Some wonder why I concentrate on writing about the U.S.; why I don’t write more about Australian situations.
There are already quite a few people writing and talking about what’s happening in Australia, not to mention that here in Adelaide, South Australia, there is a rather small activist population that exists within quite a quiet conservative community. Not conservative in the religious Republican sense, though we do have those too, but conservative in the “don’t rock the boat type;” just keeping a low profile whilst having, what is for them, fun.
They are similar to so many groups throughout the world, of people who just happily, or nearly so, manage to survive day to day.
They might be religious, have no belief except in any crises of their existence, or no desire to believe beyond their own personal intimacy with the deity of their choice. Then there are those who want their religious choice to be everyone’s.
Even more threatening and annoying are those who think they must be the deliverer of salvation to the rest of humanity.
Sadly, there is another reason I write about the U.S. — America influences the politics of Australia. Sometimes our politicians react against American policies, and sometimes they follow them blindly, seemingly without thought of the consequences, or our cultural differences.
We humans race against time, all the time, and sometimes not in time… to save ourselves from an embarrassing stumble before being anywhere near the finish line.
The race against time is not merely a bias against moving forward, sometimes it is a race being run backwards, in reverse direction, irrationally.
According to three respected polls, 62 – 68 percent of Australians back same sex relationships in the race to get marriage equality into the starting stall, but our politicians are reluctant to act on the odds.
In Queensland, irrationally, politicians are defying those odds.
The Queensland State Parliament virtually destroyed the recently legislated “civil partnerships,” into the less satisfactory “registered relationships.”
In what appears to be a stampede back to some non-existent biblically inspired period, the Parliament seems intent on revoking recent advances toward recognizing LGBTQ civil relationships including same-sex couples’ ability to surrogate children, as well as removing state recognition of any same sex spousal ceremony.
Of course this is a matter for Australians, and Queenslanders in particular, but this debacle has ramifications for the rest of the world.
Before the Queensland election, the then opposition leader publicly maintained that the party would “not be making any changes” to the State’s surrogacy law. Sound familiar?
This is similar to right wing parties’ claims in other countries that they would not legislate against LGBTQ people should the right wing candidates be elected to power. They simply change the rules after the election race.
The recently elected conservative government in Spain seem to be looking for ways to degrade the freedoms of LGBTQ people and their marriage equality rights. Then there are the recent attempts to apparently make LGBTQ people in Russia a hidden caste.
By far the most serious are the continuing efforts in some countries to legislate the persecution and execution of LGBTQ people, based on perceived religious and cultural taboos against homosexuality.
In some other countries, homosexuals are being legally hanged, or stoned to death. The race to be human has been lost in those countries.
It is time that we tell those homophobic extremists what we instinctively know, that whenever they manage to have an orgasm they are thinking of two men, or two women, together expressing their love for one another.
Instead of being happy for us, for other people enjoying the expression of love, they would deny us the right to the happiness that others enjoy.
They get the Golden Rule back to front too.
Religious fanatics want to make us think that we must do as they do, instead of them recognizing that, just as they do, we have every right to be ourselves. They race past empathy and compassion almost as quickly as they run from reason, and relay the baton of their prejudice and intolerance from one generation to the next.
Their relentless obsession with other people’s sex lives is proven by their unhappy preoccupation to bludgeon others into believing as they do.
Historically, hardly any nations that have decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults, haven’t, sooner or later, reinstated anti-gay laws to a degree of one kind or another.
It is quite disturbing that the Queensland situation is fulfilling that now aging observation.
Queensland has invoked a backwards handicap on LGBTQ relationships. This shows us that the results of the race to human equality rights can be overturned and previous declared, rightfully affirmed winners, disqualified.
In the Presidential steeplechase to the finishing line in the Oval Office of the White House, there is no doubt that religious right wing conservatives will attempt to place obstructions and hurdles to handicap the LGBTQ community’s current gains toward acceptance.
Sadly, those barriers may not be evident until after the election results.
The Queensland handicapping is a warning about conservative religious extremism politically ‘fixing’ the human race so that consenting adults who aspire to marry someone of their own sex are condemned, neutered and denied their inalienable human right.
That “fixed” race ends with the church and the state riding the same whipped “horse” until we stumble and break a leg.
They shoot horses, don’t they?
Desmond Rutherford, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a poet, columnist and writer. Des DownUnder is published under license from Desmond Rutherford Associates Ltd.