Now we’ve had the debate, the debate will begin. That’s the message from what’s left of the Coalition Gummnt in the wake of the “yes” result in the marriage survey.
While both sides did their best to call it an emphatic strong result (even Eric Abetz was strangely gracious in defeat), the result is not as strong as either side wanted.
The tears of joy fell at pro-yes rallies on Wednesday. Some had feared the result could possibly go the other way.
Rural people mostly voted yes. The strongest ‘no’ came in Sydney, where electorates around Bankstown, Canterbury and Fairfield led the nation in no-ing. Suburbs that are largely migrant, largely religious, largely Islamic. And conservative.
Yep, modern divided Sydney is both Australia’s gay capital, and the home of the strongest anti-gay sentiment.
So is this the end? Tony Abbott has said a 40 per cent no vote would be a victory, and it came close. He and his riding mates will privately claim a licence to disrupt.
So Australians will continue to tell same-sex couples their love may not be worthy of equal recognition. As long as there’s debate about who can marry, there’s people being told their relationship isn’t up to scratch.
After the result Mathias Cormann, the Liberal Minister for I’ll Be Buck, said “I'm not going to go into specifics ... but I will participate in the debate”.
Debate? We just had it. This one will be all about the freedom to keep discriminating in the name of religion. Now I love bakers and I respect the tough hours they work. But I don’t want to hear another word about their right to not bake a gay wedding cake.
Are we really going to subject gay couples to hearing some elected leaders feel quite content with laws that discriminate against people on the basis of their sexuality, but then be up in arms defending a baker who’s threatened by your wedding cake? Surely we’ve had enough of that already.