Thursday, June 21, 2007

Round 12: FIGHT!

UPDATE: The HREOC report is unleashed.


(Title comes from me recently playing Mortal Kombat 2 on PS3 and rediscovering my inner 12yo. Not in that way. Eww.)

Anticipation of responses to this latest finding on gay marriage - 57% in support, but even more encouraging, 71% in favour of full de facto equality:

1. The survey was commissioned by GetUp!, a Labor front organisation designed for the sole purpose of undermining the Howard government. Insert additional cliches of 'David Hicks fan club', 'climate change fundamentalists', 'friends of Middle Eastern terrorists' etc here.

GetUp! certainly did commission the poll - nevertheless, Galaxy did all the work. 1100 people across all States and Territories. And the Murdoch rags - particularly the Gazette - had no trouble believing the 100% accuracy and integrity of Galaxy when it recently highlighted a resurgence in voter support for Howard.

2. Stupid poll, polling 16 and 17yos who don't even vote.

Again, true - but the 16-24yo group were the strongest supporters of same-sex couple equality - 82%, no less. Sure, Howard doesn't need to worry about them now, but assuming he wins this election, he may have to come the 2010 election when they're voting age.

Plus, they simply reflect what is already known: The strongest anti-queer prejudices lie with the older generations, and are dying a slow but inevitable death.

3. John Howard isn't driven by polls - he's driven by what's right.




Still, as the poll-driven back-pedaller he is he won't resile from this issue. A poll commissioned tomorrow could reveal a million Australians supporting gay marriage, but unless a/ they're all in marginal seats, and b/ it's an issue not only do they support, but they support strongly enough that it could potentially change their vote, he'll stick to his homophobia, which to his credit, he believes in personally as well as exploits for political mileage.

It's lovely that so many people support same-sex couple equality, it really is. But very few decide to vote/not vote for Howard based solely on this issue. He knows this and knows he can get away mobilising the religious right vote instead of doing his proper duty as an elected representative and reforming existing discriminatory law - after all, 4 election wins can't be wrong.

This poll also won't change anything with Labor, at least not before this election. Kevin Rudd's pitch since winning the leadership has always been poaching the dreaded 'aspirationals' - i.e. shifting to the right just enough to steal back capricious, interest rate-sensitive voters in outer suburban seats. He doesn't need to do anything for GLBTI voters other than the barest minimum so that there is at least some point of difference between Labor and Liberal - but otherwise, he can take most of our votes for granted. Sure, we might vote Green or independent above Labor but those of us concerned with equality will eventually preference Labor above Liberal - i.e. vote Labor.

It would be nice to think this poll, combined with tomorrow's launch of HREOC's Same-Sex: Same Entitlements report, will trigger a new groundswell of support and desire to act. But we've made that mistake with this government so many times before (Warren Entsch, anyone?), and with less than 6 months before an election, the only imperative the Liberals will have to act on this will be to save Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth.

Encouraging poll results for sure - and cheers to GetUp! for getting the poll...umm...up - but not enough for anything to change. Not this year, anyway.

Labels: , , , ,


At 21/6/07 10:47 am, Blogger Jeremy said...


Also a quote from Mortal Kombat which could be appropriate in this context.

At 21/6/07 3:14 pm, Blogger nash said...

Pity the voting age can't be lowered so we can hurry things along

At 21/6/07 5:08 pm, Blogger JahTeh said...

Is this the reason he's making sure a lot of 18 y-olds are going to be shut out of voting?

Never mind Penguin, I'm old and I'm for ya.

At 21/6/07 5:46 pm, Blogger Dawei said...

I used to have such a crush on Kitana.

At 21/6/07 7:02 pm, Blogger Sam said...

I was a Sonya man. Always personally wanted the power of the guy who went 'get over here!' and pulled people over with his stabby cable thingies.

At 21/6/07 8:43 pm, Blogger Andrew said...

I heard Howard say that he is against any discrimination. Well, he has many years to fix it.

At 21/6/07 11:13 pm, Blogger Dawei said...

I always played as Sonya too, but she was unfortunately absent from Mortal Kombat II (unless you count that lame appearance in the background in one of the battle locations). She was a bit useless though, and her tights always reminded me of Olivia Newton John. I always tended to play as the female characters --GO CHUN LI!!!!!

Does that make me a feminist, or were my homo tendencies apparent from a young age?

At 22/6/07 12:35 am, Blogger Jeremy said...

Nah - I tended to play the female characters, because I'd rather watch them move than the blokes.

At 22/6/07 3:10 pm, Anonymous Penny Sharpe said...

Thought you might be interested in Labor's media release.



Labor Welcomes Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Report on Same-Sex Entitlements

I congratulate HREOC for their detailed report: "Same-Sex: Same Entitlements" *

This report - produced after 14 months of consultation and work - is an important milestone.

It has shone a spotlight on Federal laws which deny same sex couples in Australia access to basic entitlements like tax concessions, superannuation, death benefits, carer leave, workers' compensation, veterans' entitlements - all of which are available to heterosexual couples under Federal laws.

Same-sex couples get fewer entitlements, less workers' compensation, fewer tax concessions, less health care support, less superannuation and pay more for residential aged care than heterosexual couples in the same circumstances.

Action by the Government is long overdue.

It is disappointing that the Howard Government has not moved already to remove discrimination from Federal law on financial and work related entitlements. The States and Territories have already done so.

The Report found there are many Federal laws which discriminate against same sex couples in areas of financial and work related entitlements. Many of the Federal laws also discriminate against the children of same-sex couples and fail to protect the best interests of the child.

Federal Labor has a long-standing commitment to remove discrimination from Federal legislation.

By contrast the Federal Government has made no commitments in this area.

Indeed, the Howard Government has actively undermined attempts to create nationally consistent non-discriminatory legslation - as evidenced by Mr Ruddock rejecting offers by the States to refer powers to the Commonwealth in the area of de facto relationships, which would allow an easier resolution of property disputes.

At 26/6/07 5:02 am, Blogger Gay Curmudgeon said...

Hey Sam,

I don't know if you caught it, but in an SMH article the Federal Member for Gwydir, John Anderson said:

However, former Nationals leader John Anderson was sceptical about whether gays and lesbians should be given more rights.

"It depends what they mean by rights," Mr Anderson told reporters.

"I think I have to say that I think there ought to be positive discrimination in favour of traditional marriages.

"Beyond that in other areas I think it's a matter of pointing out, apart from anything else, that I find it very hard to identify any rights that they don't have."

I've started a campaign to have people e-mail the full 2,331kb HREOC "Same-sex: Same entitlements" report to Mr Anderson so he will be much better informed next time he's asked for a similar quote. I wonder how many copies we could get sent to him if we really try?

I'd be most grateful if you'd spread it around.


At 26/6/07 9:00 am, Blogger Sam said...

Thanks GC. I certainly did catch that quote and immediately emailed him with a link to the HREOC site.

Anderson would be fully aware of the discrimination that exists but is pretending it's not important because at heart he's a fundie Bible-basher. Still, even he might be open-minded to further education.


Post a Comment

<< Home