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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:35 am 
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Marriage Equality in Australia

In an article by Christine Milne in today’s Guardian, she says that the Australian referendum on Marriage Equality is only a delaying tactic, and it is wrong in principle. She declares as a matter of principle that you don’t hold opinion polls on human rights, because they are inalienable.

She cites that famous quotation from Martin Luther King:
Quote:
Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.

She also mentions the Exclusive Brethren.
Quote:
Anyone who thinks that because gay rights are inevitable, that things have moved on and there will be an outpouring of sweetness and light, think again. Last stands engender extreme tactics. Expect the Liberal party to once again link up with the extreme cult, the Exclusive Brethren, after all, John Howard associated with them, the Liberal party takes their donations and Malcolm Turnbull thinks that is OK.

It remains to be seen whether her prediction will come true, and the Exclusive Brethren will once again nail their not-so-very-rainbow colours to the homophobic mast.

For the full article see https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... e-equality


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:20 am 
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Ian McKay wrote:
Marriage Equality in Australia

In an article by Christine Milne in today’s Guardian, she says that the Australian referendum on Marriage Equality is only a delaying tactic, and it is wrong in principle. She declares as a matter of principle that you don’t hold opinion polls on human rights, because they are inalienable.

She cites that famous quotation from Martin Luther King:
Quote:
Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.

She also mentions the Exclusive Brethren.
Quote:
Anyone who thinks that because gay rights are inevitable, that things have moved on and there will be an outpouring of sweetness and light, think again. Last stands engender extreme tactics. Expect the Liberal party to once again link up with the extreme cult, the Exclusive Brethren, after all, John Howard associated with them, the Liberal party takes their donations and Malcolm Turnbull thinks that is OK.

It remains to be seen whether her prediction will come true, and the Exclusive Brethren will once again nail their not-so-very-rainbow colours to the homophobic mast.

For the full article see https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... e-equality



NONE take any notice of her now or when she headed the Greens. We don't need the peebs input whikst Sen Bernadi is around.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:32 pm 
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I have thought very carefully before posting a response to Ian's comments on the article published in the Guardian by Christine Milne, former leader of the Australian Greens.

Despite the fact that I am a friend of Ian, and greatly appreciate his many interesting and erudite articles on this forum, it is possible that he and I may beg to differ on the issue of what many people call "marriage equality" but which I prefer to call "same-sex marriage" - for want of something more appropriate.

I realise this topic arouses much debate; sadly, much of it heated and irrational. It is very much in the news in Australia at present, as the Government ponders how it will handle its proposed plebiscite.

Note: in Australia, at least, there is a difference between a referendum and a plebiscite. A referendum is a vote used to approve a change to the Constitution. A plebiscite is used to decide a national question which does NOT affect the Constitution. Unlike a referendum, a decision reached in a plebiscite does not have any legal force.

The Australian Opposition is very much against a plebiscite; rather, it wants a simple vote in Parliament, where members vote according to their conscience, that is, not necessarily along party lines.

With the Government's very slim majority in the House of Representatives, and a plethora of minor parties in the Senate, it is still unknown whether a Bill authorising the plebiscite will be passed.

The loudest voices in the media - ad infinitum, ad nauseum - would have everyone believe that (a) if a parliamentary vote took place or (b) a plebiscite were held, the result in either case would be in favour of same-sex marriage - and that, furthermore, it must and will be introduced. These voices also loudly proclaim that anyone opposing same-sex marriage is by necessity a homophobe (whatever that is) and a hater. They insist that actually asking the Australian population what they think is not just unnecessary but will also unleash a major vitriolic attack against those who perhaps could be termed non-heterosexuals.

For a start, I struggle with the terminology. Certain words in the English language have been appropriated by lobby groups for their own use, such as "gay", which I was always taught simply means happy, and "rainbow", which I always gaze upon with wonder in the sky after it rains.

But the term which irritates me the most is "marriage equality". My interpretation of that is the equal status of the man and the woman in a marriage. By definition, to me, marriage is of necessity between a man and a woman. End of story. However, the advocates for same-sex marriage have very skilfully adopted the phrase "marriage equality" to mean that a "marriage" between a man and woman OR between a couple of the same sex has equal status.

Still on terminology, what is a "homophobe"? It seems to be a relatively recent term, and is supposed to mean someone who hates homosexuals. What upsets me more than anything is that anyone who dares to oppose same-sex marriage is accused by many of being a "homophobe". This is both preposterous and offensive, but it is a very effective means of silencing people who have genuine concerns about same-sex marriage, thus allowing the argument in favour to proceed almost unopposed, apart from a few brave churchmen.

I am reminded of the unfortunate comments of a candidate for my local constituency at the 2013 Federal Election. I cannot recall her exact words but she was opposed to homosexuals teaching in schools and implied that they were paedophiles as well. Naturally there was a furore, she was taken to court and the local media had a field day. She was disendorsed by her party but still stood for election anyway, and only secured a handful of votes.

What she said was, of course, outrageous. Equally outrageous, in my view, is to call an advocate for maintaining the marriage status quo a homophobe.

Christine Milne is being rather disingenuous in lumping in John Howard and the Exclusive Brethren as natural opponents, not only of same-sex marriage, but also "gay rights". It is not as simple as that. I and many other ex-EB were very grateful for the support of former Greens leader Bob Brown and his deputy Christine Milne following the misguided EB political campaign around ten years ago. We were disgusted with John Howard's support of the EB. Also, we are all very much aware of the long-standing extreme opposition to homosexuality by the EB and the effects of that on individuals.

Naturally, growing up in the EB, I was taught that homosexuality was a sin, indeed abhorrent. You only have to read the Bible to see that. However, over time, I have become much more tolerant and less judgmental on many issues. Homosexuals are as much entitled to basic human rights as anyone else, and the laws criminalising homosexuality have long since been repealed. I recognise that the world has moved on.

And yet....it is not so long ago that same-sex couples in general eschewed the concept of marriage. They, like the heterosexual community, saw marriage as between a man and a woman, and were content with an alternative arrangement. But now, apparently, everything has changed. Suddenly, marriage, as such, has to apply to same-sex couples as well.

I have no problem with same-sex couples entering into a life-long committed relationship, by means of a legally recognised agreement. But I remain opposed to calling that a marriage, or, as referred to in the Church of England and elsewhere, "holy matrimony". Yes, I noted the quote from Martin Luther King, regarding conscience asking the question, is it right? A very good question: my conscience tells me same-sex marriage is not right. But I accept that not all consciences would agree with mine.

Above all, I reject being accused as a "homophobe", and I strongly advocate a reasoned and respectful debate. Both sides of the argument should feel confident of expressing their views publicly, without rancour or abuse.

In the end, I guess we will have to live with whatever decision is made as part of the democratic process. But it will be interesting to see how the "silent majority" votes if they have the opportunity.

Meanwhile, if I find myself on the same side of THIS argument as John Howard and the Exclusive Brethren, then so be it.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:23 am 
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Very interesting, Peter Flinn. The question that we are to be asked to vote on (following debate by lawyers) is "Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?” so it is recognised we are talking about same sex marriage and not marriage equality.

I say interesting in that you are the first Australian I have heard speaking up for a 'no' vote - from the phone-in programs on the radio that I have heard. It's a pity the radio is not legally binding as it could have saved us $170m. Apart from the cost of the plebiscite, the government is allocating $7.5m to each the yes and no lobbies to advertise their cause.

Like you, I would (once) have said marriage is between a man and a woman but over the years I have found many of my strongly-held beliefs are deeply rooted in EBism and once I have come to terms with that, I have been able to give them up. Personally I find it hard to understand where a 'no' vote would come from other than rednecks and the Christian right so I was interested to read your opinion. It will be interesting to see the numbers on 11 February if the government goes ahead with it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:00 am 
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I was thinking more about this and realised my own belief system is still clearly warped by my EB indoctrination. For instance I can't see any problem with a woman marrying another woman but when I hear of a church with a woman pastor I think "That's wrong - so wrong!" based on having "Sisters should be silent in the assembly" drummed into me so often in my formative years.

I'm sure if I were to think it through logically I may come to a different opinion, but that's still my gut reaction 46 years later!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:03 am 
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I heard something on the radio this morning that made me smile. A lady said "I can't see the problem. If there's a change in the law, it will make gay people happy. If straight people don't like it, don't marry a gay person. So everyone's happy!"


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:53 am 
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I don’t think the word homophobia is intended to denote hatred. The Greek word phobia means fear, sometimes excessive or irrational fear. The word homophobia is not very rationally constructed, because the homo bit in Greek never meant homosexual, but it was about the best the wordsmiths could come up with, because neither classical Greek nor biblical Greek has a word for those whose sexual constitution attracts them to the same sex. That is probably because they did not know that such people exist.

There were plenty of people in the ancient Greek world who practised homosexual behaviour, including thousands of temple prostitutes who engaged in sexual acts as part of the pagan religious ceremonies. It is probably they to whom Paul was referring in Romans 1. He was probably not referring to people whose natural orientation is homosexual. There are two reasons for thinking this. First, it is not until modern times that the existence of such people became understood, and secondly Paul specifically says they were going against their own nature, which implies that he is talking about people who are constitutionally heterosexual.

I believe B. D. Hales has said somewhere that homosexuality is constitutional, so perhaps that is the beginning of a more understanding approach than was seen in the ministry of Symington.

Peter is right to say that those who oppose same-sex marriage are not necessarily homophobes, but some of the Brethren are, especially those who were responsible for the notorious 2007 leaflet campaign in Tasmania, which was later declared in court to be defamatory.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:27 pm 
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If you want to take the scriptural view ,then 1 Corintheans 5:12 states very clearly that it is NOT our business to judge matters outside the church.Period.

I find it somewhat of an anonomoly that among Christians some practices are singled out and strongly condemned( ie abortion, homosexuality) but others (adultery,or as in the case of the EB -drunkenness ) are not.Christ while not excusing but neither condemned so much the sins of the flesh as he did for religious pride ,presumption, lack of forgiveness, exploiting the poor and not having compassion -but his STRONGEST condemnation was reserved for introducing the commercial system into the temple ( which the brethren judged as EVIL in 65)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:54 am 
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I dont put everything down to EB indoctrination but to a moral code that has developed throughout my life based on experiences reflections and observations.

Many would believe that we are in a state of moral decline which in some arenas of life is very evident, but that depends on your moral code. Some things scare me like the antibullying programs for schools here in Australia where primary school children are being exposed to gay preferences including sexual practices. I and very many do not accept that and maybe a similar proportion do not accept the marriage of gays.

Lets face it gays are a minority so why should they demand acceptance from the majority? If it came to a vote l would vote against the change of marriage laws. That is just my opinion and other than voting which is compulsory here l would not be expressing an opinion simply because it doesnt affect me or my immediate or greater family. However l would express my opinion regarding the sexual education programs planned for our schools. I am not joining marches or carrying signs but have ensured that my grandchildren can enjoy education in an elite church controlled private school, otherwise l may have to march. There is more than enough to be concerned about in my immediate area as a parent and grandparent, and by extension the community, without expressing opinion as to who sleeps with whom, and how. Each to his own - preferences lifestyle and diseases.

Someone will be concerned that l am "living in sin" as l am not married to my female partner of over 4 years, nor was l to the previous one for over 22 years. My first and only marriage was peeb dictated controlled and wrecked. Is marriage essential? I dont think so, especially now as we are both retired, my partner 65 and l 73, and my Peeb Freemason Catholic Anglican conscience is clear. In our family marriage is not the best option as 4 of my 5 children are divorced and repartnered and 1 has been divorced twice, and 1 never married but a wonderful mother and spouse. The argument from the gays is that their relationships in many cases are truer and more loving that heterosexual relationships. Maybe, but l dont have to bite pillows or be married to have a loving committed and faithful relationship,

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:12 am 
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My little observation here is that the old brethren upbringing is having a field day here. Don't you just love it! :lol:

I have a client who is in a very sweet loving relationship with someone of the same gender. It is very clear from his mannerisms and the usual preferences for almost OCD'ness in cleanliness and other indicators he didn't 'choose to be gay'. It just 'is' and who am I to sit and judge him or his partner? It is none of my business. If he wanted to 'get married' to his partner, it is also none of my business.

My suggestion is and I'll quote from the bible here..'Judge not, that ye be not judged.'

In my opinion...the people with the same gender bias have a hard enough time - they didn't choose to be that way...give 'em a break.

Largely, because...it is none of your business.

And hence endeth the lesson, amen. :lol:


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