Last week, an eccentric South Australian politician made a speech in the House opposing same sex union, in which he decided that two men or two women marrying would lead to a decline in general morals, and men might marry an animal.
This has great resonance in a country like Australia, with its recent colonial past, the drover and his dog being a couple of mythic stature. Similarly, our neighbour New Zealand is politely ridiculed for its interest in sheep. Although the politician was generally laughed at, his boss, the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, removed him from the opposition ministry and made him a convenor of committees, seemingly a demotion, in fact it amounted to a weekly salary rise of five thousand dallars.
Leunig is a whimsical pixie of a cartoonist; incidentally his career features a long term but platonic relationship between the bemused human male and a wise and nonchalant duck. I was lying in bed in the wee small hours, having dipped into a brill anthology of gay fiction, In Another Part of the Forest, edited by Manguel et al, which may have prompted the whimsy of these thoughts. Also I am medicating with a fantastic American Indian tincture Golden Seal, which has elevated my horizons.
I re-examined Cory Bernardi’s inhouse comment about same sex and animals, and concluded that homophobic, reactionary forces see our lifestyle as secretly desirable, certainly potent. They have made a brave, honest realisation, that of recognising that gender and sex roles are on a spectrum, it is never easy to retain a fixed position. As on the colour wheel, where the demarcation between blue and green is rarely seen; likewise, that line between gay and straight should not end in hate. Sorry, Leunig brings out the rhymster in me. But isn’t it luvly to know the bully boys fear us, they see their position as constantly threatened, under attack from allures and enticements, big, strong boofy blokes that they be.
I do so love Leunig’s vision: the world at peace, one and indivisible, love is in the air.