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Why Australia should not rush to follow Ireland

Why Australia should not rush to follow Ireland


Posted by Lyle Shelton on:


Lyle Shelton of the ACL

“You’re a nauseating piece of filth”, tweeted Crikey political editor Bernard Keane to his 44,000 followers.[i]

‘Bigotry’, tweeted Labor member of parliament Stephen Jones.[ii]

(Jones was the MP who sponsored a bill in 2012 which was rejected by the parliament by a margin of almost two-to-one.)

Keane and Jones were responding to ACL’s Saturday night media release commenting on the results of Ireland’s marriage referendum.

A twitter storm erupted. I would like to say the discourse was civil.

By midnight @lyleshelton was trending in Sydney, according to Trendsmap Sydney.

ACL’s crime? We sought to discuss the consequences for children of changing the definition of marriage.[iii]

If this is the sort of abuse dissenters to homosexual political activism cop now, what will it be like when intellectual elites and activists have the force of law behind them?

Ireland’s redefinition of marriage and family should cause us to take a deep breath and consider the consequences to free speech and children.

For instance, will pursuit of this boutique political agenda divide Australians and marginalise millions of people of faith or no faith who will always believe gender complementarity is an essential truth of marriage?

Will the millennia-old cultural idea that children have a right to their mother and father wherever possible be finally abolished in law and culture?

Those pushing for change are aggressive and have waged a long war. That all discrimination has been removed in Australian law against same sex-attracted people is not enough for them.

So militant have they become that we are beginning to see glimpses of what life might be like for dissenters in a post gay marriage future.

Senior Labor MP Jenny Macklin gave some insights in an interview with Chris Uhlmann on ABC1’s Insiders recently.

Supporting Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek’s push to expel parliamentarians from the party who don’t toe the line on changing marriage,  Macklin equated discrimination on the basis of ‘sexual preference’ with racial and gender discrimination.

Uhlmann had the presence of mind to pick her up on this and make the obvious follow-up point.

Uhlmann – “You are arguing that a person who disagrees with you on this is the same as a racist, that they are a bigot.”

Macklin – “I am not calling anybody names.”

Uhlmann – “But that is the natural extension of what you are saying.”[iv]

Of course Uhlmann is right. Whether she wants to admit it or not, what Macklin is saying is that millions of Australians who will never support redefining marriage are the moral equivalents of racists or misogynists. Nice.

With attitudes towards dissent like this, it is no wonder 28 per cent of traditional marriage supporters in Ireland told pollsters they were too afraid to express their views openly.

Despite the sexual revolution of the 1960s, mainstream Christian and Islamic teaching on sexual morality and marriage has not changed.

While the church has not agreed with some aspects of modern culture, there has until now been tolerance under a live-and-let-live compact. But now it seems everyone must bow to the homosexual political agenda, or else.

Both Christians and Muslims have schools where they will always teach children that gender complementarity is an essential truth of marriage. Will this be sneered at as teaching dangerous bigotry? Will action be taken to stop them or defund them? Will a government which has redefined marriage always tolerate the public promotion of a view contrary to its law?

Will Australian florists, photographers, cake makers and celebrants face the same legal punishment as their US counterparts if they too wish to exercise their right of conscience to decline services to gay weddings?[v]

Do we as a society think it is okay that a family structure is legislated which requires a child to miss out on their mother or father?

Do we want to create the cultural and legal environment where to deliver the corresponding rights that come with marriage equality, donated women’s eggs and ‘carrier’ wombs will be required to satisfy the right of two men to motherless children?

Is this social justice? So many questions, so little free debate.

The ‘marriage equality’ campaign has been focussed entirely on the desires and perceived rights of adults. We are only just starting to hear the voices of kids raised by same-sex parents.

While rightly loving the lesbians who raised them, people like Heather Barwick speak of the “ache in my heart” at not knowing her dad.[vi]

Another consequence is people in group relationships wanting their piece of the ‘marriage equality’ action.

Recently the UK Greens leader, Australian-born Natalie Bennett, was asked by the polyamorist community if they too could have marriage equality.

“We are open to further conversation and consultation,” she said.[vii]

Changing the definition of marriage has far reaching consequences.

It is time to press pause and think again.


[i] https://twitter.com/bernardkeane – see tweet published around 10pm 23/05/15

[ii] Tweet since deleted from Jones’ Twitter feed but it can be viewed here https://twitter.com/mbachelard in a retweet on 23/05/15

[iii] http://www.acl.org.au/2015/05/irish-marriage-referendum-a-blow-to-the-rights-of-children/

[iv] http://www.jennymacklin.net.au/transcript_insiders_3_may_2015

[v] http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/05/12/im-a-florist-but-i-refused-to-do-flowers-for-my-gay-friends-wedding/

[vi] http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/gay-marriage/heather-barwick-the-daughter-of-lesbians-against-gay-marriage-defends-dolce-gabbana/story-fnizhakg-1227270361383

[vii] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3064217/Green-leader-Natalie-Bennett-open-idea-polyamorous-marriages-civil-partnerships.html

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  1. Canavan calls out SBS for bias “against tradition marriage”

    ROCKHAMPTON-based Senator Matt Canavan has attacked the SBS, describing the broadcaster as biased against traditional marriage.

    As the issue of same sex marriage is debated across the country following Labor leader Bill Shorten’s marriage equality bill, the Senator released a statement condemning the public broadcaster for not airing a traditional marriage advertisement:

    “SBS has been described as “biased against traditional marriage”.

    Senator Matt Canavan said the decision by the public broadcaster earlier this year not to air an advertisement promoting traditional marriage was wrong.

    “SBS has fallen down in not airing this ad and has left people questioning the independence of SBS on the issue,” he said.

    Senator Canavan has questioned SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid and Chief Content Officer Helen Kellie on the decision during Senate estimates hearings in Canberra.

    “In evidence to the estimates hearing, SBS confirmed that in fact they would have put to air an advertisement in favour of same-sex marriage, while refusing to air an advertisement in favour of traditional marriage. That admission directly demonstrates interference in free speech, self-censorship and political selectivity – in other words, bias.”

    Senator Canavan told Mr Ebeid he found the SBS decision “remarkable”.

    “You are a public broadcaster using public money and clearly favour one side of the argument over the other,” he said. “You are meant to be fair and balanced.”

    Senator Canavan said later SBS operates courtesy of generous funding from all Australian taxpayers and it is appropriate that significant community views are allowed to be aired.

    “The point here is not whether this advertisement was for or against traditional marriage versus same-sex marriage but the fact that an advertisement supporting a position held by a large number of Australians – at this point in time, probably still the majority of Australians – was not allowed to air.

    “Both Channel Seven and Channel Nine put the ad by the Australian Marriage Forum to air on the same night in March that SBS refused to broadcast it.

    “This self-censorship by the SBS is a worrying indication that the organisation is biased against traditional marriage in its editorial and advertising policies.””

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