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48 responses to “Kristina Keneally’s speech on same-sex adoption”

  1. paul walter

    What a shame they’ve found someone credible to lead, so late in the game. If Abbott gains power, possibly Labor’s chances there would improve- interesting to see how it all turns out.

  2. Ambigulous

    Kim, you have proved your supreme accomplishment in understatement by writing:
    “the abyss of NSW state Labor politics”

  3. Liam

    It’s cracking, isn’t it, Kim? It’s one of the best speeches I’ve heard in the house for a long time.

  4. simon

    Kristina Keneally is a reasonably impressive politician and too good for State Labor who are generally more corrupt and lower grade than local councillors. She should move to the Federal Labor party after she loses the election in March. The perfect seat for her is Peter Garretts seat of Kingsford Smith which is now almost marginal. She is way better than him although Kim she is ultra Catholic and went beserk on overspending during world youth week and she is a huge papal fan too the extent that her social policy is very close to Tony Abbotts.

  5. Philomena

    There is no overarching political substance to Kristina Keneally and she knowingly presides over a government as venal and destructive as it is lazy and ideologically bereft.

    You’d have to conclude this government and an ever growing number of its MPs have a collective death wish.

    No NSW public servant at any level will access adult or gambling sites on the job and not know that the fact of doing so will be discovered and reported by in-house IT services.

  6. Ambigulous

    …but Philomena, he was a Minister; in no way did he see himself as a ‘public servant’.

    The very idea.

  7. Fascinated

    A fine speech.

  8. patrickg

    Great speech, but forgive my lack of sympathy for Keneally, nobody put a gun to her head and compelled her to take the poisoned chalice. Moreover, anyone who has a problem with Gillard’s method of ascension should be at least as perturbed by Keneally’s, epitomising it does corrupt Labor right powerbrokers desperately clinging to a collapsing empire, and coming at the expense of a man at least as – if not far more – principled and honest than Rudd.

  9. Ambigulous

    A very good speech.

  10. Robert Merkel

    There is no overarching political substance to Kristina Keneally and she knowingly presides over a government as venal and destructive as it is lazy and ideologically bereft.

    Yeah, but she’s stuck her hand up and appears to be doing the best she can with the lousy hand she’s been dealt. There can’t be a lot of personal gratification in it.

    From this distance, at least, she deserves some respect for that.

  11. Nickws

    she is a huge papal fan too the extent that her social policy is very close to Tony Abbotts

    So Abbott also goes out of his way to tell his fellow members of parliament that Jesus of the Gospels makes no reference to sexual orientation, or that the church is wrong to say sexual activity should only be for purposes of procreation?

    That’s in the actual piece Kim linked to, by the way, not in the cookie cutter version I may or may not have composed in my head when I saw the premier’s faith raised…

  12. Chris

    A good speech, but I question if she would have made it if she thought she actually had a chance at winning the next election.

  13. murph the surf.

    @5- an excellent corruption case in Sydney currently.Government corportions sleaze, consultancies after leaving a post,public money funding private gain.
    Really it doesn’t come much better.
    So today we get the following story-
    Something rotten emerges from the current structure of the NSW ALP.Oh no , it’s not really significant, it doesn’t count for much in the polls, blah blah blah with the crap explanations.

  14. Harrington

    As a Catholic, I am heartened to hear a fellow Catholic (and community leader)provide an honest and true interpretation of Jesus’ message.

  15. akn

    Ah, yeah, she took on the job after the right shafted Nathan Rees in revenge for his sacking of Tripodi and McDonald and for demanding, and getting, the right to appoint his own cabinet free from the dirty hands of corrupt factional heavies. So Kristina can make all of the fine speeches about gay adoption that she wants because in NSW that isn’t the issue. Corruption is. Well meaning, humanist Catholics don’t make the front page in NSW. Public servants and ministers like McDonald do make it into stories like Secret Favours Greased Rocks Deal(SMH).

  16. Fascinated

    I dont think we should be under any illusion that this is a strong speech (regardless of the NSW political farce).
    Speaking out in Pell territory is a big call for any person of openly acknowledged (and followed) Catholic faith. A NSW Premier prepared to speak out despite the Roman stacked deck, is not only an oddity, even a living treasure, but someone of real future interest.

  17. akn

    Therefore, what my experience tells me and what our common experience tells us is that the best interests of a child are served by the stability, love and care that legal adoption provides regardless of the sexuality of the parents.

    I agree heartily with the above statement from Keneally’s speech. However, large parts of the rest of the speech, directed as they are towards interpretations of Jesus’ character and the arcana of Catholic theology strike me as totally bizarre. Why is this stuff even relevant to the Parliament? And, if you feel that it is, would you be content if doctrinal differences within Islam or Buddhism (yes, the latter do have differences of views) took up sitting time?

    Just bizarre.

  18. murph the surf.

    @19 – amen to that.

  19. Steve at the Pub

    I learned all I needed to know about Mrs Keneally when she made her Kokoda faux pas.

    We don’t need or want her type in this country, good riddance, the sooner the better.

  20. tigtog

    @akn – firstly, what Kim said. Secondly: Keneally may well have felt that her own principles behoved her to take on the responsibility, the crucible even, of the Premiership given what had happened to Rees. She can be entirely sincere with regards to social justice motivations and yet not be as effective as either we or she would like to be, because of the inertia of the system as it stands.

    I wouldn’t bet on her chances of Keneally getting any meaningful social justice legislation through the NSW Parliament. That disappoints me. That doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily entirely her fault.

  21. Charlie

    Great post – especially link to the speech.Thanks. Too much ‘bible’ in it for my liking. Should be able to make the argument without that best seller. Is ‘same-sex’ adoption really a religious issue? BUT, having said that, I what is really interesting in terms of her speech is relating the content to other posts elsewhere on LP about the religious activity in the election – especially Queensland! Given that the Member for Ranga has stated clearly she is a non-believer, it is in sharp contrast to CK’s speech. Who has done the polls in those Qld seats to see if the problem was a PM as a single, swinger, midnight assassin, loose, unmarried Bulldogs supporter?? Yes, an interesting contrast.

  22. Liam

    Anthony nolan, if you want to know why Keneally spent so much time on the Gospels, consider all the other speakers on the Bill in the draft hansard. It’s a call to their consciences, and those of undecideds, much more than an explanation of hers.

    Is ‘same-sex’ adoption really a religious issue?

    Like it or not, yes.

  23. akn

    Thank you. I understand now. My prior incomprehension derived from the unfathomable mystery of a conscience vote in the NSW parliament.

  24. Liam

    Despite the lack of the same by many MPs, anthony, they do try.

  25. akn

    Liam, thanks for the link to Hansard. I was particularly impressed by those speakers who adopted the primacy of the rights of the child to care and nurture as their guiding principle in the discussion.

  26. Liam

    The debate continues today, BTW, with the lower house vote at some point during the day. The daily program and a webcast in audio and audio/video (once the LA starts sitting about 10am Sydney time) is here.

  27. Geoff Robinson

    You could see NSW right Labor Catholicism as representing a Christian democratic tradition that goes back to Moran its a different tradition from the Santamaria-late Mannix-Pell Victorian craziness.

  28. Taylor

    Impressive speech.

  29. Peter Wood

    Am I the only one who couldn’t care less what websites MPs look at on their work computers?

  30. Fran Barlow

    Peter Wood asked:

    Am I the only one who couldn’t care less what websites MPs look at on their work computers?

    No, you’re not, but what strikes me about this thing is the sheer bloody stupidity and hypocrisy involved.

    The whole point of being a rightwing family values prude is to that you don’t frighten the horses. Apparently, we lefties present a really scary image to most voters — or at any rate swinging voters and that could cost the government the election. Yet if even rightwing family values prudes don’t knowe better than to keep their hypocrisy a secret when they know for sure in advance that there is a filter in place that tracks their websurfing on the government payroll, what use are they?

    Here we have a government where people take snapshots of each other getting drunk and dancing on couches in their underwear and others use ministerial cars to visit gay brothels, allowing themselves to be be captured on camera doing it. Another one had to resign over lying over her expenses. And they must know that their government is headed into the toilet. Aren’t they paying attention? You do have to wonder. If you were going to take electoral risks, would you choose these? It’s hard to credit.

    As much as I hate the idea of O’Farrell getting in, it’s hard not to see this government as dead man walking. They’ve accepted that they are going to be smasshed and all morale, discipline and judgement has deserted them. This is where there reactionary embrace of rightwing values has led them — into an ethical and political abyss. Getting smashed at the polls is almost certainly the only way that renewal can begin. If there were a substantial progressive and ethical element in the parliamentary party they could do a mea culpa, go all visionary and hope to put a floor under the losses, and have something to build on for 2015. It appears there aren’t.

    It’s just a pity we have to wait until March to start.

    On the positive side, I suspect The Greens will achieve an excellent outcome, substantially at the ALP’s expense.

  31. John D

    Keep in mind that she spoke in favour of both same sex marriage and same sex adoptions in her speech.

    Part of the reason why the speech is important (and should be spread widely) is Kristina’s impeccable catholic/heterosexual background and the time devoted to explaining how her position was supported by the gospels and the church’s position on conscience. It was also important in that the basic argument was not about being fair to gays but being fair to children.

    In a sense it was a Nixon moment. Nixon’s history was what made him the person who could convincingly make peace with China. An impeccable catholic premier is the person who could finally convince us to grow up re same sex marriage and same sex adoptions.

    Perhaps too Kristina has absorbed the lesson of the federal election. The old small target approach is no going to succeed for Labor governments. If Kristina is going to avoid a disaster in NSW she has to be her own person and has to offer something that goes far beyond the unimaginative grey sludge Labor is offering at the moment.

  32. Josh

    Good speech and great public theology IMHO. To those uneasy about her invocation of faith, perhaps you could read it in part as a counter to the “traditional” Christian speeches that came before her and will follow. As someone who shares her views on this matter it’s nice to be represented!

    I don’t think you should underestimate the importance or significance of Keneally’s defiance of Pell in this either.

    The more I see of her the more I like her. I suspect 10 years from now, she will look back at her political career and ask, WTF?

  33. Josh

    @34 last para, Kenneally said something to that effect the other day (“now for the real Kristina” was the headline that followed).

    Agreed on your other points, esp. same-sex marriage.

  34. adrian

    Yes but there’ll be quite a few WTFs in ten years time. I think she’ll have a few ex-colleagues from both sides of politics with whom to commiserate.

  35. Sam

    So she’s supporting something that should be as uncontroversial as gay adoption. Big deal. If it comes to that, so is Fatty O’Barrell.

  36. paul walter

    I understand the rationale behind Kim and Tigtogs rebuttals of akn’s position, but gee, that real estate developer /shark story provided certainly is as unpleasant as it is expected and familiar.
    Kenneally symbolically doing a Judith and Holofernes as to the groupers is only worthwhile if its only a start or prelude to action to do with inveterate problems of corruption and ossification in NSW.
    I hope she demonstrate a similar respect to the wider public as she has to gay couples seeking to adopt (why not, ffs), as to reining in the developers feeding off the public like parasites.

  37. paul walter

    40, God(ess) willing, the feds will finally get around to intervention, as to the NSW branch. The talent flow dried up because of the right’s anti-intellectualism involving preselection, having gained control of the apparatus.
    Much the same has followed round the country.
    Less Lindsay Tanners, Carmen Lawrences, Harry Quicks and Duncan Kerrs; more white collar neolib brats.
    So ironic that Labor should get Andrew Wilkie after getting rid of Kerr qand co for another factionally-preselected drone.

  38. akn

    I’ll put this in a broader context for those who are over excited about Keneally’s Catholicism: the anti-intellectualism of the NSW ALP is directly linked to the groupers (Catholics)who remained inside the ALP instead of joining the DLP. The mere fact that this matter had to go to a conscience vote in 2010 is testimony of the strength of reactionary Catholicism within the ALP in NSW. Unbelievable that the ALP wouldn’t support the amendment on rational and secular terms as a party and that the matter had to be flogged out in theological terms.

  39. Paul Burns

    I was under the impression Kenneally had a degree in theology, FWIW.

  40. murph the surf.

    “I think she’s honestly trying to clean the show up, but what poor material she has to work with.”
    Sure Joe is right behind her getting to work rooting out corruption and incompetence .
    Have you seen the recent Sydney newspapers?

  41. John D

    Was directed to this interesting data set from Five Thirty Eight in the US. The blog looks at changes in support for gay marriage between 1994 and 2009 for the US states. The key thing found was that acceptance grew faster in states that already had high acceptance. The following explanations were suggested:

    Some possible explanations:

    – A “tipping point”: As gay rights become more accepted in a state, more gay people come out of the closet. And once straight people realize how many of their friends and relatives are gay, they’re more likely to be supportive of gay rights. Recall that the average American knows something like 700 people. So if 5% of your friends and acquaintances are gay, that’s 35 people you know–if they come out and let you know they’re gay. Even accounting for variation in social networks–some people know 100 gay people, others may only know 10–there’s the real potential for increased awareness leading to increased acceptance.

    Conversely, in states where gay rights are highly unpopular, gay people will be slower to reveal themselves, and thus the knowing-and-accepting process will go slower.

    – The role of politics: As gay rights become more popular in “blue states” such as New York, Massachusetts, California, etc., it becomes more in the interest of liberal politicians to push the issue (consider Governor David Paterson’s recent efforts in New York). Conversely, in states where gay marriage is highly unpopular, it’s in the interest of social conservatives to bring the issue to the forefront of public discussion. So the general public is likely to get the liberal spin on gay rights in liberal states and the conservative spin in conservative states.

    My own experience suggests that knowing gays and the emergence of respected public gay figures such as Bob Brown changes thinking.

  42. John D

    PS: Five thirty eight is a US blog that is similar to our Possum blog.

  43. Josh

    John D, that “relationships lead to acceptance” pattern seems to be quite true in the church as well.

    Certainly in the Uniting Church a number of prominent evangelical leaders found themselves rethinking their prejudices when they developed bonds of trust with gay and lesbian ministers.

    @Paul Burns: you are correct, she has a Masters in Theology, in which her thesis was on feminine images and language for God.

    As to the issue itself: it passed the lower house 45-43, with 2 known opponents missing from the chamber (sick and overseas; no pairs in conscience votes). Phew!

  44. James

    This was a very good speech. Keneally has demonstrated a number of times now that she is very thoughtful and considerate about broader social issues.

    Sadly it does not mean she is a competent administrator.