Instead of a cheery charity Christmas card to the PM, Democrats
do-gooders Andrew Bartlett and (the increasingly busy) Natasha Stott
Despoja have fired off a letter of “support” to the Howards.

Apparently, the good Senators got wind of a major policy change at the
Howard residence – John and Hyacinth are keen to recognise the rights
of same-sex couples. Or as Bartlett and Natasha put it in their weekend
media release: “Mr Howard recently stated that while he was opposed to
formal legal recognition of same-sex relationships, he was in favour
‘of removing any property and other discrimination against people who
have same-sex relationships’.”

Their presser doesn’t include the text of the letter, so we thought
we’d workshop a few ideas on behalf of the Democrats duo. How’s this
for a start:

Dear John,

As we approach the tenth anniversary of your ascension to the Prime
Ministership, it’s worth recalling that your first election victory
came on the evening of the 1996 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. What
better way to celebrate your milestone than by empowering your fellow
Australians who do not fancy members of the opposite sex?

We offer our whole-hearted support in the Senate to introduce
legislation giving equal legal and property rights to all Australians,
regardless of whose pillow they’re biting.

If you feel at all queasy about the prospect of inviting rampant sodomy
on the streets of Sydney, we would be prepared to instigate a Senate
inquiry to probe deeply into this issue – perhaps to be chaired by your
confidant Senator Heffernan, a solid citizen who’s shown himself to be
open-minded and enlightened when it comes to issues of sexuality.

We’re sure Senator Fielding – fresh from his success in knocking off
student unions – would also be interested in putting the perspective of
all right-minded Australian families.

It is now more than eight years since a Senate Committee reported on
sexuality discrimination, so it’s clearly time we wasted some more
taxpayers’ money on another fruitful inquiry of interest to middle
Australian latte sippers. Possibly the committee could also consider
raunch culture and the threat it poses to women’s self-actualisation,
another vital issue that’s been floating around the media during the silly season.

Your pals,
Andrew & Natasha

PS Plus, with Barnaby’s behaviour becoming increasingly erratic, you never know when you may need another Meg Lees in the Senate.

Peter Fray

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