The topic of marriage equality comes up on Q&A on an almost weekly basis, but never has the issue been raised so offensively as it was on Monday’s episode.
Live from Toowoomba in Southern Queensland, the panelists Simon Crean, Barnaby Joyce, Christine Milne, Georgie Somerset and Jeremy Marou were taken aback when this question was asked by an audience member:
“The relentless push to bring so-called equality to marriage for same-sex couples has now started to overflow into marriage equality for polygamy, as seen in Islamic, African and Aboriginal cultures,” the slippery sloper began.
“How long do you think it will be until we start to see groups pushing for pre-arranged child weddings, similar to India’s cultures, and even, less desirably, incestuous and paedophiliac groups who are already using the very same arguments that are now being used for so called same-sex marriage?”
He’s certainly helping give Queensland a bad name after recent weeks have seen its government cut funding to the state’s only gay men’s health organisation and fail to reassure the community that it won’t roll back civil unions.
Also addressed in the clip below is the question of the ‘gay panic defence’, which is still legal in Queensland to use in defending those accused in murder trials – the idea that a gay men was killed in a kind of ‘self defence’ after he made sexual advances to a straight man. When would this loophole – which has seen many killers get lesser ‘manslaughter’ sentences – be repealed?
Take a look at how Toowoomba’s Q&A panel addresses two very different questions about LGBT people below.
Next Monday there’ll be only one panelist on Q&A – Prime Minister Julia Gillard. We’re sure she’ll be defending the carbon tax and various other policies, and we’re also sure the marriage equality question will come up, in what’s been a huge week for celebrity endorsements of new campaigns for equality. How will Gillard react?
Q&A is live on ABC1 each Monday night at 9:35pm AEST.