Silencing opposition to same-sex marriage

Over the weekend two prominent columnists focused on the threats and intimidation directed at those who support man-woman marriage, and the tactics used to silence them.

In The Australian, Angela Shanahan wrote of the legal threat, withdrawn at the last minute, against Toowoomba GP David van Gend for a column in which he was taken out of context for using the word ‘abominable’ to describe the deliberate withdrawal of a child from her mum and dad. She wrote:

“Reading this out of context the complainant, and apparently the anti-discrimination tsars, took no notice of van Gend’s protest that his use of “abominable” in the final statement was paraphrasing a statement at the Labor conference by the party's Queensland president, Andrew Dettmer, who characterised opposition to gay marriage as no better than racism: “Discrimination against people on the basis of their gender or their sexual orientation is just as abominable and just as unsupportable as discrimination on the basis of race.” Hence van Gend's use of the contentious word.”

Meanwhile, Miranda Devine wrote in her column that, “The vitriol and vile abuse heaped on anyone who speaks up for traditional marriage is no way to win hearts and minds.

“Saying anything that is not wholly supportive of the gay-rights agenda is the new taboo – with same-sex marriage and adoption the hottest of hot-button topics at the frontline of the culture wars.”

She cites the actions taken to silence and/or ridicule Jeff Kennett, Dr van Gend, Jim Wallace, and OnLine Opinion as examples of growing intolerance in this debate. By all means, let’s have a discussion about marriage, but let’s have it in an environment free of intimidation and abuse.

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