Senator Eric Abetz has suggested that in deciding the question of gay marriage, Australians should look to their Asian neighbours, none of whom have legalised gay marriage. His argument being that as we are a part of Asia, we should follow Asia’s example.
This falls into the category of ideas that are so stupid they are almost impossible to refute.
Anyhow, here goes.
While we are increasing our cultural and economic ties with Asia, we still have much more in common with the culture and politics of the European traditions and countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Nations, United States, and Uruguay where gay marriage is legal.
If we take look at some of our Asian neighbours, we see some examples of pretty undesirable social and political systems.The important point is that in these countries civil rights and liberties are extremely restricted, one of those restrictions is that placed on gay marriage. Abetz is wrong to suggest that we should look to countries whose civil rights records are appallingly bad.
Gay marriage is not legal in North Korea, but that’s hardly an argument against gay marriage.
It’s not legal in Burma, but that’s a military dictatorship.
Nor is it legal in Vietnam (a Communist dictatorship).
It is certainly not legal in Malaysia where allegations of homosexuality are used to jail opposition leaders.
Abetz is employing a technique that is used by the climate deniers and any other members of the flat Earth Society who seek to deny the most obvious and often scientifically proven positions: say something really stupid and serious people will try to point out where you are wrong.
You can keep saying stupid things for a very long time and they will become preoccupied with trying to correct your thinking. They miss the point. It’s not what they’re thinking, its the obstructionist tactics that they are employing that are important. But what this does is effectively slow down the debate and hinder any social or legislative progress.
When blocking Bill Shorten’s attempt to move the legislative process forward, Tony Abbott used the argument that he wants the legislation on gay marriage owned by both sides of the house. This is a furphy.
A lot of legislation goes through the house because it is supported by the Government and not the Opposition. Much of it is as important as the gay marriage legislation. That’s the way our Parliament works.
But we can expect a small group of totally out-of-touch conservative (on both sides of politics) reactionary, right-wing, white, mainly catholic males to block legislation that will have absolutely no effect on their lives whatsoever.
It’s called a democracy.