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Australian PM will allow ministers a “conscience vote” on gay marriage

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  1. She is incorrect in doing this!!!
    People in a place of power can NOT vote on rights of minorities according to ANY religious conviction. What she is saying is that she will put it to the vote so she can say she has done hwer job.

    VILE woman

    1. I agree, in a society of many religions and one that includes so many minorities, religion should never be the basis on which to create political policies. And as for the sanctity of marriage crap the word marriage did not become a religious word till the 1500’s so is a fairly modern word for christianity.

      1. Gillard is such a wowser, coming the raw prawn doesn’t fool anyone,

        “My position flows from my strong conviction that the institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation and that should continue unchanged.”

        Change is inevitable, it’s already occurred in other countries and same sex marriage is coming to Australia with or without the dysfunctional Gillard’s delaying tactics, her inability to face reality is disturbing considering her position.

    2. I agree that legislative assemblies should be blind to the influence of religion or ideology, perhaps with the only exception being when drafting or amending legislation on equality, where this may form part of the consideration (but only in the sense that discrimination could be rooted in intolerance and hatred towards those of faith). It should be given no special status, no sphere of influence.

      The democratic purpose of those elected to represent the populations they serve have an intrinsic responsibility (and voters have a right to expect) to ensure that all people are treated fairly and appropriately. Thus, they must vote to ensure that LGBT people are treated fairly and with respect and humanity.

      If Gillard means (and I doubt this) that a conscience vote means voting for what is fair and ensuring impartial treatment of its citizens – bring it on …I suspect, however, she hopes that homophobes will win the vote.

      I will watch with interest … and hope for Gillards downfall

    3. What so you have no right of conscience? In which case gay member should not vote on this as they clearly have a vested interest.

      1. To be fair this isn’t about gay rights…it’s about human rights. We have a right as LGBT people to get married, if it’s good enough for the goose…

      2. I have a conscience which says that people should not try to impose their ideology on others … however, I know some very good individuals in local politics who are either Christian or Jewish and able to maintain their own conscience of thoughts and beliefs but vote purely in the interests of fairness and wider society …

        Its a shame some others are too blinkered to be able to recognise the strength of humanity and character in doing this

  2. This vote is not a matter of conscience, it is a choice between backing equality and upholding state prejudice against gay people.

    Those people who don’t like same sex marriage can enter into an opposite sex marriage.

    1. Absolutely, Gillard is trying her best to block same sex marriage when every other Labour leader in Australia supports it, her actions seems to betray a personal thing she is inflicting upon everyone else.

  3. To be honest, I’d much rather have a free vote and lose than have conservatives grumble about how gay marriage was forced on them. Wait and get a free vote that legalises equality and we can move forward together :)

    1. Civil rights should NEVER be subject to a vote.
      That is a truly horrific idea.

      1. I agree. Everyone should be given equal rights, wether bigots want them to have them or not.

      2. concerned resident of E3 14 Nov 2011, 9:55pm

        not sure I agree. I am a passionate supporter of equal marriage but it have to be achieved democratically. If the Australian people cannot vote for parties that will support it then that ultimately is the will of the people whether we like it or not.

      3. @dAVID

        I am with you in terms of my sense of what is ethical. I feel there should not need to be a vote to bring in human rights – of whatever sort, be that abolition of slavery, equal marriage, access ot public services, protection from harassment or whatever …

        That said, to make it lawful, and equalising marriage does require some legislation – then in a democracy a vote is required …

        No moral politician (what an oxymoron!) should vote for anything other than impartial human rights being secured …

        1. Wrong.

          It is NEVER the job of the public to determine what rights a minority group has.

          The government should legislate and the court should decide on the legality of the legislation.

          The public shouild never, ever be allowed to determine what rights a certain group of people has.

          1. @dAVID

            Ok … however, to legislate there has to be a proposal before the assembly or parliament and that requires a vote …

  4. She is a truly disgusting human being whose legacy will be her support for apartheid.

    Here she is – an unmarried atheist, living with her hairdresser boyfriend but refusing to support civil marriage equality for fear of alienating the lunatic christians (who are by their nature opposed to democracy).

    By allowing a ‘conscience vote’ (such an idea is abhorrent by the way – people shouild not get to vote on another person’s civil rights) she can pretend that she is doing something.

    When she knows this will not pass.

    She is an appalling politician – opportunistic and sly. And she is an appalling human being.

    1. By the way I predict that scummy Julia Gillard will have an epiphany on civil marriage equality as soon as she is out of power, and will start supporting it.

      She lacks the courage or the principle to support it now, as her priority is not Australia. Her priority is her own addiction to power.

      She is a true minnow of a politician.

      1. I totally agree. She has done this to be deflate the issue and be able to say she was `progressive’, knowing full well that it would fail. I was a `rusted on’ labor voter for years, but I will never vote for them again. People overseas may not understand that the Labor party here is dominated by the Right and in particular by a very strong Union controlled by very conservative Roman Catholics. They are totally opposed to gay marriage and Gillard will do as they say or lose power. The woman is a career politician will no scruples and no morals. She will do whatever is needed to stay in power. Sadly the opposition is worse. As I have said before, it will take 10 years before we have gay marriage here in Aus.

    2. Meh! You mean this creature with her solid-rust helmet-do is living with a hairdresser? (Rolling on floor laughing my ass off.)

  5. I can’t see the point in allowing a conscience vote if it’s already known it has no chance in passing. The only thing you’ll find out is who opposes it but that’s it.

    James, I see your point but the conservatives are going to say that anyway with or without a free vote. We’ll probably see a bit of that with our own Tory party once the consultation begins in March 2012.

  6. Gaga Flash Mob Response Unit 14 Nov 2011, 5:34pm

    Her quote shows she has bought into the religious propaganda dreamed up in the USA that this is about ” redefining” marriage, rather than simply allowing a relatively small minority to share in it.

  7. dAVID, do you really think so? Look at our own PM David Cameron, a Tory who has declared support and called for same-sex marriage while still in power. Hasn’t effected his position as leader of our country. We already have Nick Clegg, the first leader of any party supporting it as does his party. Ed Miliband, Labour leader supports it although his party has yet to adopt it as official policy.

    1. Why are they comparable to Gillard who has openly stated her opposition to equality, who is allowing an unconscionable ‘conscience vote’ on whether LGBT Australians will remain 2nd class citizens.

      She is opportunistic scum – a politician completely without principle

  8. It’s like having a free vote on whether equality is good or bad.

  9. When people vote for diminished rights for a section of society, its a kin to a turkey eagerly voting for the expansion of christmas.

    1. I hope turkeys don’t vote for a christmas expansion it is long enough as it is lol

  10. If the labour hjave a majority vote in their forthcoming party conf and vote marriage equality as a labour policy tthen Gillard should respect that and make it party policy. She should go with the majoirty vote of her party and not allow a conscience vote. There are always people who object to a policy but you don’t allow them to vote with their conscience. This stinks, she knows it will fail.

  11. If left to a conscience vote then there is little point anybody bringing forward a bill at federal level. Labour don’t even have a majority govt and the opposition have been told to vote against gay marriage ie no conscience vote there. I think they need to think of another stragey at fed level this time if a conscience vote is the only option becuase it’s doomed to failure. We still don’t have any form of recognition for gay couples at fed level, de facto is time dependenat and open to all. I hate civil unions but at least in the UK and other countries civil unions have led to talks of gay marriage. Australia needs to do something at fed level otherwsie bring in gay marriage at state level and try that way but forget bringing in a bill for gay marriage at fed level at this time, it’s a waste of time with the number of votes it’s going to get. It will be just embarassing and will add fuel to the anti gay marriage catholic lobby.

  12. Allowing the majority to vote on the rights of a vulnerable minority is like saying it’s fair for 9 wolves and one sheep to vote on what’s for dinner.

    1. I am loving these analogies :)

      1. I like his one better than mine :)

        1. Dammit I be sooo sleepy I gave you thumbs down when I was gonna give you thumbs up, I have robbed you, I am yours to punish however you desire lol

          1. Why did that last comment send naughty thoughts running through my head … lol

  13. Keith Bowker 15 Nov 2011, 2:20am

    I do have a problem with politicians voting according to their own values and beliefs. They are elected to represent the values and beliefs of the people in their electorate; the majority of whom now support the introduction of marriage for same sex couples.
    The only reason Ms Gillard, (who incidentally, is the Prime Minister and not the premier as you refer to her as in your article,) would allow this, is if she already knows it is doomed to fail.

    1. I disagree. We vote for a person or party which is a coalition. We vote on a number of issues, both social and economic. We vote for someone to represent us with their views, not to vote as an automaton as we tell them.

      However. I think that politicians should (and it would be for their own good) vote for the prevailing moral culture of their society.

  14. What a shame she is not a LESBIAN. Then this issue would have been resolved a long time ago.

  15. Can I just say that although I dislike Julia Gillard’s position on gay marriage, I like the venomous attacks posted on here even less – and most of them appear to be written by Britons, who probably only know her and about her through this website. She may be wrong about gay marriage, but to call her opportunistic and sly (then surely there would have been a backflip to capitalise on support for it??) when she is actually very principled rankles me – her support for action on climate change through a carbon price and direct investment, and far greater protection for workers’ rights after the disaster that was WorkChoices, is something every Australian should be proud of. And I’m not even a Labor supporter.

    This may diminish her, but this doesn’t ruin her credibility.

    1. How can you claim she is ‘principled’ when she lacks the courage to support equality?

      How can allowing a ‘conscience vote’ on the civil rights of a discriminated against minority be considered ‘principled’ when she knows full well thatit will fail

      her legacy will include her support for apartheid.

      1. I think a conscience vote is far better than one where the party imposes their view on everyone else to be perfectly honest, since this is basically what we are protesting against: others imposing their idea of what relationships and commitment really is in what is now essentially a civil institution.

        And I think calling it apartheid is overstating it a lot.

        1. Popular voting on the civil rights of a discriminated against minority is not and never will be acceptable.

          I personally don’t think that the government should decide on marriage equality (and the sheer opportusnism of bigots like Julia Gillard illustrates why – she is willing to throw us under the bus but then claim that she is progressive).

          I want the courts to declare the marriage ban illegal and for governmnet to legislate on it.

          It is truly abhorrent to allow a public vote on a minority’s civil and human rights.

          That completely undermines democracy.

          Anyone interested in having a referendum on whether women should continue to be allowed to vote for example?

          Gillard is bigotted scum, truly lacking in courage and conviction.

          And she DOES support apartheid,

          Apartheid literally means ‘Apartness’. Gay relationships are being kept separate from the legal contracts available to opposite sex couples.

          The UK/Australia/Germany/France etc etc are operating apartheid regimes against their gay populations,.

          1. But the courts would never declare the marriage ban illegal as it does not breach the Australian Constitution. It seems rather a moot point, attractive though it may be.

    2. Although both those things are important, my personal belief is equality and civil rights trumps all other issues (within reason)

    3. As an Australian I can 100% confirm dAVID’s view of the PM. She is a sly, conniving, spineless, two-faced idiot. She’s a lickspittle to the religious right (despite being atheist), in hock to the most closed-shop of union powerbrokers (despite 80% of Australian workers not being union members), virulently anti-immigrant (despite being of immigrant stock herself) and stupidly anti-gay (for purely political power reasons, given that every major Labour-dominated state in Australia has fully backed gay-marriage and is just waiting for her as leader to lead on the issue).

      The saddest shame as an Australian, however, is to note that Tony Abbott (the opposition leader) is even worse than her in every respect. Well, maybe not on the union vote…

      1. And don’t get me started on the carbon change issue – she and her powerbrokers engineered the overthrow of the Rudd government by refusing to support his climate change proposals that she herself helped draw up. And once she’d stabbed him in the back, she suddenly rediscovered her principles and decided to – you guessed it – implement a climate change policy. Yes, definitely a lady of principles…

        1. Given I work for an MP I would say there was very little engineering on her part, so much as complete revulsion for Kevin Rudd in the end. He was, to put it bluntly, a bully. She isn’t.

          1. She is merely scum – refusing to support equality for the LGBT population. She does not even have the religion excuse. She is an unmarried atheist. She is simply willing to throw us under the bus for her own advantage.

            Which MP do you work for?

            What is his / her position on the fact that by law in the UK you are a 2nd class citizen?

            And what is he / she doing to change it?

          2. DAVID – I suspect James works for an Australian MP, not a British one.

            James – I understand your point about Kruddy, but Julia was not principled in her connivance against him.

  16. Jock S. Trap 15 Nov 2011, 8:05am

    Well so long as it’s her conscience thats only be serviced by this vote thats ok…Not!!

    So wrong that this people are so divisive. Had this been about race or women rights we wouldn’t be even talking about a conscience vote.

    Still they want to treat us like second class and still they expect our taxes.

  17. she should be doing what the majority of Australians want…which isnt what shes doing…

  18. jamestoronto 15 Nov 2011, 12:41pm

    Change the wording to unmarried co-habitation and she’d be voting for it without any problem. Like the spoiled child who got their candy but doesn’t care if anyone else got theirs.

  19. Would you support a referendum on whether women should be allowed to continue to vote?

    1. I can’t reply to your post up there so I’m replying here. I work for an Australian MP who supports changing the Marriage Act but can’t do anything at the moment because of (Shadow) Cabinet solidarity.

      And I see your point about the referendum about women – now it seems positively ludicrous – but that was achieved through legislative change. Whether we like it or not, laws are not declared simply because they are natural and inherent, but by a sovereign authority. I like the idea of a conscience vote (in Australia it is simply the term for free vote, it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) mean anything else) because it’s a gradual step in allowing representatives to express the people’s opinion.

      1. But the ‘people’s opinion’ on my rights is entirely irrelevant.

        Even if only 10% of Australians support marriage equality it does not mean that gay Australians should be denied access to the civil right to marriage.

        I want the courts to order marriage equality.

        Politicians or the public cannot be trusted to vote on the issue of civil rights. Civil rights or human rights should NEVER be subject to a popular vote.

        Which makes Gillard’sd position even more revolting and opportunistic.

        1. Luckily 2/3 here now support marriage equality. But how can the courts order marriage equality when the decision would not be based on any solid legal principle? (Law student perspective). It would undermine confidence in other court proceedings by the making of decisions based on considerations that have little or nothing to do with the law as is.

          And I think the argument that politicians and the public cannot be trusted is wrong. We as a society progress all the time and I think it is for the people to decide, based on the principle of representative government, what should be done for the Australian people (or minority group etc). People should be at the heart of government and not those who were never elevated to a political position. I do not want unelected and unaccountable judges making those sorts of decisions as much as I trust in them now, as that sort of power is open to abuse.

          I like your turn of phrase by the way; you are a very good writer.

        2. James – any proposition that is voted FOR now can be voted AGAINST later. That’s why individual rights are not like taxes or international relations or banana imports or whatever other legislation politicians get to vote on. That’s why the LogCabiners in the US want military non-discrimination agreed by the courts not just Congress. That’s why so many people on this forum sound angry and disgusted with Julia’s “vote of conscience”.

          Voting on whether to grant a specific group of people their human rights implies that the power to take those rights away again lies forever in the hands of the giver. That is not the way human rights should work in a civilised society. Men voted to give women rights and whites voted to give blacks rights, but in fact neither issue should ever have had to be put to a vote – it’s an inalienable right we’re talking about not one that men/whites get to choose who, how, when where and why they share it with others. /end rant. Sorry.

          1. I agree …

            but as Churchill said democracy is the worst form of government, except all others …

            the alternative (given that human rights are not equal currently) is that someone decides to state that rights will be granted to all … that sounds like the work of a dictator …

            If parliament is not going to vote to make law (which granted equal rights in law requires) then a dictator has to impose their will …

            If the rights that are equalised are to be protectable in law, there has to be law to support those rights, so they have to be voted in …

            We should never have been in a position to have to vote on giving others rights – we all should have had them – but we are in this position – and regardless of the lack of insight of our forefathers etc it is our duty to deal with it and ensure that its resolved in a manner that enables those rights to be protected ie legally, which requires a vote …

            It might not sit comfortably, it might not be the best thing – its the system

        3. Elegir, I see your point about others being able to take it away. Perhaps Australia needs constitutional bill of rights?

          And don’t apologise, you were perfectly nice in getting your point across :)

  20. “My position flows from my strong conviction that the institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation and that should continue unchanged.”
    Look carefully at these words. Gillard may be unprincipled, but she is very clever. The very choice of language like ‘…has come to have a particular meaning…’ allows her apparently to uphold that meaning while acknowledging that she knows that the said meaning has not always been what it is now (that it has encompassed concubinage, polygamy, etc). Things that have changed in the past can plainly change again. She thus leaves open the possibility both that her ‘culture and nation’ will change this ‘meaning and standing’ and that she could transfer her allegiance to the new dispensation. Thus she both appeals to her reactionary support base and signals that at some future time she may accept altered public sentiment. Not a nice lady, but a great politician.

    1. A politician who is opposed to the civil and human rights of a discriminated against minority for fear of alienating undemocratic forces in society is not a great politician.

      It makes them an opportunistic bigot lacking in all principle or integrity.

      1. She can be all these things and be a great politician, if you accept that the latter can be defined in terms of skill rather than virtue. I at no point suggested that she is an admirable person, or showing principle or integrity.

        1. I certainly support her willingness to let people vote by their conscience …

          The Aussies now need to prick the conscience of their elected representatives to ensure that fairness and transparency occurs ..

  21. Do you think her collar and cuffs match?

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