Same-sex marriages: what does it mean for the Opposition?

The big news story of the day – and one of the potentially biggest of the year – is that marriage equality is now part of the ALP platform.  This has generated some discussion here at the Café, in particular the delicious set of ramifications this could mean for the Opposition and enough to suggest that a separate thread is warranted.

Where to from here?  Here it is in a nutshell:

A private member’s bill – which would not be formally caked by the Government – is expected next year.

The key question now is what the Opposition will do. Three weeks ago Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said there would be no conscience vote but yesterday was equivocal.

Mr Abbot could see some of his MPs defy his orders and cross the floor or abstain.

This is not all about politics but about equality, nonetheless, in my view the ALP has delivered Tony Abbott a giant wedgie.   Abbott, despite what he says, will always be opposed to a conscience vote but his problem will not be what Labor does, rather, what members within his own party do.  Consider this:

Pressure is building on the Coalition to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, with Malcolm Turnbull telling a voter he supports such a move despite Tony Abbott’s opposition to it.

In an email sent to a constituent just days after Julia Gillard announced her plan to allow her party a conscience vote on the issue, Mr Turnbull said it was an “appropriate” course of action.

This is where it gets interesting.  If given the opportunity, would he cross the floor?  If given the opportunity – and he went wobbly at the knees – is this a clear message that Abbott’s leadership is safe?  If he does cross the floor, will he be helping Labor drive in the wedge even further?  Will it cost Abbott his job?  There is much to ponder.

In less than a few hours the mainstream media have given coverage to Labor’s decision and to those who oppose it.  Too much coverage has been given to the likes of Fred Nile, who in my opinion shouldn’t be given any oxygen at all.  Why bother with fools like that when there are now bigger to play?  We all rejoice in Labor’s decision, which is a win for equality and means so much to many people.  Now the politics takes over so I ask the question: Same sex marriages: what does it mean for the Opposition?

Over to you.

179 comments on “Same-sex marriages: what does it mean for the Opposition?

  1. ” Too much coverage has been given to the likes of Fred Nile, who in my opinion should not be given any oxygen at all”

    I would not worry too much about the MSM in this event. Those who support same gender marriage are well aware of who and how many there are.

    Most of these also have mothers and grandmothers.

  2. The most relevant comment was that
    Tony Abbott says he would not be commenting on the same-sex marriage issue today.

    Now that is a first

    “As Mr Abbott’s office said that he would not be commenting on Saturday on the same-sex marriage issue”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/gay-marriage-campaigners-watching-abbott-20111203-1oc9s.html#ixzz1fRsTglw2

    And this story was quickly whipped off the front page of SMH online. Having seen the story earlier (3.05pm) I went looking for it. So within 2 hours the Libs got the story relegated.
    The Greens response at 3.00pm is still part of breaking news, the hypocrisy.

  3. If Turnbull goes wobbly on this issue then he may as well kiss his leadership aspirations goodbye. Turnbull’s only hope for the leadership is that with Labor now moving further to the left (at long last) is to present himself as a moderate with none of the hang-ups evident in Tony Abbott.

  4. Migs, on your link to the same sex marriage rally in Sydney which attracted some 10,000 people, Margaret M reports that they were also ‘very noisy’. 🙂

  5. Same-sex marriage has never been an issue on my radar so I’ve never had an open opinion on it. If someone were to point a gun at my head and demand a response I’d say it is am entitlement that should be allowed. I’m unable to wear the shoes if a gay person, however, I have no objection to their wishes being served. Good on them. Go for it.

    This does create a dilemma for Tony Abbott. His phone bill will go up considerably this weekend as he lays down the law to his party members. The question is, will any of th be prepared to break his law.

  6. Roswell, I think that perhaps a good way of thinking of this issue is as a human rights issue. This particular issue in gay people not being permitted to marry is the one glaring anomaly in all of our anti-discrimination legislation. We allow people of different color to marry, so why should people who love each other be banned just because of being the ‘wrong’ gender.

  7. I can’t argue with your point. I hear a lot of talk about how it might affect children raised in a same-sex marriage and how they might get ridiculed at school. There’s so much I hadn’t considered.

    Abbott will be hammering the electorate about all the negatives. We’ll hear very little of him about human rights.

  8. “The most relevant comment was that
    Tony Abbott says he would not be commenting on the same-sex marriage issue today.

    Now that is a first”

    Mr. Abbott is a very rare politician that can choose what he comments on.

    This, the man that that demands that the government answer their questions and do as they say.

    A very lucky and rare politician that holds the right to himself to decide what he will be asked and what he will answer.

    Mr. Abbott will decide what we have the right to know!!!!

  9. Roswell, who would ridicule kids of same sex marriage? The parents of those kids are the ones who would be encouraging this and doubtless have more problems than children brought up by a loving same sex couple.

    I remember the same argument being used against IVF, that the children born as a result of IVF would be ridiculed.

  10. “talk about how it might affect children raised in a same-sex marriage and how they might get ridiculed at school. There’s so much I hadn’t considered”

    Kids take their clues from the parents.

    What this is really about, as far I am concerned, that homosexual sex and friendship is OK and a part of life.

    The PM has come across as being in charge and very much in control of her government. At last the PM can say it is her government with her policies to pursue.

    We do indeed have some very strong women in the Labor Party.

  11. Catching Up at 6.05
    Good point. We’ll see Abbott’s comment once he’s figured out how best to be inflammatory, negative & divisive. As you say, he’ll be allowed to take his time.
    The politics of this issue have so far been almost entirely focused on the implications for Labor. It’ll be fascinating to see- a “test” if you like, how the politics for Abbott are handled.

  12. Catching up,
    Very insightful and I hadn’t thought of it that way, that Tony Abbott has up until now made the decisions about what he will and what he won’t answer.

    A gay mate of mine is disappointed saying that he’s still a second class citizen in his own country.

  13. The PM has cleverly put the matter to bed. The PM has left the door open for the law to be changed.

    Labor now can do no more. The ball is now in Mr. Abbott’s camp. I do hope they treat him with the same contempt they have poured on the PM and Labor.

    The boat people problem will also with a little luck, also end up in Mr. Abbott’s lap.

    He cannot go on forever demanding Nauru as a solution, because it will no longer work.

    Mr. Bowen made a slip today saying other countries. I believe there will be a new plan very quickly released that goes beyond Malaysia.

  14. Antony, your mate will have to wait a little longer.

    Pushing this through was not the best way to go. It would only be used as a strick to attack Labor with.

    It will come soon, supported from both sides of the house. This is as it should be.

  15. Perhaps the reason of the ‘why’ about a conscience vote comes from this one…

    But federal MPs will not be forced to support gay marriage when the issue comes before Parliament next year because the party also voted to endorse a conscience vote for its politicians.

    Note the wording ‘forced to’ – that is, without the option of a conscience vote that Tony Abbott could have run a campaign based on Labor politicians being ‘forced to’ support gay marriage.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/labor-backs-gay-marriage-20111203-1occj.html#ixzz1fSJSfVZU

  16. Gillard has had to bend over for the fringe left and greens again. It is the Border Protection wedge all over again. There are no votes for her in this one.
    There will be votes going backwards and forwards between the greens and labor left but none going from coalition to Labor. Some will go from labor to coalition. (Don’t forget there are a lot of catholics in the Labor ranks)
    I don’t think Tony has to do much on this one. I think there will be plenty of Labor right who will vote against the bill. Not many of Tony’s side will vote for it. The conscience vote concession by Gillard will ensure same sex marriage won’t get up.
    What middle Australia is seeing is Labor spending their energy debating fringe issues like gay marriage while the boats keep rocking up. Another couple today I hear.
    No one is driving the train. The country is concerned the greens, labor left and unions are calling the shots for Gillard.
    Having defacto bogans in the Lodge doesn’t help the Labor cause.

  17. Oh gay marriage is a fringe issue but a handful of asylum seekers is not?

    No one is driving the train, now I know you are a RWDB troll. Must shit you to tears seeing the train being driven so well through a whole bunch of mine fields. It was Howard who for more than a decade ran the country on auto pilot while his treasurer swung in a hammock.

    Sorry TS the bogans are nearly all on the Liberal side of the fence and they are being exposed as such more so each week.

    Poor Tony being slowly but surely undermined by his own side and Gillard continues to do him over like a dinner as she always has.

  18. hmmmmm. Labor primary vote has been 30% for most of 2011. ….there must be a few other voters who agree with my humble observations.
    Doesn’t it bug you that we have defacto bogans in the Lodge? Gotta be the low point since Federation.

  19. TS, I didn’t realise this was all about votes or was a popularity contest.

    But let’s see what happens.

    If Abbott keeps his mouth shut I predict a bounce in the polls for Labor. If he harps on about the evils of gay marriage and how he despises gays – and the media give him oxygen – Labor might suffer.

  20. Lieberal primary vote was languishing under and around 30% in 2001. Howard’s satisfaction/dissatisfaction rating was as low as 28/64 as well – the Howard government won the election in November that year.

    In contrast, Ms Gillard has another 2 years of government to go until the next election. At the rate Mr Abbott is going, he won’t lead the opposition to that election, but if he does, Labor will probably win it easily.

    Bogans in the lodge?? You really should get out of Lieberal headquarters more often 🙄

  21. Indeed it was, Bacchus. The Liberals were facing electoral anhialation, then we had 9/11, followed by the Tampa.

    Howard had us believing that the Tampa was chock full of terrorists.

    His stocks glittered.

  22. Pip, and by way of comparison the anti-gay marriage rally attracted about 50 people..oh dear, how embarrassing…

    One of Fred Nile’s better turnouts.

  23. TS re “Gillard has had to bend over for the fringe left and greens again.”

    A strange statement given that the PM didn’t speak on the issue of gay marriage but only on the issue of a conscience vote. What you were looking at via the ALP National Conference was democracy in action..oh whoops, you probably didn’t watch it, and so you wouldn’t know.

  24. In a world first I’m going to ‘sort of’ agree with el gordo on a matter other than UFOs.

    Julia has got the better of Abbott this time but I’d hardly say it was a strategy of her own doing. Left to her own devices it would never have happened. As I said earlier, this is Labor’s (inadvertant) doing, not Julia Gillard’s.

    Abbott’s homophobia is getting a lot of airplay across social media. Does he continue with this position? I think he will.

  25. Min about TS, you probably didn’t watch it, and so you wouldn’t know.

    No TS has probably been too busy lurking at lefty blogs, making contrary comments.

  26. Miglo, I think Abbott will stick with his usual routine, after all his mentor the Cardinal wrote a letter..

    http://m.smh.com.au/national/gillard-reasserts-control-20111202-1obhe.html

    When a Labor MP moves a private member’s bill next year, there will not be the numbers to legalise gay marriage. The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has said he would not allow the Coalition a conscience vote but said yesterday the matter was academic and he would consider what to do at the time. If he were to allow such a vote, the numbers would be tight.

    The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, and the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, were among the 19 leaders who issued the joint statement last night.

    ”Marriage is the lifelong commitment and faithful union of one man and one woman,” they wrote. ”As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family because it secures the relationship between biological parents and their children. The preservation of the unique meaning of marriage is not a special or limited interest but serves the common good, particularly the good of children.”

    The leaders called on the government to ”not change the meaning of marriage by adding to it different kinds of relationships”.

  27. Small-l liberal, the new ‘fringe Left’; let’s hope and pray no-one notices the implications…

    The question will be now, for those Liberal members who believe they are actually liberals, whether they will take this up as well,” Senator Wong said.

  28. Meta, also from your link interesting that it was the ‘sanctity’ persons who were the aggressors.

    “They were trying to hit us with their signs and were calling us freaks and sinners,” one gay marriage supporter said.

  29. Meta, also from your link
    Scores of police, including the riot squad, stood between the groups as they exchanged a war of words. Trouble escalated when “sanctity” marchers thrust placards at their opponents.

    “They were trying to hit us with their signs and were calling us freaks and sinners,” one gay marriage supporter said.

  30. ‘I’d hardly say it was a strategy of her own doing. Left to her own devices it would never have happened.’

    Yeah, the PM was extremely reluctant to go down this path, but giving the Labor delegates a conscience vote freed her from further restraint.

    Abbott will just pray that the populace forgets about the issue.

  31. El gordo, I don’t think that this issue is going anywhere soon because although Abbott refused to issue a statement today, journos ‘should’ still be chasing him for one. Then next year we have Private Members Bill from Stephen Jones which will also keep this issue in the spotlight.

  32. I’ve been reading some comments which state that the conscience vote has ensured defeat of any bill, and therefore this is ‘all Labor’s fault’.

    However it should also be remembered..

    The success of the Jones-sponsored bill is likely to hinge on whether Tony Abbott allows his own MPs a conscience vote.

    One could say that at least Labor parliamentarians get the chance to vote whereas Tony Abbott just says No.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/private-members-bill-to-propose-same-sex-marriage-law/story-fnba0rxe-1226212997968

  33. I’ve done some thinking since my rush to get this thread posted. 😯

    My conclusion is simple. This will fall flat on its face.

    If some Labor politicians cross the floor and if Abbott forbids any from his party from doing the same, then it is doomed.

  34. The Greens already have a bill before the Parliament ready to go. I wonder why Labor is saying they will also put forward a private members bill as well.

    I think the truth is that this has little to do with Labor or the Greens for that matter.

    There is genuine demand coming from the public for the law to be changed.

    I believe the attention will now change to Mr. Abbott.

    It may not be important for many but it is for those who want it. As Senator Wong said, it is time that our relationships are respected, as those between a man and woman. I believe she is right. What right have we to condemn people like that 50 odd that turned out to day.

    What harm can it do to others to allow marriage between same gender, consenting adults. May even help unemployment with the new jobs it will create.

  35. Cu,
    a timely tweet about Senator Penny Wong, doubting Twitter’s worth because Penny Wong isn’t on Twitter…

    “I guess grace, dignity and intelligence don’t suit 140 characters”

  36. All’s fair in love but now for the war in the House

    http://m.smh.com.au/national/alls-fair-in-love-but-now-for-the-war-in-the-house-20111203-1ocio.html

    MICHELLE LANCEY waved a photo of her two sons at a wedding. Why should she have only one photo of a son getting married, she asked her fellow delegates at the Labor Party national conference yesterday. Why couldn’t she have a picture of her gay son getting married, too?

    ”This is a choice between love and hate,” the Labor delegate from Newcastle said. ”I see marriage as a human rights issue, not a legal one. I’m a straight Christian mother and I support marriage equality.”

    To a standing ovation, Mrs Lancey told the delegates at Darling Harbour: ”Vote with your heart.”

    and Penny Wong :-

    ”This is a deeply personal debate for us and our families,” said the Minister for Finance and key proponent for change, Penny Wong. ”It is about the people we love and that is why it matters so much. Equality doesn’t diminish straight relationships – it values ours.

    ”Change is long overdue. It has been a long and difficult debate. Our platform makes it clear all are not equal. Until now our party accepted this, and we must accept it no longer.”

    There were cheers, tears and embraces for the deeply private woman who has consistently made the case for changing the definition of marriage to recognise same-sex couples.

    Back in Adelaide, Senator Wong’s partner, Sophie Allouache, who is eight months pregnant with their first child, watched the debate on television along with family and friends.

  37. Yes Pip, there was a lot of human emotion on show. All of it genuine I believe.

    It is a wonder that those 50 anti protesters did not get themselves lynched with their bible bashing.

    It is long past the time when many think it is a lifestyle choice.

    I believe Mr. Abbott needs to tread carefully on this one.

    one would think this is the only matter that was dealt with today. Migration got a fair one, along with the structure of the Labor party.

    There were many good speeches as well.

  38. CU @11.04pm and why the government is opting for Stephen Jones’ Private Members Bill and the Greens’ bill is firstly politics, that it’s a better look if one of you own puts this forward.

    This one is only speculation because we do not as yet know the wording of the Jones’ bill, but earlier is that some in Labor wanted churches exempt from anti-discrimination on this issue.

    The reasoning for this is that under anti-discrimination it is unlawful to discriminate someone on the basis of sexual orientation. Therefore if gay marriage became legal then theoretically churches who did not want to marry gay people (their philosophy/their problem) would be committing an offence under anti-discrimination.

  39. “Gotta be the low point since Federation.”

    Geoff you can keep harping on about polls but only picking the one number that suits your very blinkered ideological point of view but an election is still a long way a way, and even further now that Gillard yet again trumped Abbott.

    And talking of Abbott and polls, what of his utterly dismal numbers, worse than Latham and the lowest for any opposition leader. They go to the polls with him as leader and it has to effect the numbers for the party.

  40. Moby. My understanding of the structure of our democracy is that the primary vote is sort of how elections are decided?

  41. Ah yes Rasa but a big point was made out of Abbott’s gains in the polls a short while back along with Gillard’s decline and that of the government.

    It is so telling that those going on about polls have now fallen deathly silent over Abbott’s misfortunes in them just as they will fall deathly silent if the polls turn for the government.

    Always has been such and the cracked crystal ball gazing of the wingnuts has never ceased to amaze me, especially when they get it wrong so often.

  42. Rasa, under our constitution, it is the numbers one can get on the floor of the lower house.

    Parties are of no consequences.

    if one party has more than 50%, it stands to reason that they will have the numbers.

    The Liberals as far as I can recall, always needs the Nationals to reach this number.

    What is different from the Liberal and Nationals forming government to Labor and other independents or minor party doing the same.

    I am not to sure what you are saying, as we do not have first past the post.

    What is true, it is elections that elect governments, not polls. Polls are little more than about popularity. Polls can and do change at very short noticed. Remember how quickly they changed for Mr. Rudd.

  43. hmmmmm. Labor primary vote has been 30% for most of 2011. ….there must be a few other voters who agree with my humble observations.
    Doesn’t it bug you that we have defacto bogans in the Lodge? Gotta be the low point since Federation.

    Based on this type of rubbish analysis, we would be changing governments all the time based on the latest poll of a few hundred or thousand poeple who represent less than 0.01% of the population and obtained via land lines and those who only agree to take the poll and Howard would have been out in October 1997. These type of historical facts, seem to elude the rusted on conservative supporters, who for some reason deem it ok to continue to demand an election, just because they lost the last one. Get some morality about youselves and accept the decision and plan for the next election in 2 years time, instead of this smoke and mirrors garbage, as though this was the only government, to have a bad poll, during its term and therefore is not legitimate.

  44. CU, and of course there has been quite some discussion about the reliability of these polls given that fewer and fewer of the under 40yr demographic now own land lines.

    There was also some discussion that it will not be too long into the future where polls are conducted online with strict conditions such as providing a valid email address. An argument could be that this is easily rorted but not so as the ISP is easy to validate.

  45. Shane, just an observation but it seems to me that a number of people who use derogatory terms such as ‘bogan’..minus a sense of humor, that there are the self-same people who refuse to discuss the Liberal party’s policies and future.

    I believe that we lefties here and yourself as a swinging voter have had more valid suggestions for the Liberal Party than these types of supporters.

  46. Min, it did not look that way to me.

    It looked to me that Senator Wong was emotional about what had occurred and felt comfortable giving her PM a hug. The PM look very comfortable returning the hug.

    They must be desperate, when every action that makes the PM look human or competent must be destroyed at all cost.

    Like the grinning face I seen on Mr. Rudd’s face during the PM’s opening speech plus his hands clapping. I reminded to ensure I was seeing correctly.

  47. Min at 9.26
    I brought up the article you mention, it’s Penny now. Have they changed it?, s’pose they have. I didn’t see a byline either.

  48. Pip, thanks for the link to that lovely young man! The world is full of wonderful people raised by ‘odd’ couples and single mums, divorcees, widowers. It’s also full of mixed up people who were cursed with parents who stayed together for the sake of the children! Or, like Julia Gillard and many others they are blessed with loving parents from a ‘conventional’ family.

    I think our own experience of family and love in our growing years affects our character and our values so much that for many people it becomes so emotionally charged that conscience does seem to come into play when we think about moral issues like the same sex marriage controversy.

    I have huge respect for John Faulkner. I shall read his speech again and try to unravel my thoughts from my feelings about his eloquently stated views.

  49. BSA Bob, thank you for that. The issue went viral this morning on Facebook, Twitter etc and so it seems that the DT changed it.

    Due to the innuendo, I should imagine that the DT knew that they might be contravening Anti-Discrimination NSW, s49ZT Homosexual vilification unlawful:

    (1) It is unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the homosexuality of the person or members of the group.

  50. Min
    What can I say? Total arseholes hiding behind a bullshit pseudo integrity & a “freedom” to do anything they want.
    I like the press a little bit less every day. No, that’s not true, I stopped liking them a long time ago. I dislike them a little bit more every day.

  51. BSA, a FB contributor had the foresight to grab a screen shot which I have taken a copy of. I will have to wait for techical assistance to arrive before I can work out how to put this up on the blog.

  52. I was thinking to put forward my own opinion on this issue, which is probably best expressed by Senator John Faulkner:

    It is not for governments to grant human rights but to recognise and protect them. Human rights can never be at the mercy of individual opinion or individual prejudice.

    This compares with Julia Gillard’s statement:

    At the same time we recognise this is a deeply personal debate, because for many, who have been driven by religious and philosophical views across the span of their lifetime, holding those views very deeply and sincerely, this is a debate that touches on those views too.

    Should we follow Julia Gillard’s line of reasoning, then blacks would still be sitting in the back of the bus. If I have a religious or philosophical view that black people are inferior should I therefore be allowed a conscience vote to deny black people equal rights? If I have a religious or philisophical view pertaining to any other human rights issue, would I be permitted to follow my conscience.

    Gay marriage rights are as John Faulkner stated, this is not matter of individual conscience but a matter of equality and indeed who one loves should never be “at the mercy of individual opinion or individual prejudice”.

  53. Thank you Adrian, human rights and equality should never be at the whim of individual conscience for as god only knows, there are a lot of people out there with fck awful prejudices.

  54. Roswell,there is evidence that children being brought up by same sex couples are just as happy and well adjusted as children brought up in a conventional family. I’m a bit pushed for time atm, so will hunt down a link later.

    It’s legislation that is long overdue and I, for one, am overjoyed that at last gay couples will be able to formalise their relationships and be married.

    As for Liealot, he’ll be having conniptions as will Sloppy (my daughters won’t be able to get married!!!!!!!), barnyard and some other hardliners in the Liars Party.

    I wonder how many Liars are in favour of gay marriage? There are bound to be some who have gay relations and friends. But will Liealot cave in and allow a conscience vote? Who can tell. He’s changed his mind on pretty much everything, so there’s no telling if he will on this.

    As for Turnbull, this is possibly them most important decision he has to make. He was too gutless to make a stand over climate legislation and i suspect he won’t have the cojones to take a stand now.

  55. Miglo,
    Thank you for your topic. I am hopeful that the Liberals will realize that this is something important for all of us, as has been said it’s a matter of human rights. The Labor Party has made a quantum leap with this issue. It is the first time that gay marriage rights have been recognised by any political party. It has been part of The Greens policy for years but the first time that any of the major parties have recognised this issue.

    Surely given it’s prominence the Liberals will realize that they too need to have an open and honest debate on this.

  56. Jane re “am overjoyed that at last gay couples will be able to formalise their relationships and be married.”

    Yes, but only if the government via a Private Members Bill from Stephen Jones MP can get the bill through the House of Reps.

    I shouldn’t imagine that there is any problem with the Senate as of course any Bill to legalise same sex marriage will get support of the Greens and a good number of Labor and hopefully some Liberal party Senators.

    The above is hence the reason why many are against Gillard’s ‘conscience vote’ as this gives Labor Party people the choice of opting out when Jones puts his Bill up next year.

    The state of play at present is that a majority of States who are in charge of Registrations aka Births, Deaths & Marriages have all agreed to allow same sex marriage. The sticking point is the Federal Legislation, The Marriage Act which MUST be amended to allow same sex marriage.

    Where we are is that although Federal Labor now has as policy, marriage equality but Gillard having put forward ‘a conscience vote’, whether they can get it through the House of Reps is a different matter.

    Hence the reason for Turnbull, will he roll Abbott? Clearly with Abbott refusing his people even a conscience vote on this issue..has. Well actually Tony seems to have gone into hiding.

  57. Min,
    I agree with Roswell. I’m not a gay person and so I can’t think of why just shacking up wouldn’t be good enough. Shacking up is good enough for me, so why do gay people want mainstream.

  58. More on the “Pansy” Wong faux pas made by the Daily Telegraph. Apparently the excuse is that there was a NZ parliamentarian by that name, hence the reason for the mix up.

    Now pull the other one, it plays jingle bells.

  59. Gay people living in a cohabitational relationship have never had it so good so why would they want to get married? Before I’m misunderstood, allow me to explain.

    At present they don’t have to endure the trauma that the courts can place on them after a bitter divorce. There are countless examples where this has led to murder or suicide. Why join the club?

  60. Roswell,
    That seems to be pure speculation on your part. I think that you are somewhat behind the times, these days one does not have to go to court for a divorce. There is only one ground for divorce and this is 12 months separation. Heavens, you can even fill in the paperwork online.

  61. Min at 4.05
    The old “I’m an idiot, so that’s alright then” defence. Not a courtesy they extend to others.
    At 11.20 you said you could email me a copy. Displaying my ignorance of all things Internet here, but I don’t want to put up my email address for all the world to see, is there a way around this? I don’t reckon I’m unduly paranoid when I say that places like this may be watched, probably not by the CIA or Mossad, but by lesser demons.

  62. BSA, yes because I’m a moderator on this blog we moderators do have everyone’s email addresses. Migs is of course blogmaster but I am certain that it would be ok if I write to you. I just needed your permission before doing so.

  63. Migs, the screen shot is very small and so you will most definitely need your new glasses..you know, the ones that you look very ‘hot’ in.

  64. Migs, yes you sent me the pic. This is not actually a pic of Migs himself, but a fair approximation of him in his new glasses.

  65. Min not sure what happened there, that message didn’t get through so at great personal risk I’m typing this to say thanks for the stuff.

  66. Min
    You can’t be too careful. I just saw the Tele’s retraction, not written quite so large as their original offending headline. Not knowing what country you’re in is a novel excuse. I once tried telling a speed cop that I’d gotten confused & thought I was on a German Autobahn, but it didn’t work.

  67. Well I’ve been away for the week. No news, no mobile, no internet.

    I suppose the Cafe’s cellar is as empty as the one I left on Lord Howe Island…Migs said he wasn’t feeling well today….enough said!

    On the gay marriage thing, I like that the ALP has at least made it part of its platform albeit with a conscience vote proviso. I don’t think the pm bill will pass given Abbotts intransigence and absolute bloody mindedness on any progressive issue.

    Should gm be law I can foresee an upside. The divorce rate may level out :)!

  68. There has been some speculation in the MSM, obviously for want of anything better to talk about..and the topic has been body language. How Kevin and Julia don’t much like each other, and how this is clear from the body language.

    Annabel Crabb’s piece is excellent and with a good dose of humor which makes it doubly excellent, but I couldn’t help but notice the pic.

    Now to my way of thinking Kevin and Julia are displaying signs in this pic of some excellent body language. In fact I wouldn’t mind some of that myself in the near future….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-02/crabb-labor-left-and-right-make-for-queer-bedfellows/3708072

  69. Pure Poison have a screen grab of the ‘mistake’ for those who are interested.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/12/03/wtf/

    While I’m not saying it wasn’t an honest mistake from what must be the WORLDS DUMBEST JOURNALIST, it is interesting to note how often these little mistakes slip through when disparaging the left (and center) of politics, yet so rarely on the right.

    Curious, is it not?

  70. Tom R
    I put up a brief & not paricularly coherent post on Pure Poison. How many consecutive coincidences are we expected to believe? You mention a biggie yourself, would this happen in a story about the right? If our Kiwi journalist had done that he’d be on the first flight out.

  71. Imagine if a Public Servant made a mistake like that – about anybody. The public will be in an uproar, led of course, by the Murdoch media.

    There would be no excuses. A head would roll.

  72. Miglo
    Indeed. This could in fact be an International Incident, the misrepresentation & possible slander of a foreign politician. Yet more proof of this Government’s (because this Government is always responsible for its Public Service, unlike Coalition Governments) incompetence. A P.S. head would roll & the Minister should be charged with….Something.

  73. When the fundamentalist wankers talk about needing a Mother and Father to raise a child – ask yourself two questions.

    1. What happens when either parent dies? For the benefit of the child, should the remaining parent immediately re-marry? How bloody insensitive to reopen the hurt the remaining parent goes through on a reasonably frequent basis to labour a point that has no justification that I can find outside religious and LNP texts.

    2. Why would being raised in a caring and loving environment by say Penny Wong and her partner or Elton John and his partner be any worse than being raised by a Mother and Father in an abusive relationship filled with hatred – and are married couples any less likely to be in an abusive relationship than an unmarried man and woman?

    I understand there is a “don’t scare the horses” element at play here – but really Howard and Costello changed the Marriage Act to insert the Man and Woman concept in an attempt to appease their conservative rump. The sooner this and some of the other Howard era conservative policies are rescinded – the better off we all will be

  74. Hello 2353,

    I’m going by memory here, but I think that same-sex marriages were considered legal in the ACT – for a short while – until Howard over-ruled it.

  75. On the “pansy” headline apology. The tele claims the error was due to a NZ online sub editor making an error. There should be some sort of proof, an audit of computer logs that it was a NZ sub editor. This evidence should be independently examined and only when proved to have happened that an apology be acceptable.
    Murky press are not in a position to be taken on trust

  76. Sue, yes that’s the excuse, that a NZ sub editor mistook Penny Wong for a NZ former politician by the name of Pansy Wong. But hold on a moment, IF this chap is a New Zealander then surely he would have known that Pansy Wong is likewise a New Zealander. Now if the sub editor had been a Pakistani or from Timbuktu there might be a reason for the confusion….

    This also begs the question that if this sub editor knows so little about Australian politics, what is he doing with the sub editors job.

  77. Fred Nile (circa 1970) warning that civilization faces disaster if morality continues to be degraded “in ten years”

    So forty years later don’t say you were not “warned”

  78. Migs, that could indeed be the case. It seems a little suspicious that it would have taken (as a guess-timate), a good 6 hours for the ‘error’ to be noticed and then only following the backlash.

  79. Hi Migs,

    Your right about Howard overruling the ACT Government on same Sex Marriage. Can’t Do Newman is threatening the same in Queensland (if theLNP win power and Newman wins Ashgrove – neither of which being a certainty)..

  80. Migs and 2353, on thinking about it wasn’t the ACT government’s legislation the very reason why Howard did insert the words ‘between a man and a woman’ into the Marriage Act.

    I’m not up with this one, but isn’t it the fact that it’s a ‘territory’ and therefore comes under the auspices of the Federal government as to why this caused Howard such panic. That is, while the Marriage Act supercedes States’ legislation, that the Territories’ legislation is a different matter.

  81. Canberran’s voted on two occasions for the legalisation of gay marriage and Howard took an executive decision to disallow it (about as undemocratic as you can get).
    If Queenslanders vote into office Can the Can Newman, then he has a mandate to rescind this legislation.
    Democracy, love it or buy a mainstream newspaper.

  82. On another venue, the argument is that the issue of same sex marriage isn’t nearly as important as others. The argument is that there are far more important things such as climate change and uranium sales which deserve attention.

    My argument is, yet compared with climate change and uranium this issue is so easily fixed. It’s just a stroke of the pen and countless people will feel themselves to be equal citizens.

    I think that this is why this issue gathers far more sympathy from women and people of ethnic origins, we know what it’s like to be discriminated against.

  83. Following Tony Abbott’s look over there moment on the issue, it seems that he has now returned to previous form and is stating that Liberal Party members will have to wait until February until they learn whether or not they will be allowed a conscience vote.

    It is a fairly reasonable estimate that by February Abbott will be hoping that everyone will have forgotten all about the issue.

  84. Turnbull has told Abbott he believes there should be a conscience vote. Because for those on the shadow front bench their jobs would not be at risk.

  85. Sue, also Turnbull has a very large gay population in his electorate. I couldn’t locate the final figures, but a finding which T’bull did publish was 70% for gay marriage in his electorate.

  86. And in reading the tea leaves this may be Turnbull’s opportunity to return to the back bench, with his “conscience”

  87. Sue, I think that your tea leaves could be accurate. What would be the purpose of T’bull staying on the front benches now that the NBN legislation has gone through.

  88. Augustus, this surprises me not one bit. First of all Abbott said that his people would have to wait until February to learn whether or not he will allow a conscience vote.

    It seems that only a few days after making this statement, Abbott has now decided that he will not and that supporters of gay marriage will have to cross the floor. So obviously Abbott’s first statement was nothing more than a diversion from his real life stance.

    It’s going to be an interesting holiday break for Malcolm Turnbull.

  89. I think Malcolm might be looking for numbers over the break, could be worth a side wager that Turnbull retakes the party leadership by February just in time for the new sitting.

  90. Augustus, given Abbott’s previous statement of a ‘maybe’, it seems to me likely that Abbott is indeed throwing down the gauntlet to Tony Abbott.

    Hopefully Turnbull will find the gumption. If Turnbull just rolls over to have his tummy tickled over this issue, he may as well kiss any aspirations goodbye.

  91. Min, Given Turnbull only lost by one vote last time and Abbott has alienated quite a few since then even some of those who supported him initially, I think he would be on a pretty strong footing to re-challenge

  92. Migs, we were getting around to answering your question..eventually. 😉

    Here is my view on the situation, as it currently stands. Abbott has peaked, there is nothing more for him to say No to with the exception of the mining tax and the poker machine tax..and he’s not on a winner with either of these.

    Turnbull’s portfolio is just about non-existent, the NBN having been passed.

    Turnbull wants a conscience vote on same-sex marriages. Abbott originally said ‘maybe’, but has now said no.

    If Turnbull sticks with his principles and crosses the floor, then Abbott loses one of his Ministers. Having already lost Peter Slipper, losing Turnbull as a Minister as well is not a good look for Abbott.

    This ‘might be’ the excuse/reason that Turnbull has been waiting for, an excuse to go to the backbench and make a play for the leadership from there.

  93. Mr. Abbott won by one vote. The problem is that there has been an election since then.

    Many of the MP’s that voted last time have resigned. There are many new faces in the Opposition.

    We do know that Mr. Abbott has abused at least one of the newcomers

    I believe that Mr. Abbott is reaching the end of hie used by date, or as he said of Mr. Slipper, the party no longer has any use for him.

    I think there are some newer MP’s that see themselves as the future PM.
    Among these are Mr. Morrison.

    Mr. Howard sees a man that is not yet in parliament as the future leading light, that is Mr. Brough.

    The fashion in the Coalition at this time, is to have leaders that do not sit in the parliament. We have Newman in Queensland and Griener in NSW. So I imagine, Bough could play a similar role.

    If Mr. Howard gets his way, it will really be back to the past.

  94. CU, I suspect that given the ALP is beginning to catch up to the Noalition and Abbott’s personal rating has tanked it is only be a matter of time, and I also suspect that Turnbull is playing a waiting game, he had resigned after losing the leadership and was talked into reconsidering, the question is what was he offered and it wasn’t the communications portfolio.

  95. Catching up,
    Your statement about Mal Brough being brought into parliament reminded me of the fact that Malcolm Turnbull is also a John Howard protege.

    I can foresee a Turnbull and Brough duo.

  96. “Keep calm – Tony Abbott is not PM”

    And never will be. This is in spite of his parents believing they had spawned a future PM, or maybe pope.

  97. If Turnbull sticks with his principles……

    Care to have a wager on that, Min? I think what principles he had left after the Grech affair were chucked off the train when he compromised them to get his bum on a shadow ministry seat.

  98. Jane, it was a fantasy scene 😀

    Abbott did promise T’bull a shadow ministry possie, and so Abbott gave him the NBN. And T’bull had to just grin and bear it knowing that Abbott was pointing the rude finger at him.

  99. Gay marriage might not have been that important to some.

    There were I believe 50 people outside the venue against gay marriage.

    There were I believe 112 people complaining about the Clean Energy Future Bill.

    I do not think there were any against the mining tax.

    I am not so sure how many were there against selling yellow cake to India, but I believe it was about the same size of the official India party to give support.

    There were at least 10,000 supporting gay marriage.

    As Mungo said, all the media wanted to talk about was gay marriage.

    90 minutes of the three days conference was devoted to the topic.

    I will hazard a guess, if one asked people in the street what was discussed at the conference, the answer will be gay marriage.

  100. Abbott reminds colleagues of no to gay marriage
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-reminds-colleagues-of-no-to-gay-marriage-20111211-1opg7.html


    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has given his strongest indication he won’t support a conscience vote for Liberal MPs on gay reform, reminding his colleagues that each of them were elected on a platform of opposing same-sex marriage.

    “It was the clear policy of the coalition at the election that marriage was between a man and a woman,” Mr Abbott told Sky News today.

    “Every single member of the coalition was elected on that position and I don’t think we can break faith with the electorate.”

    Tones must have a different poll to Malcolm.

  101. Conscience vote on gay marriage wins favour
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/conscience-vote-on-gay-marriage-wins-favour-20111211-1opsc.html

    Without a conscience vote, Coalition MPs are still allowed to cross the floor without risk of expulsion, but shadow ministers must resign from the frontbench.

    Turnbull follows party line against gay marriage laws
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/turnbull-follows-party-line-against-gay-marriage-laws-20111212-1orie.html

    The front bench position is more valued than a conscience vote by Malcolm Turnbull and others in the Coalition.

  102. Pip, thank you for the links. In The Age article on Turnbull it is stated that those who also wanted a conscience vote are Chris Pyne, George Brandis, Bruce Billson, Joe Hockey and Greg Hunt. I wonder if they will have the gumption to cross the floor. That is, the gumption to follow their consciences on this otherwise they have sold out and as you say, that their political positions are more important.

  103. I may be misreading this but

    “On Sunday, Mr Abbott killed off any prospect of a conscience vote and stressed he would not approve of people crossing the floor, even though it was their right. He said the Coalition promised before the last election to continue to oppose gay marriage and all his MPs should remember that, regardless of their personal views.

    This came as a shock to several senior frontbenchers who were led to believe during private talks with Mr Abbott that while there would be no policy change, there would be a free vote.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-wins-the-day-on-gay-marriage-vote-20111212-1ori3.html#ixzz1gLt8F1mH

  104. Sue, yes Abbott cannot stop his people crossing the floor or that would undermine democratic principles. However, as Abbott stated any shadow ministers who did would have to resign from their positions.

    It seems typical Abbott tactics doesn’t it. One moment suggesting via private talks that there would be a free vote, and then almost immediately backflipping.

  105. Ok Pip, I think we have this. Kevin Rudd’s sister has quit the Labor Party because she cannot abide by the thought of gay marriage and Andrew Bolt’s sister is a lesbian married to her partner.

    The truth as they say, is often stranger than fiction….

  106. Andrew Bolt’s sister is a lesbian married to her partner

    Wonder if there will be mistletoe at that Christmas Family dinner?

    I can just see the expression on pandy’s face now

  107. There’s a rumour going around Canberra about Tony Abbott and a gay relative. Legal action is threatened against anyone who reveals it. Hence, my lips are sealed. 😦

  108. Migs, I dare say that someone in the media will ferret it out eventually. Hopefully the gay relative isn’t being gagged due to Tony Abbott but feels free to speak his or her mind should he/she want to.

  109. It’s a shame that some waste their time and energy on basically mean-nothing polls. Where are the headlines about these stats..

    Last week, a Galaxy poll for Australians for Marriage Equality showed four in five people backed a conscience vote, and of those surveyed, 76 per cent of Coalition supporters want Coalition MPs to have one. Yesterday, a Herald/Nielsen poll had a conscience vote supported by 81 per cent of respondents.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/blogs/gengreens/coalition-out-of-step-on-marriage-equality-20111212-1or2a.html#ixzz1gP75h82s

  110. Pyne – that he agrees with marriage equality, but that it is not ‘a first order’ priority for most Australians…sigh…neither is racial equality, but that does not mean that nothing should be done to correct this as a matter of justice.

  111. A cabinet of 22 ministers can only consider one matter at a time? There should be at least 22 ‘first order’ priorities on the go at any one time Mr Pyne 🙄

  112. Miglo, that is Abbott’s problem, there are not many families that do not have homosexual members.

    None are in the game of staying hidden for the good name of the family.

  113. A warning to both Bacchus and Tom R,

    You’re not going to ply me with drink to get the truth out of me. My lips remain sealed, even to God’s nectar.

  114. Migs, a shame that this person has been gagged by the Liberals. A choice whether or not to come out is clearly the decision of the individual, but to be gagged due to politics is another thing entirely.

  115. Miglo
    On that rumour and sealed lips . do you do sign language?
    how about a riddle? or a senior “source” said?
    or a holiday driving game, I spy with my little eye something beginning with

    L D

  116. Sue, I’ve said too much. 😯

    But if I may tease you some more, the story is sensational. It’s not allowed to get out or it will destroy political careers.

    Aren’t I awful. 🙂

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