Australia is giving the USA a run for its money on gay marriage politics. I’ve never seen such contortions and nonsense, here’s a small insight. In essence, this week gay marriage is being used as a prop by at least three different political groups - two of whom (the majority of the ruling Labor party and the Greens party) notionally support marriage equality.
As with the endless court cases and parliamentary readings in the USA, where there is a blog or cable station at every turn to record drama, drama, drama, we are starting to see the same in Australia. A debate about territory rights has turned into a proxy debate about gay marriage (basically Canberra and the Outback have the same status as the Distrtict of Columbia in the US). Because in the nation’s capital the local Labor government and the Greens have long waited to introduce marriage equality, and have been foiled – DOMA style – by more conservative federal administrations who could veto them.
Opportunistic media outlets are having a field day because they smell political blood. And if they can’t smell it, they have decided they will try and manufacture it. So now, instead of just getting on with the job as the UK did in 2005 with civil unions, or properly separating the issues of territory rights and gay marriage, the ruling Labor party is tearing itself apart in a frightening unproductive way.
Remember, this is a country where 60% support equalilty; it is about a territory where around 70% and the local government support equalilty; and its happening in a party where most party members want equality. Basically, the ONLY thing holding the process up is a dozen or so scared or conservative people at Ministerial level.
This is a debate about nothing. This is politics as soap opeara. And I am really starting to get sick of it.