Monday, June 25, 2012

LNP = discrimination

IT is our human relationships that give meaning to our existence, said then state treasurer Andrew Fraser eight months ago when the Bill was introduced that would ultimately allow same-sex civil unions in Queensland.
On Tuesday, the resulting laws were stripped back by the Newman Government. Because it could.
Part of me felt sorry for Premier Campbell Newman on Tuesday - a sensation I had not experienced before.
He had to be at least a bit torn up, given he stated many times that he personally supported marriage for all couples, either gay or straight.
And the Queensland civil union legislation was as close as we can get as a state to sanctifying couples' desire to declare their couplehood and intention to stay together.
But Newman heads a party strongly opposed to any kind of official recognition of gay couples, or move towards offering their relationships equal recognition.
And Newman and his anti-gay party pledged to follow through on pre-election promises, so he made himself an uncomfortable bed.
On Tuesday he lay down and laid aside his personal belief in equality.
Abandoning his personal principles for the sake of broader popularity in the party is not something to be admired, and it certainly does not scream ``leader'' to me.
That Newman said he was amending the law now so it ``wouldn't be a distraction from important issues'' is another slap.
If it is unimportant, why expend time and energy on it at all?
Why not leave civil unions as they were: open to gay and straight couples, recognised by the state, not doing anyone any harm, but simply demonstrating that our society has room for all and abides by the sentiments of its own anti-discrimination laws?
The revisions seem a giant steps backwards to I know I am joining a swelling chorus here an era most Queenslanders thought was laid to rest a generation ago.
As a result it seems that as of Tuesday, the LNP governs a state that allows homosexual couples to create the most precious of all things, children, through its surrogacy laws, but it has stripped them of their right to have their couple status celebrated as well as registered.
It just does not make sense.
It is not like the Government has unrung the bell, not completely. Same-sex unions will still be allowed to be listed on the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
They just won't be able to have state-sanctioned ceremonies.
So they can sign the card, but can't come to the party.
This is a case of blatant discrimination.
For my money, what is most alarming is that Newman said the reason the LNP tinkered with the legislation was so that civil unions no longer emulated marriage.
As a straight, happily married person, I think more people should have what I am having, whether they are homo or heterosexual.
It's not like I or other married people lose anything because others share in our relationship status or one that emulates it.
And it's not like there are only so many people allowed in the publicly declared loved-up club, or that letting gay people in will mean a straight person will miss out.
It is all about having choices in how we want to frame our relationships, and this is where gay people have to face unfair restrictions.
They are denied the choices available to heterosexuals, and I think giving them a half-serve of relationship recognition seems to be teasing and implacably nasty.
In his media address on Tuesday, Newman seemed very worried about keeping Christian lobby groups on side. It is odd that such groups are perceived as having dibs on marriage and marriage-like declarations.
Wade into the history of marriage and its roots are found to stretch back thousands of years before Christ was born.
Christians did not create marriage and are not the authority on who should have access to it.
And yet the pressure to exclude certain people from recognised and acknowledged love unions comes from those whose religion is built around the example of one man who exhibited inclusive, unconditional and boundless love. The irony is painful and hurtful.
While the church has snatched love and marriage and held it close, the Government has even less historical right to dictate the parameters of love and unions.
Society operated quite well without government legislating on marriage or its cousin, civil unions, for all of human history before about 250 years ago.
Governments are abusing their position in calling the shots on who is in and who is out on its list of possibles. Discrimination has no place in the sort of society we want.
Some things, like this very basic expression of human and social equality, are worth standing up for, partly because not everyone agrees.
What is right and what we are used to are often two different things.

I have no words. Honestly are we all surprised that this has happened? Equality - its a novel concept but its far from a reality and while people with closed minds and discriminatory points of view continue to be placed in positions of power, it never will be.

Campbell Newman - you make me sick.

No comments:

Post a Comment