Quote of the Day: 18C on steroids


Today, legislation designed to protect against so-called “hate speech” in the lead-up to the postal survey on same-sex marriage passed the Senate, thanks to the so-called “Liberal” government colluding with Labor. The legislation “includes measures to prevent vilification, intimidation, or threats to cause harm on the basis of the sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or the religious convictions of someone during the survey period.”

Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi has called this “18C on steroids”. He’s nailed it. Depending on how stringently and forcefully this is applied, it has the potential to kill the debate on same-sex marriage overnight.

The argument is illogical, but the Yes campaign has stuck to its guns that any attempt to discuss the logical consequences of legalising same-sex marriage is a slippery slope argument, that the argument is solely about whether two people of the same sex can marry, and thus your discussion of the logical consequences of this is vilification.

Will they get trigger happy? They do have form.

(An additional motivation may be that Labor realise that bullying by the Yes campaign has actually turned regular people against them, and revealed too much of their true colours, and intentions. As I made clear yesterday, I think the Yes camp understand they may have blown their chance this time around, and are prepared to wait for a Labor government which will legislate same-sex marriage in parliament.)

The power of the state is a very serious thing.

Gay lobby advocates have already called for more permanent “protection”:

“Same-sex marriage advocates have seized on anti-vilification laws set to pass the Senate today which are designed to provide protections during the government’s postal survey, arguing that such laws should be permanent rather than only applying for a couple of months during the campaign.

“Spokesman for just.equal, Brian Greig said the need for hate speech laws during the same-sex marriage survey drew attention to the fact that there are no commonwealth hate speech laws for LGBTI people.

“Federally we have permanent, national anti-hate speech laws for race and religion only, yet clearly there is a need for permanent laws to include sexuality and gender identity” Mr Greig said.

“Mr Greig said permanent hate speech laws to protect LGBTI people at a state level exist only in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT.

“Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory have no state-based laws to prevent or prosecute vilification on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity.

“This means LGBTI people in these states are especially vulnerable to hate speech and look to the Commonwealth for national laws to address this.”

Seriously, could you get any more Orwellian?

If introduced, people everywhere would become vulnerable. Vulnerable to the “hate speech” laws themselves.

It’s the current year, and that year is 1984.

Photo by Sebastian Anthony