One Nation senator Pauline Hanson will vote in favour of legalising same sex marriage if the “Yes” campaign wins a majority in the upcoming plebiscite. The newly elected senator revealed her views regarding same sex marriage in a most sincere fashion during an interview with LGBTQ radio station Joy FM which broadcasts from Melbourne. Senator Hanson established the fact that her personal views regarding same sex marriage were influenced by the absence of such discussion while she was a child, saying, “That’s my background, that’s what I was growing up with”. However, she is willing to support the legislation if most Australian people are in favour of it.
Her views during the interview, which came as a surprise to the hosts, will also shock most Australians and the media who continue to portray her as homophobic. The fact that she is not a homophobe is obvious when considering her own chief of staff James Ashby, who is openly gay. This facet of her personality is not anything new, either. In her famous 1996 appearance on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, the Senator answered “That’s their business, not mine” when asked about her views on homosexuals. She did reply her famous line “I don’t like it” when asked about the Mardi Gras, where she expressed her opposition towards the flaunting of one’s sexuality in public. It is a very reasonable view. The presence of children in gay pride festivals such as the Mardi Gras exposes them to very serious sexually connotated experiences, such as the giant inflated condom in the 2016 Sydney Mardi Gras and parades of naked men and women, to name a few.
Senator Hanson also seemed to have a hint of Libertarianism in her. This was evident when she said, “I don’t have the right to tell anyone else, you know, how to live their life…everyone has the right to happiness”. And good on her. She acknowledges the importance of allowing others to live their life in “peace and harmony” where they enjoy or learn from their own decisions, unless such decisions harm others, which would explain her profound stance on immigration and the Mardi Gras, as mentioned earlier.
The senator also made clear her views regarding the definition of marriage, and the importance of the current definition for many Australians. She is concerned about the prospect of Australians having to sacrifice their views of marriage in order to suit the opinion of a minority. After all, many Australians consider a legal change of the definition of marriage to be an act that forces them to accept a definition they do not agree with. The senator disagrees with same sex marriage, an attitude influenced by her background and upbringing in a very conservative household.
However, she conceded that she will vote for what has been termed “marriage equality” should the results of the plebiscite reveal a majority support for the “yes” campaign. “If the people have voted to embrace marriage equality…I would support that”, she said. This is based on her principle of supporting policies that are aligned with the views of the majority of Australians. A “yes” victory would imply that most Australians do not consider the legal change to be against their views and beliefs, and would thus allow Senator Hanson to put into practice the view of the majority.
In the interview, she was also asked to explain the impact of a plebiscite on young LGBTQ children. It was argued by the hosts that an intense debate over the definition of marriage will negatively impact upon the LGBTQ youth. However, Pauline Hanson made it clear that such debate is important in a democracy, and that people need not feel threatened by democratic debate. This perspective is also reasonable, as democratic debate is not hate speech, and opposition towards marriage equality is not necessarily homophobia. LGBTQ children will not feel threatened if they awaken to the reality of society and accept the presence of various opinions about marriage. They are not victims, and the absence marriage equality is not something to be disheartened about.
Pauline Hanson is a very reasonable and well-principled individual, despite her misrepresentation in the media. Ms Hanson’s aim is to ensure the government acts in accordance with the people’s desires, and she believes it to be her purpose to maintain a democratic culture in Australian society. Her integrity and well-grounded personality were exceptionally portrayed in her commitment to voting for marriage equality if most Australians agree with it, and thus ensure democratic political decision making.