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John Passant

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October 2016



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Where to now for same sex marriage?

Image from samesame at

The Labor Party has decided to vote against the Bill to establish the plebiscite on same sex marriage and to call instead for a Parliamentary vote to change the law to allow equal love. This raises the question – where to now for the campaign?

If the Government is to be believed there is no Plan B. It is a plebiscite or nothing. So what prevents Malcolm Turnbull moving an amendment to the Marriage Act to allow gays and lesbians to marry? The reactionary and homophobic right in his party.

The Liberal and National Parties oppose any change to the Marriage Act to allow equal love. Their elected members are not allowed a conscience vote on the issue. One National Party backbencher has threatened to leave the government (which has a one seat majority in the House of Representatives) if it allows a vote to amend the Marriage Act.

The history of change that challenges the status quo in Australia is the history of struggle. Therein lies the hope for the way forward for the same sex marriage campaign. To date it has operated through ‘respectable’ channels.

To break the parliamentary deadlock in my opinion means becoming radical, and adopting civil disobedience as a way to win the goal of equality.

First, actions like militant protests that shut down the centres of big cities send a message. It is no longer business as usual. Human rights are not negotiable. Vote now for marriage equality.

Second it puts pressure on Labor. It was last year that the Labor Party bound its MPs to vote for marriage equality, but only from 2019. It refused to act on marriage equality when in Government between 2007 and 2013. Julia Gillard famously declared that she was opposed to equal love.

The move by Labor to oppose the plebiscite was in part a response to the decades’ long campaign by equal love activists for same sex marriage and their opposition to the plebiscite based in part on the dangers inherent in a divisive debate denigrating gays and lesbians. The cynic in me says that another reason is to contain the homophobic wing of the party. They can all ‘unite’ against the plebiscite and postpone the day when significant sections of the ALP expose themselves as opposed to equal love.

To move the ALP to really fighting for marriage equality maybe our demand should be for them to make the Parliament ungovernable. Labor could refuse to vote for any government motion or Bill, even ones they in theory agree with, until the Government allows a free vote on marriage equality.

We could begin that process by making the cities unworkable, by calling protests with the express goal of thousands of supporters closing down key entry points until the government allows a free vote on same sex marriage and calling on Labor to make the Parliament unworkable until that happens.



Comment from peter piper
Time October 12, 2016 at 8:59 am

are you saying that islam is wrong and that the koan should be modified??

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 12, 2016 at 9:29 am

It is quite unfair to call people names such as homophobe, simply because they don’t agree with you.

I’m sure if I called people from the LGBTIPB lobby “heterophobes”, they would be complaining loudly.

The closet door should be slammed on numerous groups hoping to emerge from the closet. One look inside has left skeletons quaking in the corners.

Comment from John
Time October 12, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Like the Bible should be you mean? Fish in a barrel stuff.

Comment from John
Time October 12, 2016 at 3:36 pm

I call them what they are.

Comment from John
Time October 13, 2016 at 7:47 am

You mean like the Catholic Church and its systemic child abuse?

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

I’m not a Catholic and I don’t go to church, but I have worked as a counsellor. Most paedophiles can be found in the secular community.

I don’t call people names, but I do get tired of being called names simply because I am exercising my democratic right to have an opinion.

I suggest that everyone should think about why money hungry bankers would support various alternative relationship groupings, and what advantage they might see in it for themselves.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 15, 2016 at 11:02 am

Well, describing anyone who disagrees with you as homophobic is both incorrect and mean.

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