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John Passant

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July 2010
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
(0)

Sick kids and paying upfront

(0)

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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (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)

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Why Gillard opposes same-sex marriage

Australia has its first female prime minister – and she is an unmarried atheist. Unfortunately, this makes absolutely no difference to the government’s position on same-sex marriage: “Marriage is between a man and a woman”, Gillard announced on Sydney radio shortly after her ascension to power.

When Labor took over the government three years ago, it was often argued that it maintained the ban on same-sex marriage because of Rudd’s conservative Christian beliefs. That argument no longer has currency. Gillard is proof that unmarried female atheists can impose anti-gay policy just as well as backward old white male Christian bigots.

Gillard is just like Rudd on this question because the Labor party simply has no spine when it comes to dealing with the right-wingers in society. Being in the Labor Party today means fawning over the rich and powerful and capitulating on every issue of principle.

Gillard could have come out straight away and galvanised the majority of the population who oppose the ban on same-sex marriage. The bigoted minority could have been marginalised. Instead she chose to placate them in the same way she set out to placate the racists over refugees and the mining company bosses over higher taxes.

The scale of the government’s spinelessness is brought into full view by the situation in deeply Catholic Portugal, which became the most recent country to legalise same-sex marriage on June 5. If it can be done there, in the face of media sensationalism and rallies of thousands of bigots in opposition, then it can be done here.

Australia is far less conservative and the Christian right has far less influence in society. But instead of taking a principled stand for what is right, Labor simply caves in to a minority of bigots in order to minimise any negative publicity for the government in the Murdoch press.

Socialist Alternative has long argued that the continuation of the ban on same-sex marriage has little to do with religion, or the individual conservatism of our elected Labor leaders. We were right. It is about politicians who are determined not to rock the boat – who are more concerned for their careers than for anything else.

So the campaign for same-sex marriage was never going to be victorious simply through the election of a new party leader, atheist or otherwise.

Real change comes through campaigning. So the next National Day of Action for same-sex marriage rights on August 14 is just as important as every other action that has been staged. With an election now looming, this will be a great opportunity to show Gillard and the government that discrimination will continue to be met with protest.

This article first appeared in Socialist Alternative.

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Comments

Comment from Chav
Time July 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm

“Socialist Alternative has long argued that the continuation of the ban on same-sex marriage has little to do with religion, or the individual conservatism of our elected Labor leaders. We were right. It is about politicians who are determined not to rock the boat – who are more concerned for their careers than for anything else.”

Good article John, however I would have thought that socialists would have argued that Gillard, the ALP’s and the ruling classes homophobia is more about propping up the nuclear family and thus capitalism through the private reproduction of labour power..?

Comment from John
Time July 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Funny you should say that Chav. I am doing a talk tomorrow night in Canberra and I make the same point – it isn’t just about garnering the votes of ultra conservatives but about defending the nuclear family as the unit for raising kids on the cheap for capital. I think the article should have stressed that too.

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