Tonight the Parliament is debating yet another Green bill, this time on gay 'marriage'.
And the lead in to this was some classically distorted reporting of a survey in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age today on the subject.
The survey asked whether you thought homosexuality was immoral, and whether homosexuals should be able to adopt children. Fairfax see the results as evidence of homophobia. But as even pro-gay rights bloggers have pointed out, neither of these questions provides evidence for anything of the sort. A phobia is an irrational fear - yet these questions simply asked for views on the morality of an act, and a judgment on prudential grounds about who should be allowed to raise children not their own.
The media have naturally focused in on the electorate by electorate break down of views on homosexuality. Now admittedly these are certainly interesting, particularly given the bills in the Parliament, and attempts tby some in the Labor Party to use this issue in the desperate search for ways to stop the drift to the Greens.
But by far the more interesting result of the survey was how many people claimed to be homosexuals.
The answer is 3%.
So, parliaments around Australia are spending huge amounts of time (and thus taxpayer money) debating positive discrimination for acts that a significant proportion of Australians believe are immoral. For three percent of the population.
So here's a hint for Labor. Homosexual 'marriage' is not a vote winner. Not just because many people still (correctly) believe that homosexual acts are immoral (even after a survey lead in that clearly tried to lead them to a pro-homosexual mindset by talking about how gay 'marriage' is legal in other countries). And not just because for many of those people, changing party platforms would be a vote changer.
But because there really isn't a significant constituency for homosexual perceived rights out there.
Apart of course from all those fellow travellers desperate to establish their credentials for any cause going.
And in the end, you'd pick up their votes anyway if you actually stood up to the lobby groups and really took action on the environment - on water, on a carbon tax. Pretty much any real action actually. Because you can't help suspecting that people voted Green last time because they actually wanted to see some action on (real) green issues. Time will tell if people vote for the Greens again now they see their real colours...assuming of course that Labor recovers its.