Nov 29, 2017

Marriage equality amendments given short shrift as true Libs stand up

A handful of Liberals are standing by the traditions of their party and helping defeat efforts to use the marriage equality bill to expand discrimination.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Coalition Senator Dean Smith

One by one, the marriage equality amendments went down, yesterday. Division by division, the dead-enders lost. And not just lost narrowly. They were thumped, time and time again. Mostly they were amendments from Liberal senators David Fawcett and James Paterson, trying to shoehorn into Dean Smith's marriage equality bill provisions protecting those prepared to act on their dislike of same-sex relationships. Civil celebrants would be allowed to refuse same-sex couples. Opponents of marriage equality would have an unmitigated right to "manifest that belief". Parents would be allowed to withdraw their children from classes where marriage equality was mentioned. Other, more minor, amendments followed.

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23 thoughts on “Marriage equality amendments given short shrift as true Libs stand up

  1. Xoanon

    Well said. The one really good thing to come out of this silly survey process was the utter demolition of the argument that these right-wing reactionaries represent a “silent majority”. Gone, exploded, destroyed. Now get out of the way of progress!

    1. rhwombat

      Strident minority…or to give them their true appellation: The Exclusive Brethren.

  2. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    The bill has just passed in the Senate, 40-something to 12. Hoo ray!

  3. AR

    The rabid wanted a popular voice – they got it.
    To paraphrase “Better to be thought a bigot than demand a vote on it”.

  4. James Richards

    Any Senator who’s STATE voted yes should have voted accordingly, similarly the house of Reps should obey the will of their electorate. I know this will annoy a couple of ALP Members, but the right to a conscience vote was forfeited by the Vote on the Postal Survey.

    1. Marion Wilson

      Russell Broadbent’s electorate voted yes but he has said that he will vote against marriage equality. He is voicing his dedicated commitment to himself.

    2. Wayne Cusick

      That would be all of them.

      If you asked the same of the HoR it would be 133:17 for.

    3. George

      This horrible new beast, the advisory referendum, must not be used to force members of parliament to slavishly accept some assumed or interpreted “will of the people”. I’m very happy that marriage equality will soon be on the books but look at the train crash that is Brexit for a frightening counter example of how advisory referenda can bugger up good sense and parliamentary tradition.

      1. AR

        I tend to agree but, as a fully paid up member of the Great Unwashed, resent your casting nasturtiums.

  5. Duncan Gilbey

    Yesterday, Turnbull was (again!) urged to release his “inner mongrel”. He should have done that two years ago – on the Right of the Liberal Party.

    Same Sex Marriage and proposals for amendments to same are but skirmishes along the way for the Right. The greater game is for control of the party. As the numbers from yesterday’s votes show, they are a sizeable minority and they will continue to agitate from within.

    This does not bode well for Turnbull.

    1. DF

      Turnbull’s just a con man who does deals and moves on before it catches up with him. Now he’s at the top of the ladder, he’s got nowhere to run to. As the former Liberal adviser bloke on The Drum on Monday night said – for Turnbull, politics is just a vanity project. If you haven’t yet, read Guy Rundle’s examination of him in The Saturday Paper of 18 Nov, and Noel Pearson’s flaying of him in The Monthly of December.

    2. lykurgus

      His “outer c*nt” wasn’t enough? Not even his outer shitbird? Hard to please, you are.

  6. shea mcduff

    Thanks to the Liberals and Nats this vote is years, decades maybe, overdue. So no credit to them or their current leader.

  7. Raaraa

    I am curious as to what the Greens and Leyonhjelm amendments were.

  8. thelorikeet

    I wonder why and when Sir George found his mojo? I’d love a BK analysis of this. Has he been liberated (ha-hum) by the prospect or promise of an alternative? Has he rediscovered a small-l-liberal soul? Is there something else that only and astute (ie Bernard Keane) observer can disclose? Whatever there seems to have been an genuine sea change for our Georgie … très intéressant, très, très, très intéressant !

    1. DF

      If you frequent the Kingston area of Canberra, you can sometimes see GB sharing coffee on a Sunday afternooon in Green Square, in similar company to that enjoyed by Labor’s Michael Tate from back in the 80s. I hope happy days lie ahead for him.

  9. Robert Smith

    Once in a while Brandis surprises me.

    1. AR

      He rarel surprises me except to disappoint even more than usual.

  10. bref

    In arguing against the Greens amendment today, a Liberal senator, who’s name escapes me, made the point that whatever the Greens propose today, Labor will propose in 5 years time. He meant it as a warning and insult. What totally escapes his awareness is that it’ll take the Liberals 10 to 15 years or longer to reach the same level of enlightenment. Talk about old, grey haired and soon-to-be irrelevants.

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