Impressive mind-reading

Janet Albrechtsen (“No short cuts to gay marriage”, The Australian, 3/4) seems so uncomfortable admitting that the Left has been right on gay marriage all along, that she devotes most of her column to impugning their motives: they hold their views to “establish their hip credentials” or “moral superiority”, or as “absolution for sins”, and they work to achieve it the “wrong way”, which apparently includes anything aimed at actually legalising it.

In contrast, pro-gay marriage conservatives hold their views for the “right” reasons, like the Republican senator who had a sudden attack of empathy when his son came out. And they work towards it the “right” way, which apparently involves waiting until everyone who objects to it dies of old age.

This feat of mind-reading is impressive but irrelevant and over-complicated. The issue is simple: gay couples cannot be legally married; thus they are denied a legal right because they are gay. That is discrimination by definition. Albrechtsen’s confusion about that key point is demonstrated by this hedge: “Gay couples enjoy the same substantive rights as heterosexual couples. If they don’t they should.” She got it right with the second sentence.

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