Recent Ranty bits:
18 march 2004
I'm not intolerant about gays, says PM... it's just that he doesn't think they deserve equal rights...
So when Howard says that allowing gay and lesbian people to marry would "reduce the status of marriage", he's not criticising gay "lifestyles", he's just saying that those "lifestyles" don't deserve the same rights as heterosexual "lifestyles". I guess it's like when opponents of women gaining the vote argued that allowing women to vote would reduce the serious status of democracy. I'm sure they had nothing against women, it's just that they wanted to defend the exclusive right of men to vote. Funnily enough, though, when women got the vote, it didn't stop men continuing to have the right to vote as well. Men's right to vote is still going strong, and in fact, our democracy has been strengthened by including women within it. Maybe Howard doesn't get this bit - when we say, we think same sex couples should be allowed to marry, we don't mean that we're going to stop heterosexual couples from doing it too. Howard's personal opinion on gay and lesbian "lifestyles" is irrelevant, but if he wants to deny equal rights to a section of the population on the basis of their sexuality, then he's got a lot of explaining to do.
16 March 2004
Tell the truth Howard: you have engaged us in an illegal war, and Iraq is only one battlefield.
Rather than bringing a peaceful end to terrorist violence, you have engaged in further violence, creating many more terrorists, and increasing the danger of attacks. When you entered a "pre-emptive" war on fictional grounds, you engaged us in a war without rules and without reason. When you engaged Australian troops to bomb Iraqi civilians, you endangered not only innocent Iraqis and our troops, but also civilians at home. When you sanctioned the US government's illegal imprisonment of people at Guantanamo Bay, you sanctioned a war without human rights. The problem of terrorism remains unsolved, and instead you have involved us in a cycle of violence which overrides the UN, the Geneva Convention and leaves the Australian people open to attack.
18 feb 2004:
Priorities Mr Howard?
The Howard government has just pulled the plug on a series of
advertisements designed to send the message to young people that violence and abuse in relationships is not okay. Almost in the same breath, Mr Howard has expressed outrage at the decision of the ACT parliament to remove legal discrimination against same-sex couples across the board, including allowing same-sex partners to share parenting rights, claiming it is an "affront to the accepted notions of marriage and family".
Mr Howard is willing to air his bigoted hatred of gay and lesbian families again, while remaining silent about the real issues for Australian families - such as basic paid maternity leave, education funding and above all, bringing an end to family violence. Bigotry and violence may be okay in your definition of "family" Mr Howard, but not in ours!
[published in the age letters section 18 feb]