Gay marriage is not the cure
• by: David van Gend
• September 14th 2012.
• From: The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/gay-marriage-is-not-the-cure/story-e6frgd0x-1226473730467
THE Left knows a great prize is within its grasp: any law redefining marriage will mandate the new definition with the full force of anti-discrimination law, thus completing the 1960s sexual revolution. Hence the commitment by Jim Wallace, head of the Australian Christian Lobby, to make people understand that laws for gay marriage will crush conscientious objection by parents who oppose the promotion of homosexual behaviour to schoolchildren.
Wallace wrote here last December: "If our schools are concerned about discouraging smoking for its seven to 10-year shortening of life, how can we in all honesty encourage a lifestyle for men that shortens it on average by double that?" But when he made similar comments last week in a debate with Christine Milne, the Greens reported him to the Human Rights Commission and Julia Gillard cancelled her speech on "religious freedom in a secular society" to the ACL conference .
Wallace's figures are sound: a 20-year loss in gay life expectancy was reported by a homosexual lobby group in 2009. A 17-year loss in life expectancy among young HIV positive men was reported in 2008 in The Lancet medical journal, despite the best anti-viral treatment. In Australia HIV/AIDS remains overwhelmingly a homosexual disease: the Kirby Institute found more than 80 per cent of new cases are in "men who have sex with men".
So why institutionalise behaviour when it is medically and morally problematic? Because some politicians believe same-sex attraction is inborn and unchangeable, when it is not; they think gay kids are bullied more than others, despite research finding they are not; and they believe that the reduced life expectancy from AIDS and suicide is the fault of a homophobic society, so we must legalise gay marriage to help the mental health of gay youth.
Yet the research of University of Western Australia's Rob Cover finds: "the relationship between the legalisation of marriage and GLBTIQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) youth health and wellbeing is more complex and it is important not to assume that legislative amendment leads directly by itself to a reduction in youth suicidality."
From my observations, the pressures that depress a young gay man are more intrinsic than extrinsic: the sense that something has gone wrong deep inside; the depressing effect of what he might experience as compulsive sexual behaviour; the unresolved anger where he sees the cause of his sexual confusion to be childhood abuse by a trusted adult.
It trivialises a homosexual's suffering to blame it primarily on a homophobic society. The associated claim that parliament must legalise gay marriage or be culpable for gay suicide is folly.
One does not overturn the foundational institution of society - trashing a child's right to both a mother and a father, and crushing a parent's right to teach their child right and wrong - as an act of psychotherapy for depressed citizens.
Professional help and neighbourly kindness is needed, not gay marriage and gay sex-education.
David van Gend is president of the Australian Marriage Forum.