Aussies In Bind Over Same Sex Marriage 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 12:29PM
Bill Barclay

If there is anything that gets Aussies up in arms, it is matters of liturgical dispute, and that which offends the cloth. Not that they are particularly religious - it is just that the Catholic Church has a residual hold on the determination of matters of morality that barely exists any longer on this side of the ditch. 

We are really an irreligious mob of slobs who are prepared to accept sliding into the grip of the devil, if only it maintains our peaceful and benign existence.

Not so over there - they could not even face a vote in Federal Parliament to get the change recognised  over-riding the states. For contraryness, think back to the shocking events of the Gay Mardi Gras that were adopted with such alacrity by the denizens of the largest city in the land, with only background tut-tutting from the Archbishop of Sydney, (temporarily suspended as the Pope's right hand man - and now up on kiddy-fiddling charges from his time as a priest in Ballarat) now Cardinal Pell - a rightous old bugger if ever there was one!

But even the Anglican's are strong on it - here is today's comment in the SMH by Dr Michael Jenson - Rector of St Mark's Darling Point - a bastion of privilege:

"In a country with a strongly Christian heritage such as Australia, classical marriage is still seen as a gift from God by many people. The Christian Bible, upon which our laws are founded, quite specifically ties marriage to the complementarity of the sexes.

Does this mean "unequal" treatment? It is a different name, certainly. The question is whether it is legitimate to treat differently relationships differently. We certainly do treat those people and institutions we feel need special protection differently.

Classical marriage is just such an institution. It is different. Because it is precious and fragile, and yet a great blessing, it does deserve our protection."

Get the message!

No, when it comes down to it, the influence of the Catholic church in all the major cities, excepting possibly Adelaide where the Angicans rule, is so pervasive, and pernicious, that a substantial section of the population still follow its teachings in this one area at least. The thought of two males, or females coupling appears to offend the deepest sensibilities of this previously convict ridden land.

To avoid a showdown in Parliament, the weak-kneed Liberal-Country Party Coalition instead opted for a non-binding referendum on the matter that is costing millions, and that means stuff-all in the overall scheme of things. But it does delay the matter if nothing else, and enables all and sundry to publicly express their views, and attempt to influence the outcome. The two most prominent are that archduke of conservatism - John Howard (who to his eternal shame was beaten by a woman first-timer the last time he stood for election for Bennelong, just over the Bridge) and his former acolyte and extreme Catholic, (actually, ex-priest!) Tony Abbott.  Their relationship was reminiscent of that of Muldoon and Peters.

Every other son-of-a-gun has emerged over the last week or two since the High Court determined that the Referendum was 'legal', to attempt to influence the outcome - why they bother is quite beyond me as there is no indication that Turnbull is willing to pursue a positive (currently estimated at 2:1) outcome in Parliament, particularly with his 'back-woods-men' independents, and Country Party MP's have come down strongly opposed.

New Zealand should gear up for substantial increase in lucrative same-sex weddings, though their legal standing will remain indeterminate in their state of origin. Meanwhile, we gaily skip towards purgatory as the perpetrators of ghastly legislation that most of us have barely noticed. Just how Aussies have got themselves into this bind may be puzzling if you had not lived amongst them as I did from 1958 to 1975, and 1998 to 2005 - some 24 years.




Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (
See website for complete article licensing information.