In the last 12 hours, marriage equality has been making headlines for good and bad reasons. Here it is, all lumped together.
TODAY IN MARRIAGE EQUALITY:
PM’s sister Christine Forster dismisses anti-marriage equality audience heckler
Christine Forster, gay woman, fiancee, mother, and sister to PM Tony Abbott, was explaining how marriage equality will have immeasurable benefits to Australia, in particular for young people.
ENTER: audience heckler and Helen Lovejoy impersonator.
“What about the children?” a lone voice cried, who Tony Jones told to quietly settle the fuck down, and if you must express your homophobic opinions, wait until we get you a damn mic.
When it was the heckler’s turn to speak she said (and I quote in full):
“You’re saying bringing equality will be beneficial to the young people. Well I’m thinking of the young children, the unborn children, who you’re not giving a choice to really, because if we bring this bill in, what’s going to happen to the young children who aren’t going to have a mother or a father. And nature is a mother and a father. Nothing can change that. Nothing. A mother and a father. Always has been, always will be.
Ms Forster answered with incredible grace and dignity, given that an audience member effectively just called her family unnatural.
“Obviously you cannot have a child without a biological mother and father. The important thing I think about children and families is that they are in loving, supportive families.”
“With all due respect, I don’t think that is the exclusive preserve of the traditional family unit. I think that children can be loved and supported and brought to their fullest potential, with the most wonderful self esteem and self confidence and ability to make the most of themselves in same sex families and in single parent families.”
Thus the heckler was silenced, and we move on to the next homophobic thing that happened:
Cornel West had the perfect response to a question on how to discriminate without getting in trouble
Just like Jack Charles last week, US radical Christian, philosophiser, and thinker Dr Cornel West almost stole the show last night, with his gravelly voice rising high above hatred and preaching love.
An audience member followed up the “think of the children!” question with this: if she doesn’t agree with marriage equality, yet she is a paper crafter who often makes wedding invitations, then how does she refuse to sell to gay couples getting married without getting hauled through the coals for discrimination?
It’s hard hitting stuff, Q&A, I can tell you.
While this textual representation of Cornell West’s response cannot do his voice justice, here it is anyway:
“I think there’s two issues here that are very complicated.”
“One is that you certainly have a right to do what you want to do based on principals of religious liberty. On the other hand, the precious humanity of gay brothers and lesbian sisters needs to be affirmed. Even Christians who disagree with same sex marriage must acknowledge they are made in the likeness and image of God.”
“Then it raises the second question, which is, well, I’m sure that there’s been wedding cakes sold to gangsters who are getting married. Now, would you somehow prohibit the selling of that cake to a gangster who’s marrying a woman who’s getting locked into what we know to be patriarchal relations that would lead to her limited potential x, y, and z?”
“And if that’s true, then you have to follow through on the logic of your discriminatory orientation here you see. That’s just the question that you have to wrestle with in the precincts of your own conscious.”
West calls himself a “revolutionary Christian” which means he has “a deep suspicion of institutional Christianity. The churches have been wrong before. They were wrong on slavery, they were wrong on Naziism, they were wrong on gay brothers, lesbian sisters, bisexuals and so forth. They were wrong on white supremacy.”
If you want to watch the full Q&A episode, do so here.
Scott Morrison says pls stop talking about same-sex marriage, but also he’s not a homophobe
Just when you thought marriage equality was making some big leaps and bounds, along comes Social Services Minister Scott Morrison to say can you please stop talking about it?
Speaking to Ray Hadley on 2UE, he said “I think it’s time for people to have a bit of a breather about this and consider what the other options are.”
Other options include adopting a similar model to France, where civil unions are registered at a federal level, while marriages are determined by religious bodies. Because marriage, as we all know, is exclusively the domain of religious bodies.
S. M. D. H.
Mr Morrison also said that “it is a very significant change to a long-standing institution,” and that he hoped this would not “be a thing that tears the country apart.”
Oh, and btw, he’s not a homophobe. “If you say that you don’t get on board with the same-sex marriage bandwagon, then somehow you’re a homophobe or something like that – I don’t think that’s very helpful.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes homophobia as “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.”
Marriage Equality is about ending the discrimination of gay people who want to get married.
Image: Stefan Postles via Getty Images.