27 August 2016
By Matt Hrkac
Mark Kenny misses the mark on marriage equality plebiscite
There are a few things to go over here, so let's do that. First, the 'analysis' flatly and bluntly assumes that the LGBTI community wants a plebiscite to achieve marriage equality. The fact is, the vast majority of the LGBTI community and marriage equality advocacy groups don't want to go anywhere near a plebiscite; which they describe as dangerous, divisive, and opens up the floodgates of hate and bigotry to be espoused by the likes of the Australian Christian Lobby and other extreme-right groups.
Considering it is the LGBTI community who would bear the brunt of a hate campaign against them in the event of a plebiscite, I really think that it is they who we should be listening to.
Secondly, the article also assumes that the LGBTI community would rather a plebiscite, then to wait for a parliamentary vote. That is also wrong, as many such advocacy groups are coming out and saying that they would rather wait a few years, and a possible change of government, for a parliamentary vote, then to be subjected to a plebiscite.
Thirdly, Mark Kenny's analysis also assumes that the Turnbull Government is obliged to act on the results of a plebiscite, assuming it winds up being a yes result. Fact is, they aren't, because the plebiscite is not binding in any way. It is merely a glorified opinion poll that the Government can just turn a blind eye to regardless of the result.
If we want an opinion poll on what Australians think of marriage equality, we only need to look at opinion polls published over the last half a decade. A vast majority of Australians support marriage equality.
And fourth, despite Mark Kenny's persistent claim that the Greens aren't willing to compromise (which one is it, by the way, are they unwilling to compromise or are they sellouts?) - they've taken a principled stance in opposing what is bad legislation that a vast majority of the LGBTI community and marriage equality advocacy groups also oppose.
Absolutely poor journalism, and it is telling that The Age, of all media outlets, allowed it to be published.
About the author:
Matt Hrkac is a writer and photographer based in Geelong. He has particular interests in politics, elections, social movements and the trade union movement. If you like what you see here, please consider giving a small donation to help cover the expenses.
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