Update Saturday, 3 December 2011: The ALP has just voted to change the party’s platform on same-sex marriage while simultaneously guaranteeing that nothing will change. Julia Gillard has shown what kind of a Prime Minister she is. She is a Prime Minister who will trade her conscience for political expediency. She is a Prime Minister who will sell out equality for back room deals with political power brokers like Joe de Bruyn and Don Farrell. The ALP has shown it is rotten to the core – it stands for nothing. It is a party of the past with no forseeable future. Julia Gillard has etched her place in history and history will judge her.
This piece written 15 November 2011:
I have just sent the following email to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The searing hypocrisy of a female PM, living in a defacto relationship at The Lodge arguing against same-sex marriage on the basis of preserving tradition is nothing short of appalling.
You deny same-sex couples the right to full equality because you believe in ‘tradition’ while happily taking full advantage of the fact that being a woman in a non-traditional role and non-traditional partnership is now socially acceptable.
Why is it socially acceptable for you to be the Prime Minister, Ms Gillard? Because thousands of brave people fought long and hard to break down ‘traditions’ which institutionalised inequality and injustice. Why are you able to hold the highest office in the land while ‘living in sin’? Because the tradition that would once have branded you a ‘scarlet woman’ has long since been overturned. This was the same tradition that kept Henry Parkes’ second wife – a woman who had once been his mistress – ostracized from polite society even after their marriage. Do you advocate that this ‘tradition’ should have been maintained?
Your hypocrisy is a betrayal of all that is right and fair. Your rejection of same-sex marriage is a betrayal of the 71 per cent of ALP voters who want your party to approve marriage equality.
As a student of history I am well aware of the Labor split in the 50s that confined Labor to opposition for decades. As a woman I am embarrassed that the person who is similarly destroying her party by artlessly mixing religion and politics is our first female (and atheist!) Prime Minister.
If you want to stand up for traditional values, Prime Minister, stand up for the traditional Labor values of equity and fairness. You think you might lose the conservative Christian vote if you support same-sex marriage? Just wait until the next election when ALP voters, abandoned by your party, vote with their feet. The swing to the Greens at the last election was just the beginnning. Perhaps you should consider another traditional Australian value you have cheerfully cast adrift – a fair go for all.
Change your mind, Prime Minister. You will lose far more if you don’t – your position, the government and the respect of the Australian people. Will you go down in history as the Prime Minister who had the chance to make a momentous change for equality and squibbed out of misplaced political pragmatism?
Your predecessor, Kevin Rudd did a lot wrong, but he will go down in history as the PM who said “Sorry” to the stolen generation. What will you go down in history for, Ms Gillard?