Who among you had any idea the solution to the issue was this simple all along?
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, whose Coalition Government is behind the continued march towards a postal vote on the issue of marriage equality, has today doubled down on his insistence that the “debate” surrounding the issue be respectful from both sides.
While Turnbull, who was speaking with 2DayFM in Sydney, condemned the anti-SSM posters that have been appearing in major Australian cities in the lead-up to the vote, he nevertheless defended people’s right to say them in the first place. This despite the fact that one of the dedicated poster campaigns is coming from literal white supremacist Nazis.
Turnbull initially condemned the horrific and harmful posters that have been popping up in cities like Melbourne or Brisbane. However, Turnbull doubled back, refusing to single out the ultra-conservative, homophobic, white supremacist material that formed the virtual sole basis of the posters. Rather, he also played the “religious freedoms” card by asserting those voting ‘NO‘ were not necessarily homophobes.
I deplore disrespectful, abusive language, whether it is directed at young gay people or religious people or people of different religions
The vast majority of people who do not agree with same-sex marriage, who have what you would regard perhaps as very conservative views, they are not homophobic. They do not denigrate people.
Further still, the Prime Minister – who has been repeatedly criticised for insisting the prevalence of harmful propaganda was the “weakest argument” against the postal vote – asserted that the biggest problem in this debate is the caricaturing of each side.
One of the problems in this debate is the tendency to caricature each side. The vast majority of people involved in this debate – and of course the vast majority of Australians, 99.99 per cent or whatever – are very respectful of each other.
As for how to tackle the issue of, y’know, Nazis plastering the streets with posters, Turnbull insisted that people saying hurtful things to each other is a mere fact of life, and to shut that down would be to directly attack free speech.
[People] often say things that are hurtful and unfair and sometimes cruel… The only way to stop people from saying things that you find hurtful is to shut down free speech.
Turnbull’s diatribe also included a plea to LGBTQI+ Australians feeling scared, adversely affected, or marginalised by the ‘NO‘ campaign to support themselves and each other, and to also “believe in yourself,” and “be proud of yourself.” Gee, thanks mister.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, whose Labor party is fundamentally opposed to the postal vote but is campaigning for ‘YES‘ nonetheless, appeared solo on Q&A last night and offered this far more considered and compassionate take on the matter.
— QandA (@QandA) August 21, 2017
One way or the other we’re gonna have marriage equality in Australia.
We didn’t need to have this debate. And everything said we’ve could happen is beginning to happen.
I just ask everyone, look after each other in this.
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