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The wedding party




Liberal Party is divided during a same sex wedding. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas



Fiona Katauskas Fiona Katauskas' work has also appeared in ABC's The Drum, New Matilda, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, The Financial Review and Scribe's Best Australian political cartoon anthologies.

Topic tags: Fiona Katauskas



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A broad church embraces all people. That does not mean that it embraces all behaviours, nor that it is obliged to do so.

john frawley | 27 June 2017  

@john frawley I think you may have missed the point of the cartoon - A broad church in this context refers to John Howard's statement that the Liberal Party was a "broad church" when describing it's factional split and does not refer to an actual church. No the Liberal Party is not obligated to "embrace all behaviours" (leaving aside the inherent homophobia of that statement) if it chooses not to, but that doesn't change the fact that a) there is a factional split over the issue of Marriage Equality in the party that could threaten their stability, b) the majority of Australians support Marriage Equality and are more accepting of sexual minorities and increased sexual meaning the dries in the party will increasingly find themselves at odd with popular opinion, and in fact common decency compassion and human rights the longer inaction on marriage equality continues. And with Australia on track for a Shorten Government after the next election anyway the view of people who consider same sex relationships "behaviours" worthy of discrimination is less and less relevant.

Julia | 27 June 2017  

With respect John, I think your definition of a 'broad church' is a little narrow. The Collins (on- line) dictionary defines it as 'a group or movement which embraces a wide and varied number of views, approaches, and opinions'. Note that it doesn't mention people. It the inclusion of a broad range of views etc that marks it out as a 'broad church'. This is surely the way in which Menzies and Howard (accurately or otherwise) used the phrase to describe the Liberal Party. So in ecclesiastical terms, the Church of England in England could be called a 'broad church' whereas the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church in Australia could not. But nowhere, it seems to me, could the Catholic Church be called a 'broad church'.

Ginger Meggs | 27 June 2017  

I do note that the cartoonist chose to confine the issue of same sex marriage within a church. My comment refers to that. Words are wonderful things but what a tangled web they weave. In terms of definition, however, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 2011 Edition is a reasonable guide to what words mean. Marriage.n 1 the formal union of man and a woman, typically as recognised by law, by which they become husband and wife 2 a combination of elements. Marriage is quite different from civil union in which there is not a union of man and woman as husband and wife. We plunge headlong towards the ruination of so many aspects of our society these days with no apparent outcome other than the excitement of fighting for a cause regardless of its merits.

john frawley | 28 June 2017  

2011 was a long time ago John and the meanings of words change to reflect common usage. So today, the on-line OE 'Living' D defines 'marriage' as 'the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman)'. Rightly or wrongly John, the world has moved on, and it's past time that our parliamentarians put their religious and/or homophobic prejudices aside and legislated to reflect the will of the people. For the OELD definition see < https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/marriage >

Ginger Meggs | 28 June 2017  

I suppose, GM, that all societies in decline are characterised by destruction of the structures and ethic that gave them the stability to reach the pinnacle of their achievement. That is regression rather than progress and the English language is yet another victim of the great decline. Perhaps equating same sex union with opposite sex marriage is comparing apples with oranges - that is the biological truth of the matter. Seems the lexicographers have also been seduced by the fear of being labelled homophobic. We should develop a lexicon of phobias to cover all societal activities - like drugs-in-sport-o-phobia for instance, something which crosses the boundaries of the sporting ethic!!.

john frawley | 29 June 2017  

@john frawley The American website Vox interview a lexicographer. She summarise the criteria for putting words in dictionaries; Widespread use, Shelf life and meaningful use. drugs-in-sport-o-phobia doesn't for instance meet any of those criterion so why would lexicographer put it in a dictionary. The term Homophobia is widely and meaningfully used to describe prejudice and bigotry towards gay and lesbian people. Check out the video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLgn3geod9Q I'd also point out Argumentum ad dictionarium is a very poor argument against Marriage Equality for the simple reason that dictionaries aren't authoritative sources of anything - they simply define how words are used. Marriage as a social, political and legal institution has always been in a constant state of change and the simple legal reality is now that in 22 countries, same sex couples can be married.

Julia | 29 June 2017  

Dear John Frawley. I am gay, but my gayness is not a "behaviour" - it is far from that, it is part of my inherent makeup, my being, my identity. When I love my partner I am not "behaving" in a homosexual way, I am doing what my identity says is right for me, and (I believe) what is totally noble and acceptable in God's sight.

Andy 1937 | 29 June 2017  

You are lucky, Andy 1937. and I have no argument with you. My argument is with the misuse and misunderstanding of marriage. I have no argument with heterosexual couples in a binding, legal civil union nor with homosexual couples in a similar civil union which embody all the legal rights enjoyed by couples bound together in heterosexual marriage. No one has yet convinced me that the rights attached to marriage which same sex couples seek are different from those attached to civil union. No one has yet convinced me of the rights denied to homosexual couples in a civil union. So what is the point of wanting to be "married. Where is it different in terms of rights from a civil union in law? I think marriage is intimately associated with the propagation of human life and the acceptance of that responsibility, something that sadly is denied in homosexual union - quite distinct from the obligation of foster parenting which is the only option for homosexual union. I also have some argument with heterosexual "behaviour" which does not accept responsibility for any human life it propagates, whether the propagators are married or not.. I am sure God loves you, Andy, so have a good day!.

john frawley | 30 June 2017