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No matter how polite, Q&A’s same-sex marriage debate was profoundly insulting to LGBTQI people

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ABC’s flagship panel discussion show Q&A can be infuriating, reductive and predictably shallow at the best of times. But last night’s same-sex marriage debate hit a new low.

In the name of “fairness and balance”, the program invited on four panelists to debate whether or not Australia should remove the discriminatory provision in the Marriage Act that excludes couples of the same gender from the legal institution of marriage. The panel was invited to debate how Australia should vote in the final weeks of the same-sex marriage postal survey.

Two panelists in favour of same-sex marriage, two panelists against. Three heterosexual panelists, and just one actually affected by this debate. And two clergymen.

On the “yes” side was gay comedian and actor Magda Szubanski, who spoke with clarity, compassion and the knowledge of experience, and Catholic priest Father Frank Brennan.

On the “no” side was Glenn Davies, the Sydney Anglican Archbishop who donated $1 million of the church’s money to the “no” campaign, and federal Liberal party vice president and Legal Aid lawyer Karina Okotel, a woman so unable to make a consistent argument on any point I’d seriously consider self-representing in court rather than accept her free legal services.

The debate was framed in the most polite terms possible — taking in religious freedoms, the rights of children, legal discriminations — but was ultimately just another chance for those on the “no” side to have their insignificant grievances and hypocritical concerns heard while LGBTQI people continue to have their very humanity debated.

The episode kicked off with ten minutes of discussion on the abuse faced by “no” campaigners over the last few weeks. There was, by comparison, little time given to the lifetime of abuse and exclusion faced by many LGBTQI people. The abuse and exclusion that, yes, probably makes some LGBTQI people like myself a little bit angry at people campaigning against us.

Apparently being called a “bigot” for a few weeks is of bigger concern to Q&A than the kind of ongoing treatment that leads to well documented and alarmingly high rates of suicide and mental health issues among LGBTQI people.

Q&A has tackled same-sex marriage at least as much as any other social issue over almost a decade on the air. Despite the constant insistence from some politicians that the majority of Australians don’t care, exchanges about same-sex marriage tend to get far more traction on social media than just about anything else from the show.

But Q&A has done same-sex marriage to death. Two-thirds of Australians have already voted in the postal survey, and there are only two weeks left before the final deadline. The vast majority of people intending to vote have already done so; Australia has made up its mind, and we’ll find out which way it’s leaned on November 15.

A full episode of Q&A devoted to a same-sex marriage debate can serve little purpose at this point but to stir tensions and divisions, give further platform to the side of the campaign already granted a massive media platform, and deliver a ratings boost to the program (which, big surprise, reached an impressive 617,000 viewers last night).

An opportunity for LGBTQI people to talk about their experiences in a non-combative way might be useful at this point. But placing Magda Szubanski on a panel with a group of people with no personal stake and no personal experience relevant to this issue is just plain cruel.

It’s cruel to even be subjecting LGBTQI viewers to this kind of debate on our national broadcaster. The postal survey process has already proven difficult for many LGBTQI people, to the point that the ABC decided it necessary to include the phone numbers and websites for Lifeline and Beyond Blue at the conclusion of last night’s episode.

I’m incredibly lucky in many ways. My life has been largely free from the rejection and trauma that so many of my LGBTQI friends have faced, and my mental health is in pretty decent shape.

But these last few months have been difficult and have left me with a feeling of tightness in my stomach and a sense of exhaustion whenever I think about this debate.

“I suppose that’s the polite thing to do when you’re subtly dehumanising people on national TV.”

Watching last night’s episode was disheartening, to say the least.

Watching several hundred audience members applaud heartily in response to an argument that the law should discriminate against you is difficult to take.

Watching Okotel laugh and smile in a light-hearted manner while debating your rights is infuriating.

Watching somebody refer to committed, loving gay relationships as “friendships” — as Davies did — is dehumanising.

By reducing relationships to “friendships”, if they happen to occur between two people who are not of different genders, Davies denies the ability of same sex-attracted people to form a romantic relationships and subsequently families. These are things that are absolutely fundamental to our humanity.

Soon after, Davies spoke about how LGBTQI people have been treated poorly by religious institutions in the past, and apologised for that. Because, I suppose, that’s the polite thing to do when you’re subtly dehumanising people on national TV.

One of the final questions of the night was whether the panelists would respect the outcome of the postal survey and stop campaigning. The heterosexual members of the panel all responded before the question was put to Szubanski in exactly the same manner.

Szubanski said that it’s “profoundly insulting” to be living in a country that actively discriminates against her, and that for that reason she’d continue to fight in a respectful way for equality.

But asking somebody “will you stop campaigning if the majority of Australians decide that you should be discriminated against under the law” is a rather different question when put to a person about whom these laws are actually made.

The pressure on the ABC to be “balanced” on this issue — and treat both sides of the debate equally — totally obscures the fact that there are people whose lives are materially affected by this debate and people whose lives are not. And those whose lives are not affected have been granted an extraordinarily large platform for the last month to speak about the rights and lives of others.

That, in and of itself, is profoundly insulting.

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63 responses to “No matter how polite, Q&A’s same-sex marriage debate was profoundly insulting to LGBTQI people

  1. I guess the way the ABC’s balance requirements are interpreted means that any Q&A on this issue would always consist of the same tired red herrings from the no camp. As Ben says, an utterly pointless exercise this late in the process when the vast majority have either voted or binned it already. Who on earth could be intending to vote but still undecided?

  2. Wonderful writing! I’m crossing fingers that we can soon consign this abusive process to the dustbin of history, but I fear the scars will take a long time to heal.

  3. I have the feeling that Margaret would not have it any other way, to so obviously stack the panel against her. Margaret held more than her own and I suspect had there been another pro-yes person it would have distracted from her very cogent arguments. Other than Father Brennan the remaining debaters could not hold their own.

  4. Spot on analysis. Awful treatment of the issue by Q&A and I think Magda deserves some sort of an award for putting up with it and getting through it.

  5. Magda can truly hold her head high. The bigotry and bias shown on last nights Q&A was appalling. Turned the program off in the end it was just so insulting. Glenn Davies epitomises all that is wrong with Religion today. The majority of the discussion had nothing to do with marriage equality.

  6. Good analysis Ben. Tho I think unfair to Frank Brennan, whose analysis of the difference between religious belief and secular law was important. I only wish someone had asked the appalling Liberal careerist why she was so keen to remain apart from the countries of the Anglosphere with whom her party leaders are usually so keen to associate

  7. I felt so sad and stressed after the program. I thought about it afterwards, and it was the clapping that really did it. As a LGBTQI person, I KNOW there are people who are going to vote no, who think we should have less rights than them. But to have these so audibly expressed was deeply depressing. Worse, it was for extremely weak points.

    I also could have understood, if not agreed, with this debate if it had been earlier in the survey, but it was really too late for any use except point scoring. So I utterly agree with you Ben.

  8. I was in the audience and I can assure you that the audience was in the majority on the Yes side, the loudest applauses were for that stance and the smattering of claps from the No side diminished as the show went on.

    1. I watched on tele, and the response was about equal. I would say the audience was half and half so no bias there.

  9. If Magda wasn’t so self righteous she would have a bigger following. It is her view that if her view is not accepted then the whole world are bigots and everyone needs to change so she can be happy. She has done her cause no good at all. Funny how it doesn’t matter how many of the “no” camp got pilloried, it is only those who say they affected by the mere mention of this vote who seem to matter. Having an excessively left leaning journalist write this lengthy diatribe doesn’t make the yes cam right either. I have some gay friends and their opinion acually counted for me. They simply said “Vote Yes Please” I daresay if so many of the violent campaigners for the yes camp had have used thier manners, the outcome may have been a lot different and the whingers would by whining less

    1. “self-righteous”? [note my included hyphen that correctly makes a compound adjective from a noun and an adjective]

      “Pilloried”?

      “Excessively left leaning”? [once again, no adjective until the phrase is compounded]

      “Diatribe”?

      Loaded language, to say the least—who’s pillorying who?

    2. One person’s self righteousness is another person’s strength of conviction. You have given your strong opinion here in response to Magda’s strong opinion. Perhaps you are merely jealous of the eloquence and forcefulness of her argument.

    3. Unfortunately the yes campaign can’t see themselves as bigots, but reading these opinions makes me wonder! Maybe wearing the chip on their shoulder has made them vulnerable.

  10. We have been waiting for 24 years…our lives are an ongoing public soap opera for those who are not LGBTI . I am sick of the LGBTI community being used by others to express their bigotry and ridiculousness. I am sick of dumb politicians and religious people using us as political scapegoats for their idiotic hate cmpaigns against each other . When the dust settles the bigotry will resume even by many of those who vote yes in the survey..

    A case in point,Hannah Mouncey believed the time was right for her to be able to play in the AFLW competition because she had already played in a local comp…and look what happened when the AFl,.so called supporters of SSm had to make a decision…the answer was no.. suspect Hannah didnt fit the image..eeven though there are a number of women who are the same weight and a comparable height already playing in the competition.

    So LGBTI folk dont expect the world will be a bed of roses and we will be treated any differently even if the vote is a resounding success. We won’t

    1. No. To the contrary. The ABC is one of the last sources of thoughtful, inquiring objective information remaining in Australia.

  11. As long as we continue to conflate the religious and statutory function we are open to the debate being steered in this direction. The problem is that we allow men wearing frocks and silly hats to act for the state in conferring rights upon people. We should follow the French and separate legal marriage from religious institutions. The only legal marriage should be in a reigstry office. Those who so choose can then go get it blessed by their imaginary friend separately.

  12. Personally, I think that Mr Neutse’s argument is overstated. He is perfectly correct on a few points however, and Fr. Brennan emphasised one of them: that if the politicians had the spine and integrity to do what they are elected (and paid) for, none of this farce (and hurtful ventilation of irrelevant prejudice would have happened. The other valid point is that if “Q & A” really had to have this episode, then it should have been WEEKS AGO. To anyone with the capacity to look rationally at the data, it has been plain for more than a fortnight that the “Yes” case will win substantially (see the e-magazine “Pearls & Irritations”). To the program was weeks too late.

    Magda was, indeed, the star of the show; neither of the “No” protagonists could see that they were deliberately obscuring the point: this it a question of civil law (it’s not about religion). Nor were they prepared to admit that section 116 of the Constitution gives them all of the religious protection that they need.

    The best solution for them might be to relinquish the right to perform legally valid marriages at all.

  13. I agree -Q &A is a pretend serious program ‘debating’ issues that by pretending there ia a debate to have just gives credibility to the ‘side’ that has none.
    It wasn’t that long ago be had to listen to debates about climate change and was it real. The spin doctors work on fomenting doubt so if you are giving a platform to the nay sayers it looks like you are saying that they should be heard because they have a legitimate point of view. When almost 100% of climate scientists tell me that the earth is warming I don’t argue that it isn’t.

  14. Karina Okotel was truly disturbing. With respect to the loss of accreditation to the Vishnitz Jewish School in London, she categorically rejected the account provided by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. She gave no reasons for her rejection; yet this account seems very plausible – see below.

    She is dismissive of the evidence and disrespectful for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. Yet she is a spokesperson for the Coalition for Marriage.

    https://aleph.org.au/2017/10/04/executive-council-of-australian-jewry-responds-to-misleading-claims-around-marriage-equality-and-the-london-jewish-girls-school/

  15. The assumption that only LGBTQI people will be affected by the outcome of the SSM plebiscite is false. If the decision affected only LGBTQI people then most Australians would take the view “It doesn’t concern me, they can do what they like.” Many Australians are concerned because they understand that a decision to legitimate SSM is a decision to alter the definition and practice of an institution which has been central to our society for a very long time. It is a very big issue to people from BOTH sides of the debate. That is why so much emotion has been generated from BOTH sides.

    1. OK, if this marriage thing is do sacred to you and so beyond change, why then can it be ended so easily with divorce. See them straws you clutchin’ at !!

    2. “The assumption that only LGBTQI people will be affected by the outcome of the SSM plebiscite is false.”

      I completely agree Ian. It affects me in a personal and concerning way to live in a society that still holds to opinions that other members of society are lesser citizens, unworthy of the same rights that I possess. It concerns me that the society I live in allows and supports people to continue to sprout irrational and bigoted arguments, and when one challenges them has to suffer the indignity of phrases such as ‘political correctness gone mad’ and ‘what about freedom of religion’. It worries me that so many people are so deeply embedded in their religious upbringings, catching only the demonstrable trappings of that religion without understanding the central message of that same religion, ‘to love thy neighbour.’

      I am affected living in a society that has learned nothing from past injustices and wishes to continue with those injustices in spite of the moral and ethical paucity of their arguments.

      But that’s just me.

    3. “Many Australians are concerned because they understand that a decision to legitimate SSM is a decision to alter the definition and practice of an institution which has been central to our society for a very long time.”

      The intention is to alter the legal definition to allow gay couples to be legally married AS WELL as all the people who already can.

      Straight/hetero couples will still be allowed to get married the same way they always have, nothing about that will change – therefore, straight couples will not be affected.

      Some heterosexual Australians believe that SSM will affect them because they have been lied to – see all of the No campaign material which talks about the safe schools program, gender fluidity, and other things which have nothing to do with the specific issue of whether or not gay people should be allowed to get legally married.

  16. I wish all the “Bickering” would end, it is not doing anyone a ny good, Our country is in a mess! $122 million that coud have been better spent
    on education etc.

  17. I agree with most of what you say. I have to say that having Karina Okotel on the panel was useful as it pointed out very starkly the total lack of substance and integrity in the “NO” campaign.

    It was a pity you chose to bag out Q&A in your first sentence, though. It just made the rest of the article sound like a big whine. We don’t need that.

  18. Thank you Ben for standing up for us.

    A few weeks of name calling of the no side does not equate with a life time of vitriol and bile, scorn, violence and discrimination. The no side are happy enough to accept our taxes and our labour and even our blood.

    There are two questions I’d like to know the answer to.

    1. Why do they hate us so much?
    2. What are they so afraid of?

    1. Freud would say…
      1. Because the thought of anal sex repulses them.
      2. That they might actually enjoy the experience of anal sex.

      1. Anal sex between heterosexuals is one of the most commonly used forms of contraception in the world.

        So what’s Freud got to do with it?

  19. Ben I thought your piece demonstrated an extreme personal bias considering you were writing a critique. The real blame lies with the Q and A format which while claiming to be a forum ignores the rules of true formal debate. The show has always been poorly conducted and directed with a tendency to derive entertainment from pitting poorly matched antagonists against each other with little regard for how views are presented. I gave up wasting my time watching it a long time ago.

  20. When the very question at the core of the “debate” is fundamentally about human rights, there are not two equally valid sides to the argument. There is no grey area. I’m sorry to all those LGBTQi+ affected by this postal stupidity and hope that ultimately it’s worth the pain, as we can only hope it backfires in the face of bigotry and the over loud, conservative voices that asked for this supposed debate. Let’s hope it really does all those things they fear, like enforce equality over their selfish views and desires to discriminate. One more word of self-entitled, baseless victimhood from the vocal NO people and I think I’ll be sick … Close the ballot please!

  21. I got two minutes into it before I switched off in dismay. Only one panelist (Magda) who is actually affected by the law and the rest were heterosexuals. And then talking about the abuse suffered by the “no” voters. It was an insult to all gay people and the sad thing is straight people – even allies – will never really understand why or how.

    The one consolation is that it will age so poorly – like a “fair and even” QandA about whether mixed marriages should be legal or whether women are equal citizens to men.

    The ABC gave a voice and legitimacy to anti-gay forces last night. Shame.

    Good on you for calling them out on it.

  22. This Q & A session on #SSM was the worst I’ve ever seen. Tony Jones has never shown any skill at moderation but last night was an all time low. The panel composition was ridiculously skewed. As today it is politically incorrect to not support any feminist or non-heterosexual assertion, the lawyer found it impossible to have her point even understood, let alone discussed. The inclusion of a celebrity such as the much loved and sentimental favourite, Magda, as the single direct representative of the LGBTI community was extremely unfortunate and did nothing to support rational discussion or evidence-based debate. All participants appeared to take the simplistic view of the faux LNP survey, failing to recognise that the issue is more complex than just yes or no. The whole episode was a disaster &. achieved nothing of value.
    I

  23. Well said. I never watch Q&A and this confirms why. But you’ve nailed it in this piece, and I honour Magda Szubanski for her courage in taking on the awful ressponsibility of being the token LGBTI person in the room while her humanity was being debated. Those who can’t accept the one-sidedness of your critique aren’t paying attention to the massive imbalance of the program itself.

  24. It was a valuable discussion. Various viewpoints were represented.That’s the problem with controversial issues – you are often confronted by arguments with which you disagree.

  25. Half for. Half against. What was the probem again?

    The fact remains that the nastiest vitriol in this debate in both hatred and by volume has come from the Yes campaigners.
    Nearly all ‘discussion’ on YourABC has been censored in favour of the Yes campaign. Perhaps you are not used to a balanced debate on this subject.

    One last inconvenient truth: The way we ALL live our personal lives is governed by laws debated and created in public from drinking beer on a beach to the way we are required to raise our children.

    1. Great! Let’s have a balanced debate about pedophilia shall we: 2 pedos and 2 child protection officers eh? It is not biased to exclude voices wanting to uphold discriminatory laws that withhold rights that most take for granted. No one is asking religions to change their definition of marriage – I will continue to regard the Catholic definition of marriage as a sacrament as nonsense, or the Protestant view of god joining two people as one flesh as bizarre. The only question is that of the legal definition of marriage but most of the heat is around loss of power by religions to make laws for the rest of us, despite the enormous concessions and protections they are granted by society at large.

  26. I was disappointed with Magda; yes she is an eloquent speaker and certainly started out respectfully. However I think she quickly forgot that she was not the moderator and sadly Tony let her get away with it. She constantly interrupted the other panellists, particularly Karina who was apparently not allowed to complete any comments without a challenge from Magda. Then she wanted to respond to all points made by the others. I was disappointed in her and this spoilt what might have been a respectful conversation. People truly are entitled to have a different opinion on this matter, as on any other matter in this democratic country.

    1. Magda was fighting for her rights Cathy. As Ben so well put it she was out on an island and the only person on the panel who was gay and would be directly affected by this decision. Give her a break. Imagine f you were in such a position?

  27. If the majority are, in fact, pretty uninterested in the issue, why were there not representatives of that position on the panel. Their views might have been calming, informative, defusing. Why the need to polarise the issue on TV? (Just my naive query).

    1. If it bleeds it leads.
      Our meejiar sells controversy. It wants black and white, not grey. It wants the 1% or 2% who fight over whether a fence needs replacing and not the 98% or 99% who get on fine with their neighbours.

      If it generates a fight it leads and if there is mostly concensus and agreement the meejiar will find the only 2 people in Australia who vehemently disagree with each other and blow it out of all proportion.

      The meejiar fans fear, hatred and greed.

      Rarely does it promote the goodwill towards others that generally exists in our world.

  28. Concur, Ben. This was no useful or “respectful” debate, but cheap and meaningless content, in which Q&A has learned to specialise. Why actually use the national broadcaster to discuss complex matters, when you can just put a bunch of people on TV and have them disagree?
    I thought it was very unfair to have Magda not only as the sole representative, but as the purported advocate for LGBTIQ. Sure, the industry wisdom is that celebrity sells. But there are so many people who have been active for years, when Magda (thank goodness for us) was working at becoming one of her generation’s best comic actors.
    This is not to say she knows nothing. She is clearly intelligent, and a quick study. But there are so many who know so much, and fought for the passage of the 2008 entitlements, and who now may fight for marriage. This is not just a case about “acknowledge our true activists”. It’s more one of get people on who really have a great deal of knowledge. And a great deal of experience in dealing with tedious arguments. Magda became visibly upset (and no wonder, I would have been screaming) and actually said some stuff that undermined her case. (Notably, the aside to Okotel, who was born in Australia and clearly identifies as Australian, about Sri Lankans. )
    Also. Two Christians. What was that? And why feed the “OMG Okotel feels anti-No bigotry is worse than racism” frenzy? I do not know, but I suppose a lifetime of being judged for one’s “ethnic” appearance in Australia is actually experienced by most as a bit worse than three months of stupid debate. Which, in any case, one can choose not to engage in. You can’t choose not to have a “race” in this racist country.
    This was a shit show and producers ought to be, as you suggest, ashamed for fanning the flames of at least two kinds of bigotry.

  29. The question is about having children, which (never mentioned) is what two same sex people cannot do. Yes they can employ some-one else for that purpose (or even use a friend or relation for just that purpose) but they cannot produce a child with characteristics inherited from both partners, they do not produce four grandparents, aunts, uncles , cousins, brothers and sisters with similar genetic make-up and ancestry for their children. This is why marriage is regarded as a sacrament by many religions!

    1. Western religion and kinship systems were informed by full knowledge of DNA. Well, I never. You learn something completely made-up every day on internet.

      1. Do not engage with the Scripture-Twisters … a camel has a greater chance of passing through the eye of a needle than their argument having any consistency or coherent grasp of the true message of Jesus …

    2. It has nothing to do with children. Gays can and already do have children. Many hetero people do not and don’t want to. People marrying past the age of fertility obviously should be disallowed if your argument is carried through. This is about equality – human rights – it is not about children. E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. plain and simple.

    3. So by your logic my Sister-in-law and Brother-in-law who can’t have children haven’t actually been married for the last 17 years? My friend with two grown children who married a man with two children of his own aren’t married either because they won’t be procreating? The ability or desire to have children is irrelevant to marriage, just like you don’t need to be married to have children. What religions believe on this topic doesn’t matter, this is about equality and the law!

    4. The question is a NOT about a couple’s capacity to have children. I am a gay women, with a biological child who I have raised with my same sex partner and the loving support of my daughter’s father, who I divorced about 18 years ago. I certainly did to EMPLOY anybody to have my daughter. You argue that presupposes that heterosexual people,who for whatever reason are unable to have children should not or need not marry. What about those heterosexual couples that adopt – no need to get married as this is not necessary for you barren lot. Most of my heterosexual friends who have divorced from their spouses after having children have extremely poor and disrespectful relationships with the other biological parent of his/her child. I work with so many women who’s children are not supported. by their biological fathers, who have ‘moved on’ and had ‘new’ families. Or heterosexual women who manipulate the system to disallow their children’s father to have a meaningful role in their life. DO NOT suppose to tell me how I had my child or how this relates to the validity and sanctity of my current 14 year relationship to a women who has supported my child as any mother would. As for your ill-informed religious argument – where to start? Read the bible – once you are comfortable with women bearing pain in childbirth due to original sin, and place that against peodaphillia within the most prominent Western religions, we can perhaps commend that debate. Your comments are framed within a theoretical argument, or an argument concerning the ‘other’. James, I AM THE OTHER that you write about and your comments break my heart.

    5. The question is NOT about having children, which (never mentioned) is what two old / disabled / uninterested / infertile [etc] opposite sex people cannot do.
      Who CARES why marriage is regarded as a sacrament by many religions? This is NOT what this question is about. Religions are welcome to their sacraments. The rest of us, meanwhile (and let’s not forget that’s also close to 75% of opposite sex people who get married at the moment – NOT in churches), simply want state recognition of our committed relationships; equality before the law (not equality before whatever you perceive ‘God’ to be).
      Why is this your business?

  30. As the mother and supporter of 2 marginalised kids I have become very sad at the hatred directed towards them for being who they are. All those kids whose families have disowned, cut off and ignored them are struggling against a government who does not care about their welfare. Please know that you are all loved and your uniqueness should be celebrated.

  31. I agree that the show was too late and very concocted in order to fit the ABC notion of ‘balance’, which I find regularly hard to swallow. I am decidedly in the yes camp, but open to argument. Disappointingly, this was absent from the Anglican bishop and Ms Okotel, though the latter may claim the arbitrary one minute limitation for speakers denied her the chance to elaborate on her objections to SSM. I do agree with Dennis Altman that Ben N. overlooked the contribution of Frank Brennan and unnecessarily included him in his broad brush criticism. However, I found his illuminating, very undogmatic contribution, the framing of the issues with the human rights framework to be very persuasive and, if not for Q&A, I guess I would never have got to hear this case.

  32. As a heterosexual atheist, I seriously considered not voting at all in the postal survey. If I read Ben Neutze correctly, he might have been happy with that decision, as it seems people of his persuasion appear to be offended that I have any say at all in the course or outcome of this debate. I don’t agree with that point of view. Precisely because marriage is not just a legal contract but an important social institution with deep historical roots, I felt I needed to engage in this debate and fully exercise my rights as a citizen. As it turns out, I voted ‘yes’ in the survey, but not because I thought the no-side supported by a conservative church comprised ‘insignificant grievances and hypocritical concerns,’ as Ben claims. I voted ‘yes’ for two reasons. I thought church teachings (and the social and moral directives that flow from them) needed to adjust to broad changes in our society, rather than have our society bend to the conservative factions of the church. And because, to use the Prime Minister’s apt summary, it’s the ‘fair thing’ to do. As for Q&A, Jesus wept, I gave up on that show years ago.

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