Crikey Says

Aug 8, 2012

Pink dollars and gay-friendly votes

The politics around gay marriage attracts plenty of cynicism -- but should votes and cash be at the nub of this issue?

Gays don't really need to get married. Some would just quite like to. The act itself is less important than the permission to do it. It's a sign from the leaders and institutions of the land that they count, the same as anyone else. The symbolism matters. Kevin Rudd understood that when he apologised to the Aboriginal stolen generations. Nobody really believed Parliament's regret would mark any tangible improvement to the lives of indigenous people. But the words righted a wrong, as much as they could, and shifted the agenda from the past to the future. The politics around gay marriage attracts more cynicism. Labor's push to allow same-sex marriage in Tasmania reeks of polling desperation by an out-of-favour government, as Crikey pointed out on Monday. "This whole social reform exercise in Tasmania is about damage minimisation," political correspondent Bruce Montgomery wrote from Hobart. Now it's about dollars. The Mercury reported on the potential economic impact loved-up homos-xuals could have on the Apple Isle. The ACT government said it could follow Tasmania's lead to chase the "pink dollar". Votes and cash. Never that it's simply the right thing to do. That it sends a message that they count. That's politics for you.

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7 thoughts on “Pink dollars and gay-friendly votes

  1. Bill Hilliger

    The Sydney gay mardi gras is an excellent example, when it first started Fred Nile and his gaggle of followers were against it, demonstrated, and backed by the police. Then the penny dropped (pun intended) the ‘pink’ dollar(s) flowed and there were plenty of dollars for all. Nowadays the gay mardi gras is a big event, hotels are booked out, tourist dollars flow, all are happy, including the police; of course Fred and his followers are probably miserable, who cares? not the state government nor the tourist operators, thats for sure.

    Of course now Tasmania can see the “pink’ dollar opportunity and goodness knows they need those type of opportunities, Canberra is considering the same direction as well …and if it works, all states except, maybe Queensland, will be quick to follow on the gay marriage (its all ok) front.

    As for the RC arm of the entertaiment industry, they have their own ped and kiddie fidler skeletons to deal with before they pass any moralistic judgement on the gay marriage issue.

  2. michael crook

    I thought “The Apology” would lead to an improvement. It didn’t.

  3. Mike Smith

    Meh, no-one *needs* to get married.

  4. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    [The politics around gay marriage attracts more cynicism]

    How about reflecting the opinion of the people? Hmm? Are we all cynical for agreeing with ourselves?

  5. drsmithy

    Meh, no-one *needs* to get married.

    Indeed. But people who do need to be treated equally by the law.

  6. Mike Smith

    True enough, DrSmithy. And I usually sign Getup/etc petitions for the ‘for’ case, simply because I don’t oppose it, and don’t see why not. None of the ‘against’ cases are in any way convincing.

  7. Zjonn

    So its discrimination if they can’t and chasing the dollars if they allow it. Heads you lose, tails you lose, or win, or being populist, or being radical, or just allowing the homosexuals the same misery inflicted on over 50% of the heterosexuals who get divorced and those who don’t the discrimination by government with social security, pensions, unemployment relief when one partner works, etc. (remember, payments are reduced for married partners.

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