Take a try-hard like Tim Minchin, who recently posted a dittyonline commending the postal vote for at least enabling enlightened good guys like himself to identify which Australians are homophobic c-----. This is not a man interested in the welfare of homosexuals or building bridges. He wants a political fight, mainly because he needs a distraction from the troubling fact he is just as elitist and dogmatic as the hard-line Christians he mocks.
Bill Shorten practices a more subtle form of posturing.
His marriage equality campaign deliberately blurs the line between effective politics and what lies beyond. People crave connection and solidarity more than ever. So much so they are readily exploited by false promises. Why not take the easy, box-ticking option? Why not believe the fiction that changing the law will somehow promote and dignify the glory of love?
Same-sex marriage advocates often rightly ask why it matters to those on the No side. Why is it skin off my nose if two blokes get hitched?
I believe it will be detrimental to Australian society. Not the issue, per se. It's about overreach. A Yes will further galvanise an ill-founded confidence in politics at the expense of the things that matter, including acceptance of minorities.
Malcolm Turnbull has a chance to demonstrate the head-and-heart combo many Australians – myself included – once thought he could bring to the prime ministership.
Political stability is not half-way between Abbott and Minchin. Standing in the middle of the culture wars is liable to get a reasonable person shot (Turnbull is already badly wounded).
Balance isn't left-right; it's inside-outside.
Australia – indeed, the world – yearns for a leader brave enough to mark off the limits of democracy in order to create the space needed for us to get on with getting along with each other. Exchange faith in the system for faith in real people. We want someone who will risk it all by drawing this line and defending it with conviction.
Same-sex marriage represents that opportunity.
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