Malcolm Emits A Little Smoke

Something else that was nothing but smoke… by Butupa

Neither of the two main contenders for the Prime Ministership have so far offered the G.A.Y* community anything more than a wisp of smoke on marriage equality.

Malcolm Turnbull is losing the election. He seems to be dimly aware this might have something to do with not living up to his small-l liberal billing, so he said something about marriage equality.

If he wins,he said, he expects to hold the plebiscite before the end of the year. ‘Expects’, not ‘promises’. He added:

All I can do is give you my commitment to hold a plebiscite as soon as we can.

by Eva Rinaldi

Note that it’s “my” commitment, but it’ll be done as soon as “we” can – a frank admission that it won’t really be up to him. Note also that there’s no indication of when, if ever, a positive result might be translated into legislation. This has to rank as one of the most negligible of all campaign promises ever made.

Let’s be fair, it’s a welcome statement. It’s probably the nearest thing to an honest remark he’s made so far in the campaign.

Some sections of the press tried to talk it up, and gay Liberals briefly looked up from their tear-sodden Armani sleeves to give a tremulous smile. Oh Mal, they sighed, could it be you’re coming back to us after all?

Right wingers, ready to attack at the slightest deviation from orthodoxy by the Great Traitor, quickly stifled a half-formed war whoop as they discreetly stowed the tomahawk back in the glove compartment.

And then the smoke all blew away.


On the pink-tinged side of the fence, Bill Shorten continues to say Labor would legislate for marriage equality within 100 days of taking office, via a free vote in the House, though how he can possibly guarantee that without knowing the makeup of the new House is anyone’s guess.

In short, both leaders are so peddling nothing but marriage moonshine.
Despite Shorten’s shameful refusal to consider ending the vast range of special privileges granted to Christian businesses, The Australian Christian Lobby ran screaming into the street prophesying the end of civilisation as we know it etc etc.
No change there either, then.

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)