Politics

Malcolm Turnbull Was Perfectly Ambushed About Marriage Equality On ‘The Project’

"You don't want anyone to be treated differently for something they can't change about themselves. For example, marriage rights..."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined The Project last night for a chat about that giant defence force he recently handed over to Peter Dutton and the fourth anniversary of mandatory offshore detention policy — what a fun week in the news!

Both those talks went about as you might expect. The PM stuck to his lines about the security changes being standard with those undertaken by other nations around the world. He insisted they were preventative measures to ensure Australia was protected against potential terrorist attacks and this had nothing to do with the Right of the Liberal Party ha ha ha, no more questions.

Talks of offshore processing largely centred around the Labor Party (“you cannot trust them on border protection, they’ve got a terrible record” — which, yep, is a very good point but not all that productive for people in detention right now.

One of the most interesting parts of the interview actually came from a segment about red-headed people’s sperm donations (stay with me). The panel invited comedian Rhys Nicholson on via video link to discuss red hair and lighten things up a bit. Conversation then turned to whether terms like “ginger ninja” were offensive, and Nicholson slipped in an extra dig.

“I’m all about the nicknames — I think it’s all about ownership,” he said. “Those are our words. We can take them back. The main thing is you don’t want anyone to be treated differently for something they can’t change about themselves. Just deal with it — for example, marriage rights or something… I don’t know what I could possibly mean by that.”

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Watch the full thing here:



This isn’t Rhys Nicholson’s first public push for marriage equality. Last year, he actually got married to fellow comedian Zoe Coombs Marr in a ceremony at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in what they called Australia’s first “gay marriage” — one between two gay people. Both Rhys and and Zoe’s partners were in attendance, and the latter, Kate Jinx wrote a heartfelt piece for The Guardian about the experience.

Nicholson is also involved with a new Audible podcast, Listen to Love, that highlights stories of LGBTIQ love and stands in support of marriage equality. Speaking to SMH around its release he noted it was just one tactic in a much broader push. “Comedy is able to get through — for lack of a better term — all of the bullshit.”