We turn to the Bible for our next story. Some God fearing politicians (and others) in the Labor, Liberal,
Democrat and independent camps are looking to Family First
preferences to get them over the line at South
Australia’s upcoming March election.

Fear of retribution is growing among those who voted in favour of the
lapsed Same Sex Relationships Bill that came before parliament last
year. It aimed to remove discrimination against same sex partners.
Supporters say the Bill was broad and also incorporated those not
involved in a sexual relationship – like supporting family members.

After passing the upper house, the Bill lapsed in the lower house.
Family First, which aims to put candidates in the upper and lower
houses and has a strong chance for a second upper house seat alongside
Andrew Evans, says it won’t do a party deal but a seat by seat
preference deal based on a number of criteria.

In essence, whether a candidate gets a Family First preference deal
depends on whether he or she “holds the same values” as Family First.
Dennis Hood, who’s standing for an upper house seat, has confirmed that
a committee will look at how each sitting member voted on the Same Sex
Relationships Bill.

The party clearly saw the Bill as a first step towards the gay marriage
issue. It’s going to be a problem for Independent Nick Xenophon who got
in at the last election with some crucial support of the Festival of
Light. He’s since fallen from grace with them after he supported the
bill.

The Democrats might have problems too. Some other MPs, who will need a
good preference deal will breathe a sigh of relief they voted against
their conscience and opposed the bill – as one now privately admits:
“much to my disgust.” But hey, this is politics and it means one less
obstacle to a win.

Peter Fray

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