TONY Abbott thinks his sister Christine Forster is ''courageous'' for revealing herself to be a lesbian. He may think she's brave but he certainly doesn't consider her his equal.
No, he's going to stick to his ''political commitment'', which translates to not only an ideological opposition to same-sex marriage, but grasping for power by harnessing the churches' opposition to the concept, the church being a constituency of ignorance that interprets God's message as some of us who love should be shunned from society.
Happy Easter, brothers and sisters.
Bob Katter talks about family values but gay Carl Katter knows his brother, a member of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, doesn't value his sibling when he airs advertisements inferring same-sex marriage is pixelated pornography.
And our Prime Minister? Well who knows where the atheist, unmarried Julia Gillard sources her family values, but she and the ALP national executive smartly recognise the churches' book of exclusion has a certain narrow-minded broad appeal at the ballot box.
Welcome to Australia in 2012, where our great, fat growing national wealth, thanks to the mining boom, should confer a certain generosity, the luxury to muse: how might we strengthen this society, bringing those who feel marginalised into the safety and security of the Australian family?
Instead, the country has gotten greedy, like children fighting over a will, insisting God supports their position, turning to religiosity as a way of rationalising the excision of some from the national inheritance and the Australian family portrait.
The major political parties' denial of polls continually showing support for same-sex marriage are also a denial of Labor's noblest social democratic roots and the Liberal Party's long-lost foundation of individual freedom, each now supplanted by the meanest ambitions of conservative Christianity. This is not the love of family.
It is to be hoped a kinder political climate will prevail in which brothers and sisters get along. Potential leaders have shone a light on an Australia that steps away from the pulpit. Labor's Financial Service Minister Bill Shorten personally supports same-sex marriage. The Opposition's shadow minister for communications, Malcolm Turnbull, told Radio National in December he hadn't historically advocated same-sex marriage, but would now be willing to vote according to his constituency's wishes, ''and I don't have any doubt that there's a large majority of people that support same-sex marriage''.
Sagely, the member for Wentworth told Federal Parliament last August that gay marriage has not proved a problem to those with a religious point of view in Europe because of a distinction between the roles of state and church in recognising same-sex partnerships, ''whereas those functions have in large measure been fused in our tradition''.
In effect, this means Australia has allowed the churches, via their acolytes in the Parliament, to dictate what makes a couple and what makes a family.
The churches have managed to dominate the political discourse on what defines kinship, even though we don't have a dominant religious denomination as they do in Spain, Argentina or Portugal; Catholic countries that have still managed to take a liberal approach to the issue.
Christine Forster and Carl Katter may therefore have not appreciated it as they watched their siblings take political power in Australia, but divine guidance means their blood ties count for little. The family may be on shaky ground but theocracy stands strong. Given this political reality, Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull are the messiahs of secularity and the hopes of a kinder, inclusive Australian family.
Steve Dow is the author of Gay: the tenth anniversary collection (Kindle/iBooks).