AUSTRALIA: Thousands Rally For Marriage, Angrily Denounce Anti-Gay Prime Minster Tony Abbott [VIDEO]

Thousands of Australians rallied in Melbourne today in protest of Prime Minster Tony Abbott’s continued opposition to a free vote on marriage equality in Parliament. Via the Age:

On a bustling city street under overcast skies, they came in their thousands. Some came in hope, optimistic that change was inevitable. Some came in anger, outraged at a prime minister standing in the way, and a Federal Parliament too slow to act. Whatever their reason, one thing was clear: if Tony Abbott was hopeful of a circuit-breaker on same-sex marriage by deferring it to the people, the people weren’t buying it. “Stick your plebiscite where the sun don’t shine!” MC Anthony Wallace told the crowd at Saturday’s marriage equality rally in Melbourne. “Pass the bloody bill!” Days after a majority of government MPs voted to maintain the Coalition’s position against legalising same-sex marriage, thousands of people gathered in the CBD to take part in the city’s biggest marriage equality demonstration yet. Speaking at the event, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten reiterated his promise that if Labor won the next election, he would introduce a bill to legalise marriage equality within the first 100 days of office. “This week Mr Abbott and his right-wing Liberals broke the heart of the nation,” Mr Shorten said. “They are holding Australia back. It should not be the case that people are treated as a second-class citizen merely because of who they love… Why is Mr Abbott so stuck in the past that he’s worried about who someone else marries? Get a life!”

  • teeveedub

    What’s happening in Australia should be an object lesson to anyone who’s considering voting for any Republican in upcoming U.S. elections.

    Elections matter!

    • Desmond Rutherford

      As an Aussie with deep concerns for freedom and equality, I agree with you teeveedub.

      • noni

        How much discrimination exists in Australia against minorities? I remember watching a major Australian television show called “All Saints” which ran from 1998 to 2009 or so and it never had a black person as a lead character ever (and they were introducing new characters all the time always white), the few that were on the show were janitors and nurses aides relegated to the basement. I will say that the show did include gay people, often though with some moralistic overtones.

        I also remember the young girl who called an Indigenous Australian an ape as he was playing on major soccer/football team. He literally stopped and call her out and the girl was rushed out of the stadium with her parents of course trying to justify why she was calling people apes.

        Here in America in 2015 we don’t bother with name calling anymore, we have police who will shoot and murder black people at the drop of a hat. America is really the racist capitol of the world, but likes to pretend otherwise.

        • bambinoitaliano

          Back in the 90’s a friend and I was staying with an acquaintance’s family in Sydney who are of Chinese immigrants from Malaysia. They have two daughters who are maybe between 8 and 10, they told us their own experience of racial discrimination at school as if it’s normal. As Canadians we were shocked. We always assume Australia is quite similar in terms of our political cultures. While there will always be some racial divide in some segment of our society, it’s quite unsettling to have a wider implication of racial tension in a larger community. I like to think that 20 years later, Australia in general has some how move forward in that regard. My fear is these conservatives always manage to drag us back into the dark ages given the opportunity. It does makes me question if evolution does occur for all human.

          • David L. Caster

            Evolution is never continuous: it proceeds in fits and spurts. That disjointedness is what we are observing as the last holdouts in denial of reality cling to the past. The world is in the throes of a lurch forward.

          • Nexus1

            I completely agree. I feel like the next major step in human evolution isn’t physical but mental. We have a lot of growing left to do in how we organize our societies and treat each other.

          • David L. Caster

            There is a wide streak of altruism in our genes. We should nurture it.

          • cheakamus

            Oh, c’mon now! I grew up in Vancouver and was recently back for Pride weekend. The level of racism there supersedes anything I saw in Australia (although admittedly, I lived there decades ago). It’s all anybody talks about. It reminded me of the time I took a Greyhound bus to San Diego and observed Mexicans being treated like dirt, right to their faces. THAT was shocking!

          • Nexus1

            I’ve told my partner many times that there is no racism where there is no racial difference. People aren’t often prejudiced against a group that they have no interaction with and don’t live near or have to compete with for jobs, opportunities and resources. Just as Californians aren’t prejudiced against Aboriginal Australians because they don’t see them or live near them neither are Australians prejudiced against Mexicans. Australia’s non white population has grown quite a bit in the last 20 to 30 years and because people have had to deal with different races on a regular basis now, we are seeing racism and isolationism crop up because of it. Countries with the most racial homogeneity tend to be the countries with the least racism. Sadly it is a story we have seen play out countless times over thousands of years.

        • Mark

          It was only during Kevin Rudd’s stint as Prime Minister that a formal apology was issued to the Abornigine for the atrocities committed against them. Watch “The Rabbit Fence” as a move demonstrating hat happened to the Aborniginal children – – much as what happened to the American Indian children.

          • Nychta

            “Rabbit-Proof Fence” is one of my favorite films – even more so because it was based on a true story. The escaped girls were so resourceful.

        • Nexus1

          The AFL (Australian Football League) players name is Adam Goodes and there has been a huge controversy that has triggered a much needed conversation about race and racism in Australia because of it. He’s been roundly booed for most of this season and most people feel that is it racially based. There has been a campaign by the AFL called ‘stand with Adam’ , featured in it are other AFL players, coaches and other celebrities saying that they stand with Adam and that there is no place for racism in the AFL. It has truly saddened my partner to see just how racist and bigoted some friends and family members have been about the issue. My partner truly didn’t know that this dwelled within their hearts and many tears have been shed at this realization. I’m grateful that the one I love abhors racism and cannot understand it. From what I have learned over the course of our relationship there is a portion of Australians who are oblivious to their own racial prejudices or who don’t know just how much racism exist among their circle. For the majority of it’s history Australia has been an overwhelmingly homogeneous country, immigration is making it a more racially diverse country and much like we see in the U.S and in Europe there is a growing backlash against the new Black and Brown people who are moving there.

          Most bigots there have never had their prejudices challenged and now that they are being called out and told that their behavior is unacceptable they do not know how to handle it. There has been no Civil Rights movement like we had in the U.S in Australia and the minorities there do not have the type of advocacy groups that they have here. There is no NAACP, no ADL, so when something is said about them or done to them there is no organized group that can make a huge stink and get mass media attention. Because of that the racist and isolationists have risen quite a bit before they were challenged. I do believe that most younger people are not hateful, they are oblivious more than anything, but the more attention bigotry gets the more the average Aussie will call it out for what it is and be ashamed of it. The national shunning of things that are shunned all the time here is only starting to happen in Australia. They are having a national conversation that needs to happen about race and that incident and those that have followed since about Adam Goodes have helped to trigger that among other events. I have had to educate my partner about some of these things because most of them never touch the average Australians world, but I do know that after the initial shock of seeing it in family and friends that it is being challenged and bigots are being called out on their shit by at least one more Aussie.

          • noni

            Thank you for sharing that.

    • tcinsf

      Yeah, well, remember the prior labor leader was opposed to marriage equality too. Elections matter, but as stated below, pushing the leaders to make the right decision matters just as much if not more.

      • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

        Julia Gillard (former anti-equality Labour PM) weighed heavily on her pro-equality successor Kevin Rudd. He made an excellent intervention for equality at the debates, but it was too little, too late…. the electorate punished him for his predecessor’s sins.

      • JT

        It was only 3 years ago that Obama endorsed marriage equality and before then it was not part of the Democratic Party platform. Things have been changing fast on this issue. But the current Aussie PM looks like a troglodyte.

    • bambinoitaliano

      One would think with only a population of 23 million, most issues could have been solve easily. I’m wondering if the communication technology infrastructure is lacking in the country.

      • RaygunsGoZap

        Maybe? I was there 4 years ago and kept commenting how outside of Sydney it reminded me of 1980s America. It was great! I’d stay forever if I could.

        • StraightGrandmother

          Well I wasn’t going to say anything but friends of our spent like a good month in Australia, rented a camper and toured the whole country. I was very interested in their opinion as my husband and I were considering a vacation there also.

          What they said was, it is very redneck. I took their advice and didn’t vacation there. Actually I only visit countries that have made great strides in gay rights. We are thinking of visiting Ireland next.

          • Mark

            It all depends on where you go SG. I lived in Queensland for 4 years and I miss it every single day. Truth is, when I lived there the hate wasn’t as prevalent as it is today – thanks to Americans sticking their bloody noses in Australia’s business.

          • bambinoitaliano

            I do admire your reasoning behind your decision and I should be as conscious about the choices I make. Having said that, I don’t think I would put Australia in the same category as say Russia, middle east, Uganda, Zimbabwe and other countries who are openly hostile to the LBGT community. The same way that I would not boycott US for a few backward states who are treating the LBGT community negatively. If nothing else this site expose me to a bunch of like minded Americans who are challenging my view of US and the world and educating me in the process. I believe Australia is the same in that regard. I’ve the opportunity to spend some time in Sydney, It’s a beautiful city and beautiful country and they do have nice people there. The world is a wonder, we all should be so lucky to have the time and money to experience many places in the world on our bucket list.

          • charliebkk

            Back in the 80’s and 90’s there used to be a joke among gays in the south, in which anyone who expressed a desire to visit Australia was told “What for? Ya wanna see rednecks on a beach, go to Alabama, it’s much closer”

          • RaygunsGoZap

            That’s accurate and fair. I grew up in rural Texas so loud-mouthed rednecks aren’t as abhorrent to me as they probably should be.

          • Neil

            It’s important to bear in mind that polls are overwhehlmingly in favour of reform, over 70% consistently support SSM. The current govt. are tanking in the overall opinion polls and their stick-in-the-mud conservatism is part of the reason why.

          • Nexus1

            If they were in a camper odds are they stayed in the Australian equivalent of trailer parks and didn’t spend much time in major city centers. What type of Americans do you think you’d encounter if you took a camper trip throughout the U.S? Your friends couldn’t help but be exposed to almost nothing but rednecks, the Aussies call them bogans. I remember saying to you the other time you referenced that story that you should not judge any country by it’s rural population. No country, not Ireland, not England, not Canada or the U.S is going to look good by that standard. If you and your husband aren’t going on a camper trip through small town and rural Australia then you will be fine. You will not encounter an overwhelming amount of rednecks and you will get a more fair representation of the average Australian since most of the population lives in cities. I can guarantee you that if you went in a camper through Ireland you’d also be shocked by the amount of backwards and redneck people you would encounter there as well. Australia is actually just as pro SSM as Ireland is even now, they just have obstructionists politicians in power at the moment. The state of partnership benefits for same sex couples is also no worse for LGBT’s in Australia than it was before the referendum this year in Ireland. Ireland is just about a year and a half ahead in the game than Australia. But if your friends story of rural bogan Australia is enough to sour you on the entire country then I hope that you try a little soda bread and a bit of the famous Irish porridge for me then.

          • perversatile

            That’s a good travel tip~
            If the Gays ain’t happy
            we’re not going!

      • David L. Caster

        Even very small groups of people cannot quickly decide things of immediate concern. For instance, try to get 7 of your friends to decide on a restaurant at which to have dinner in under 5 minutes. Now imagine 23 million people trying to do that. Human beings aren’t gates on a computer chip. It takes time to get to all their ideas in any discussion, particularly one involving a substantial social change in their society. What may seem obvious to an observer with a stake in the outcome may take the uninvolved some time to understand.

        • bambinoitaliano

          I was comparing to US with over 300 million population versus Australia 23 million. As per your example three friends versus seven friends does make a difference when it comes to time management. Also as mentioned earlier infrastructure of communication technology does play apart in disseminating information across a nation in a vast land. In this regard, we are fortunate in Canada to have a better layout and wealth of information we can also extract from our giant neighbor. I overlook how isolated Australia is geographically.

          • David L. Caster

            Having lived in the US all my life, I can tell you that for the most part the population doesn’t really care much about most issues the country has before it. And that’s the problem. We are a disengaged society. It’s grown much worse in the last 3 decades as we are spoon fed information by a highly consolidated media (just 6 big companies) that “entertains” us constantly, and thus we have little time for weightier concerns.

            There are ~1.7 million more Californians than there are Canadians. If the political demography of the entire US were like that of California then our country would be dominated by progressives and substantially different from its current self. Of course, participation in the political system (say, by voting) would have to be equivalent to what we see during presidential elections.

            The US is a study in contrasts, just as many other countries (like Austrailia), where population centers tend to be more progressive and more sparsely populated areas more conservative. Religion plays a role in such trends but so does tradition and familiar lore.

    • Bill_Perdue

      Or Democrats. As we saw when the Democrats refused to repeal their own DOMA from 1996 until recently, almost 20 years. Only massive action in the streets and the courts can compel change when politicians fail.

      Relying on elected politicians of either party produces nothing.

      • oikos

        Vote or shut up, old fool.

        • JT

          And don’t tell others to throw away their vote.

          • Bill_Perdue

            This is not a democracy. Your vote is irrelevant as irrelevant as you shilling for HRH HRC.

            “A new scientific study from Princeton researcher Martin Gilens and Northwestern researcher Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

            Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often. It’s beyond alarming.

            As Gilens and Page write, ‘the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.’ In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.”

          • JT

            If people followed your advice, it would not be a democracy.

            Take your meds.

          • Bill_Perdue

            Dullards think the US is a democracy. They think that voting matters. It isn’t a democracy and voting changes nothing. It just perpetuates war, racism and poverty and that’s why you favor it.

          • JT

            Take your meds. You need them.

        • Bill_Perdue

          Leftists vote, but not for the scabs and warmongers you prefer. On November 8, 2016 vote Socialist or Labor, vote for good referendums and if there aren’t any Left candidates write in Chelsea Manning or join the majority in sitting it out.

          It’s always better not to vote at all than to vote for our enemies, Democrats and Republicans.

          “It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.” – Eugene V. Debs

          And we’re not afraid to criticize Obama’s racist murders of Arab Americans. Neither is the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights. They’re not cowards either.

    • anne marie in philly


      • Elections do matter, therefore EACH vote matters. People need to remember that NOT voting is voting…voting against ones own values

  • bkmn

    Show Abbott that it is time! Good luck mates.

  • Bad Tom

    Leaders never lead; they always follow the people.
    Listen to your people, Mr. Abbott

    • David L. Caster

      More precisely, I believe, is that what appears to be following is really steering the will of the led into achieving some end: the development of that will necessarily precedes the emergence of a leader. The most effective leaders do their jobs by influencing their followers. Abbot is using his might, which is based on his position as PM, to direct parliament to do his bidding. The effect is to place his will ahead of the people. In the end, that strategy is doomed to failure because it runs counter to the natural order of leadership.

  • Terry

    One of my fb friends said they were going to the rally, I hope to hear from him and hear of his experience

    I’m sure this will play a huge part in the next election. Sounds like it’s pretty close

    • Bad Tom

      Please let us know if your friend updates you.

  • joe ho

    father tony abbott and the dead-jew-on-a-stick cult continue to poison everything–again.

  • Steven Leahy

    Love it! Awesome.

    One thing I don’t get – Maybe an Australian can explain it to me. I get the opposition in the US (I don’t SUPPORT it, but there is a huge religious bent to politics and social mores in the US that likely doesn’t exist in Australia with the same dynamic). Public support of SSM has always been much higher in Australia than the US. Aus. doesn’t appear to have the evangelical presence one sees in the US. So why the staunch political stonewalling? I don’t understand it.

    • Reality.Bites

      The United States has had VERY limited success legislating marriage equality. There would be no chance at all of it being legislated nationally under a Republican majority, and very little chance under a Democratic one. Since marriage is constitutionally a federal issue in Australia, that’s what it takes. Australia also lacks a constitutional bill of rights that would allow courts to legalize it.

      Also, it doesn’t really matter if the people are religious if the politicians are.

      • Oscarlating Wildely

        Hear, hear. About 1/3rd of the US is not religious. Never know that in our hallowed halls of government, with nary a non-religious person in sight but oodles and oodles of Jeebus.

      • Silver Badger

        Most politicians are NOT religious. They only pretend to be in order to keep milking the faithful. You will have to admit them faithful provide a lot of milk!

      • billbear1961

        Yes, Australia needs a Bill of Rights or Charter of Rights and Freedoms like those of the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

        An Australian poster has pointed out that Australia has fared well relying on common law and the 1689 British Bill of Rights.

        But obviously in THIS matter reliance on those has very sadly failed them!

        • Robert W. Pierce

          Thankfully, here in the UK, the common law and Bill of Rights didn’t fail us. The legislation passed overwhelmingly in both Houses of Parliament. Who would have thought a conservative government of all parties would have introduced it? In the upper chamber (The Lords) it didn’t even need a vote in third and final reading but was passed by an astounding acclamation. I will never forget hearing it, a truly historical day. Australia’s problem is the very catholic bigot Abbott, a former seminarian and his devotion to his cult. Get rid of that and Australia will succeed.

  • Fyva Prold

    Interesting that Liberals is another type of cussword there.

    • zhera

      I may be mistaking, but I think it’s the US who are the odd one out here. At least in Norway, Liberals are right-wing along with Conservatives. But then, Socialist isn’t the same level of cussword here as in the US. Kinda hard when the government system is Social Democratic.

      • billbear1961

        This backwards country can only DREAM of the social democratic promised land, my lady Zhera!

        The gullible people of this benighted republic have been so brainwashed for DECADES by the appalling EVIL of nonstop 24/7 corporate-fascist propaganda that few–like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren–really stand up to and try to counter!!

        But some of us can SEE the Rainbow Bridge that we WILL one day cross into social and economic JUSTICE!!

        And, despite their shortcomings, which you have hinted at, despite the efforts of some in those countries–who have been foully seduced by the criminal influence of the degenerate American right–to undo all their progress, the Scandinavian countries–and societies like the Dutch–remain our greatest and enduring source of HOPE and the sterling guide to the path FORWARD to progressive EXCELLENCE!

      • bambinoitaliano

        Make no mistake our own Steven Harpoon would have reverse the laws if he could. Thank cheetos the voters just don’t have the appetite to revist issues that already been settle. He is still persistently find other ways to undermine the rights of Canadians every which way he can.

  • Steven Leahy

    Off-topic but I am really starting to dig the new JMG site, after some initial reluctance. I like the pop ups when a new story appears and viewing on an iPhone is 1000x easier.

    • Octavio

      Yes. The iPhone experience is much better. I hate my iPhone. But I hate all phones. 🙂

      • William

        I like my 1950 Bell System rotary phone. It doesn’t display websites very well though.

        • GC

          You mean you actually talk on your phone? 🙂

          (So do I!)

          • Ginger Snap

            I do too.

        • another_steve

          I miss party lines.

          “Ahem… sorry to interrupt, but can you please hang up so I can make a call? I’ve been waiting for over an hour. Thank you.”

          • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

            I remember the party line at my aunt’s place in a small village. We were warned by my aunt that some old snoops may be listening in. 📞

        • gaymex

          I found an old one in a box in my attic when I was last in the States. I had forgotten how heavy they were. Great for fending off the attack of some hot number trying to have his way with you.

        • Ginger Snap

          I still have my princess phone on my desk and always use it to call m Mother. I find if I use the landline (not cordless)to make phone calls when home I’m more engaged in the conversation and not doing something else. I detest texting.

      • Mark

        My phone has wings…..on several occasion.

      • gaymex

        My English Mastiff ate mine. I accidently left it hidden in her box of toys and she brought the remnants to me a couple of hours later. I now have a new phone that is simply a phone. It has other buttons that I have decided not to explore…it doesn’t even have a camera. I’m content. I have a closet full of cameras and lenses if I’m in the mood for shooting.

        • Octavio

          I had a fawn-colored female mastiff called “Alex” — short for Alexandria — that I inherited when she was one year-old and about 100 lbs. I soon began calling her “Boombah!” because of size of the dumps she left on the front lawn. She was a lovely soul who was convinced being a dog was only a transitional phase and that soon I would buy her a big frilly dress and present her at a quinceanera. She only made it to 12 years (and l35 lbs), then a pickup truck removed her from this mortal plain. Such a good dog. Such large piles of dog blast. Such farts. I do miss her.

          • gaymex

            Mine is afraid of her own shadow, but people are terrified…which can be a good thing. She will not go from one room to the other without asking permission from the yorkie who controls the house and everything that happens within.
            Tula, the mastiff, weighs in at about 190 and can leave a dump that a cow would be proud of…and the drool, unbelievable. My morning ritual is finding where she has hidden her latest poop–usually following my nose is sufficient. Sweet, sweet dog…mine will be lucky to make it to 8, but I knew that when I rescued her as a pup. Loyal and loving creatures.

  • another_steve

    There’s happy news from Australia, too.

    “In Australia: Rainbow Colors Celebrate Acceptance, Pride, and Faith”

  • Ninja0980

    This anger needs to be put into action.
    And by that, I mean booting the bigots out and making it clear to the replacements that Parliament needs to vote on equality, period.

    • joe ho

      do they have the political will and organization to do this?

  • Webslinger
    • Octavio

      In the ’80s I thought about starting my own leadership think tank and seminar training system. I was going to call it, “Ya Gotta Be!” Then Orrin beat me to it. 🙂

    • BobSF_94117


      • Possibly along the same sense as the word “inspire” —
        ‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’

  • billbear1961

    It’s just like Germany–SEVENTY percent support equality there, too, but just as that backwards, cowardly BITCH Merkel, purely to appeal to a nasty minority for their political support, won’t stand up for JUSTICE, neither will that backwards, cowardly BASTARD Abbott!

    Why are you so afraid to allow a FREE vote, you pathetic piece of SHIT?!

    Because you know equality will WIN?? And you say you believe in DEMOCRACY?!

    DEFY him! If enough do, there is NOTHING he can do to exact revenge without severely damaging himself and his government!!

    DEFY HIM, and join the civilized world, Australia!

    Why allow ONE evil man, ONE snivelling little COWARD, to impose his dictatorial will on such a great nation?!

    • billbear1961

      Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, even the lumbering, always-SLOW-to-progress USA–ALL in equality’s camp!

      Only Northern Ireland, held pathetic hostage in parliament by “religious” FILTH, and you, Australia, drag your feet!

      Oh, that braying ass SHAMES you, Australia! The LITTLE dictator–the little “man”–shames a great nation!

      DEFY HIM and vote your conscience if you know what FREEDOM means!

      Show the WORLD you do, and restore your PRIDE!!

      • Steve Teeter

        “You can always count on America to do the right thing, once they’ve tried everything else.” — Winston Churchill

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      In a Sousa mood today? 😉

      • billbear1961

        And then some, husband!

      • Nexus1

        Is the great bear as passionate in other aspects of life as he is about world affairs? He is on fire today, that’s for sure.

  • Octavio

    Hope Australia succeeds in beating down the bigots and cranky conservative kooks so everyone can enjoy equal marriage. Hope is all I got these days. Still, better than nothing, right? :-/

    • zhera

      It will happen, Octavio. The only question is how long it will take.

      • bambinoitaliano

        The momentum seems to be gathering since Ireland voted for the same sex marriage. While the politicians try to avoid the subject, it’s the religious rights that keep the topic going. This is the blow back from the people who see the extreme politics the religious sect and right wing nuts unwanted assertion.

  • Stev84
    • zhera

      Lol that’s a solid classic!

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      That’s what I call a sound bite… bite in the ass.

    • matt n

      well, that sums up tony abbot well

  • bambinoitaliano

    And so it begins……..

  • matt n

    i understand why former seminarian and right-winger tony abbot is against marriage equality, but i never got julia gillard’s opposition. gay marriage should have been legal in australia long ago. it’s just ridiculous and so unaustralian.

    • Silver Badger

      I can accept his opinion, but I’m not sure I will ever understand it!

      • matt n

        here’s my guess as a former rc seminarian myself. there were probably a lot of gay seminarians back when he was in the seminary and he probably hated being “tarred with the same brush,” with people thinking the priesthood was a gay profession. many of the straight guys can’t handle the presumtion that they too may be gay if they are studying to be priests and become like abbot. just my take as i’ve seen this.

        • Silver Badger

          Thank you!

          • matt n

            de nada

        • BearEyes

          if they can’t handle it, then I doubt they are secure in their own sexuality.

          • matt n

            right, some are not. many have had few relationships. but a lot just hate being automatically seen as gay because they are training for the priesthood. it’s a mix. i really don’t care what their motivations are. it’s the very vocal support taht they give to the chruch’s anti gay stances and anti gay moves in society that are the problems. i really don’t give a shit why they “feel” the way they do.

        • A friend who spent 12 years as a Jesuit novice and another who trained for the Anglican priesthood both reported that most of their classmates were motivated by the belief that if they dedicated their lives to God He would remove their sinful sexual desires, same-sex or otherwise.

          I read somewhere that Abbott (or his parents) chose the seminary because it was free, and his general cynicism lends credence to that; but sexuality aside, I am inclined to think that the real reason he left (after prayerful discussions with his superiors, of course) was that he couldn’t stomach the idea of having to vow obedience to his superiors. In that he is the archetypical bully — demanding obedience but unwilling to give it. After all, he was born an Abbot!

          • matt n

            anglican priests can marry, rm. when was that with the jesuit? i was in the seminary for four years in the 2000s and nobody every spoke of god removing their desires. the idea was to cope with them. we had a weekly discussion in small groups with a priest about how to accept and cope with them. they pressed not “acting out.” some priest formators told us not to get bent out of shape for jerking off once in a while. others–mostly younger priest formators–were like: never! it was a strange bunch when it came to sex and the church. we had to see a psychiatrist once a month–for their protection to ensure we weren’t really messed up sexually so they wouldn’t be bringing on people who’d cause more abuse problems they didn’t want to deal with or pay out for. so this was not therapy to help us deal with the very strange situation of being in an rc seminary. rather, it was a “check” to help them. anyway, the psychiatrist who spoke with all of us every fourth week on a rotation told me i was the most well adjusted guy in the house. uggh… the seminary… i want to forget it. they wanted him to write them a letter saying bad things about me when i left to put in my file. he wrote a letter telling them they will be missing out on just the kind of priest they need, and he sent me a copy–which he was not suppossed to do.

          • My Anglican friend did his stint in the early-mid ‘seventies at a famously High Church establishment in South Australia, which he described as “crowded” with queens who saw bells and smells and embroidered vestments as a God-approved form of drag. It was Romanism lite — complete with the Romish prudishness about sex — he used to say. I lost touch with him many years ago, but last time I saw him he was flirting with the idea of moving to Constantinople and becoming a Greek Orthodox priest. Whether he did, I don’t know. It would have been even further up the candle for him, of course.

            My ex-Jesuit is pushing 80 now and back home in the US, where he married a lovely guy in California about a month after the Supreme Court finally overturned Prop8. He must have done his years as a novice (at a House in the
            Mid-West) around the time of Vatican II. That’s where he discovered his taste for S&M — they had to practice a lot of self-mortification (hair-shirts, flagellating each other, the whole medieval routine) with the expressed aim of “subduing the flesh.” That it usually had exactly the opposite effect on almost all the boys was explained away by saying that after ordination that wouldn’t happen. Sacramental grace, you know. Just hang in there!

            As for jerking off, one of my old schoolmates, a priest in one of the mendicant Orders — and a very good
            one; he’s the sort of man the Church needs but rarely gets or recognises when it does — told me that when he realised he had a vocation he was worried because he used to jerk off a lot; so he asked our school’s confessor for advice. “Oh, that’s OK, as long as you don’t do it more than one or twice a month.” Which was very different from what that same dipshit told me in the confessional.
            One law for God’s chosen ones, another for the rest of us.

          • matt n

            so, there was a guy in the seminary with me–a former IBMer, well off, early 50s then. a lot of guys used to come to my room to talk to me. my door was almost always swung wide open and i kept a sleeve of diet cokes under the bed that everyone knew was fair game. anyway, so this guy knocks at my door at 10 pm (we got up very early so this was on the late side). he was all nervous and out of sorts. he said, “matt, i have to find father X. do you know where he is?” i knew how these guys thought so i knew what was going on. he masturbated and felt he absolutely must go to confession before the early mass the next morning. uggghhh… i would roll my eyes now, but then i was kind. so, i told him not to worry about it. that several of the priests in the house said you don’t have confess after masturbating as long as your intent is to confess later on. just go to mass the next morning. (if we didn’t go to mass it was a major mark against us unless one was very sick). oh, this was ridiculous. when this guy left (and he was still upset and looking for a priest confessor), i realized that too many guys who couldn’t reason well were being ordained. if this guy got so angst-ridden because he jerked off, how could he deal with problems actual issues parishioners would bring to him in the future. eye-opening. of course, he’s ordained now…

    • Stev84

      She sucked up to Christian extremists for power. Pure self-interest.

      • matt n

        yeah, i think she did also. but she still was politician of a left wing party that professed a minority regressive view on a high profile social issue. it didn’t make sense.

  • Ninja0980

    Keep in mind the previous PM of Australia, Julia Gillard was from the opposite party and she too blocked marriage equality in order to try and preserve her and her own party’s power.
    And when she did that, Penny Wong, who is a lesbian did nothing to stop her and refused to speak up in any way until Abbott and his party came to power.
    Tony Abbott is an asshole but one same sex couples in Australia wouldn’t have had to deal with if Gillard had done the right thing.
    Like here in the states, it’s not enough to just elect peole from the opposite party.
    Their feet have to be held to the fire as well.

  • LovesIrony

    I guess they don’t want to be seen as bigots by the rest of the civilized world

  • Brian

    Australians keep fighting, it will happen.

  • When I lived with my first long-term boyfriend, in Perth 40 years ago, I would have attended these events, whether or not he would have risked his career with its guaranteed4heterosexuals-only pension to do so!

  • RLK2

    We have the same problem here. It’s name is Boehner who refuses to bring pro-equality legislation up to a vote in the House. Elections matter! No matter who the Democratic candidate is in 2016, Clinton or Sanders, either one must win so the Republicans cannot take the White House. Also, the Senate must return to Democratic control and the Democrats must take back as many seats in the House as possible. Also state elections matter! State legislators in key states must turn blue as well. Vote! And get everyone you know to vote!

    • bkmn

      And be sure to take advantage of the present day GOP to remind your friends, co-workers and family that both parties are not the same – especially if someone is like Bill Perdue. Ask them to point out who on the Democratic side is as ridiculous as tRump or Piyush. They won’t be able to.

      • RJ Tremor

        Because they don’t think they’re ridiculous. They’ll just revert to ObamaGhazi.

  • JT

    “Mr. Abbott and his right wing Liberals …” Wingnuts are totally confused by this discourse.

  • Keep the issue front and center and keep pushing hard until the next election. If unfortunate that Marriage equality isn’t going to move forward under this parliament but it won’t happen under the next one either unless all this frustration is channeled into votes.

  • sherman

    If he thinks it should be put up to National vote, why doesn’t he do it now instead of waiting until after the next election? He certainly doesn’t think waiting will get him more votes.

    • matt n

      mr. peabody says he’ll wait ’til the next election then pop into the way-back machine. it’s like ground hog day, sherman.

  • Interesting article highlighting the division within Tony Abbott’s own cabinet over this issue. I am sure that there are those who realize that putting this issue off is hurting their own political ambitions thus they want it addressed before the election.

  • j.martindale
  • noni

    Another American exporting hate to Australia.