Gay Liberal Candidate Preferences Anti-Gay Parties

Kevin Ekendahl spruiking his pro marriage equality stance on the Australian Marriage Equality website last week

Kevin Ekendahl spruiking his pro marriage equality stance on the Australian Marriage Equality website

Here is the “how to vote card” for Kevin Ekendahl, the out gay Liberal candidate for Melbourne Ports. He seems to have some very odd political bedfellows.

2013 Ballot Paper (9 Candidates)
Candidate Name Party
4 STAR, Melissa Sex Party
8 DANBY, Michael Australian Labor Party
2 KEENAN, Robert Family First Party
5 STODART, Toby Simon Palmer United Party
3 STEFANO, Vince DLP Democratic Labour
9 BIRRELL, Ann The Greens
1 EKENDAHL, Kevin Liberal
6 QUINN, Margaret Rise Up Australia Party
7 ARMSTRONG, Steven Stable Population Party

Notice anything odd? His preference goes straight (if you’ll pardon the pun) to Family First.

Here’s what Family First says about equal marriage:

We believe that marriage at its essence and by definition is between a man and a
woman to the exclusion of others for life.
Family First will oppose any legislation it considers will harm or diminish the
institution of marriage and will support programs, activities and initiatives that
seek to strengthen and promote the benefits to society and individuals of strong
healthy marriages.

His next preference goes to the Democratic Labor Party, which doesn’t even support civil unions, let alone equal marriage.

The DLP opposes same sex civil unions and relationship registers.

We support and promote voluntary marriage between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, with an aspiration for a lifelong commitment.

So can we safely assume that Kevin Ekendahl, out gay Liberal, doesn’t support marriage equality? Well, actually, he says he does.

“I’m campaigning strongly enough on it to say I will pass a private members bill or co-sponsor a bill with the other members of parliament, Greens and Labor, whoever else to make sure we get the right legislation through and is supported from all sides.”

He has a funny way of showing it. As my Dad used to tell me, pay no attention to what they say. Watch what they do.

He’s not the only Liberal preferencing Family First: Kelly O’Dwyer, member for Higgins preferenced them too. But then she’s not promising to push for marriage equality in parliament if elected. And she’s not gay.

They’re both appearing at the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby forum at DnM Bar Saturday week: perhaps someone can ask them what they think they’re doing?

As The Rainbow Report on JOY 94.9 did: check out the podcast (available at the link now). Ekendahl explains that party rules give him no choice in the matter, and though he disagrees with the distribution of preferences his hands are tied.

Meanwhile, here’s the Greens how to vote card he refers to in the podcast.


About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)