Gay Marriage

New Libertarian Australian Senator Pushing for Legal Gay Marriage Down Under

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David Leyonhjelm
Fairfax media

Last fall we noted that Australians elected a libertarian senator by the name of David Leyonhjelm. A member of the country's Liberal Democratic Party, he calls for lower taxes and regulations and more liberty. He  supports same-sex marriage recognition, and now he's trying to push Australia's government to do something about it, trying to push the Coalition party he's part of to allow for a "conscience vote" of its members.

In Australia's parliamentary system, members are required to vote the party line unless given dispensation to vote how they choose. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Labor Party members of parliament have been given permission to vote their consciences on gay marriage. The Coalition, of which the Liberal Democratic Party is a member, is formally opposed to same-sex marriage and has not given members permission for a conscience vote. Leyonhjelm is pressuring to redefine the country's marriage law, but his effort cannot succeed unless the Coalition either reverses its position or lets its members vote however they want to. He is hoping to leverage his swing vote in other areas in favor of the Coalition to get them to come on board here:

"I ask you to understand that the liberties you care about should be available to everybody, and that there is no place in Australia for second-class citizens," Senator Leyonhjelm told reporters in Canberra.

"Today, whatever your political affiliations, the Liberal Democrats are asking all of the closet libertarians in Parliament to come out of the closet."

Leyonhjelm is hoping the libertarian argument can overcome conservative resistance, explaining in an interview, "You don't have to approve of gays and gay marriage to believe the government should leave you alone." This is all happening right on the heels of Australian celebrity Olympian Ian Thorpe coming out of the closet over the weekend.

The Sydney Morning Herald also has posted an interview with him, where he explains his support for gay marriage in libertarian terms and discusses some of the basics of libertarian philosophy. Watch here.

(Hat tip to Helen Dale)

(Corrected because of a Yank misunderstanding of the relationship between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Coalition)

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  1. Fist !

    And that’s a relevant comment.

  2. Wait a second. There are gay Australians? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

    1. Only the ones named Bruce.

      1. I don’t know…

        Hando and Davey seem pretty gay.

        1. Also there is the whole Wez and his boy toy thing:

          http://www.writeups.org/img/inset/Wez_MMRW_h1.jpg

    2. Fuck, it’s libertarian Australian that I’ve never heard of.

  3. he calls for lower taxes and regulations and more liberty

    Awesome!

    He supports same-sex marriage recognition

    Burn him! Burn the bald man witch! Hargle-bargle! Foofaraw! Balderdash! Harrumph!

    1. Same-sex marriage is cool and all, but we can’t allow it until all government benefits for married people are repealed, doncha know.

      1. Not for the War on Drugs, I just want the entire medical and insurance industries overhauled and the social safety net dismantled before weed is made legal.

  4. He supports same-sex marriage recognition

    You’re making progress. You’re not referring to it as “gay marriage legalization” (which it isn’t in most states, and I doubt that its actually against the law in Oz).

    Just one more step to take to actually describe this issue accurately:

    “state-licensed gay marriage”

    C’mon. I know you can do it.

  5. From the previous article:

    Leyonhjelm’s biography (scroll down) on the party website (which needs to be updated, folks. Hello! You won a Senate seat!), says that he started as a young Labor activist, working against conscription, switched to the Liberal Party over economic freedom issues, then joined the Shooters Party (a gun rights group) after a Coalition government tightened firearms restrictions.

    This guy seems awesome, no joke. I know nothing about Australian politics, but hopefully gay rights don’t lead to the same shitstorm we have had here.

    1. Some part of the shitstorm is probably due to the activists chasing protected class status so the they can punish the heretics.

      This isn’t about “marriage equality” for the activists. Its about the privilege and power that comes from being an officially recognized protected class.

      I don’t know if the same dynamic plays in Oz.

  6. Will he let me have a bite of his vegemite sandwich?

  7. members are required to vote the party line unless given dispensation to vote how they choose

    lolwut?

    1. Yeah, what the fuck? So what’s the point of having a parliament? You might as well just have consuls.

      1. Even the Romans had the Senate and the assembly. And other stuff. The Republic’s constitution was pretty complicated.

        1. Lies!!

          We all know the founding fathers took the ideas of a republic from the Cherokee not from some bronze age clay tables written 20,000 years ago in a language no one can understand any more.

    2. In a parliamentary government, if the ruling party/coalition loses a major vote, there has to be a new election. So there’s that.

  8. Gay Marriage Down Under

    Racist!!

  9. Wait a minute here, Reason. Are you just trying to fuck with us again? Libertarian Australian? What is this never before seen or heard of creature? I think it’s a mythical thing much like faeries and unicorns. Can you just stick to reporting REAL news.

  10. So they elect libertarian to parliament and this is the first thing on his to-do list? Glad to know Australia hasn’t got any more pressing issues.

  11. Slap Daddy So so says that aint gonna happen!

    http://www.AnonToolz.tk

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