LGBTI viewers who could still handle the trauma of the same-sex marriage debate were treated to a magnificent moment of clarity on the ABC’s Q&A panel show last night.
Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies, asserted that gay people were welcome to “friendships” and civil unions, but should not be recognised by marriage. Actress and comedian Magda Szubanski retorted with a football analogy. “It’s like the Brownlow Medal,” she said. “If someone wins the Brownlow Medal they win the Brownlow Medal. What would you say to a gay AFL player?… You can win the Brownlow Medal but we’re going to call it ‘the civil acknowledgement of your very excellent effort’.”
Archbishop Davies went on to claim that God and Jesus created marriage, that “the views I’ve expressed have not been telling anyone what to believe” and that his church did not tell people what to do, a claim at odds with his decision to donate $1 million of church funds to support the No campaign.
Also on the panel was Karina Okotel, No Campaign spokesperson, who confused the audience and herself about exactly what it as she is opposing. She said she believed in traditional families, but felt LGBTI people could raise kids in a loving environment. She seemed to condemn same-sex parents because they, according to her, can’t reproduce without IVF technologies but, when pressed by Szubanski, was unable to say whether she opposed heterosexual couples using IVF. She warned of “consequences” if marriage equality was legal.
Father Frank Brennan, a Yes voting Catholic intellectual, told the audience he felt institutionalised religions, including his own, were playing catch-up in terms of contemporary understandings of human sexuality. He added that many within the Catholic Church still regarded homosexuality as a disorder but pointed out that he did not think that was the opinion of the current pope, Francis.
Magda went on to contextualise SSM as being part of the LGBTI community’s need for recognition and acceptance within a culture that has allowed discrimination against us and seen, historically, gay people bashed and murdered.
A viewer tweeted during the show that they hoped this episode would be included in next week’s episode of Gogglebox.
View the entire episode on ABC iView.