Since this was first published, another incident has come to dominate headlines. On a visit to Hobart, Tony Abbott was assaulted by a self-described “anarchist” wearing a pro-same-sex marriage badge. The attack was widely celebrated on social media by supporters of same-sex marriage, and even by employees of the national broadcaster.
To be fair, two assaults on same-sex marriage campaigners have also been reported, but, so far, the “hate” has been pretty much one-sided.
Well, it’s happened. They warned us. Ever since Tony Abbott announced a plebiscite on same-sex marriage in Australia, opponents have hysterically warned that it would unleash a tidal wave of hatred and bigotry. And they were right.
They just forgot to tell us that it would be them.
Australia will be one of the only Western democracies where voters get to directly have a say about gay marriage. And the elites are not happy.
Determined to prevent the people having a direct vote, advocates have been wailing that a plebiscite would lead to a “hateful and divisive debate in the community”. Even that it would drive young people to suicide.
This arguments is profoundly anti-democratic: it attempts to stifle public debate, the very foundation of democracy, and institute a cry-bully authoritarianism. It’s also stunningly hypocritical, given the vicious displays of hatred and bigotry that have overwhelmingly been pullulating from the “Yes” campaigners.
The intolerance of many gay marriage proponents has been noted for some years, even by veteran activists like Andrew Sullivan. Australia got a taste of just how nasty things might get, when a not-terrorist attack was directed at the headquarters of the Australian Christian Lobby in Canberra in December 2016. “Not”-terrorist attack, of course, because, despite a confessed would-be suicide bomber exploding a van full of gas cylinders outside the building, and despite the bomber being an LGBTQI activist who disliked the ACL “due to their beliefs and positions on sexuality”, and because “religions are failed”, police immediately ruled out political, religious or ideological motivations. Which is probably just as well, given that the bomber had also researched plastic explosives, ammonium nitrate, and how to make pressure cooker bombs. Imagine if he really was a terrorist.
When the ACL and other groups later planned a forum on same-sex marriage, gay news websites leaked the venue name and activists egged on their followers. Online abuse and threats against staff forced the venue to cancel the event for safety and security fears.
A tv ad “intended as a demonstration of how to conduct respectful conversations about serious issues”, showed two opposing politicians politely exchanging their respective views, and ended with them raising a friendly toast of Coopers beer. The two MPs were deluged with abuse. Coopers was hit with a wave of boycotts. Like a modern-day penitent, Coopers was forced to make a grovelling apology, and publicly announce that it had signed on with a same-sex marriage lobby group.
Yet the righteous fury of the Inquisitors knows no bounds. When the “No” campaign launched their first ad, the reaction was swift and hysterical. Yet, even as the “Yes” campaigners were wailing about “hate” and “bigotry”, they were breaking out the torches and pitchforks.
Despite not being identified by name, one person in the ad was quickly outed as a doctor. Activists immediately campaigned to have her deregistered. Greens leader Richard di Natale insisted that any doctor who voted against same-sex marriage should be banned from treating gay patients.
Meanwhile, like the “Islamophobic backlash” that never happens, the dreaded surge of anti-gay hate is so far conspicuous by its virtual absence. Sure, there is the standard bilge on social media, but when was social media ever anything but a sewer? In the public sphere, though, the “No” campaign has mostly distinguished itself by its decorum, while the “Yes” campaign kicked off with Tim Minchin singing that everyone else was a “bigoted c—t”.
A journalist and activist even proposed “hate f-ing”- raping – opponents. One could count in nanoseconds the career span of a journalist who suggested, for instance, “hate f-ing” lesbians straight. Yet, not one “Yes” campaigner has condemned the statement.
The ghastliest homophobic horror, to date, has been a single poster allegedly seen in an obscure alley-way in Melbourne. And there are good grounds for suspecting that even that was a hoax.
This is a depressingly familiar tactic from the “progressive” left. As an infamous German socialist once said, “when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it”. In the U.S., the Big Lie of the left is that they are the wilting victims of violent hatred, even as the footsoldiers of the left are beating to a pulp anyone who disagrees with them. Here in Australia, the Biggest Lie of the “Yes” campaign is that a homophobic spectre is stalking Australia, even as same-sex marriage advocates unleash hatred and bile on everyone else.