HATE SPEECH FROM BILL SHORTEN – OUT OF LINE AND OUT OF TOUCH

Question: In what country will you be accused of links to extreme terrorism for agreeing with your country's law?

Answer: In Bill Shorten's Australia

During Friday night's news.com.au Facebook debate, Bill Shorten made an abhorrent accusation against Australians who believe marriage laws should remain unchanged.

“I think we’ve seen with two terrible events in the last week [the Orlando gay massacre and the murder of UK MP Jo Cox] that hate and extremism does exist in modern societies.”

“I don’t want to give the haters the chance to come out from underneath the rock.”

Moderator Joe Hildebrand replied: “Do you really think that level of hatred would emerge in Australia in a plebiscite? Do you really think the ‘No’ campaign would be talking about massacring gay people?”

Shorten's response? “I don’t understand homophobia.”

"I am disappointed that aspiring political leaders would think about their fellow Australians this way, those who believed in traditional marriage should not be described as ‘haters’ or ‘extremists’," Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton told AAP on Saturday, adding the nation had engaged in respectful debate on the issue for a decade.

"How dare Mr Shorten label decent Australians as haters and try to smear them with the actions of an Islamist mass-murderer in Orlando?" Australian Marriage Forum's president Dr David van Gend told AAP.

An Essential Media poll in March 2016 found that 66% of Australians want to have their say on marriage in a plebiscite. And a new poll of 1,222 people released by Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University on 16 June 2016 says 70% of Australians support a marriage plebiscite, with only 19% agreeing with Mr Shorten that it should be decided by Parliament. Shorten is skating on thin ice here because the same survey showed a people’s vote on marriage is also supported by 72% of Labor voters.

Shorten watered down his comments the following day. Perhaps he realised he had stepped over the line. Using hate speech to silence debate on an important topic is undemocratic and Shorten should issue an unreserved apology to the people of Australia.

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92 Responses

  1. Oh, so the AMF’s complaining about hate speech? Pot calling the kettle black. Here’s what you guys have said. I’ve raised this a number of times and received no reply.

    Ireland abandons her children, May 24, 2015

    “Ireland has written a social suicide note and we grieve for her. But we will not follow her.”

    Media Release: Bill Shorten calls for a new Stolen Generation, May 31, 2015

    “We on the brink of a new abusive law that will once again cut children off from their own flesh and blood. A new stolen generation who will, after much suffering, require their own national apology”.

    Moral and Political Aberration by the U.S. Supreme Court, June 27, 2015

    ““The moral dementia of the West is evident when the honourable name of marriage is given to a relationship that can only be consummated by an indecent act.

    “This is the third historic act of social self-mutilation by the US Supreme Court, the most recent being the Roe-v Wade decision in 1973 that found a constitutional right for adults to kill their babies in the womb.

    […]

    “Just as the five judges in 1857 were so degenerate as to enshrine slavery in the Constitution, so five judges today enshrine sodomy in the Constitution. The fallout for the moral culture of the US and for the education of children is incalculable.””

    Media Release: Plenty to fear from Labor’s “equality”, July 27, 2015

    “And decent Labor MPs and Senators certainly have reason to fear what a decadent wreck their party has become.”

    Full-Page National Newspaper Ad Today, August 10, 2015

    ““We say they are complicit in a serious offence against the child by proposing laws that will abolish either a mother or father from the life of a child. That is the heart of opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’, and we accuse advocates of inflicting a new form of discrimination against children, just to satisfy adult emotional demands.””

    The “Safe” Schools Program Is Not Safe for Our Kids, October 9, 2015

    “Perhaps the driving psychological energy behind the push for gay ‘marriage’ is the raging need for homosexual people to force society to approve their behaviour and legislate it as being equally right, normal and good as natural sexual relations – and to obtain the legal power to force such teaching on all children.”

    Media Release: Safe Schools, Gay recruitment & Gay “marriage”, February 10, 2016

    ““Given today’s coverage in The Australian, we call on the Federal Coalition Government to put a stop to the moral damage that the gay-lobby drafted “Safe Schools” programme is doing to our children and grandchildren”, said Dr David van Gend, a GP and president of the Australian Marriage Forum.”

    In summary, you think we are morally damaged people committing indecent and wrong acts on a moral par with slavery, no less, the moral fallout of which will be incalculable, “complicit in a serious offence against the child” (a dog whistle if there ever was one) by stealing children away from their parents, just because we want equal rights, and responsible for the complete and utter destruction of Western society (“moral dementia”, “decadent wreck”, “social self-mutilation”, “social suicide note”).

    AJ, what do you have to say?

  2. That’s not all. Firstly, he did not say that people who oppose marriage equality are as bad as the Orlando shooter. What he said was there are some people who do have hateful views, and a plebiscite will give them license to express them. Those are two very different statements.

    Also, I see the absurdly, offensively misplaced priorities of marriage equality opponents. The AMF put out no statement condemning the Orlando massacre, yet did put out a statement about Bill Shorten being concerned about the implications of a plebiscite due to it. Are you more offended by what he said than by the murder of 49 people by someone on your side of this issue? The Orlando massacre is not about you and your precious feelings.

    • Ash

      Nick, the AMF does have to respond to every world event affecting gays and even if it did you wouldn’t think any more kindly towards AMF. Get real. The SSM proponents being vocal at every forum I have participated in bully their way to the top with this agenda and are hardly polite about their requests. Guess what, this matter is important enough to fight for. So expect some stiff opposition.

      • Ash

        Correction. The AMF ‘doesn’t’ have to respond to every event affecting gays.

        What matters here is marriage law. These events are just a distraction from the issue at hand. Bill Shorten used the Orlando massacre to further the SSM cause inappropriately. That’s what was caught out on.

        • Point of order: I think Harry was the first to mention Orlando on this blog.

          (And I still can’t see how Bill Shorten’s words can be interpreted in the way you are suggesting.)

          • Ash

            It’s totally irrelevant who said what first. The topic is marriage and Bill Shorten is bolstering the SSM argument using an unrelated gay massacre. Garnering sympathy in this way is unfair.

          • Margaret is wrong and right. I thought I was the first to mention Orlando when I predicted that Nick would somehow make it about Australian Christians who don’t wish to dishonour marriage. However I had not scrolled down: Nick had already stooped that low….perhaps I should not be too harsh though, after all – even our esteemed opposition leader is capable.

            When a murder spree overseas by a gay man with a Muslim background is used to tar good Aussie people with a brush of “Anti-Tolerance” we know our society has gone off the deep end.

            If things as they stand – out of control with this sinful, lustful, violent, godless element gaining more and more media control – when you look at the evidence: since the Bible was removed from schools, abortion has increased over 1000%, crime over 500% since 1963 in the USA with us not far behind, divorce over 200% and homosexuality, disease and immorality rife – any intelligent person, anyone with any wisdom, will know that we can give our lives over to become slaves to sin, or we can have a serious look at this book which has steadied society and seen civilisation thrive.

            I challenge anyone who knows that they are not perfect, anyone who is willing to read the gospel of Mark or Luke – to get a bible teacher like Ravi Zacherias, to ask questions, and look at the life of Jesus of Nazereth: He claims to be God. We can test the Bible – after all, if it is not true,, all you have done is to leave no stone unturned by taking the promise of a Man who is Perfect, who said to us: “Seek and Ye Shall Find”. No education is complete without knowing the Bible….what are you so afraid of?

            p.s. I know I am not perfect, I know I get it wrong sometimes, and I’m sorry if I have offended anyone. I do not apologise how;ter for upholding the Word, theGospel. This thing called life is serious, and we are told in the Bible that if we are not married, we can not pursue sex. This includes porn. We have to protect our eyes, and our minds. If we are married, we cannot pursue others. And marriage is between a man and a woman. This is how we were created, and the only reason this debate is happening at all is because of the rise of humanism. People should be ashamed of themselves, and they really really should repent. Life is such a gift! Do not waste it. And don’t be silent when evil men and woman spread their lies. And don’t ever be ashamed of the Good News!

  3. AJ I note the recent comment on AMF’s Facebook page that comments advocating violence would be removed.

    However not all groups opposed to the ‘radical rainbow agenda’ are as responsible.
    For instance (from the Stop Safe Schools FB page):

    ” Filthy depraved scum. Can’t wait to see the first shootings by very angry parents.”
    (Liked by 2 ) June 10 at 11:46am.

    Do you think Mr Shorten might have a point that there are a few haters under a few rocks?

    That is ALL he said.
    Why it should be taken as a general comment on supporters of traditional marriage is beyond me.

    • Margaret, thank you so much for being a beacon of sanity here. Even though we don’t agree on marriage, you demonstrate that this can be respectable, if more people though like you.

      • Nick I never needed to be convinced of the need for equality in terms of legal recognition of same sex partnerships.
        I just believed introducing a parallel system of civil partnerships was a better option that respected all sides in the debate.

        I now find it a lot harder to respect the AMF side of the debate. Like you I find the comments made by AMF over the past year or so totally unacceptable. Like you I note that no attempt is made by AMF to respond on this point. Nor do any supporters of AMF wish to distance themselves from any of these remarks.
        Other allied groups are if anything even worse. This especially applies to those that have fallen for the ‘radical rainbow agenda’ argument.

        It now seems increasingly unlikely that we will have a plebiscite (watch out for the next attack being on Penny Wong?).
        But if it does happen then I intend to vote for an extension of the definition in the Marriage Act simply on the basis that it is the only option available that offers justice.

        Janine has convinced me that those who hold to a traditional view of marriage will have an option to opt out of a redefined civil marriage.

    • From AMF this morning on Facebook:
      Australian Marriage Forum Inc. We remove any posts that contain any mention of violence from either side. If any have slipped through unnoticed, we will remove them.

      Would you like to comment on how many you have had to remove?

      A few haters. A few rocks.That is all Bill Shorten said.
      But Orlando and Birstall (in my home city) show is that it only takes one…

      Perhaps you should apologise to Mr Shorten for having ‘misunderstood’ what he said.

      • AJ

        Actually, the only offensive comments that have been removed today were from SSM advocates. Some didn’t even make it through the language filter. Bill Shorten perpetuates the lie that to support current marriage law means you must be homophobic. He didn’t give any mention to hate dispensed from SSM advocates and how this might impact on pro-marriage supporters.

        • AJ, any comment about this?

          Ireland abandons her children, May 24, 2015

          “Ireland has written a social suicide note and we grieve for her. But we will not follow her.”

          Media Release: Bill Shorten calls for a new Stolen Generation, May 31, 2015

          “We on the brink of a new abusive law that will once again cut children off from their own flesh and blood. A new stolen generation who will, after much suffering, require their own national apology”.

          Moral and Political Aberration by the U.S. Supreme Court, June 27, 2015

          ““The moral dementia of the West is evident when the honourable name of marriage is given to a relationship that can only be consummated by an indecent act.

          “This is the third historic act of social self-mutilation by the US Supreme Court, the most recent being the Roe-v Wade decision in 1973 that found a constitutional right for adults to kill their babies in the womb.

          […]

          “Just as the five judges in 1857 were so degenerate as to enshrine slavery in the Constitution, so five judges today enshrine sodomy in the Constitution. The fallout for the moral culture of the US and for the education of children is incalculable.””

          Media Release: Plenty to fear from Labor’s “equality”, July 27, 2015

          “And decent Labor MPs and Senators certainly have reason to fear what a decadent wreck their party has become.”

          Full-Page National Newspaper Ad Today, August 10, 2015

          ““We say they are complicit in a serious offence against the child by proposing laws that will abolish either a mother or father from the life of a child. That is the heart of opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’, and we accuse advocates of inflicting a new form of discrimination against children, just to satisfy adult emotional demands.””

          The “Safe” Schools Program Is Not Safe for Our Kids, October 9, 2015

          “Perhaps the driving psychological energy behind the push for gay ‘marriage’ is the raging need for homosexual people to force society to approve their behaviour and legislate it as being equally right, normal and good as natural sexual relations – and to obtain the legal power to force such teaching on all children.”

          Media Release: Safe Schools, Gay recruitment & Gay “marriage”, February 10, 2016

          ““Given today’s coverage in The Australian, we call on the Federal Coalition Government to put a stop to the moral damage that the gay-lobby drafted “Safe Schools” programme is doing to our children and grandchildren”, said Dr David van Gend, a GP and president of the Australian Marriage Forum.”

          In summary, you think we are morally damaged people committing indecent and wrong acts on a moral par with slavery, no less, the moral fallout of which will be incalculable, “complicit in a serious offence against the child” (a dog whistle if there ever was one) by stealing children away from their parents, just because we want equal rights, and responsible for the complete and utter destruction of Western society (“moral dementia”, “decadent wreck”, “social self-mutilation”, “social suicide note”).

          • AJ

            If you don’t believe that any law denying children their fundamental birth-right to a mother and father is unjust, then it’s not surprising that our articles don’t sit well with you.

          • You didn’t answer the question. Is it not hate speech to say that LGBT people are morally damaged people committing indecent and wrong acts on a moral par with slavery, no less, the moral fallout of which will be incalculable, “complicit in a serious offence against the child” (a dog whistle if there ever was one) by stealing children away from their parents, just because we want equal rights, and responsible for the complete and utter destruction of Western society (“moral dementia”, “decadent wreck”, “social self-mutilation”, “social suicide note”)?

        • AJ I assumed your comment about removal did not simply refer to today.And I commend you for your diligence.

          Other pro traditional marriage and anti ‘radical rainbow alliance’ groups are less diligent.
          Maybe those are the ones Bill Shorten reads ? Most do have more followers.

          Reading them might well encourage both him and others to wonder how many supporters of current marriage law are homophobic.But that is not what he said.

          He also didn’t confine his comments about haters to one side of the debate. Though unless you are removing virtually ALL comments by SSM advocates from your Facebook page I’d have to say they are by far the more moderate in tone.

        • AMF please comment on a recent Facebook post that suggests that imprisonment for homosexuality be reintroduced.

          • AJ

            It doesn’t appears to be there now. Our moderators remove comments from both sides of the debate that are deemed inappropriate.

          • Thanks again for your diligence this morning.I’m with Ash on this: we shouldn’t judge a lobby group by its loudest, rudest and most inappropriate fanatics. Unfortunately people tend to…

          • Your moderators certainly have their work cut out, today it’s racism and political extremism too.

          • AJ

            It’s an important issue – it’s sure to attract impassioned debate from both sides. We do our best to ensure everyone keeps their manners in.

    • Ash

      Margaret I’m sure you know better than to judge a lobby group by its loudest, rudest and most inappropriate fanatics. Such people will ALWAYS be around and make their presence known. A plebiscite will not create more fanaticism. Freedom of speech is a double edged sword and we have to accept that in a free society there will be overly strong dissenters on topics that matter to them. It’s unfair to point out isolated examples of destructive fanaticism and make it a crutch for the alternate argument. Deal with the fanatic rather than the side they claim to represent.

      • Exactly Ash.I do know better.So I believe does Bill Shorten.

        It’s only supporters of traditional marriage (I think ACL was first cab off the rank but in more moderate language) who jumped to the conclusion that Bill Shorten was talking about them rather than the haters under rocks.

        I’m never sure how far a lobby should be prepared to go in disowning its lunatic fringe.What do you think?

        • Ash

          Before you throw out the baby with the bath water you should examine Mr Shortens remarks and read between the lines to work out who he may be referring to. It sure wasn’t just the lunatic fringe now was it?

  4. Nick had you noticed it’s unusually lonely here today…?
    Is it just possible that even supporters of traditional marriage reckon this latest tactic of reading into Bill Shorten’s comments something that simply is not there is a bit suss…?

    Or am I being hopelessly naive (again…)?

    We get it that we should vote LNP to get a plebiscite (which most people including the LNP leader are convinced will favour marriage equality).What strange mental process is happening to convince the AMF that they need to persuade us to believe that Bill Shorten meant something quite different from what he actually said???

    Rhetorical question only. Nick’s very real questions take priority…

    • The reason I don’t think that’s the case is that I’ve seen a lot of other groups (ACL, Marriage Alliance, Family Voice Australia) make the same complaint. I hope you’re right, though.

  5. In ALL the English-speaking countries in the past week or so we see the same thing – politicians decrying “hate”. Mmm

    • Yes, because they are hated.
      And there is no wonder why eh 😉

      • What an interesting observation…

        Actually most of us don’t hate politicians…

        We disagree with them.
        We may not respect them greatly.

        But as AJ pointed out last week, hatred of a whole class of people is something generally associated with terrorism.

        • Do you mean vilification and intimidation of those of us who simply want to be at peace and continue with the original, age old meaning of marriage and child rearing?

          • No.
            I do not.
            Nor did Bill Shorten.

            I am offended by both suggestions.

            Condemning Thomas Mair hardly equates to accusing all supporters of Brexit of complicity in Jo Cox’s murder.And even condemning him is misplaced:
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/17/jo-cox-murder-thomas-mair-asked-for-mental-health-treatment-day/

            I share Bill Shorten’s concern that haters may emerge from under rocks during a plebiscite campaign.That is ALL he said.

          • Lighten up Marg, you offend easily.
            I was making a joke with my namesake, we happened to post at the same time.

            Apologies for offending you.

            I was born here, in Australia, where marriage is between husband and wife.

            **Where the women glow and men plunder, And he said, “I come from a land down under
            Where beer does flow and men chunder,
            Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?**

            No offence intended.

          • By the way Margaret,
            What has Thomas Mair and brexit got to do with this conversation.
            I’m assuming there must be some tenuous link there, or… ?

      • Me too Mikel (joking).Didn’t suppose you were likely to be intimidated.And I’m not likely to be personally offended. Though I do find some of the comments on here offensive and disrespectful.

        Still puzzled of course by why anyone assumed Bill Shorten said anything untoward.Let alone anything justifying the words ‘abhorrent accusation’…

        Thomas Mair is the alleged killer of British MP Jo Cox.The words witnesses report he used as he killed her at first sight suggest he did so because he opposed her stand on Britain’s proposed exit from the EU.That was one of the incidents to which Bill Shorten referred,the other being Orlando.

        Do mentally unstable people become more dangerous in a situation where there may be seem to be perceived license to express strong views?
        Experience suggests that they do.

        • Oh yeah, I forgot about Bill Shorten’s tenuous link about those tragedies, as if that has anything to with the plebiscite. I still don’t see the connection or relevance.
          As to your last paragraph, I will have to agree. Though I didn’t understand all of it, I think I will stop trying before my own mental faculties become unstable. Peace sister.

  6. Moderator Joe Hildebrand replied: “Do you really think that level of hatred would emerge in Australia in a plebiscite? Do you really think the ‘No’ campaign would be talking about massacring gay people?”
    Shorten’s response? “I don’t understand homophobia.”

    No, he doesn’t get it does he!
    He does not understand the difference between bigotry, homophobia, and public dissent to changing marriage laws, either. He does not understand a different opinion to his own.
    There’s a word for that…. we all know what it is.

    How ignorant.

    Good riddance to him.

  7. Jan

    Nick and Margaret , It is very sad that both of you , who appear so bitterly opposed to traditional marriage, and who very wrongly assume that to disagree with homosexuality practice is to “hate” gay people, spend so much of your time and energy not only reading the Australian Marriage Forum, but actually waste further time in penning what are for the most part, comments lacking in logic and/ or substantive argument.
    May I point you to an article in the Brisbane Courier ( June 1st) from a journalist who has not been supporting traditional marriage, but who has provided some interesting and thoughtful insights. I commend the article to you. ( Don’t know whether the link will work , but if not, you can copy it into your browser)

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-the-gay-marriage-debate-is-more-about-emotion-and-wording-than-legal-impediment-or-discrimination/news-story/a401ea49087785cefd4eac281667b83a

    • Shorten has sunk to a new low here. We all know the goal here has nothing to do with depraved homosexuals and everything to do with depravity in general. This is the wedge they are using in Australia to destroy all traces of our Judeo-Christian heritage. But nature abhors a vacuum, and God abhors sin – this will not end well. Islam is poised to meet everyday aussies looking for a masculine religion, and when people are sick to the gut of their godless lifestyles, more and more people are only confronted by Mohummed’s snake oil salesmen – real believers are being muzzled and even sued, and by people who should know better – people who have Christians all the way back in their family trees. A Christian nation will see less violence and hysteria – a godles nation will only get worse. Take up your crosses good people of Australia: I know it is unpleasant to even think about this horrible stuff, but that is where the ALP and Greens are at: abortion, euthanasia and the rainbow warriors – the trifecta of godlessness, knocking on our back door, and not even waiting for an invite.

      • Well we are certainly seeing an all time low.
        But not from Bill Shorten…

    • Thanks Jan but it is paywall protected so unfortunately I cannot read it.
      I can say however that I disagree with the writer’s basic premise.There IS still discrimination against same sex couples.If the writer is talking simply about Queensland there is less than elsewhere because of the reintroduction of civil partnerships.

      What is needed is a national system of recognition of same sex relationships.As I have said many times on this blog I would have preferred a national system of civil partnerships.I believe we have now lost that opportunity.

      I am not sure on what basis you have concluded I am against traditional marriage.I’ve been traditionally married for almost 50 years.
      If you have concluded that I am against retaining the ‘traditional’ (2005) definition of marriage there too I’m a little ‘ puzzled’.

      Nick did refer earlier today to the fact he and I disagree on the subject.

      Not all supporters of traditional marriage ‘disagree with homosexuality practice’. Some of us strongly believe that it has as long a history as ‘heterosexuality practice’.Some of us, shocking though it may seem, are aware of a wide variety of ways of enjoying physical intimacy. Some of us consider it is absolutely no business of anyone else which of these we may choose to engage,or not to engage in. And that none of that necessarily has anything to do with our views on marriage or any other form of life partnership between two adults. Or with the ability of those two adults to provide a stable and loving environment in which children can grow to adulthood.

      You are of course free to find my arguments lacking in logic and/or substantive argument. Presumably more so than others on this blog…

      I still think Nick’s logical and substantive questions are worthy of an answer.

  8. I believe the issue with Bill Shorten’s comments is that there is an implied link between being a “No” campaigner and being a homophobe. As someone who struggles with where to stand on this issue (but tend to stand in the No camp) – I also take offence at this implication, but I don’t believe he intended to link the “No” campaigners to the haters and extremists, the haters are merely a subset of the campaigners.

    Feelings run strong on this issue, we must always communicate respectfully, especially if we want to be heard! You can’t separate the issue of sex from the subject of family. It really gets to the core of a persons being when you discuss sexuality and mix it with the foundation of the family unit and add in some religion too. If “No” campaigners were more successful at communicating our care for persons of every sexual orientation, we might actually be able to progress further with healthy discussions.

    Only God knows what is the right way for government to move forward on this issue. But as a mother of young kids, and knowing the shame I grew up with having to wrestle with issues of sexual identity from a young age – I still tend to vote for the child’s rights first and say No. If that’s what the definition of homophobia is, well then I guess I’m going to have to get used to the term. It’s not going to go away any time soon, it gets bandied around an awful lot these days.

    • Nikki I’m with you all the way.
      Well almost… I’m currently moving from a reluctant NO to a reluctant YES.

      From a feminist perspective I oppose surrogacy as exploitative.Sweden is likely to ban surrogacy on that basis.

      Deliberately bringing a child into the world that will not know his/her mother/father does of course also involve various forms of assisted reproductive technology, but it does not seem to me that they are at issue here unless we hypothesise that they will be used increasingly if same sex couples are allowed to marry.

      My concern for the child leads me to believe that the lives of children in same sex headed households will actually benefit if those heads of household are able to enter into some form of legally recognised relationship.I would argue for civil partnership but it has been excluded from the current debate.

      In the 2011 census there were 462 male same sex couples with dependent children and 4288 female same sex couples with dependent children .If marriage is about children what about these children…?

  9. It is not hate speech to stand up for the human rights of children and the legitimacy of traditional marriage as the basis of society. It is a human right as recognised internationally by the UN and other agencies that children have “as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.” It is wrong to make legislation that would automatically rob children of their human rights. Same sex marriage is NOT a human right. I believe IVF access also needs to be reviewed as when used by single mothers and lesbian partners automatically robs children of a father. Social science has proven that children do best with a stable mother and father. All legislation should be supporting and promoting this pattern for society.

    Those who do not agree with legalising same sex marriage are not all homophobic and hate filled people. Of course you will get those with extreme views on these issues however the vast majority who oppose same sex marriage do not have an irrational fear of gay people. That is what Bill Shorten needs to acknowledge and understand. I along with many others who oppose same sex marriage recognise that members of the gay community can and do contribute to our society in positive ways. Disagreeing with a point of view or ideology does not mean you hate someone or something. There is such a thing as agreeing to disagree. I do not believe we should change the laws of our society based on what will make the homosexual community feel better about themselves or satisfy their desires to be seen as equal in regard to marriage. The perception that there is some kind of inequality in regard to homosexual people is in my opinion inaccurate. I believe it to be a symptom of the victim mentality that some in the gay community indulge in. That kind of reaction is based on emotion and not logic. We need to make decisions on what is best for society as a whole and especially for our children based on facts.

    • Sonia I can’t see anything in Bill Shorten’s words that goes against what you are saying here.
      I heard what he said as referring to extremists. As Nick said yesterday
      “What he said was there are some people who do have hateful views, and a plebiscite will give them license to express them. ”

      I do however deplore at least some of Dr van Gend’s own statements as quoted by Nick. AMF has not responded to repeated requests to comment on these.
      I also deplore statements made by supporters of traditional marriage in other social media especially Facebook.

      I think reacting to Mr Shorten’s words in the way both ACL and AMF have done has been disproportionate and has actually damaged their cause.Victim playing happens on both sides.

      Though same sex marriage may not be a human right the European Court of Human Rights has recently declared that legal recognition of same sex unions is.Obviously this is not strictly relevant to Australia, but it does suggest that we need some national scheme of recognition.

      Until we do have this, there is injustice.

  10. For the record, I am the former David who was confused with the AMF president. To avoid confusion I am now calling myself David S. Margaret, you are getting yourself into a referee role in these posts and more and more as a defender of same sex marriage. I am here challenging you with difficulties that are real to me but would be dismissed as “fear mongering” and “hate” by the same sex lobby. Would “civil partnerships” that you keep mentioning dispel all the “hate” because they would leave marriage untouched? At present I cannot see the difference between civil partnerships and civil unions which have been rejected by the same sex marriage lobby. I can understand your desire to be fair to people who form same sex relationships, especially that they are treated as equally human. If it were simply a matter of saying let them get married if that makes them happy and that is the end of it, despite my homophobia I can imagine even myself agreeing.

    However, that is not all that there is to it. It is all the consequences, the legal over reach, the social engineering that goes with it that make me say no. Same sex marriage is linked to a total shakeup of attitudes to sex that will mean that we can never go back to the comfortable male – female faithful role playing view of the world up till now. Getting rid of the words father and mother; male and female are gone from tax forms now I read; males being able to go into female toilets because they feel like doing it, and we have to start with that sort of stuff even in kindergarten. To make marriage gender neutral, the terms union and exclusion of all others will no longer have their sexual intercourse meaning. At the same time we have the rejection of Christian teaching in schools; no “praise music”. A Noah and the Ark piece is not permissible a music teacher friend of mine was informed in a local primary school. Does Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer convey to children all that there is to Christmas? So, children in State schools are to be denied experiencing the greatest works of music because they would somehow lead to “bullying” same sex people? The argument recently that the story of David and Goliath teaches “horrifying violence” seems to imply that. It is all that stuff that goes along with same sex marriage that makes me run a hundred miles from it.

    In your reply to Jan you wrote that it is absolutely no business what ways of enjoying physical intimacy people may practise. Is it still no one else’s business when those practices cost the community $400M per year? That is the cost for treating Australia’s 27,000 HIV infected men at $14,000 per year, for life according to figures published in The Age on May 9th. Since very few people pay $14,000 a year in tax, HIV infected people are a burden on the rest of society for the rest of their lives. With “normalization” of homosexual sex through same sex marriage and the aggressive marketing to children of homosexual lifestyles as a valid alternative the expense is surely going to increase.

    Lastly, I am not clear your position on two homosexual men acquiring babies but that is another bridge too far for me in same sex marriage. From the very start there is the serious downside that the baby is denied its mother’s breast milk. Bottle feeding is never the best way. The best feeding for a year or so, and I imagine the best feeling of security in the world, is at the mother’s breast. No man can produce breast milk so purchase of a baby by two men deliberately denies the child of the best possible start to life.

  11. Ash

    “In the 2011 census there were 462 male same sex couples with dependent children and 4288 female same sex couples with dependent children .If marriage is about children what about these children…?” How did those children get there in the first place?

    “Well we are certainly seeing an all time low.
    But not from Bill Shorten…”
    I guess that means we on the forum here contributing opinions that do not align with the SSM agenda must be homophobes. The aggrandised terminology used to describe differing opinions is quite unbecoming. Let’s say we have the plebiscite (that 70% of Australians are happy to have), and that the majority prefer the Marriage Act to stay as is. Are we to assume the majority of Australians are homophobes? Couldn’t it just be that marriage can justifiably distinguish itself from same-sex couples for obvious reasons?

    “there are some people who do have hateful views, and a plebiscite will give them license to express them”
    How? Is the plebiscite going to be set up with “no” voters filing to one side and “yes” voters on another? Seriously, there is no license to express hatred or homophobia in this setting. Where it would be expressed is at rallies and public fora – you are always going to have people with strong views on both sides attending these. Surely we can have a peaceful plebiscite. I don’t find any legitimate reason not to hold this plebiscite.

    “we need some national scheme of recognition”
    Sure. Call it a life partnership or union. Done. Leave marriage alone.

    • “I guess that means we on the forum here contributing opinions that do not align with the SSM agenda must be homophobes.”

      How does that follow from anything I said (as per quotes you provided)??

      “How did those children get there in the first place?”

      Well I imagine in the usual way Ash. “Born of a woman”.Because Harry’s story of the vats in San Francisco has not been substantiated.One of those many questions that goes unanswered on this blog.

      Seriously (if it was a real question):

      A few may be surrogacy.
      More would be adoption .
      Still more (especially but not exclusively applicable to two women partnerships) as the children of previous relationships.

      I might have strong opinions on the first possibility.
      You presumably might have strong opinions on the second possibility.

      But what do YOU think would be most beneficial for the children in the third category?

      Do you even consider that the reason these two people might wish to marry is ‘for the sake of the child’??

      As to the plebiscite: on balance I favour it. Like Malcolm Turnbull (who has spoken out equally strongly against homophobia and in favour of marriage equality) I firmly believe the vote will be a resounding YES.
      One reason I favour it is because I fear the alternative is even worse.Deciding the issue in Parliament (again I believe it is inevitable that the vote will favour redefinition) will also bring out haters and bigots from under rocks.

      But I still have very serious concerns about how much the NO side can be relied on not to make inflammatory comments such as those quoted from Dr Van Gend, misleading and unsubstantiated connections such as the fallacy of the radical rainbow agenda, and totally untrue assertions such as the vats of San Francisco and the Islamic plot to seduce Australians yearning for a more masculine religion (yes I confess my ‘all time low’ comment referred to Harry’s analysis).

      Ash I shall be very happy indeed to discover that my concerns are misplaced! But meantime I am just as entitled to express my concerns as you are to express yours.

      • Ash

        Margaret, you have a low view of Australians who support marriage as is. Violence and bigotry will not suddenly become an issue if Parliament vote on SSM themselves. A people’s vote will no less make marriage supporters dislike the outcome if there is a majority yes vote. Really, you speak of resounding victory in the matter when all you’re going by are confirmation bias-riddled polls.

        • No, Ash.I don’t have a low opinion of supporters of traditional marriage.

          But if there is a YES vote I hope and pray it will be accepted.

          I have to say my greatest concern is that in that event we shall be able to refocus on ensuring religious freedom.

  12. I just saw Scott Morrison’s comments. What a total pussy.

    • Pussy?
      Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek is speaking in Sydney.
      Ms Plibersek is talking on Medicare and the proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage, saying that it will be wasteful and divisive.
      She says:
      “It’s very clear that the Prime Minister is not able to control elements of his own party, and that we can expect elements of the Liberal Party to be extreme in their language, and extreme in their campaigning against marriage equality, if this plebiscite should go ahead. There is no need for Australia to go through his wasteful and divisive process.”

      ‘divisive” she says… The division only started when the international LGBT lobby started demanding the redefinition of marriage, creating more problems where none previously existed. Enacting gay marriage will not stop the division. There is a natural difference between marriage and homosexual union.
      How would a government mandate for SSM solve the division? If anything, it will make it worse.
      Both she and Penny Wong are using fear and anxiety to stop free speech. There is already extreme language and propaganda coming from the pro movement, to shut down the defense shows a desperate weakness. Pussies indeed!

      Since the LGBT community is a minority, I suspect the only reason many people are supporting a change to the marriage laws is because they have a close association with someone(s) whom identify as gay.

      It is understandable that many are torn between their loyalty to their loved ones and the meaning of marriage. Supporting the idea of making gay relationships equal to marriage is the simplest way to appease their own conscience. Regardless of the consequences.

      It is called cognitive dissonance –
      In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas, or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. Enabled by confirmation bias.
      see
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

      Makes good sense. I’d like to hear from an expert on this.
      If there was no push for gay marriage, there would be no dissonance in this case.

      There are many of us whom do not experience that conflict in our minds and realiise the difference.

      • “Since the LGBT community is a minority, I suspect the only reason many people are supporting a change to the marriage laws is because they have a close association with someone(s) whom identify as gay.

        It is understandable that many are torn between their loyalty to their loved ones and the meaning of marriage. Supporting the idea of making gay relationships equal to marriage is the simplest way to appease their own conscience. Regardless of the consequences.”

        lI’d imagine most of us know someone who is gay.And several of the strongest anti same sex marriage people I know have members of their immediate family who are gay.

        Non sequitur Mikel.”It does not follow”.

        Both sides in this debate can argue their case rationally.
        Or not….

        • I admit my suspicions may be wrong. But what about the rest of my post.

          • Mikel I don’t really understand why supporters of traditional marriage have a problem in principle with the idea of an LGBTI lobby.

            “We” are just as much an international lobby group.No doubt we are portrayed in equally monolithic terms by “the other side”.

            That’s why I don’t like the idea of war.It suggests that there is one (unified) army against another (unified) army.It’s never likely to encourage respectful debate.

            Respectful debate is still possible.But we all need to work at it.That doesn’t mean we give up the right to express our opinions but we have an obligation to do so respectfully.

            I also believe we have an obligation to avoid ‘propaganda’, that is selective use of information in an attempt to persuade others to agree with us.I do see some of this in the fostering of a belief in the ‘radical rainbow agenda’.

            And indeed in this particular topic, where I still do not believe Mr Shorten did what he is alleged to have done.He did not make an abhorrent accusation.

          • Honestly Margaret,
            You are not making much sense. You said, “We” are just as much an international lobby group.No doubt we are portrayed in equally monolithic terms by “the other side”.
            When you say “WE”, are you saying you oppose gay marriage?
            It seems you don’t like to take sides, but you are forced to.

            Personally, I am not taking sides in this issue, I am simply saying marriage is between husband and wife.

          • I’m a supporter of traditional marriage.
            I’m also a supporter of legal recognition of same sex couples.

            Makes sense to me…

    • let us speak openly then…
      LGBTLOLWTF

      • sorry, I was being silly. let me explain.
        Fact: There are two sexes, male and female. M and F.

        Somehow, a belief (and that is all it is), has arisen that there are various sexual preferences deserving of marriage status. Like LGBTQIQWERTYLOLWTFHAHAHAHA.
        I got that from an American website, AFTER their change to thier marriage laws. After the court ruling that is.

        Guess what? The defenders of marriage and natural reproduction are not going away. In fact that is why we all exist.

        Penny Wong and his other supporters will have to accept the discussion until it’s over, instead of trying to stop the plebiscite. We need a robust discussion as they say, not be pussies about it. Either that or keep your own ideology to yourself and you own family. No need to enshrine it in law to pacify yourself.

        I mean ‘her’ but I’m not so sure anymore, I only say that as a compliment . What’s the difference anyway, anymore!?
        She is afraid that her family will suffer somehow.
        Man up Penny! Didn’t think you were such a pussy.
        If you’re going to mouth off about it, everyone has a right to as well.

  13. Ash

    Let’s have a look at the context:
    “I oppose a plebiscite because I do not want my relationship, my family to be the subject of inquiry, of censure, of condemnation by others. And I do not want other relationships, other families, to be targeted either,” Senator Wong said.

    Her relationship and her family are NOT condemned, not the subject of an inquiry and not the target of any discrimination. Her personal relationship is important to her and has access to all the entitlements she may be after within the relationship. How is she censured by the definition of marriage remaining as it is?

    “Not one straight politician advocating a plebiscite on marriage equality knows what that is like. What it is like to live with the casual and deliberate prejudice that some still harbour,” she said.

    We do not need to know what it is like to be gay or lesbian or intersex or questioning. Certainly, we cannot fathom the prejudice she or any other LGBTI couple has experienced, but changing the definition of marriage won’t fix that. Not now nor in the future. Wrong battle.

    So what was wrong with Scott’s response?
    “I understand the concern that Penny is raising I know it from personal experience, having been exposed to that hatred and bigotry for the views I’ve taken from others who have a different view to me,” Mr Morrison said.

    “Frankly people of very strong religious views have been subject quite dreadful hate speech and bigotry as well, it’s not confined to one side of the debate.”

    Is his experience less valid, less important than Penny’s?

    The Treasurer said he remained confident the Australian public could conduct a civilised debate on the issue if a plebiscite was held.

    “I have a bigger view of the Australian people more broadly … I think the best way is for us all to have a say on this deal with it and move on,” Mr Morrison said.

    Can’t see anything wrong with that either.

  14. Ash

    “How does that follow from anything I said (as per quotes you provided)??”
    There was no explanation of your quote, so I inferred that your comment refers to us here supporting marriage between a man and a woman. Who else might you be referring to?

    “Well I imagine in the usual way Ash. “Born of a woman”.Because Harry’s story of the vats in San Francisco has not been substantiated. One of those many questions that goes unanswered on this blog.”
    So born of a woman on her own then Margaret? Or two women? Or two men?
    What your unanswered question?

    A few may be surrogacy – different kettle of fish, not the best scenario for the child.
    More would be adoption – that’s right, not their own children – there are other ways to help orphans or disowned children have the next best thing to a stable nuclear family home.
    Still more (especially but not exclusively applicable to two women partnerships) as the children of previous relationships – I wonder about the child’s best interests in this scenario. Most beneficial, reconcile with their partner or in the case of death or desertion the single woman/man stay single and think of the child.

    “Do you even consider that the reason these two people might wish to marry is ‘for the sake of the child’??”
    Yes, second marriages (man/woman) can be helpful in such situation, but often they are not. Look at the blended families you know. I’m sure you will find a good proportion describing their own situation as being less than ideal. I don’t believe a second union of a gay/lesbian nature is the best for the child, and the social science evidence supports this.

    • Well said Ash. I am trying to understand how a rational person can justify the reason that two (gay) people might wish to marry is ‘for the sake of the child’.
      How does it help the child?

      • It helps the child in exactly the same way as any two people marrying for the sake of a child they are already bringing up.

        Not sure why this needs to be stated….

        • This is where we differ Margaret,
          I’m not sure why a mother and a father needs to be stated in natural reproduction and child nurturing.

          In my opinion it is self explanatory to most rational people.

          • Reproduction and child nurturing may not always go together.
            Many reasons this is so…

  15. Ash

    Kevin Rudd said he would prefer the Government to vote on same-sex marriage in Parliament without holding a plebiscite first.

    “A plebiscite is not legally binding, so why do it — you’re just opinion-polling the Australian public.”

    Interesting view. He justifies his SSM position and defies those opposed to SSM by discrediting dissenters and nullifying the biblical scriptures (that he says he ascribes to) speaking about homosexuality and marriage.

    So if the legal laxity of the plebiscite are problems, why not go for a referendum?
    The cost, perhaps, that could be diverted elsewhere? On such an important social issue why not invest in it?, particularly over other wasteful things governments often spend money on

  16. Ash

    “Meanwhile back in the world outside this blog…”
    That would be the unbalanced responders with strong views on the topic, Margaret.
    Quite a flawed deduction made, but it sounds nice doesn’t it?
    Selection bias on their part, confirmation bias on your part.

    • Ash that is a LOT of unbalanced responders…

      It’s a pretty respectable survey.Like all surveys naturally it has limitations.

      If supporters of the NO vote are not prepared to accept the findings of the survey that is fair enough. No doubt we must wait for the plebiscite.Which I am sure you will not be dismissing as a whole lot MORE unbalanced responders…

      I would have thought that even from its own point of view AMF would be well advised to take note of the way public opinion is going. The radical rainbow agenda message is just not getting through…

      • Ash

        Perhaps so Margaret, but it is still 350,000 people who bothered to answer to the poll. Response/survey bias is a massive problem in such polls that it renders the results skewed towards the intended results (who set up the poll?). It’s no randomised scientific study.

        “No doubt we must wait for the plebiscite.Which I am sure you will not be dismissing as a whole lot MORE unbalanced responders…”
        You plant the seed of contempt with such a snide remark. I personally don’t regard the results of the plebiscite as being a means to alter my worldview. Law or no law, marriage to me is the way it is described currently.

        • No, Ash.
          It was NOT not a snide comment. I have said before that I very much admire your contributions to this blog.

          I do think there may be people who will come up with arguments to dismiss a YES vote.But this is conjecture on my part and certainly not directed at you.

          Maybe we all need to lighten up…Or at least do something to prevent those seeds of contempt from flourishing.

          • Ash

            Thanks Margaret. I appreciate your contributions also.
            AMF campaigns to inform people what a YES vote means, then asks the reader how those implications will affect ourselves and society. That isn’t hate speech. That’s information that allows people to make a well informed position, not just what the loudest and more media-happy voices say.

            Unfortunately I have been immersed in debate with all sorts of traditional marriage dissenters online and the overwhelming response I get for respectfully expressing my view is derogatory and scornful towards what I believe. So please forgive me for defensively catching you on a perceived haughty comment.

  17. Ash

    This is news to me. I have supported marriage as it is all my life, and now I have come to learn that for this entire time I am homophobic, intolerant and even a terrorist. How can I change my ways? Do I have to support SSM to not be homophobic, intolerant and hateful?

    Can we respectfully oppose SSM without being hateful?

    • Yes, but alarmingly few opponents are doing that.

      • Ash

        Those who you are alarmed at do not represent the view held in respectfully yet firmly upholding marriage as the institution it has always been.

  18. Ash

    If there is such overwhelming support for SSM, why make excuses against a plebiscite or a referendum? Too much victimisation based on unreasonable fear. The cost is worth it, better still make it binding and hold a referendum. Then you know you’ll get your money’s worth.

  19. For the record, I am the former David who was confused with the AMF president. To avoid confusion I am now calling myself David S. Margaret, you are getting yourself into a referee role in these posts and more and more as a defender of same sex views. I am here challenging you with difficulties that are real to me but would be dismissed as “fear mongering” and “hate” by the same sex lobby. Would “civil partnerships” that you keep mentioning dispel all the “hate” because they would leave marriage untouched? I cannot see the difference be-tween civil partnerships and civil unions which have been rejected by the same sex marriage lobby. I can understand your desire to be fair to people who form same sex relationships, especially that they are treated as equally human. If it were simply a matter of saying let them get married if that makes them happy and that is the end of it, despite my homophobia I can imagine even myself agreeing. However, that is not all that there is to it. It is all the consequences, the legal over reach, the social engineering that goes with it that make me say no.

    Same sex marriage over the past few years has expanded to a total shakeup of attitudes to sex that will mean that we can never go back to the comfortable male – female faithful role playing view of the world up till now. We have to get rid of gender biasing words like father and mother. Male and female are gone from tax forms I read and males should be able to go into female toilets because they feel female. We have to start with that sort of stuff even in kindergarten some “experts” say. To make marriage gender neutral, the terms union and exclusion of all others will no longer have their sexual intercourse meaning. Christian teaching in schools is a threat that has to go; no “praise music”. So, children in State schools are to be denied experiencing the greatest works of music because they would somehow lead to “bullying” same sex people? The argument recently that the story of David and Goliath teaches “horrifying violence” seems to imply that. It is all that stuff that goes along with same sex marriage that makes me run a hundred miles from it.

    In your reply to Jan you wrote that it is absolutely no other’s business what ways of enjoying physical intimacy people may practise. What about when serious consequences for society ensue? Is it still no one else’s business when those practices cost the community $400M per year? That is the yearly cost for treating Australia’s 27,000 HIV infected men at $14,000 per year, for life according to figures published in The Age on May 9th. Since very few people pay $14,000 a year in tax, HIV infected people are a burden on the rest of society for the rest of their lives. With “normalization” of homosexual sex through same sex marriage and the aggressive marketing to children of homosexual lifestyles as a valid alternative the expense is surely going to increase.

    Lastly, I am not clear your position on two homosexual men acquiring babies but that is another bridge too far for me in same sex marriage. From the very start there is the serious downside that the baby is denied its mother’s breast milk. The best feeding for a year or so, and I imagine the best feeling of security in the world, is at the mother’s breast. No man can produce breast milk so purchase of a baby by two men deliberately denies the child of the best possible start to life. A small sacrifice compared with the satisfaction that the child brings to its “parents”?

    • Hi again David
      You are probably right about the ‘referee’ pattern.Not conscious behaviour, more learned from having 4 children, 3 grandchildren, an argumentative family and a background in tertiary teaching.
      Civil or life partnerships is simply the terminology I’m using.Not essentially different from saying civil union, but that phrase is a little too closely tied to existing schemes at state level and with limited scope.
      I don’t have up to date evidence about how the gay community regards the idea. A 2009 survey under the auspices of the University of Queensland (Not So Private Lives) found almost one third of those surveyed would prefer some form of nationally recognised legal relationship other than marriage. I agree it would probably be less now.The compromise reached 2014/2015 in Croatia (traditional meaning of marriage enshrined in constitution and life partnerships for same sex couples) appears to be lasting.But I accept that it might not prove so in the long run.Was it you who wisely suggested that perhaps only those under 50 should vote in the plebiscite?

      I was thinking only today that my own definition of marriage is already very different from that of my children’s generation. Pope Francis was making a comparable point in saying the majority of even sacramental marriages are invalid because of inadequate understanding of commitment.
      As to the social engineering: I simply reject the idea of there being a ‘radical rainbow agenda’.Or at the very least, using my academic training, I think the evidence is not there.

      Health : well i take the point, but as taxpayers we fund so many lifestyles with inherent health risks.I’d rather debate that as a general issue than target one group.

      I don’t want to turn the clock back.In that sense traditional marriage with its traditional roles, is dead.I like the fact that when i collect my grandchildren from school there are many fathers and grandfathers doing so.When my kids were at the same school we mothers used to joke that for all anyone knew we probably had no husbands, to judge by their total invisibility around the place. Necessarily when I see those men at 3pm i assume the grandfathers have matching grandmothers but for all i know the fathers could have male partners.

      Terminology: don’t we happily use forms that ask for name of spouse?School forms always say parent or guardian.I don’t see it as an issue.

      I sang hymns in state school assemblies but my grandchildren never sing them in faith based school assemblies.When my children briefly attended two different primary schools the class in the state school proudly presented a nativity play and the class in the Catholic school didn’t.This was thirty years ago!

      Times do change…Not always for the better I agree…I belong to a basically Christian online study group that has outlawed reading the Old Testament (apart from Psalms) because it is considered to present a misleading image of God!!!
      When I suggested this made it a bit difficult to understand what Jesuis was talking about ,it was ‘strongly suggested’ I might like to leave that too…Umpires do tend to cop a lot of flak.

      Seriously: the debate over marriage is not about me.And with the greatest respect it is in a sense not about you either. It takes me out of my comfort zone at times,

      I agree entirely re breast feeding!! That’s one reason I support better parental leave schemes.Now there is a real sign of progress in the right direction.My mother was strongly discouraged from breastfeeding and told to fatten me up on the bottle and I’m sure that is why i’m overweight nearly 70 years later. Not snide honestly.I guess men could employ wet nurses as in Shakespearean times.

      Just gentle reflection on changing times David.Men do change nappies and catch vomit really well.And as for soothing babies to sleep….
      And ironically (and possibly ‘indelicately’?) all of that is apt not to leave a lot of time or energy for anything else!!

      Only for a few I reckon.But there too I could be wrong…

      • Margaret, thank you so much for taking the time to explain your position in more detail. Yes, I did suggest that only younger people should be able to dictate a change or not to marriage. But I also worry that young people go for what they want without seeing the consequences that bring a whole lot of new problems. Having seen how my own children and various relatives have fared, I am very much aware of how much what children do and don’t do determines the rest of their lives. Children cannot see that every decision they make about the opportunities that they have in school and that their parents offer them is plotting their path in life and later on you cannot go back and start again. I realize how lucky I was to not make certain decisions with associates in the “hippy, free love” era of the 60s. So, I have become more and more conservative, more cautious as I have aged.

        I believe that marriage evolved to manage male – female sexual relations for the benefit of society, and from a cold logic point of view, nothing else. It is not registration of love as portrayed by the same sex movement. If there were no need to have unique man – woman pairs for society to function, marriage would never have evolved. There is no society need for people of the same sex to be allocated to each other, so there is no case for them to be registered as being united. If they want to celebrate their unison in a party with friends and relatives and a certificate they certainly can and they can draw up a legal contract with the rules for their unison. But because society as a whole has no need of their unison, their union is not marriage. To base the same sex case on love, as Anna Bligh, Premier of Queensland did on December 1st 2011 when she proclaimed “This is about the joyful business of love, and that is why it has touched the hearts of so many Australians.” is emotional blackmail. There, something for you to put in your pipe and smoke, to use an expression from my childhood!

        You might have noticed two versions of my post of 22nd June. That was because I got a message about a server connection failing so rewrote it from an outline and reposted it.

        • My turn to thank you David (it was also my turn to have something odd happen to a post earlier…)

          I definitely take your point about decisions affecting later life.I see it in my family too.What can one do (rhetorical question!)?

          I have a feeling I have become LESS conservative with age in some respects, but that is perhaps beside the point. I also don’t buy the “Love is Love ” slogan (for either traditional or redefined marriage). But I don’t buy most slogans.And the English language is notoriously deficient in words to describe different kinds of love.

          I see marriage as about long term commitment to the welfare of the other person. That’s what I have been privileged to see in long term same sex partnerships.

          That commitment I think does need to be valued and recognised,and indeed encouraged.Not simply for the good of the two people concerned but for the good of the whole of society.As a community we need more commitment!

          That kind of committed relationship does seem to me to offer an appropriate environment in which to raise children, including those of previous relationships or those adopted according to the normal criteria.It gets more complex if a same sex couple decide to ‘create’ (???) a child through surrogacy or ART. On the other hand we don’t ask heterosexual couples to justify why they want a child and it does seem to me that some of their reasons are ‘less good’ than others. As far as I can recall the majority of pro surrogacy submissions to the recent inquiry were on behalf of heterosexual couples.Again, the desire to raise a child is something it is difficult to judge harshly.

          To me the question still remains: do we redefine marriage or provide another form of partnership recognition? Apart from practicality at this stage of the debate the key question may be how much equivalence (equal value) the community thinks should be given to a same sex partnership.

          I’d guess I’d differ from most people on this blog on that point too.I really believe all loving and stable relationships matter.
          A lot.
          For all of us.

  20. Ash

    The debate may not be about us Margaret, but it is short our children.

    Sorry to but in but you made a personal comment that I think should be explored:
    “Times do change…Not always for the better I agree…I belong to a basically Christian online study group that has outlawed reading the Old Testament (apart from Psalms) because it is considered to present a misleading image of God!!!”

    Times change only because we people change. We change our minds, we think we know better than before, but it’s all a smokescreen of our fickle human nature. The truth is the Bible and God you say you believe in is the same yesterday today and forever. The parts your online study group outlaw excludes the vast majority of prophecies foretelling the coming of Jesus and the history surrounding it. No one can change the fact that history was unkind but choosing to ignore it leaves a hole in the meaning and authenticity of the historical accounts and Jesus himself. The history only paints an unsavoury image of God when deciding that we, His creation, have absolved ourselves from responsibility of our own actions.

    Please excuse my digression. Back to topic, mother and father are terms that should never be outlawed. That’s what we all are. By birth we are male and female. It is sheer rebellion to suggest this is not a ‘fair’ or ‘just’ designation of human sexuality.

    • Ash

      Autocorrect getting in the way again, sorry.
      “but it is ABOUT our children”

    • Ash I agree entirely about the Old Testament.That’s why the group politely suggested I might like to leave!! As you will have gathered i’m not too good at taking hints of that kind…

      I don’t think this is just about our children and in my case grandchildren.I think it is about everyone’s children.It is fairly clear that younger Australians favour same sex marriage though one interesting feature of the survey we discussed yesterday was that many older people do too.It will be interesting incidentally to see if the plebiscite has compulsory voting (not aware if this has been clarified yet?).

      No one is ‘outlawing’ mother and father.Spouse doesn’t outlaw husband and wife.Parent/guardian doesn’t outlaw mother, father,….

      My great great grandfather who only has ‘mother’ recorded in baptism records did have a father too…Record keeping is not a ‘complete’ picture.

      • Ash

        No-one is outlawing absolute designations NOW, Margaret. Do you think the LGBT community will stop at redefining marriage?
        The law can be made to support reassignment of mother/father to parent 1 and parent 2.
        It will be a health hazard to hold absolute moral views and turn society towards a controlled environment like in the movie “The Giver”
        Record keeping is barely an issue here. It is the meaning and identity of family members that doesn’t favour future generations.

        • I see nothing sinister in Parent 1/Parent 2 Ash.

          Any more than in ‘spouse’ or ‘parent/guardian’.

          • Ash

            That’s one thing where you and I will differ. But also in that men and women have innate differences that are naturally complementing, and should be enhanced rather than engendering a confused state of parenthood for children, who are innocent and will accept conditions as they are subject to.

  21. Ash

    “As to the social engineering: I simply reject the idea of there being a ‘radical rainbow agenda’.Or at the very least, using my academic training, I think the evidence is not there.”

    This is an interesting analysis of the rainbow being used in LGBT circles:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3275532/posts

    “I was thinking only today that my own definition of marriage is already very different from that of my children’s generation. Pope Francis was making a comparable point in saying the majority of even sacramental marriages are invalid because of inadequate understanding of commitment.”

    1. Marriage is and should always be absolute. Not changed on the whims of our current desires/preferences. This and the so called ‘gender fluidity’ theories are muddying the natural order, calling good bad and bad good, confusing our children. No wonder they are trying to embrace it and understand it – their minds are malleable and subject to peer pressure. It would take a pretty strong minded child to resist the forceful momentum being built up by the LGBT community to change what was never wrong to begin with.

    2. Pope Francis made a point, it is not comparable at all. The point is that marriage has been poorly taken care of by many its custodians, married couples. We need more social support to make marriages great, not make human failure in the institution a reason to redefine it.

  22. Ash , marriage is not absolute.
    Even in biblical terms it is not absolute. Polygamy was apparently commonplace for the patriarchs.

    It has varied hugely from time to time and place to place.In theory, practice, justification, rationale, consequences….

    I agree of course that it has not until now included two men or two women.

    I would prefer, for a variety of reasons, that another name be found for such relationships.I agree that those relationships differ from our own understanding of marriage

    Given that that possibility is not being offered I think Janine’s idea (elsewhere on this blog) of separating civil and religious marriage is the way to go.

    • Hmm I appear to have renamed myself.
      interesting result of semi frozen computer and autofill…
      Not I think a suggestion that our discussion should become more heated

  23. I find it difficult to keep track of the postings in these various blogs.
    Am I missing somethi
    ?ng

    Just kidding.
    Thanks AMF for the opportunity to speak.

  24. Penny Wong in 2010:
    “On the issue of marriage I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious, historical view around that which we have to respect,” she said.
    “The party’s position is very clear that this is an institution that is between a man and a woman.”
    end quote.

    What a hypocrite.

    Changes mind according to whim like the wind, who can trust her. Wants to create a new reality that appeals to her specifically and others like her, due to peer pressure.

    We all share the same reality and nobody dictates what it is, least of all the lgbtqi lobby.

    When a politician becomes emotionally invovled in legislation, they need to distance themselves from it.

    We need an objective opinion from our lawmakers. Not give in to peer pressure and intimidation and alarmist warnings about an imaginary homophobia.

  25. Consider the San Fransisco “vats” substantiated. Russia is (rightly) very worried about the rise of promiscuity and homosexuality in the West. This movie documents a tour of a place which sells unborn babies to gays and lesbians in the USA. It is appalling, and the only reason I can see that this footage exists is because they thought the Russian film crew to be harmless. It also includes interviews with same-sex parents at their mardi-gras and it is extremely worrying. This is a documentary movie – a bit over halfway you shall find these parts. You will also find documented the New Zealand homosexual couple who bought a Russian baby and made porn with him until he was 8.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m8-_QlwYV8

    Don’t enjoy

    • Harry,
      Thanks Harry for recommending this youtube documentary. Australians need to pray that our government refuses to accept the humanists “Marriage Equality.” Australians need to protect the family – mother, father and biological children. The family should never be a scientific experiment.

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