What do I do with the rest of the package?

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Joined in 2013
February 21, 2013, 13:53

I'd like to get a discussion started on this. I am gay. I believe in gay marriage. However this is a cause usually championed by the political left, and i consider myself slightly right of centre especially on economic issues. I feel constantly bombarded by appeals to take up the whole cause of one side or the other and especially pressured because I am a migrant here and want to demostrate my loyalty to this new country and its ideals. For example, if you are pro-gay marriage in Australia, you are expected to be pro-choice, anti-logging/mining, etc

I don't know if I'm alone in feeling that way about Australia's current two-party system, while groups that are further from the centre on the left-right spectrum tend to hog the media attention and smaller moderate groups tend to be fairly invisible. I can't walk away from the struggle because I have always considered myself a patriot – these days I back the Country Alliance in VIC because they don't address the hot button social issues of gay marriage, refugees, or abortion and I get to have a quiet, spam-free inbox.

I'm sure that many on here feel the same sort of conflict with individuals on the Christian right who they may agree with on other aspects of faith and politics, but obviously not on the issue of homosexuality. On my end, I sometimes get accused by members of the left as being a bit of a traitor for being against the carbon tax, for example. Then there are some homosexuals who consider all organised religion a threat etc

I'm not looking to change people's minds on any issues, or to invite attempts to change my mind – I just want to know how people cope with opposition on more than one front and still consider themselves loyal to the country and their fellows. Is what I am doing wise: to place my vote in a party that avoids contention and then back organisations like f2b?

Joined in 2009
February 21, 2013, 22:39

I think you'll find you're far from alone.

Federally, at least, there are actually quite a few in the centre-right who are all for gay marriage. Malcolm Turnbull is the obvious name to drop there, but there are others in the coalition ranks as well, all of them stymied from effecting their views due to their leadership's dismissiveness and unwillingness to allow a conscience vote.

LGBT rights are no longer a far-left issue that they were years ago. They've moved towards the mainstream, to the centre. It used to be just the Greens, then Labor eventually hopped on board, and I expect Liberal will eventually as well. At the moment it's just individuals on the centre-right, but eventually they hit critical mass and things become policy. Most people agree: marriage equality is inevitable. The question then is really why those who oppose it wish to continue building their little sand castle against the rising tide, when all it does is hurt people.

Even on the far right, you still need to look at it at the individual level. Several prominent Republicans in the US support marriage equality despite others frothing at the mouth whenever they hear it mentioned.

I generally think the left/right dichotomy is a flawed system, so I only use it as it helps to illustrate points, but it would pay to remember that people can be very "left" on some issues, and very "right" on others, without being contradictory at all. You shouldn't feel pressure to conform. My understanding is that modern politics is actually more of a four-way system (on an X, Y plane), with progressive and conservative along one axis, and libertarian and authoritarian on the other. It's more a graph than anything else, and people are all over the place, even when they are on the same "side" of politics. And even then, it's only a system that's been developed because humans have this incredible burning desire to categorise things, which don't always need categorising.

Joined in 2013
February 22, 2013, 22:35

True Chris. I wonder sometimes if the success of the LGBTI movement is due to its ability to resonate across the political spectrum. For the record, I sometimes feel leery of people who are pro-gay, but don't like others due to race or religion. It makes me worry if i'm dealing with someone whose beliefs are very easily swayed.

Joined in 2013
February 27, 2013, 13:16

Ok, case in point – I know people who consider themselves Christian have attacked nd discriinated against us in many ways, but would a pro-gay site that is hateful towards Christians constitute bigotry on our part?

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