Two guys drop into a pub for a drink. It’s their first date. They’re getting along fine. They exchange a kiss or two. Then suddenly, people are telling them to either stop or get out. They refuse. They’re bundled out the door. Heterosexual patrons who protest are bundled out too.

It’s a straight bar in the middle of gaytown. But discrimination is discrimination. Furious, the couple take to Twitter.

The next day, hundreds show up for a mass kiss-in. The media have a field day. The publican and the owners are left looking very stupid and completely out of step with public opinion.

That was London. About the same time, a major national newspaper publishes a lengthy opinion piece from a retired but still influential senior member of the ruling party. He writes, “marriage between people of different races, giving them equal status with white couples, in my view, goes way beyond the pale.

“They argue that the present law discriminates against them. It does. And it’s the same reason why I can’t marry Jamie or Hamish [his dogs].

“And how about the discrimination against paedophiles, prohibiting sexual relations with children?” All right and proper, he said, and it would never change until Hell freezes over.

That was here in Australia. There was immediate public outrage. Letters were sent to the paper demanding an apology and retraction. Julia Gillard described his views as repellent, totally out of step with the values of the Labor Party. He was told to return his Order of Australia.

A well-know serial litigant announced a racial vilification case. The editor of The Australian resigned, admitting a ‘serious error of judgement’.

You missed it? Not surprising. Because it never happened. It never happened because Barry Cohen didn’t write about interracial marriage. He wrote about people of the same sex marrying, gaining equal status with heterosexual couples. Way beyond the pale! Like legalising sex with animals and children!

And no one batted an eyelid. A few people got upset — mainly me. What was I fussing about? You’re missing the point, I was told. These are genuine, sincere beliefs held by many in both main parties.

We have to work with these people. Don’t rock the boat. More than half a world away from London. More than half a century in attitude.

I don’t know what shocked and angered me more. That a respectable family newspaper belonging to a sensitive and compassionate man like Rupert Murdoch would publish such drivel.

That no one in the Labor Party found this disgusting and unacceptable.

Or that gay and lesbian politicos would just shrug their shoulders and tell me to respect people like the writer!

Sorry. People who compare me to a dog-fucker or a kiddy-fiddler cannot be respected, reasoned with or even tolerated. They can only be fought.

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