Last night's Q and A was a bit more balanced than usual. They had three sane adults on and a couple of mental infants. If you include Tony Jones and his obvious leftie bias it was sorta evenly balanced.
They covered several topics as usual. But of most interest to me was same sex marriage. The speed with which this issue has become a global revolution for the cutural Left is alarming. I don't think that many of its proponents believe in it to even half the extent that they claim. Seems to me that they've gotten behind it in major part because it's a good way to bash conservatives and Christians. And their emotive tactic of saying marriage is "all about love" (and what a crock that is!) has been very successful. So they'll keep banging that drum.
And the usual suspects on Q and A did just that. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale used the tired ol' tactic of saying "society has moved on. It's all down and dusted. Why are we even talking about this?"
RICHARD DI NATALE: The simple answer is that Parliament should deal with it. Tony Abbott had a chance to drag the country into the 21st century and end discrimination, to end prejudice and he used every tactic in the book to block it, to continue to support prejudice and discrimination in marriage, to not recognise that the love between two people is love, regardless of their gender or their sexuality. He stacked his party room with National MPs. He has now come up with this tortured position it might be a plebiscite. It might be a referendum. No, we just should have the Parliament deal with this. We could have this done so quickly. We could have this done this week. We could have a bill before the Parliament supported by a majority of parliamentarians. If Tony Abbott did what he espouses and that is to respect the freedom and liberty of his own backbenchers and allow them a free vote and he won't do it. He won't do it and it’s part of the reason that he is languishing in terms of public support because he is a man stuck in the past. He belongs to another century and the sooner the Liberal Party change the Prime Minister, I think the country will be better for it.
TONY JONES: Richard, aren't you, from your point of view, at all nervous in advocating that? At all nervous about the fact, given the numbers of the Coalition party room, just on the conscience vote issue, aren't you nervous that it wouldn't have gotten up in the Parliament anyway?
RICHARD DI NATALE: No, I think it would - it will get up and I think there are a lot of MPs who do what they do in that place and that is sniff the breeze. There will be a lot of nervous backbenchers who will be worried about winning their seats back at this election under Tony Abbott and they'll go where the political breeze takes them and on this issue, the public are overwhelming in support of ending discrimination. Just move on and do it. I don't understand how we can be here in the 21st century arguing for a position that is based on prejudice but that’s what this is.
He has a very simplistic view of marriage. He also clearly doesn't like debate. The thought of the people getting to decide on this issue directly annoys him, obviously.
The same could be said for Sam Dastyari. He was extremely rude to the anti-gay marriage panellist Katy Faust. Again he used no actual argument, just emotive judgements that implied she was a bad, hateful person:
SAM DASTYARI: There is so much with what you have said just then that is so offensive, it’s hard to know where to start. The politician in me tells me that I should be saying that while I disagree with your views, I wholeheartedly respect them but I find that very hard. I find it very hard to respect a lot of your views on what you have said because I don't think it comes from a place of love. I think it comes from a place of hate and I think that there is so much I can't accept the fact that you believe that Gini's parents, who I have no doubt love each other, you know, that they’re hurting their child simply because of the love they have for one another. I can't accept that. I think so much - I worry that so much of your views stem, not really with an issue with just marriage. I think some of it stems from an issue with homosexuality and you’ve described homosexuality as a lifestyle. You have said that homosexuality drives us further away from God. These are your comments. You run a blog called Ask the Bigot. And I think that there are people in this country who have different views on same sex marriage. They’re entitled to have different views on same sex marriage. People are going to have the debate but I think we have to have that debate at a higher level and, I’m sorry, but I think this American evangelical claptrap is the last thing we need in the debate.
The sheer gall of this guy is stunning. He pretty much says she's a hateful person, and accuses her of homophobia simply because she doesn't toe the PC line.
Hell, she's the one with the lesbian parents! If anyone has the right to speak her mind about same sex relationships it's her. And she's not abusive. She makes criticisms that are not nearly as mean-spirited as those he makes of her.
And dropping the line in about the name of her blog was a nasty bit of dog whistling. It was as if he was saying: "You said it lady. You are a bigot!"
Careful not to seem anti-democratic, Dastyari talked about a "debate at a higher level". In other words: No debate at all, thanks. We'll just tell people what's good for them.
So funny that his union head kicker says Faust is the mean-spirited one! Were the machinations that he engaged in during Labor's disastrous reign, and that he was so chuffed to be divulging in The Killing Season, coming from a place of lerve? Hardly.
Thankfully, Brendan O'Neill cut through to the heart of the issue:
BRENDAN O’NEILL: Here is what freaks me out about gay marriage. It presents itself as this kind of liberal civil rightsy issue but it has this really ugly intolerant streak to it. Anyone who opposes gay marriage is demonised, harassed, we have seen people thrown out of their jobs because they criticised gay marriage. We have seen people ejected from polite society. You know, 200 years ago, if you didn't believe in God, you wouldn’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in public life. Today, if you don’t believe in gay marriage, you don’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in public life. There’s a real, ugly element to this and I think, you know, you really see it with the whole cake shop phenomenon. This whole thing around the western world where people are going to Christian traditional cake shops and saying to them, "Hey, you stupid Christians, make this cake for me", and if they don't they call the police. There are equality cases. Shops have closed down. It’s like a 21st century form of religious persecution. It’s horrendous and I think, you know, of course some people support gay marriage, as we’ve heard. That's absolutely fine. But what's extraordinary and unacceptable is that they cannot tolerate the existence of people who do not support gay marriage and I think we sometimes fail to understand how extraordinary that is and I think the reason Tony Abbott is very defensive on this issue and is erming and ahing and shifting from the free vote to the not free vote and all this stuff, he clearly has a problem with gay marriage but he can't articulate it because we live in a climate in which it’s not acceptable, as we have just seen in Sam's attack on Katy, calling her hateful and saying she’s talking claptrap, it’s not acceptable to express this sentiment in public life.
SAM DASTYARI: Well, hang on, no, Brendan...
BRENDAN O'NEILL: And I think so Tony Abbott - Tony Abbott is now being described as someone from the dark ages for believing what humanity has believed for thousands of years. Within the space of a decade, something that humanity believed for thousands of years has suddenly become a form of bigotry, a form of hate, something you’re not allowed to express in public life. That extraordinary shift in intolerance is something I think all Liberals like me should be worried about. Gay marriage is not a Liberal issue. It has a deeply illiberal streak.