As people were fleeing their burning homes and volunteer firefighters were crowdfunding basic supplies in December, Australia’s Pentecostal Prime Minister was busy working on safeguarding the rights of a handful of bigoted institutions to discriminate, writes Chris Jenkins.
In the lead up to and following the announcement of the plebiscite, now survey, on changing the Marriage Act, unions have played a prominent role in promoting and resourcing the Yes campaign.
Senior union officials have been speakers at rallies, there have been large union contingents at protest marches and unions — especially peak bodies such as Victorian Trades Hall Council and the Australian Council of Trade Unions — have been providing infrastructure to help build the capacity for the campaign to ensure maximum participation and support for the Yes side.
Ever since it was announced, the federal government’s postal survey on marriage equality has been met with responses questioning both the legitimacy of the survey and demonstrating support for marriage equality — responses that have been vital for the confidence and morale of members of the LGBTIQ community.
Despite this, the right, particularly the Christian right, has demonstrated its determination to defeat the push for marriage equality through the mobilisation of homophobic and transphobic hatred and disinformation.
Despite widespread community opposition and the Senate's repeated rejection of a plebiscite the Malcolm Turnbull government is persisting with a non-binding postal survey on the question of removing the current definition of marriage from the Marriage Act and replacing it with an unspecified definition that will provide for marriage equality in some unspecified form.
Reactions by politicians and the media around the world to the horrific mass murder at an Orlando LGBTI club on June 12 have largely focused on the attacker’s alleged links to Islamic extremists — despite the killer pledging allegiance to both the Islamic State group and its nemesis Hezbollah.