We must, we Must, we MUST be progressive

  • Sumo

Following journalism on the Labor Party’s same-sex marriage policy is an exercise in watching blindness.

Those purporting to be journalists are so enmeshed with the ‘progressive policy’ that they can see nothing else, nor appear to understand those with whom they disagree. And so they move from reporting to lobbying.

Here’s an example from today. It’s by The Age‘s national affairs correspondent, Katharine Murphy. She calls the push for policy change ‘the enlightenment’ – somewhat grandiose, no? She places all the opposition to the view under the convenient title of religion.

Image: Salvatore Vuono

Plenty of the disagreement comes from Christians, and other faiths. But it’s not unanimous within churches or other faiths. And not all criticism of same-sex marriage issues from believers. (The reality has been covered much better by the ABC’s religion page, with far more understanding of the shades of points of view. Check out this screen grab for a range of views in the titles. Well done to them!)

Murphy, in dissecting Julia Gillard’s view of same-sex marriage, looks (to me) to genuinely want to assume the best of the PM. That I can certainly commend. Here, however, Murphy twists into knots and effectively says, ‘I will be so generous to the PM that I will call her a hypocrite.’ Murphy’s words:

I’m going to give her [Gillard] the benefit of the doubt and believe she believes it [same-sex marriage] in any case.

Hmm. ‘I’d love the PM to be a lying hypocrite – much better than believing that marriage is between a man and a woman!’

There’s the whole gamut of accusation against those – like me – who continue to hold that marriage is a man-woman thing: ‘the sanctity of their prejudice’, anti ‘equality’, ‘state-sanctioned discrimination’, being against ‘fairness, consistency and decency’. It’s the usual heavy-handed stuff.

But Murphy can’t hide the fact that there is more nuance in this, despite her withering dismissals. She mentions that the Howard government held to man-woman marriage and allowed superannuation inheritance for gay couples. Don’t wait for her to note that this disproves the silly arguments of prejudice.

Unsurprisingly, I’m still convinced that the legislative description of marriage is useful for caring for people. Also that changing it will soften our collective resolve to persevere in (real) marriage. Such change will hurt many people, men and women, straight and gay, kids and adults. I’d long for Murphy to have engaged this real concern!

If the laws change, it won’t hurt me. It won’t be the end of the world – no one has argued that it’s that important. But it will hurt people, and therefore be unloving to our neighbours.