Voters Would Divorce Australian Labor Government Over Same-Sex Marriage

Posted on Sat 08/27/2011 by


Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

Paul Kelly warns Labor against falling for the glib assurances that the public will thank it for backing same-sex marriage:

The past year has seen a succession of journalists and celebrities telling Labor as a “no-brainer” to back same-sex marriage. Indeed, a number of state ALP conferences have called for the ALP at the national level to change its policy. It is now obvious, however, that same-sex marriage is a flammable issue for a weakened Labor government…

The first risk for Labor is that it will be seen, yet again, as following the Greens agenda, a perception now poison in the electorate. The second risk is that Labor would elevate an issue on which the party is irrevocably divided. How smart is that? If the ALP national conference backed same-sex marriage, as many want, the Labor Party would split because a significant number of MPs would not accept such direction on their vote. In addition, this policy switch would constitute such a repudiation of Gillard’s declared personal opposition to same-sex marriage that it would shake her leadership. The idea is political madness….

Those who spoke against same-sex marriage [in reporting back to Parliament their electorate consultation] included Paul Neville (Nationals), who said his feedback was 595 to 14 against. He rejected as “ridiculous” the idea that support for traditional marriage was discriminatory. Chris Hayes (Labor) said his feedback was “overwhelming” against same-sex marriage and thus was his position…Shayne Neumann (Labor) said his feedback was “overwhelming” for marriage staying between a man and a woman. Mike Symon (Labor) did not support same-sex marriage and reported 93 per cent of feedback to this effect. Deb O’Neill (Labor) said 70 per cent of her feedback was for the status quo and the “depth of belief” of marriage as a man-woman union could not be overturned….

The focus now shifts to the ALP national conference, when Labor must determine its stand. The party is deeply divided but knows that letting same-sex marriage dominate its agenda would be seen as proof of its irresponsibility. It would expose Labor as obsessed about itself, not the issues facing the nation. Beyond this is the danger that dares not speak its name: that Labor’s identification with same-sex marriage is actually an electoral negative, not the plus usually assumed….

This step will constitute the starkest repudiation by the Labor Party of its long ties with the Christian tradition. Its abandonment of the traditional idea of marriage will disturb religious and non-religious people, many who have kept their heads down in the present climate of intimidation. More significantly, it will herald Labor’s belief in a new social creed, that neither marriage nor child-rearing should be preferenced by a man-woman union…

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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