Despite what the mainstream media and noisy social justice warriors may tell you, many same-sex marriage supporters also want the issue to be decided by the people.
Journalist Paul Murray, himself a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, took a sober view of the debate.
It appears that those pushing for same-sex marriage fall mainly into two camps: those with a legitimate grievance about equality and those tedious virtue-signallers who pile on to any popular social issue.
A recent Essential Media poll showed that in July 2017, 46% of Australians wanted a plebiscite, a significant increase from the 39% who said the same in September 2016. Currently, just 39% wanted the issue decided by politicians, which has dropped from 48% as reported in September of last year.
Murray argued that “social changes such as this with a strong moral and religious component should be decided by the people directly.” This is exactly what the silent majority has been saying – that the issue is far too important for politicians to decide, because there are serious consequences for ALL Australians.
The reasons for my lack of ardour are several. First, I think that important social changes such as this with a strong moral and religious component should be decided by the people directly.
Second, I’m curious about the rush for something in which young Australians are generally showing a declining interest. Marriage as an institution is in steady decline, while the divorce rate is climbing. The marriage rate per 1000 Australians was 6.1 in 1995, 5.4 in 2011 and 4.8 on the most recent count.
And third, I resent the bullying and foot-stamping that has taken over the political debate and the crass politicking of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in his demands that politicians should decide the matter when he knows supporting the Government’s plebiscite would provide a solution. We all know Labor declined to take action in office.
Many have expressed concern at the possibility of “homophobic” abuse that could stem from having a public debate on marriage. Such claims demean all Australians and particularly the LGBTI community, as fragile individuals who cannot engage in civil discourse. Murray addressed such criticisms:
As a journalist, I am also dismayed that some in the media push the phoney view that a plebiscite would be “divisive” when we should welcome robust, open debates on all issues to lead to informed decisions.
Senator David Leyonhjelm – also a supporter of same-sex marriage – wrote that opposing the plebiscite because the debate could be harmful was itself “stereotypical, if not homophobic”.
A plebiscite was never my preferred method of going about it, but I voted in favour because I believe that a liberal democratic society like ours can stand the strain of open debate, with room left over to celebrate at the end. All the feedback from Ireland is that it was a positive experience overall.
Sad to say, both Labor and the Greens love talking about same-sex marriage so much they don’t actually want to achieve it. Both know that while the issue drags on, it allows them to rally support and accuse the Coalition of being opposed.
To reinforce that, they came up with an argument that relies on a remarkably stereotypical, if not homophobic, premise — that gay and lesbian people are just too fragile to countenance a public debate.
Simply put, the people want to decide on this issue, including those who want to see marriage redefined. As much as some pro-same-sex marriage activists claim that politicians just need to “get on with it”, there is much more at stake than simply legalising same-sex marriages. Redefining marriage poses a tremendous change to the fabric of our society, which has been founded on man-woman marriage for thousands of years.
This issue is too important for politicians to decide. Support the plebiscite!