Family First are bigots first, says socialist Senate candidate

Rachel Evan, Socialist Alliance Senate NSW lead candidate. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Media statement August 9, 2010

Rachel Evans, the lead NSW Senate candidate for Socialist Alliance, condemned Family First’s Wendy Francis’ likening the legalisation of same-sex marriage to the legalisation of child abuse as “homophobic” and “incitement to more violence against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer people”.

“The one thing we can to thank Wendy Francis for is her outing of her misnamed Family First party as one of the many bigoted and intolerant parties that will be contesting this election for the Senate in several states, including in Queensland and NSW.

“Some people may been under a different impression.

“The exposure of Family First, first on the Channel 7 and later on twitter*, as the unsophisticated and bigoted group that they are can also be a good thing.

“However, tolerant people have a duty to stand up to the parties promoting such an archaic prejudice.

“For decades the LGBTQI communities have had to struggle for our rights – from the most basic, such as to hold a march in the streets in 1978, to the campaign for equal marriage and adoption rights of today.

“Survey after survey has shown that gay couples are just as adept as heterosexual couples at raising children. A 2009 report to the NSW parliament on same-sex adoption confirmed this.

“There are now 10 countries supporting equal marriage rights (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden) and there is no evidence that those couples' children suffer more emotional abuse than do children of heterosexual couples.

“There is evidence, however, that children will suffer emotional abuse, however, if their parents are denied rights available to other members of society.

“Family First’s spokesperson sounds like those protagonists from the bygone apartheid era which warned that ‘mixed marriages’ would lead to children being abused.

“This bigoted nonsense has no place in a human rights-minded society, let alone in Australian parliaments.

“The Liberal Party deserve to be condemned as well: their preferences go to this ‘Bigots First’ party in the NSW Senate.”

* Read what Wendy Francis wrote on Twitter here.

Media inquiries Fred Fuentes on 0412 556 527

More information on Rachel Evans and the NSW Senate team click here.

Comments

Family First are intolerant bigots and I thoroughly support what Rachel says in this article. It is most important that we outer suburban family people do not leave it solely up to gays to fight Family First - white Australians speak out against racism, they try to convince other white Australians to be more tolerant and oppose the slur that racists cast on all Australians. Similarly people with so-called "normal" families living in ordinary suburbs and country towns need to speak out against homophobia, tell our neighbours and relatives to be more tolerant and oppose the slur that extremely socially conservative attitudes, packaged as "Family First" values, can cast on people with average family lifestyles or religious leanings.

I know of an anti-domestic violence advocate who votes Family First because she says, after everything she's been through, she wants to put her family first. Similarly Greens scrutineers have noticed that some FF voters preference the Greens and vice versa, so FF are picking up an anti-big party vote that is otherwise better earned and deserved by Greens or socialists. When people vote for Family First, they are often taken in by a name or small party image.

Extreme right wing parties take advantage of poverty and isolation to try and build a base in out of the way places. Progressives who live, work and campaign in out of the way places need more support from the Left to lead their communities towards progressive ideas, to Family First-proof our communities, or to build what is sometimes called an "Abbott proof fence".

Working class people often judge politicians by how they come across rather than by analysing policy. When I stood for Scullin with the Greens a number of people remarked "You are just like Pauline Hanson" despite the fact that I am from a migrant background and oppose her policies.

I think we have to talk to voters in the suburbs and the country in a more everyday kind of way about the need to scrutinise and judge policy matters - I think we need to tell them that when you are buying a product from the supermarket shelf you don't just look at the label or the packaging - you have to read the list of ingredients to see what's inside the packet - does it have artificial colourings that cause hyperactivity in children, or too much salt or has it gone past its use-by date? And if you are choosing a government that is going to run this country for the next three years surely you are not just going to look at the label or the packaging - you have to read the list of ingredients to see what's inside this package - does it have policies that are going to harm our children, destroy their environment, lower our living standards, take away the democracy, equality and fairness that should be everybody's birthright? Does it have social policies that have gone past their use-by date?

We can only reach out to outer suburban and country people if the Left supports activity in these areas.

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