That sound you hear is another crack in Labor’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
Bob McMullan declared support for marriage equality in Canberra last week, telling locals, “I will vote for civil unions and I will vote for gay marriage”. He joins Louise Pratt and Peter Garrett on the list of federal politicians to openly buck the party line.
Pratt has been outspoken on same-sex marriage since taking office, but Garrett is generally forgotten. Interviewed on Ten’s The Big Night In before joining the shadow ministry in 2006, Garrett responded, “I don’t have a problem with it”, when asked about the issue. There’s been dead silence ever since.
McMullan’s candidness will soften the blow before Kevin Rudd addresses the Australian Christian Lobby next month. But GLBT voters will ask why Albanese, Plibersek and others in the Labor Left can’t do the same when an unaligned MP like McMullan can without the support of a faction.
On the other side of the debate, Labor politicians are becoming more candid too — finally defending the policy. In a submission to the Senate marriage inquiry, NSW’s Greg Donnelly staked his opposition to same-sex marriage by encouraging Senators to read 21 Reasons Why Marriage Matters from the Fatherhood Foundation whose president, Warwick Marsh, was dumped from the Government’s men’s health taskforce for his bizarre homophobic views.
Marsh wants all mention of gays banned in schools, an end to all adoption and IVF access, funding cut from gay causes, and believes we suffer from “gender disorientation pathology” — an imaginary illness listed in no psychiatric manual in the world. According to Marriage Matters, from which Donnelly takes direction, married people live longer and earn more money.
South Australia’s Tom Kenyon is another who has outlined objections to marriage equality recently, declaring on The Punch, “there’s no logical reason to allow same-sex marriage”.
Gay voters don’t have much chance of shifting Kenyon from his outer suburbs Adelaide seat. But should you tire of a man who thinks you should die younger and poorer based on your relationship, Greg Donnelly is a Member of the Legislative Council, elected by the whole of NSW — so we all have the opportunity not to vote for him at the next state election.
This is my final Stirring The Pot column. I will miss writing it and engaging with readers immensely, but it is not a sad parting, for when you open this paper next week you may notice a new national affairs reporter who bears a striking resemblance to yours truly. During my two years on this column I’ve received hate mail, legal threats, angry phone calls from politicians and their staffers, and the odd invitation by email to peruse readers’ Gaydar profiles.
If my successor receives anywhere near the same response, he will know he has the balance right.

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