Beware the moral high ground – On Line Opinion – Australia News


Amongst the countless op-eds doing the rounds of the same-sex marriage debate this seemingly innocuous one by Dr Katherine Harper recently popped up.

The writer’s beef is that because of her age, gender and general world view (liberal upbringing, no religious affiliation etc.) she feels her peers and society generally expect her to vote Yes on the SSM survey. So in defiance of these expectations she is now firmly in the No camp.

While not garnering nearly as much reaction as some others involved in the debate (Bob Katter wanting to reclaim the word ‘gay’, for example), overall there was a fair amount of tut-tutting about the piece from those in favour of SSM. As one vomitous Twitter user commented:


The sanctimonious arrogance of KatherineHarper‘s opinion piece makes me vomit.

Fair enough. Some of her points are poorly argued and a little nauseating. ‘I’m not especially religious but what has happened to Christian values?’ is always a good one. And the Hansonesque’ let me write an op-ed for a major media outlet to tell you how much my opinions aren’t being heard’ is another. But her central tenet of ‘don’t tell me what to think’ is one that has been all too familiar in recent political debates.

While it is all too easy to compare any kind of campaign these days to the Trump or Brexit victories – so called elites underestimating the grievances of ignored sectors of the community and being shocked by what happened – there are echoes in the current Australian SSM debate.

Arguing the case for keeping traditional marriage is complex. If you will vote No because of religious or cultural reasons then many may see some validity to it. We mostly respect…

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