The big news is that the legislative definition of marriage will soon change to include Adam and Steve. The results of the postal vote have been released, and there’s been lots of hoo-hah about the majority of folk in Western Sydney electorates voting against gay marriage.
One columnist from The Weekend Australian managed to include Hizb ut-Tahrir as a possible cause. Another columnist from the Sunday Telegraph praised members of her own faith for attacking a mural in inner-Sydney “to the horror of locals”. The justification for the attack? The mural was blasphemous.
Lord only knows what the columnist would have written has those attacking the mural been Muslims!
There are Muslims who voted NO, just as there are Muslims who voted YES. As far as I am aware, all Federal MP’s of Muslim heritage openly supported the YES campaign. In NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC of the Greens supported the YES campaign.
Prominent religious leaders encouraged people to vote NO. A visiting shaykh from the UK who delivered sermons at the Annandale Mosque during Muharram supported the NO vote. Muslim youth groups from both Shia and Sunni denominations supported the NO campaign.
Muslims who voted NO have sound theological reasons to. Personally, I didn’t agree with those reasons. I believed that the most important theological imperative was justice. LGBTIQ people in Australia have been granted certain legal rights. Without the right of civil marriage, they would be subjected to injustice under the law.
That’s my opinion. People don’t have to agree with me. Just as they don’t have to agree with the views of other Muslims on foreign policy, negative gearing, funding for independent schools or family law.
Pollsters and pundits, don’t be stupid enough to think you can predict which way we (and the conservative Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Buddhists, Protestants, Sikhs, Hindus etc living in our neighbourhoods) will vote on the basis of our views on a single issue.
Already some conservative bigots have decided it is time to love Muslims, to protect their freedom of religion in opposing gay marriage even in their freedom to certify meat as halal should be curtailed. But don’t be fooled by these religious fundamentalists, these theocrats. When it will suit them, these same bigots will blame Muslims for the NO vote, accusing us of homophobia as an excuse for their chronic Islamophobia.
I don’t think people who voted NO are all a bunch of homophobes. How many times has gay rights to enter into de facto relations and/or adopt kids been an election issue for Muslim communities and/or candidates?
How many Tasmanian Muslims opposed gay Tasmanians having their old criminal convictions overturned? When was the last time you heard a Muslim businessman or manager refuse to employ an openly gay person for unlawful discriminatory reasons?
But here’s the hard bit. What do we do if we find out our son or daughter is struggling with his or her sexuality? Believe me, more parents are having to deal with this.