Is there anything the Coalition for Marriage aren't wrong about?

You could almost feel sorry for the Coalition for Marriage, the self described "movement to defend traditional marriage" in the ongoing (and going and going) debate over the same sex marriage plebiscite. They are so persistently, helplessly wrong that one could describe them as hapless, if they weren't, you know, evil. First, they proclaim they are the silent majority, when they are neither silent nor the majority. Then there's their logo, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the logo for bisexual pride:

 
Whoops.


And in the face of overwhelming opposition to their cause, they're more than a tad muddle headed in their approach as well.

Knowing that arguments that marriage is between a man and a woman aren't cutting it, they're focusing their efforts on two main areas: the Safe Schools program, and Freedom of Speech (and to a lesser extent religion, which they know Australians don't much care about).

But your Free Speech is under attack, they warn. Why, if you oppose marriage equality, you risk your losing your job, as foretold in these dire examples:

In workplaces across Australia, employees are coming under increasing pressure to comply with increasingly restrictive policies around “politically correct” speech, and are being compelled to participate in LGBTI pride events at work. 

 A Telstra employee had this to say: “Even though I declined to attend the “Wear It Purple” Day meeting, I have since been re-sent the meeting invite by an Executive Director 6 times. The meeting invite says staff are “required” (not “optional”) attendees.”

You had to go to a meeting? Heavens to Murgatroid. Have none of these people ever had a job before? All you had to do was attend a Wear It Purple Day meeting, and you're carrying on like you were required to lip sync "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" at the office Christmas party wearing a feather boa, hot pants and cha cha heels (which no one wants to see the creepy middle aged guy from accounts receivable do).

That's what you do when you have a job. I've had to attend meetings for campaigns I wasn't involved in, decorate my desk to celebrate sporting events I didn't care two tiny mouse droppings about, watch the Melbourne Cup when I found doing so upsetting and annoying.

It's a meeting. You show up, sit in the corner, wait for the biscuits to make their way around the room to you, bitch to yourself that there's only Milk Arrowroots left (I saw you take three Monte Carlos, Karl), nod in agreement with the boss, then head back to your desk, an hour behind on your work. Yeah, you could complain about what a waste of time it all is, but you'll be out of a job, or at least called in for another meeting on your attitude.

You don't have freedom of speech here to be taken away. Nor should you. Don't be ridiculous. There's a weird little subset of the right lately - Mark Latham is their spiritual leader - with a bizarre fetish for (their own) free speech. They're nuts about it. The threat to their free speech and liberties, they believe, is the greatest threat facing Australia. Everything would get back on track for the nation, if only they could crack racist jokes in the work lunch room (or on TV) again.

The Coalition for Marriage has no reports of employees being asked to do anything that's out of the ordinary for supporting the organisation and doing your job, and no indication of how marriage equality would affect that anyway. If your religious beliefs are so intense that you cannot bear to have the matter of marriage equality even discussed in the same room as you - that's your problem, really. Not something the law should protect. (And if your religious beliefs are so strong, surely they will protect you from the evils of hearing about gay marriage?).

It's a load of hysterical rubbish is what it is. They know they're clutching at straws here. I was going to include freedom of religion in this post, but that's a much bigger problem - for the rest of us, right now, controlling our lives and careers. So I'll get to that quite shortly.

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