Saturday, 19 May 2012

Does Bill Shorten SPEAK NOW, from both sides of his mouth?

Mr Shorten,

we admire you, both on your record and on your recent performance in the Ministry.  But our household groaned in unison when you were content to speak from both sides of your mouth on the issue of same-sex marriage on ABC TV's Insiders program, Sunday May 20.

It might be good enough for Tony Abbott, with that carefully placed article in the Weekend Australian magazine a few weeks back, revealing he had a gay sister (who apparently won't mind if he stabs her in the back!)  We expected better of you, frankly.

Let me make this clear: when you pick up on the toxic teaching of some churchmen, you are IGNORING the fact that neither of the proposed Bills that will be debated in the House would require churches to conduct same-sex weddings, if a change to the law were enacted.

Less than half of 'straight' weddings are conducted in churches these days, in any case (don't you know that?)

So, let them continue with their exclusivist hypocrisy, marriage IS a civil union; the religious choices couples may make are a separate issue.

You adroitly straddled the fence and managed to sound like a 'typical politican' and we are disappointed (especially as you are shaping up, in the public imagination, as a reasonable proposition for Leader... Rudd is finished.)

We will be watching how you vote.  Meanwhile, we will vote Greens.

Victor Marsh, PhD
Editor, "Speak Now: Australian perspectives on same-sex marriage"
(Melbourne: Clouds of Magellan, 2011)

(this publication carries a Foreword by the Hon. Michael Kirby, whom you like to cite, by the way!)

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