“Media Watchdog” Gnaws ABC for Ignawing our side on Marriage

Media Watch programme image

Remember this remarkable episode of ABC Media Watch from August 17 - which bookended an incredible week that started with our full page ad in The Australian, saw the Coalition strongly reaffirm their policy on natural marriage, welcomed Katy Faust (who was brilliant on Lateline), and witnessed the deluging of Parliament with flowers as well as the magnificent Bark Petition from the Aboriginal Elders...

If so, please enjoy this recent post from The Australian's "Media Watchdog" (MWD) blog (4/12) by Gerard Henderson, rubbing Mark Scott's nose in the ABC marriage bias:

MARK SCOTT’S DENIAL OF ABC’S LACK OF DIVERSITY CONTINUES

Shortly after he was appointed managing director and editor-in-chief of the ABC in 2006, Mark Scott requested a platform at The Sydney Institute. The Institute was happy to oblige. In what was an important address, Mark Scott promised to bring about a situation whereby a greater diversity of views would be heard on the ABC during his time as managing director.

As avid MWD readers will be aware, it did not work out this way. After almost a decade as ABC managing director and (so-called) editor-in-chief, Mark Scott prevails over a taxpayer funded public broadcaster which is a Conservative Free Zone. The ABC does not have one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets. Senior ABC executives who deny this — like Michael Mason (see Issue 298) — should name the names that disprove the claim. So far, no one has attempted to do so.

On Monday, Mark Scott appeared before the Senate Estimates committee. The Hansard transcript is yet to be released but Mr Scott’s appearance was reported in The Australian on 1 December.

Senator Eric Abetz asked Mark Scott what action the ABC has taken in response to the ABC 1 Media Watch program on 17 August 2015 which concluded that both sides of the marriage equality debate did not get equal billing in the media — including the ABC. Media Watch presenter Paul Barry and executive producer Tim Latham found that the ABC favoured gay marriage advocates over opponents of same sex marriage. In response to Senator Abetz’s query, Mark Scott said:

"We appreciate that on this matter, as with other matters, we need to bring a plurality of views and perspectives. I can assure you that on this matter a plurality of views and perspectives have been aired across a range of ABC programs."

So what are the facts? Media Watch is certainly not an ABC program with a social conservative agenda. Paul Barry is on the record as declaring his support for “marriage equality” — or same sex marriage — and the program invariably runs a fashionable leftist line across a range of national and international matters. However on 17 August, Media Watch presenter Paul Barry asked this question — and provided his own answer. Let’s go to the transcript:

Paul Barry:
"... Are opponents of marriage equality getting an equal run in the media? Or at least a fair hearing. We don’t think they are.

"When Canberra Airport lit up in rainbow lights last Sunday to support same sex marriage, it was front page in The Age and The Canberra Times next morning and also big news in the Sydney Morning Herald. And it scored almost fifty mentions on radio and TV. But on Monday, when opponents of gay marriage piled flowers on the lawn at Parliament House it got just 14 mentions on radio and TV, one story on News.com.au and this brief report on page 6 of the Adelaide Advertiser.

"Sure, the airport was a better story. But the overall media coverage of the debate has also been skewed. For example, none of the commercial TV stations covered the launch of the Marriage Alliance campaign. And major one-to-one interviews on radio and TV have also been out of kilter. With two key spokespeople for marriage equality, Rodney Croome and Christine Forster, scoring 31 interviews between them in the first 12 days of August. And by our count, two key speakers against — Sophie York and David van Gend — scoring a grand total of only 12.

"Amazingly, the ABC has not interviewed Sophie York from the Marriage Alliance even once — despite 16 interviews from Forster and Croome.

"As the Australian Marriage Forum’s van Gend told Media Watch: “No one ever rings us. We send endless media releases … I don’t want to pester anyone, but we’re here.” (David van Gend, Australian Marriage Forum, 12 August, 2015)

"We think those figures speak for themselves and we can only agree with the Christian Federation’s Peter Kentley, who told us: “The media has a bias. There’s no question it is pro same-sex marriage. (Peter Kentley, Christian Federation, 12 August, 2015)

"And just before you pile into me on Twitter, if you’re not already doing so. I am a supporter of marriage equality. But, as we’re constantly reminded, this is a conscience issue and an important change that’s being proposed — and surely both sides of the debate have an equal right to be heard."

***

Here are ABC Media Watch’s figures up to 17 August 2015.

The ABC interviewed same-sex marriage advocates Rodney Croome and Christine Forster on 16 occasions.

The ABC did not interview Marriage Alliances’ Sophie York, who is opposed to same sex marriage, on any occasion.

This is how The Australian reported Mark Scott’s response to the evidence at the Senate Estimates:

Mr Scott said that the ABC was not obliged under its charter to provide equal time to both sides of a “contentious” debate, only to present divergent views.

“There is nothing in the editorial policies that say a stopwatch needs to be out on this matter, or climate change, or a range of contentious issues in the community,” he said, adding that the ABC had “robust” processes to ensure its editorial coverage was balanced.

This response demonstrates the extent of denial that Mark Scott is prepared to exhibit — rather than concede that, on the same sex marriage debate at least, the ABC has not presented a diversity of views.

Mark Scott reckons that it’s quite okay for the ABC to interview Mr Croome and Ms Forster a total of 16 occasions while totally ignoring the views of Ms York and David van Gend. And Mark Scott claims that such evident imbalance is really balance.

Even the leftists who run the ABC Media Watch program understand that there is a lack of diversity — they called it “bias” — here. But Mr Scott reckons everything is okay since balance is not gauged by running a stopwatch. This overlooks the fact that there would be no point in putting a stopwatch on Sophie York since she has never got off the ABC’s starting blocks — due to the fact that she has not been invited to participate in the event.

CAN YOU BEAR IT?

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27 Responses

  1. I have one theory for this. The campaign for the change in the law is from the pro-marriage equality side. As a proposal for change, which is different to the status quo, is naturally more intriguing to people, it could be the case that the ABC feels like the proposed change should be explored more than the status quo. Everyone knows about the status quo; it’s been Australian law for 11 years (unfortunately). There’s no need to tell people about it. Everyone already knows.

    I also wouldn’t assume that all of these interviews were just platforms to put forward the pro-equality argument. I would like to see more opponents interviewed so their arguments can be refuted (which they of course will be), but I wouldn’t assume just from this that the ABC is campaigning for marriage equality.

  2. The last comment on the Media Watch website on this subject asks the question: What right will anyone lose? which is the main argument of the pro same sex marriage, totally ignoring what the purpose of marriage is and hoping nobody will notice the blindingly obvious answer and agree that since no one is worse off then it must be OK. I replied on the website but I guess they will probably delete my comments. Here is a copy so that my points can be debated, as this remains the only free speech site on the subject:

    Yes, of course: children will lose the right to have a mother and a father. Children are the only purpose of marriage, and why marriage was invented in the first place. Why would you lock two people together by law for life unless there was someone else involved: the child? Homosexuals are now prevented from obtaining children by surrogacy from countries allowing it (which is illegal in Australia, as it is a crime to produce children for the benefit of adults). Adopting children should only be for the benefit of the child if and only if it has lost its parents. Children are not a commodity, the ultimate one for homosexuals. That is why the gay lobby is so vociferous. They had found a loophole to buy children and now it is denied them. And no it is not discriminatory to prevent homosexuals from buying children. Single people can’t buy children either. But there is nothing physical or legal that prevents singles or homosesuals from having their own children with the mother of the child. Nobody is forced to get married. Many people have children without getting married. What they can’t do and should not be able to do is buy a child. This is the worst form of child abuse because it stays with them all their lives. Forget about the other forms of child sex abuse that can be dealt with by the law. This is the ultimate child sex abuse because there is nothing that will give a child his mother or father back. That is why same sex marriage should be banned. But anyone of any age or sex should be able to have a civil union or whatever the preferred term is, that has nothing to do with sex, but simply love. Singles or homosexuals may have virtual sex but that will never produce a child. Nobody cares what they do in private. It only concerns them. Marriage on the other hand is a public declaration between two people that they promise each other not to have children with any one else. Surely, everyone understand that… This is for the benefit of the child, of course. That’s all that matters. There should not be any problem with dissolving a marriage without children. It is just a contract like any others, but marriage is a contract for the benefit of the child. That’s what matters and that’s the only valid reason why same sex marriage is not just absurd but criminal because it ignores the very basis of marriage and of all human societies for over 15,000 years (even before religions relied on it to ensure their survivals – very clever move! I would argue that marriage is what differentiate humans from all other species (especially monogamy), because it allows passing knowledge, culture, property etc. to our children without which we would still be roaming the jungle like bonobo monkeys. Don’t destroy what makes us humans by turning marriage into a joke whereby the next generation, which is all that matters for life and civilization to exist, can be bought like a sports car or the latest craze. Children are not negotiable.

    • Can’t you just ban surrogacy and IVF and legalize marriage equality?

      • Nick,
        What does marriage equality mean? If you look up the past history of the NSW marriage registry you’ll find that the Church of England held the only records for Births, Marriages and Deaths from 1788-1856. The government only decided to create a registry for the legitimacy of children and inheritance in 1857. The Church of England and other denominations would continue to perform marriages and the State would be responsible to record those marriages in a civil registry. I only have a marriage certificate issued by a church in NSW, and I don’t have a copy of my NSW marriage certificate from the registry, so I don’t even know if it has ever been recorded, but I don’t ever plan to get it. I don’t require my marriage to be legal as my religion, culture and family history don’t require it. My german forefathers had non-legal church weddings because the King tried to control their minds and make them get married in his State Church, but they refused. If our Federal government changes marriage into a homosexual union (anal and oral sexual behaviours) which both same-sex and heterosexual couples can practice, then my family will just repeat history and celebrate marriages in churches which recognise the sexual union between a man and woman. It will be up to the state authorities to recognise a marriage certificate issued by the church, just like they did for me. Marriage is a sexual union, otherwise we would call it friendship or a business partnership. It is impossible to have marriage equality unless same-sex couples are able to identify their sexual union is between a man and woman which can reproduce a biological children. I am aware that there are western countries which have changed legal marriage into a homosexual union (anal and oral sexual behaviours) as both same-sex and heterosexual couples can practice these sexual behaviours, but heterosexual couples are unable to recognise their legal marriage as a sexual union between a man and woman because same-sex couples are unable to practice this sexual behaviour. So Nick you’ll need to convince Australian heterosexual couples that their sexual union which reproduces biological children is not a requirement for legal marriage which is totally ridiculous, senseless and stupid as this was the only purpose it was designed in the beginning.

        • You didn’t answer my question.

          • Nick, you need to convince Australian heterosexual couples that their sexual union which reproduces biological children is no longer required for legal marriage as same-sex couples are unable to do this sexual behaviour. The reason the registry in NSW was established was to record the churches marriages for the legitimacy of children and inheritance. Same-sex couples are unable to have biological children as all children enter via divorce, adoption, IVF and surrogacy. If marriage has nothing to do with children anymore than heterosexual couples do not need to get legally married. It looks like your argument for same-sex marriage is going to destroy the cornerstone of our civilised society as we will have no unity.

      • Redefine marriage, redefine family structure. If we say two men can ‘marry’ then all that goes with marriage, ie. children, will also fall witihn the same redefined institution. Naturally, two men or two women cannot conceive a child sexually, so other means are to be sought, hence IVF and surrogacy. However, children now legally lose the right to have a mother and father recognised in law.

        In short you cannot redefine marriage and treat IVF and surrogacy as separate issues. You either accept the whole package or not.

        The consequences of this change are way beyond the simple matter of changing a few words in law.

        Hope this is helpful.

        • What? Of course you can treat them as separate issues. They are separate issues. Marriage, adoption, surrogacy and IVF are governed by different laws entirely. Just as one example: the government of Ireland legalized gay adoptions before the referendum a) because they wanted to but also b) because doing it before the referendum made it impossible to use the possibility of legal gay adoptions as a reason to oppose the referendum. These things can absolutely be handled separately. You’re not giving legislatures nearly enough credit. It is quite straightforward to legalize marriage equality and not other things. It can absolutely be done.

          The right to marriage is not an automatic license to have children. Plenty of people can marry who we wouldn’t let adopt or have surrogacy etc, eg 90 year old couples.

          • You are only partially right, different levels of legislature pass these laws, but that is incidental to the concept and the logic, which is one. Ideally the same level of government should deal with all these questions. That they do not is an anomaly of the legislature, not the concept of what they are dealing with.

            You also fall into the trap of thinking that age, above the legal minimum, and health – the capacity to conceive – are the key determinants of marriage. They are not. The key fact is male and female combine to make a marriage because only male and female can, by their union, generate human life, in principle, and be both a mother and a father to a child. This principle also holds, therefore, in cases of adoption. This is normative. It is never possible with male and male, and female and female – no matter how you try and spin it – and therefore never a marriage.

          • “That is incidental to the concept and logic, which is one.”

            I disagree. They’re two different concepts. Please explain to me why marriage and adoption, surrogacy and IVF are inextricably linked, why they are a “package deal”.

            Let me ask you about a post-menopausal woman. It is impossible for her to have a child. To start a family, she would need adoption, surrogacy or IVF. She is rightly not banned from marriage. Do you disagree?

  3. It is not ‘marriage equality’ at all. It is not marriage full stop. Homosexual ‘marriage’ is a contradiction in terms. This is about changing the whole structure of our society so that a very small percentage of people can feel better about themselves. It is totally selfish. Our children would be brain washed in schools to believe that this is totally normal. It’s not!

    • If I could actually understand just what the hell you’re saying, maybe we could discuss it, but I can’t, and that’s not likely to change any time soon.

  4. Nick, I don’t have the option of replying under your last comment, so I’ll copy it here, and then respond:

    ““That is incidental to the concept and logic, which is one.”

    I disagree. They’re two different concepts. Please explain to me why marriage and adoption, surrogacy and IVF are inextricably linked, why they are a “package deal”.

    Let me ask you about a post-menopausal woman. It is impossible for her to have a child. To start a family, she would need adoption, surrogacy or IVF. She is rightly not banned from marriage. Do you disagree?

    To 1, the “package deal” issue – ‘marriage and adoption, surrogacy and IVF” are sub-issues concerning a single issue: family and by extension family structure: Mother and father ideally united in marriage with children, either conceived or adopted to reflect and uphold the right of a child to a mother and a father. This is what we need to uphold and protect, in law and society, for all our sakes, including those who do not have the benefit of it. BTW this is not to downplay the often heroic actions of the single parent, who do their best under difficult circumstances. All four sub-issues revolve around family – and should be upheld and defended in law and society.

    To 2, your question – of course she is not banned from marriage, as a woman marrying, she fits the model of marriage, independent of her health and age. She may or may not seek to start a family – the intrinsic structure of marriage that allows for the universal capacity of linking mothers and fathers to children does not depend on the health or age, above the minimum, of whether a man or woman marry each other. They fit the normative model – that’s what counts.

    • Whether or not adoption, surrogacy and IVF are “sub issues concerning a single issue”, you must accept that marriage does not automatically mean adoption, surrogacy and IVF. Why? Because there are cases where gay couples can get married but still not access these things. That is true regardless of whether you think it should be true. As an example: when the U.S. state of Arizona had its gay marriage ban struck down by a federal court, gay rights groups claimed that the ruling also applied to the state’s gay adoption ban (which I disagree with). Conservative activist Cathy Herrod correctly pointed out that “adoption is an issue that is separate from the definition of marriage”. So marriage does not mean you automatically have a right to have children.

      You’re missing my point about a post-menopausal woman. The reason David opposes gay marriage is (he says) it means gay parenting. He says marriage means the right to start a family, and if gay couples can start a family, because they cannot (yet, but this will change, thanks to stem cells) raise biological children or raise children with male and female parents, it (he says) will harm the child. The point about biological parents is still applicable to a post-menopausal woman. If marriage means the right to start a family, and she raises a child away from its biological parents, that child could be harmed. So the reasoning is the same, but we still rightly let her marry.

      • What “must” I accept? I have already said that these issues are handled by different levels of legislature, at least in Australia – which is where I was implying. I also add that different Acts may deal with them, here or elsewhere but so what? It negates nothing of what I have said. The principle of connection all issues to family remains. Why also should I be presumed to agree with Cathy Herrod? Am I meant to be suckered in because you describe her as a “Conservative activist”? Then, after that, how do you get from all you have said in your first paragraph to “So marriage does not mean you automatically have a right to have children”? This is a great leap, as marriage is the institution that links mother and father to any potential children, it provides the right of any child to be connected legally and socially to both mother and father. The state recognises this, and so it should. Separating marriage and children in principle, which is what your last quoted statement overtly implies, defeats the purpose of having marriage laws in the first place. If you want to win your argument here you have to prove a child does not have a right to a mother and father.

        Re your second paragraph. First, you cannot predicate “gay couples” being able to start a family based on some future technology. To win your case, two men together, or separately, two women together, should be able to conceive a child by a sexual act, now – in the normal course of events, and be both mother and father to a child. You may as well square a circle.

        Also, you miss a key point in the last part of your second paragraph re the “post-menopausal woman”. You have gone silent on the circumstances of the woman if “she raises a child away from its biological parents”. Presuming she is married and she and her husband adopt a child that has been abandoned or orphaned, where is the problem? This is virtuous and should be commended. The child’s right to a mother and father is still being upheld, unless you are assuming that some skulduggery is at work, as what you say also implies they are still alive. Are the biological parents abusive? Does she and her husband steal the child? How is “the reasoning…the same”? In the earlier case the child’s right to a mother and father is being violated, but in the latter it is being upheld.

        On surrogacy and IVF, I support neither. The first is the commodification of children, the leasing of a womb for a ‘product’ made to order. The second involves the creation of life outside of the sexual act, and involves the creation of more than a single embryo to attain ‘success’. The other embryos are human lives as well and creating the circumstances that leads to the rejection of the remaining human lives is a further degeneration of the value of human life, irrespective of the ‘successful’ implant. One always should wonder in these cases, what was the true cost?

        By the way, I find this part of your last sentence very sinister: “we still rightly let her marry”. Who are we not to “let her”? The state upholds the institution of marriage, which is an institution that predates the state. There is nothing to say the woman’s case is not marriage – why does the state have a role in ‘letting’ her marry, as if this is a right to the institution that the state can deny?

        • Firstly, the fact that these issues are handled by different levels of government means that a state can ban gay adoption, surrogacy or IVF even if the federal government legalizes marriage equality. David always claims that a federal marriage equality law will overturn these laws, but they won’t.

          Marriage links parents to their children. Agreed. (That’s also all the more reason to allow gay couples to marry, by the way.) That however, is completely separate to the question of a right to have children. Just because marriage links to your children doesn’t mean it gives you the right to have them. It’s just that if/once you do, you can be linked to them. You need to stop conflating different things.

          You said that marriage is defined by your ability to create children by a sexual act. If it were true, then yes, a post-menopausal woman would not be allowed to marry, because she cannot create a child by a sexual act. But I just don’t agree with that definition.

          You confused adoption with surrogacy. I’m surprised I have to make this point to you, because marriage equality opponents make it all the time. Rescuing an abandoned child, even if you are not is biological parents, is fantastic. That is not the same thing as surrogacy (although I should have made that more clear). Surrogacy is deliberately creating a child to be raised away from its biological parents, which I have reservations with. So: if a post-menopausal woman’s only option for starting a family is surrogacy, and marriage gives you the right to start a family, and surrogacy is bad, should she be allowed to marry? (The answer is yes, but the same logic applies to gay couples.)

          I’m very surprised that you found sinister my last statement: you’re accusing me of saying the very opposite of what I said. I said she should be allowed to get married. You’ve somehow turned that into implying that we should not let her.

          • Nick, What happens to the children when a woman divorces her husband to marry her girlfriend? If the mother dies who legally is responsible for the children – father or step-mother? Does the step-mother have the right for the children to remain living with her rather than the father? What happens if the children don’t want the step-mother being added to their birth certificates? Can the children refuse to live with their mother if they don’t like their step-mother? The LGBTIAQ lobby group keep quoting research which show children do equally if not better than children in heterosexual, monogamous marriages. However, there is plenty of research showing evidence of children suffering loss and pain from being separated by at least one biological parent including divorce, separation, IVF- anonymous sperm donation and adoption. The research needs to explain the reasons that a same-sex relationships or weddings produced such positive results for these children, as it does appear to be a miracle if this can’t be explained. Nick, have you been able to convince Australian, married heterosexuals that their legal marriage is no longer a sexual union which can reproduce a biological child because same-sex couples can’t practice this sexual union? Are same-sex couples confused about this legal definition of marriage? There are governments which have introduced same-sex marriage, but can’t agree on their sexual union so they have decided adultery doesn’t apply to same-sex couples. How can governments whom have decided not to discriminate between same-sex and heterosexual couples in marriage, then believe adultery applies to heterosexuals couples, but not same-sex couples? Our Australian laws soon won’t make any sense if same-sex marriages is legal. Don’t be surprised if legal marriage only becomes a “marriage for benefits” club, and heterosexual couples no longer get legally married. Australians have become less-tolerant, as same-sex couples don’t understand that a sexual union between a man and woman which reproduces a biological child is different to a homosexual union which never reproduces a biological child. If words are unable to describe differences then they have no meaning anymore, we’re all becoming less educated as same-sex marriage is giving everyone a mental health problem. Marriage equality means giving all Australians a mental health problem so we all have equal access to the mental health services.

          • Janine, this is why your side is losing this debate. Your arguments make no sense.

  5. Nick, If legal marriage is no longer a sexual union between a man and woman which can reproduce biological children then Australian culture will cease to exist. Nick, I don’t need legal if that is no longer the same as religious marriage because of my religion, culture and family history, so I am never going to need the “marriage for benefits” club. However, I have suggested to governments if they want to make marriage the practice of a homosexual union (anal and oral sexual behaviours) which any two people can practice, then they should allow married heterosexual couples their right to de-register their legal marriages, when they only recognise their marriage as a sexual union between a man and woman. Nick, please explain the reasons for our federal government refusing to allow married heterosexual couples to de-register their legal marriages for this reason? Will you be able to convince our federal government to allow married heterosexuals couples their right to de-register their legal marriages, in order to allow for legal marriage to become a homosexual union? My family will celebrate marriages like they do baptisms and confirmations by not getting them legally recognised. This is no different to the history of marriages in NSW which were only recorded in the Church of England and other denominations from 1788-1856. The birth, death and marriage registry was only established in 1857 to keep record of the marriages in the churches for the legitimacy of children and inheritance. These days DNA samples can prove legitimacy of children, and legal Wills are used for inheritance. So please give reasons for governments refusing heterosexual couples their right to only have a church marriage certificate?

    • Has that happened to any other country that has legalized marriage equality?

      • Nick, We are in Australia, and laws in other countries including same-sex marriage aren’t recognised by Australian laws. No other country in the world practices health care the same as Australia, so legal marriage in Australia can be different from all other countries. Therefore, if same-sex marriage becomes legal in Australia we will all recognise legal marriage as a homosexual union (anal and oral sexual behaviours) which both same-sex and heterosexual couples can practice. Everyone knows marriage is a sexual union, otherwise we would call it friendship or a business partnership. So please give reasons for the Federal Government refusing to allow married heterosexual couples their right to de-register their legal marriage? I have told you multiple times that I don’t need a legal marriage if the legal marriage is changed into “any 2 people.” I am quite happy with only having my church marriage certificate, and this has been used to change my surname. So it would be really easy for me to de-register my legal marriage, but the Federal government is refusing to allow this to happen. Don’t bother about mentioning divorce because I don’t fit the criteria. Can you please answer my one question!

        • Of course they can deregister their legal marriage. You can get divorced. I just don’t think,they will (or that if they do, gay couples shouldn’t be held responsible). My point is, people are not going to view the legalization of marriage equality as a reason to either get divorced or not,get married.

      • Nick writes “Can’t you just ban surrogacy and IVF and legalize marriage equality?” – and thinks “our side” are losing the debate? Measured, factual concerns for the welfare of children are indeed being drowned out, but not with reason and debate. Powerful people with very militant homosexual agendas are putting adult pleasures ahead of children. It is disgraceful, it is immoral and it is almost always by a white man or woman. The entire weight of human history is against these unnatural unions and the poisoning of innocent minds. You should be ashamed, for leading children astray, ripping them from their biological parents, and in many cases bringing a 3rd party in to curse them before they are even born.

        This is no debate – its a fight for the future of our children.

  6. Nick, You haven’t given reasons for the Federal government not allowing married heterosexual couples their right to de-register their marriage if they don’t agree with the new meaning of legal marriage. If marriage and divorce has changed from its original religious marriage and divorce beliefs, and has become a private relationship then there should be no reason for governments preventing de-registration. If the Federal government believes marriage is a homosexual union (anal and oral sexual behaviours) which both same-sex and heterosexuals can practice then same-sex couples can identify with this sexual union, and aren’t responsible for other married heterosexual couples from wanting to de-register their legal marriage. However, the Federal government is preventing de-registration because they want to continue to apply a religious meaning to divorce – a year separation etc. If you research the history of marriages and divorce in Australia you will find Australian laws were made for a religious practice of marriage and divorce, not the other way round. However, same-sex marriage is demanding legal marriage to change into a non-religious meaning, but governments want to hold onto a religious meaning for divorce which doesn’t make any sense. Marriage equality is confusing everybody so we will all have a mental health problem which will give us all equal access to the mental health services.

    • Janine, the federal government does allow for deregistration. It’s called divorce.

      • Nick, you still haven’t given reasons for the Federal government refusing to amend the divorce laws to allow married heterosexual couples to de-register their legal marriage because they no longer identify with this new sexual union. The only reason legal marriage existed in NSW was because of the religious practice of marriage and divorce, not the other way round. It is impossible for legal marriages to survive if religions don’t identify with same-sex marriage. Your response to my question proves people have never practiced marriage and divorce for legal reasons, it has only been for the religious beliefs being past down from one generation to the next. Your response has proven that same-sex marriage will remove marriage as one of the cornerstones of our civilised society. Marriage Equality means everyone will get a mental health problem so they have equal access to the mental health service.

        • I saw my initial reply was deleted, so I’m repeat it here:

          Oh, for f*ck’s sake. I give up.

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