Daily Telegraph: Miranda Devine
HAVING flown out of Australia on the day news broke of an ISIS plot to bomb an Etihad plane, and watched an impressive display of Chinese military might on Hong Kong TV, amid escalating nuclear threats by North Korea, it was surreal to come home to a nation consumed with virtue signalling on same-sex marriage.
That is not to say the attempt to redefine marriage is not a profound issue. But the last thing we need is another divisive bout of LGBTI intimidation.
Because that’s what this has become. Fair minded democrats who uphold traditional marriage made a significant concession two years ago to ask the people to decide whether change should occur. We did not stubbornly stand our ground. We did the honourable, respectful thing. We don’t want change. But we compromised.
It was a risk, because gay marriage advocates claim overwhelming popular support for the redefinition of marriage.
It was a gift to our opponents made in good faith, and they threw it in our face and called us bigots.
So this is where we are.
Today the campaign for the No case in next month’s postal plebiscite will be launched with a new activist organisation, the Coalition for Marriage, whose website proclaims “We are the silent majority”.
It is the joint venture of Marriage Alliance, the Australian Christian Lobby, Sydney Catholics and Anglicans and 70 other organisations and faith groups, including the Australian Chinese for Families Association, and Christian Schools Australia.
What they lack in money, media and corporate support, they gain in a pent-up backlash from the community against the fantastic intolerance of the LGBTI lobby.
In 36 hours late last week, thousands of individual donations, averaging about $100 each, flooded in.
It’s a David v Goliath battle but the No campaign is hopeful that they can convince the uncommitted centre to stick with the status quo.
One way or another we’ll know what Australians think in three months.
Conservatives don’t give Malcolm Turnbull credit for what he has achieved. He is the new man of steel, staring down the LGBTI activists in his party and coming up with a way of keeping his election promise and giving the people a say.
That is even though he advocates same sex marriage: “Other people have different views on that fundamental issue and I respect their views and they’re entitled to them.”
If only everyone were as reasonable.
With John Howard and John Anderson teaming up again to advance the No case, you can at least hope that arguments in defence of marriage will remain temperate.
You can’t say the same for the other side, with Bill Shorten and Penny Wong competing last week to see who can be the most hysterical, hypocritical and hateful.
Wong, who so recently defended traditional marriage when it suited her politically, claims the postal plebiscite is a “stacked deck”. That takes chutzpah.
Advocates for change hold all the aces. Apart from a handful of holdouts, they have all the media on board, from the ABC to Sky News, even Alan Jones.
The PM, the Opposition, the unions, GetUp! and the AMA are on side, as is the business community and their money: Qantas, the banks, PwC and the rest of the metastasising consultant industry.
Virtue signalling CEOs and gutless boards long ago were co-opted by diversity guerillas in their HR departments.
Google software engineer James Damore knows how this works after being sacked for writing a memo to colleagues suggesting discrimination was not the cause of all disparities between men and women.
His sacking is proof of the totalitarian nature of identity politics, which brooks no dissent.
“Whether it’s in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating them if they persist in violating taboos,” he wrote last week.
Enter singer Tim Minchin, whose foul ditty is typical of the abuse aimed at social conservatives.
“I still call Australia home-ophobic,” he sings, referring to Australians contemplating voting ‘No’ as “bigoted c…s.”
As for Shorten, we know his character well, and it never fails to fall short. The plebiscite, which he once earnestly advocated, he now claims will provoke suicide. He holds Turnbull responsible for any ugliness in the debate, “every hurtful bit of filth”, as he said, in a ludicrous speech that drew a standing ovation from a party that’s learned nothing from Hillary Clinton’s fatal embrace of identity politics.
They call defenders of marriage bigots, homophobes and child abusers, heretics who must be driven out of the public square, along with their deplorable religion.
But when you pathologise people’s opinions, you don’t persuade them to your way of thinking, but just force them into resentful silence. Only the ratbags get heard.
If the LGBTI bullies and their elite champions win through intimidation, it will be a Pyrrhic victory.
If any opinion is compelled to silence, wrote John Stuart Mill, then the victorious opinion becomes little more than a prejudice, even if it is right. It will be “deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct [and prevent] the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction.”
Rainbow fascism will never win hearts and minds. It only alienates.