Andrew L. Urban.
The Labor caucus, it was reported (The Australian, 17/10/2017), has said NO to inserting extra protections for religious freedoms in any bill to legalise same sex marriage should the government’s $122 million postal survey return a YES vote. It’s not a good omen.
Based on some examples of the more strident SSM Yes activism during the postal survey, would we surprised if in the gay, Hooray! atmosphere in the wake of a Yes majority, public manifestations of ‘celebrations’ became evident, such as ….
Several local councils, led by the ones that announced they would withdraw from Australia Day celebrations on January 26, display the rainbow flag alongside the Aboriginal flag and some also fly the Torres Strait island flag. None fly the Australian flag, not even Sydney Town Hall. The rainbow flag also replaces the Australian flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The same councils deliver large rainbow flags to houses and apartment blocks, along with leaflets instructing rate payers how the flags should be flown or displayed. The leaflets proclaim that the rainbow flags “demonstrate the community’s wish to celebrate the results of the survey and the forthcoming legislation”. Properties where these flags are not displayed would be required to return them to council (via a nominated rate payer) and pay a ‘wastage’ fee of $22.50 per flag (no youth/pensioner concessions).
The Yes campaign calls on all councils to follow this example. In some suburbs of Sydney and Brisbane, protesters roam the streets checking for properties without rainbow flags, which are sprayed with multi-coloured paint or splattered with eggs and rotten tomatoes, with the protesters chanting ‘BI – GOT!… BI – GOT! … BI – GOT!’ Residents who object are further vilified.
Primary school children around Australia are urged by teachers to find out and report how their parents had voted “so we can identify those who might need extra attention and special instruction”.
All 823 companies which had campaigned in support of SSM plan Yes celebration parties where only those employees are invited who sign a declaration that they had voted Yes.
A group of these companies jointly fund the design and manufacture of a bejewelled golden rainbow (multigender) lapel pin, each valued at $60, which will be distributed free to anyone who wants one (or two), through all petrol stations, supermarkets and transport ticket outlets. Politicians will be the first to be seen wearing the pins, but Pauline Hanson, say, will no doubt tell Sky News she is concerned that those not wearing the pin could be targeted for abuse.
Universities offer ‘Same Sex Marriage Celebration’ certificates to students who sign the Rainbow Register, which proclaims their support for the new legislation. The Certificates, promoted as a career starter, are to be presented to prospective employers by graduates. Many job vacancy ads might be tagged ‘SSM Celebration Certified graduates specially welcome’.
At the Anglican Church in Gosford, Father Rod Bower replaces his billboard and social media message “Peter Dutton is a Sodomite” with a billboard offering free wedding services 7 days a week – exclusively for same sex couples.
The ABC to launch a new digital TV channel (also available online) featuring programs produced by and for the gay community. Funds for the channel would be sourced from mainstream programming.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who contributed $1 million personally to the Yes campaign, announces the airline is introducing Rainbow Class, reserved for married same sex couples, which offers business class seating and amenities at economy class fares. Cabin staff are to be hired & trained from within the gay community.
Westpac to be the first bank to offer a home loan specifically for married same sex couples, offering $3,500 worth of interior design services free with every loan over $350,000.
And with its tongue firmly in its cheek, we hope, Coopers will release a new range of full strength and light beers with rainbow designs to celebrate the results – labelled Queer Beer– specifically for the LGBTIQ community.