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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

God rules under Gillard, it seems. The question - Is this a wimple or a hoodie? - is no longer relevant. Julia Gillard has come out in favour of the Right.

On the question of gay marriage, Gillard has explicitly adopted a conservative position saying, in an ABC Local Radio talkback session in Darwin this morning, that "Marriage is between a man and a woman."

"Obviously we live in an age when there are all sorts of relationships which are not marriages.

"I am in a committed relationship of that nature myself with my partner Tim."

I had expected better. In fact, I brought this to Gillard's attention on Sunday when the prime minister used Facebook to declare her love for "Australia and the people in it". I commented a few minutes later:

Help reduce suicide rates by recognising the right of gay Australians to marry.

The prime minister said she would "do her best". Well, if her best is to sacrifice the interests of an embattled minority in order to curry favour with the religious component of the population, then I have to say that I'm deeply disappointed.

I would have thought that a person whose own marital status comes under such close and sustained scrutiny would be more flexible. And so strictures put in place a couple of thousand years ago by followers of Jesus continue to determine who can fully participate in society - and who must remain on the margins. It's a crying shame.

2 comments:

Meredith Jones said...

I'm hoping that she was only talking about the marriage act, and that she is planning to introduce a civil partnership act or similar, in time.

Glenn Trimble said...

A couple of points:

1/ Julia Gillard doesn't believe in God. She is an avowed atheist. Wherever she gets her view that gay people should not marry (and there's no reason to believe that it is not genuinely held), it ain't from her religious beliefs.

2/ Human society existed well before Jesus showed up, and gay marriage was never a feature of it. I'm not sure why Jesus has to carry the can for supposedly banning a practice that has been non-existent from the word go.

In other words these "strictures" were not "put in place by Jesus and his followers". Jesus's own religious practice was that of a devout first century Galilean Jew. He didn't invent any sort of new religion where it was against the law for gays to marry. It always was.

I'm not anti-gay marriage, (although marriage as the basis of civil society seems to be failing spectacularly and I do wonder why gay people would want to get involved in it). But I do think your contention that everything would be hunky dory if not for the seemingly arbitrary whims of some bloke and his followers 2 thousands years ago is somewhat glib.