Although they reported this week that “Tony Abbott embraces gays“, fear not, fundamentalists and other social conservatives. The “in principle” support for anti-discrimination legislation addressing sexuality* that he expressed yesterday to a gay radio station will be incredibly easy to wriggle out of (that’s what those cagey two words are for), and he continues to support – and insist on – discrimination against gay people in the law. He repeated the assertion-as-argument that “marriage is, dare I say it, between one man and one woman” without being in any way concerned that he doesn’t have a single argument as to why that must be. He “completely agreed” that gay couples are “perfectly capable” of doing the right thing by a child, but of course didn’t in any way commit to amending the parts of the law that discriminate against gay parents such as in the area of adoption for, he apparently concedes, no good reason.
So, fear not, he’s just trying to carve off a few ALP votes from easily-hoodwinked gay people who aren’t paying attention, for the conservative cause. It doesn’t mean anything. If it was an “embrace”, it was at arms’ length, awkward and uncomfortable, and he wiped his hands on an aide afterwards.
*Frankly, it seems to me, discrimination against gay and lesbian people already runs afoul of the existing Sex Discrimination Act – specifically section 5:
(1) For the purposes of this Act, a person (in this subsection referred to as the discriminator ) discriminates against another person (in this subsection referred to as the aggrieved person ) on the ground of the sex of the aggrieved person if, by reason of:
(a) the sex of the aggrieved person…
the discriminator treats the aggrieved person less favourably than, in circumstances that are the same or are not materially different, the discriminator treats or would treat a person of the opposite sex.
Which is, of course, precisely what happens every time a woman is prevented by the law from marrying her female partner on the grounds that she’s a woman.
ELSEWHERE: Brian Greig isn’t impressed by either major party.