Scotty done did it again. The man who would be king yesterday again pointed to the queer boogeyman in his continued effort to contrive an election-winning shitfight. The unpopular Prime Minister also desperately needs to keep up the distractions.
The Morrison government would end up better cooked than his infamous curry if some of the important issues that so far failed to generate headlines suddenly popped up front and centre.
Religious Discrimination Bill
Here we go again… Yesterday in Perth, Morrison again declared the Religious Discrimination Bill a priority for a 4th term of the Lib v Nats government. But he would not commit to corresponding amendments to the sex discrimination act. Those would ensure the protection of LGBTQ students from discrimination.
Scotty told assembled news reporters and assorted propagandists that the two were separate issues.
Scotty promised the amendments in 2018
Morrison promised the amendments in 2018 during the Wentworth by-election. That’s back when the Liberals needed to retain Malcolm Turnbull’s former seat in the face of a strong campaign by lesbian independent Kerryn Phelps.
The former president of the Australian Medical Association went on to win Wentworth and we’re still waiting for the promised amendments.
But that’s hardly a surprise.
The Religious Discrimination Bill is not about protecting anyone. Our proudly secular Commonwealth possesses an enviable record on religious freedom. Few countries offer the same freedom to believe and practice your faith as Australia.
Indeed, in Australia, government spares churches the burden shouldered by the rest of the community of paying tax. And they receive lavish government subsidies for their schools and other institutions despite charging users to access those facilities.
The queer boogeyman is just a distraction
So the Religious Discrimination Bill is not and never was about freedom. It’s all about weaponising the queer boogeyman against the LGBTIQ+ communities to ensure the votes of bigots.
AND: keeping important issues out of the headlines.
The Liberal v Nationals coalition is not an ally of the LGBTIQ+ communities. To paraphrase Riff Raff, ‘they never liked us’.
Look at just a few of the people Scotty shared government with.
And who does he now want to join him? Katherine Deves, a candidate who said the Rainbow Flag triggers her.
Yes, there are also a couple of gay MPs and a few allies, but they look now more and more like necessary evils, previously tolerated for the sake of winning crucial inner-city seats. Similar to how, despite despising Malcolm Turnbull, the coalition elevated him to the prime ministership to save themselves from electoral annihilation.
During this election campaign, it became obvious that Scotty is willing to jettison the gays and allied MPs. With some of their seats already under threat from popular, intelligent, electoral-savvy, female independents, he hopes to make up his losses by dog-whistling bigots.
Freedom is never guaranteed
The recent leak of the draft US Supreme Court opinion on Roe v Wade reminds us again that our freedoms are never guaranteed. If the LGBTIQ+ communities want to retain the freedoms of recent decades and move towards equal rights, we must fight.
AND we must vote, and vote wisely.
Pointing to the queer boogeyman helps keep attention away from numerous important issues that so far failed to generate headlines this election season.
Where is Alan Tudge, Scotty’s Minister for Education and Youth, on leave since December 2021? Tudge disappeared from public view after allegations of abuse by his former employee and lover, Rachelle Miller. However, he remains a Liberal candidate and Morrison insists he will return to his portfolio following the election.
Who is the other Liberal MP? A negotiated settlement over Rachelle Miller’s claims of bullying, harassment and discrimination while working as a coalition advisor reportedly involves a taxpayer-funded government payout of over $500,000.
But part of that payout apparently relates not to Tudge, but to alleged harassment by another Liberal politician a decade ago.
Rachelle Miller released the government from ‘any obligation of confidentiality in respect of her claim’ and challenged Scotty to release details of the settlement.
But Morrison refuses.
However, we will inevitably find out the identity of the other Liberal MP. If the frequently disparaged but more frequently correct Twitterverse speculation is correct, that revelation will cause fireworks. Though too late to influence this election.
We certainly won’t read anything about it in a mainstream press desperate to save an on-the-nose prime minister.
Just like we don’t see headlines about: Morrison’s now dispensed with promise for a federal anti-corruption body, the Aspen Medical $1 billion PPR contract, the Parliamentary Prayer Room, and on and on…
Remember the queer boogeyman when you vote. And this election, perhaps consider not just who you vote for, but also who you don’t vote for.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.