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Marriage positions: the politic and the personal

Timothy Kincaid

May 18th, 2012

Too often our debate over marriage is given – by both sides – in carefully crafted language that has been focus group tested and is designed to “best get the point across”. And for some reason, politicians and pundits are firmly convinced that viewers and voters will never catch on that this canned, stale, “message driven” approach is anything less than fully sincere.

But once in a while – rarely – someone speaks with clarity and honesty that is so obviously based on reality and personal experience that it glows. This, part of Australia’s battle for marriage equality, is such a time:

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Truthspew
May 18th, 2012 | LINK

Wow, that was a spectacular display of doubling down by a politician/bigot!

Timothy (TRiG)
May 18th, 2012 | LINK

Yeah. I’m almost impressed by how carefully he handled that one.

TRiG.

KZ
May 18th, 2012 | LINK

1:26 – 2:37

Are you listening, Maggie Gallagher???

Neil
May 18th, 2012 | LINK

“…we’ve got to aspire to give our children what I believe to be the very best circumstances and that’s to have a mother and a father and I’m not saying that – I’m not saying gay parents are any lesser parents but…”

The usual nonsense with the usual hedging. The nonsense is that somehow if you deny marriage equality, a child who might otherwise have same-sex parents will now be raised by an opposite sex couple even though, as Penny Wong immediately points out, you don’t need to be married to become a parent.

Then Hockey instantly undermines his own opinion that children do better with opposite sex parents by stating that same-sex parents are just as good.

This is the pattern for politicians in Australia. Their opposition to marriage equality is simply to avoid any controversy peripheral to the main policy platforms. It’s an issue that cuts across usual party political debate and demographics so they endeavour to sideline the matter with as anodyne an objection they can muster.

The formula is: I believe marriage is not for same-sex couples, not that there is anything wrong with them. That’s just what I believe.

Andrew
May 19th, 2012 | LINK

I want that on a bumpersticker… “I know what my family is worth”…

TampaZeke
May 19th, 2012 | LINK

Ms. Wong, even as an out lesbian, was against marriage equality before she was for it. I don’t consider her heroic or courageous. She’s a politician who finally saw which way the winds were blowing and decided that the political environment had shifted enough for her to find her backbone and stand up for her own family and other families like hers.

Steve
May 20th, 2012 | LINK

@TampaZeke
It’s more that in a parliamentary system leading MPs and especially cabinet ministers are usually expected to tow the party line *in public*. It was the ruling party’s position to not endorse marriage equality, so she followed that. Then the party changed its view and she went with that.

Ryan
May 20th, 2012 | LINK

“I know what my family is worth”. Perfect.
I almost felt sorry for the guy. “I’m not saying that gay parents are lesser parents, but…” and there was literally no way to finish that sentence and have it make sense. Poor guy.

customartist
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Does barring Gays from Marriage and/or Adoption cause there to be MORE heterosexual parents raising children?

Is this about sheer volume?

Also I find it a contradiction of one’s self for the Male Commentor to say that he thinks Gays no less capable parents, but then to take the position of saying that his position, barring gays from marriage and/or Adoption, does somehow make for More quantities or a Better quality of childhood.

Dave H
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

I’m impressed that they can have a civil, non-hysterical discussion about it.

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