Tuesday, November 16, 2010
However, there will be some who don’t discover this.
Poll after poll shows a majority of the Australian public supports gay marriage. However, a recent Roy Morgan poll indicates that opinions on homosexuality vary quite dramatically across the country. Not surprisingly, inner-city electorates hold the most positive attitudes toward homosexuality, while negative attitudes tend to be congregated in rural areas (predominantly in Queensland with smatterings across the other states) as well as some outer-suburban, working class suburbs. Seven of these electorates are marginal seats for either Labor or the Coalition. Could gay marriage be an issue that makes or breaks a Government? (For an interesting discussion on this topic see Mark Davis’ piece in yesterday’s National Times )
As always, I am astounded by the level of vitriol this issue prompts in some commentators (particularly the religious nutters who like to comment at the end of newspaper opinion pieces. Why are people so threatened? They aren’t even invited to the wedding.) The issue of children features prominently in this. It seems people who have never known any lesbian or gay parents, or their children, can’t imagine how same-sex parented families operate. For them, homosexuality equals sex and debauchery. Putting children in this picture, they argue, is not only unnatural but cruel. They don’t see a normal life. They don’t see happy children sitting around the breakfast table, the morning rush to school, Saturday morning cartoons.
So what’s the solution to this? How do you change the images in people’s minds?