Friday, 9 February 2007

Homophobic Bastardry

I'm a strong supporter of the Howard Government. In the Big Things, they've done the right things, and the smaller areas of less importance where they screwed up I could forgive them for. Errors, rather than malice and injustice.

But not this time.

Even before my Metabolic Whoopsie, despite my own Homophobia, I supported same-sex partnerships. I'll quote myself - or rather, a guy called Alan :
Enough. More than Enough. Let's show some common decency and humanity and make the law non-discriminatory when it comes to marriage. There's plenty more discrimination in other areas, far too much of it in fact. As for Churches - let them follow their own dogma, or conscience, or both. This isn't a religious question, it's a matter of law, justice, and common humanity.


Then came the ACT Civil Unions Bill 2006, which was duly unanimously passed with bi-partisan support by the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) legislative assembly. A bill which would have incidentally helped me enormously.

This Act was vetoed with unseemly haste by Federal Cabinet.

Well, the ACT Legislative Assemblky tried many times to find out exactly what the Federal Government objected to in the legislation. They changed it, and chamged it again, and eventually watered it down so much that the Civil Partnerships Bill (Union was deemed too close to the union of marriage) was a weak shadow of it's former self, the absolute minimum, less than a heterosexual "de facto" relationship, and only valid within the confines of the ACT, a tiny part of the country. Less in some ways than the already existing same-sex registries that operate in States. You see, the Federal Cabinet can't over-ride a State legislature, only a Territory one, and even then the convention has been to reserve this power for emergencies, and after parlimentary debate. No Longer.

The Federal Cabinet hasn't even waited for the bill to be passed before disallowing it.
The Australian Capital Territory government changed the bill’s phrasing—using the words “civil partnership” instead of “civil union”—but that did not change the mind of the Attorney General.

"I indicated [to ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell] that while a number of changes had been made, there still remained significant issues that likened the civil unions to marriage that the Commonwealth found unacceptable," Ruddock said to the Australian Sunday Times.

Mr. Ruddock was especially disturbed by the fact that children under 18 would have been allowed to get married under this bill.

"The civil unions could have been simply arrangements for adults, but they were specifically modified to include those who were below the age of 18 years where parental consent or the consent of a court was obtained," he said to the Australian Sunday Times.
Oh for Goodness sake, parental consent or a court order is required! This is a Red Herring, discriminatory too.
He was also upset that, under the bill, same-sex couples would be allowed to have traditional wedding ceremonies, like straight couples do. He believes this would hurt the straight marriage ceremony.
How?
Seriously, how could what some people choose to do hurt the sanctity of marriage?

No matter, if the bill was changed, they'd manufacture a new objection. Perhaps the word "Partnership" would be too strong. Or some such. As for telling the ACT what would be acceptable, how about this for breathtaking hypocricy.
...Mr Corbell said the federal government's reasons for overturning the bill were weak and vague.

"It just beggars belief that we have a commonwealth government that really isn't able to give any substantive argument and just says, 'well we think it offends the institution of marriage,' well, what does that mean?" Mr Corbell told ABC Radio.

Mr Corbell expressed concern that the federal government did not give enough feedback on the bill, but Mr Ruddock said there was reason for that.

"It's not for me to draft measures to say 'this is how you should do it'.

"I think they would regard it as an affront to their legislative function for the commonwealth to presume we should tell them how to draft their laws," Mr Ruddock said."
In other words... we don't like it, we can't tell you why, you just have to guess, and it's all your fault if you get it wrong as we can't possibly interfere.

This isn't just political gamesmanship. It's evil. It's persecution.

Now I don't have a dog in this hunt, as the Americans say. The part of the bill that would have helped me was dropped - any GLB-friendly legislation always drops the T-friendly stuff at the first sign of opposition, we're used to it.

This is Bastardry, and no government which does it can be allowed to stand, no matter how good they may be on other issues, and how bad the opposition may be. They must be punished, so no-one ever tries this kind of thing again.

3 comments:

ScottMacGibbon said...

As I remember I said to you once, I can't see how granting someone else rights takes away mine. And on a related note - http://thinkprogress.org/2007/02/08/dontask-platoon/

Very very funny. We should all grow up.

Scott (NY Correspondent)

Anonymous said...

Count another disaffected voter. With the Libs doing this (and other things), there is no option for me other than to deface my ballot paper at the next election.

What was the T part of the original law, can I ask?

E, in Chonburi.

Zoe Brain said...

Repealing secrion 24.1.d of th Births, Marriages and Deaths Act.

This would then allow post-ops who are still married to get their BC's changed. In NZ and the UK, this is not allowed - BUT they are allowed to convert their marriage to a civil partnership instead.

Here in Australia, what sex a post-op woman is depends solely on her marital status. If she divorces, then she has the same rights as any other woman.

If on the other hand, she is a practicing catholic, so is unable to divorce due to religious convictions; or is a responsible parent of young children, so will be unable to satisfy the family court's stringent tests for separation; or she and her partner are still in love, so are unable to show the family court there is no chance of reconciliation; then despite her vagina, she is male.

Not merely male, but a transgendered male, one who is living in the role of the opposite sex, so cannot be issued a passport and is subject to an increasing number of restrictions on her civil liberties.

Me? I intend joining the Liberal Democrats. Their policies are still being formulated, and I hope to get a sane, consistent set of legal and medical policies to allow Intersexed and Transsexed people normal human rights, and also a set of rather looser policies to allow GLB and Hetero de-facto relationships to be formalised and made consistent. Finally, to allow some lattitude to the harmlessly eccentric, like the Transgendered, Furries, and the like.