Politician confronts Christian lobby group over gay marriage

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has become the first Australian political leader to confront the Australian Christian Lobby on same-sex marriage, telling them he is a Christian who believes in marriage equality.

“I believe in God and I believe in marriage equality,” he told the ACL national conference in Canberra.

“I’m a Christian and a supporter of marriage equality under the law.”
Religion should never be used as an instrument of division or exclusion, he said.

“I believe our current law does exclude some individuals it says to them that your relationship is not equally valued by the state, that your love is less equal under the law.

“We currently have a law that discriminates against adult couples on the basis of who they love.”

Mr Shorten read from the scriptures and said he couldn’t remain silent about those who said marriage equality was the first step on the road to polygamy and bigamy and bestiality.

The ACL has campaigned strongly to prevent the passing of marriage equality laws.

While delegates at the conference disagreed with what Mr Shorten had to say about marriage equality, they welcomed the Opposition Leader’s openness about the subject.

In a question and answer session after Mr Shorten’s speech, ACL managing director Lyle Shelton immediately raised “the elephant in the room” and said “we really appreciate the way you’ve been fearless and frank with us”.

“Obviously there is a point of difference in our views,” Mr Shelton said.

Mr Shelton then asked if there could be a civil debate in Australia that “openly canvasses” the pros and cons of changing the definition of marriage.

He said the Hyatt Hotel, the venue for the conference, had been “bombarded with bile and bitter hatred towards ACL” in recent days in an attempt to shut the conference down.

Mr Shorten received applause when he told the conference “I don’t disrespect anyone who holds a contrary view on this question to me”.

Other speakers at the conference include Liberal frontbencher Michaelia Cash, Labor frontbencher Shayne Neumann and lawyer Roger Kiska from the conservative Christian non-profit body Alliance Defending Freedom.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bill-shorten-tells-christian-lobby-he-supports-samesex-marriage-20141025-11bool.html#ixzz3HCLqP489

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125 thoughts on “Politician confronts Christian lobby group over gay marriage

  1. Marriage equality leading to beastiality? Now that is ridiculous. Suppressing and demonizing marriage equality is probably much more likely to lead to beastialty by those who are judged. Good on Bill Shorten for standing up against the hypocrites!

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  2. Bryan, your progressivism/ activism has totally owned the public space for the last 30 years at least. Your Gay Rights has the ABC, arts community, all universities, the public service and most of this country’s politicians. You also have most people under 30 years old. All those wide moist eyed idealists who are going to re-invent the world.

    As a progressive modernist you think that you are building one big happy cohesive community. You also think that all ‘gay’ unhappiness is the fault of those cruel repressive unloving right wingers. Your embrace of Gay couples will bring them peace and contentment/ social justice/ legal protection/ happy marriages and smiling three parent or surrogate or adopted children.

    The only problem is these aren’t real people. It isn’t a true vision of either the past or present. Bill Shorten is living in an unreality. It doesn’t matter if he succeeds with a broad smile on your face, back slaps and group hugs – the house is on fire.

    Suggest you take a quick look at the poetry behind Talking Heads: Burning Down the House. It won’t bring “us” to any sort of agreement but maybe somewhere deep down a hip cool sophisticated successful commercial rock band will prick deeply at your inner man.

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    • Let me state this slowly and clearly so you will understand PG. The reason I’d support gay marriage is mainly because marriage (including heterosexual marriage) is a secular issue. It is the government that allows or disallows marriages. I would not want churches to be forced to officiate gay marriages if they do not wish to do so. And there is no suggestion that they would have to if gay marriage was legalised.

      Even the Australian Christian Lobby seems to support debate on the issue. Why can’t you??????

      And David Byrne states that the lyrics for Burnin Down The House were nonsense lyrics that popped into his head. There’s no message there in his mind..Just yours it seems.

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      • Thanks, Bryan: I don’t believe in the existence of secular – but I understand it is an interesting story unbelievers invented to attempt to run society.

        And no I wouldn’t want Caiaphas to think of himself as a prophet of the most High God just because he was forced to prophesize a fact of life. In like manner no artist,, scientist,, musician creates out of ‘perfect’ nothingness voids of spiritual space. How do two mathematicians on opposite sides of the planet come up with the same theorem independently of each other within days of each other? the unbeliever/ the Caiaphases of this world-time-space might never believe what just happened to them. Caiaphas didn’t know what he was saying – quite literally.

        ps. You will possibly win the vote quite soon. A Pyrrhic victory it will be – with all the ABC popping Champagne over their success. Just look at USA for a future glimpse. It’s happening as society falls perfectly to pieces over it and other stuff.

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      • I don’t think you read clearly what I posted PG. Whether or not you believe in the secular doesn’t alter the facts. Marriage is legally a matter for the state not religion.

        As a former Prime Minister stated: Irrespective of what your view might be, do such views have a proper place in a secular state, in a secular definition of marriage, or in a country where the census tells us that while 70 per cent of the population profess a religious belief, some 70 per cent of marriages no longer occur in religious institutions, Christian or otherwise?

        The Christian tradition since Thomas Aquinas is based on a combination of faith informed by reason. If the latter is diminished, then we are reduced to varying forms of theocratic terrorisms, where the stoning of heretics and the burning of witches would still be commonplace.

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      • Yes Bryan,

        It is the government that allows or disallows marriages, but I think that is a simplistic answer because the government is comprised of Senators and Members who supposedly represent the views of the people in their electorate. And not only that, but there are many in our government who have a Christian/Biblical worldview, which one would hope is a framework for ethical thinking. Our Christian convictions should shape our participation in culture; how we assess culture and our place in it, otherwise culture will shape us and our thinking.

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      • I agree Mon.,And when it comes to a vote I hope people will vote on their convictions rather than what their party tells them to vote. The idea of separation of church and state is, I think, best for all. No one wants to compel churches to have to marry anyone they do not wish to. But it is strange isn’t it that many churches marry divorced people and people with no Christian thoughts or commitment. I’d rather our churches take a stronger stand on that.

        Again quoting the former PM, The care, nurture and protection of children in loving relationships must be our fundamental concern. And this question cannot be clinically detached from questions of marriage, same sex or opposite sex. The truth is that in modern Australia about 43 per cent of marriages end in divorce, 27 per cent of Australian children are raised in one-parent, blended or step-family situations, and in 2011-12 nearly 50,000 cases of child abuse were substantiated by the authorities, of more than 250,000 notifications registered. In other words, we have a few problems out there.

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      • Bryan, as a revisionist you don’t believe the Coronation Oath Act nor that the Imperial Acts Applications Act has any force or effect in Australian Jurisprudence. ie. I think of you as legally, intellectually, culturally illiterate. While Australia has a Queen [not Gary Glitter or Sir Elton John], “we” remain a Christian Nation – in some respects the last and only one on Earth.

        Which is why all hell is trying to rewrite the preamble to the Constitution; to get God out of it and to abolish Jesus’ prayer at the sitting of parliaments. And you look like succeeding – because of ‘social justice’/ raciss/ fair and ‘human rights’/ and various other assorted mantras from Bill Shorten et al.

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      • I don’t think anyone – including you PG – could seriously contend that Australia would be more of a “Christian” nation because the Queen is the figurehead. Or that it would be less “Christian” if she wasn’t.
        And I have no wish to “write” God out of the constitution or abolish prayer.

        I think of you as legally, intellectually, culturally illiterate

        Why resort to insults? I would have thought you were better than that.

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      • PhilipGeorge,
        Just to remind you that the ancient Jews did not have a religious marriage. Joseph and Mary did not have a religious marriage.

        Within Christianity, apart from within the Eastern Orthodox Church, marriage was not a religious rite or sacrament until 1600.

        Rian.

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      • It is a mere fact of history to that to call the Commonwealth of Australia government a secular institution one has to ignore history of its institutions and legal realities of black and white paper documents. One also has to ignore the overwhelming faith and wishes of our real, not imagined, forebears/ flesh and blood relatives.

        It doesn’t matter if 21 million people are entirely ignorant of that history. Its isn’t cancelled by wishful thinking or vague sentiments, nor is it cancelled by a popular vote. History is history.

        And not without comparison, a man can call himself a Galah, but the name doesn’t give him the ability to fly or stick feathers to his flesh.

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      • Wrong Rian! There was a ritual attached to marriage both in the old and new testament. Whilst we are not told the details of this ritual we know it ended in a wedding feast. This is spoken of in regards to:
        – Marriage of Jacob to Leah
        – Wedding feast at which Jesus performed his first miracle
        – Parable of the garments and wedding feast
        – Parable of the guests who refused to attend the wedding feast

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      • PhilipGeorge,
        Now fair go, I didnt state that there was no marriage ceremony among the ancient Hebrews and Jews. I said quite advisedly that they had no specifically religious ceremony and I add to the matter that no representative of the Temple or of the Synagogue had to be present in order to declare the matter publicly.

        So I stand by my claim. You yourself quote that we dont know the details of the ‘ritual’, so you cant say that they had any equivalent of our religious marriage ceremony, or of that performed by present day Jews. The presence of Jesus at the Marriage Feast at Cana in no conceiveable way suggests an official religious ceremony on that occasion.

        Of course there were celebrations and the regular feasting. That is not the same thing. As we understand it, the ritual was arranged and performed by the parents who had normally arranged the match, with the transfer of the Bride like any piece of property from one family to the other.

        It is amusing to note the famous paintings by Raphael and Perugini, in which they depicted Mary and Joseph standing facing each other, with the High Priest standing with them, and the exchanging of a ring.

        Rian.

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      • to PhilipGeorge and davinci,

        Apologies to both of you there; my post at 17.59 was addressed wrongly to you PG, when it should have been an answer to davinci.

        Mea Culpa!. Rian.

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    • “And when it comes to a vote I hope people will vote on their convictions rather than what their party tells them to vote.”

      Yep, I agree Bro.

      Good answer—bless you!

      This is concerning America, but a good read, I thought:

      http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/04/01/bracketing-morality-the-marginalization-of-moral-argument-in-the-same-sex-marriage-debate/

      “Back in 2003, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas, that struck down all laws criminalizing homosexual acts. Kennedy argued that moral opposition to homosexuality was not a rational basis for the establishment of a law.

      In response, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Kennedy had just eliminated any legal barrier to same-sex marriage. “If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct … what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘the liberty protected by the Constitution?’”
      Those words are now seen as deeply prophetic. The removal of moral disapproval from this legal context set the stage for the inevitable controversy we are now experiencing — and for the removal of morality from the public conversation. If anything, the court of public opinion, driven by those who control the media, entertainment, and the public conversation, is far ahead of the law courts in this respect.

      But consider the implications of this bracketing of moral argument. What, other than morality, sustains any laws restricting human sexual behavior?
      The legislative debate over the prohibition of polygamy after the Civil War was explicitly moral. Sociological analysis did not drive that movement, morality did. What about all the other laws that restrict sexual acts? Are they also to be cast down by this logic?

      Moral judgment under girds the entire structure of laws and is necessary for the rational structure of any significant statute. The idea that our laws can stand independent of moral foundation is senseless. We do not think that driving under the influence of alcohol is simply risky, in terms of statistics. We believe that it is wrong, in terms of explicit moral judgment.

      The point here is not to criticize those who, working within the confines of public reason and prevailing constrictions, do their best — and often brilliantly so — to defend marriage without moral judgment.

      But we should note this change in the rules of public debate with more than a passing interest; for the implications of this moral revolution are more vast than anyone can yet foresee. At stake is not only the ability to express moral judgment about homosexuality, but about any sexual behavior. Further, this logic cannot be restricted to public debates about sexuality. This revolution goes far beyond marriage and sex.

      Subjected to public ridicule on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” Ryan T. Anderson did his best to argue the case for marriage, avoiding moral judgment on homosexuality. He was unconscionably mistreated and marginalized. In the course of the show Piers Morgan told Anderson, the William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, that he was in danger of being found on the wrong side of history. Anderson retorted: “There is no wrong side of history apart from what the truth is.”

      That statement is profoundly true, and it is profoundly moral. Without moral judgment there is no truth, and without truth there is no moral judgment. And there is no wrong side of history, apart from what the truth is.”

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      • What are the morals behind laws? I believe that anything that can harm another should be against the law, if it doesn’t have the informed consent of that ‘other’. It is not up to anyone else to judge what may be harmful to that ‘other’, unless it is a child or anyone who cannot be fully informed.

        Free will was granted by God, and we need good cause to over-ride it. I think the law is more and more acting with good cause, despite some errors of judgement.

        It’s a bit simplistic to propose ‘no consent’ equals ‘not allowed’, but may be a good basis.

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      • Strewth
        I would add further to what I said earlier here, that same-sex marriage does not imply marriage for any individual who has not been entitled to marry before. At present, any homosexual anywhere in the world can lawfully marry a woman. Any lesbian anywhere in the world may lawfully marry a man.

        At present, the laws of most lands forbid minors from marrying at all. though the age of consent and when one previously a minor becomes able to marry has changed many times through the ages. So there’s no chance of minors being given the legal right to marry. And yet, and yet… I seem to recall that under very specific circumstances young persons a little below the normally legal age for marriage, can be given permission to marry. Rare certainly, but not unknown.

        Our animals presently have no right to marry. That wont change. So bestial marriage and child marriage are simply not on the cards. All adults in our culture, however are entitled to marry, although for medical reasons which are well established and commonly understood, marriage between closely related individuals is not legal.

        When one points to the immorality that pervades a lot of our culture today, we recall that unmarried sex has always occurred. There was no law against it among the ancient Hebrews or the Jews of Jesus’ day, so long as it did not involve adultery. That is of course with the exception too, of the daughters of Jewish priests. The serial monogamy that is common around us these days came about only because of the ease of divorce legislation, and not because there were homosexuals in the community.

        Rian.

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      • Strewth, that is why I think that marriage should be for a man and a woman, the mother and father of a child – because I think it harms the child.

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      • “Harm is a relative term. What might be considered harmful to one person might not to another. There are different kinds of harm: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc. Therefore, harm is a personal thing that is experienced and is a bit subjective. So, when we ask how gay marriage harms anyone, we have to look at more than just one aspect.” CARM

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    • Rian, I’ve done this topic to death. If you want to believe the union of Isaac and Rebekah. He took her into his mothers tent and copulation was the entire ceremony. If you want to call that “lacking” religion or a secular arrangement you can also commit intellectual seppuku but that wouldn’t make you a native of Japan.

      Bryan will believe in Gay rights till his last breath. The sacredness of “otherness”. All heterosexuals are in miserable marriages and Utopia is another man’s greener pastures. The thinking is a fashion statement among baby boomers, a rich wealthy white persons cause celebre. And if only gamblers never ran out of money, and heroin was free and easily available to every addict and if only if only, if only, we didn’t just ‘progress’ to enlightenment and nirvana social states as defined by enlightenment thinkers.

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      • PhilipGeorge,
        I’m afraid I just cannot follow your argument there.What on earth has the regulatory copulation of Isaac and Rebekah got to do with the price of fish? Oh and I didnt say that anything those ancient Hebrews did was ‘lacking’ religion. The account of the ‘courting’ and marriage of Tobias and his bride in the Apocryphal Book is a very interesting one, and makes no mention of anything like a Church (or Temple) ceremony with anyone presiding other than the father of the bride.

        I merely was observing that there was not a specific public ceremony of a religious nature, and I would add – one that resembles in any way our type of Church wedding ceremony, nor one that involves a Priest or similar to fulfil the role of Celebrant in the service as we know it . It was all under the control and administration of the father(s). As a side issue, I cant recall ever reading that either the bride or the groom was expected to make vows of any sort. But you might know better than I do there.

        As it happens, let’s recall that the greater part of the marriage ritual we use in our culture, is based on the well established civil wedding format of ancient pagan Rome.

        Cheers, Rian.

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  3. I picked this pamphlet up from church yesterday. I’ll type bits and pieces of it cos it’s too long…

    It’s titled What Is Marriage?

    MARRIAGE AND THE STATE: The State did not create marriage, but it has a role in recognising and supporting marriage because of the need to protect children. Society has an interest in ensuring that marriage – the relationship for the creating and the rearing of children – is defined and protected. Otherwise, it would have no interest in marriage. This is why other affectionate relationships, such as friendships, are not regulated by the State, nor should the State have anything to do with them, as these are private matters.

    REDEFINING MARRIAGE: Some people wish to redefine marriage to mean an affectionate relationship between any two (or more) people. This would see marriage reduced to just a committed, affectionate sexual relationship.

    Marriage is more than that.

    Loving, affectionate relationships between adults should be respected. But they are not marriages. Redefining marriage like this will weaken marriage by by undermining the unique role of husband and wife in relation to the child. The law would re-inforce the idea that marriage is just an emotional union, not a bodily union directed towards creating and protecting children.

    THE POWER OF THE STATE: Redefining marriage also politicises it in a dangerous and novel way. Marriage, as it is, does not require the State to do anything other than support it. However, legally redefining marriage can only happen by State decree.

    Marriage would no longer be a fundamental unit recognised by the State, but a right granted by the State to those it chooses. cont….

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    • Kathleen,
      I’m intrigued by the sentence there that ‘the state did not create marriage’. I would actually have thought that it did. Unless of course you and the church are reckoning in that Biblical account of the first wedding day in Eden.

      Rian.

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      • Kathleen,
        So you would hold to the Garden of Eden story as being literally accurate?

        Now, researchers may be able to come up with ‘evidence’ however weak or historically implausible for early events in the history of the Hebrews. But there is simply no evidence whatsoever for the Adam and Eve story in its literal form. I find it most incredible to speculate that any kind of appropriate evidence can ever surface. The account as written in Genesis is full of flaws and logical fantasies.

        The official Catholic view on the matter since (I think) about 1923, is that – and I quote… ‘The story is true, but couched in figurative language.’ Naturally the Church would not hold as being in error anyone who believed every single word of it as being literally true

        Just thinking of the story as written, I cant recall any word in the account that suggests that The God pronounced any ritualistic words over the couple; nor did either of those first two speak aloud any vows.

        Rian.

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  4. Once marriage becomes a creation of the State, it can redefine marriage to mean anything. Instead of recognising and supporting the reality that a particular man and a particular woman are committed to eachother and are the parents of a particular child, the State usurps this reality.

    Once the State can no longer insist that marriage involves a commitment to a member of the opposite sex, there is no ground for insisting that marriage be limited to one person rather than several.

    THE CONSEQUENCES: A consequence will be a greater intrusion into family life.

    For example, the State will be called upon to create the conditions that support the new definition. Terms like ‘mother’ and ‘father’ will likely be replaced by ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ on birth certificates and other documents, as has occurred in other countries.

    Children will likely be taught in Primary School about alternative forms of ‘marriage’ as has occurred in other countries.

    Freedoms, including religious freedoms, will come under attack. The providers of goods and services – for example, shopkeepers, photographers and holiday venues – will be legally coerced into providing their products and services against their conscience and beliefs.

    Overseas experience has shown that even to state the traditional view about marriage as between a man and a woman could become unlawful.

    catholic.org.au/abc-shop (Pamphlets)

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  5. There are adults who grew up in a same sex parenting household who are now speaking out and it seems there are those who don’t want them to be able to speak freely about their experiences.

    “As with other adults who have come forward to criticize their childhood with gay parents, I am framed as a bigot or a liar or in some other way “unreliable.” In this flip-flop, a children’s rights activist and feminist is called “anti-gay” and a “bigot.””

    “Jeremy Hooper, Mr. Rose, and a gang of the allies who congregate and exchange information on Hooper’s blog, “Good As You,” are concerned about an amicus curiae brief I wrote in the Texas case regarding same-sex marriage (Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals). Along with three other adults who were raised by same-sex couples, I came forward to push back against the assertion that children have no disadvantages when raised by same-sex couples. Our arguments are not so easy to dismiss.”

    “The Texas case is still pending. To date, the voices of adult children of the LBGT community have been stifled, but by some miracle four briefs were accepted in Texas against the objections of the pro-gay lobby side, which invoked procedural technicalities to try to get the four briefs thrown out. Three of the four amici curiae have published commentary on same-sex parenting here.”

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/10/this_lesbians_daughter_has_had_enough.html#ixzz3GqWx0yjU

    As I’ve said before, you can’t have one set of rights (that of same sex couples), infringing on another set of rights (those of the children). Like the pamphlet said, this is not just about romance and relationships, you can have that without marriage.

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    • And yet Katleen..Scientific research has been generally consistent in showing that gay and lesbian parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents. Major associations of mental health professionals in the U.S., Canada, and Australia have not identified credible empirical research that suggests otherwise.

      Children raised by same-sex couples have better health and well-being in comparison to their peers, according to a new Australian study which is being billed as the largest of its kind.

      Conducted by Australia’s University of Melbourne, the new research aimed to “describe the physical, mental and social well-being” of children with gay and lesbian parents, and “the impact that stigma has on them.” On average, children raised by same-sex couples scored six percent higher than the general population when it came to general health and family cohesion.

      You can read more about the new research here. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/635/abstract

      Meanwhile, in other categories — such as behavior, mental health and self-esteem — those children reportedly scored the same as those raised by heterosexual parents

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      • “The Washington Post ran a story about a study into same-sex parenting that was conducted in Australia, involving around 500 children being raised by same-sex couples. The headlines run that children raised by same-sex couples score higher on health and happiness measures.”

        1. “This study is not new so something strange is going on. It was published a year ago, in 2013, and was already roundly debunked by leading social scientists because it did not meet the basic standards of academic research”

        2. ….. “The researchers asked vague questions, many of which were designed to see whether children of same-sex couples could count on adequate support from their parents if they were bullied or stigmatized at school. Notice how this doesn’t focus on whether children are happy being deprived of half of their ancestry; it only focuses on the parents’ willingness to make their children’s situation work on the terms the parents wanted”

        3. The pool of respondents was tainted by the way they were recruited. The researcher recruited parents, not children, on a website that made clear the study was designed to demonstrate whether gay people could be good parents. The people answering the questions knew, each time they responded to a query, that the study had the potential to impact global family policy. Maybe the respondents were seeking to answer questions in good faith, but even the best efforts to be impartial are going to be undermined by the foreknowledge of what the study is about.

        4. The children involved in this study were very young and they were only tracked for a brief period. This was primarily toddlers and early teens who were still dependent on the same-sex couples raising them. Children at that age are not independent enough to comprehend fully what it meant to be denied half of their ancestry. Anyway, what the children may have thought would not have even registered, because of #5.

        5. The parents answered the question on behalf of the children and there was no independent ombudsman or neutral observer to report whether the parents’ perception of the child’s developmental progress was accurate

        http://englishmanif.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/what-you-need-to-know-about-australian.html

        I think if the above situation where adults, two of whom are Professors, are having such a difficult time in telling their side of the story is true, then it would be very difficult to obtain an accurate picture.

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      • Well 2013 is fairly recently Kathleen and the study results were just published in June this year. . And which “leading social scientists” debunked the findings?

        In 2010 American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy stated:

        Relatively few studies have directly examined gay fathers, but those that exist find that gay men are similarly fit and able parents, as compared to heterosexual men. Available empirical data do not provide a basis for assuming gay men are unsuited for parenthood. If gay parents were inherently unfit, even small studies with convenience samples would readily detect it. This has not been the case. Being raised by a single father does not appear to inherently disadvantage children’s psychological wellbeing more than being raised by a single mother. Homosexuality does not constitute a pathology or deficit, and there is no theoretical reason to expect gay fathers to cause harm to their children. Thus, although more research is needed, available data place the burden of empirical proof on those who argue that having a gay father is harmful

        In June 2010, the results of a 25-year ongoing longitudinal study by Nanette Gartrell of the University of California and Henny Bos of the University of Amsterdam were released. Gartrell and Bos studied 78 children conceived through donor insemination and raised by lesbian mothers. Mothers were interviewed and given clinical questionnaires during pregnancy and when their children were 2, 5, 10, and 17 years of age. In the abstract of the report, the authors stated: “According to their mothers’ reports, the 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers were rated significantly higher in social, school/academic, and total competence and significantly lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than their age-matched counterparts in Achenbach’s normative sample of American youth

        Since the 1970s, it has become increasingly clear that it is family processes (such as the quality of parenting, the psychosocial well-being of parents, the quality of and satisfaction with relationships within the family, and the level of co-operation and harmony between parents) that contribute to determining children’s well-being and ‘outcomes’, rather than family structures, per se, such as the number, gender, sexuality and co-habitation status of parents. Since the end of the 1980s, as a result, it has been well established that children and adolescents can adjust just as well in nontraditional settings as in traditional settings.

        Judith Stacey, of New York University, stated: “Rarely is there as much consensus in any area of social science as in the case of gay parenting, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics and all of the major professional organizations with expertise in child welfare have issued reports and resolutions in support of gay and lesbian parental rights”]
        These organizations include the American Academy of Pediatrics the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association] the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Child Welfare League of America,] the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and Canadian Psychological Association.

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      • Again, the studies seem to be consistent conducted by interviewing the lesbian or gay parents, not the children once they have become adults and are able to speak freely.

        “Gartrell and Bos studied 78 children conceived through donor insemination and raised by lesbian mothers. Mothers were interviewed and given clinical questionnaires during pregnancy and when their children were 2, 5, 10, and 17 years of age. In the abstract of the report, the authors stated: “According to their mothers’ reports, the 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers were rated significantly higher in social, school/academic”

        This still doesn’t explain whether children felt the absence of a mother or a father was a problem in their life. They may well do well in school (just as the three adults in the post above as two of them are Professors) but they themselves are against same sex marriages.

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      • This still doesn’t explain whether children felt the absence of a mother or a father was a problem in their life

        That’s right Kathleen. It seems that it’s the quality of parenting that is the most important factor. Kids of divorced and unhappy heterosexual parents suffer. There’s plenty of evidence for that.

        And the studies – although so far few and perhaps more limited in scope that we might wish- DO show overwhelmingly that children of gay parents fare ok generally.

        The Scottish Government looked at the experience of children of gay parents and made some interesting conclusions.

        http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/269718/0080303.pdf

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      • It still doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t have preferred to have a mother/father role model.

        How can a study examine happiness?

        Comparing them to broken marriages doesn’t help their arguement, it’s like saying well the boat is sinking anyway so what does it matter.

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      • That’s maybe true, But the important question might be whether a child is happier in a home where mum and dad fight all the time, or a home where they might be sexually or emotionally abused, or in a happy non=traditional single parent or gay parent home.

        Broken families for example earn less and experience lower levels of educational achievement. Worse, they pass the prospect of meager incomes and Family instability on to their children, ensuring a continuing if not expanding cycle of economic distress.
        Simply put, whether or not a child’s parents are married and stay married has a massive affect on his or her future prosperity and that of the next generation.

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      • Bryan, that’s assuming that gay couples won’t fight or abuse etc. Gay couples do fight and have abused children and do divorce.

        The difference is that there are plenty of heterosexual families that haven’t divorced, that have been able to create a loving and stable family arrangement with a mother and a father to fill that need that a child naturally has – whereas a gay couple will never be able to do that.

        So homosexuals should find happiness in marriage but children should just be happy with near enough is good enough?

        It’s like a bad default system. We should always aim for the best for children and if hetero couples are fighting, abusing and divorcing – then that needs to be tackled, not added on to. Children deserve more than that.

        Here’s one story of a violent lesbian relationship where the partner was actually in the process of adopting her lovers children but instead was charged with battery: http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2013/11/20/woman-who-claimed-hospital-ban-charged-with-battering-her-same-sex-partner/3653141/

        Like

      • “Social services insisted on returning Andy Cannon to live with the couple, even though staff at Wakefield council had received up to six allegations of physical and sexual abuse over a number of years.
        Mr Cannon, now 23, said he believed social workers would have removed him from his abusers had they not been gay.
        He said: “If my adoptive dad was in a heterosexual relationship then my complaints would have been listened to earlier.”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9959950/My-gay-fathers-sexual-abuse-was-swept-under-the-carpet-says-victim.html

        I’m not saying that all gay people are likely to abuse their children. I’m just saying that, like heterosexual couples, they do abuse etc.

        The point that children should be able to be placed in gay marriages, because hetero marriages aren’t that good, isn’t true.

        Like

      • No-one has a perfect life, no child grows up without something to quibble about, no relationship is all sweetness and light. Gay and lesbian couples have their ups and downs, and the way they resolve these bring learning experiences to the children – a better scenario than for one-parent families. All children regret something they were unable to have in their youth, and can benefit from that too.

        The best outcome for children is to have a childhood that leaves them capable of dealing with adulthood, does not leave them embittered, nor on the other hand unrealistically expectant.

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      • Strewth, I think that is trivialising the child’s need for a mother or a father.

        I could say the same about gay marriage, oh well, life isn’t perfect so you can’t get married ok.

        I don’t understand why people are so sensitive towards a gay couple’s ‘needs’ for confirmation of their relationship, yet sweep aside a child’s need for a parent which to my mind is much more important. A gay couple can remain a couple, and remain together for the rest of their lives if they want to, but when you purposely remove a parent from a child’s life, that’s permanent and a decision not of their making.

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      • I’m saying that no child should have either of their natural parents denied them intentionally.

        If that gay person was in a marriage with the natural mother/father of the child and committed to the relationship and devoted to the child, then, yeah, sure.

        Bryan, I ask you, do you not think a child has a right to a mother and a father? I’m not talking about bad situations like divorce (in which case they can still have visitation) or death which can’t be helped. Do you not think that a child’s needs are important? Because that’s what it seems like to me.

        Is marriage just about the partner’s love? If it’s just about a declaration of love, then why does the state get involved? (just as that pamphlet explained).

        Like

      • If that gay person was in a marriage with the natural mother/father of the child and committed to the relationship and devoted to the child, then, yeah, sure.

        OK. And this seems to be a growing practice. So there’s no problem there is there?

        Like

  6. If gender is important in relationships, then it is also important to children.

    “Darren Rosenblum, a gay man who identifies himself as a “mother” writes in his paper “Unsex Mothering: Toward a New Culture of Parenting”:

    In the actual act of parenting, biology plays no necessary role. Unsexed mothering is relational, not biological, and it is an act, not a fixed identity. While biological elements may undoubtedly further that relationship, one need not engage in these functions in order to mother a child. A male parent could say to others, “I am the child’s mother.””

    http://harvardjlg.com/2012/02/unsex-mothering/

    Like

  7. One of the problems with same sex marriage is the issue of gender distinctions. This becomes a problem because to acknowledge that men and women are different leads to acknowledging that they may have a different purpose/role.

    “Gender Identity Protections” are laws that eliminate sex-based protections for females.
    Examples of such protected areas are: bathrooms, hospital bed assignments, prisons, locker rooms, sports competitions, statistical data collection, Title IX endowments, women’s health resources, statistics and research endowment, sex-based crime statistics, support groups, rape crisis centers, communal showers, children’s sleepover camps, women’s shelters, and women’s colleges.”

    Like

    • “So what does all of this have to do with same-sex marriage? Thus far I have demonstrated that in order to accept the premise that same-sex marriage should be legalized, one will have accept that there are no inherent differences (besides mere body-parts) between males and females. One must presume that they don’t have different natures, or thought processes, or behavioral patterns.

      If one thinks that there are no inherent differences between males/females then, one also must accept that it doesn’t matter for a child to have a biological male and biological female as parents, just any two loving, responsible people with parenting skills will do.

      Thus since there are no distinctions between males and females, then a man can become a woman, a woman can become a man, a mother can become a father, a husband can become a wife, an uncle can become an aunt, a grandmother can become a grandfather. More importantly, a child doesn’t need a male parent or a female parent in particular because both sexes don’t offer anything unique and essential to the child “in principle”. Both sexes are interchangeable. Thus if nothing is different then what is the difference if a non-op or a pre-op male uses a female restroom, locker room, or rape shelter; or is included on a woman’s athletics team?” http://englishmanif.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/la-joie-de-vivre-14-why-same-sex.html

      Ultimately, if there is no difference whatsoever between a man and a woman, then a gay man or a lesbian woman could marry a person of the opposite sex, no?

      Like

      • They aren’t the same, that’s the point.

        That’s why a child needs a mother and a father, because they aren’t the same. Therefore when gay marriage is allowed this distinction becomes a problem, because they try to make out that there is no difference, but there is.

        Like

      • And half of all Australian marriages end in divorce. So the image of a hapopy marriage in a little house with a white picket fence was never the reality Kathleen. And I don’t believe gay people actually believe men and women are the same. That’s a bit of a fallacy

        Like

      • Half of marriages never used to end in divorce.

        Now people too easily leave marriage, now people don’t believe in the adultery clause, now the no fault divorce has contributed…..

        These are issues that need to be tackled. Marriage has already weakened over the years, no need to add to it.

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      • People never used to live together casually before marriage. This is another thing that I think has weakened the ‘commitment’. If they committed with an engagement that was considered ‘solid’, not… well, if we don’t like eachother anymore after a couple of years we can go our separate ways.

        There was more respect for the weight and sanctity of a vow.

        Like

      • Really? Churches have long married people who aren’t even Christians. I think that’s one problem that needs attention. When Britney Spears and co can get married for a couple of days and then divorce there is a real problem. Let’s deal with that one.

        Like

      • Kathleen,
        Sure, back in the old days it is true that half of all marriages didnt end in divorce. But in those times there was practically no recourse for a woman who was abused by her husband. If one wanted a divorce in the British establishment in the 19th century, as I seem to recall, you had to get a petition for it passed by Parliament. Gritting ones teeth just so that one could vouch for the fact that you had stayed together purely for the principle of the matter was no great virtue.

        Personally, I apply to marriage that rule that Jesus taught with regard to the Sabbath. Marriage was made for man, and not man for marriage. Back in those old days, of course, it was true that divorce would be all too cruel and terrible for a woman.

        I went through two divorces in earlier times. The first one was under the old form in which fault was the essential factor to be proven. I can assure you that it was a corrupt business. One had to literally ‘set up’ the circumstances proving the sins of the other party, – and usually with the full conniveance of those guilty ones. There was no dignity about it, and frequently sheer dishonesty..

        My second divorce took place under the ‘no fault’ system. Dignified, truthful and allowing for the people involved to be able to get their lives together in a better way.

        Rian.

        Like

      • Absolutely, Amen!

        I agree that the Brittany Spears and Kardashians who basically trash marriage by being so flippant with it, are a huge problem.

        Marriage shouldn’t be so easy to get out of, nor should it be so easy to get into.

        Like

      • Rian, a no fault divorce is taking it to the extreme. Not being able to get out of a violent marriage is the other extreme.

        Like

  8. What the homosexual people don,t understand is they are on the best thing as they are now.
    What until they have to fully support the partner if one loses their job ,gets sick or becomes a invilid.
    Once they clearly state their sexuality on a government form all bets are off .
    The full power of the government laws will bear down on them the same as the rest currently are.
    My bet is they will regret equal rights in twenty years.

    Like

    • Bryan I don’t understand what that’s got to do with marriage and who should be able to get married?

      Nobody is saying that people should be cruel to gay people because they are gay. I don’t believe that our faith teaches us to reject anyone because of how they feel, that doesn’t mean then that we should change things to suit them to the detriment of others i.e. the family structure

      Like

      • How did you come to that conclusion?

        The topic is about gay marriage. Of course I feel for children who identify as gay being cast out by their family, whether that family is religious or not. Does that mean I think the definition of marriage be changed? No.

        Robert Oscar Lopez is a bisexual man, he had gay relationships as a young man and he also had lesbian parents. He pined for a father.

        So those children that I’m worrying about within a marriage set-up could also be gay themselves. They are included.

        Like

  9. “Contrary to current propaganda, the findings depict a very negative picture. For example, contrary to the mantra that homosexual ‘marriage’ does not affect your marriage, she finds that “opposite sex relationships have to conform to gay norms, rather than vice versa, since matters pertaining to complementary sexes cannot apply to those of the same sex.” For example, in Spain, birth certificates use the terms “progenitor A” and “progenitor B” in place of mother and father. Canada has removed the concept of “natural parent” from its laws and Sweden seeks to remove the terms “boy” and “girl”, replacing them with one term.[4]”

    Why? Why can’t it be accepted that there is a difference? http://www.family.org.au/national-campaigns/401-homosexual-marriage-and-its-consequences

    Like

  10. What does Bill Shorten think these passages really mean? If God meant from the very start for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman, why is there no mention of it in the Bible?

    Ephesians “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,”

    Genesis: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”

    Matthew 19 – And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”1

    Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

    Like

    • Dear Kathleen,

      Maybe it is not quite so “clear.”

      While many are quick to cite a few select verses to support antigay beliefs, one can also find verses condemning eating shrimp (another abomination) and even condoning taking your rebellious child to the city gate to be stoned.Thankfully, there is a stunning lack of support for this ‘biblical’ child-rearing tactic.

      In other words, when we cherry pick or read without historical context, we can use the Bible to defend or promote any number of issues from slavery, to women’s rights, to whether or not to spank our children. The point here is that a Bible verse taken out of context can be harmful, and we must be careful to thoughtfully consider the Bible’s text in light of our experience, history and tradition.

      The Biblical call to “go forth and multiply” is no longer as critical to the continuing of humankind.

      Many argue that same-sex couples are not able to have biological children and therefore their union is not natural. While it is true that same-sex partners cannot procreate (without donors, gestational carries, medical intervention, etc.), it is also true that 10-15% of heterosexual couples are infertile and often unable to have biological children without medical intervention. And, many heterosexual couples choose not to have children.

      Do we grant marriage rights only to those who are biologically able and/or choose to have children? Do we recognize the commitment of these childless heterosexual couples as less than? Of course not, that would be ridiculous, right?

      Like

      • The bible (new testament) also says women shouldn’t preach over men. Just think of Joyce Meyer….her ministry is blessed blessed blessed.

        Like

    • Or maybe you misunderstood what the Bible actually teaches, when you point out that rebellious child was to be taken to the city gate to be stoned.

      The passage states:
      “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death.”

      So why is the child stoned?
      – stubbornness and rebellion against parental authority. You guys whinge that we Christian don’t look after our kids properly anyway, so we might as well have gay people looking after kids. So what will you do when they will be stubborn and rebellious against gay parents? Let them run amok?
      – Will not listen to them when they discipline him. This indicates that it is the responsibility of the parents to discipline their children, not the community, not the state, etc. The parents are entitled to discipline their children. How is it in the gay/lesbian community which is characterised by hedonism going to discipline their children? The glbt don’t have morals to begin with.
      – the child is profligate, drunkard, and will not listen to us. How many of you, homosexual or otherwise consent that a child is entitled to be profligate and drunkard? Remember that Charley talks about a child not an adult… Do we allow children to be drunk before adulthood? Do we allow them to watch porn before they are adult? Do we allow them to have sexual intercourse with other children or other adults?

      I suppose if you have no morals whatsoever you would.

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      • Faith communities must stop being the bully, exerting their power and influence over their members with such harmful doctrines. The church must stop causing people to feel broken and separated from God because of how God has created them. . Faith communities must stop interfering with legislation that would allow all people to share in equal rights, benefits and protections. By not recognizing the love of our gay brothers and sisters in Christ, we tell them that their love is not valid or valued. This causes our gay youth to also think that their love and possibly even they themselves are “less than” and not equal to their straight peers. .

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      • Hey Leonardo,
        Can’t you see how the GLBT have damaged their reputation to talk about tolerance?
        The ACL did not abuse Bill Shorten, although he publicly disagreed with them.

        The GLBT community in contrast tried to put pressure on the Hyatt Hotel to deny the ACL facilities to hold their conference. And did this notwithstanding the fact that Hyatt Hotel is aligned more with the LGBT than the ACL. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

        One only wonders what sort of venomous bile they will engage in against Christianity if and when they obtain whatever they want under the gay marriage umbrella, and come across churches that do not subscribe to the GLBT agenda. Will they play the game of putting economic pressure on organisations such as Hyatt Hotel who tried to be impartial?

        Like

      • The Hyatt Hotel, which officially backs gay marriage, did not back down due to pressure from SOME gay activists. And non-one in the gay sector has ever said that churches will be pressured to perform gay marriages.

        Meanwhile, support among Australians for same-sex marriage and for a conscience vote in the Coalition has reached an all-time high, according to a survey by the Liberal Party’s own pollster.

        A Crosby Textor poll has found that 72 per cent of Australians want same-sex marriage legalised, while 77 per cent think Coalition MPs should be granted a conscience vote.

        Like

      • Leonardo, do you have the same concerns over children?

        Are you concerned if a gay couple intentionally excludes a child’s natural parent?

        Are modern secularists anti-children bullies? I’m starting to think they are.

        Like

      • A stereotype is that gay relationships aren’t as real or long-lasting as heterosexual ones.

        Research has found that to be untrue. Long-term studies of gay couples indicate that their relationships are just as stable as straight pairings.

        “There is considerable evidence that both lesbians and gay men want to be in strong, committed relationships [and] are successful in creating these partnerships, despite difficulties created by social prejudice, stigma, and the lack of legal recognition for same-sex relationships in most parts of the U.S.,” said UCLA psychologist Anne Peplau, co-author of a book chapter on the subject published in the 2007 Annual Review of Psychology.

        For example, John Gottman, a University of Washington emeritus professor of psychology, and his colleagues collected data from homosexual couples across 12 years, and found that about 20 percent had broken up over that time. That rate projected over a 40-year period is slightly lower than the divorce rate for first marriages among heterosexual couples over the same time span, according to the study published in 2003 in the Journal of Homosexuality.

        “The overall implication of this research is that we have to shake off all of the stereotypes of homosexual relationships and have more respect for them as committed relationships,” Gottman said.

        Like

      • Marion there seems to be a lot of conflicting research out there. I can add links to research that say that longlasting and monogamous heterosexual relationships are not the norm.

        Like

      • Rather than condemning a rebellious son to stoning, in these days we would first ask why he has rebelled, and correct that cause. It may be that he has misunderstood underlying facts or they have not been accessible to him, or it may be that he has just cause to object and should be given a safe and secure environment.

        Or is stoning the answer, Davinci?

        Like

      • “I don’t think sexuality really comes into it.”

        No, really? There’s an ap called ‘Grindr’. Ever heard of it? It’s specifically for homosexuals looking for sex.

        No Bro, I really do feel that sexuality does come into it when it comes to the true historical/Biblical definition of marriage.

        “A smart, attractive, chronically single friend of mine had been feverishly fidgeting with his iPhone for half a dozen blocks, somehow navigating the crowded sidewalks without once lifting his gaze from the screen. “Here’s one … 1,127 feet,” he muttered. And then, “Oh, 413 feet!” Sensing my annoyance, he showed me his phone: dozens of little thumbnail pictures of guys, with little blurbs about themselves, organized from top to bottom in order of proximity. Suddenly, it became clear to me what his excitement was about. Could this crude little iPhone app be every single gay man’s dream: to be able to cruise anywhere, anytime? Shopping? Why not! Meet me in Aisle C! Killing time at the airport? I’m sitting at Gate 17. At the gym? A no-brainer. Even at gay bars: cruising within cruising.”

        http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/05/grindr-201105

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      • Hi Mon,
        No I hadn’t heard of Grindr but I just looked it up and apparently there’s one similar for straight people called SinglesAroundMe. I don’t think promiscuity or casual sex is confined to the gay world.

        Like

      • I meant to say, “when you compare the dynamics of same-sex marriage to the dynamics of male/female marriage”, particularly the appetite for sex part.

        Like

      • For heterosexuals too? ******* expletive ( in my mind). Why do I find it shocking and distasteful? It really upsets me.

        Like

      • Strewth,
        We don’t live in a theocracy anymore, as the Israelites did, so we cannot stone anymore than the Jews could legally put Jesus to death by stoning.

        You don’t seem to realise that rebellion against parental authority is a transgression of the fifth commandment of the Decalogue. You also don’t seem to realise that stoning was the course of last resort in the passage quoted above. That was after the parents had tried to reason and discipline the kid.

        We are not talking about a misbehaving kid, but rather a menace to society, who has stubbornly refused to be rehabilitated. When we see so many recidivist crims today, who continue to come before the courts time after time after time, maybe a death sentence is not a bad idea after all.

        Like

  11. Funny that Bill Shorten used words to the effect that “he cannot be silent on the marriage equality issue” among Christians, but he did not go to the open Mosque Day and say the same thing to the Muslims. How is it that being Christian, you must tolerate gay marriage but not if you are muslim?

    I bet my comment is going to be deleted from this site

    Like

    • Funny you didn’t know that Bill Shorten was recently the first Labor leader to address Sydney’s Lakemba mosque since Paul Keating in the 1990s.
      Shorten urged thousands of Australian Muslims to keep the faith that “bigots, racists, haters and extremists’’ do not speak for Islam or the nation.

      Urging unity as Australia prepares to launch air strikes in Iraq, Mr Shorten strongly backed military action in Iraq.

      But he attacked moves to divide Australia over the burqa debate was a victory for “Team Idiot.’’

      “Today in Lakemba, let us declare that the bigots, the racists, the haters, the extremists, do not speak for people of faith in modern Australia,’’ Mr Shorten said.

      Like

      • So what did he say to the Muslim community about homosexuality and gay marriage? Chapter and verse please.

        Like

      • I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Neither were you. Shorten was talking of Christian values and said anti-gay prejudices do not reflect the Christian values. He said no faith or religion should ever be used as an instrument of division and exclusion, and freedom of speech did not mean the freedom to express prejudice or hate.

        “Condemning anyone, discriminating against anyone, vilifying anyone is a violation of the values that we share,” he said.

        “In our society, under our laws, whether we be Christians, Hindu, Jews, Muslim, Buddhist, or atheist, we are all Australians and we are all equal.”

        Like

      • If you look at the Australian Christian Lobby website you will find out that whilst he had something to say to the Christian community about gay marriage, he avoided the question altogether when he was in the Muslim community, saying that the issue was not even under consideration by parliament. He said that there were other pressing matters that needed our attention such as national security.

        Pity he did not say that there are other pressing matters to those who lobby for gay marriage.

        Like

  12. Hi Kathleen,

    God bless you for having the courage to speak out. I fear for the world that my grand-babies have been born into. I can’t get the concept of ‘Brave New World’ out of my mind when I think of the implications of legalising same-sex marriage/the consequences of redefining marriage. Anyway, you might like to have a read of this article. I cried.

    THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE—A DECISIVE MOMENT IN THE TRIUMPH OF TECHNOLOGY OVER HUMANITY

    By Michael Hanby
    FEBRUARY 19, 2014

    Excerpt: “To declare same-sex unions marriage and their technological ‘reproduction’ normative is essentially to reconceive the child not as a person but as an artifact. It is to deny that he is essentially the natural fruit of a love inscribed into his parents’ flesh; since love is now a mere emotion with no bearing on the meaning of the body, which has been relegated to the sub-personal realm of ‘mere biology.’ It is to deny that his being from his parents and having a lineage is deeply constitutive of his humanity or his personal identity; since the very notion of ‘lineage’ is confused by these new artificial combinations and since ‘mother’ and ‘father’ are merely names affixed to a social function which can be performed in creative new ways. And it is to deny that he is his own being with inviolable dignity who cannot be manipulated or controlled; since it was a process of manipulation and control that brought him into being in the first place. The technological dominance of procreation asserts, contrary to the child’s true nature and to his parents’ unquestionable love for him, that a child is essentially a product of human making, an assemblage of parts outside of parts that are the parts of no real whole, whose meaning and purpose, as with all artifacts, reside not in itself but in the designs of its maker.

    The deep anthropological assumptions inherent in the push for same-sex marriage, in other words, are those of synthetic biology and the new eugenics, which promise to ‘seize control of our own evolution’ through bioengineering.

    Inadvertent as a matter of intention, perhaps—nobody really means to usher in the brave new world—but not as a matter of logic, for it is fated by the reduction of nature to artifice. This fate is almost certainly our future in any event—it has been a long time coming—and same-sex ‘marriage’ is more its symptom than its cause. But the arrival of same-sex marriage will nevertheless hasten this fate in at least three ways: by irreversibly codifying this artificial anthropology and officially sanctioning ‘families’ that call for ever more ‘creative’ application of ARTs, thus making it all but impossible to regulate the ‘wild west’ that is the present fertility industry; by catalyzing new agendas for research; and by creating markets for new bioengineered ‘products’—children with two ‘biological’ fathers or mothers, for instance—that would otherwise be unthinkable and unnecessary. And of course an outlook that embraces these developments has no non-moralistic basis for resisting the full gamut of new eugenical practices already in the pipeline such as embryo selection, cryopreservation, ‘baby farming,’ three-parent ‘composite’ babies, defective embryos and chimeras manufactured for research, and various germline manipulations and transgenic enhancements.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/02/19/the-brave-new-world-of-same-sex-marriage/#.UwT7Y_fKsJ4.email

    Like

    • A stereotype is that gay relationships aren’t as real or long-lasting as heterosexual ones.

      Research has found that to be untrue. Long-term studies of gay couples indicate that their relationships are just as stable as straight pairings.

      “There is considerable evidence that both lesbians and gay men want to be in strong, committed relationships [and] are successful in creating these partnerships, despite difficulties created by social prejudice, stigma, and the lack of legal recognition for same-sex relationships in most parts of the U.S.,” said UCLA psychologist Anne Peplau, co-author of a book chapter on the subject published in the 2007 Annual Review of Psychology.

      For example, John Gottman, a University of Washington emeritus professor of psychology, and his colleagues collected data from homosexual couples across 12 years, and found that about 20 percent had broken up over that time. That rate projected over a 40-year period is slightly lower than the divorce rate for first marriages among heterosexual couples over the same time span, according to the study published in 2003 in the Journal of Homosexuality.

      “The overall implication of this research is that we have to shake off all of the stereotypes of homosexual relationships and have more respect for them as committed relationships,” Gottman said.

      Like

      • Good one Marion,

        What’s that got to do with the article I posted? You didn’t even bother to read it first. 🙂

        Like

      • God requires us to be champions of truth, compassion and justice, and rigorous exposers of cruelty and injustice

        Like

      • Marion, is it cruel to deny a child one of their natural parents?

        Why won’t anyone answer this question?

        Like

      • I know three gay couples with children. The children know both their natural fathers and mothers. And all are involved deeply in the childrens’ lives. This seems to be a growing practice. So none of these children are denied their natural parents.

        Like

      • Kathleen, you are concerned about the cruelty of denying a child one of their natural parents. My story is about John and Mary (not their real names.) They were separated, their child living with Mary and her new partner. John was concerned for the child’s welfare, noting severe psychological problems in the lad, but had promised Mary he would never try to take the boy as she had already lost three children to their respective fathers. He had the boy in school holidays and on alternative weekends.

        However, Child Welfare said to John “If you don’t take that child, we will.” A court case awarded John full custody, leaving it up to him to decide what access Mary would have. Advised to cut off all communication with her, John nevertheless arranged for the boy to have short then increasing access. On the first overnight she was to have him, Mary fled the State attempting to take the boy. John was forewarned and she left without the boy.

        As the boy later began to talk of abandonment by his mother, John emphasised that she hadn’t wished that, that she loved him dearly but couldn’t fulfill the needs of a child.

        As a single father John brought up the boy. Over the years Mary visited approximately annually for eight years, trying to get him back, and though the affection between them was obvious the boy was alarmed at the thought of returning to her. She has made no attempt to visit in the last few years.

        Now he is 17. His father took him on an interstate trip, said “Now we’re close to where your Mum lives, we could visit her.” The boy’s reaction was very negative.

        What I’m trying to say is that a child doesn’t need same-sex parents to be deprived of a natural parent, with no substitute mother figure. This boy was deprived of a mother he loved and who loved him, who was never denigrated by the father, but still the boy made his own judgement as to what might be best for his own welfare.

        I don’t think this is an isolated case. In one way he was lucky that experience helped his insight, whereas kids without that experience might just imagine a wonderful relationship they’ve missed out on.

        Like

    • Very good points Monica. I really don’t think people think through the consequences.

      The reason I’m so passionate about it is because children are so vulnerable and nobody seems to be concerned about them. Whether it’s the emotional consequences of divorce, or abandonment, the sanctity of marriage or how they are brought into the world.

      That just astonishes me. I find it both sad and maddening.

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      • Also I remember when Alexie used to frequent here, I ruffled a few feathers because I wasn’t too supportive of Step parents. I was accused of being anti-SP. I also argued against divorce and casual relationships prior to marriage with no intentions of commitment.

        I think marriage is worth fighting for. Nothing is perfect but if you use that as a basis for any debate then you could say ‘well, women get raped so why not take advantage of her’. Using an example of wrong to justify another ‘wrong’ is …. wrong lol.

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      • Anti-gay attitudes are often found in those who do not know gay people on a personal basis. I believe that might be why you are so passionate about your stance.

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      • You’re making grand assumptions Marion. I used to work in the entertainment industry and most of my colleagues were gay. A family member is gay and has a child with her partner.

        It has nothing at all to do with being anti-gay, that’s just what people say when you disagree with them. I could say that anyone who thinks a gay person getting married is more important that a child being able to know their mother and father – is anti children. Should I assume that you or anyone that is happy for a child not to know one of their parents is anti-children?

        This is about marriage.

        If a man should be able to choose and marry a man and not ‘have’ to marry a person of the opposite sex (or vice versa with women) – purely because that is the ‘gender’ they are attracted to and love. Then that is saying that Gender is important. I believe Gender is also important when it comes to a child’s parents i.e. a child wants a mother and a father, a male and a female.

        If gender is important in relationships then it is also important in parenting. You can’t have one and not the other and it doesn’t matter how many times people tell me I’m mean, insensitive, anti-gay, anti-divorce, anti-stepparent whatever, whatever. I will constantly bring up these points, just as people seem to constantly put forth the argument towards enabling the change to marriage to include gay couples.

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      • @Kathleen “This is about marriage.”

        Yet in the next statement (and in most of your responses in this post) you want to make it about parenting. So which is it? Conflating marriage with parenting is an obvious error, dealt with ably by Bryan, Rian and several others in their responses to you. It would seem that your religious and personal views on homosexuality are basis of your motives for opposing SSM. Which begs the question, why should your religious and personal views be the basis restricting marriage (or any other freedom) to others?

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      • No it’s not Stu Did you read the pamphlet above that I posted. Marriage is about family otherwise why do you really need marraige? You can love your partner and have all the legally binding whatevers that you want without it.

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      • “No it’s not Stu”

        What are you responding to exactly Kathleen? Are you saying your religious and personal views aren’t the basis of your objection to SSM?

        “Marriage is about family…”

        Who’s definition of family? Who gets to define this? Who gets excluded? What basis to you exclude them?

        “You can love your partner and have all the legally binding whatevers that you want without it.”

        How does that support discrimination against SSM?

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  13. Get those rotten tomatoes ready, because I also don’t agree with sperm/egg donations, surrogacy – whether it be for hetero or gay couples. Either one.

    The reason being (if you don’t know by now), is that the child won’t have a relationship with their natural parent (gestational surrogacy also has it’s issues).

    There is a lesbian woman campaigning against gay men being able to have children with surrogate mothers o/s. I think in Thailand as I think it has been banned in India. She believes that this is causing women to be used beyond what is reasonable because these women are poor. She feels it is misogynist and as a feminist, believes it is wrong.

    For many people, it is easier (and clean cut) not to have to involve friends in the parenting setup as that way they can be the sole parent with their partner.

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  14. There is a petition to end anonymous sperm/egg donation in the US.

    People do not want to be bought and sold, have their history erased and their identity blocked. That is like a stolen generation.

    “Our rights are taken away before we are even born. Reproductive industries sacrificed our right to know our donor father or mother so they can make more money. So they can get more donors. Because this is the easiest for the parent seeking reproductive help and easiest for the cryobanks. When are our rights ever considered? No one bothered to consider the consequences or to try to set up a system that is fair to all parties.
    We do not know half of our lineage; this includes medical information and information that could tell us about our heritage that contributes to our sense of self and identity.

    This is WRONG.
    We need this to change. Anonymity has to go.”

    http://www.change.org/p/american-society-for-reproductive-medicine-end-anonymous-sperm-egg-donation-in-the-u-s

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  15. “Passed down
    I know vague characteristics of him: hair color, height, weight.
    He likes the beach and tennis. How informative.

    I recently found out that his mom, my grandma, took her own life. I had to repeatedly ask for medical history from the cryobank to get this information. And none of this information was updated, it was over 21 years old. I am not allowed updated information.
    They cant tell me if my father is dead or notify me when he dies. Yet, I can know how his mother died. She suffered from depression.
    Does the sadness and pain I feel come from my grandmother?

    I know some of this pain is from being donor conceived.
    Not knowing who he is.
    Not knowing if the girl sitting across from me, who resembles me, is my sister.
    The not knowing is brutal.
    The cryobank having full knowledge and control over these files and me not having a right to them is unjust.
    I hold so much anger, sadness, and helplessness.

    Thank you so much for giving me this life anonymous father. My cowardly father.
    And the system that allows this to happen anonymously, Thank you so much!
    I have never felt more screwed over and depleted of my rights.

    God bless America. ”

    Anonymousus.org

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    • An Australian study by McNair, Dempsey, Wise, & Perlesz, (2002 found that known sperm donors were overwhelmingly preferred by Australian lesbian mothers for a range of reasons, including wanting children to have access to knowledge about their biogenetic paternity, the desire to give the father the chance to have children in their lives, or belief in the importance of male role models for children.

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      • It’s still not ideal because the children will have to be moved between two households. It would have to be an airtight arrangement as with this case below, a lesbian couple wanted to be the primary parents, with the male friend as a male influence but not a parent. Now it has gone to court and neither parent wants the child to be moved between two houses as they feel that that is unstable. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097279/Very-modern-custody-battle-Gay-father-court-battle-lesbians-access-boy-two.html

        In the end I think they were deciding that the child would then have three parents. The two lesbian women and the gay father. Then if the lesbian couple divorces (if they were married), the child would then have to move between three households.

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      • One gay (male) couple I know (one is the father) are about to live with the lesbian couple (one is the mother) in the same household. So the biological mother and the biological father will be living (with their partners) in the same house. And of course there may be a divorce along the way(as there may be in any heterosexual home) but it’s not anticipated. So the child likely grows up in a loving if non traditional home.

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    • With four parents. That’s going to be a mean feat for them to all agree on how the child is reared. It’s hard enough between two loving parents.

      I wonder if that will be overwhelming for the child? I don’t know.

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      • No it’s not polygamy Kathleen. Polygamy is having more than one spouse…like Abraham and other prophets in the Old Testament..

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      • Kathleen,

        From your days in the entertainment business, you would have witnessed the seedier side of homosexuality, I’d imagine. Is that correct?

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      • Gee Monica,
        I can well get in on that one myself. In my one year on the road in a theatrical venture, the greater part of the seedy side of life was very much heterosexual. Sharing bedrooms in boarding houses and hotels, my sleep was often disturbed by activities in the bed(s) occupied by my companions, as they brought back local ladies to keep them company. Sure, there were the occasional ‘gay’ chaps among the troupe as well, but their seedy side was never emphasised anywhere near as much as was the case with the greater number of straight guys.

        During my many years in Amateur Drama companies, sure, there was a big contingent of Gay chaps, and they tended to have the freedom to express themselves openly. I’ll never forget a rather amusing situation in Perth, that came up in a festival that the many Drama clubs joined together for at my own club. The president of one participating visiting club was chatting with a couple of the seniors of my own, and telling them “We have three rules at our club that make certain that we are a top club. Rule 1. No Poofters. Rule 2. No Poofters. and Rule 3. No Poofters!” It was rather amusing to notice that he hadnt got the slightest idea that the top guys of my own club he was talking to, were all Gay.

        Then I think back to my luckily all too brief stint in National Service in the 1950s. I certainly got a rapid and rather overwhelming introduction to the seedy side of life as I mixed with the guys in my tent. Apart from the occasional labelling of some guy as being queer, with the big joking on the subject, the predominant atmosphere was that of seedy heterosexuality. Coming from a sheltered Methodist upbringing, I sure learned a lot in a very short time.

        Rian.

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      • Kathleen,
        You speculate there on what might be overwhelming for the child. It seems to me that everyone here is not recalling their history.

        The Nuclear Family that we are all familiar with is actually a very modern, and presumably Western invention. In the old days in just about all cultures, the norm was really the Extended Family. From their birth, children were surrounded by a whole tribe of Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, and especially (if they survived) the Grandparents. the loss of a mother (however sad) not a critical matter.

        In those circumstances, prior to the availability of reliable Contraception methods, and when there were far greater dangers in childbirth, it was taken for granted that the mother may not be about automatically for the whole or any of the child’s upbringing. One notices in the old days, just how often men married a few wives as a matter of course, – and not just because of divorce, which was as we say, much more difficult to get, – or else was totally forbidden by the church or the culture.

        There appears to have been no confusion or overwhelming distress for the child in those days, to have whole loads of adults looking after them. It was rather like having a whole series of mothers available. Same sex ‘relatives’ as well, would simply fill in the gaps and take over at the drop of a hat. We probably could find the same system today among some Australian Aboriginal groups, and other tribal communities around the world.

        Just struck me too, that since homosexual practice was forbidden or not out in the open in those older societies, I guess we can take it as given, that among the married and unmarried relatives hovering around the small children in the extended family situations, common statistics would just have to allow that a small proportion of the relatives would have homosexual inclinations; and those folk would just fit in as a matter of routine with few hiccups.

        It really is rather funny how in our modern society, which would represent only a very small number of generations, probably confined to the period from the latter half of the 20th century, we have grown to take the Nuclear Family for granted, and as representing the norm for all time. But it just aint so, as any historian would tell you. Today, we tend to live in these isolated little coteries of Father Mother and child, tucked away in our little bungalows, often not associating much with our next door neighbours, let alone with our relatives.

        Today too, confusion can all too easily arise for the child when big differences show up between the parents concerning their rules and mores about child rearing. So different from those old days when probably the Grandparents dictated the terms and the processes for the whole family. There were simply not the options of different viewpoints and ideals or customs which the individuals might adopt. The tribe or close knit community in which the family lived would also dictate the terms and expectations for the behaviour and attitudes of the children. Certainly everything tended to be pretty predictable.

        Anyway, I’m not going to indulge in a game of ‘Aint it Awful!’, but as it is, we do have a brand new sort of world today, and the rules are much more difficult to determine and enforce, now that we have Computers, Television, Mobile Phones and whatever. Our children can compare themselves with others all over the world, in a way that was never possible before, confronting them with options and desirable differences unthinkable in older days.

        Rian.

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      • That still goes on in Perth hostels today, Rian—-Sex and drug taking.

        I can name one Backpacker’s Hostel in particular over here in Perth…..and I am soooo tempted to do so! The young backpacker we looked out for last year forbade me to call the Police, but I did put in a formal complaint anyway. The poor girl paid for her accommodation and then walked into her room full of young people injecting themselves with drugs—five in all! And her mate in the next room was kept up all night with a guy and gal on the top bunk having sex. Meanwhile the front desk is manned all night by a young person who doesn’t give a ****!

        Anyway, I believe that the hostel got busted by the cops not long after—-YAAY!

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  16. This sounds all so complicated to me.

    “5.2 What is the legal status of child-parent relationships in same-sex families? ”

    5.2.2 A child born to a same-sex couple will often have only one legal parent
    92(a) A child born to a lesbian couple usually has a birth mother and lesbian co-mother 92
    (i) Federal law does not recognise a lesbian co-mother as a legal parent of an ART child 92(ii) WA, ACT and NT law recognises a lesbian co-mother as a legal parent of an ART child 92
    (iii) A child conceived through intercourse to a lesbian couple will have a birth mother,
    birth father and lesbian co-mother 93
    (b) A child born to a gay couple always has a birth mother and may have a birth father
    and gay co-father or two gay co-fathers 93
    (i) A child conceived through ART to a gay couple will have a birth mother and
    two gay co-fathers 93
    (ii) A surrogate mother is the legal mother unless adoption occurs 94
    (iii) A child conceived through intercourse to a gay couple will have a birth mother,
    birth father andgay co-father 94
    5.2.3 A lesbian co-mother or gay co-father(s) cannot be a step-parent to a child 94
    5.2.4 A same-sex couple, lesbian co-mother or gay co-father cannot
    generally adopt a child 95
    (a) A same-sex couple can only adopt an unrelated child in WA and ACT 95
    (b) A lesbian co-mother or gay co-father is unlikely to achieve ‘step-parent adoption’ 95

    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/human_rights/samesex/report/pdf/report_ch5.pdf

    Like

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