Brian Greig, on 16 June, speculates in Crikey on how the ALP will try to defuse the marriage equality issue before its December conference:
If anyone thinks Gillard’s office will put up with this any longer they’re dreaming. Her office will inevitably set about creating a new gay marriage group. A nicer one. A tame one. One that will be quiet. One that won’t annoy her. One that can spin a poor conference outcome Labor’s way. One that can be corralled into impotency.
It will urge recruits to work with the ALP’s strategy. It will have maps, polling and arguments designed to show well meaning but naive campaigners that the best chance of success lies in making the campaign go quiet. No more activism. No more embarrassing Gillard. Just lots of fruitless, time-consuming meetings away from media and public attention.
The uninitiated will be told that conservative voters in outer urban seats don’t like the issue being raised, but will begrudgingly support it if it goes through quietly. If you keep banging on about it, they’ll say, you’ll lose support. So, everybody, shush!
This week the Star Observer reports on a “Mystery marriage alliance”:
Concerns have been raised about who is behind a new Australian marriage equality alliance before the group has been formally announced.
The Marriage Alliance was founded six months ago and lists the Australian Coalition for Equality, Queensland Association for Healthy Communities, Gay & Lesbian Equality WA, NSW Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, Tasmanian Gay & Lesbian Rights Group (TGLRG), PFLAG Australia and Australian Marriage Equality (AME) as members.
However, the Star Observer has spoken to leadership individuals from Alliance member organisations, some of whom requested anonymity, who are concerned that focus group research and polling was commissioned on their behalf but without their knowledge.
The research, seen by this newspaper, urges taking a non-confrontational approach in the lead-up to the ALP National Conference in December and, although supportive of marriage equality, notes “for those conflicted by the issue or sitting on the fence, the idea of civil unions seem like the easiest and less disruptive path, and a reasonable compromise for both sides … some also think it might be a good first step before same-sex marriage becomes law”.
Groups who organise rallies for marriage equality have not been invited to join the Alliance.
I bet they haven’t.
And yet, if I hadn’t seen that Greig piece a few weeks back, the ruse might have fooled me for a few minutes.
They play a dirty game, the big parties, don’t they?
ELSEWHERE: A South Australian Labor MP has applied for a certificate of no impediment to marriage so he can marry his same-sex partner, challenging the PM to rescind the nasty effort by the Australian government to stop its citizens marrying overseas.
Meanwhile, the increasingly indefensible Gillard tells Sky News that she might not feel compelled to follow a resolution in favour of equality even if one is approved at the Labor conference.
Such bastardry to pointlessly try to placate bigots who’d never vote for her anyway.