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Gay Australian Senate leader: I don’t support an equal marriage referendum as the campaign would be too hateful

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  1. So true- it will only incite homophobia. Especially when you consider the vast amounts of money spent by the Roman Catholic Church and American Evangelical churches so far in African countries. A referendum provides an excuse for violently homophobic propaganda.

  2. David Jordan 13 Aug 2013, 12:02pm

    She’s right but unfortunately the Labour/ Fine Gael government here in my country Ireland are going to give the anti-gay lobby a precedent by putting our marriage rights and the right to have our families held as equal to straight families put to public vote, and the one thing all my gay friends have to say about it is that its going to be a nasty campaign, especially considering the Catholic Church’s control of most schools here.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Aug 2013, 12:32pm

      It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation in Ireland isn’t it David? Changing the Irish Constitution and the marriage law enshrined in it from my understanding would involve a referendum wouldn’t it, not that I think that’s a wise procedure. Are there any exceptions to allow the legislature to vote on it instead?

      1. David Jordan 13 Aug 2013, 6:32pm

        The Irish Constitution at no point defines marriage as only being between a man and a woman, the government could legislate for marriage equality tomorrow if they had a mind to.
        The main reason they sent this to referendum is to avoid another divisive issue passing thought the dail that would divid the coalition and the Fine Gael party internally, which has already lost several TDs (Irish MPs) over a bill relating to abortion in the event of suicide ideation .

  3. Civil rights should be unconditionally protected and never be put to a public vote. You don’t ask a sheep and four wolves to vote on what to eat for lunch. And a public referendum campaign would be full of ugly hate speech aired shamelessly to all by a self-righteous homophobic lobby that needn’t be given any additional encouragement to be such a public nuisance.

    1. Spot on.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Aug 2013, 12:28pm

    Totally agree with her. Fundamental civil rights should never be put to mob rule or to the tyranny of bigots and religionistas over a minority. Why have Parliaments in the first place if referenda are an alternative to settle issues? The public aren’t elected officials.

  5. If Ireland has a referendum on equal civil rights then it deserves utter condemnation.

    This is an issue that can be resolved with legislation and the referendum will only happen so the government will nor have to do its own job of legislating for equality.

    Considering the campaign of sheer evil that will be unleashed by US Christian groups there is no guarantee that an Irish referendum will succeed.

    In which case we will be 2nd class citizens for another 25 years, but also living in a country where homophobic hatred will have been normalized by the referendum campaign.

  6. There should be no vote needed to allow equality for groups within society. I am astounded that this is even a debate, and that this is what happened in the US.

    If it affects YOU, you should get a vote, equality issues only affect YOU if you are within the group demanding equality, it has absolutely no bearing on those who preach against it, and therefore they should have no say in it.

    The fact that this is still being done to people demanding equality is the real shame here.

    Equality should never be up for public vote.

  7. No, Ms. Wong, you’ve got it all wrong.

    You don’t avoid necessary debate simply because some people will attempt to debate nastily.

    If you can’t deal with strong debate, it’s time to leave politics.

    1. Crap! Theres a huge difference between debate and incitement.

    2. I have to agree, if you give up on something because you’re scared of what some hate mongers are going to say then nothing will ever change. The KKK was a million times worse than anything LGBT people face today, should the Civil Rights movement have just given up because they were afraid? Should Malcolm X have kept quiet? Should Rosa Parks have gone to the back of the bus? Should Martin Luther have abandoned his speech, or the march in washington, because there was a threat? HELL NO!!! If they gave up because they were afraid then nothing would ever change, ever. I think a lot of people here are cowards, to be honest. Let the haters spew their filth, fights like these aren’t going to come easy, by giving up you just let the haters win. LGBT people are being abused, attacked and murdered every single day anyway, so what’s the difference exactly? Grow a back bone people.

  8. Tamy Le Jones 13 Aug 2013, 1:10pm

    I love the arguments, and would like to tell those homophobic to learn & live harmoniously in this land of Oz, Don’t like it? Go back to where you from……Tamy.

  9. Regarding the Irish issue……..alterations to the Constitution need to be ratified by the people. There are no exceptions to that. If that is the route that the politicians are determined upon taking, then that’s the only option.

    Gender-neutral marriage enshrined in the Irish Constitution is an awful lot better than it being passed as a flimsy piece of legislation. I honestly wouldn’t trust it to be half as secure if the politicians were able to craft a bill while still maintaining they didn’t know public feeling.

    While it may be sensible not to tempt fate on this issue, the polling in Ireland is showing some of the best approval ratings in the world. The vote is distasteful but it’s going to be lumped together on the ballot with various other Catholic-era reforms that many ordinary people are eager to push through. In this specific context it seems like a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

  10. Quite right! We elect politicians to take decisions for us. Constant calls for ‘referenda’ are both pathetic and boring. If the UK were to hold a referedum tomorrow over the reintroduction of hanging, The Dail Fail would whip the country into a frenzy and demand it be brought back. So let’s leave it to those we put in positions of power to make decisions. Unlike in Russia – where its populace seem to have no choice whatsoever who rules them ….

  11. A referendum would be disastrous here in Australia. Few have ever passed and it requires a majority of the 6 states PLUS a majority of the total national vote to get something passed. If Marriage Equality lost then only marriage between a man and a woman would be in the Constitution, not controlled by the Marriage Act of Parliament. Another Government would have to bring forward a new referendum to change the constitution and that is rarely done. Same-sex couples here do not want a homophobic onslaught that will make life even more difficult! If civil unions had been introduced by the Labor Government then same-sex couples would have already had some form of relationship recognition but it looks like we will have zilch for decades! Younger couples should seriously think about emigrating to New Zealand if they can and they want to be married. I know what Penny Wong is saying and she is correct. Rampant homophobia is just underneath the surface of Australian society!

  12. johnny33308 14 Aug 2013, 12:11am

    Yet another self-loathing LGBT person! What she’s really saying is, “I’m a coward and I don’t deserve equality.”
    She speaks ONLY for her ridiculous, sad, pathetic self. In a war one gets dirty. Get used to it!

  13. Sad, hateful things get said anyways but she doesn’t have to take a stand it seems. Not a very genuine response.

  14. The only way for Australia to recognise SSMs – is to abolish Australia and become New Zealand (just like New Zealand was once part of new South Wales colony days in the early 1800’s)!!!!!

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