When spite is also expensive

Responding the news that the gay marriage ban costs Australia over $700 million, Fanny asks:

Oh this is a tough one… Does the government hate gays more than they love money??

The answer, of course, is “yes”. Yes, the government “hates” gays more than they love money.

Or, more precisely – they love bigot votes more than they fear losing greedy votes, which they secure in other ways.

It’s a pity, really, because there are actually more non-bigot votes out there, if anyone other than the Greens would care to represent them.

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42 responses to “When spite is also expensive

  1. Why do progressives such as yourself advocate for marriage?

    Surely you consider marriage to be an outdated institution.

    We have enough laws to protect the rights of people who enter into co-habbitation. A marriage contract is unnescessary.

    We have laws that protect any children that may arrise from this co-habbitation. We have property laws that can manage any thing of significance that is purchased by the people in this co-habbitation.

    Are you arguing that you love someone more or your relationship is more valid if you have a big ceremony and party then go on a holiday?

    Gee gay people and there supporters are certainly conservatives and traditionalists.

  2. I think there’s a difference between “cohabiting” and making a formal commitment to a partner to love and cherish and have and hold in sickness and in health in richness and in poorness till death do you part. “Marriage” is not owned by conservatives, sorry.

    In any case, as far as the law goes, fundamentally, I think it’s vital that government not discriminate against people on the grounds of their gender or sexuality. The 2004 Marriage Act does just that. It must be changed.

  3. I think there’s a difference between “cohabiting” and making a formal commitment to a partner to love and cherish and have and hold in sickness and in health in richness and in poorness till death do you part.

    Yes of course. Uttering these words in front of a rabble of workmates and family then signing a piece of paper makes it all so formal and binding.
    Whereas if you were to give your partner the same commitment through not only your words and actions during the course of your relationship……. nah that means nothing.

    The 2004 Marriage Act discriminates? Well why don’t you progressives lobby for the abolishment of the whole damn thing if you dont like it?

  4. We’re lobbying for the removal of the parts that discriminate.

    We’re not as down on the concept of commitment and marriage as you conservatives, Turtle.

  5. Oh cherry picking you mean.

  6. “Cherry picking”? Lol.

    Turtle, we’re only seeking to remove the changes by Howard that discriminate against people on the grounds of gender/sexuality – changes that really have nothing to do with marriage, and should never have been inserted.

    Also, as your comments indicate, there are as many conservatives objecting to marriage as a government-recognised institution as there are progressives.

    It’s thoroughly bizarre you telling us what WE should be campaigning for. If you want to tear down marriage, then that’s your bag, not ours.

  7. We’re not as down on the concept of commitment and marriage as you conservatives, Turtle.

    Turtle’s not a conservative who is for upholding the institution of marriage. If she were she’d want as many couples as possible who want to marry to be able to do so. No, turtle is a radical bigot who’d rather see marriage debased by celebrities and others who care so much about the institution they embark on a different marriage each year.

  8. your comments indicate, there are as many conservatives objecting to marriage
    I don’t think that little ol me represents a proportion of ‘conservatives’ as you imply.

    then that’s your bag, not ours
    btw interesting observation that you think you speak on behalf of some proportion of the community.

    Anyway the point remains that there is no need for marriage in a truly modern societal wonderland, the one that Jeremy aspires too and believes that if we all voted Green we would achieve.

    Funny how he longs and argues in support of an archaistic institution like ‘marriage’.

  9. “Anyway the point remains that there is no need for marriage”

    You’re saying that. I disagree.

    So, since you think marriage is unnecessary, are you campaigning for the Marriage Act to be completely repealed, Turtle?

    “in a truly modern societal wonderland one that Jeremy aspires too and believes that if we all voted Green we would achieve.”

    You’re such a shameless liar, Turtle. Who described it as a “wonderland”? I just think it’d be better than the status quo.

  10. “Anyway the point remains that there is no need for marriage” -Turtle
    You’re saying that. I disagree. – Jeremy

    Bravo Jeremy you have managed to selectively quote me knowing that I am actually quite the advocate for real* marriage.

    Sure there are a lot of nice sentimental yet antiquated values, norms and instititutions that make little sense when properly scrutinised.

    And in a world that many of the readers of this blog are trying to achieve, marriage ceromonies would probably be banned in the same piece of legislation that rids us of Christmas and Australia day.

    However I am interested in your reasoning to go against this trend and actually be an advocate for marriage.



    _____________

    * real marriage: between a man and woman who love each other and enter into the commitment freely

  11. “Bravo Jeremy you have managed to selectively quote me knowing that I am actually quite the advocate for real* marriage.”

    What’s all this crap about marriage being an “unnecessary” and “outdated institution”, then? This “uttering these words in front of a rabble of workmates and family then signing a piece of paper makes it all so formal and binding” dismissal of the formal marriage ceremony? This “there is no need for marriage in a truly modern societal wonderland” line?

    Those weren’t my words. Those were yours. If you’re not disparaging marriage, then who in this argument is? Not me. If it’s not you, then what the hell is the relevance of bringing up a fatuous attack on marriage that no-one here is actually putting?

    “* real marriage: between a man and woman who love each other and enter into the commitment freely”

    Perhaps you need a “TM” after your cynical, self-interested and ridiculous “definition” of “real marriage”. Real Marriage (TM) – Just For Us!

    Because the distinction you’re trying to draw is nonsense. A marriage between two men or two women is just as capable of being “real” as one between a man and a woman.

  12. “….what the hell is the relevance of bringing up a fatuous attack on marriage that no-one here is actually putting?”

    ”fatuous attack’ – Well that’s your description.

    I consider it to be a necessary part of any debate that alternative arguments be put and considered.

    If it wasn’t for me partaking in these ‘gay marriage’ threads we would just have the usual band of Jeremyites that frequent this site sprouting platitudes like ‘good post lefty’ and ‘I couldn’t agree with you more’.

  13. Anyway the point remains that there is no need for marriage in a truly modern societal wonderland

    So having failed to provide any convincing arguments against marriage equality – you know, that might cause us not to regard you as a homophobe – this is now the position of anti-equality mob.

    Do you really hate same sex couples so much that you’d rather see the abolition of marriage altogether than extend the right to them? Rank stupidity!!

  14. I consider it to be a necessary part of any debate that alternative arguments be put and considered.

    I feel confident in speaking for others by noting that this isn’t what we “Jeremyites” have ever gotten from your comments here. At least not sensible logical or reasoned arguments anyway.

  15. What took Turtle so long to comment about their number one issue – indeed only issue – they comment about?

  16. “I consider it to be a necessary part of any debate that alternative arguments be put and considered.”

    Put by their proponents. Not idiots misrepresenting them.

    The problem for you, Turtle, is that you apparently can’t coherently argue the side you believe in. So you instead try to argue the other side, badly.

    I mean, we welcome debate, but competence might be nice.

  17. AU makes a good point – if you’re here to broaden our horizons, Turtle, then why’s gay marriage the only topic you ever comment on?

  18. Hi Aussie Unionist,

    I don’t bother always commenting on this blog now. Jeremy has me on moderation so there is quite often a lag in my posts.

    Funnily the moderation came about when I did try to broaden the discussion and raised the concept of two consenting brothers wanting to marry.

    Jeremy said that he would delete all my comments if we discussed this.

    http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/campaigning-against-your-own-oppression-isnt-your-sole-responsibility-sure-but-its-a-good-idea/#comment-10480

    Anyway I will try to post somthing on the next ‘houses are too darn expensive’ or ‘Conroy doesn’t want me to look at porn’ post.

  19. “I don’t bother always commenting on this blog now. “

    When have you ever commented on a non gay-related post?

    “Jeremy has me on moderation so there is quite often a lag in my posts.”

    ‘Cos you insist on dragging threads off-topic.

    “Funnily the moderation came about when I did try to broaden the discussion and raised the concept of two consenting brothers wanting to marry.”

    Like with that. That isn’t “broadening the discussion”, that’s hijacking it.

    “Anyway I will try to post somthing on the next ‘houses are too darn expensive’ or ‘Conroy doesn’t want me to look at porn’ post.”

    Conroy wants to monitor everything you do with your internet connection. That might not bother you now, but wait till future governments use the power he’s established more aggressively.

    But that’s a discussion for a different post.

  20. Hi Turtle

    I am one of those people who believes “there is no need for marriage in a truly modern societal wonderland” – Could you please stop arguing my position so badly!

    I’m comfortable thinking that they are a supreme waste of money and energy (which the article linked above seems to support).

    I will still go (and enjoy) my friends and families weddings because the step is important to them, and they are important to me.

    Let the consenting, loving adults make up their own mind, with their own families.

    If your gay cousin invites you to their big gay wedding you can choose not to go and you can choose not to think of it as “real”. But the question that you never answer is why.

  21. I’m truly amazed the average cost of a wedding is $28,000 and as high as $49,000! Is that what people really spend in order to get married?

  22. I think that’s what they’re charged just to get married in the local park, these days.

  23. I find it ironic that conservatives are the first to devalue marriage when it comes to teh gays. Is marriage just about living in the same house now? I mean, if cohabiting is the same as marriage, why would anybody do it at all, straights included?

    There may be no need for ridiculously expensive ceremonies, but there is still a need for official recognition of the closest relationship people can have. Not for when times are good, but for when times are bad. If one spouse ends up in hospital, it is not the “flatmate” that gets to make medical decision, it is the spouse. But if the government doesn’t recognise the spouse, but would if they were of the opposite gender, then it is a problem that needs to be fixed. This is just one example.

    The only way it will be fixed is to give gays equal marital status. This is not because many see marriage as essential to society, but because marriage is going nowhere, nor it’s privileged position in society. The only fair thing to do is give it to all consenting adults who want it.

    To say on one hand “marriage is what everybody should aspire to”, and then on the other say, “you can’t get married no matter how much you want it”, is the sort of hypocrisy that need to be stamped out.

  24. Bloody hell, as gay man in a long-term relationship I just want my life and circumstance to be taken as seriously as the majority’s, the majority being those who can marry. In short I want my life and circumstance to be legitimate, and the best and most practical way to feel legitimate is to have it recognised by law. Of course, I don’t actually need a piece of paper for my relationship to be made more functional, but I’m more interested in acceptance and legitimacy than some fanciful belief in the benefit of being a rogue queer outsider. Ultimately, I just want the law to recognise the reality of my life.

  25. “I think that’s what they’re charged just to get married in the local park, these days.”

    No, that is patently wrong. My cousin got married two weeks ago and the whole thing came to $7600. And that’s with 100 guests and home catering. Which a lot of people do these days as they need their cash for the actual marriage and not for the wedding day.

    The monetary amount indicated in that piece of writing is assuming a lot. I have mates who have done upwards of $250,000 weddings (which was a hoot to go to) right down to less than $2000 (which was also a hoot to go to – but for different reasons). Claiming that the economy is suffering because gay marriage is not legal is assuming that the funds are not being spent elsewhere – which is patently false.

  26. No, that is patently wrong. My cousin got married two weeks ago and the whole thing came to $7600. And that’s with 100 guests and home catering.

    Wow how cheap is that? (not) This is simply further evidence that weddings are completely commercialised these days.

    In fact that’s the unease I have with the link and premise of this post in the first place: the point about same sex marriage isn’t that the government is missing out on all this money, but that same sex couples are missing out on a fundamental right that other couples take for granted – to the extent that they think nothing of shelling out ridiculous amounts of money, even to the extent that $7000 is regarded as a bargain to get hitched!

    We heteros really*have* debased the value of marriage, haven’t we?

  27. “My cousin got married two weeks ago and the whole thing came to $7600. And that’s with 100 guests and home catering. “

    That’s still a lot of money.

    “Claiming that the economy is suffering because gay marriage is not legal is assuming that the funds are not being spent elsewhere – which is patently false.”

    It’s not “patently” false, but it’s arguable. The argument is also that (a) local gay couples are spending that money getting married overseas, and (b) we’re depriving ourselves of revenue from overseas gay couples who might’ve married here.

  28. “the point about same sex marriage isn’t that the government is missing out on all this money, but that same sex couples are missing out on a fundamental right that other couples take for granted”

    Obviously that’s THE point. This is just a peripheral point, about how the bigotry doesn’t even make sense from an economic point of view.

  29. This is just a peripheral point, about how the bigotry doesn’t even make sense from an economic point of view.

    If we’re talking about the bigotry then I’d argue that the ‘costs’ to governments are under reported. AME have only reported costs of weddings, which as we’ve already highlighted are inflated by commercialism, but in fairness are only a once-off cost. Assuming one only marries once that is!

    But when you cost out discrimination longitudinally we see the long term effects of social exclusion, bigotry and prejudice manifest at the economic end as mental health problems, suicide and chronic health conditions. These are ultimately far more costly to government, and a far more accurrate representation of what bigotry towards gay people costs government and the community at large.

  30. And homelessness!

    I suppose my point is that the cost of weddings don’t come close to an accurrate economic measurement of discrimination against gay people.

  31. And even if they did, the government wouldn’t care, is my point.

  32. Interesting point, I am friends with 3 couples who bought houses in inner city Melbourne last year. All gay men.

    I wonder if amounts which would have been spent on weddings have been funnelled into deposits (in some cases this includes gifts from parents who may have contributed to weddings if children were straight).

  33. Yes, the government “hates” gays more than they love money.

    Mmmmmm so if a gay bloke offers me a million bucks to have sex with him and I say no, then that means I also hate gays more than I love money?

    Or could it be that my morality cannot be bought?

  34. In the case of the ALP, their morality is quite clearly for sale – to noisy bigots in marginal seats. The currency of politics is votes, and the ALP makes the call against marriage equality because it figures that although a clear majority of Australians supports it, most of those won’t change their votes on the issue; however, hardline religious fundamentalists WILL.

  35. Bull shit.
    Most people would not be in favour of gay marriage being regarded as equal to heterosexual marriage.

  36. You are quite wrong.

    You’re making the mistake of thinking that “most people” are as bigoted as you.

    Of course, even if they were, it still wouldn’t be right for the government to discriminate against someone based on their gender or sexuality.

  37. Oh that’s a different issue Jeremy.
    Recognise same sex marriage and equate it with heterosexual marriage is quite different.
    I have no issue with the recognition of gay marriage, none at all, but it isn’t the same as a heterosexual marriage and no manner squirming arguments and name calling by you will ever make it so.
    A wombat, while similar to a koala, is not the same. I recognise the place of the wombat in the bush, but he’s never ever going to be a koala.
    Sorry.
    Best he be happy being a wombat.

  38. Saying that same sex marriage is not the same as heterosexual marriage is in no way a logical argument in favour of discrimination in law.

    And your comments are becomming quite incoherent and rantish as the afternoon wears on. Are you drinking by any chance?

  39. Glad you’ve got no problem with marriage equality being enshrined in law, Leo. Particularly since that’s really the only thing we’re talking about. I assumed you were putting your silly feelings about gay marriages not being “equal” to heterosexual ones as some kind of argument against gay marriage being recognised by the government, because otherwise they were completely off-topic.

    Frankly, I couldn’t care less if you want to privately feel that gay marriages are worth less than straight ones, so long as you’re not suggesting that those private feelings are a basis on which the government should deny someone else equal rights – or trying to derail a discussion on that issue with a disingenuous smear against gay people. I mean, I personally feel that marriages involving stupid bigots who think they’re better than someone else because of the gender of their partner are worth less to the community than those marriages between decent, reasonable, rational, compassionate human beings (I mean, imagine the values they’re instilling in their kids!), but no-one’s seeking to take marriage rights away from bigots.

    Seriously, try to cut down on the “most people share my prejudices” bullshit, Leo. It makes you sound really stupid.

  40. however, hardline religious fundamentalists WILL.

    Surely however there are more moderate and centrist voters than hardline fundies? I suspect the problem is that hardline fundies are well funded and have organisational structures (ie churches) that can a) easily mobilise lots of voters and make lots of noise and b) use all those not so obvious ‘family’ organisations to help spread the message further. It then gives a stick for the opposition to beat Labor with about it’s hidden left wing agenda.

    I used to think the best opportunity for marriage equality was when Turnbull was liberal leader: we will see marriage equality as a result of a labor government, but this issue needs bipartisan support in order to get up. But now I think we’ll have to wait until the hard Right loses it’s grip on the Liberals – there’s no way there’ll be bipartisan support for marriage equality while Tone is in charge.

  41. I think the numbers, in ascending order, are

    A. gay people who want to get married, and people who would change their vote on a fundamental civil liberties issue even if it doesn’t affect them;
    B. bigots who don’t want gay people to get married and will mobilise to fight any kind of equal rights for gays;
    C. people who think gay people are a bit icky but will base their vote on other issues;
    D. people who think gay people should have equal rights, but will base their vote on other issues.

    D>C>B>A. And A+D > B+C.

    Unfortunately, B>A, and that’s all the politicians care about.

  42. That’s probably a fair assessment of how the numbers lie. I’d also add the ALPs assessment of which electorates the various groups live. What’s your view (given you live in Melb) of how the issue would run in Tanner’s seat? Are there lots of A people there, or perhaps D people who might be susceptible to a Greens message marriage equality and the filter, and the fact that it’s the fundies running policy now, and change their vote?

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