? I‘ll be the judge of that…

For those of you that haven’t heard, the Australian government – the illiberal Liberal Party – have decided to fudge (yes, ho ho; where’s Packer when you need him?) the much-anticipated issue of marriage equality by holding an expensive, non-compulsory and non-binding postal vote.

Right now, every Aussie citizen is being given a say on whether a basic human right – available in 25 countries and counting – should be offered to gays and lesbians in the same way as their fellow humans, otherwise known as heterosexuals, have been allowed to for many a century.

Australia is a breathtakingly beautiful country, but by god, some of the people there… Quite why every unintelligent bogan, chav and redneck is being called upon to pass judgement on other couples’ commitment to each other in place of the elected lawmakers is, frankly, an absolute disgrace. Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister who is behind this, has called for a civilised and respectful debate. Take a look at these posters and decide whether that’s been adhered to.

For those who don’t understand what it is like to be LGBTIQ, or any other minority, this is the extreme end of what gays are contending with in Australia, the country of the world famous Sydney Mardi Gras, Priscilla etc. There is plenty more ‘casual’ hidden homophobia out there. The material should be condemned, and yet, when questioned, the PM dismissed it as ‘free speech’. I’m sorry but ‘hate speech’ is not ‘free speech’.

Many of us have no desire or plans to even be married. It’s not about that. It’s about being given the same basic rights in employment, tax, inheritance, hospital visits, adoption and so on. The same rights that the heterosexual counterparts have taken for granted for far too long.

I know sharing this does spread the Nazi negativity a bit, but I wanted to show my friends and followers who aren’t LGBTIQ what happens when a government refuse to grant human rights to the people in my community. Weren’t we made to feel second class citizens already by homophobic right-wing dinosaurs like John Howard and Tony Abbott, the latter of which happens to be my local MP for the Manly area. This is what happens when people are told that the vile bile pictured in this post is ‘debate’. This is vicious inaccurate libel.

Thank feck I’m not in Aus right now as I’d be disemboweling anyone I saw putting the posters up. Indeed, as a temporary resident who left the country before I was granted citizenship rights the right to vote doesn’t extend to immigrants like moi.

As Bryan Ferry once said, let’s stick together. Check on your LGBTIQ friends and family. Express your support for marriage equality. Make sure you vote. It means a lot, believe me.

Love on ya x

First day of Tony Abbott’s 2016 election campaign: gosh, that angry Brit sounds rather Manly

Steve Pafford, France, September 17

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