In an article in The Australian newspaper on Tuesday 12th September 2017 Joe Kelly and Simon Benson wrote, “Malcolm Turnbull has been accused of handing a “blank cheque” to the parliament after the government declared it would not move to provide religious protections before the same-sex-marriage survey is finalised. Senior ministers yesterday confirmed that no bill outlining religious protections would be endorsed by the government until after the result was declared, arguing it would only be required should a Yes vote be returned.
The decision flies in the face of a warning from former prime minister John Howard, revealed in The Weekend Australian, calling for religious protections to be outlined before the end of the postal survey so Australians could participate with the full knowledge of what they were voting for.”
Parliament, not the Government, would legislate changes
If that is so, then it presents a scary scenario. It would seem that Parliament and not the Coalition government would be setting out legislation regarding religious freedom and freedom of speech. There is no reason to feel comfortable about that situation. If, as many pundits believe, Labor will be in Government at the next election, if not before, there could be severe restrictions on both religious freedom and freedom of speech. Consider for a moment what has been said previously by Labor spokespersons. In an article by Jason Tin in News Corp Australia Network in May 2016 he wrote, “The Opposition has already promised to introduce marriage equality legislation into the Parliament within the first 100 days of the next term. The new LGBTI commissioner will cost $1.4 million over four years, with the appointment tasked with being a “champion” of the community’s rights.”
What changes could we expect if the “Yes” vote prevails?
Jason Tin in the same article also wrote, “Labor’s leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, yesterday announced the commitment to appoint an LGBTI discrimination commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which would cost $200,000 in the first year and $400,000 a year after that. “An LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner will ensure lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex Australians can feel safer, more secure and more included in Australian society,” Senator Wong said at an event in Melbourne. “The Commissioner will address structural discrimination, work towards ensuring our schools, workplaces, and communities are free from discrimination.
He quotes her words as she spoke about bigotry and discrimination, “We are here because we reject hatred, we reject bigotry and we reject discrimination,” she said. But most of all we are here because we believe in a principle — the principle of equality.”
That means then that Labor in its declared anti-discrimination policy will honestly and fairly outline this policy as well, “Labor’s leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, [will one day announce] the commitment to appoint a discrimination commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which would cost $200,000 in the first year and $400,000 a year after that. “This Discrimination Commissioner will ensure that all those who are NOT lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex Australians will feel safer, more secure and more included in Australian society,” “The Commissioner will address structural discrimination, work towards ensuring our schools, workplaces, and communities are free from discrimination (against all Australians of all political persuasions and gender identifications.”)
Equality which is really about equality for all Australians!
Is Penny Wong really going to push for that sort of equality for same-sex folk and for those who are not same-sex? Of course! She is committed to it. As she has stated openly, “We believe in a principle — the principle of equality.” The principle of equality demands equality for all, not just for some groups.
Mind you they could scrap the appointments of all discrimination commissioners and save the money and the associated divisiveness. Many think the whole “Human Rights Commission” could go as well!
Will this “equal equality” really happen?
If justice is justice, and fairness is fairness and non bias is non bias and non-discrimination is non-discrimination, then it could! However, one would not think so, based on what is happening at the moment in Australia and overseas. The bias is heavily weighted in one direction especially in the media.
What should happen right now if we have to vote?
It is obvious that with so little transparency about what is happening and about what could happen in the case of a “yes” majority, the wisest thing would be to vote “No” to changing the definition of marriage until political parties get their act together. When they are able to formulate their intentions and learn to communicate them in truthful transparency, then it might be time to vote. But not until then. Bullying from either side to force a result is not called justice. It’s called bullying!
This present definition of marriage in the Australian “Marriage Act of 1961” is looking better day by day, “Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” And our Creator God gives it the tick too! After all, it was His idea!
Blog No.240. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Tuesday 12th September 2017