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Australian prime minister Julia Gillard may allow free vote on gay marriage

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  1. What does this woman want her legacy to be? Does she want to be remembered as the last bigot trying to block progress or the first person to change it!

    1. As I remember it, a consciouss vote was what led to national gay marriiage in canada. Where the party did not dictate how to vote

      BTW we should all pray for a long papacy for RATZInger. with every utterance, he shows the world he is just another extremist power monger.

      he may be our best friend, even though he doesnt know it. As long as we all understand he is a fundamentalist, it shoudl be clear what he is and what he learned growing up in germany in the wwii era

    2. Jock S. Trap 13 Nov 2011, 9:22am

      Yep think thats it Dromio.

  2. Rubber Ducky 21 Oct 2011, 12:04pm

    so it would be politicly speaking a positive thing for her to allow it, i suppose most would prefure her to do it for the right reasons but i suppose so long as the end result is the same it doesnt matter too much heh

  3. Dr Robin Guthrie 21 Oct 2011, 12:25pm

    I really object when they refer to this type of thing as a “conscience” vote, as if it was some dirty immoral activity they are talking about.

    It’s belittling.

    1. Although I can understand why its called a conscience vote – it does grind and feel incredibly wrong …

      The way I see it though is a little in reverse …

      If it is a conscience vote, then those who in their ‘conscience’ vote against proposals that ensure equality and transparency show themselves for the immoral and unethical people they are – and its easier to marginalise them in the future …

      1. concernedresidentE3 21 Oct 2011, 5:47pm

        by convention all matters of this sort (where support and opposition cut across party lines) are left to a free vote in the UK parliament. This is what is meant by a conscience vote in Australia

    2. Exactly! It’s like she’s considering legalizing drugs or prostitution!

  4. jamestoronto 21 Oct 2011, 12:35pm

    And here we have the difference between a politician and a statesman/woman. A politician does what is right for their party while a statesman/woman does it because it is simply because it is RIGHT.

    1. A statesman clearly would have made the decision to introduce a process to ensure equality and fairness at a relatively early opportunity in their leadership, would have spoken at length about the importance of transparency and ensuring individuals are afforded respect and opportunity and would have sought to determine whether other initiatives (either in their own country or where they had global influence) required action to support such equality … the statesman would also have taken on critics with sincerity and appropriate dismissiveness of bigotry and prejudice …

      Is this Gillard actually beginning to do this? Not a chance!

      This seems to me Gillard to be languishing realising that the tide is turning both in Australia and more globally on the issue of LGBT equality … She also recognises the hypocracy of her stance on equal marriage when contrasted with the stance on decriminalisation of homosexuality across the Commonwealth …

      This is a weak politician languishing.

      1. jamestoronto 22 Oct 2011, 5:11am

        Well said Stu

  5. Julia Gillard is the most disgusting type of political opportunist.

    Here she is – an unmarried athesit, living with her hairdresser boyfriend, opposing marriage equality because she wants to keep the christian lunatics sweet.

    Then when she hears that supporting equality might gain her support she decides to allow a ‘conscience’ vote on the issue.

    She is a disgusting person whose legacy wiill be her cowardice and her bigotry.

    And I agree that allowing a ‘conscience’ vote on the LGBT population’s civil rights (which is what marriage actually is) is utterly gross.

  6. Allowing a conscience vote is more or less a victory for the hard line right side of the partyall mostly Catholic. Labour are in a coalition govt with only a 1 vote majority. Thanks Gillard for nothing. You know we cant win on a consicence vote. You probably wouldn’t even vote in favour of it yourself just in case the right kick you our, after all they’re the ones that put you there so why woould you.

  7. We should be given a free vote on those Gawd awful roots and hair colour…

    1. Her live in male lover is a hairdresser. He’s obviously as bad at his job as Gillard is at hers.

  8. A total Joke. The opposition will vote as a block against gay marriage according to Tony Abbot, their ‘leader’. That means as Labor won’t vote 100% for gay marriage, it being a conscience vote on their side, that it’s a very safe bet that gay marriage will be soundly defeated. And she knows it too.

  9. Hopefully we will have marriage equality in Australia and in the United Kingdom in the next year or two.

    Does anyone know of any other countries who seem close to achieving marriage equality?

    1. Same sex marriage already exists in:

      Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden

      Some states in the USA (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont) and some states in Mexico also permit same sex marriages

      The are active debates about same sex marriages in:

      England, Scotland, Australisa, New Zealand, Colombia, Nepal

      The following countries legally recognise LGBT relationships that fall short of marriage:

      Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Slovenia, Switzerland, UK, Uruguay, some states in the USA (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Washington and federal DC).

      1. Gaga Flash Mob Response Unit 21 Oct 2011, 7:57pm

        UK civil partnership does not fall short of marriage, it just has a different ( official) name and a pointless parallel system.

        1. Not entirely true …

          CP has some legal inferiorities to marriage and is perceived as having lower cultural value

          1. Jock S. Trap 13 Nov 2011, 9:23am

            Indeed, Stu!

        2. It most certainly does fall short of marriage. In the area of pensions, there is a major discrepancy between CP’d and married couples for starters. Ten countries now allow same-sex marriage and CPs are not and never going to be the universal gold standard for gay couples. There are too many inconsistencies among the mish mash of legal unions for gay couples other than marriage. Of all the non-marriage gay legal unions I will concede CPs offer far more than any of the others, and not even Eire’s CPs are identical to the British model. Same-sex civil marriage is the only standard with any cultural value and recognition.

    2. It will not be in a `year or too’ in Australia. It will be at least 10 years. Gillard and the Labour Party, dominated by the right who are heavily influenced by Roman Catholics won’t budge and the opposition, who are likely to win the next election and probably have two terms, are equally, if not more vehemently opposed. Total 10 years!

  10. What does a “conscience vote” mean? Is it a non-binding resolution? That would make it fairly meaningless as far as any actual outcome. “I am giving you a chance to tell me how you feel but it won’t change my mind.” An empty gesture, at best.

    1. It simply means you can vote how you feel and not along the usual party line.

  11. I wish people would find out more before they comment… The research regarding whether marriage equality would be electorally positive for Labor was announced after it was rumoured Gillard would allow a conscience vote. Not that it will make much difference, given the Liberals will not allow one and members of the Labor Right will never allow it to pass.

    That being said, regardless of whether this vote will achieve anything for same-sex couples, I am happy that she has made progress in not forcing her MPs to accept her own view on the matter. Surely everyone can recognise this as a good thing, a small step towards future equality which we can build on in the future :)

    1. Oh please. Gillard is an unmarried atheist living with her boyfriend. Shge CLEARLY supports marriage equality in private. She is simply too cowardly and oppotunistic and lacks the integrity and decency to support it.

      She is the most craven, despicable type of politician.

  12. Human rights should never be put to a vote. You either provide then to your citizens or your don’t.

    1. Marriage is not a human right. It is a civil right. But I agree that these civil rights should be available to all.

  13. Jock S. Trap 13 Nov 2011, 9:21am

    Well isn’t that nice of her? Whose conscience though? Her’s me thinks.

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