A list of senators who just voted for discrimination to continue

Here’s a list of Australian senators who believe in discriminating against gay people:

Abetz, Eric (Tasmania).
Back, Chris J (WA).
Barnett, Guy (Tasmania).
Bernardi, Cory (SA).
Bilyk, Catryna L (Tasmania).
Bishop, T Mark (WA).
Boswell, Ronald L.D (Queensland).
Brown, Carol L (Tasmania).
Bushby, David C (Tasmania).
Cameron, Doug N (NSW).
Cash, Michaelia C (WA).
Colbeck, Richard (Tasmania).
Collins, Jacinta (Victoria).
Cormann, Mathias H.P (WA).
Crossin, Patricia M (NT).
Eggleston, Alan (WA).
Farrell, Don E (SA).
Feeney, David (Victoria).
Ferguson, Alan B (SA).
Fielding, Steve (Victoria).
Fierravanti-Wells, Concetta (NSW).
Fisher, Mary Jo (SA).
Forshaw, Michael G (NSW).
Furner, Mark L (Queensland).
Hogg, John J (Queensland).
Humphries, Gary (ACT).
Hurley, Annette (SA).
Hutchins, Steve P (NSW).
Johnston, David (WA).
Lundy, Kate A (ACT).
Marshall, Gavin (Victoria).
Mason, Brett J (Queensland).
McLucas, Jan E (Queensland).
Minchin, Nick H (SA).
Moore, Claire (Queensland).
O’Brien, Kerry W.K (Tasmania).
Parry, Stephen (Tasmania).
Polley, Helen (Tasmania).
Ronaldson, Michael (Victoria).
Sherry, Nick J (Tasmania).
Stephens, Ursula (NSW).
Sterle, Glenn (WA).
Troeth, Judith M (Victoria).
Wortley, Dana (SA).
Xenophon, Nick (SA).

These are the people who yesterday voted against the Marriage Equality Bill, a bill which did no more than remove the parts of federal legislation that continue to discriminate against gay people. A third of Senators declined to vote at all – moral cowardice, but at least not overt bigotry.

Every one of the people on the above list should be remembered for this repulsive act. In thirty years, when we look back at this bizarre episode in our history – the same way as we look back at those who opposed giving indigenous Australians the vote, or equal opportunity legislation for women – let’s not forget the contribution made yesterday by everyone on that list.

The most ironic thing was the speeches given in opposition just before the vote, where members tried to justify their support of discrimination. Senator Sherry tried to use the ALP’s record on other discrimination as an excuse. Which is daft, but dwarfed by Senator Brandis’ bizarre attempt to redefine “discrimination”:

I fail to see this issue as being an issue about discrimination. What Senator Hanson-Young failed to acknowledge in her contribution is that there are certain customs and practices in any society that are unique to certain types of relationships, and to acknowledge that is not to discriminate against people. In our society the limitation of marriage to people of opposite sex is not to discriminate against people who wish to belong to samesex relationships; it is merely to acknowledge the undoubted social reality and custom in Australia that marriage is a unique institution which has only ever been regarded as being between a man and a woman. I am astonished that there could be outrage at discrimination against gay couples by not extending to them the definition of a custom—that is, marriage—which has never, ever in any society, in the whole of human history, been regarded as other than a relationship

I think he’s saying that because they’ve been traditionally discriminated against, it’s not discrimination to discriminate against them now. Weird.

Senator Fielding spouted his party’s general nonsense about how gay marriage somehow “undermines the family”, but was mercifully spared from having to try to explain that by a severe time limit. And Senator Boswell endorsed the remarks by some idiotic constituent who thought that gay marriage “would make the commitment we have made appear to be of little significance. Consequently we would regard it as an insulting, invasive and unacceptable violation of our rights to now have our commitment massively devalued”.

That’s the quality of debate offered in Parliament on this fundamental issue of equal rights by the people determined to refuse them.

The Greens will reintroduce this bill after the next election. I hope they reintroduce it every year until it passes – and that we remember those who insist on adding their names to the roll of shame.

UPDATE: I’ve updated the list with senators’ states – I’ll be remembering to put those senators on that list below those not on the list when voting later that year. I may well put the Liberal senators who abstained (from Victoria, Fifield, Kroger, Ryan) ahead of the Labor senators (from Victoria, Collins*) who voted no on this Bill. And obviously the Greens ahead of all of them.

How pathetic is it that only five senators stood up for equality in 2010?

*Collins is also the senator for whom the ALP made the deal with Family First in 2004 that got Fielding “elected”. A double loss for Australia.

I’ve sent her the following letter (by post):

Ms Collins,

I note that you voted against the Marriage Equality Bill this week.

Since no coherent reason has been given by you or your colleagues for the Marriage Act to continue to discriminate against people on the grounds of gender, and your vote therefore represents a commitment to discrimination and bigotry, I am letting you know that I will be preferencing you at the next election BELOW the three Liberal Senators from Victoria who abstained.

I will of course be voting directly for the Greens who have stood up for equality in this instance – but I will also be marking my preferences very carefully and encouraging others to do the same. Those who had the gall to stand up in 2010 and directly vote AGAINST equality for no sensible reason at all, I will put last.

I will also be publishing your name and those of other senators who voted “No” on this Bill wherever I see this matter discussed, so that there’s a record. In thirty years, when people look back with astonishment that anyone could ever have thought discrimination against gay and lesbian Australians was defensible, there’ll be a handy list of those people who made it to the rank of senator and then made a point of standing for oppression and bigotry.

I hope you feel ashamed of yourself – more than that, I hope you one day come across one of the people to whom your vote has allocated second-class status in this country, and find yourself pathetically trying to defend what you did this week. Whatever else you achieve in politics, this will always taint your record.

Yours very sincerely,

Jeremy Sear.

I encourage you to do likewise.

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155 responses to “A list of senators who just voted for discrimination to continue

  1. That’s a real dose of gobbledy-gook from Boswell — I’d love to hear his answer to someone really pressing him to explain how gay marriage is “an insulting, invasive and unacceptable violation” of people in hetero marriages rights..

    As to Fielding — well, I guess we’re used to his idiocy.

  2. I loved that Boswell just couched his response as “this is what one of my constituents said”.

    The whole thing was pretty embarrassing for them. This is apparently how low you have to go to get ACL’s support.

  3. I have to say I’m disppointed in SenX. I thought he was in favour of marriage equality?

  4. “Violation of our rights”?

    WTF?!?

  5. Important to give props where due. You mentioned many people chose not to vote – when I went and looked at this I was quite amazed by the numbers:

    Ayes………… 5
    Noes………… 45
    Majority……… 40
    AYES
    Brown, B.J. Hanson-Young, S.C.
    Ludlam, S. Milne, C.
    Siewert, R. *

    Only 45 people voted and only just over 10% voted yes.

  6. Naming and shaming is a good tactic. There isn’t a single logical reason for retaining the existing discriminatory law, and I doubt this is a case where the electoral cost would be a relevant factor. I just can’t for the life of me can’t see why these people stubbornly insist that their moral views be inflicted on others by insisting on an unequal operation of an outdated law.

  7. The only props due are to the five Greens who voted yes. Shame and contempt are due the 45 senators who voted no – and the others are just morally bankrupt, ducking out of a clear issue of equality. In some ways, they’re worse – they don’t even particularly believe in the discrimination, they were just too wussy to stand against it.

    What the hell are they doing in Parliament? How can anyone not have an opinion on equality?

  8. Savvas Tzionis

    Senator Xenaphon is of Greek background (his father is from a village in Cyprus next to my fathers) and probably needs to look after his conservative Greek constituency.

  9. I am also disappointed in Senator X — I thought he was a decent, even-handed and open-minded fellow, even if I don’t always agree with him. (though I do most of the time).

    He didn’t even speak on the bill.

  10. Because only married people are allowed to have sex and kids. *rolls eyes*

  11. I do rarely ever have any reason to agree with SB but it’s good to see we can agree about some things.

    Speaking of ridiculous arguments for this sort of discrimination and SB, check out the merger of ridiculous argument with SB’s fascination of certain body parts: (from Savage Love)

    “Nancy Elliott, a state representative in New Hampshire, wants to ban same-sex marriage in that state—where it’s been legal for less than three months—and here’s her reasoning: “We’re talking about taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wiggling it around in excrement. And you have to think… would I allow that to be done to ME?”

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/february-24-2010,38481/

  12. I think that the senate’s vote reflects public attitude to this matter.

    AS IT SHOULD!!!!!

    I hope some day Jeremy that the people of Australia don’t feel as they currently do, but the job of the senate is not to reflect the imagined virtue of an argument made by the ritious. It is to reflect the view of the majority.
    As you pointed out the other day Jeremy, more people went to a rally dedicated to live music in the pub than went to the Gay Marriage one.
    It’s simply not grabbing the imagination of the community and I suspect that in most cases people’s seats might be in jeopardy if they were to vote for it.

    Unfortunate reality I’m afraid.

  13. You’re quite wrong about majority support for the discrimination, Leo, as I’ve pointed out several times. You are NOT “the public”.

    And the reality is that there is not one argument for the discrimination that holds the slightest water – which is why the opponents of the Bill were forced to say increasingly stupid things –
    1. We’ve got rid of other discrimination, so this discrimination’s okay;
    2. Discrimination isn’t discrimination if we’ve been doing it for years!
    3. Not discriminating would somehow “undermine the family”;
    4. Gay marriage would make marriages worthless.

    None of those stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. The Senate debate on the subject really shows how completely stupid and bankrupt the pro-bigotry side’s arguments really are.

  14. “The Greens have pledged to reintroduce the bill after the election.”

    Therefore do not vote green in the election of the Senate.

    If the Greens persist in seeking to destroy the very basis of our democracy;and society; ‘the traditional family’ then they have no place in Australian politics.

  15. Bring on a referendum and let the people speak for themselves – can’t argue with democracy….

    The people alone should decide what is legal and what is not.

  16. I notice that all the Labor people in there – unless I’m missing someone I don’t know about – are in the Right.

    I would suggest strongly that a certain Senator D Farrell has told his people how to vote, rather than allowing a conscience vote, which, according to the Party, this is supposed to be.

    Particularly disappointing is to see the inclusion of Dana Wortley, who was a member of the far left “Duncan” faction before it imploded and who since joined forces with the Right (inexplicably, in my opinion)

  17. Labor Right = Catholic Mafia

    Nuff said.

  18. Cemil: “Bring on a referendum and let the people speak for themselves – can’t argue with democracy….

    The people alone should decide what is legal and what is not.”

    You’re a complete fuckhead Cemil. I’ve been reading this blog for a bit and you never make any fucking sense.
    As Jeremy has stated time and fucking time again, just because a majority wants to oppress a minority, that doesn’t make it right. If that’s your view of democracy, well then you woulda been right fuckin’ at home in the the KKK in the 50’s you dopey shit.

    Why don’t you and Leo and Iain get together and have a big fucking “I love democracy when it gives us an excuse to oppress certain people party”. And yes, i know you dont have anything against same sex marriage yourself – your like the senators that didn’t speak, a gutless fuck rather than an over bigot.

    Zombie Mao??? haven’t seen that cat around in a while…

  19. I am happy to see gay marriage blocked for any reason the government puts up, I really don’t think it would be good for society to allow it.
    I agree with you on many things, but not this. There is no benefit to human development and evolution by encouraging the “gay” characteristic of some people to promulgate. Same goes for gay couples adopting children or getting IVF. What sort of cock eyed logic informs the view that, that would be good for kids or society in general?
    Jeremy, please move on to more productive topics.

  20. Why isn’t Fielding in that list??
    Was he absent?
    If so, why?
    Wasn’t he elected for no other reason that to cast a vote on this topic?

  21. Skepticus Autartikus

    All human beings are “bigoted.” Basing an argument on alleged “bigotry” is an argument born to FAIL.

  22. “What sort of cock eyed logic informs the view that, that would be good for kids or society in general?”

    Advantages:
    * allows samesex relationships to enjoy the same rights and benefits that straight relationships are currently allowed
    * promotes ideals of sexual freedom, fairness and equality
    * avoids discriminating against those of samesex relationships

    Disadvantages:
    * none

  23. Northern Exposure

    I think it’s the cock-eyeing they’re worried about Steve.

  24. “Bring on a referendum and let the people speak for themselves – can’t argue with democracy….

    The people alone should decide what is legal and what is not.”

    Democracy is not an excuse for the majority to oppress the minority. There should be no need for a referendum – we’re signatories to various human rights conventions and we’ve passed various pieces of anti-discrimination legislation. The present form of the Marriage Act clearly contradicts those – the courts should overturn it.

    We have the rule of law to protect individuals from the mob.

    That said, looking at the polls it looks like the majority is with the equality side anyway. But a “referendum”? It’s not a constitutional question, and that’s a ridiculously unfair hoop to make them overcome – in our history, only 8 of 44 referenda have carried. You’ve got to have a majority in each state as well as overall.

    The only reason the anti-equality side proposes a referendum is that it’s an unnecessarily tough hurdle for anyone to pass.

    “If the Greens persist in seeking to destroy the very basis of our democracy;and society; ‘the traditional family’ then they have no place in Australian politics.”

    Typical stupidity from Turtle, who’s yet to identify any way that marriage equality “destroys the very basis of our democracy and society ‘the traditional family’.” Apparently she thinks if gays can get married then her traditional family will be forced to disband. She’s an idiot.

    “All human beings are “bigoted.” Basing an argument on alleged “bigotry” is an argument born to FAIL.”

    What a vacuous diversion! Nobody “based their argument” on “alleged bigotry”.

    Our arguments are based on reason – there’s no basis for government to discriminate against people based on their gender, that it is unjust, and therefore should stop. The people affected desperately want equality. No harm has been shown to flow from the equality proposed.

    What’s the anti-equality side got? Check out the post for what they apparently think are their strongest “arguments” remaining.

    SA thinks their strongest argument is trying to make a big deal about particular words their opponents sometimes use. Yeah, you’re onto a winner there, mate.

    “There is no benefit to human development and evolution by encouraging the “gay” characteristic of some people to promulgate. Same goes for gay couples adopting children or getting IVF. What sort of cock eyed logic informs the view that, that would be good for kids or society in general?”

    What? Steve, nothing you just said made any sense. Why should two committed gay people in a relationship that’s functionally identical to heterosexual marriage not have the same protections we heterosexual people enjoy? Why do their equal rights have to show some “benefit to human development and evolution” before they are granted? What harm have you identified that contradicts the basic principle of equality?

    I’ll “move on to more productive topics” when this one is resolved. Which it will be, sooner or later.

  25. Thanks Jeremy for this, I missed it yesterday but have a post up on my blog now.

  26. “Apparently she thinks if gays can get married then her traditional family will be forced to disband.”

    No I don’t believe this.

    I do however believe that re-working a sacred institutions such as marriage is not good for society.

    Your repeated flap and zeroing in about some ‘anti discrimination’ technicallity actually proves that you are unable to grasp the importance of what commitment and real marriage is.

    By pushing this ‘marriage for all’ barrow you are actually hindering the gay couples who want to have there committed relationships legally recognised.

  27. “I do however believe that re-working a sacred institutions such as marriage is not good for society.”

    Who’s “re-working” it by removing the discrimination? And what precisely do you mean by “sacred”?

    “Your repeated flap and zeroing in about some ‘anti discrimination’ technicallity”

    Governments not discriminating against people based on gender is a pretty fundamental principle, not a “technicallity” (sic).

    “you are unable to grasp the importance of what commitment and real marriage is”

    The contrary. I recognise how important those things are, and how ridiculous it is to try to deny them to gay people.

    “By pushing this ‘marriage for all’ barrow you are actually hindering the gay couples who want to have there committed relationships legally recognised.”

    That doesn’t even make a tiny bit of sense.

  28. So now you openly say that Civil Unions don’t “even make a tiny bit of sense.”

    Well I disagree. Gay and other couples who either dont want to or dont qualify to be married deserve the legal protection that a civil union offers.

  29. That is of course not what I said, you shameless liar. I said that what you wrote doesn’t make the tiniest bit of sense.

    How does letting gay people get married remove protection for civil unions any more than straight couples getting married removes protections for de facto couples?

  30. I do however believe that re-working a sacred institutions such as marriage is not good for society.

    Like it has never been reworked before?

  31. Yeah this is what Jeremy and others do. I call it the ‘gay dolphin syndrome’.

    They look for the abberation to the status quo and then they quote that exception as if that makes it all right.

    For example everyone knows that one of the pillars of a real marriage is the reasonable expectation that the couple will have children.

    It’s a societal norm. It’s the expectation of newly weds that they will go forth and have children.

    But what Jeremy and crew do is seize on this. ‘Gay dolphins, gay dolphins they yell’ – “what about infertile couples, and couples that don’t want children” they yell “do they deserve not to be married?”

    Yes it’s all they have. They know deep down (and probably agree) that real marriage is between a man and a woman that truly love each other, but they get a kick out of technicalities and complaining.

    “gay dolphins, gay dolphins……”

  32. I would like those who oppose gay marriage to name any society where gay marriage is allowed or recognised that has collapsed, that has had their institutions of heterosexual marriages destroyed and that has had their children morally decay?

    Jurisdictions that allow gay marriage:
    Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Mexico,
    United States: CT, DC, IA, MA, NH, VT, Coquille

    Recognised:
    Aruba (Dutch only), Israel, Netherlands Antilles (Dutch only),
    United States: CA, MD, NY.

    Now there’s a list of failed and degenerate states, not.

    Iran persecutes and executes gays. Now there’s a coherent and peaceful state for you.

    In ancient history many societies, Chinese, European (e.g. Ancient Rome) and others allowed the bonding of same sex couples, so where did the banning of same sex marriages in Europe come from, no surprise here:
    “In 342 AD, when Christianity swept through the Roman Empire, bringing intolerance towards homosexuality with it, Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans issued a law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) prohibiting same-sex marriage in Rome and ordering execution for those so married.”

    This from a religion that in the same breath condemning homosexuality, condoned slavery.

  33. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    It is clear that most of your problem is that you do not understand some key concepts:

    1. sex discrimination

    2. the law’s position on sex discrimination.

    You would look less silly if only you could see that gay marriage is not an issue about “sex discrimination.” If you think otherwise, could you please link to this case-law I might have overlooked?

  34. Skepticus Autartikus

    Mobius Ecko

    Ah, does your italicised paragraph actually have a citation, such as a link?

  35. “For example everyone knows that one of the pillars of a real marriage is the reasonable expectation that the couple will have children.”

    That’s a ludicrous position, given how many women marry post-menopause, for example. How dare you tell them and their husbands that their marriages aren’t “real” and shouldn’t be recognised by government.

    That’s not an aberration, it’s a clear counter-example, one that’s repeated many, many times every week. Your position is absurd. Child-bearing is NOT a condition of marriage. Nobody blinks twice at people getting married who have no intention of having kids.

    Your “gay dolphin” metaphor doesn’t make any sense.

    “You would look less silly if only you could see that gay marriage is not an issue about “sex discrimination.””

    How is it not? I’m permitted to do something because I’m a man that I would be prevented solely by this law from doing if I were a woman. How is that not sex discrimination?

  36. Skepticus Autartikus

    If you think otherwise, could you please link to this case-law I might have overlooked?

  37. “how many women marry post-menopause”
    The ‘gay dolphin metaphor’ perfectly sums up what you did by making that comment.

    Oh and 28 years of age is rarely post menopausal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_at_first_marriage#Oceania

  38. “If you think otherwise, could you please link to this case-law I might have overlooked?”

    Are you being obtuse? What case law?

    Which part of discrimination on the grounds of gender do you not understand?

    “The ‘gay dolphin metaphor’ perfectly sums up what you did by making that comment.”

    How? Couples getting married with no intention of having children directly contradicts your line that marriage is not marriage if there will be no children. It’s just garbage, and an insult to the many, many childless married couples out there.

    What’s the “gay dolphin” parallel you’re trying to make? You’re not making any sense.

    “Oh and 28 years of age is rarely post menopausal”

    Did I say the “average” married woman is post-menopausal? Hint: no. So you’ve once again completely missed the point.

  39. Well some people argue that thoose who get married and remain voluntarily childless don’t have a real marriage.

    I am not so sure about this. I will give it some thought. But I do know that there a lot of selfish people in our community. People who care more about going out to restaurants twice a week and going on overseas holidays than they do about family.

    In America being voluntarily child free is running apparently at about 6.6%

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childfree

  40. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    You have made an accusation of illegality. Worse, that a piece of government legislation is illegal. This assertion of illegality must surely be based in judicial decisions. Otherwise, your case does not rely on law, but your own subjective ideology. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you need to man up and own your tirades for what they really are, rather than trying to put lipstick on the pig. ;)

  41. “For example everyone knows that one of the pillars of a real marriage is the reasonable expectation that the couple will have children.”
    Gay marraige will not stop ‘traditional’ marriages or people having children, whether or not it’s an ‘expectation’.

  42. Skepticus Autartikus

    Indeed Damien. That’s because in Australia, “gay marriage” is a non-starter.

  43. Alright then, in the event that gays are allowed to get married, it will not stop ‘traditional’ marriages or stop people from having kids.

  44. Skepticus Autartikus

    Damien

    I have never thought otherwise.

  45. Damn, just when I thought I got the hang of talking on the internet.

  46. Can I point out that what is being argued here isn’t ‘gay marriage’, but same sex marriage. Bob Brown and Penny Wong as two gay people can legally marry each other in Australia – even though both are gay. But neither of them can legally marry their actual partners because the Marriage Act doesn’t recognise marriages where the couple are the same sex.

  47. Skepticus Autartikus

    confessions

    No. Their relationship is recognised all over the shop. It just isn’t what we call a marriage. That is all. Just as many relationships between two people do not constitute marriage. Remember, what we are talking about here is a relationship

  48. Remember, what we are talking about here is a relationship

    Actually I’m talking about the failure of the Marriage Act to recognise as a legal marriage between a couple of the same sex.

  49. Yes, you can point that out Confessions.

  50. Skepticus Autartikus

    It is not The Marriage Act that has failed anything.

  51. “Well some people argue that thoose who get married and remain voluntarily childless don’t have a real marriage.”

    “Some people”. Lol.

    “You have made an accusation of illegality. Worse, that a piece of government legislation is illegal. This assertion of illegality must surely be based in judicial decisions. Otherwise, your case does not rely on law, but your own subjective ideology. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you need to man up and own your tirades for what they really are, rather than trying to put lipstick on the pig.”

    Congratulations, SA. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve read today.

  52. Skepticus Autartikus

    So, you CAN’T back up your “sex discrimination” nonsense? So how will you continue your tedious campaign that is so destined to FAIL!

  53. What are you talking about? Equality is inevitable (failing the collapse of society and the rise of a theocratic dictatorship, I suppose). Apart from the rightness of it, the proportion of society supporting it is increasing all the time, as the older more bigoted generations die off.

    Your question makes no sense. The parts of the Marriage Act that specify gender are self-evidently discrimination on the grounds of gender.

  54. Skepticus Autartikus

    are self-evidently discrimination on the grounds of gender.

    How many more times before you man up, put up or shut up? You clearly don’t know how “law” works. Let me give you a crash course: You need higher court decisions setting out principles in the context of a dispute between 2 parties before “law” is made and formally expressed.

    Despite being asked time and time again, you cannot point to even ONE such decision. In other words, your claims that the Marriage Act is illegal because of “gender discrimination” is a lie. You need to start hustling on a new street corner, dude.

  55. Same sex marriages are not recognised by the Marriage Act. Therefore the Marriage Act discriminates against same sex couples. Why is this so difficult for SA to understand?

  56. I know how “law” works – who the hell are you again, anonymous pseudonym? – and if I were actually preparing a High Court challenge to the Marriage Act I’d have a decent collection of case law supporting the argument we’d then be making.

    Oddly enough, I’m not going and spending hours hunting down such case law for you just to justify a blog comment.

    I said this –
    “How is it not? I’m permitted to do something because I’m a man that I would be prevented solely by this law from doing if I were a woman. How is that not sex discrimination?”

    That requires no case law to support. This isn’t a court of law, and yet the point I made – that discriminating on the grounds of gender in the Marriage Act is discrimination on the grounds of gender – is still fairly self-evident.

    If your only response is SHOW ME SOME CASE LAW then you’ve already lost, because I’m not arguing about case law.

    And you’re the only one who’s used the word “illegal”.

    Isn’t it amusing how both Skepticus and Turtle argue by flat-out lying about what their opponents say?

  57. ‘dude’

    Ouch!

    Tag, Lefty: The well known high court decision in Q v Null Hypothesis & Prove The Negative

  58. Skepticus Autartikus

    confessions/Jeremy

    I believe in a fair-go, so I am going to go out of my way to help you helpless do-dos prepare your case. Please tell what piece of legislation you are relying on, and the particular section/s.

  59. We’re not preparing a high court case, you dingbat.

  60. Jesus wept! SA believes the Marriage Act recognises same sex marriage.

  61. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    Your whole argument rests on the assumption that by not including same-sex ‘marriages’ The Marriage Act is breaking the law against sex discrimination. This statement of yours is a statement of the Law o Sex Discrimination. That is, you say The Marriage Act does not comply with the Sex Discrimination Act.

    I just wonder where you get the confidence to make such bold assertions about what is the law. This must only come from your following of legal cases, and decisions by courts. So far, you have failed/avoided providing to what the rest of us should be the most accessible and voluminous judge decisions. After all, this is where you get your rants about the law and illegality surely?

    You delude yourself that

    gender in the Marriage Act is discrimination on the grounds of gender – is still fairly self-evident.

    Yet, I have never met a person in my entire life who has ever made such a braindead claim. So no, we do not think it is ‘self-evident.’ As you do, citing relevant case law should be a cinch.

    You would not last even 1 week in a Law degree.

  62. Zippy the Pinhead

    ouch. i think i just face palmed all the way to my elbow.

  63. Because there hasn’t been a “gay” challenge to the Marriage Act determined by the High Court, it is open that gay marriages can exist [?] Is that it?

  64. “Your whole argument rests on the assumption that by not including same-sex ‘marriages’ The Marriage Act is breaking the law against sex discrimination…So no, we do not think it is ’self-evident.’”

    MARRIAGE ACT 1961 – SECT 5
    Interpretation

    (1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

    “marriage” means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

    MARRIAGE ACT 1961 – SECT 88EA
    Certain unions are not marriages

    A union solemnised in a foreign country between:

    (a) a man and another man; or

    (b) a woman and another woman;

    must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.

    Obviously, marriage is restricted by sex – some combinations of sexes are forbidden from partaking of a foundational social institution. Self-evidently, it is sexual discrimination. I don’t know if it’s illegal in the sense of contradicting our international treaty obligations as suggested by Jeremy.

    Conservatives value marriage, right? Then they should be happy to extend it as far and wide as possible. Unless they’re bigoted hypocrites, that is.

    “You would not last even 1 week in a Law degree.”

    AFAIK, Mr Sear is a frickin’ barrister. So STFU.

  65. Where has Jeremy said the Marriage Act does not comply with the Sex Discrimination Act?

  66. “Isn’t it amusing how both Skepticus and Turtle argue by flat-out lying about what their opponents say?”

    Getting trounced by Skepticus in debate on the legal side of the issues, Jeremy reaches out to try and drag Turtle back into the debate by calling me a liar.

    Desperate, desperate stuff.

  67. “AFAIK, Mr Sear is a frickin’ barrister. So STFU.”

    True. I don’t know what Skepticus is, other than a dishonest troll. He sounds like a law student who’s just opened his first textbook.

    “Your whole argument rests on the assumption that by not including same-sex ‘marriages’ The Marriage Act is breaking the law against sex discrimination.”

    No, it doesn’t. I think it does contradict that legislation (that’s not the same as saying it’s “illegal” as you’ve claimed, but anyway), and I also think it’s incompatible with various human rights treaties we’ve signed – but that’s not my central argument here. My central contention here is that it DOES constitute sex discrimination, and it clearly does. It’s pretty much the definition of sex discrimination – preventing someone from doing something on the grounds of their gender.

    I’m not preparing a High Court appeal at the moment, so I haven’t a list of precedents regarding the Equal Opportunity Act or whatever – but so what? It’s clear what the Marriage Act says, and it’s clear that it’s discrimination based on gender.

    Which is my point. Which you haven’t managed even vaguely to contradict.

    “I just wonder where you get the confidence to make such bold assertions about what is the law. “

    This is what I said about courts, amongst many comments on the general principle:

    “Democracy is not an excuse for the majority to oppress the minority. There should be no need for a referendum – we’re signatories to various human rights conventions and we’ve passed various pieces of anti-discrimination legislation. The present form of the Marriage Act clearly contradicts those – the courts should overturn it.

    We have the rule of law to protect individuals from the mob.”

    Now, I’m not going to go into any more detail on that now – if you don’t accept the premise that there are international conventions we’ve signed up to that require us not to discriminate on the grounds of gender, or that we have legislation that prohibits such discrimination, and your response is that the government is ALLOWED to discriminate in the Marriage Act the way it does, then that’s an argument for another day. At the moment the marriage equality side is seeking to argue the case as a matter of principle rather than a specific legal challenge on the grounds of contradictory legislation, so I haven’t done such research, and I concede that at this point.

    I mean – what’s your question here, really? Are you saying you don’t think we ARE signatories to any sort of treaties that prohibit sex discrimination? Or that we don’t have federal legislation that does?

    If you’re saying that the Marriage Act DOESN’T discriminate on grounds of gender, then I refer you to the Act itself. Jarrah just quoted it. In what conceivable way does that not discriminate on the grounds of gender? What do you think “discriminate on the grounds of gender” means, other than… well, discriminating on the grounds of gender? What do you think the word “discriminate” means?

    “Yet, I have never met a person in my entire life who has ever made such a braindead claim. So no, we do not think it is ’self-evident.’ As you do, citing relevant case law should be a cinch.”

    Um, what? Why would I need case law to refer to an obviously discriminatory section of legislation in a blog post? How could anyone with a functioning brain argue that specifying genders is NOT discriminatory?

    Hell, it’s so obvious that you probably wouldn’t even need to refer to case law in court, either, at least on that point – how could you interpret that legislation to say that it does NOT discriminate? Seriously, how?

    The argument in a court wouldn’t be whether it discriminates – it clearly does – it would be whether the relevant legislation prohibits that sort of discrimination, and if so, which should prevail. You would need case law on how the discrimination provisions have been interpreted previously, and whether this type of discrimination would be covered – but no-one would seriously stand up and say discriminating on the ground of gender isn’t discriminating on the ground of gender. Well, they could try. It would be amusing.

    “Getting trounced by Skepticus in debate on the legal side of the issues”

    Well, if you say so, Turtle…

  68. Plenty of examples of gender discrimination about. – Ladies and Mens public tolets, Fernwood Ladies only Heath Clubs, certain men only clubs. There is nothing wrong with discrimination if it limits undesirable outcomes. I just discriminated myself: I pulled the weeds from my garden and left the herbs behind.

  69. “Plenty of examples of gender discrimination about.”

    Not generally by government legislation, other than the Marriage Act.

    But at least you’re arguing the point. Arguing that this isn’t discrimination is stupid – the real counter-argument is that it’s discrimination that’s necessary for some public good.

    Only no-one has been able to identify a public good that’s actually achieved by marriage discrimination – let alone one so significant that it should outweigh the interests of the discriminated against parties for equality.

  70. the Liberal senators who abstained (from Victoria, Fifield, Kroger, Ryan)

    Wasn’t Helen Kroger in hospital because of a dog attack or something? In which case she had a legitimate reason for abstaining.

  71. SA seems to think that the wording in the Marriage Act can only happen via legal challenge to the high court, which is curious on a thread about the acts of legislators in the senate. Perhaps s/he really is a law student. :P

  72. What about the gays and lesbians who don’t want marriage rights – you know the ones who weren’t at the rally. I’ve spoken to some who like have ‘special’ minority status.

  73. “Only no-one has been able to identify a public good that’s actually achieved by marriage discrimination – let alone one so significant that it should outweigh the interests of the discriminated against parties for equality”

    I’ve been identifying the public good and so have Turtle and others in previous threads, it’s just that you don’t like the message.

    My view in a nutshell is that “promoting” long term same sex partnering is undesirable to our society. I particularly don’t like the idea of bringing children into samesex “families”.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with ideas of “punishing” people for being gay, just because I don’t get turned on by their sex practices. There are plenty of unappealing (to me) hetero sex practices as well. Long term same sex partnering is not the natural way of things for the majority of humans or other species. There are minor exceptions, but for the most part, it is abnormal.

    As a civilised society, we tolerate this problem, but we should not encourage it. Same sex couples need legal protections for things such as property, inheritence etc. and these can be covered by civil unions or some other legal mechanism but not by changing the Marriage act. In short, get your own marriage act.

    No one seems to know why some people are genuinely solely attracted to their same sex. Some say it’s genetic, others say it’s chemical changes before birth. Those afficted in this way have always been around in all societies and I don’t think one can be “encouraged” to be this way or not.

    However, through the last 20-30 years, as the gay rights movement has gained acceptance for homosexuality, there has also been a massive increase in bisexuality. Bisexuals are different. They can’t claim to have a genuine revulsion to the opposite sex. Their “experimentation” is legitimised more and more by popular culture.

    TV soap operas depict same sex kissing and relationships claiming that it reflects “real life”. Impressionable teens and pre teens watch and think it is normal behaviour.

    Gay couples, happy in their relationships but frustrated by nature’s limit on their procreation, try to adopt or get a surrogate and these days, they succeed. The kids growing up in these households will obviously see same sex relationships as normal and if they are not gay themselves, they will clearly be in an environment that encourages that kind of relationship. i.e bisexual experimentation.

    Now a bit of experimentation probably never did too much harm, but as that next generation approaches 30 years old and start to look for a life partner, will the bisexual ones settle into a same sex or hetero relationships? There is evidence that the person you are with when that settling down change comes around is the probably the one you will stay with. With increasing bisexual and gay relationships, there will be more samesex long term partnering and hence fewer children.

    One generation probably does not make a massive difference, but three or ten generations down the track? There have been about eight generations since 1788, so it is pretty obvious how much things can change in a short history.

    Individual rights are one thing, but they don’t trump those of the country. It cannot be known at this stage whether this samesex popularisation of the last generation will continue or not but I think it is prudent not to be encouraging society down this route. The discrimination is justified, the Gay mardigras should not be held and general TV should not be routinely running storylines about samesex teenagers.

  74. What about the gays and lesbians who don’t want marriage rights

    Legalising same sex marriage won’t have the effect of forcing couples into marriage. What it will do is permit those who do want to marry the entitlement to do so.

  75. “What about the gays and lesbians who don’t want marriage rights – you know the ones who weren’t at the rally. I’ve spoken to some who like have ’special’ minority status.”

    What about women who don’t want to vote? Maybe we should take the vote away from all women to pander to them?

    The fact that some gays don’t want the right to marry doesn’t mean that it should be denied the ones who do.

    I’d be very surprised if most gay people didn’t want full marriage rights, even if they didn’t want to personally marry – the same way as most straight people who don’t intend to marry aren’t asking the government to take the decision out of their hands.

  76. “I’ve been identifying the public good and so have Turtle and others in previous threads, it’s just that you don’t like the message.”

    No, it’s that none of the “public goods” you’ve claimed stand up to any scrutiny whatsoever.

    Quick summary of your concern expressed in the rest of your comment: you think that gay couples will encourage their kids to be bisexual and then they’ll possibly settle down in a gay relationship themselves when they could’ve been straight and THE BIRTH RATE WILL PLUMMET. Also being gay is “unnatural” and “abnormal” and therefore something the government should endure but not “encourage”.

    Questions:
    1. Is there a birthrate problem? Is humanity approaching extinction? Has there been a birthrate drop in countries that have legalised gay marriage? Is it even close to the reduction in birthrate due to factors like housing unaffordability etc?
    2. Do you really think straight people can be turned gay by hanging around with gay people or having gay parents?
    3. Even if it was “unnatural” – which it isn’t, plenty of gay animals in nature – so what? Using a computer to communicate with people on the other side of the world is “unnatural”, and that’s not something you’re asking governments to discourage.

    “It cannot be known at this stage whether this samesex popularisation of the last generation will continue or not but I think it is prudent not to be encouraging society down this route.”

    What’s that I hear? Voices echoing from the 19th century? “Hey, no Western country has ever given women the vote! Civilization might collapse! We can’t take that chance!”

    Fatuousness.

    “The discrimination is justified, the Gay mardigras should not be held and general TV should not be routinely running storylines about samesex teenagers.”

    Well, at least you’re open about your bigotry.

  77. Questions:
    “1. Is there a birthrate problem? Is humanity approaching extinction? Has there been a birthrate drop in countries that have legalised gay marriage? Is it even close to the reduction in birthrate due to factors like housing unaffordability etc?”

    Right now in Australia there is a birthrate problem. Currently being plugged by immigration. It is far too early to tell if there has been a birthrate drop due to legalised gay marriage.

    “2. Do you really think straight people can be turned gay by hanging around with gay people or having gay parents?”

    Not gay. Bi.

    “3. Even if it was “unnatural” – which it isn’t, plenty of gay animals in nature – so what? Using a computer to communicate with people on the other side of the world is “unnatural”, and that’s not something you’re asking governments to discourage.”

    Irrelevant.

    “The discrimination is justified, the Gay mardigras should not be held and general TV should not be routinely running storylines about samesex teenagers.”

    “Well, at least you’re open about your bigotry.”
    and I think you protest too much about gay rights, Lefty.

    My point still stands. Gay mardigras is no longer needed as a vehicle to promote minority rights. It is a commercial “celebration” of all things “gay”. I even heard 2GB promoting it last night. Hardly the bastion of progressive opinion.

    Why don’t you do a nice piece on the new Solar Thermal plants being built in Spain. See http://www.torresolenergy.com/en/proyecto_gemasolar.html

    Try to resist name calling next time.
    See ya.

  78. “With increasing bisexual and gay relationships, there will be more samesex long term partnering and hence fewer children. ”
    IVF? Adoption? And of course the already mentioned immigration. The children may be homo/bi sexual, but they will still hold the possiblity and desire to raise children, and will adopt/IVF, so productive people will still be ‘made’.

  79. “Right now in Australia there is a birthrate problem. Currently being plugged by immigration. It is far too early to tell if there has been a birthrate drop due to legalised gay marriage.”

    Well, the birth-rate argument is a new one to me, and it looks like you’re conceding that you don’t actually have any statistics to back up your concern – to what extent do you think the birthrate will be further reduced by bisexual people being turned completely gay by their gay parents if gay marriage was introduced?

    Do you think we should recommence discriminating against women in employment? After all, the birth-rate dropped when they entered the workforce…

    Oh, and are you opposed to IVF for lesbians? If not, why aren’t you concerned by the impact of that refusal on the birthrate?

    “’3. Even if it was “unnatural” – which it isn’t, plenty of gay animals in nature – so what?…’

    Irrelevant.”

    Well, quite. My point. You raised the stupid “it’s unnatural” line.

    “Well, at least you’re open about your bigotry.”
    and I think you protest too much about gay rights, Lefty.

    What do you mean?

    “My point still stands. Gay mardigras is no longer needed as a vehicle to promote minority rights. It is a commercial “celebration” of all things “gay”. I even heard 2GB promoting it last night. Hardly the bastion of progressive opinion.”

    When did mardigras become the issue?

    “Why don’t you do a nice piece on the new Solar Thermal plants being built in Spain. See http://www.torresolenergy.com/en/proyecto_gemasolar.html

    What about them? And what’s that got to do with this post?

  80. Jeremy
    I’m affraid that you continue to confuse one thing with another.
    Homophobia is not the same as wishing to preserve the status of marriage and the family.
    Most people, despite not being homophobes, simply don’t want the nature of marriage to change.
    They don’t want men to marry women under 18, they don’t want cousins, brothers and sisters or parent and child to marry they don’t want married people to marry and they don’t want gay people to marry.
    If you’re gay you don’t have the right to marry, and the majority of people don’t wish it to be extended to you.
    If they did, then a cynical senate would vote for it in a New York Minute.
    Have all the ranting, name calling tantrums you like, but there are no votes in it and it won’t happen till there are.
    You naming ans shaming and name calling won’t change that.
    EVER!

  81. “Long term same sex partnering is not the natural way of things for the majority of humans or other species. There are minor exceptions, but for the most part, it is abnormal.”

    True, but irrelevant. Do we want to legislate for ‘normality’? I certainly hope not!

    “there has also been a massive increase in bisexuality.”

    Has there been a real increase, or is it an artefact of a more permissive society? That is, are the more liberal mores of Western cultures simply allowing people to express their pre-existing sexuality more openly?

    Underlying your thinking, IMO, is a false conception of human sexuality. It’s not a binary or trinary system – it’s a spectrum. Your homo- or heterosexuality is under one of these (or more!) categories: extremely, very, somewhat, mildly, or indeterminate. It’s not even that simple – you can have combinations and variations dependent on multiple variable factors.

    “With increasing bisexual and gay relationships, there will be more samesex long term partnering and hence fewer children.”

    So one of your arguments against the legalisation of gay marriage (generously assuming the effect would be as you predict, a giant leap of faith in itself) is that we don’t have enough people on the planet already. Or that we don’t want to drop below some arbitrary amount. Good grief! Why not come right out and say you have zero logical arguments for continuing the discrimination? Stop dressing up your bias in empirical drag.

  82. “There are minor exceptions, but for the most part, it is abnormal.”

    There are about 1500 species of animal that have been observed to display homosexual behaviour, among them 217 species of mammal.

    Interestingly, no-one has yet found a sexual species that did not have some homosexual behaviour. Yes, you read that right – every species whose sexuality has been researched has had homosexuals. So far, the evidence is that homosexuality is a normal part of the natural world. A small part, obviously, but present everywhere.

  83. “Most people, despite not being homophobes, simply don’t want the nature of marriage to change…If you’re gay you don’t have the right to marry, and the majority of people don’t wish it to be extended to you”
    Leaving marriage as a special ‘just for us’ thing for no reason apart from ideological crap is no reason to refuse the rights of a minority.
    Whether or not it’s true that ‘most people’ don’t want gay marriage, it doesn’t give them the right to opress the rights of others, since them having that right is not restricting their freedom.
    Should slavery have been kept int he South because ‘most people wanted it’?

  84. “Homophobia is not the same as wishing to preserve the status of marriage and the family.”

    Of course, it isn’t. Everyone here want to preserve the status of marriage and the family. Marriage equality doesn’t contradict that at all.

    Homophobia is believing that gays getting married will somehow “taint” marriage and the family.

    “Most people, despite not being homophobes, simply don’t want the nature of marriage to change.”

    What makes you think that gays marrying will “change the nature of marriage”?

    “They don’t want men to marry women under 18″

    Neither do I – kids can’t consent.

    “they don’t want cousins, brothers and sisters or parent and child to marry”

    Who does? Who’s arguing for such a thing?

    If we ever have that debate, then the pros and cons would be weighed up – I haven’t heard anyone argue the pros, or the cons, so I’m not going to say any more about this irrelevant distraction that people only raise when they’ve lost the argument.

    “they don’t want married people to marry”

    Was that a reference to polygamy? As above.

    “and they don’t want gay people to marry.

    If you’re gay you don’t have the right to marry, and the majority of people don’t wish it to be extended to you.”

    You are wrong. The most recent polling on the subject says that a majority support marriage equality.

    “If they did, then a cynical senate would vote for it in a New York Minute.
    Have all the ranting, name calling tantrums you like, but there are no votes in it and it won’t happen till there are.”

    There are some votes in it, but you’re right that a majority of voters probably won’t change their vote on the issue, even though they support equality – many voters are selfish and will only change their vote for something that directly affects them. And of course there are also stupid bigoted votes against it, although not as many as certain politicians think.

    Still, that’s got nothing to do with whether it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do because no-one’s been able to show a single reason why the discrimination is justified or should be maintained.

    “You naming and shaming and name calling won’t change that.”

    These people think they can deny Australians equality in order to pander to religious extremists and it’ll have no consequence – well, it will. One is that they’ll be looked at by history in the same way as those who denied women or aborigines the vote – something they might want to consider.

    Equality is inevitable, it’s just pathetic that a bunch of homophobes wants to deny it to this generation of gay people as long as they can.

  85. Letter to Ms Collins in the update.

  86. Zeus!

    “Steve C” has the answer!

    “As a civilised society, we tolerate this problem, but we should not encourage it. Same sex couples need legal protections for things such as property, inheritence etc. and these can be covered by civil unions or some other legal mechanism but not by changing the Marriage act. In short, get your own marriage act.”

    Genius!

    “The Marriage Act 2010 (C’wth)”: An Act using exactly the same words as the previous Act of the same name, repealing nothing of the previous Act, with the only exception being that references to one gender are references to all genders.

    Bingo!

  87. “Bring on a referendum and let the people speak for themselves – can’t argue with democracy….”

    To quote an American here for a moment “Democracy is NOT two wolves and a sheep voting on what they’ll have for lunch.”

    Put simply human rights should not be up for majority vote.

  88. Jeremy I’m not a homophobe. Please don’t think that I am against gay marriage. However, I am a realist and have a pragmatic view on most things.
    Reality is that, despite what you claim, most people do see that the nature of marriage (woman marries man) will be changed by allowing gay unions.
    There are reasons for not doing it. Your claim that no-one’s been able to show a single reason why the discrimination is justified or should be maintained, is simply false. I would agree that no-one’s been able to show a single reason why the discrimination is justified or should be maintained that you’re willing to conceed is valid. However, you and the gay lobby don’t get to say what is and isn’t a valid argument for the whole community. It’s clear that some-one’s been able to show a number of reasons why the discrimination is justified or should be maintained, and to the vast majority of the senate. It’s simply name calling and doll tossing to label the whole senate (bar the 5 Greens who you coincidentally vote for) homophobes.
    If that’s true then we must by extension label the people who vote for them as homophobes and since the entire senate (bar the 5 Greens who you coincidentally vote for) were elected by the majority of Australian voters then it follows that you label the whole electorate homophobe. Clearly that’s either not the case, and they have other reasons than being bigots for their views and subsequent votes, or it is the case and in the democratic system in which we live, you need to accept that.
    I have no issue with gay people getting access to civil marriage, but as you pointed out I’m hardly going to change a vote to get it changed. That might make me apathetic to the cause of gay couples, because I think that there are far bigger issues in this country that should influence my vote. However, with all due respect to your view on this matter, that does not make me, or anyone who agrees with me, a homophobe.

    Interestingly, and only slightly off topic, I saw show on SBS last night on the subject of homosexuality. In it they proffered only one scientific theory regarding homosexuality.
    It was regarding birth order, and pertained to boys only.
    The theory is that a woman’s body sees a male child as a foreign organism and produces antibodies that “feminize” the fetus. The more male fetuses, the better the mother’s body gets at doing this. Ergo subsequent male children have greater chance of being gay. Gay apparently meaning “feminized”. So a pro gay doco is espousing the theory that gay men are girly. Homophobic? Steriotypical? Also there was no explanation of female homosexuality. Discriminatory? You be the judge.

  89. “Jeremy I’m not a homophobe.”

    Do you agree that gay marriage is equal to straight marriage?

    “Please don’t think that I am against gay marriage.”

    You’re just arguing against it.

    “However, I am a realist and have a pragmatic view on most things.
    Reality is that, despite what you claim, most people do see that the nature of marriage (woman marries man) will be changed by allowing gay unions.”

    Your “most people” is garbage, unless you’ve got some polling that contradicts this.

    “There are reasons for not doing it. Your claim that no-one’s been able to show a single reason why the discrimination is justified or should be maintained, is simply false. I would agree that no-one’s been able to show a single reason why the discrimination is justified or should be maintained that you’re willing to conceed is valid. However, you and the gay lobby don’t get to say what is and isn’t a valid argument for the whole community. It’s clear that some-one’s been able to show a number of reasons why the discrimination is justified or should be maintained”

    What? The only “reasons” given here have been laughably stupid and hollow, and when the obvious response is put, there’s no follow-up.

    All we’ve had are lame appeals to tradition, lame assertions that it’ll “damage” marriage without any evidence, and the odd new argument that it’ll somehow damage the birthrate – but no evidence has been given in support of that, either.

    When I say “no arguments”, I mean “no substantial arguments” – obviously people have put really stupid flimsy arguments to try to justify their homophobic opposition to gay marriage, but none of them hold any water at all. They’re embarrassingly stupid.

    ” and to the vast majority of the senate. It’s simply name calling and doll tossing to label the whole senate (bar the 5 Greens who you coincidentally vote for) homophobes.”

    They’re homophobes, cynics and cowards. There are some true believers in those 40 names, who think homosexuality is evil and must be suppressed. There are others who simply calculate that the bigot vote is more organised than the equality vote – after all, they have meetings every Sunday morning and are very organised. The rest are simply toeing the party line for the sake of their careers.

    It wasn’t a conscience vote.

    “If that’s true then we must by extension label the people who vote for them as homophobes”

    If they vote for them because of this issue, yes. Of course, that’s not the reason most ALP or Liberal senators are elected.

    “and since the entire senate (bar the 5 Greens who you coincidentally vote for)”

    Hardly a coincidence. This sort of thing is precisely why.

    “were elected by the majority of Australian voters then it follows that you label the whole electorate homophobe.”

    No, as I’ve pointed out the majority of the Australian electorate supports marriage equality. It’s just that they don’t let it change their vote.

    “Clearly that’s either not the case, and they have other reasons than being bigots for their views and subsequent votes, or it is the case and in the democratic system in which we live, you need to accept that.”

    I understand it, but I “accept it” no more than I’d have “accepted” denying black people or women the vote. The majority isn’t always right, you know.

    “I have no issue with gay people getting access to civil marriage, but as you pointed out I’m hardly going to change a vote to get it changed. That might make me apathetic to the cause of gay couples, because I think that there are far bigger issues in this country that should influence my vote. However, with all due respect to your view on this matter, that does not make me, or anyone who agrees with me, a homophobe.”

    It makes you selfish.

    “Interestingly, and only slightly off topic, I saw show on SBS last night on the subject of homosexuality. In it they proffered only one scientific theory regarding homosexuality.
    It was regarding birth order, and pertained to boys only. The theory is that a woman’s body sees a male child as a foreign organism and produces antibodies that “feminize” the fetus. The more male fetuses, the better the mother’s body gets at doing this. Ergo subsequent male children have greater chance of being gay. Gay apparently meaning “feminized”. So a pro gay doco is espousing the theory that gay men are girly. Homophobic? Steriotypical? Also there was no explanation of female homosexuality. Discriminatory? You be the judge.”

    Probably. You’re right, it’s irrelevant to this discussion.

  90. One side says the current legal definition of marriage is not discriminatory because it is open to both men and women. The other points out that this definition excludes people of either gender who want to marry someone of the same gender. The simple fact is that, if the law is going to recognize a relationship of commitment of two people, then gender should not be an issue.

    Society should allow the maximum freedom to individuals, limited only by rules for protecting the freedoms of other individuals. Rules denying marriage to same-sex couples are not within the remit of a legal system based on this principle.

    To say that heterosexual marriage is the core unit of society is a valid point of view. In fact I think it is right, and I have chosen to live my life in that manner, and encourage my children to do the same. What I can’t do is say that the law should be co-opted to enforce this view, for example by denying the right of marriage to people of the same gender.

    The issue of bisexuality and the spectrum of sexual preference is ill-conceived and marginal to this debate. If people wish to have sex with partners of either gender, then marriage is probably not for them because it is about two people committing to each other. In that sense it is a non-issue in the same-sex marriage debate.

    Also, there are too many cases of people being pressured by society into heterosexual marriage when in fact their primary preference is for people of the same sex. Sooner or later the arrangement breaks down to the very great detriment of all involved. I certainly hope that none of my children is involved in such a situation.

    Ultimately this issue is about who you fall in love with, and whether you should have the right to marry someone when that love is shared by the other person. Distinctions based on gender are arbitrary and cruel. Personally I find them revolting.

  91. “Do you agree that gay marriage is equal to straight marriage?”
    No, but only from the point of view that marriage’s primary purpose is the propogation of children within a family.
    Yes I agree that there are other situations where people who can’t propogate get married and I do have a difficulty explaining how those unions are equal to any other marriage, but traditionally those unions are one only man and one only woman. Which to my point of view is a marriage.
    As an analogy (which I don’t claim to be perfect), I would ask you that if I took you to a tennis court and you and I do nothing different than kick a football from one end to the other over the net, would we be playing something equal to tennis? Would the LTAA have to oversee the game?

    “You’re just arguing against it. (gay marriage)”
    No Jeremy I argued against labeling those who don’t vote the way you like them to as enemies of humanity.

    Please stop linking yourself as the authority on how many Australians oppose gay unions.

    “The only “reasons” given here have been laughably stupid and hollow, and when the obvious response is put, there’s no follow-up.”
    Here? Here is the bastion of the senate’s arguments.
    Jeremy again youre saying the only “reasons” given here have been laughably stupid and hollow, don’t make it so.
    I could, were I so inclined, probably argue that any reason pro gay marriage is “lame”, “stupid”,
    “flimsy” or “embarrassing” too. It’s just name calling and adds nothing to the debate.

    “I’ve pointed out the majority of the Australian electorate supports marriage equality.”
    You pointing it out won’t make it so.

    “It’s just that they don’t let it change their vote.”
    There are more important issues that sway those votes Jeremy and voting for people who coincidentally support gay marriage would ignore those issues, or make bad thing worse in the mind of the voter. It’s a big issue for you, we get that, and clearly you’re passionate about it, but it’s not that big a deal to the rest of us and calling us childish names won’t make it so.

    “The majority isn’t always right, you know.”
    Only when they agree with you eh Jeremy?

    “It makes you selfish.”
    More childish names.
    I want sensible health reform, sensible border protection, sensible tax policy etc etc etc for ALL Australians before I want 10% of the population to have the right to be as miserable as the other 90% Jeremy. I’m not going to jeopardise my vote on those other issues to see a 2 grrom wedding and I’m happy with that kind of selfishness.

  92. “No, but only from the point of view that marriage’s primary purpose is the propogation of children within a family.”

    So you agree that gay marriage is equal to childless straight marriage (marriage between older people, for example), then.

    “traditionally those unions are one only man and one only woman. Which to my point of view is a marriage.”

    Why? If “marriage’s primary purpose is the propogation of children within a family”?

    The only reason you make a distinction between straight childless marriages and gay marriages is that you’re a homophobe – it’s alright when it’s one man and one woman, but two men? Two women? You have a problem with that.

    A problem you can’t actually explain.

    “As an analogy (which I don’t claim to be perfect), I would ask you that if I took you to a tennis court and you and I do nothing different than kick a football from one end to the other over the net, would we be playing something equal to tennis? Would the LTAA have to oversee the game?”

    No, but it’s still tennis whether it’s a man playing a woman or a man playing a man.

    “Please stop linking yourself as the authority on how many Australians oppose gay unions.”

    The post links to a recent poll that shows a majority of Australians support marriage equality. That’s the most up to date evidence, unless you have something better?

    “Jeremy again youre saying the only “reasons” given here have been laughably stupid and hollow, don’t make it so.
    I could, were I so inclined, probably argue that any reason pro gay marriage is “lame”, “stupid”,
    “flimsy” or “embarrassing” too. It’s just name calling and adds nothing to the debate.”

    The difference, of course, is that you’d look ridiculous if you called the reason for gay marriage – equality on the grounds of gender – “lame”, “stupid”, “flimsy” or “embarrassing”.

    My criticisms of the pathetic arguments against equality hasn’t relied on calling them names – I, and others, have responded in detail to every single argument the anti-equality side has made. They’ve been unable to sustain ANY of them.

    “You pointing it out won’t make it so.”

    My linking to the polling should be at least persuasive to those who’re actually interested to know what the figures are.

    “There are more important issues that sway those votes Jeremy and voting for people who coincidentally support gay marriage would ignore those issues, or make bad thing worse in the mind of the voter. It’s a big issue for you, we get that, and clearly you’re passionate about it, but it’s not that big a deal to the rest of us and calling us childish names won’t make it so.”

    I know – if it doesn’t affect you directly, you don’t care. Issues are only important if they affect yourSELF.

    If only there were a word for that philosophy.

    “Only when they agree with you eh Jeremy?s”

    Not when they’re oppressing a minority for no sensible reason.

    “I want sensible health reform, sensible border protection, sensible tax policy etc etc etc for ALL Australians before I want 10% of the population to have the right to be as miserable as the other 90% Jeremy.”

    It’s not an either-or.

  93. Here’s the thing: If gays want to get married, I’m happy for them to do so. Doesn’t bother me in the least. But among five gay/lesbian acquaintances, only one is really fired up about this issue; the rest of them are pretty lukewarm. (As one middle-aged gay guy I once worked with told me, “We don’t care about marriage! It’s for the lesbians!”). Not being allowed to formally marry is not like being denied accomodation or a seat on the bus, and it seems to be more a boutique issue among straights who want to demonstrate their progressive cred (a la Stuff White People Like).

  94. “Not being allowed to formally marry is not like being denied accomodation or a seat on the bus”

    Yes, it is, and I doubt very much your gay friends are happy with the government taking the choice away from them.

    “it seems to be more a boutique issue among straights who want to demonstrate their progressive cred (a la Stuff White People Like).”

    All the gay people I know want equal rights.

  95. All I’m saying is, if this issue is ever going to get traction, it’ll have to come from a critical mass of gays who can make the case coherently and sympathetically that their rights are being abrogated by wider society, and that this situation is unacceptable. I don’t see that forming at the moment.

  96. compared to emails, strongly worded letters end up in a physical trash can…

  97. Shabadoo, there is a “critical mass of gays who are making the case coherently and sympathetically”.

    The problem is that the fundamentalists are the only ones the politicians are listening to; and because it doesn’t affect most of us, many don’t care.

  98. Look, I’m generally sympathetic to this argument, but it seems like a cop-out to say “teh fundamentalizts” are somehow driving this whole thing. In a country as secular as this, I can’t believe that the religious right lobby was able to get the list of names you cite above to vote no, plus everyone else who sat the thing out. Something else is going on as well.

    Perhaps it is because marriage – and here I think the whole idea of gay marriage as a civil right coequivalent to sitting at a lunch counter falls over – has already been degraded as social currency in this country. While on the one hand you would think this would lower the bar to gay marriage acceptance, the fact that so many people get divorced or live together with partners without the benefit marriage, and often produce children without being married either (I’ve done all three!) as a matter of course, also makes marriage seem to be a kind of an optional accessory in the way one lives one’s private life. It’s sort of like the formal dining room of relationships: Some people like to have it, but most of us just eat on the couch.

  99. “In a country as secular as this, I can’t believe that the religious right lobby was able to get the list of names you cite above to vote no, plus everyone else who sat the thing out. Something else is going on as well.”

    Did you see the MPs at the ACL breakfast in Parliament House last year?

    It’s nothing more than the fact that the major parties have calculated that the fundamentalists are more likely to do damage to their electoral changes than those who want equality.

    “Some people like to have it, but most of us just eat on the couch.”

    But no-one’s suggesting we heterosexuals should lose the option.

  100. Something else is going on as well.

    Agreed. But I don’t understand what it is. It seems that the major parties required their politicians to either vote no or abstain.

    Maybe it is a reluctance on the part of individual politicians to stand against their party leaders when the perceived downsides are greater than the perceived benefits.

  101. Jeremy

    A man and a woman playing tennis is still tennis, but they won’t put it on at Wimbledon.
    Is that discrimination?
    Yes.
    Is it reasonable?
    I think so.

    If a black man walks into Flemington with a camel and wants to race it in the Melbourne cup. Has he been told no because he’s black?

    I don’t care enough about the Melbourne cup to go to the barracades over it, and I wouldn’t care that much if it was to have a camel in it, but there are those who would object to it and I doubt that they would continue to vote for a committee that allowed a camel to run.

    Gay people are not discriminated against in the marriage act. Millions of gay people have been married over the generations. In fact I bet you that the words gay or homosexual are stated in the act. Though if you can point them out I’ll yield on that point.

    It’s not that being gay stops one getting married, its that chosing a same sex partner to wed means you can’t fit inside the definition of a suitable couple. Like a camel in a Melbourne cup, or a brother and sister.

    As I said, I don’t care, but like most Australians I won’t change a vote and demean other principals in order to get you what you want. There are other more important issues facing a voter, and the senate and that does not make anyone who won’t vote your way an evil person, a bigot or any other pergoritive you think you might like to throw.
    You exclaim that the reasons against the change are stupid, but there are no reasons for the change that stack up either.

  102. “A man and a woman playing tennis is still tennis, but they won’t put it on at Wimbledon.
    Is that discrimination?
    Yes.
    Is it reasonable?
    I think so.”

    The game is still tennis. The government doesn’t insist on calling it something else.

    “If a black man walks into Flemington with a camel and wants to race it in the Melbourne cup. Has he been told no because he’s black?”

    The Melbourne Cup is a HORSE race. Horses identifiably different to camels. I can easily point you to the differences.

    In contrast, you can’t point us to the differences between a gay marriage and a straight marriage.

    “Gay people are not discriminated against in the marriage act.”

    For the billionth time, they’re prevented from doing something because of their gender.

    “Millions of gay people have been married over the generations. In fact I bet you that the words gay or homosexual are stated in the act. Though if you can point them out I’ll yield on that point.”

    It specifically discriminates on the grounds of gender. Every time it mentions “man” or “woman”.

    “It’s not that being gay stops one getting married, its that chosing a same sex partner to wed means you can’t fit inside the definition of a suitable couple. Like a camel in a Melbourne cup, or a brother and sister.”

    Except that a camel is different from a horse, and there’s a good reason why a brother and sister are prevented from marrying.

    In contrast, as stated many, many, many times on this thread alone – a gay marriage is NOT different from a straight one, and there are no good reasons to prevent them from marrying.

    “You exclaim that the reasons against the change are stupid, but there are no reasons for the change that stack up either.”

    Justice, equality, fairness – those are pretty good damn reasons.

  103. “No, but only from the point of view that marriage’s primary purpose is the propogation of children within a family.”

    False, historically and contemporaneously. Marriage in times past was primarily a method of combining and protecting property, and increasing the verifiability of paternity. Nowadays it’s mostly about making a public commitment and declaration of love.

    For example, where in the traditional Christian marriage services are children mentioned? Exactly.

    For me, it gets very simple:
    – Is marriage an important social tradition? Yes.
    – Does marriage provide personal and social benefits? Yes.
    – Does gay marriage in any way impact negatively on straight marriage? No.
    – Does gay marriage in any way impact negatively on society? No.

    Then gay marriage should not be illegal. Case closed.

  104. confessions

    LOL at leo trying to justify discrmination against same sex couples on the basis that camels can’t race at Melbourne Cup. That is THE MOST ridiculous argument I’ve heard from the anti marriage crowd.

  105. Maybe it is a reluctance on the part of individual politicians to stand against their party leaders when the perceived downsides are greater than the perceived benefits.

    Labor politicians are actually forbidden to vote against the party position. At least Liberals can vote on their individual principles.

  106. “In contrast, you can’t point us to the differences between a gay marriage and a straight marriage.”
    But I can.
    Marriage = 1xman + 1xwoman

  107. “But I can.
    Marriage = 1xman + 1xwoman”

    No, you can’t. That’s your definition, the one that’s in dispute. We do not agree that marriage is changed by it being between two people of the same sex. You think it does. So tell us how, in what way.

    Can you seriously not think of a single difference between a gay couple being married and a straight couple being married?

    I know, it’s a tough question, because there isn’t one – but your whole argument depends on it.

    If you can’t think of one, how about conceding?

  108. People who claim to want to protect the sanctity of marriage should all be for *more* committed Australian couples wanting to marry. The fact that they want to permit only those they deem suitable: heteros, child bearing ability etc says to me that they really aren’t interested in preserving the institution, but preserving the institution as an exclusive domain for those they feel are worthy of being included. Shame – these fair weather marriage advocates are really no better than those who argue for the total abolition of marriage altogether.

  109. It’s as simple as this: all I want is the option to marry my partner and to no longer feel like an outsider; I want my relationship to be legitimate under Australian law. Will that happen? Yes. In my lifetime? Yes. The discussion and debate will go on until people realise the world won’t collapse when gay people marry each other. Sorry, because this issue means so much to me I can only engage with it at an emotional level.

  110. “….they’re prevented from doing something because of their gender.”
    Not at all. Any man or any woman is able to get married.

    “It specifically discriminates on the grounds of gender. Every time it mentions “man” or “woman”.”
    Crap. Every person is either a man or a woman. That is an either – or.

    “Except that a camel is different from a horse, and there’s a good reason why a brother and sister are prevented from marrying.”
    And a man’s different to a woman Jeremy and other’s might, as you are here, argue that the “reason” you mentioned is not good at all.

    “….a gay marriage is NOT different from a straight one…”
    It is. Fundamentally.
    If fertile Dave marries Joan then the only reason that they can’t have a family is their age or a medical complication.
    If fertile Dave marries fertile John then they will never produce children regardless of their age, medical condition or any other status.
    That does not deminish their relationship, but it decidedly different.

    “Justice, equality, fairness – those are pretty good damn reasons.”
    That would be true for a camel in a horse race or a brother and sister too.

    “That’s your definition, the one that’s in dispute.”
    Not mine Jeremy, the Commonwealth of Australia’s. Most peopl are not strongly in favour of changing that definition. They won’t vote for it in the face of other policy, otherwise there would be more greens in the senate than 5. It is an either – or with Greens as their other policy is not good for the country in the minds of the majority. Their vote does not even reflect the views of those who do strongly believe in a change. I admire your passion on this, but it’s not even shared by the people who your survey shows to strongly agree.
    In other words, according to you, even people who do “strongly” agree with you are homophobes, cowards and bigots.

    “Can you seriously not think of a single difference between a gay couple being married and a straight couple being married?”
    Because two men or two women are not the same as one man and one woman. It’s a fundamental matter of maths Jeremy and the definition of things is important.
    There are restriction in this act as to who can marry, as there are restriction on who can carry a firearm, drive a car, hold a passport, drink a beer in a pub, play in a Wimbledon final or run in a Melbourne cup.
    You need to provide a reason to the electorat as to why they should change their vote on this matter. The people who “strongly agree” with you won’t even do that Jeremy. It’s not for me to conceed anything other than that some people who agree with you are still, in your mind, homophobic cowardly bigots with flimsy reasoning.

    Unfortunately, as always, the argument of the left, decends to abuse (even of those who agree with them) again.

  111. Confession
    30 years ago the left were arguing for the abolition of the institutio all together. Now they argue differently. But do they?
    Answer me this luvie, when everyone can marry, without restriction, then why bother?

    It’s a coservative revolution by the left.

  112. Another litany of deliberate evasiveness and outright lies from Leo:

    ““….they’re prevented from doing something because of their gender.”
    Not at all. Any man or any woman is able to get married.”

    Not to a particular person. The Marriage Act presently permits a woman to do something it refuses a man, and vice versa. Purely on their gender.

    ““It specifically discriminates on the grounds of gender. Every time it mentions “man” or “woman”.”
    Crap. Every person is either a man or a woman. That is an either – or.”

    That’s spectacularly dumb. I suppose you don’t think legislation saying that only men could vote discriminates on the grounds of gender, by the same fatuous non-reasoning?

    ““Except that a camel is different from a horse, and there’s a good reason why a brother and sister are prevented from marrying.”
    And a man’s different to a woman Jeremy and other’s might, as you are here, argue that the “reason” you mentioned is not good at all.”

    Every man is different from every other man; and every woman is different from every other woman – but you’re yet to identify any reason why these differences make any of them incompatible for marriage with each other.

    ““….a gay marriage is NOT different from a straight one…”
    It is. Fundamentally.
    If fertile Dave marries Joan then the only reason that they can’t have a family is their age or a medical complication.
    If fertile Dave marries fertile John then they will never produce children regardless of their age, medical condition or any other status.”

    A gay marriage is different from a fertile straight marriage, but that’s not every straight marriage, is it?

    If children are the primary reason for marriage, why do you support heterosexual marriage between older people and infertile people?

    Hint: we all know it’s because you don’t actually believe that this is the defining factor of marriage, it’s just that it’s the only thing you can cite that sounds like a difference other than coming out with a litany of abusive h0mophobic stereotypes.

    “That does not deminish their relationship, but it decidedly different.”

    Every marriage is “different”, but not in a way that stops it being a marriage. If all you’ve got is that gay people can’t naturally have kids, then you’re conceding that their marriages are no different from those of any other infertile person.

    ““Justice, equality, fairness – those are pretty good damn reasons.”
    That would be true for a camel in a horse race or a brother and sister too.”

    No, because there are good reasons contradicting them. You’re yet to find a single good reason to deny gay marriage.

    ““That’s your definition, the one that’s in dispute.”
    Not mine Jeremy, the Commonwealth of Australia’s.”

    John Howard’s, after he changed it in 2004.

    And really? You’re reduced to arguing it must be man and woman because we’ve defined it as man and woman? That’s the most stupid, truistic irrelevant argument imaginable, and that you’re reduced to it just reveals how desperately weak your position is.

    You might as well argue that no legislation should ever be changed, because the legislation is what it is.

    ” Most peopl are not strongly in favour of changing that definition. They won’t vote for it in the face of other policy, otherwise there would be more greens in the senate than 5.”

    Well, you’re assuming a level playing field between the major and minor parties that doesn’t exist, but anyway.

    “It is an either – or with Greens as their other policy is not good for the country in the minds of the majority. Their vote does not even reflect the views of those who do strongly believe in a change. I admire your passion on this, but it’s not even shared by the people who your survey shows to strongly agree.
    In other words, according to you, even people who do “strongly” agree with you are homophobes, cowards and bigots.”

    What?

    ““Can you seriously not think of a single difference between a gay couple being married and a straight couple being married?”
    Because two men or two women are not the same as one man and one woman. It’s a fundamental matter of maths Jeremy and the definition of things is important.
    There are restriction in this act as to who can marry, as there are restriction on who can carry a firearm, drive a car, hold a passport, drink a beer in a pub, play in a Wimbledon final or run in a Melbourne cup.”

    And that’s all Leo can come up with: not a single identifiable difference. Not one.

    And that’s what he bases his opposition to equality on. Pathetic.

    “30 years ago the left were arguing for the abolition of the institutio all together. Now they argue differently. But do they?”

    Not the same people who are advocating for equality.

    “Answer me this luvie, when everyone can marry, without restriction, then why bother?”

    Who’s proposing abolishing all marriage restrictions?

  113. confessions

    Answer me this luvie, when everyone can marry, without restriction, then why bother?

    The divorce rate today continues to rise. Seems continued discrimination isn’t exactly helping the institution of marriage, is it? And you can’t address my point: declaring yourself to be an advocate for the institution while pointedly trying to keep people out of it is hypocritical.

  114. I really love this from Leo

    “It’s not that being gay stops one getting married, its that chosing a same sex partner to wed means you can’t fit inside the definition of a suitable couple.”

    So gay people who wish to marry should enter into hetero marriages then Leo ?

    Honestly, how can you argue with drivel like that — it’s senseless….

    “There are restriction in this act as to who can marry, as there are restriction on who can carry a firearm, drive a car, hold a passport, drink a beer in a pub, play in a Wimbledon final or run in a Melbourne cup.”

    From the mere senseless, we move onto the truly bizarre :P

  115. Jeremy
    Let me clear up your blatant error.
    I didn’t say having kids was the primary reason for marriage.
    I said it was a fundimental difference between a gay and a hetro marriage.
    I said that in response to your assertion that there is no difference.
    You appear to have deliberately misrepresented me in that.

    My last word on the matter is this.

    The act is clear.
    Marriage = 1 x man + 1 x woman.

    If you want to change the act. you need to get votes in the senate.
    Currently there are 5 votes and they are all Green.
    The other parties and independent members of the senate are not currently being convinced to vote for this change and, in my opinion, won’t be by calling them names. Kind of like expecting to be able to talk a cop out of the ticket he’s writing you by calling the cop a facist pig. Even if in your anger you believe he is one. As far as that might be from reality.

    Most people are not strongly in agreement with this change. Jeremy gave us figures on that. He and I might interpret thos figures differently.
    Certainly we agree that they won’t change their vote to get the change in.
    That does not make them bigots or homophobes and certainly does not mean they wish to oppress gays.
    I have no issue with giving gay couples the right to marry in a civil sense, but I understand that there are fair minded, compassionate decent people who do have issue with that. I’m not voting Green to get an act allowing it passed and at present that’s the only way to get it changed. There are other issues, more important to the whole nation (not just the 10% of the population who are gay), which the Greens would make a mess of and make the country worse.
    If you can get the Libs, indipendent, or ALP to vote for the bill then I’ll say well done and it won’t stop me voting for any of them, but I don’t think calling the cop a facist pig is going to stop him writing a ticket and I don’t think labeling 60 odd % of the population and 95% of the senate cowards, bigots and homophobes is going to get Jeremy a husband .

  116. Leo – fertile Dave and fertile John can have stacks of children if they want. They just need to have a surrogate to carry the child. If they are two women, they need to organise a sperm donor to fertilise their egg(s). It ain’t rocket science.

    Many gay people have already done this; gay couples with children are already part of our society and it is growing yearly as gay people discover the joys that children bring into our lives.

    In addition to gays who procreate artificially, there are also many people who come out after years of marriage and having already had children – much more than you might think.

    The issue of gay people forming families is not something that is going to go away, no matter how much you stick your fingers in your ears and scream, “LALALALALALA!”

    If you are seriously going to argue that marriage is all about TEH CHILDREN then it doesn’t wash for the above reasons. Children ALREADY have gay parents, but they have gay parents who are not able to get married and therefore provide the committed, stable and loving home that is supposed to be best for all children.

    Can anyone explain to me why these children should be discriminated against in this way?

  117. confessions

    Gavin: I thought the “gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married because camels can’t race at Melbourne Cup” an even more senseless comment! :lol: And your right: you can’t argue with these people.

  118. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    Still absolutely no authority to back your completely daft misunderstanding that the the Marriage Act is an example of “sex/gender discrimination” according to YOU by a roll-call of statutes and other quasi-legal documents. If this were the case, given your ever insistent claim that the majority of Australians, including all the gays, are so outraged, surely the courts would have addressed this alleged “sex/gender discrimination” countless times by now?

    And given that someone above says you are actually a barrister, I am doubly stunned at the lack of substance in your posts on this subject in favour of shrill morally vain misinformed agitprop.

  119. “Let me clear up your blatant error.
    I didn’t say having kids was the primary reason for marriage.
    I said it was a fundimental difference between a gay and a hetro marriage.
    I said that in response to your assertion that there is no difference.
    You appear to have deliberately misrepresented me in that.”

    Not even close. You’ve claimed that gay marriages are so different from straight marriages that they should be treated differently by the law. And yet the only “difference” you’ve been able to cite is one that is exactly the same in many marriages recognised by law.

    Thus, you’ve utterly failed to demonstrate why gay marriage should be distinguished from heterosexual marriage by parliament.

    “I don’t think labeling 60 odd % of the population and 95% of the senate cowards, bigots and homophobes is going to get Jeremy a husband .”

    I’m not looking for one. You get that not everyone advocating for equality is gay, right?

    “Still absolutely no authority to back your completely daft misunderstanding that the the Marriage Act is an example of “sex/gender discrimination” according to YOU by a roll-call of statutes and other quasi-legal documents.”

    Give me your legal authority that the sun is going to rise tomorrow morning. WHERE’S YOUR CASE LAW, MAN?!

    Denying something to someone because of their gender is sex descrimination. It is discriminating on the grounds of gender. By definition. I need nothing more to make that point.

    I’ll be fascinated to hear your definition of “sex discrimination” that somehow doesn’t include preventing men or women from doing something they’d be allowed to do if they were of the opposite gender.

    “If this were the case, given your ever insistent claim that the majority of Australians, including all the gays, are so outraged, surely the courts would have addressed this alleged “sex/gender discrimination” countless times by now?”

    When did I say the majority of Australians are “outraged”? I said they agree with us, and they do – the problem is they’re apathetic. As are the courts.

    It took a long time to get women and indigenous Australians the vote, too. Doesn’t mean the discrimination against them in the meantime was right.

  120. confessions

    It took a long time to get women and indigenous Australians the vote, too. Doesn’t mean the discrimination against them in the meantime was right.

    There still isn’t parity between men and women salaries, esp at the executive/CEO level. Is this discrimination justified? No. Does the unwillingness of people to pursue legal action against relevent companies justify the ongoing discrimination through salary disparity? Of course not.

  121. “You get that not everyone advocating for equality is gay, right?”
    You get that there’s such thing as irony, right?

    “Denying something to someone because of their gender is sex descrimination. It is discriminating on the grounds of gender. By definition. I need nothing more to make that point.”
    They are not being denied on the basis of gender Jeremy. That’s just lawyer crap.
    What you are arguing is that your gay male mates can’t marry because they are male. Utter shit.
    They can’t marry other males, because they don’t fit into the restrictions on marriage. Just as they couldn’t marry a woman were she, already married, their own sister, their own cousin, their own mother, under age.
    It is a restriction and as soon as you argue it should be changed because to continue it offends your sensibilities, you must conceed that all of the other restriction should also be lifted in case they offend the sensibilities of others.
    Marriage without restriction? That’s what you are arguing for?

  122. “You get that there’s such thing as irony, right?”

    Yeah. You’re not very good at it.

    “They are not being denied on the basis of gender Jeremy. That’s just lawyer crap.”

    Which part of I can marry this girl but my female friend can’t because of her gender don’t you understand?

    I’m not sure how to explain it any more clearly to you. Are you being deliberately obtuse, or are you just stupid?

    “They can’t marry other males, because they don’t fit into the restrictions on marriage.”

    That’s not an argument, that’s a definition. We’re proposing to remove that indefensible restriction – and then your objection suddenly disappears, right? Since it’s just based on what the restriction happens to be at the time?

    “Just as they couldn’t marry a woman were she, already married, their own sister, their own cousin, their own mother, under age.”

    AH, the slippery slope argument. You might as well argue that the government should not recognise heterosexual marriage, because if it does then it will have to recognise polygamy, incest, child abuse…

    “It is a restriction and as soon as you argue it should be changed because to continue it offends your sensibilities, you must conceed that all of the other restriction should also be lifted in case they offend the sensibilities of others.”

    Um, no. It’s a restriction without any actual reason. That’s what we’re debating, and you’re reduced to trying to smear it by the link with other issues no-one’s actually proposing.

    If we ever get around to arguing polygamy, then that’ll be decided on its merits. Just as gay marriage should be now. The approval of one doesn’t mean the approval of the other – they raise different issues.

    “Marriage without restriction? That’s what you are arguing for?”

    No. And you either know that perfectly well and are quite deliberately misrepresenting the case, or you can’t read.

  123. “Yeah. You’re not very good at it.”
    Oh don’t be so hurt. I wasn’t trying to suggest you were gay. I’m sorry you see it at an insult.
    I had you thinking that I thought you were gay. That’s gold irony, but only when you get it I suppose.

    “Which part of I can marry this girl but my female friend can’t because of her gender don’t you understand?”

    The bit where “this girl” becomes a chatel that you and your lesbien friend do or do not decide to marry.

    “We’re proposing to remove that indefensible restriction…..”
    And you’re proposing to remove it by unfairly labeling those with the power to remove it as homophobic, cruel, biggots.
    I get that you don’t agree with the law, but i also get that there are reasonable, fair, compassionate folks who don’t see it as an important enough issue to distract them form voting for candidates who have bigger fish to fry in the parliament and that you won’t get the votes in the senate by labeling those people as enemies of humanity.

    “You might as well argue that the government should not recognise heterosexual marriage, because if it does then it will have to recognise polygamy, incest, child abuse…”
    Not at all, because the act specifically forbids those things as you know. I’m happy to see those things forbidden as well as other things currently forbidden. At least, I’m not willing to vote for people who, as well as wanting to remove that restriction, wish to inact other legislation that will be bad for all Australians.

    “……you’re reduced to trying to smear it by the link with other issues no-one’s actually proposing.”

    Well 20 years ago no-one was proposing this one. But now they are.
    You might feel that gay people are oppressed by not being able to marry, but some hillbilly from (insert hillbilly town name here) might equally fell that he’s not being able to marry his 13 year old cousin or 30 year old sister is oppression too. If your argument is sound then his argument is equally sound. Are you a bigot because you don’t like the idea of his sexual persuasion? Can you give a reason why they should not marry other than you being uncomfortable with it?

  124. Leo, you pathetic liar – of course I don’t see being gay as an “insult”. I see your assumption that anyone who believes in equality for gay people must be gay as an insult to straight people with functional brains. We’re just as capable of recognising injustice and oppression as they are.

    And I suspect that everyone else is completely bored with this troll by now. The holes in his fatuous non-arguments have been repeatedly pointed out to him, but, like the dishonest fool he is, he either genuinely can’t understand the most elementary logic or is deliberately wasting our time by pretending not to.

    I mean, “if your argument is sound then his argument is equally sound”, indeed. How much more of an idiot could Leo be?

  125. confessions

    Jeremy: I don’t think he understands, simple as that. Some people just aren’t wired to think rationally about simple things – like equality.

  126. Juan Moment

    Interesting read this thread. Jeremy, I am sorry to sound like a simpleton, but could you please explain to me the reasons why the Marriage Act contains clauses which stop me from marrying my cousin or have multiple wives? What are the arguments supporting these conditions?

  127. Not really. I haven’t heard any serious argument on the subject. What do the proponents say? What do the opponents say? I haven’t heard anyone argue for removing the barriers of which you speak, or against, and I’m not really interested in that issue, so no. I could speculate – the reasons against close family members marrying might be to protect the potential children of such unions from genetic problems; the problem with polygamy might be that nobody has proposed a workable mechanism for how you’d regulate it, eg divorce or property division etc. But they’re clearly not debates anyone’s seriously having. They are, in fact, just distractions from the topic. Why should people advocating for gay marriage have to look at arguments for or against polygamy? What the hell does it have to do with gay marriage?

    Nothing. None of these things have anything to do with gay marriage, which is what we’re talking about here. Anyone got any arguments as to why that should be prohibited? We’re yet to see a single one that stands up to any scrutiny whatsoever.

  128. but could you please explain to me the reasons why the Marriage Act contains clauses which stop me from marrying my cousin or have multiple wives?

    AFAIK you could always technically marry a cousin, even prior to the Howard amendments. This hasn’t changed. You cannot however marry multiple wives, esp with the Howard amendments which stipulate A man and A woman.

  129. Juan Moment

    Thanx you two. I guess I should have mentioned why I posed the question. As I read through the comments, I came across Leo’s argument that the marriage act doesn’t allow polygamy, which you Jeremy write off by stating that angle is irrelevant since the discussion is about the right of gay people to marry.

    Why should people advocating for gay marriage have to look at arguments for or against polygamy?

    In return I could ask why should people advocating for women to get the vote look into arguments for indigenous people to also obtain that right. In your own words, justice, equality, fairness.

    For the same reason you want your fellow Australians to get interested in the gay community’s difficulty in getting the right to officially marry, should you get interested in the polygamists community’s right to marry multiple partners, possibly 2 wives and 3 husbands. The moment you declare that the rights of people who want to marry multiple partners are of no interest to you, it could be argued you are displaying the same apathy you are accusing the vast majority of Australians of when it comes to gay rights.

    As a sidenote, in the case of cousins or siblings not being allowed to marry, as you mentioned, the legislators motive was presumably to protect the potential children of such unions from problems. It seems to me therefore that the marriage act does somehow concern itself with the subject of children.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for gay people being able to marry, and should someone want to marry his dog or TV, let them. Who am I to determine who or what people are allowed to have officially recognised as being their love until death does them part. But I understand that just like you wouldn’t change for justice, equality and fairness sake your vote to Barnaby’s Nationals in the fictitious event they’d start to support polygamists, so does it never cross the mind of many Australians to change their vote to the Greens because they support gay marriage. It just doesn’t appear on their problem radar.

    Actually, I should say our problem radar, as I would put myself firmly in the camp of people who care neither about gay marriage nor about polygamists’ right to legally be wedded to multiple partners. The gay couple can live happily without that piece of paper and so can a woman have three boyfriends at the same time. The whole issue of who is officially allowed to declare to whom their love to me seems trivial, at least compared to the harsh discrimination indigenous citizens have to endure on a daily basis, or the double standards our society applies when it comes to dismissing the deaths of Afghan civilians through NATO bombings as collateral damage. Talk about justice and equal rights. Once we’ve worked our way down the priority list and achieved equal rights in the matters that actually produce human suffering, which not being allowed to marry simply doesn’t, I’ll be more likely to take up the gay marriage cause. Until then there are bigger fish to fry.

    Now, since the Greens imho are the only sensible party in Australia anyway, and deserve support because it’s the only party that appears to be standing up for indigenous rights and a more humane approach to Afghanistan, it doesn’t really matter how I feel about gay marriage, I vote green for other reasons.

  130. Juan, I’ll respond to your question, briefly, but I’m not going to allow this thread to be driven off topic into a debate about polygamy that no-one is interested in having.

    We can’t have a sensible debate about polygamy because no-one has a proposal on the table. No-one is actually seriously arguing for it. No-one is arguing against it. I don’t know what the pro and con arguments are, because it’s not a debate anyone’s actually having.

    Consequently, it’s premature to discuss it. When the people who want it put forward a proposal, and those opposed put forward their problems with that proposal, then a real debate is ongoing and it’ll be worth discussing here. I am not opposed to polygamists’ argument until I hear what it is – they might have a good case, and their proposal might be workable. Or it might not. Who knows?

    In contrast, the gay marriage proposal in question is clear and concise, and the arguments for and against have been put clearly. And the arguments against are clearly flimsy and wanting – which is why someone like Leo would be trying the “what about polygamy” tack.

    Because until an actual debate about polygamy is underway, the only reason someone would raise it in a gay marriage discussion is for two illogical, disingenuous reasons:
    1. to argue the slippery slope (which is fallacious because gay marriage and polygamy raise different issues; you could well legalise one and not the other); or
    2. to simply smear gay marriage by association – if someone has no arguments against gay marriage, they simply say it’s like something that people are instinctively disapproving of, like polygamy, even though by definition whatever’s wrong with polygamy isn’t wrong with gay marriage or they’d have been able to identify it and simply attack gay marriage directly.

    The “what about polygamy etc” line is a deliberate distraction from the real issue, and in that context I’m sure you can understand why I’m not going to allow this thread to be drawn further off-topic on the issue.

  131. Hi Juan, I agree with what Jeremy has listed above but I’ll respond to a couple of other things.

    Same sex marriage rights campaign isn’t just about a wedding certificate. There are a number of legal ramifications regarding access to a partners super, life insurance, income support that financial impacts same sex couples denied marriage. Also the hospital visitation rights in the case of injury, the right to adopt or for Lesbians to access IVF.
    Also if Jane has a child from a previous hetro relationship and then meets Jill and they all live together for 5 years and then Jane dies. If Jill and Jane had been married then Jill would have a much greater chance of being able to continue custody of the child she has played a part in raising for 5 years.
    Now I believe some of the above has been cleared up by some legal changes made last year however not all, and all of the above still remain in certain states of the US.
    However, even if sames sex couples had all of the above disadvantages removed in the form of a civil union – what message does that send to our society?
    If we had just decided to allow interracial civil unions it would make a statement that there is something different with this relationship and for it not to be recognised in the same way marriage is means that different = wrong.
    So the ban at the moment sends a message to gays and lesbians that there is something wrong with them, a lot of them shrug it off, but a lot of them don’t. It also sends a message to all the bigots that it’s ok to hassle gays and lesbians, call them “fag” and “dyke” because our government promotes civil discrimination.
    The fact is that same sex oriented teenagers and young adults are about 6 times more likely to self harm or attempt suicide because of the culture they live in. Still having “gay” being bandied around as some sort of insult insinuates there is something wrong with them.
    Clearly marriage rights wont eradicate this behaviour straight away, however it’s a good start.

    Your other concerns regarding NATO in Afghanistan and the treatment of Aboriginal people are clearly valid as well. However it’s not either / or IMO.

  132. Polygamy debate is irrelevent. If you seriously want to have it then there are probably heaps of US blogs arguing the Mormon case in favour of it. I’d suggest you try there.

  133. Juan Moment

    Juan, I’ll respond to your question, briefly, but I’m not going to allow this thread to be driven off topic into a debate about polygamy that no-one is interested in having.

    It was not my intention to drive the thread off topic, its unfortunate you read my comment in that light. As I wrote, I have no problem with my gay or lesbian neighbours marrying, so accusing me of trying to derail the topic to mask my dislike for same sex marriage for two illogical, disingenuous reasons is wasting pixels.

    I understand where you are coming from with your insistence on sticking strictly to gay marriage, it appears to be an issue you connect strongly with, and maybe so should I. But by framing the discussion this narrow you are running the risk of missing the bigger picture, similar to a thread on the topic of cats being used in cruel animal tests, in which people are given a hard time for daring to mention other species that are suffering the same fate. Cruelty to cats only thread, don’t talk about dogs or rabbits.

    I mean what’s the point of investing that much effort into getting the marriage act changed, if after the change one injustice has been rectified, but others remain? Shouldn’t the approach to law reform be that while we are at it we might as well be doing it properly and remove all discrimination from the act full stop?

    Anyhow, my rationale behind asking you about your thoughts on polygamy was not to distract your readership from the topic, but to gauge your apathy on issues you perceive have no significance. To appreciate how the sleepy populus feels about gay marriage call to mind the feeling you get when thinking about polygamy, would have to be pretty similar. I for my part wish both communities best of luck, but won’t hold my breath. Bigotry calls Australia home.

    Having said all that, I reckon your actual blog entry is spot on, the senators who voted no to amending the act are largely homophobes and/or spineless career politicians worthy of contempt. Chances are you’d get a more or less identical list of no voting senators on most progressive policies the Greens put forward.

  134. “But by framing the discussion this narrow you are running the risk of missing the bigger picture, similar to a thread on the topic of cats being used in cruel animal tests, in which people are given a hard time for daring to mention other species that are suffering the same fate. Cruelty to cats only thread, don’t talk about dogs or rabbits.”

    Cruelty to dogs and rabbits raises exactly the same issues as cruelty to cats.

    Polygamy, though, raises completely different issues to gay marriage. How would divorce work? How would property divided? How about the situation where one person wants someone added to the polygamist union and another doesn’t? You’re asking us to discuss, in a vacuum, a proposal which hasn’t been made. It can’t be done meaningfully.

    In contrast, gay marriage has a very specific proposal that can be evaluated on its merits – and that raises none of the above problems. All sides are engaged, and you can hear the arguments for and against and make up your mind.

    Since the issues are fundamentally different, and since we can’t have a meaningful discussion about the others because there’s no proposal on the table, there’s no point confusing this already emotive issue with those other ones.

    Except for those whose aim it is to derail such debate, of course.

  135. Juan Moment

    Hi EvShow, thanks for listing the possible implications the non-amendment of the act has on people who find themselves outside the current parameters defining what constitutes a marriage. With some of them, such as hospital visiting rights, I fully agree with you, unmarried same-sex partners should receive equal treatment to couples officially married.

    The example of Jane and Jill, in the event of Jane’s death, I do have to ask though shouldn’t the divorced father of the kid be the next logical relative anyway? Not that I know a great deal about family law, very little as a matter of fact, but I am under the impression that once kids reach a certain age the courts will consult them in any dispute and take their preference into account when making decisions. But hey, I could be wrong. Either way, you are probably right and being legally married results in more than the certificate printer starting.

    I consider the gay community in general as being comparatively slightly avant-garde in their views, more on the progressive side of social developments, in with the new out with the old kind of personalities. So what I found somewhat wondrous is that a large section in the gay community feels the need to embrace this old-fashioned and archaic institution called marriage. I guess if seen in the context you mentioned, whatever legal discrimination is remaining does to some extend explain the wish to officially be declared husband and husband or wife and wife.

    However, even if sames sex couples had all of the above disadvantages removed in the form of a civil union – what message does that send to our society?
    If we had just decided to allow interracial civil unions it would make a statement that there is something different with this relationship and for it not to be recognised in the same way marriage is means that different = wrong.

    I get that. But once all legal discrimination has been removed, and the only reason to keep fighting for absolute recognition is to have that official looking piece of paper with the word marriage on it, the struggle is somewhat reduced to symbolism.

    Why not come up with their own name for gay marriage, say ‘love alliance’, sounds much more like what it is meant to be, and establish a group of love alliance celebrants to perform semi official services love services. Thinking about it, do that and wait a couple of years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if hetero-sexual couples start to also wanna be ‘love allied’ instead of married. Its passé, dare to be different. Set trends rather than join old rituals. Just an idea.

    It might also be worthwhile remembering that there are plenty of people who thanks to the colour of their skin or some other physical attribute stick out as “different”, far more so than a gay person, and therefore in our society face a good deal worse prejudice and bigotry compared to what a white and good looking gay person has to live with. I am not saying that because a^10 exists a^1 doesn’t count, but when I put things in perspective, going by greatest need energies should first be spend on stopping the shit treatment refugees or people with physical or mental disabilities are struggling with. You can get a taxi anytime, gay or hetero, but try that in wheelchair and you know what discrimination means.

    It also sends a message to all the bigots that it’s ok to hassle gays and lesbians, call them “fag” and “dyke” because our government promotes civil discrimination.

    A powerful argument. And you are right, by not elevating gay relationships to the exact same level as those of hetero sexual couples, society maintains an official division between sections of the community and therefore nurtures intolerance. There is too much sclerosis already between the various segments making up Australia, and the continued distinction between same and mixed sex marriages, even if only by withholding this last act of formality, doesn’t make it any easier to shape a more harmonious world. It is kind of sad though that in order to not be confronted with bigotry one has to become like everybody else. Wear the same, look the same, have your relationship called the same.

    Your other concerns regarding NATO in Afghanistan and the treatment of Aboriginal people are clearly valid as well. However it’s not either / or IMO.

    Exactly, its not either / or, it ought to be both, at the same time. When zooming out, from the micro scale of problems individual minorities have to put up with to a more birds eye view of society, its gets obvious that the same hypocrisy with which a vast majority of Australians dismiss the unnecessary deaths of Afghan civilians as eggs that need to be broken to make the Karzai omelette, is also responsible for the negative attitude towards minorities prevalent here at home.

    By each disenfranchised group going out and fighting their own little wars, not recognising that the 500 people showing up for a RSPCA demo are opposing the same stuck in the past forces as the 1000 people who might rock up to a protest for the rights of indigenous folk or the 800 protesters rattling the fence at the Baxter detention centre, opposition becomes ineffective. Fractionalised, splintered, perfect bite size for our hill song government. Everybody with his or her pet issue, ideal conditions to divert opposing energy by playing different interest groups against each other until they run out of steam. I believe what is needed is a more comprehensive strategy, based on the realisation that all for one and one for all will get us further then each on our own. So instead of 500 animal rights activists showing up here, 500 gay rights activists there and others protesting for refugees over there, we should all march together, the many thousands of us, coz at the end of the day we are fighting the same backward mindset.

  136. “Why not come up with their own name for gay marriage, say ‘love alliance’, sounds much more like what it is meant to be, and establish a group of love alliance celebrants to perform semi official services love services. Thinking about it, do that and wait a couple of years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if hetero-sexual couples start to also wanna be ‘love allied’ instead of married. Its passé, dare to be different. Set trends rather than join old rituals. Just an idea. ”
    It’s been tried. They’re called Civil Unions.
    Really, why do you need to make a seperate name for it if they are equal? It doesn’t matter if most of the gay community is progressive, if they want to marry, they’ll marry.

  137. Juan Moment

    Hi confessions,
    Both topics are clearly related since they both revolve around amendments to the same act, for the same reason, equal rights. Should in a thread advocating the elimination of the income gap between women and men someone raise the issue of women not being allowed to fight in the front line, then this might seem to some OT, other possibly see the connection, in as that both issues have sexism at its core.

    If there is or isn’t a more or less prominent group or movement in Australia arguing the polygamists case is for me neither here nor there. Without wanting to draw too much of a comparison, just because we have no organised movement in our society of self-absorbed citizens with the declared aim to remove the daily discrimination indigenous people live with doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed.

  138. Fine, Juan: if you want, I’ll start a thread for you to discuss it. First, tell me what specific polygamy proposal you’re interested in us evaluating.

    PS How do you get anything done? When you need to go to the supermarket, do you find you can’t plan such a trip until you’ve organised a trip to every single shop that has something you intend or should intend to purchase this week? How do you get ready in the morning? Do you have to brush your teeth while you’re having a shower?

    Since you can’t deal with one issue at a time.

  139. confessions

    same sex marriage is not the same as polygamy. Polygamy is not what was proposed by the Greens. To my knowledge there are no serious proposals to consider amending the Marriage Act to allow polygamous marriages. It seems to me the only reason you want to discuss it is as another LOOK OVER THERE!! slippery slope argument against marriage equality.

  140. Savvas Tzionis

    Why does this continue to happen in thr USA? Yet, not here.

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/1020497/anti-gay-senator-arrested-after-leaving-gay-club

  141. Ok so if same sex marriage is not the same as poligamy, and therefore not a point of argument in this debate, then how is female suffrage, black suffrage or interracial marriage a point of argument in it?

    Each of these has been floated in this thread as an example of things we look back on and see as discrimination, yet each is distinctly different to homoxexual marriage.

    If we have to look at every situation in isolation whan we’re not agreeing with Jeremy then why do get to have a broader view when we agree?

  142. Leo, the difference is clear: with interracial marriage and female suffrage and black suffrage, there were very specific proposals being put forward. We can look at those proposals and evaluate the arguments for and against. And, revealingly, we can see how almost all of the arguments you’ve put against gay marriage (argument ad antiquam, the slippery slope etc) were also put against those things, just as illogically – even though now you concede that they were right.

    In contrast, polygamy, incest etc are vague topics no-one’s actually arguing. No-one has put up a specific proposal for us to debate. There is no-one here to advocate for either side. Therefore, no meaningful argument can be had on those subjects yet.

    How can we evaluate polygamy, for example, if no-one’s going to put up a model they reckon will work for us to consider?

    I’m happy to set a thread aside to discuss any such proposal someone wants to make, but I’m yet to hear one from anyone raising the subjects, including you.

  143. Juan Moment

    Really, why do you need to make a seperate name for it if they are equal? It doesn’t matter if most of the gay community is progressive, if they want to marry, they’ll marry.

    Hi Damien,

    my idea of calling same-sex relationship declarations “love alliances” was based on the thought that, as EvShow wrote, if sames sex couples had all of the above disadvantages removed in the form of a civil union, then why fight about terminology. Let them backward bigots have their “marriage”, we got something better than that. Have your own style of celebration, embrace the fact that your happiness does not depend on someone else allowing you to call your relationship the same as they do theirs, that you are not the little kid that starts screaming because the other kid got a red toy and yours is blue.

    And yes, you are right, should a same-sex couple insist on having their bond called a marriage, well then they should have the right to. But in the scheme of things, if that’s the only discrimination, all other rights being equal, the struggle in my eyes starts leaning towards the trivial side of things. Better to find yourself a more important cause to pursue with your passion, there are plenty.

    But as EvShow pointed out, despite improvements, not all rights are equal yet and I therefore understand and support the movement to have that fixed.

  144. Juan Moment

    same sex marriage is not the same as polygamy.

    Neither is a cat a dog, and still they are animals and grouped as such when dealt with by law.

    Polygamy is not what was proposed by the Greens.

    So, just because the labour party didn’t propose an immediate withdrawal of Australian combat troops from Afghanistan, doesn’t mean the thought can’t be discussed in a thread on the war in Afghanistan.

    To my knowledge there are no serious proposals to consider amending the Marriage Act to allow polygamous marriages. It seems to me the only reason you want to discuss it is as another LOOK OVER THERE!! slippery slope argument against marriage equality.

    Confessions, just where exactly have I argued against marriage equality? If anything it is you who is arguing against it, but this concept seems to escape you.

    The thread on privileges and responsibilities of corporations quickly changed into a thread on Maggie Thatcher and growing up in England. You had no problem with that, attacked commenters for introducing a slippery slope argument to distract from the actual issue. Why your hard nosed approach to this thread?

  145. Juan Moment

    Cruelty to dogs and rabbits raises exactly the same issues as cruelty to cats.

    Agreed. Although we have different species, all three are being brutalised, and all three are meant to be protected from cruelty under the same act. Not all that different with same-sex marriage and polygamy. Both communities are discriminated against by bigots supporting the current wording of the marriage act, when in a more grown up world this very act should be enshrining the right for adults to marry whoever they wish.

    Polygamy, though, raises completely different issues to gay marriage. How would divorce work? How would property divided? How about the situation where one person wants someone added to the polygamist union and another doesn’t?

    Jeremy, I don’t really want to argue the case for polygamy, my intention of bringing it up in the first place was to demonstrate that we all have individual pet issues with which we fill our list of political priorities, the ranking of topics often determined by our upbringing and circle of friends.

    But since you’ve asked, here are my thoughts on polygamy. Firstly, since it’s as much an issues of religious freedom as it is discrimination, it would rank on my priority list at least on par with same-sex marriage. Secondly, I can’t see how a multi-person marriage between consenting adults, a group marriage if you want to call it that, is any less a declaration of love and to be there for each other then that between two people. The more the marryier.

    Think about it. Married people are within their legal rights to cheat on their husbands and wives, have sex with as many other partners as they want without having to worry about legalities. Whilst some would categorise such behaviour as sinful, it is more or less accepted in our society. Lie about it and you’ll be right. But openly announcing that one has the same kind of feeling for multiple people at the same time, and hence asking like any other citizen for the right to have that feeling recognised by law so that all partners gain equal rights within their relationship, is prohibited. Can you see the double standards? I can.

    I am sure that legalities could be sorted out just as easily (or complicated) as a two person marriage. If someone would want to leave a multi person marriage they would initiate divorce proceedings like anybody else, any property or child custody disputes settle either through in or out of court settlements. Trying to disallow group marriages on technicalities is using an escape route. It is about a principle, the principle of freedom to choose my own path, and the fact that as long as my choices don’t do any harm government should have no say in my pick. The same principle that gives same-sex marriages the right to exist.

  146. Juan Moment

    You’re asking us to discuss, in a vacuum, a proposal which hasn’t been made. It can’t be done meaningfully.

    The proposal has been made, not on your blog but it has been made, and a discussion in the public arena can also be heard, albeit faintly. For some reason your format doesn’t allow hyperlinks but type polygamy and legal int your search engine and you’ll find as many links as I did.

    Except for those whose aim it is to derail such debate, of course.

    Slowly again, so you can take notes, I do support gay marriage. I have no interest in derailing the debate. I merely asked you to add a wagon to the train, accepting that the nature of matrimony and society’s laws setting the parameters of human relationships are intricate and divisive. But to bring this to an end, let from hereon in the word polygamy not be spoken off again in a thread that has the amendment of the marriage act at its heart. Obviously too much for one thread to handle.

    Fine, Juan: if you want, I’ll start a thread for you to discuss it.

    Don’t, because by doing so you’d be in my mind creating separate cat and dog threads, it’s the exact opposite I was trying to bring across, that the two issues shouldn’t be detached.

    First, tell me what specific polygamy proposal you’re interested in us evaluating.

    Why do I have to provide specifics, a general discussion would be good enough to start us up if you wanted. In some ways we have already done that, and I don’t see that as having reduced the argument of pro same-sex marriage one bit.

    As a proposal, lets amend the marriage act so that it simply states “The meaning of marriage under the act is defined as the recognised relationship between consenting adults entering into a conjugal union.”

    PS How do you get anything done? When you need to go to the supermarket, do you find you can’t plan such a trip until you’ve organised a trip to every single shop that has something you intend or should intend to purchase this week? How do you get ready in the morning? Do you have to brush your teeth while you’re having a shower? Since you can’t deal with one issue at a time.

    May ask in return how you manage your life with only ever being able to do one thing at a time, like chewing gum and crossing the street? Do you first finish chewing and then cross? I can watch telly and eat dinner simultaneously, not that hard, you should give it a go. ;-)

  147. You know, it might be worth making a submission to the Senate enquiry on suicide, since GLBT are more likely to commit suicide, due to homophobia.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/clac_ctte/suicide/index.htm

    As a GLBT person, hearing all these politicians and members for the public spewing hate is very depressing.

  148. confessions

    JM: Jeremy’s post is about legalising same sex marriage, a bill introduced into Parliament by the Greens. The post is not about war. It’s not about cats and dogs. It’s not about polygamy, Margaret Thatcher, or walking and chewing gum at the same time.

    The reason I am opposed to a discussion about polygamy on this thread is because bigots and homophobes use the OMG!! POLYGAMY to derail legitimate discussion about marriage equality. That is what you appear to be doing here.

  149. Juan Moment

    Confessions, if the p word is not to be spoken about on this thread, despite that it would actually fit in on pure logical grounds, because of fears that bigots would use this sub issue to display just how bigoted they are, then the agenda is set by bigots.

    Do you think that people who are too narrow minded to see the injustice in gay people not being able to marry can be convinced to change their mind by restricting their line of reasoning? That if we don’t discuss the p word it’ll be easier to get them to see the light on gay marriage? I doubt it.

    They think it anyway, if you allow the discussion or not. Let them bring it up and then take the wind out of their sails by pointing out there is nothing to be OMG about, just as there isn’t with gay marriage. If thats the best they can muster, you win the argument. Suppress the topic and refuse to acknowledge that both issues are related, which they are, they win.

    By being so sensitive about not wanting to discuss one with the other, you are leaving the door open for people to raffle your feathers when instead you could coldly give’em a dialectic broadside on two issues.

  150. Juan, you email me the specific polygamy proposal you want to discuss and I’ll devote a thread to it.

    The following is an example of the sort of thing we could discuss on that thread:

    Polygamy raises a number of problems mainly to do with consent. What happens when A+B are married and A wants to add C, but B doesn’t? How do you divide property in divorce?

    “As a proposal, lets amend the marriage act so that it simply states “The meaning of marriage under the act is defined as the recognised relationship between consenting adults entering into a conjugal union.” “

    That’s entirely truistic and meaningless, since “conjugal” means “of marriage”. What type of relationship are you talking about? How is it different from a defacto relationship, or other mere sexual cohabitation? If it’s not exclusive, if it’s not one person committing to protect and care for one other person above all others, then how does it work? If it is exclusive, then how do you solve the problem of people wanting to add some people to their polygamous marriage but not?

    “Why do I have to provide specifics, a general discussion would be good enough to start us up if you wanted. In some ways we have already done that, and I don’t see that as having reduced the argument of pro same-sex marriage one bit.”

    Well, we’ve stopped discussing the actual issue of gay marriage and are now taken up discussing issues that only arise in polygamy.

    …you see, polygamy is quite a different discussion to gay marriage. The issues it raises do not affect gay marriage in the slightest. There is a specific bill for gay marriage that was put before parliament recently – that’s what this thread is about.

    All further discussion on this thread is to be about issues directly relating to the gay marriage proposal – arguments for and against. If you want to discuss something different, like polygamy, email me your proposal, as I say, and I’ll put up a thread for it.

  151. confessions

    despite that it would actually fit in on pure logical grounds,

    That’s just the thing: it doesn’t. Marriage equality is about removing discrimination against same sex *couples*. There is no logical argument against same sex marriage: only those steeped in fear, loathing and bigotry.

  152. Pingback: The thread to discuss polygamy « An Onymous Lefty

  153. confessions

    So now that the thread derailers are gone, is there any likelihood that the Greens will reintroduce their bill at some time in this parliamentary term? Or will they wait until after the election?

  154. After the election, I think. And from then on until it’s finally passed.

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