Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Up Front Guide to Plebs

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  • Moz,

    Take a moment to imagine what that’s going to sound like.

    It'll be fine, really, because the Christians have so far failed to get the restrictions on hate speech lifted for the duration. They have tried, though.

    I'm not sure what their version of hate speech would actually sound like, because what they're saying now is, dare I say it, un-Christ-like. Out of respect for you, and for my sanity, I'm not going to look for some quotes to make you throw up. What I've seen has ranged from Pell-vian to outright hateful.

    One positive is that Turnbull has managed to send Cory Bernadi out of the country for the duration. He's the "marry my dog" one, if you need to be reminded.

    Also, there will be no singing in Australian Parliament, I guarantee it. Most Australians can't even dirge their way through their national anthem. And there's no way we could muster an indigenous song, so at best you'd get some awful version of "Throw your arms around me" or something, while Cory et al sing "tie me kangaroo down" in an attempt to be funny.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Moz,

    It’ll be fine, really, because the Christians have so far failed to get the restrictions on hate speech lifted for the duration. They have tried, though.

    Wow.

    at best you’d get some awful version of “Throw your arms around me”

    That would be fabulous.

    One positive is that Turnbull has managed to send Cory Bernadi out of the country for the duration.

    I do wonder what the UN did to deserve that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Emma Hart,

    This is why having referenda (or, okay, plebiscites) on human rights issues is inherently degrading.

    Which is what Winston Peters wanted. Human rights debased to fodder for an idiots' auction.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Wikipedia:

    Some definitions of plebiscite suggest that it is a type of vote to change the constitution or government of a country.[1] Others define it as the opposite

    See also the Saarland plebiscite (or referendum)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Actually, after watching the Disturbed - The Sound of Silence video I've taken to singing pop songs in more of a Disturbed/Nick Cave voice, and "Throw your arms" becomes a terrifying horrorshow of a song done that way. A deep slow voice singing "I will come for you at night time," ... run away screaming. Just as a complete side note.

    Luckily the plebiscite is compulsory, so we should avoid the problem of "meh, whatever, why not" voters staying home and handing the process over to the die-hard opposition.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Moz,

    Luckily the plebiscite is compulsory, so we should avoid the problem of “meh, whatever, why not” voters staying home and handing the process over to the die-hard opposition.

    Oh, yes, one of the links I have in the piece on plebiscites in general says they're NOT compulsory, so good to note that this one IS.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    There's nothing like Australian politics to make our own look less awful.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • tony j ricketts, in reply to B Jones,

    There's nothing like Australian politics to make our own look less awful.

    Thirty years ago we didn't have a plebiscite or referendum, but the meeting I went to at Henderson would have been sickening, with Key Hay and his preacher mate, except that the crowd was not with them, and Fran Wilde was awesome.

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    I admit I still struggle to call it "marriage equality" rather than "same-sex marriage", just on factual grounds. But whatever they call it, I think it's a useful next step towards equality, and probably a necessary one.

    The plebiscite is hopefully going to be a bit more like the anti-smacking campaign was in NZ, at least in part because right now George Pell is all over the news with his "I knew children were being raped, but I wasn't much interested" comments that are reminding people how awful many Christians are. Any bigot that stands up has to face calls of "are you with the kiddy-fiddlers too, then?" and honestly, I don't have a problem with that. We don't have social pressure on them over torturing refugees, stealing children, not paying tax, victimising the poor or refusing to employ the "immoral" (as they define it, obviously), but with paedophilia the tide has finally started to turn[1].

    The real objections I've heard are more like "why kick a dying institution" and "who cares, only sad old sods get married", plus a huge dose of "just do it already".

    What amuses me is the number of people I know who got married for immigration purposes. Friends who were going overseas for a stint got to about page 3 of the Russian visa application and went "right, marriage it is" because getting a "non-married partner visa" was not a realistic proposition (they're straight, with kids). Likewise my coworker, who intends to marry before his kid starts school just because he has had enough of the whole nonsense around kids, visas and property ownership (or whatever you call the official "is this yours" questions that pop up every five seconds), because he's got UK & NZ citz but his wide is a skip.

    [1] various "christian" organisations are doing all of those things right now, in or for Australia

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I admit I still struggle to call it "marriage equality" rather than "same-sex marriage", just on factual grounds.

    Well, up to a point. I think we might want to be very careful to nuance that where the "T" in LGBT is concerned. ALL trans people deserve equal access to marriage (and civil unions), full stop and period.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    I like the term "marriage equality" because I thinks everyone should have equal rights to marry whomever they choose, or not. And that includes those who choose to marry someone who is already married. How many more years before our laws are changed to permit that choice?

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Dinah Dunavan,

    everyone should have equal rights to marry whomever they choose, or not

    That’s ambiguous in a few ways, though I get that the intent is to balance freely given consent, and (expressed, mutual) choice of partner(s), with no overt conditions on number or types of individuals (beyond those that would limit ability to give consent)… which is complex, and hard to sum up in a single statement of aim. No doubt the following can be further improved, but is it getting any closer to what you mean?
    Equal access to marriage should be available to all consenting adults who mutually want it.
    (N.B. I don’t know where this would leave someone who wants to marry a second spouse against the wishes of their first spouse – something that should call for at the very least a major renegotiation of the first marriage.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Attachment

    First it was the review of the Safe Schools Program, because Heaven Forefend children learn not to bully people because of their sexuality or gender identity.

    David Pope, Canberra Times.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    "same-sex marriage"... I think we might want to be very careful to nuance that where the "T" in LGBT is concerned. ALL trans people deserve equal access to marriage

    I'm aware of some of the issues, but the plebiscite wording is still unknown. NSW has our famous "none of the above" gendered person (Norrie, who I know to say hi to because Sydney is a smaller place than you might think in some respects). I fear that just to be @holes the Liberals will make their new law say "and now men can marry men, and women can marry women". The ALP platform is much like Aotearoa's law ‘‘Labor will amend the Marriage Act to ensure equal access to marriage under statute for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life’’. But despite the wording I am sure they mean to exclude married people from "all adult couples". And I'm not confident that they would re-amend the marriage laws to match that if the Liberals pass some half-way form of gay marriage.

    One thing I do hope vanishes in the law change is the requirement that people divorce before medical transition. I'm not sure of the legal situation, but it's traditionally been very hard to get approval without "showing commitment" by dissolving your family. Once it's explicitly lawful to be married to the same person after transition, hopefully that won't happen any more. (AFAIK it was never illegal to stay married, you just couldn't get married, but that is pure speculation... and it's actually much stupider than that)

    And yes, the Safe Schools thing is in some ways funny as fsck, and as some military type said "never distract your enemy while he is making a mistake". I don't think they'll be able to ban it, and in the meantime it's giving people a good vehicle to say "fsck yeah equality" under the guise of school... headline today was one school has withdrawn, 30 have signed up. The bigot campaign appears to be unsuccessful.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Moz,

    Something I discovered today. In England, adultery is grounds for divorce if you're married, but not for dissolution if you're in a civil partnership. But if you're in a same-sex marriage, you can only divorce your partner for adultery if they sleep with someone of the opposite sex. So if your husband sleeps with another man, that doesn't count as adultery.

    I have no idea how this plays out for trans and intersex people.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Moz,

    headline today was one school has withdrawn, 30 have signed up. The bigot campaign appears to be unsuccessful.

    Lovely. I do love a good unintended consequence.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I have no idea how this plays out for trans and intersex people.

    Almost certainly they are legally exactly one of (male/female) so the law will ignore all the subtlety and use the rules they have. But the adultery law seems weird on all counts, so who knows.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Moz,

    Once it's explicitly lawful to be married to the same person after transition, hopefully that won't happen any more. (AFAIK it was never illegal to stay married, you just couldn't get married, but that is pure speculation... and it's actually much stupider than that)

    One interesting thing that I realised while living in California (about 15 years ago) was that a couple of neighbours had stayed married through the transition .... apparently in California it wasn't illegal for two women to be married, just for them to GET married .... it was the state transition that was illegal, not the state itself

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Something I discovered today. In England, adultery is grounds for divorce if you're married, but not for dissolution if you're in a civil partnership. But if you're in a same-sex marriage, you can only divorce your partner for adultery if they sleep with someone of the opposite sex. So if your husband sleeps with another man, that doesn't count as adultery.

    That is bizarre.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Something I discovered today. In England, adultery is grounds for divorce if you're married, but not for dissolution if you're in a civil partnership. But if you're in a same-sex marriage, you can only divorce your partner for adultery if they sleep with someone of the opposite sex. So if your husband sleeps with another man, that doesn't count as adultery.

    Whoops! Somebody really should fix that...

    My understanding of the current law in Australia is that if one spouse transitions, the couple has to divorce.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    To be honest, I think this boils down simply to the fact there is no federal human rights/anti-discrimination legislation for queers in Australia. If I go to rent a house in the Northern Territory, I can simply be denied just because I'm a big old dyke.

    We did it the right way around in NZ - once the underlying antidiscrimination principle had been established across the board, it was only a matter of time before the marriage laws and bizzaro adoption crapola was sorted out. For those not in the know, for many years gay single people could adopt - and did - while gay couples were not permitted to. Also, couples where one parent had a biological child could not have their same sex partner adopt the child, without relinquishing their own parental rights.

    In Oz, they've spent so much energy on this same sex marriage thing without the underlying rights (sure, yes, there are reasonable rights given out piecemeal in most of the states, but marriage is administered by the Australian Commonwealth) and it drives me nutty.
    1. I'm not ever getting married, so I'm not interested that specific thing. However, I am interested in having full rights - whether I choose to exercise them or not, just like straights - anywhere in the country I happen to be living in.
    2. NOT having equal marriage rights serves to rub every queer's nose in the residue of their second-class citizenship every single day. Whether or not they ever intend marriage.
    3. Turnbull is essentially a socially liberal dude (let's not talk economic policy, mines, NBN, or asylum seekers) who is only going through the expensive charade of the plebiscite to appease the Nats and have something to wave at the ultra-nutbag (i.e. Bernardi) wing of the party. He's obviously not going to place his gonads on the line for a bunch of whinging queers who mostly won't vote for his party anyway.
    4. I'm still pissed off with the mendacity of the Australian Labor Party, who could have done it if they weren't wasting time on constant backstabbing and leaders with the social conscience of gnats.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Sister Mary Gearchange, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    >>Well, up to a point. I think we might want to be very careful to nuance that where the "T" in LGBT is concerned. ALL trans people deserve equal access to marriage (and civil unions), full stop and period.<<

    I'm of the opinion that that is looking at it from the wrong direction in so far as it puts the focus on the subject within the institution, not the institution. It is buying into the framing of the argument by the religious that makes it an argument in the first place.

    Those within (or without) are too diverse to address in law IMO. Putting aside even the low end stuff of minor cock ups in implementation in law (cf. England, mentioned elsewhere) there will always be someone feeling left out, or actually being left out by trying to account for all possible options.

    IMO the state should be accommodating the religious and non-religious only because that is the basis of objection in the first place: "marriage" can be a religious function performed however a particular religion prefers and with no legal standing as far as the State is concerned, and "civil union" can be the State recognised partnership between freely consenting & informed adults (with the underlying assumption being that the State promoting stable partnerships between said individuals/groups being a socially good thing (which I have some doubts about, personally)) which has weight and status and consequence within the law. Put "marriage" on the same level as "confirmation" is for, say Catholics. Reserve "civil union" for the State. Differentiate it linguistically and society will (eventually) follow. It also serves to undercut the religious objections and removes the State from the religious moral argument - the only argument with any weight and the one the State shouldn't have any opinion on.

    Since Oct 2015 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Sister Mary Gearchange, in reply to Emma Hart,

    >>Something I discovered today. In England, adultery is grounds for divorce if you’re married, but not for dissolution if you’re in a civil partnership. But if you’re in a same-sex marriage, you can only divorce your partner for adultery if they sleep with someone of the opposite sex. So if your husband sleeps with another man, that doesn’t count as adultery.<<

    You're playing a bit fast and loose with terminology there. Marriage, civil partnership, and civil union are all different things under law.

    The law in the UK allows for divorce under all situations not covered by adultery as "unreasonable behaviour".



    >>I have no idea how this plays out for trans and intersex people.<<

    Covered in ss5 & 12 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. Some aspects still require case law to clarify because some of it (oh, the unhappy irony) is a bit ambiguous.

    Since Oct 2015 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to TracyMac,

    To be honest, I think this boils down simply to the fact there is no federal human rights/anti-discrimination legislation for queers in Australia. If I go to rent a house in the Northern Territory, I can simply be denied just because I’m a big old dyke.

    This 'order of things' has boggled me a bit with the US as well: there are still thirty-odd states where you can be legally fired from your job for your sexuality or gender identity. And yes, because these aren't specifically protected grounds in the Constitution.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    On other news, Pricewaterhouse Cooper is now saying the real cost of the plebiscite will be more like $500m.

    PwC economics and policy partner Jeremy Thorpe notes the impact a stand-alone plebiscite would have on the LGBTI community saying; "What we find is the cost to the LGBTI community are in the order of $20 million for dealing with additional mental health costs that arise, just because of the stress and the public nature of the plebiscite.”

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

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