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Gay Australian cabinet minister Penny Wong comes out against gay marriage

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  1. Hateful, opportunistic witch!

    She is one of those repellent queers who, once they have reached a position of power and influence, will abandon all her former allies as they have served their purpose.

    Shame on her. I hope she loses her seat at the next election.

    With ‘friends’ like her, who needs enemies

  2. Talk about ‘sleeping with the enemy.’

  3. Another self loather. Just because she doesn’t support it personally, she should at least support it for those who believe in it and want it. She does a huge disservice to her fellow gay Australians and the marriage equality issue in general. She ought to join StonewallUK, I’m sure they’d love to have her since they think alike. She’s probably against the inferior civil unions or partnerships I’ve no doubt.

  4. That name should read Penny Wrong!
    Another apologist for the homophobes, what is she a double agent or something?…I don’t understand her.

  5. Unforgiveable – lab in Australia are so similar to the British lab party on this issue, it’s frightening… They seem to use the same rhetoric when it comes to giving gay people equality … I thought she was part of the senat, don’t think we will have the chance to boot her out??? Only hope is to get rid of lab and boot the whole lot of them out of govt… By the way when is the govt of Austrlia going to start talking to the British one and get recognition of the British CP , at the moment emigrating there jointly with your partner is not possible (is it?) unless you are one of the lucky people in the privaleged position of being married as man and woman… as for domestic partnerships in victoria they can stuff them, I’m not registering my partner like a dog or a sickly neighbour….

  6. Firstly John Australia is so far behind UK on gay equality it’s ridiculous to even compare. Secondly I actually watched this and she didn’t ‘come out against it’. Yes she did fall in line with the party (which is disappointing) but she’s a cabinet minister working bloody hard behind the scenes. No point being on the outside p*ssing in, real change has to be from within. Gay Australians are lucky to have someone like her in cabinet.

  7. Penny Wrong is just an uncle tom and should be ashamed to call herself a lesbian as she doesn’t deserve to be counted as such if she can’t stick up for LGBT rights and demand equal treatment. There’s no worse homophobe than an inverted homophobe. There is certainly no need for her to tow the party line if other party members are speaking out for equality. What she has done is very dangerous and damaging becuas epeople will now use it as an excuse for being anti-equality, saying that it must be acceptable if she has said so.

  8. Hold on, the first time the question was asked she dodged it to talk about water usage – she is the environment minister thingymajig after all.
    The second time, she stuck to her party line (which is something that politicians are often told to do for fear of losing their positions).

    However, she has chosen her career over the rights of people she should understand. That doesn’t make her hateful, it makes her pathetic and spineless. A coward.

  9. Internalized Homophobia at its best.
    I wonder how her partner must feel, hearing her own lover thinks that their own relationship is sub-par basically. Cause by her logic, they better break up soon; wouldn’t want to change the “historical” usage of the word couple, partner, girlfriend or lover!

  10. Very SILLY woman – if she doesn’t want to get married, that’s her choice; but she is totally wrong to deny that opportunity to others.

  11. Galadriel1010 27 Jul 2010, 3:23pm

    @Danny: Or it makes her someone standing alone in the run up to a general election which the party is having to fight tooth and nail. There’s a time and a place to stand up for your beliefs and, as admirable as throwing herself in front of The Machine would be, it wouldn’t actually help anyone, whereas staying where she is, doing as she’s told and waiting until they’re in a stronger position might be the more successful tactic in the long run.

    Yes, I’d rather she’d supported it, and I’ll be turning out to marriage equality rallies whilst I’m here, if I get my way. But we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes or, possibly, who’s putting what pressure on her.

  12. The headline is wrong, she doesn’t say she’s against it, she just avoids answering the question, which suggests that in fact she does support it, but is toeing the cabinet line on the issue, as she is obliged to if in the cabinet.

  13. For heavens sake , she never answers any question nor does Gillard her boss. Neither of these labour homophobes will ever give Australia gay mariage and neither will give a valid why they aren’t going to recognise it. Yes, their both fighting for their asses after countless crap labour policies. Both her and Gillard will recognise the British CP , they continue to keep up barriers against gay partners moving there with their loved ones. The vic partnership is a state thing, nothing to do with the fed govt. Don’t be fooled by thses cons artists. I compare with them with the British lab party since they have use the exact rhetoric the British lab govt did when they too argued that marriage was the traditional one between man and woman. As for rights, I have always had a lot of rights in Aus , there is no inheritance tax, there are automatic rights after 2 yrs…

  14. Personally I am completely in favour of same-sex marriage and have so far refused to get a civil partnership with my partner of 14 years because it’s an institution that I personally can’t relate to and has not much meaning for me. However, I am always a little perplexed reading the reactions on this forum to anyone who thinks differently and I find them a little disturbing and harmful to our cause.

    I can obviously see the argument for marriage equality but I can also see (although I don’t agree with it) the argument for keeping marriage as between a man and a woman and creating a parallel institution à la Civil Partnership for other couples.

    In hypothetical terms, the discrimination is not in the institutions themselves but rather how people view them. Saying that a CP is a second-rate marriage is a personal view, that’s how some people may view them, but it is not the factual truth in absolute terms and we could equally perceive both institutions as being equal in value. CPs are fairly new and I can imagine that if marriage equality was never introduced in the UK, the two institutions might be perceived as equal in, say, 20 years’ time. Perceptions are personal, or cultural, and it isn’t a given that once marriage is open to same-sex couples those who discriminate on LGBT people won’t perceive a same-sex marriage as a second-rate marriage anyway, nothing like the “real” thing.

    Ultimately it is a matter of policy for every government: what policy is best to allow same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples? I know what my position is, but it’s no reason to insult anyone who disagrees. People often resist change, it’s not by insulting them that you’ll get them to embrace it. In fact you’re more likely to pass for unreasonable, which as I said, harms our cause.

    Logical arguments are the best for showing the value of our position.

  15. Quote:
    ‘Ultimately it is a matter of policy for every government’
    I beg to differ. Equality is a fundamental human right.

  16. All these hatefull comments just because you disagree with her position shows just how awful the people behind the “”gay” marriage” campaign really are; why don’t you stick a few burning crosses on her lawn and be done with it?

  17. Ian, that is a rather weak argument. Equality is a broad term and the way equality is implemented in law is subject to different interpretations throughout history.

    I’ll give you an example, although unrelated. In a hundred years’ time the concept that some people are entitled to live in a country and some people aren’t may be considered a form of inequality, yet today we are all perfectly happy with this inequality. Why shouldn’t everybody be entitled to live and work in the UK or the US or wherever they want? Isn’t equality a human right? Why are citizens of any given country favoured over foreigners? If we don’t want to go that far, why aren’t all British residents entitled to vote? Why only British citizens vote yet all British residents pay tax? Of course there are very good reasons for this, however they still place restrictions on the concept of equality.

    There are many forms of inequality in our society that we have no problems with and up until a few years ago the fact that marriage was between a man and a woman was undisputed. Today we’re starting to feel differently about that but some people are not there yet. But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that these ideas have absolute value because they vary across cultures and across time.

  18. As per ‘Comment by val — July 27, 2010 @ 15:57’, I refuse to participate in a civil partnership – I have been with my partner for over 12 years. Shove civil partnership where the sun does not shine.

  19. ” ‘I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious and historical view around that which we have to respect.'”

    Wrong in part. Same sex marriages happened in antiquity and in various cultures. And the religious part of that comment is irrelevant unless she’s talking about marriages in churches etc. A civil/legal marriage is nothing to do with religion.

    Val – why can’t we just have one thing for everyone (or two things for everyone for those who wish to have a CP or don’t want their CP changed to a marriage)? We don’t have separate words for different races or mixed race marriages, and we don’t need it for gay people either. Marriage should be gender neutral.

    Maybe Ms Wong is just towing the party line, but it’d be nice if she was brave enough to take a little step over the line and suggest that the world might not end if gay people were allowed to marry.

  20. @Iris: “Val – why can’t we just have one thing for everyone”

    Indeed. I’ve already said that I’m all for it. I’m just trying to say that it’s pointless to insult those who think differently. Different countries have adopted different policies for this issue. I think that the UK has the 2nd-best solution right after the 10 countries that have legalised marriage equality. It’s a less-than-perfect solution but nonetheless a good attempt. People who have a better assessment of it than I do are not necessarily self-loathing fascists, they are quite possibly simply more traditional in this regard and don’t think it’s necessary to modify what marriage is currently in our society.

    I disagree with them, I think it’s worth modifying it to make it into a fairer institution that recognises all relationships as equal but that’s only my personal opinion and it’s a big step for a lot of people.

  21. Thank you for explaining further, Val. I understand better where you’re coming from now. I also agree that it might be a big step for some people to see same sex marriages happening. I even agreed with CPs myself when they were introduced, simply because I thought that then the religious people couldn’t complain and that it’d keep them happy, and all the traditionalists too.

    Truth is, it hasn’t, so personally I feel that that sop to traditionalists/religious people was a waste of time. I also feel that people who may feel uneasy about same sex marriages have had time to get used to the idea in the years we’ve had CPs, so opening civil marriage to LGBT people shouldn’t be such a big thing to them.

    I agree that people are entitled to their opinion and I don’t think that being against gay marriage necessarily means that the person is a bigot or nasty – sometimes it’s just fear and ignorance (I’m using that word in a non-pejorative way). However, I don’t think we can wait till every person feels happy about it, and, if we were to, then we should also make sure that interracial marriages, the re-marriages of divorcees, etc are all approved by everyone – which, of course, they’re not.

    And, of course, different countries may view equal marriage as more acceptable or less acceptable depending on the general climate in those countries. But I do find it sad that the UK isn’t up with the leaders in marriage equality.

  22. The venom of some of these comments is truly appalling – you do not fight ignorance with hate or change minds by ya-boo insults. By all means advance reasoned argument why you think this Minister is misguided but to resort to the lowest form of nasty mud-slinging simply suggests we as a community don’t deserve to be listened to or granted an equal platform so you are not only shooting yourself in the foot but wrecking the chances of all gay people. Miss Wong is perfectly entitled to hold her own opinion even if it is one many of us would disagree with – this does not make her a ‘self loathing bitch’ or any other offensive epithets.

  23. Someone wrote that Ms Wong has a right to her beliefs. True enough. But it’s nearly always a mistake to ascribe a belief system to a politician. Do you think she’d be against same-sex marriage if she weren’t a politician? If she’s like most politicians, she’s only worried about political expediencies. If she thought it would advance her career, she’d probably vote for second-class citizenship for Asians – without too much trouble to her conscious.

    But before we single her out, let’s face it: probably everyone we all voted for (regardless of party) has more or less the same moral and ethicals standards.

  24. Bazza Australia 28 Jul 2010, 12:27am

    Penny Wong is a professional politician and can give spin like the best of them, what has made the Australian GLBTI people angry is her comments that indicated that they were not part of reality and the social norm.
    Penny Wongs comment ” On the issue of marriage I think the reality is there is a cultural,religous, historical view around that which we have to respect”
    ” The partys position is very clear that this is an institution that is between a man and a woman”
    ” I am a part of a party and I support the partys policy”
    Which says that she is looking after herself, and sod the GLBTI people who voted for her. It has been mentioned that her French partner and herself, have registered their Civil Union in France.
    A poll in the Australian media after this comment “Are you for same sex marriage?” “Yes 67%” “No 33%”

  25. what you should be asking yourselves is… many OTHER people who are LGBT are equally against same sex marriage… me there are plenty and not all are politicians either

  26. Here she is ! Another not so progressive member of the Australian Labor Party! A party full of right-wing bigots and Vatican bum-sniffing Catholics! Looking forward to voting for the Australian Greens on August 21st, Penny!

  27. By the way, South Australia does not have same-sex domestic partnerships. My partner and I would have one if such a thing existed. However South Australia is ruled by the right-wing of the Australian Labor Party and all the Rann State Government are interested in is uranium mining and regressing civil rights laws, if they can get away with it!

  28. Dear Penny
    I thought climate change was the “single most important” thing we have to face? And now we have a committee and you are the climate change minister.
    I thought Australia was a democracy striving to uphold human rights. But you support discrimination. And you are homosexual.
    Marriage is a human right. Yes, there WAS a “cultural, religious and historical view”.
    But Penny, this is now, it’s the 21st century. You’re getting mixed up with religion and politics. You need to be clear.
    I want to be included. I want my human rights. I want to be equal.

  29. South Australia has no registry for same-sex couples. There is no formal government paperwork. All you can do is go to a Solicitor and pay to have written up a domestic partnership arrangement which simply says you ‘live together’, just like any brother and sister could. Not very inspiring or generous from a state that was the first to decriminalise homosexuality in the 1970’s. Not much achieved since. Tasmania, the ACT and Victoria have more Government involvment. Wills, Power of Attorney and Power of Guardianship are still required as well.

  30. I waited til I was able to legally marry in Canada. My spouse and I are as good as any heterosexual couple and I will not accept anything but marriage equality. Domestic partnerships simply are not the equal of marriage.

    Sorry, but I do not see why more GLBT politicians do not come out in favour of what is right. Separate but equal is not right.

  31. Tradition is a bad reason for anything, female genital mutilation is a good example of “traditional”.
    I agree that equality really is a fundamental human right, nobody should settle for second best especially if it’s merely to protect dodgy tradition.

  32. Derek Williams 28 Jul 2010, 9:07am

    I was conceived and brought up by heterosexual parents in the company of heterosexual siblings in an openly heterosexual society. I was educated at a religious private school, which taught me all about loving heterosexual marriage. Without exception, dramaturgical portrayals of relationships to which I was exposed were heterosexual.

    Notwithstanding this, I still managed to turn out entirely homosexual, which, given the above circumstances, could be said to be surprising. Gay was not an easy thing to be in the 1960’s, when I could have been imprisoned, merely for having this positive interaction with another human being. Yet my life was made rewarding and fulfilling by the love and unstinting support of friends, colleagues, and most of all, my family who never once treated me any less favourably because my passion was for a person of the same gender as my own.

    There is no doubt that LGBT rights we have already gained could never have made it into legislature without the overwhelming support given by the heterosexual majority, responding to our appeals for human compassion, justice and fair play.

    There is also no doubt that the public perception of a great many cogent issues of public interest has been profoundly changed by individual activism and education, such as Aneurin Bevan’s founding of the NHS in the UK, Florence Nightingale’s championing of the high nursing standards we enjoy today, the enactment of women’s suffrage, emancipation of slaves in the USA, and the outspoken advocacy of Harvey Milk. In all these cases public opinion changed, because it was ultimately seen to be right. The veil of ignorance and prejudice was lifted by strong individuals of high moral character, who never gave up.

    While there is not universal support even in the gay and lesbian communities for gay marriage, few would want to deny this to people who seek it. Marriage has formalised the love and mutual commitment of countless heterosexual Australian couples, and poll results on the subject now make it clear that they do not wish to deny this to others wishing the same lawful acknowledgment for their relationships.

    The granting of universal access to marriage and all that it connotes does not in any way threaten heterosexual marriage. Heterosexual marriage will be as strong as ever, no matter whether we have gay marriage or not.

    The electorate voted Penny Wong into office knowing her to be lesbian, thus giving her a platform from which to articulate public advocacy on any issue she sees fit. Her aboutface is therefore doubly disappointing because it appears to be more the response to faint heartedness and meanspiritedness, than rational thought. These are not qualities to be admired in anyone, let alone in a politician.

  33. Wow. Does she hate herself that much? May I suggest therapy?

  34. Look as far as I know the partnership scheme in Victoria is a mere registration of yuor partnership , as far as I know, you could register your sickly neighbour as a partner (after all its “domestic” and there is somekind of “partnership” going on). It’s interesting that her partner is French and she felt the need to do a PACS, since France recognises foreign partnership as PACS anyway it shows what Penny and her partner thought of the Australian partnership scheme. The PACS is not very good anyway but it seems that was better than the Australian one.

    Her partner must also be pissed of their relationsip PACS would not have been recognised in Australia, that she would not have been able to join Penny as her married partner and that he immigaration rights would be a lot less than married couples.

    Lab govt in Australia have not done much for LGBT rights. And this additional statement is not very encouraging.

    AS for the rational person in this comment page goes on about meaning is a personal thing. Then many of us have CP, many of us have foreign partners, many of us will move around the world. The CP is equated to an inferior partnership abroad, isn’t a gay thing necessarily and the word marriage is a suprior thing, is understood. Guess what people understand what marriage means but don’t necessarily know what CP means abroad. Why should they, it has a different concept. To not think of international aspect in this day and age when creating new words ie CP is pathetic and lazy!

    The word married will always mean more, will always have more prestige and should not only be open to man and woman. To do so gives us little prestige and lesser rights in its perception here and abroad.

    For shame Penny and for shame lab govt in Aus and as in the lab govt in the UK. For shame on Stonewall to not come out in favour of gay marriage!!!

  35. It’s quite simple.

    This Wong person believes that law abiding, tax paying, same sex couples should be denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage because they are gay.

    Regardless of whatever societal or religious or cultural traditions are associated with marriage, to deny access to the contract based on someone’s sexual orientation, is homophobic discrimination.

    Perhaps some gay couples are happy with CP’s. Good for them. But those people are under an obligation not to try to undermine those people who are fighting for equality.

    Wong is a repellent Gay Uncle Tom. She is actively campaigning against equal civil rights for gay people. She is a contemptible, self-hating idiot.

  36. I get the impression when I look at Wong’s photo that I am looking at the stupidest woman in the world tonight.

  37. Politicians love to hear feedback from voters. It keeps them in touch with popular opinion.

    Excercise your freedom of speech to tell Ms Wong what you think of her support for homophobic discrimination here:

  38. Penny does nothing for gay people in Australia becuase , unlike the UK prior to Dec 2005 where a gay partner was not recognised for any tax purposes , in particular where they might have been subject to 40% inheritance tax, may have had to sell or lose their family home to pay the tax, Australian gay couples are automatically recognised after 2 yrs, regardless of a “certicate” of partnership. There is no inheritance tax concept here. There is no such tax in the first place. They have substantial other rights as well which come with the 2 yrs. British gay partners had nothing like that prior to dec 2005, they had nothing. CP I guess were a great relief to long term partners. Penny, I guess, feels no urgency to do anything for herself or other gay people. She probably won’t be any better or worse off having a partnership registration or gay marriage anyway both finacially and for heatlth and social rights. The lgbt rights gained under her lab govt are minisule.

    Partnership scheme are as far as I can see in my state just a registration of a domestic relationship, regardless of sex or the type. Marriage has much more meaning. The fed state has done nothing to recognise aussies/foreigners in foreign partnerships – unless I’ve missed this one… We can’t bring our partners back home like married couples can. How she got her French partner in then it would be interesting to know. She couldn’t be in an australian partnership becuase the French don’t allow people to do a PACS and a foreign one at the same time and someone above has said she is in a PACS!! – amazing

    I can’t see how some of you guys can stand up for this woman, this spineless weak woman ,who not only is incapable of doing much on the environment but has done nothing to improve LGBT rights. She does have a responsibilty to us as a fellow LGBT person to stand up for our rights. I’m sorry but she is a person of high ranking, she’s well known , has power and should be standing up against the discrimination she claims she has been under herself. How weak!

    The words civil partnership has only a British meaning! It doesn’t have the same perception as a marriage , we don’t see you in the same light as married couples and I guess for some of you that’s what you want but not all of you. It the same here in Australia. A marriage is a marriage and a CP is a registration of a partnership like our inferior domestic partnerships…

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