Bal­anced de­bate?

Central and North Burnett Times - - OPINION -

IN RE­PLY to the com­ments made by Pas­tor Paul Dare of Mun­dub­bera (Cen­tral and North Bur­nett Times, Oc­to­ber 11):

Mun­dub­bera has not nec­es­sar­ily agreed to “play a part” in The Doc­tor’s Wife 2. The community might not sup­port us, and this will be part of the ex­plo­ration in the film.

In re­la­tion to you re­fer­ring to your­self as a “stick in the mud”, I dis­agree. What you are say­ing is a view shared by oth­ers and raises ques­tions that need to be an­swered.

I have not, as you say, “al­ready made up my mind” that most Aus­tralians are in favour of mar­riage equal­ity.

Many re­cent polls have shown this. For ex­am­ple, Galaxy Re­search Polling (2009-2012) shows 64% of Aus­tralians sup­port mar­riage equal­ity, a ma­jor­ity of Chris­tians (53%) sup­port mar­riage equal­ity, 76% of Coali­tion vot­ers want Ab­bott to al­low a con­science vote, 75% be­lieve the re­form is in­evitable, and 81% of young peo­ple (18-24 years) sup­port mar­riage equal­ity.

These fig­ures also show a sig­nif­i­cant ad­vance on 2004 fig­ures when a Newspoll com­mis­sioned by SBS found that only 38% of Aus­tralians at the time sup­ported the re­form.

You point out that if a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple were in favour of mar­riage equal­ity then politi­cians would have lis­tened.

I agree, which is why as part of this film I will be ex­plor­ing why politi­cians aren’t lis­ten­ing to their con­stituents. I will also be look­ing at the con­sti­tu­tional laws in­volved with tax-ex­empt or­gan­i­sa­tions do­nat­ing large sums of money to po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns.

I will also ex­plore an­other in­ter­est­ing point, which is that there are many Aus­tralians who aren’t against mar­riage equal­ity, but be­cause it doesn’t im­me­di­ately af­fect them, they aren’t in­clined to contact their politi­cian and show their sup­port for leg­isla­tive change. These are called pas­sive sup­port­ers.

I am more than will­ing to com­pletely fail in the mis­sion to hold a cer­e­mony in the town that Vin­cent and I came to know as home, and still miss ev­ery day, but I am ea­ger to get opin­ions from all sides.

If you, Pas­tor Dare, are happy to be in­ter­viewed in the film, I would love to ex­pand more on your ideas. I have no in­ten­tion to bully or per­suade you. I sim­ply want to lis­ten in an at­tempt to un­der­stand­why oth­ers feel that it is their de­ci­sion to deny us the same rights as other Aus­tralians.

I am open to hear­ing any ideas on why I should just let it go, and if I am so per­suaded I will hap­pily put all of it in the film. I do not wish to an­tag­o­nise or push but­tons. I only want to take the time to try to un­der­stand some­thing that con­fuses me on a fun­da­men­tal level.

Jonathan Duffy The Doc­tor’s Wife

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