Friday, November 9, 2007

The gay vote

Homophobia is a disease afflicting all sorts of people, not always those you expect. I was recently told of an unmarried man describing homosexuality as an abomination, even though his work requires him to regularly wear a dress and a funny hat and engage in theatrics.

One group of people you would not expect to be homophobic are those who hold to a liberal philosophy. The word liberal means to be tolerant, to be free from prejudice and bigotry. Australia is often described as a liberal democracy, but our federal government still denies some Australian citizens’ basic financial equity because of their sexual preference.

It is said that dozens of Liberals and many members of the Cabinet support an end to homophobic laws governing financial and work-related entitlements. Yet nothing has changed. When asked why, the Liberal fingers point at John Howard.

If the Liberals are not stirred by liberalism, what about votes? Are there more votes in keeping homophobic laws than in giving gays equal superannuation? It surely doesn’t matter. One would think the Coalition being financially fairer to gays would hardly make any gay-hating bigots and homophobes switch to Labor.

It hasn’t in the past, so will the pink vote really count in any seat at this election? Will the May 2007 report of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, entitled Same-Sex: Same Entitlements, finally focus gay strategic voting?

See the rest over at Online Opinion