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Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004, 06:21 pm
New Zealand's view of Australia?

I read this bit of unpleasantness in the New Zealand Herald today. I'm tempted to look on it as New Zealanders laughing at we red-neck Australians, but I still need to comment on the content.

The line that most intrigued me was this: "with 60-70 per cent opposed to homosexuality". What exactly does this mean? While I sympathise with the deep distress my existence causes them, there's really not much I can do about it. This bizarre figure, which does not accord with the observed reality of myself and selected work colleagues, caused me to question the source of this survey. The Institute of Family Studies sounds like a front for a fundie church group and I was ready to dismiss it as such, but then I found that this is actually a Commonwealth Government statutory authority. Initially, this led me to give the survey more credence, but on reflection I realised that was naîve. It is a well known fact that the federal public service has been becoming increasingly politicised (I think this is a side effect of either side of politics being in power for too long) and so they may have gone out of their way to get the result they know their political masters would want. Governments have a proud history of giving the people what they want, but only after telling them what that is. I really don't feel that 60 to 70% of the Australian population is "opposed" to homosexuality, and I hope you don't either.

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 09:05 am (UTC)

I don't feel the need to go into gay marriage, that cursed debate, but I will say there's no reason not to grant marriage-like benefits and child rights to homosexuals.

And I suppose NZ'landers look at Aussies the same way Canadians look at Americans. In fact, I think NZ'landers probably have the same complex that Canadians have, to wit:

"We're not Australian (American)! We're Kiwis (Canadians)!"
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Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 11:41 am (UTC)

Agreed, Ristin. Agreed.
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Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 09:53 am (UTC)

It's not that hard, really. I could probably design a survey that could get the opposite result with half my brain missing...

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 10:57 am (UTC)

Hmmmm.....I know lots of people here in the U.S. who think that Australia is incredibly liberal and tolerant of the gay/lesbian/transgendered society vis a vis the U.S., so I find this a bit eye-opening. Of course, I live in the midwest, the Heartland of America (ahem), and I know tolerance and acceptance are much lower here on the 3rd Coast than the East or West coasts. How odd it is to see perspective.

I also know many Americans who swear they'd rather be Canadians. But most of them wouldn't give up their U.S. passport for a million bucks. Actually, I'm one of them. I don't want to be Canadian. But I've thought about Oz lots of times. They just won't have myself, Mr. Pi, and the herd.

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 11:38 am (UTC)

"I also know many Americans who swear they'd rather be Canadians. But most of them wouldn't give up their U.S. passport for a million bucks."

Which goes a long way to highlight their hypocrisy. I'd love to see these people back their words up with action. But I won't be holding my breath.

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 08:14 pm (UTC)

Much better to stay and fight for your country, wouldn't you agree?

And remember, in your language I run a "liberal" LiveJournal here, so play nice. ^_^

Fri, Dec. 3rd, 2004 07:14 pm (UTC)

Just had a thought. Since US passports go for extreme amounts of money on the black market (or so I've read), older Americans may not have to worry about their (lack of) Social Security benefits any more!

When they get ready to retire, they can just auction off their passports on eBay or Froogle! After they've moved to Costa Rica or Spain or wherever.....

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Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 02:26 pm (UTC)

I'm sorry to say - you have a pronounced tendency to emphasize the negative, my friend. Why not turn these poll results around and look at it like 30-40% of people don't oppose homosexuality? Those percentages are absolutely extraordinary! That's 10 times less disapproval than I experienced in my youth. Maybe you're not getting all the approval you want, but who does, whether they're gay or straight? Honestly, count your blessings. Things aren't nearly as awful as you seem to imagine...

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC)

But, it could certainly be better - look at the UK's recently passed Civil Partnership Act, f'rex. It went through fairly uneventfully, too - none of this gruesome knuckle-dragging declaring the End of Civilisation As We Know It. (Possibly the Daily Mail frothed about it, but that's their job: quietly seething indignation)

Your point remains valid, though - things are gradually getting better, even in the US. There's a long way to go yet, of course, but fates like Alan Turing's don't tend to befall people these days in Western nations.

Is it time for the ice cream yet? ^_^

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 08:11 pm (UTC)

Maybe things are different in America, but I do not think 30-40% not opposing homosexuality is something to celebrate in this country. Nor do I think I need to; the main thrust of my essay was that these figures were cooked up to please the new Christian Right bent of the government. The reality is, the majority of Australians don't care what I do with Ristin and have no objection to me hugging and cuddling him in public (or are at least are too gutless to say otherwise). Have a little faith in my country, oh bear of true heart.

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 07:59 pm (UTC)

I always the statement of being "opposed" to homosexuality to be interesting. It makes me wonder if they are "opposed" to women, or "opposed" to african-americans, or "opposed" to the handicapped.

Wed, Dec. 1st, 2004 08:08 pm (UTC)

Personally, I'm deeply opposed to liver. And brief winter days.