So, a major political party wants to compel its MPs to support same-sex marriage before the end of the decade. Whatever the issue might be, it is surely a sad day when an elected parliamentarian is potentially ousted on a moral issue that now almost seems debated along party lines. Some say it is important enough to take such a stand and risk alienating good people who happen to hold well-considered but different views on the basis of what the majority of Australians want. Then why not ask them what they want? A referendum would make it less about parties’ and individuals’ read on this issue. It would ask instead for the population to consider all the ins and outs away from the emotion and rhetoric.
I have commented on gay marriage before and fundamentally believe the issue is about what marriage is and what it is not. It really isn’t about something as emotive and misleading as equality. So why would a political party risk alienating many reasonable and fair-minded Australians and ostracising and devaluing its own members?
Could the issue not be resolved now by taking the onus away from party ideologues or power brokers and putting it in the hands of the people? Or, are same-sex marriage advocates perhaps afraid that the result might put the issue off the table for many years?
Surely the collective compulsory vote of Australians could be trusted even more than in Ireland, where little more than half turned up and only 62% of those voted in favour of the change, to represent less than 40% of the population.
In the end, totalitarianism appears to be gaining a foothold in schools and now, perhaps, in politics. Is this the thin end of the wedge? God forbid that we should have a society that dictates against points of view that have represented a key building block of this country’s greatness in favour of an alternative that a small minority are actually pushing for and a significant percentage are still arguing cogently against.