A very silly argument put by the anti-gay crowd at ABC’s The Drum:
Contemporary minds are fixed to think of only two possible camps on the gay issue. Either you are pro-homosexual and therefore open-minded, kind and respectful, or else you are a mean-spirited, homophobic bigot. You are either for me or against me. No space is given to a third group, much larger than the current discourse allows, made up of people who sincerely want an end to discrimination and who show nothing but care and respect toward gay friends but whose deeply held convictions prevent them from endorsing same-sex practice. This last clause may get the blood boiling for some, but perhaps that underlines my point. Some of us are unable to imagine how you can care for someone and disagree with their lifestyle at the same time.
Yes, true tolerance tolerates intolerance. In fact, if we were really tolerant we’d support continuing to enshrine their intolerance in law.
I have no problem with Christians believing whatever the hell they want to believe about homosexuality. Where I have a problem with it is where they seek to impose these beliefs on other people.
Where they demand that government discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Which, and let’s be very clear about this, is precisely what denying them marriage equality involves. I may marry my beloved because I’m a man; if I were a woman, the present Marriage Act would arbitrarily prevent me from doing so solely on the basis of my gender.)
Where they demand the right to indoctrinate children to think of gays as lesser people – or, worse, to hate themselves if they discover later that they’re gay.
Where they demand the right to sack people for having lawful private lives they don’t agree with.
That’s what the debate is about. It’s not about stopping Christians or anyone else believing what they want. It’s about them not getting to impose those views on others.
There’s a very easy way to test where the balance lies in the gay marriage debate: take the Christians’ arguments and replace the word “gay” with “Christian”. See the quality of their argument when applied to a group with which you might have more sympathy. And then contrast that with what the equality advocates have actually argued.
It wouldn’t be a “compromise” position to insist that Christians choose a different word for their marriages. It wouldn’t be a “compromise” position to maintain the freedom of secular organisations to sack Christians for their private beliefs and “lifestyle”.
Likewise with gays.
ELSEWHERE: Crikey’s excellent summary of The Australian‘s hysteria-baiting efforts this week, demanding that the ACT and NT be denied the right to pass their own laws without Federal ministerial veto because they might choose to enact marriage equality – you know, just like the already free-of-ministerial-veto States have.
As for Joe De Bruyn – can someone point me to when his union’s members, the 200,000 people who pay union fees to the SDA, were asked their views on marriage equality and euthanasia? And if they weren’t (and they weren’t), then on what basis does he use his (apparently unelected) position as their representative to expend the SDA’s political capital attacking such an issue?