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To those who think the YES campaign is too “in your face”

I know we are supposed to show respect to the NO side in the marriage equality debate but for how long?

When Robert Menzies introduced the Marriage Act in 1961, a Country Party senator wanted to change the act to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

The amendment was voted down 40 to eight by the Senate.

The conservative government of the day viewed the Marriage Act as a framework, which society was free to shape as and when required.  Rather than defining marriage, the thrust of the legislation was to ensure that participants be of legal age and sound mind.

Liberal senator John Gorton said at the time: “In our view it is best to leave to the common law the definition or the evolution of the meaning of marriage.”

Whilst this may not have been about supporting marriage equality at the time, they certainly recognised that society evolves over time.

In the ensuing 56 years, many changes have happened.

In the 1980s, Australian state and territories began amending their legislation to provide de facto couples with similar rights to married couples. In terms of family and employment benefits and property settlement, de facto couples were treated as if they were married.

From the end of the 1990s, states and territories also began to extend these rights to same-sex de facto couples to remove discrimination based on sexual orientation in relationships.

In 2007, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (now the Australian Human Rights Commission) conducted an inquiry into discrimination against people in same-sex relationships.

The resulting report identified 58 Commonwealth laws that denied same-sex de facto couples some financial and work-related entitlements that are afforded to opposite-sex de facto or married couples.

The following year, the Australian Government introduced reforms to remove the discriminations in the identified pieces of legislation.

De facto, registered or civil union relationships do not equate to marriage. Although the vast majority of state and federal legislation apply equally to couples regardless of marital status and sexual orientation, there remain a few areas in which non-married couples are disadvantaged due to their lack of marital status, such as providing proof of relationship.

The debate around same-sex marriage rights is not limited to legal issues. Although solely a legal contract in Australia, marriage is a religious institution for many that is closely entwined with religious tradition, ceremony and meaning. It is also a symbolic social contract, reflecting Australia’s values about relationships and families, the meaning of the institution of marriage, and equality.

The case for legalising same-sex marriage had been made time and again.  These are some submissions put to a parliamentary enquiry in 2009.

Dr Paula Gerber from the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, submitted that:

There have recently been a suite of reforms that have removed discrimination against gays and lesbians in the areas of taxation, superannuation and social security—the last bastion is marriage. In accordance with international human rights law, principles of non discrimination and equality, this too must be addressed. Civil unions and domestic partner registries are not sufficient. They are the equivalent of the ‘separate but equal’ response in America in the era of segregation, and we know from that time that that does not result in uniform enjoyment of human rights by all.

Mr Gardiner, Vice President of Liberty Victoria, added:

…the ban on same-sex marriage authorises discrimination…Young same-sex attracted people…are harmed by the environment that authorises discrimination. There are pressures on young gay people growing up in a society which is not merely largely heterosexual but heterosexist, which says, ‘If you are not heterosexual then you are unworthy.’ That is difficult. The existing marriage law, with its insistence on inequality, creates an environment, as we say in our submission, which authorises discrimination and which harms young people…Those young people are pushed in the direction of depression and, indeed, suicide, by the environment which is created by things like this marriage law.

The Australian Coalition for Equality submitted that:

The institution of marriage has changed over the 200 year history of Australia. No longer is marriage allowed between men and a 12 year old girl. Consenting adults may now choose who their partner for life is, rather than being forced into an “arranged marriage”. Women are no longer denied legal rights nor treated as property during a marriage transaction of business. Couples of mixed-race may now be married and recognised by the law. Marriages between people of Aboriginal heritage are no longer restricted as they were previously. People from differing religious backgrounds are no longer frowned upon by society if they enter into a commitment for life. Society in Australia now recognises and accepts divorce.

Australian Marriage Equality submitted that:

In the past, defenders of absolute monarchy, established religion and the second-class status of women, sought to place these forms of oppression beyond change by claiming some divine, natural or historical mandate for them. However, in each case the progress of history revealed these institutions to be purely social arrangements. Discrimination in marriage is no different. The future will show that this discrimination is mandated neither by nature nor by history and that its removal is both inevitable and desirable.

Baptist pastor Reverend Nathan Nettleton said:

I would support the view that many marriages involve procreation, but I am yet to hear from the groups who argue that that we should outlaw postmenopausal marriage. It seems to me to be inconsistent. There are many marriages that we know where there is no possibility of children and we still support those marriages…My view is that procreation is a part of some marriages, but is not one of the conditions that define a marriage as a marriage.

Australian Marriage Equality agreed, submitting that:

There is no intrinsic association between marriage and the raising of children. There is no evidence that children fair worse when raised by two parents of the same-sex. Indeed, the children raised by same-sex partners benefit from marriage equality. Therefore, there is no basis upon which to assert that children will be harmed by same-sex marriage.

Rev. Nettleton also argued:

To criticise the homosexual community, as many do, for its alleged promiscuity while at the same time working to deny them access to the social structures that encourage and support fidelity for the rest of us is surely disingenuous.

Dr Gerber went on to say:

The Convention on the Rights of the Child also requires that any decision that impacts or affects children must be made with the best interests of the child being a primary consideration. Prohibiting a child’s parents from marrying is not in the best interests of the child. All children deserve the chance to grow up in a stable and loving home with parents in a relationship that is publicly recognised and respected. There is extensive empirical research…that says that children raised in same-sex families are not disadvantaged by the fact that their parents are of the same sex, but what will disadvantage them is when those parents are discriminated against purely on the basis of their sexual orientation.

These are just a few of the reasons our politicians should legislate for marriage equality.  The NO campaign studiously avoids them by speaking of everything but marriage equality.

Our politicians in 1961 voted overwhelmingly ‘no’ to defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.  How utterly ludicrous that we are less enlightened almost 6 decades later.

If you, as some suggest, think the YES campaign is being too strident, who could blame them.  Reasoned debate hasn’t worked.  Equality is rarely bestowed by the ruling majority unless advocates get “uppity”.


132 comments

  1. Barry

    Disrespectful of 40%+ of the population and justifying hate.
    Violence is never justified physical emotional or verbal. Not justified in DV so why here?
    Focus on love for the Yes campaign. Bring people over to your side with love. Then you will win the day.

  2. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    persuasive argument kaye. good work.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Advocating violence?

  4. labyrinth1205

    The recent fashion among reactionaries is to badge themselves as ‘conservatives’, when they display little respect for anyone or anything apart from their own radical agenda. And it is curious just how much they demand ‘respect’ when they use outrageous, inflammatory language that is the antithesis of respecting other views.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Is asking for equality radical? Should views that seek to deny equality be respected?

  6. Matt

    I agree with Barry, you will more likely win through appealing to people’s heart’s than with force – rhetorical or physical..

    As it is It sounds like you are asking for a war by escalation – if one side is allowed to get ‘uppity- if they are the new rules of society – that the most forceful win, then there goes democracy and civilisation – as then the other side might consider itself equally right in getting uppity – and where does getting ‘uppity’ end? In civil war? One could argue that slavery is wrong, and it was worth the North and South of the USA fighting over, but others argue that given a little more time, slavery would have ended anyway, for economic and other reasons. Forcing change on people is one of the most insidious aspects of Western society – if you going to take this line, then you lose all rights to criticise any perceived ‘patriarchy’ on the basis that it forced its views on people, as this approach is as bad or worse.

  7. Michael Taylor

    I fail to see where violence was suggested, even remotely.

    Was it the sentence: “Reasoned debate hasn’t worked”?

    (I’m assuming it is, so I will continue).

    It’s true. Reasoned debate hasn’t worked, so we have other options that we are free to use. We can educate people. We can express ourselves by voting.

    That’s how I interpreted the sentence (but I have the advantage of being very familiar with Kaye’s work and aspirations).

    She would never promote violence. Never.

  8. Max Gross

    Does anybody here imagine anyone giving “Hitler salutes” has qualms against using violence in their cause?

  9. Matt

    Thanks Michael,

    I guess there is bit of an opening for mis-interpretation in Kaye’s statement. perhaps she could help us by explaining in a bit more detail what she was thinking of when she said:

    “If you, as some suggest, think the YES campaign is being too strident, who could blame them. Reasoned debate hasn’t worked. Equality is rarely bestowed by the ruling majority unless advocates get “uppity”.

    I am not sure what the alternative is to reasoned debate (other than force)?

    In all sincerity.

    Matt

  10. Miriam English

    Excellent post Kaye. Superb!
    I’ll be pointing a few people here.

  11. Matt

    Max,

    I haven’t seen any significant amount of Hitler salutes in Australia, certainly not in relation to this debate. And no-one is saying that you cannot defend yourself against violence, if that is something that arises. But if you take the stand of aggressor, then you are instigating the violence – now it may be a good cause or bad cause, but if it was me, I would want to be sure that:

    a) I was definitely in the right; and
    b) that the issue was worth spilling blood over and/or wrecking people’s lives in other ways (eg: social shaming, slander many other possibilities here).

    But perhaps that is just me.

    Matt

  12. David Bruce

    If there are changes to the Marriage Act to allow same sex marriage, I hope it will allow more than one wife, so that our Muslim friends don’t feel discriminated against. Besides, the thought of 2 or more wives has a certain appeal?

  13. Miriam English

    Matt, an alternative to reasoned debate is to get loud and become pervasive in promoting your side.

    Of course, there are other alternatives, such as to lie, distract, use emotional blackmail, and so on, but we who want marriage equality don’t need to stoop to the tactics of the “No” side because we have actual facts on our side.

  14. diannaart

    Excellent work Kaye Lee.

    Thanks, Michael, seems one side of the debate is expected to never respond to tags such as “God hates fags”. If we do, we are then tagged as “uppity” and “promoting violence”.

    Its permissible for those who disapprove of equal marriage to use any old excuse from “think of the children” to “SSM threatens freedom of speech”.

    At all times the pro equal rights people must remain the most humble lest they be accused of fomenting violence.

    FFS!

  15. Miriam English

    Matt, it just occurred to me that I didn’t even think of violence as something to use. I wonder why it was the first thing to enter your mind.

  16. Roswell

    What rubbish to suggest that Kaye Lee hints at violence over marriage equality.

    FFS.

    I’m with Miriam: interesting that you’re the ones who thought of it.

  17. diannaart

    Roswell

    Maybe there is a connection; whenever my (ex) husband thought I was being too “uppity” he’d slap me to the floor.

  18. David Bruce

    The world has changed since women were invited to front-line combat positions in the armed forces of the world. I know my attitude to equal opportunity has changed and I have worked for both male and female bosses, before and after the changes were made in the military. Interestingly, women make the best snipers and assassins, from personal experience. One unexpected consequence, I believe, is the increase in domestic violence. No doubt there have been studies published about any cause and effect relationships…

  19. Keith

    The No campaign is aggrieved as they say that they are being attacked; welcome to the world of gay couples who are constantly attacked.

  20. diannaart

    Well said, Keith.

    The No campaign sees ANY form of disagreement as a personal attack and respond accordingly.

    @David Bruce – my point was not about women’s rights to equality, it was about perception. Perception held by those who have been traditionally in power when they perceive they are threatened by a different point of view.

  21. Matt

    Miriam,

    Re:
    “Matt, it just occurred to me that I didn’t even think of violence as something to use. I wonder why it was the first thing to enter your mind.”

    Look I was joining a conversation that was already in train. I also said it is open to interpretation. What does she mean? Just because violence is one possible interpretation does not imply that I myself am violent – what an unfair insinuation to make! Thinking of violence is a most obvious thing these days when you see left and right at each other’s throats in Charlottesville and now, in Brisbane over this very issue – if you are not thinking that violence is possible, then I think you are being naive. In any case, wasn’t that always the fear raised by proponents of equal marriage – that gay couples would be bullied and harrassed,and may suffer physical violence – just because it doesn’t enter your mind doesn’t mean that it doesn’t enter others.

    I have asked Kaye to explain what she meant by ‘uppity’ – nice of all you all to answer on her behalf! You seem to be able to imagine very well what other people are thinking and meaning!

    Matt

  22. Kaye Lee

    I have apparently caused concern by my use of the word ‘uppity’. I will give an example of what I mean from a different fight.

    In 1975 I was in 6th form. As school captain, I was instructed that I must take part in the Lions Club Youth of the Year Quest. This was the first International Women’s year and I was speaking at a males only club in a competition that, even if I won, I would not go on to represent my area at the state finals – that privilege would, in some sort of regal dynasty type way, go to the highest placed male. Since I was coerced into this denigrating situation I, at the age of 17, let fly with both barrels about the sexism in their competition, their club, and society more broadly. I won the public speaking part of the competition and was interviewed by the local paper under a headline which read “Schoolgirl pours scorn on sex bias”.

    That is what I mean by getting “uppity”. How dare a schoolgirl criticise the scions of white male privilege. I was not suggesting we arm ourselves with blunderbusses. I felt I had every right to be treated equally and I was loud about it.

  23. Matt

    Diannart,

    The No campaign sees ANY form of disagreement as a personal attack and respond accordingly.”

    Well it is bit hard not to see it as a personal attack when in these comments people have made it exactly a personal attack! eg:

    “I’m with Miriam: interesting that you’re the ones who thought of it.”

    “Maybe there is a connection; whenever my (ex) husband thought I was being too “uppity” he’d slap me to the floor.”

    Look, I have been these on these forums, and again and again the strategy of many people here is to attack the person making the comments instead of the arguments – it is the default debating tactic of some people here. and it has no legitimacy or usefulness. I wish you could learn.

    Happy for you to attack my arguments, but with many rebuttals you add in an attack on the person for holding an opinion which you perceive to be different to your own – that is HATE speech! Can you not see that?

    Matt

  24. Matt

    Thanks Kaye Lee for the explanation,

    But I think I am with Barry – this sort of verbal torrent is unlikely to win anyone over to your cause. What do you see its effect as being? How do you imagine opponents will react?

    Matt

  25. Miriam English

    Matt, I wasn’t insinuating that you are violent. I was wondering why you’d immediately think of the marriage equality advocates jumping from reasoned debate to violence. It seems a very strange assumption to make. It seems to me the essence of homophobia that any resistance is feared and seen as the prelude to violence.

    And then you compound that error by then saying I was trying to smear you.

  26. diannaart

    “Uppity”; verbal torrent, speaking before being given permission to speak, not siding with the powers that be…..

    Historically, there’s always been a steep price to pay for being uppity or not knowing one’s place.

    c. nicole mason, The Root, “I Am Your Uppity Negro,” 1 July 2017

  27. Miriam English

    Matt, perhaps some of the problem is the word “uppity”. I’m not sure what meaning you take from it. The definition I found in the dictionary is:

    uppity

    adj : presumptuously arrogant; “had a witty but overweening
    manner”; “no idea how overweening he would be”-
    S.V.Benet; “getting a little uppity and needed to be
    slapped down”- NY Times [syn: {overweening}]

    Women and dark skinned people generally understand the term as a put-down used against us if we try to be on equal terms.

  28. vivienne29

    You’ve got to be very young or a complete nong not to know what ‘uppity’ means. Before Kaye’s example, I too was considered ‘uppity’ and did not show enough respect for a male teacher. All because I asked questions. Asked questions ! It’s also called sticking up for yourself. Long live ‘uppity’ women.

  29. Miriam English

    heheh diannaart 🙂 Interesting. We both went to the possible source of contention: the word.

  30. vivienne29

    Miriam – that definition of course only applied to women who did not their place was where the man said it was. I’ve never heard the word used to describe male behaviour.

  31. diannaart

    Miriam

    Waiting for “uppity” being termed as too aggressive..

    🙂

  32. Kaye Lee

    Matt,

    This issue has been discussed reasonably for decades and still, the religious minority are trying to dictate that they own marriage.

    They have erroneously linked SSM to pedophilia, child grooming, religious intolerance, suppression of freedom of speech – you name it.

    Michelle Obama said when they go low, you go high, but we are talking to people who refuse to listen, to even consider the arguments put forward. No-one is asking anyone to do something they don’t want to but one side is insisting they have the right to stop others from having the same human rights and choices that they enjoy.

    There was a time when white men drank in the bar, white women drank in the ladies parlour, and Aboriginals rang a buzzer at the back door.

  33. diannaart

    @vivienne29

    “Uppity” has been used to describe black men for as long, if not longer than its use for women who do not stay in their appointed place.

  34. Ella miller

    Kay Lee, I love “uppity” women…after having listened to Eric Abetz on the no case ….the more “Uppity” the better. Thanks.

  35. guest

    I fail to see how “uppity” would cause anyone to think it means “violence”. Firm, perhaps. I think we should be firm, even “uppity”, about the lies that are spread around about all kinds of things, and especially at this time of discussion about equal marriage rights.

    As for “Hitler salutes”, there might not be many around, but the attitude is there – where groups accuse each other of being too aggressive.

    One example of more than uppity was the cartoon by The Australian cartoonist when he depicted gay men as Nazi storm troopers, as if they were attacking their opponents in a violent and aggressive manner beyond “uppity”. The Editor of the newspaper said of Leak’s cartoons that his “confronting and insightful cartoons force people to examine the core issues in a way that sometimes reporting and analysis can fail to do.”

    The word “force” is interesting, as are the words “confronting and insightful” which I find even contradictory. Of course, Leak was able to hide behind the excuse of satire and humour. And we cannot adequately report and analyse issues and be confronting and insightful without getting nasty?

    There are those who just say we all need to toughen up, but when someone criticises gays for being aggressive in any way, the hypocrisy is palpable, with a long, long and shameful history.

  36. Matt

    Miriam,

    “Matt, I wasn’t insinuating that you are violent. I was wondering why you’d immediately think of the marriage equality advocates jumping from reasoned debate to violence. It seems a very strange assumption to make. It seems to me the essence of homophobia that any resistance is feared and seen as the prelude to violence.

    And then you compound that error by then saying I was trying to smear you.”

    Ok – please forgive me if I have misread you in this regard. I know you have always been reasonable in the past, so I accept that the fault is mine.

    Apologies.

    Matt

  37. Miriam English

    Interracial and inter-faith marriages used to elicit the same irrational disgust and horror and the same hare-brained arguments as gay marriage does (not natural, damaging the children, etc.).

    Matt, if you respond to someone who just dishes out illogical, emotional garbage against interracial marriage and you name it for what it is, then it will almost always look to the racist as if you’re insulting them, even if you’re just drawing attention to the irrationality of what they’re saying.

    I find it hard to see that you’ve been attacked. I think you’ve accidentally shot yourself in the foot and your attention has been brought to that. (It happens to the best of us.) You’ve mistakenly thought that was an attack. The honest thing to do would be to recognise it, admit the error and move on. [Edit: you have! Very cool!]

    Matt, a couple of weeks ago I had a discussion via email with a horrifically homophobic fundamentalist preacher. I took great pains to be extremely polite and spent enormous amounts of time in shaping my sentences so he couldn’t possibly take any offense from anything I said. I wanted to reach out to him and convince him of the damage he was causing. It was exhausting and a complete waste of time. Most people don’t have the time to take what may be excessive care to avoid bruising egos with words taken the wrong way.

    Please don’t see it as more than what it is: people speaking freely in a normal fashion, sometimes getting angry and speaking hastily, sometimes apologising for doing so. Some people being unintentionally opaque in making their point; some people taking our breath away with startlingly clear statements. Some people digging their heels in and resisting change, others reaching new understandings. It is just a forum.

  38. Miriam English

    No worries, Matt. Your stature just grew greatly in my eyes. (I composed the 3:23 pm comment before you’d posted yours.)

  39. Matt

    RE: all comments on uppity.

    I must admit I did not look up the dictionary meaning – but I think the context left open whether the literal meaning was to be taken, or if the word was being used facetiously ie:

    “Reasoned debate hasn’t worked. Equality is rarely bestowed by the ruling majority unless advocates get “uppity”.

    That context being: ‘reasoned debate hasn’t worked’ uppity in inverted comments, as though the meaning is being changed or specified. Anyway, Kaye-Lee kindly clarifed this already.

    Look for the record, I will vote ‘no’ on the marriage equality debate. But I do not expect everyone to agree with me. And I will not be at all angry if the ‘yes’ vote wins, or if it in other fair ways passes in parliament. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, and I will not be bellowing at them about how wrong they are not to.

    This is a democratic country, and I am happy for majority rule, even if I do not agree with it. You may say that by voting ‘no’ I will be taking someone’s rights away, but there is so much in our democracy that takes away people’s rights already. Look at the homeless, look at the refugees, if the majority of people want to take someone’s rights away, in a democracy you just have to wear it. You can argue for change, but the loss of such rights is the price of all the other rights, as if you take away democracy and rule of law, in our current society, you will find I think that you lose more rights than you gain, as you would have to enter into revolution or rebellion against the common will of the majority and would be either a tyrant, or in a state of war – in which the right of the strong trumps all other rights.

    I think in this case, that is the best argument to make to the losing side – whether it is ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I don’t think either side is going is going to persuade the other by argument – so it comes down to respecting the democratic process or not. That is the real argument here.

    Matt

  40. Kaye Lee

    Even though there is disagreement, this exchange is making me smile. I think uppity is a very descriptive word and I am sorry if I gave the wrong impression when using it. I hope the subsequent discussion is helping us all clarify what we mean.

    Women had and have to fight for equality, racial and religious minorities likewise – for some reason, we are taking even longer with getting over our sexual hangups. Too many people like Lyle Shelton, Cory Bernardi and the Catholic Church making everything ‘dirty’.

    As the inimitable Father Rod at Gosford Anglican Church displayed on his famous sign

    “Dear Christians, some people are gay. Get over it. Love, God”

  41. jimhaz

    I wonder if “uppity” is a word historically most applied to feminists.

    “according to Susie Dent, lexicographer and expert in dictionaries, the average active vocabulary of an adult English speaker is of around 20,000 words, with a passive one of around 40,000 words”

    I’m sure for me it is one of my active words, though not used much in convo these days.

  42. jimhaz

    @ Me.

    [I wonder if “uppity” is a word historically most applied to feminists]

    Maybe I should have read the thread first….ohh well.

  43. Miriam English

    Matt, “it comes down to respecting the democratic process or not. That is the real argument here.”

    Actually, no. It has absolutely nothing to do with democracy.

    Whether someone has rights is not something that depends upon a vote. Even if a majority voted against gays getting full rights that doesn’t make it right.

    But it’s beside the point anyway. This is not a legal vote. It’s not compulsory so it’s likely that few people will participate. And potential voters for marriage equality have been intentionally discouraged. We already know that the majority of Australians are in favor of marriage equality as shown by survey after survey, so why are we being subjected to this ridiculous postal vote? Lastly, the government has already said they won’t respect a “Yes” result, so where is the justice? Where is the democracy?

    The government originally made the law, as Kaye pointed out, back in 1961. No Australia-wide vote was needed. Then on 27th May 2004 John Howard changed the Marriage act so that only a man and a woman could be married. No Australia-wide vote was undertaken.

    This is a farce. It has nothing to do with democracy.

    If I may ask, why will you vote that I should be a second-class citizen denied marriage rights?

  44. Matt

    Miriam,

    Well marriage to me has a particular meaning – if you think you are denied the rights that come with marriage – then perhaps those rights can be achieved in other ways. i.e if defacto partners cannot see each other in hospital without some paperwork, then that can be addressed without having to change the marriage act. The vote on marriage does not deny you these rights at all, there are other processes and laws that are doing that. So I do not see the marriage equality debate as being about this. I am not sure what it is really about – probably a number of things, maybe one is the the status of the relationship. But I think the male-female marriage has a particular status as it has a particular role to play in society. Just as mothers have a certain status due to their role, and fathers.

    There is another argument, which I am sure will inflame many people towards me, but you have asked, so I will answer. I doubt most modern people will at all accept or understand that sex is – in my belief – for procreation, not recreation. I think I am certainly in a tiny minority of people who believe this. There can be plenty of loving relationships which are not deprived in any way at all by not being marriages – eg: child-parent, best friends, brother/sister. All these relationships have the same value in terms of love as a marriage, and I think are not the worse for not being marriages.

    I say this at risk of being further berated for holding beliefs that others do not agree with – but my beliefs are my beliefs – and I feel I am entitled to hold them, and to vote according to them. That is a greater right than any other, as without this right – to hold one’s own beliefs and speak and act accordingly – then we are not human.

    I explain this position further in the following articles:

    http://theinvisibleworld.weebly.com/blog/life-is-no-frivolous-matter

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/love-and-marriage,4471

    Matt

  45. Roswell

    Horrified to learn that he used to hit you, Dianna. Absolutely livid about it.

    Now to the word “uppity” …

    I always thought that it was a word used by a dominant person when addressing someone they considered belonged in a lower station in life. When someone stood up for themselves, or challenged the dominance someone had over them, they be met with a; “Don’t you get uppity with me, young man/woman”.

  46. diannaart

    Roswell

    I have never remained silent about my marriage here at AIMN – a long time ago now, save your anger for other good fights. 🙂

    As for “uppity” yes, indeed, it is a word once used by the dominant in describing unwanted behaviour of their ‘inferiors’.

    Like Kaye Lee and many others, I like the word, it is energetic, cheeky and positive.

    @ Matt

    You appear to be telling Miriam she is not entitled to the same rights as you. Or do you think this form of almost equal but not quite, is good enough for the LGBTIQ community?

  47. Matt

    Dianaart,

    I think I have explained my position about as well as I can.

    Matt

  48. diannaart

    Matt

    Sadly, I believe you.

    Dianna

  49. Kaye Lee

    Do you believe it is your right to deny others equal rights? Do you believe it is the government’s role to protect minority rights?

    Civil celebrants have overseen the majority of marriages since 1999 and the proportion of marriage ceremonies overseen by a civil celebrant increased again to 74.9 per cent of all marriages in 2015.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0

    Why does the church have such sway in this discussion about a legal contract between two people?

  50. roma guerin

    Can I say something a bit left-field of the discussion above please? I was married twice, was not very good at it, and both men have died, so I am not offending them. My children and stepchildren have turned out okay despite long periods of their formative years being raised by single parents, not to mention the periods when they had both parents unhappily trying to BE married.. I find it embarrassing that my Government expects me to pass judgment on marriage equality because I don’t feel qualified to do so. I will answer YES to this useless survey because I believe in equal rights for all. I will not be very happy if the public answers Yes and the politicians still refuse to do what they are paid for and pass marriage equality into law. Rant over.

  51. Matt

    Kaye-Lee,

    The church has nothing to say – see my second link – I agree this has nothing to do with the church. But surely I am allowed vote how I please? If you would prefer to dictate to people then why bother with a vote? Maybe a majority of others will agree with me, maybe they will not. Maybe the law will be changed regardless. It has nothing to do with the church and everything to do with our political system – whether it is a democracy or not, as Mariam has suggested it is not. Whatever it is, I am certainly not able to change it, but if asked my opinion I can give it surely? Even if it means nothing to anyone else but me?

  52. Miriam English

    roma guerin, good for you. I can see why your kids have turned out well.

    Roswell, I like that definition of “uppity”. (Incidentally, not that it relates to anything, but I’ve just begun rewatching one of my all-time favorite TV series: “Roswell”. Oh, the wonderful smouldering romance, without sex scenes or even kissing, for the most part.)

    Matt, what would you say to a racist who tells you that he genuinely feels that I think the white+white marriage “has a particular status as it has a particular role to play in society”?

    What would you say to a slave-owner who advised his slaves not to be upset about their lack of rights, but that they had other things available to them that in some undefined way stood in for the lack of those rights?

    I don’t have a problem with you thinking that sex should be for procreation. You’re welcome to that belief. Why should anybody object to you feeling that way? What I do wonder is why you object to other people thinking differently,so that you’d want use a fake vote to deny them that choice.

  53. Miriam English

    Damn. I was going to edit that last comment, but got called away. I was going to add to the point about the racist saying that white+white marriage “has a particular status as it has a particular role to play in society” and that was why white+non-white marriages should not be allowed. What would you say to that person, Matt?

  54. Joseph Carli

    Matt wrote: “…but if asked my opinion I can give it surely? Even if it means nothing to anyone else but me?”
    But this is the essence of this site, to debate the opinions expressed here…You cannot surely expect to just drop an opinion into the public arena and expect no-one to question it…For instance, I went to your site with that link you provided, read your article there and I googled those names that you say influenced you…and I can see from my oiwn catholic upbringing that you display an awful lot of the old “catholic guilt” in that tale..believe me..they were experts at inculcating in the mind of children a debt to “the baby Jesus” and other such rubbish..the fertilised egg your companion of the time relinquished was just that..a just fertilised egg…the imagined young lady you supposed she may have grown into is another construct of your fertile imagination..a kind of “false memory” of who knows what..but then that is what dreams are, I believe..a kind of “delete button” that acts to cleanse the memory of too much clutter and disconnected thoughts..you’d have been better to just let the dream go into the ether rather than nurture and re-fertilise the imagined “girl” that didn’t even have an identifiable sex at the time.
    We, who have grown up in a religious family, and have been subjected to the rigors and tortures of the priests and nuns are only too aware of their clumsy thumb-prints of indoctrination pressed into our psyche…when it always was a pile of rot.

    You say that people can have loving relationships without marriage..this is true, but then everyone of any sexual persuasion is surely permitted to be able to love..here’s a little tale for you…

    Jack Mitchell.

    Jack Mitchell shared the family home with his two sisters after the parents passed away..none of them ever married. Not that there were ever any suggestion of dubious behaviour amongst them one way or the other, it’s just that they never married..though I was told by a person who knew him,years later that “joking Jack” was a very lonely man.

    Jack was full of jokes..he would drop one every few minutes in any conversation there in the front-bar of the Seacliff Hotel..He was never stuck for a word either..He used to work as a buyer for one of the biggest department stores in the city..:

    “I just started as a youngster there in lingerie and worked my way up!”..was his usual gag if any one asked about his employment. He was always snappily dressed in smart suit and tie, no matter what the night…which was nearly every night at the hotel. Whenever Jack told a joke, you could see he was dying to laugh at his own joke..this would be bad form, so he pinched his lips together as tight as he could..but that was rarely enough and a slight splutter and a bit of foamy spittle would cover his lips after.

    One month, Jack, with a couple of other older blokes, took a trip to Bangkok. Now, the only reason many men went to Bangkok in those days was for sex..sex in any shape or form..Bangkok was notorious for it..so when Jack returned to the front bar after the “holiday’ a couple of younger men there started to take the piss..:

    “Jack!” one called out across the other side of the U-shaped bar. “Tell us Jack..; How was the hol-i-day in BANG-KOK!?”..and then followed a spot of laughter..

    ‘Well boys” Jack began after sipping the foam off the top of his beer “ Well, boys..you know there’s an old saying that if a balding man..much like myself..was to rub his pate against that most tender and private part of a young lady..then his hair would grow back..”..and here Jack took a slow draught of his beer, wiped his lips with the back of his hand and with wide-eyed surprise announced in a loud voice to the lads: “Well it’s a lie!!”

    This admission brought laughter all ‘round.

    But Jack was always a conservative voter and a ‘boss’s man..he could be seen on some occasions in deep conference with the manager of the hotel, looking about with suspicious eyes…we believed he was the management’s watching eyes to detact and report on the young dope users and sellers in the hotel..we never trusted him..

    He has passed away many years now, and according to the one young man who did have his confidence, Jack Mitchell was a very lonely man .

  55. Matt

    Miriam,

    I would say that the analogy between those examples you gave and same-sex marriage does not hold any validity.

    Joseph,

    I was not raised in a religious family. I was called, and led, independently in my own heart. Sorry, I read your story but I could not understand what you were trying to say by it. Jack sounds like he would be a lonely man. I feel sorry for him, if that is a true story.

    Matt

  56. diannaart

    I would say that the analogy between those examples you gave and same-sex marriage does not hold any validity.

    How so, Matt? All the example Miriam gave were about inequality. Banning consenting adults from marrying their same sex partner is a a clear example of inequality.

    Who are you to tell others whether they have permission to marry?

  57. Matt

    Miriam,

    I don’t see this being about me denying people choice. That is something society must grant or revoke collectively – it is not up to me alone. And I already explained that I think the majority (if it is a majority) or a tyrant (if we are under some sort of tyranny) may well deny people rights – as they already do in a range of areas. People can have whatever relationships they like, society can call those marriage if it likes, but if asked ‘would I like to see the definition of marriage changed’ I cannot say anything but no. But society can go its own way on this, the definition for me remains the same regardless.

    Matt

  58. Joseph Carli

    Matt..if you can do nothing but “:feel sorry” for a lonely, lost soul, then you too, in my eyes are another lost soul….ask not for whom the bell tolls…

  59. Matt

    Joseph,

    “if you can do nothing but “:feel sorry” for a lonely, lost soul, then you too, in my eyes are another lost soul”

    I don’t understand you – what are you expecting me to be and to say? I am not here on earth to meet your expectations! You say on one hand to disregard religion, and then on the other you talk about ‘lost souls’. Please I cannot see how anyone could make sense of this.

    Matt

  60. Miriam English

    Matt, what do you think society is? It is constructed of people… you form part of society. While you and others deny rights to gays then you are responsible, not some faceless entity. You really need to take responsibility for your actions.

    What makes you think we want to change the definition of marriage? Marriage is about love. It looks to me that those who are voting to ensure gays are denied it think marriage should be about sex and hate. That seems very unworthy and tacky.

    We want to return the definition of marriage to what it was before John Howard so recently changed it.

    As for not seeing the validity of those comparisons between someone who denies marriages based on skin color and someone who denies marriages based on sexuality, I’m dumbfounded. There are still people in the world who will tell you in all gentle earnestness that whites should not marry non-whites because it is unnatural, against God, and so on. This is exactly the same way you feel about same sex marriage. And you are wrong for exactly the same reasons.

    As for telling slaves not to worry about their lack of rights because some unspecified things can make up for it, this is exactly what you said, and it makes about as much sense.

    Matt, I presume you love a woman. Now put yourself, for a moment, in the shoes of a woman who loves a woman exactly the same way you do. She loves her partner with all her heart, all her being. But she’s told by someone who thinks she should be denied the right to marry the love of her life that it’s alright because other things can make up for it. How would you feel? Do you see how nonsensical it is?

  61. Joseph Carli

    Matt..”soul” is not a property word of religion..and if you can’t understand what I am trying to say with the parable of the sad , lonely person..then I won’t bother trying anymore…and I gotta ask..: What the effing hell sort of simpleton god-head do you religious people pray to!..a piece of toast that has a burnt image of jeez-bloody-us on it?
    Really, Michael..we’ve got to improve the depth of understanding in these commentary panels to at least get the religoes to look past their bloody “good books”…Christ!..we might as well “converse” with Caleb Bond!

  62. corvus boreus

    Matt,
    To understand Joseph’s comment, you would first have to dispense with the notion that the concept of a ‘soul’ is tied to ‘religion’ (binding rituals and doctrines of faith) rather than ‘theology’ (rational examination of the concept of divinity).
    Your biblical version of ‘god’ (a bloodthirsty humanoid [with penis], who despises consensual homosexuality yet condones slavery and genocide) is not the only, nor necessarily the right answer to questions regarding the existence of the human soul, or other ethereal mysteries.

    Ps, having listened to both the greater silence and the sound of my own conscience, I have decided that I have absolutely no problem with 2 adult people of sound mind and mutual consent, who share feelings of love, conducting a legally (if not universally publicly) recognized ceremony formalizing their commitment to their intimate relationship, regardless of their respective genders.

  63. Joseph Carli

    AND, Matt..if I might add..if you feel offended by my rant, consider that you posted those links to invite the reader to go to your site, and, one would presume, to read the post there and with the comment box at the bottom, to comment..Well..I went there read the item, decided to comment here instead as this is where the conversation was, and to add to my (perhaps futile) analysis of your tale, I gave you a parable of anothers struggle with his loneliness even while living in a house with his siblings..in total ; around 1000 words…and what do I get back from you?..a short dismissive denial..so don’t be surprised if I am pissed off.

  64. Kaye Lee

    Why do people who have been given a forum on which to express their opinion complain about not being able to express their opinion?

  65. Joseph Carli

    Thank you corvus boreus..

  66. Matt

    Joseph,

    Forgive me for being too ignorant and stupid to understand your parable – but that it seems is what I am. Can I help that? Are you to judge me for that also?

    To others here:

    As for the redefinition of marriage – it is utter nonsense. Marriage is the name given to the relationship between two specific entities – a wife, who is a woman, and a husband who is a man. It was not defined by John Howard, but rather its meaning is as old as humanity. To change the entities is to make the term meaningless. It would be like declaring that the relation between a mother and daughter is one of ‘fatherhood’. The term has a specific meaning. Now if people want to say that other parties, other than men and women want to have whatever rights married couples currently enjoy, then there is nothing stopping these rights being conferred upon other types of relationships which can be recognised in law eg: you need only declare a relationship of type ‘civil union’ and declare that anyone in a civil union has the same rights as a married couple. That is perfectly sensible, feasible and possible. So to suggest that by trying to protect the word ‘marriage’ from people who would obstinantely, and tyrannically try and force it to another, non-sensical meaning, as ‘denying someone their rights’ is an obvious fallacy. I would support a civil union having all the rights of marriage. As would probably nearly everyone else in society.

    I think I have said just about all I can on this matter. Sorry if we do not see eye-to-eye.

    Matt

  67. Jai Ritter

    Caught up with a friend of mine today who has been with her partner (who is a doctor I might add, yes a lesbian who saves lives and can’t even get married) for over 20 years. We worked as chefs together for 3 years and I always loved her honest no bullshit take on politics and the world in general. Being both greenies we would have some pretty big political bitch sessions. She has a very tough outer exterior but on the inside I know there’s an extremely sensitive vulnerable person whos grown up with alot discrimination due to her being gay. I don’t think people realise the hurt and pain that’s already there for the lgbtqi community, and filling out a survey on their right to marry ( did I mention my friend also studied law before becoming a chef?) the one they love is f*cking absurd.

    2017 and we are ” voting” on whether a doctor and a chef/lawyer of the same sex can Marry.

    Ps. They both have turned off their social media feeds and are staying away from all media sources during this time until it’s over. I really can’t blame them, they may be tough but it only takes that one hateful comment to push someone over the edge.

  68. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee…Seriously..if one was to look closely at many of the various commentary posts of some of the right-leaning people here, you see less an attempt to come to grips with what they are answering, perhaps because it is a tad challenging and demands more than slight perusal..perhaps a degree of asking Mr Google to help with a bit of research into their reply, than a apparent lazy, cynical mish-mash of self-indulgent waffle…perhaps they THINK they are being funny…another delusion…BOYS!!…get active..get serious!…it won’t bite!

  69. Joseph Carli

    “… but rather its meaning is as old as humanity. ” …No, Matt…you see..you’re just too lazy to ask Mr Google..in ancient Rome there were many varieties of “marriage”..the style you seem to think is the “normal” style was mostly between the noble class, those who had property to secure…in the poor classes, it wasn’t even celebrated , just a agreement between two people..and sometimes they didn’t even live under the same roof!…google, google..

  70. Shutterbug

    I read Theaimn every day, and I consider the writers here to be beyond reproach when it comes to what is right and what is wrong, what topics are in the common good and why.

    But today’s reactions to Kaye’s article seem to be steering away from what (I think) she meant in her writings.

    I am of the opinion that there is plenty of room for every opinion whether positive, negative or anywhere in between. But I am in full agreement with Kaye in that many in the ‘No’ camp, do so out of ignorance, aggression and indeed fear. Typically Conservative traits I venture to say.

    But the issue that is nibbling away at my concious, is why are arguing here? There is no need to. The REAL reason to get antsey, and this is why I am thoroughly shitted off with this whole ‘Postal Survey’ thing, is that we are all having to take part, to judge whether or not the LGBTI community are worthy enough to marry, in Abbott’s little joke.
    For this is what this whole farce is. Abbott parading himself as the Bastion of Goodness to the RWNJs’, the Saviour, the One who get’s to sit at the right hand of that fictitious old man in the sky.

    So, whether or not Kaye used a novel term to describe positive action really should mean nothing.

    What SHOULD matter, is how we are going to bring Abbott down with one hell of a hard landing in retribution for him playing God with not only the LGBTI community, but for ALL of us in having to take part in his farce of a survey. He is making us play to his rules and this shits me to tears.

    Argue all you want about something that matters naught, but for Dog’s sake, focus on the real enemy.

    Abbott and his Clown Posse.

    Now, I’m really getting Uppity, Pissed off, Antsey, Grumbly, Agro, Cheesed off, &tc……….

  71. Roswell

    Well said, Shutterbug. I agree 100%.

  72. Miriam English

    Matt, the traditional notion of marriage is really repulsive. It doesn’t mean what you want it to mean, nor what I want it to mean.

    The traditional marriage is male ownership of multiple women. The richer the man, the more women he could own. Ephesians calls wives to submit to their husbands just as children must obey their parents and slaves must obey their masters. This is made very clear in the Bible. It also entails a woman having to marry the man who rapes her. That’s another of the clear rules listed in the Bible. Another is that a man should marry the wife of his dead brother and that she must allow him to have sex with her. There are also many other rules in the Bible about marriage that don’t have anything to do with the way we view marriage now.

    Definitions get updated. We no longer believe it’s moral to own other people as slaves the way people did in the Bible. And we certainly don’t consider a wife is a man’s property anymore.

    In Biblical times marriage was arranged by parents and was a person’s duty. The woman had to obey her husband and bear him children.

    Now we know that women have rights and we feel that love is the central aspect of marriage. Things have changed for the better. We don’t think it’s healthy or good for two people to marry without love. We are more enlightened than people were back then.

    Marriage is now about love. It isn’t about ownership anymore. It only very recently became about a mutual love between a man and a woman. As humanity has grown wiser we have come to realise that mutual love between two adults (regardless of gender) is what defines marriage.

    This image shows how incompatible with traditional Biblical marriage your and my ideas of marriage are:

  73. Johno

    Viva la Yes

  74. corvus boreus

    Politicians have decided to blow wads of public money (a 9 figure sum) on asking a question regarding a subject that doesn’t really effect, concern or interest me greatly.
    I am not obliged to answer, nor are those who are spending the money to ask the question in any way committed to taking the slightest notice of my view should I choose to express it.

  75. Kyran

    “The conservative government of the day viewed the Marriage Act as a framework, which society was free to shape as and when required. Rather than defining marriage, the thrust of the legislation was to ensure that participants be of legal age and sound mind.”
    It may seem odd to note that that was 1961.
    In 1964, a musical was released about life in 1905. It came to my recollection after Ms Wilson posted a piece on this very subject, based on the premise of ‘Tradition’. The musical was ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, the song I’ve been trying to evacuate from my head is ‘Tradition’.
    On this morning’s radio, rabid individuals were predicting that equality will enable paedophiles, empower terrorists and promote the cause of those wishing sexual harm upon their pets. That this will, somehow, change the way we educate children. That this will, somehow, silence free speech and stifle religious freedom.
    Of all of the utterances, the most vile, the most disgusting, the most reprehensible, was that a parent could not, or would not, care for their child, because of their circumstance. Whether it be because they were a ‘single’ parent, or that their partnering with someone of the same sex is no better, or worse, it is a vile, disgusting, reprehensible notion.
    I’m done with this bullshit. Every bit of crap I receive from the naysayers will be returned to the ACL, at the ACL’s expense (Reply paid 83063, Deakin, ACT, 2600). They were god enough to get ‘reply paid’ service, It’s only fair I’m god enough to respond. As for a meaningless poll conducted by a meaningless government, I will vote in the affirmative.
    Not because a meaningless vote will ever vindicate, or justify, a meaningless poll for a meaningless government.
    My vote goes for the affirmative because there is no escaping the fundamental proposition.
    This is about equality. ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
    It’s not like equality has wider ramifications. Well, maybe, from little things, big things can grow.
    As always, grateful, Ms Lee and commenters. Still can’t get that damn song out of my head. Take care.

  76. Miriam English

    Here is an excellent short piece written by a Professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary on what the Bible really says about marriage. As he asks in the article, ‘Have the “biblical family values advocates” actually read their Bibles?’

    I think they should do so. They’d be surprised at what the Bible really says.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-carey/bible-weddings_b_887979.html

  77. wam

    great read, kaye, and barry, the no voters cannot see love only the sex and it takes years to move them out of their horror of pillow biters and fanny suckers.
    sadly, miriam, uppity got you bashed and negroes whipped or lynched
    matt.
    wow sex is not for recreation is certainly the concept of the boys and girls who wield the clitoris cutters but your god knows why he gave it to women, even if you don’t.

  78. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    I don’t see a problem for you. There’s going to be a survey, your side will probably win and by the end of the year, marriage equality should be a reality and you can get back to writing about other stuff. Looking forward to it.

    The comments section here has been good reading as usual.

  79. Shutterbug

    Thank you, Roswell. It is nice to know others feel the same.

  80. Kaye Lee

    The problem for me H is that I think it is obscene that I am being asked to vote on whether all people should be equal before the law which is a fundamental concept of our legal system.

    My problem is the message this sends – that homosexuals are somehow “different”, that it is ok to exclude them, that their children are somehow disadvantaged or worse, in danger.

    This is just wrong.

  81. corvus boreus

    Harquebus,
    Alternatively, a combination of apathy and ispite from those in between the most polar opinions will make the results of postal survey inconclusive, rendering it even more meaningless than it already intrinsically is by it’s non-binding parameters.
    This would mean principal political, media and public focus (+ attendant acrimony) would continue to be fixated upon the relatively peripheral issue of the exact definition and legal status of ceremonial unions between consenting adults in intimate relationships.

    Therefore, since they are already determined to allocate resource to this voluntary submission postal opinion poll, I will respond honestly and answer “yes”, not just because I believe that allowing non-hetero couples to legally tie the knot and call it ‘marriage’ is both ethically supportable and definitionally acceptable, but also to help get the chew-toy off the table.

  82. Rossleigh

    If there’s a vote of restricting growth, I intend to vote “No” because I think we should be discussing marriage equality!

  83. Terry2

    Kaye

    This has been my position all along and I remain concerned that the conservative Right are now saying openly – Abetz on 7.30 Thursday – that no matter which way it goes, they will control the drafting and passage of the legislation which despite the apparent simplicity of the postal survey postal survey question will not return the definition of marriage to what it was before John Howard changed it.

    Without a draft of the proposed legislative amendments accompanying the survey, I feel that I am am being wedged.

    A conservative commentator said that this process was precisely what Bill Shorten was proposing for the Republic debate : It’s not !
    What Shorten has proposed is a simple plebiscite to ask if Australians are in favour of Australia becoming a Republic. If the answer is YES then the national discussion takes place, constitutional changes are drafted and a formal referendum takes place ; very different.

  84. Miriam English

    Rossleigh, your comment made me laugh aloud.
    Nicely pointed jab at Harquebus’ utterly illogical (and transparently homophobic) stand.

  85. Kaye Lee

    Becoming a republic would have to go to referendum as it is a fundamental change in our constitution.

    Unlike the Marriage Act.

    We have countless laws that say it is illegal to discriminate against people – the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth), Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cth) and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).

    “Judicial officers must treat all parties fairly regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, age, religious affiliation, socio-economic background, size or nature of family, literacy level or any other such characteristic.”

    In my opinion, Howard’s changes to the Marriage Act should be struck down as discriminatory.

    What is marriage?

    Is it a legal commitment between two people to share their lives together? Is it a celebration of love shared with family and friends?

    Surely it isn’t defined by a penis entering a vagina?

  86. Miriam English

    Terry2, I wonder how the haters will sabotage the postal vote.

    John Howard sabotaged the republic referendum by attaching it to a very unpopular and divisive question about an Australian president.

    Perhaps the nasties will attach an unnecessary rider to the postal “vote” question… something like
    “Do you think same sex unions, including with children, be recognised as marriages?”
    I wouldn’t put it past them. If they do, I hope there’s a giant outcry against the cheating.

  87. babyjewels10

    Respect? I find it hard to have respect for their view. I have little tolerance for their intolerance. My bad.

  88. babyjewels10

    Miriam, I remember that sabotage and was furious at the time and even more furious that very few others were furious. That was when I started to lose faith in my fellow Australians. As for this survey being sabotaged, I almost expect that to happen.

  89. Miriam English

    babyjewels10, yeah. I’m certain that they’ll do everything they can to swindle the “vote”. The religious “conservatives” wouldn’t know honesty if it bit them on the arse. For them it’s all about the appearance of winning. The risks involved in a genuine win don’t interest them. That’s why they ignore all the polls that show a majority of Australians already want marriage equality.

    They will definitely cheat on setting the question. There’s no doubt in my mind. I would be extremely surprised if they compose an honest question.

    It’s interesting what’s happening to the religious “conservatives” all around the world. In USA they have become the most immoral segment of the population — so much so that even the business leaders are standing up for decency against them. They’ve gotta be pretty damn bad for the business leaders to be criticising their ethics!

  90. Matt

    Miriam,

    Things that are good can be used for bad purposes, and few things are strictly either good or bad. I doubt the image of marriage for common people was ever quite so gloomy as you paint it. Certainly today it does not have the meaning of ‘ownership’. And words do change, but usually through a natural process of change of use, not through acts of parliament. I am suggesting that if new types of relationships are to be recognised, then new words should be created, rather than arbitrarily changing the meanings of old ones.

    The government can declare in acts of parliament that for the purpose of its laws the earth is now to be called the moon, and the moon the sun, but to me, and many others, marriage will retain its historic meaning. For holding this view it seems we are to be called ‘haters’! (as per comments above).

    Regards,

    Matt

  91. Miriam English

    Matt, “And words do change, but usually through a natural process of change of use, not through acts of parliament.”

    Exactly. John Howard should have never imposed his own religiously narrow interpretation on the law. It was perfectly fine before he changed it. It should have been allowed to evolve with the sensibilities of society. But he saw what was coming and chose to use government to suddenly change the meaning of marriage to disallow any chance of that natural gradual change.

    We want it to go back to the original wording. We want it restored to how it was.

    I don’t understand why you insist that marriage can never mean simply a lifelong partnership between two adults romantically in love.

    Your resistance to it doesn’t make sense. In other parts of the world that have accepted marriage equality it hasn’t hurt the term — if anything it has ennobled it, lifted it. It lets it be about love instead of the sex and hate that religious conservatives seem determined to drag it down to.

    By saying “No. Marriage is ours. You gays can’t have it because your sex is wrong” you’re turning it into sex and hate. Can you see that? You are destroying marriage.

  92. Roswell

    Matt, I don’t think you’re a “hater”. You are simply sticking to your beliefs, and that’s an admirable thing.

    However …

    You desire that marriage “retain its historical meaning”. Don’t you think that’s being subjective?

    Historical meaning for who? You? Your religion? Your circle of friends? Your football team? Your political party?

    I could write a book where “historical meaning” has resulted in the oppression of people, to the obliteration of Indigenous people, to dispossession of … , to genocide, to …

    I could go on.

    I’m simply not comfortable with “retain its historical meaning”.

    History is not always recorded by the best writers.

  93. Kaye Lee

    They don’t want a “new type of relationship”. They want the choice to have the same old marriage type of relationship that they are currently excluded from.

  94. Miriam English

    Matt, you’re allowed to keep your meaning of the word marriage. Nobody would mind you feeling that marriage is, for you, defined by a man and a woman. Why are you so opposed to allowing other people their naturally evolving meaning of marriage? Why are you so opposed to society evolving?

    When I grew up, learning about biology, fungi were considered part of the plant kingdom. Now however, they are classified in a different kingdom of their own, Fungi, separate from Animal and Plant kingdoms. Initially I resisted, but now I realise it makes sense. Fungi have chitin in their cell walls, unlike plants, and they don’t photosynthesise.

    When I grew up Pluto was the ninth planet. But planet was redefined as an object that is round, orbits the sun, and has cleared its neighborhood of other bodies, to take into account recent discoveries of hundreds of large objects in the Kuiper Belt and some large objects, such as Ceres, in the asteroid belt. This means Pluto no longer could really be called a planet.

    Definitions change. Generally this is a result of enriching our knowledge and understanding of the world. You can insist, in the face of the facts, that fungi are really plants, or that Pluto is still a planet, or that gays can’t marry, but it really doesn’t make any sense to do so.

    But worse, fungi aren’t hurt by refusal to embrace the change, nor is Pluto, but gay people are. They are attacked and denigrated and lose on many fronts due to people’s unwillingness to accept reality.

    In various countries in Africa gays are often imprisoned and/or murdered, in the Ukraine they are being hunted down, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by the police, in Indonesia they have begun hunting down gays and attacking them. It all comes from an unwillingness to accept that gay people are just people like everybody else.

    We live, love, and feel pain, just as you do. Why would you exclude us from the joy of marriage?

    If we are not careful Australia could very easily fall into full-on hatred and persecution of gays. The bigots in the religious extremist camp are pushing exactly that. Only a few years ago a politician here in Queensland said that she thought lesbians should be burned at the stake. Gay kids in school are routinely bullied to suicide.

    It may seem like a tiny thing, wanting to keep your definition of marriage, but it has terrible, dangerous, hurtful implications. It fuels the hatred of homophobes like Abbott and others that would love to see us lose all our rights as human beings. There are some who would love to see us all put to death. Please don’t help them.

    Keep your definition. You are most welcome to it. I like to call Potassium aluminum sulphate by the old term “alum”. Nobody will stop me. I like the term, but I won’t force you to use it. Similarly you can keep your definition of marriage. But please don’t force your now obsolete definition of marriage on others, causing them a world of hurt.

  95. Matt

    Miriam,

    I will not force anyone to anything, even as I accept this change is in a sense being forced on me.

    Look, the problem you describe – of hate, does not go away when you change terms and laws. Look at America – over a century after slavery is abolished, and the racism is just as rampant. If you are hoping to do away with hate by changing words and laws, then I fear you are deceiving yourself. Hate is an attribute of a person, and to remove the hate you need to change the person,. That is a whole other matter.

    You are also talking about taxonomies, when we find a new kind of mammal we do not redefine mammal to mean that new thing we found. We did not say mammal does not include platypusses so lets change mammal to mean platypus, We add a new super-catergory or sub-category – through use its meaning will develop. Marriage-equality advocates are proposing to change the meaning of a marriage and assign it to some new concept, I am proposing to keep its current meaning and instead expand our taxonomy – have a super category of ‘union; with subcategories of marriage and civil union – this enriches our language, the alternative impoverishes it. You cannot separate marriage from the concept of ‘wife’ and ‘husband’ – unless you also redefine these – how I do not know. The change does have profound effects – look at how it affects other words and meanings in our language: eg. ‘mid-wife’, ‘animal husbandry’ – there are deep meanings and significance in all these terms – these all become meaningless with a change to the meaning of marriage. As to religion, there is also a deep significance in the concept of ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ – with all humans being the ‘bride’ and God being the ‘groom’ – this also loses its deep meaning with this change, and by this example I hope I make clear that this is not just a gender issue to me, nor driven by hatred or the desire to deprive anyone of anything – but to me it is something of much deeper significance and meaning.

    Matt

  96. Joseph Carli

    If I may be permitted to rejoin the conversation, here is a text (verbatim) from a book of Roman Law ; Barry Nicholas..Reader in Roman Law.. University of Oxford.

    8o LAW OF PERSONS
    4. MARRIAGE Main characteristics. There are few Roman institutions which differ so fundamentally from their modern counterparts as marriage. From the legal point of view marriage is to us a status, the creation and termination of which are closely regulated by law, and which not only founds a number of rights and duties between the parties but also to some extent affects the relation-ship of the parties to the rest of the world. A Roman marriage, on the other hand, was very largely a social fact, about the creation and termination of which the law had very little to say, and which had almost no effect on the legal condition of the parties. In modern English law a marriage is only valid if the parties, being capable of marrying (i.e. being sane, not within the prohibited degrees of relationship, and not below the permitted age)…

    Footnote..: [This had, however, one disadvantage: the rights of succession which belonged to anyone who manumitted a person in mancipio or a slave, and also, if the son were imputes, the right of tutela (see below, pp. 90 ff.), would accrue to the man of straw. It was therefore usual for the man of straw to mancipate the son back to the father who would then himself make the manumission.] 2 See below, p. 249. s See below, pp. 261 ff.
    ‘71479 .„ .
    MARRIAGE 81
    Continued: … go through certain formalities. Roman law imposed similar conditions as to capacity to marry (to which were added the specifically Roman requirements of conubium and, if either of the parties, no matter what his age, were in patria potestas, of paternal consent), but subject to these conditions all that was required for a valid marriage was a manifestation of a common intention to be married. And what constituted an intention to be married; as-opposed to an intention merely to live together, was a question of fact, of social convention. Similarly, the intention must be manifested in some act, but what this act must be, except that it need not be consummation, was again left to be settled as a question of fact. There were, of course, social ceremonies which customarily accompanied a marriage, and which would in the normal case leave no doubt as to the existence of the requisite intention, but none of these ceremonies was legally necessary. Divorce was equally free : a marriage was terminated by any manifested intention by either party no longer to be married. The resulting uncertainty in some cases as to whether a union was (or was still) a marriage would seem to us intolerable, but would be of much less importance in Rome where the legal consequences of marriage were, as we shall see, very few. In modern English law, though the old rule that husband and wife were in law one person has been almost entirely swept away, marriage still produces a number of legal consequences, especially the !conjugal rights’ of cohabitation, the husband’s duty of support, an almost complete mutual immunity from suit in tort, and in some circumstances the husband’s liability on his wife’s contracts, but Roman law knew none of these. In particular, `conjugal rights’ could mean nothing in a system which admitted an unrestricted right of unilateral divorce. It is significant that marriage finds a place in Gaius’ arrangement only as a source of patria potestas. The validity or invalidity of a marriage was relevant primarily, as we shall see, to the status of the children, though it was relevant for some other purposes also. Thus, if a union were not a marriage, any property contributed by the woman could not be subject to the rules governing dowry (dos),’ and conversely the rule forbidding gifts between husband and wife could have no application. Again, the existence of a See below, pp. 87 ff. 2 See below, p. go.
    825203
    G
    There IS NO solid tradition of marriage passed down from ancient times.it is an institution constructed to suit the times that it is used in..ie..these days it can and ought to be applied to any number of socially acceptable unions as is the manner of the times.

  97. Kaye Lee

    The change is not being forced on you Matt. No-one is asking you to marry a man. No-one is asking for a new concept of marriage.

    And congratulations on introducing the most specious argument I have heard yet – animal husbandry becomes meaningless if we have marriage equality.

    Anyone who wants to consider themselves the bride of Christ can go right on doing that. That would make ‘bride’ non-gender specific?

    We don’t all have to agree with you , but that is what the no side want – they want everyone to agree with them about something that doesn’t affect them in any way.

  98. Miriam English

    Here’s something interesting. I just checked the definition of marriage in the WordNet dictionary — the one I’ve used for many years when writing stories, books, and articles on my computer.

    marriage

    n 1: the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for
    life (or until divorce); “a long and happy marriage”;
    “God bless this union” [syn: {matrimony}, {union}, {spousal
    relationship}, {wedlock}]

    2: two people who are married to each other; “his second
    marriage was happier than the first”; “a married couple
    without love” [syn: {married couple}, {man and wife}]

    3: the act of marrying; the nuptial ceremony; “their marriage
    was conducted in the chapel” [syn: {wedding}, {marriage
    ceremony}]

    4: a close and intimate union; “the marriage of music and
    dance”; “a marriage of ideas”

    WordNet was begun in 1985, but the version I have (2.0) was released in 2002. I should install the updated 3.0 version.

    I like WordNet because it is free and can be downloaded to be installed on your computer so you don’t need an internet connection to use it.

  99. Kaye Lee

    To tell you the truth, the more this discussion goes on, the more it is rammed home to me what marriage means to some people. Andrew Hastie said it was about “procreative potential”. Marriage is apparently some sort of stud arrangement where women are brood mares signing up to be serviced.

    How terribly sad.

  100. corvus boreus

    A ‘union’ is a broad term for the combining of seperate entities, whilst marriage is an exchange of solemn vows confirming an intimate partnership between 2 people.
    Defining the ceremonial wedding of two non-hetero people as a ‘civil union’ rather than a ‘same-sex marriage’ for fear of impinging on ‘linguistic purity’, or diminishing the status of hetero couples is akin to the idea of taxonomically classifying platypodes (and other monotremes) as ‘egg and fur animals’ rather than mammals, purely in order to to placate a few bigoted placantals

  101. Joseph Carli

    The adaption of Christianity as the State religion has allowed canon law to intrude into what was once a satisfactory arrangement of social acceptability…and with its overbearing patriarchal control, we have religoes “READING INTO” what should be a private union what they consider ought to be controlled by canon law!

    Well, Kaye Lee..further reading of that chapt’ on Roman Law explains that while the union is of no concern to the law, the product of the union IS..ie; children / property..a kind of “Patria Potestas”…certainly patriarchal.

  102. diannaart

    @ Miriam

    Thanks for the Wordnet info.

    Back to topic?… Nah, some very brilliant word-smiths have provided far more concise commentary than the “No” voters – who have remained steadfast in their right to judge and pronounce upon a minority of people. I guess it is all tied up with the identity of self which is tied so tenaciously to a world view, which, if shattered, means the unravelling of life, the universe and everything.

    The truth is very different:

    Effects on “traditionalists” if equal marriage is approved – zero.

    Effects on LGBTIQ people if equal marriage is disapproved – more hatred, judgement, scorn, division and complete and utter lies.

  103. Matt

    Thanks Kaye for your understanding of my position and your quickness to dismiss my concerns so easily. Because something is not important to you, it is not worth being discussed/ I am sure you give out the treatment to others you expect yourself (NOT)!

    Anyway, I stated right at the start of this that it was unlikely either side would convince the other.

    I think this really is the end of my participation in this.

    Matt

  104. Terry2

    Miriam

    You asked how the haters will sabotage this postal vote ? Well, this morning’s press tells us that some people are already offering to sell their vote online for around $1500.

    The conventional personal vote cannot normally be bought or sold for the simple reason that it is a secret and personal ballot. But when it comes to bits of paper it’s another matter.

    This government were being just too cute, when they couldn’t get the Senate to support their plebiscite funding and they re-badged it as a survey creating a charade to allow them to bypass the parliament and extract the funding from another source. Now they are trying to make the postal survey tamper proof but it’s a bit too late for that.

    We also have John Howard the poster-boy for the NO campaign saying that he wants the
    same sex marriage legislation, including full protections for parents, religion and free speech to be produced before the postal survey vote closes

    I agree with Howard that the proposed legislation needs to be exposed before the vote but not for Howard’s reasons.

    This is turning into a fiasco : I’m still in two minds whether to join in or just draw something rude on the survey paper !

  105. nurses1968

    Terry2
    That’s expensive.
    We have local government elections today and I wore a Rainbow Labor badge while I worked for a couple of hours.
    On the Marriage Equality vote, I was offered a family of 4s votes for $20 and another couple overheard the offer and offered their 2 for $20.
    This is going to turn in to a great big shemozzle

  106. Joseph Carli

    Matt..it is no use going off in a sulk…You ought to admit..if you have honour..that your arguments (or rather those of your side of society) have been thoroughly demolished here…to try and throw a charge of bullying onto others here is not the actions of an honourable person…The debate has been covered, the points for and against raised, aired and investigated,,that you did not have more on your side to back your arguments up is because there really is no longer an argument for the “NO” camp..So it is not our responsibility to give you any support , but rather for you ,in this democratic forum to either concede or to retire gracefully from the debate…NOT spit in our faces as you depart.

  107. Kaye Lee

    ” Because something is not important to you, it is not worth being discussed”

    We ARE discussing it because it IS important to me…important enough for me to write an article and to follow and contribute to the conversation. You have not been stopped from putting your side of the argument. That you fail to win support is not because of being silenced, it is because your argument is not convincing. You are more than entitled to carry on with absolutely no change to your life or your opinions but don’t blame me for not agreeing with you. You never answer the substantive points I raise – you just get upset because I don’t agree. As for the treatment I have given you, could you please point out where I have done anything but put my side of the argument calmly and reasonably.

    Or are you just perturbed because I am being uppity 😉

  108. Miriam English

    Matt, sorry, but you are wrong on all counts in your comment at 10:31 am.

    No change is in any sense being forced upon you. If we achieve marriage equality you will still have your definition, just as I prefer to call alum by its old chemical name. Nobody will force you to alter your view. You simply won’t be able to pretend that the world is not changing around you because same sex people in love will now enjoy the same legal protections and social recognition that heteros currently monopolise.

    The problem of hate does indeed change. It begins with small steps. If you think racism in USA hasn’t changed, just look back a few decades, to when I was a kid, and blacks and whites were not allowed to mix, a white man could easily get away with murdering a black man. Black people were frequently beaten for no apparent reason. This is changing. Now it is outrageous when a policeman kills an unarmed black man (as it should be), whereas not long ago it wouldn’t have even been reported as news. Language has been helping greatly with this.

    Taxonomies. Again, you’re wrong. It seems every other day I’m reading of another wolf, or spider, or parrot that, due to genetic testing is found to be merely a different-looking variant of another one, and the same species, where before they’d been thought to be separate species. We are very often broadening definitions to include other things.

    Of course you can separate marriage from the concept of husband and wife. You yourself did so when you stated them separately in the sentence. They already are separate concepts. When you speak of a defacto couple you refer to them as husband and wife, despite them not being married. You see?

    The terms midwife and animal husbandry have absolutely zero to do with marriage and are entirely unaffected by allowing the definition of marriage to revert to what it was before John Howard tampered with it.

    As we’ve found in other countries where marriage equality is already enshrined in law, it has absolutely no effect upon hetero marriages.

    When you say that you’re not driven by hate, I believe you, but you’re also certainly not driven by love. It seems you’re perfectly happy to consider a simple definition as more important than the well-being and love of around 2.5 million Australians. You’re perfectly happy to vindicate the hatred of others on the basis of a mere personal definition that won’t change no matter what happens. You’re fine with the No vote helping those who want to attack young people who have found, to their horror, that they’re attracted to the same sex. You’ll turn your eyes away while those youngsters are beaten and prevented from having their place in society.

    You’ll say, “It’s not my fault. It was society.” But no. It is enabled by people like you. Generally well-meaning people who allow themselves to cut off their empathy for a vulnerable group who you feel are less than the rest of us.

  109. johno

    Miriam.. Well said.

  110. Miriam English

    Thanks johno, I can thank my midday nap. 🙂 It does a wonderful job of restoring my mental faculties.

  111. guest

    Whatever we think of this postal poll on what we think is equality and and what is not, the really important vote will be at the next election when we have the chance to scuttle this leaky boat of a government and send it right to the bottom where it belongs.

  112. diannaart

    I would like to second Johno, Miriam, enjoy your nap in knowledge that more people than less understand the need for equal marriage. A need which is a further step towards equal rights. The good fight is slowly being won – even if it looks like two steps back sometimes.

    Remember Rosa Parks, the hero with the temerity to sit in the front of the bus.

    🙂

  113. Michael Taylor

    If anybody has noticed that the site has been taking on different appearances the last couple of days (such as the list of recent comments not being where they are meant to be, or the name of the author – and their gravatar – not showing up at the top of the post) … our web developer has been working on a few things.

    The equilibrium of the universe will be restored in a day or so.

  114. Kaye Lee

    It just keeps coming back to the right to be treated equally. We know what that entails, we know how it feels. We know the benefits of inclusion. We know what it feels like to be welcomed. We all want to be accepted even though we are all different – we don’t need people to always agree or to adopt our lifestyle. We just need people to be tolerant. Why is that concept so hard?

  115. paul walter

    Am I allowed to express my contempt for the High Court, or are they too much sacred cows to criticise.

    What sort of IQ do you need to be a High Court judge. Must take a pretty radical lobotomy to reach it.

  116. Matt

    Joseph and Kaye-Lee.

    I rejoin to try and prevent an injustice. I say this to Kaye-Lee – perhaps I was too curt in my final reply to you. Again I apologise.

    But I do not agree Joseph that my arguments have been defeated. I think perhaps they have been misunderstood. It is not just about words, it is about principles – and justice and fairness are principles. I do not see my position as doing any injustice, I fully support all the rights of traditional/current marriage being extended to all couples regardless of gender. I cannot see any unfairness or lack of love in that.

    Matt

  117. Kaye Lee

    Equal but different. Why?

  118. Kronomex

    As with religion and politics, just to name a couple of subjects, there are fanatics on both sides. I take little or no notice of the arguments, ravings, threats, etc and vote how I want. In the case of the SSM poll it’s a unequivocal yes because I see absolutely no reason why a section of the population should be banned from something that means little to me anyway. It will be interesting to see what happens in parliament if the yes vote wins…we must not forget that Weasel Words Turnbull has made it non-binding. It could all come to a crashing defeat however when the pollies get a second bite at the SSM cake and “decide” in the name of their constituents.

  119. Matt

    Kaye Lee,

    Are not men and women equal but different? Difference can be recognised where it exists, that need not be demeaning.

    Matt

  120. Miriam English

    Matt, but you must know deep in your heart, that the No vote will mean gays will continue to be heavily discriminated against. And considering the difficulty we’re having merely being accepted, can you imagine the utter impossibility of the special extra provisions you speak of being made in the law to extend all marriage rights to us under a different name?

    It’s easy to say you support people, but when it comes to actually doing something concrete… what happens then? Nothing. You’ll vote us down.

    What about the principle of treating people fairly? — people who have done nothing wrong except fall deeply, romantically in love with someone you disapprove of.

    We know for absolute certainty that marriage is completely undamaged by marriage equality. This is not theoretical because we see it in other countries. Marriage equality has not damaged or lessened hetero marriage anywhere in the world.

    On the other hand we know just as certainly that restricting gay people and making them second-class citizens enables violence, murder, and lesser everyday discrimination that crushes people’s spirit in a thousand ways.

    Can you see that you’re deceiving yourself in order to protect yourself from confronting your prejudices?

    If you want to help, then help. Please don’t excuse yourself for enabling the haters.

  121. Vicki Cox

    We have a Prime minister who thinks his job is to name call and union bash the opposition leader the latest being “blackout bill. Telling Australian’s this postal poll or vote wont bring out the worst of the religious zealots when he can’t control his own mad ravings he is just like Trump a f#cking burnt out despot trying to hog the limelight that went out long ago,

    When Lucy got sick of him parading around in his leopard skin dickstringers he decided to parade around in his leather jacket looking like a 70’s pornstar him and his beetroot kiwi sidekick.

  122. Kaye Lee

    Ahhh yes, the sophisticated erudite eloquent lawyer from Point Piper has degenerated to “I mean Blackout Bill, fair dinkum, as my old dad would have said, ‘He is so hopeless he could not find his backside with both hands’.”

  123. Terry2

    The IPA are stepping up their subtle and reasonable arguments against marriage equality .

    I heard Rebecca Weisser saying that ‘Australians are confused, they don’t understand the implications of the proposed changes and they would probably prefer things to be left as they are’.

    Sounds all very reasonable and then we have John Howard wanting to see the full legislative amendments before the postal survey is concluded as he too is worried about the implications to our society of the proposed changes. Howard believes Australians are wary of change and helpfully points out that Labor supported the 2004 Marriage Act amendments.

    It is also rumoured that there is a lot of money flowing in from evangelical groups in the USA to support the NO vote.

    The IPA and similar groups are banking on apathy on the one hand and the pattern of no votes when it comes to change [evident in constitutional changes].

    It’s just beginning, folks !

  124. Kaye Lee

    A comprehensive study in the US showed that youth suicide decreases dramatically (7% overall and 14% in same-sex attracted kids) in places where there is marriage equality.

    “It’s likely that the benefits are unrelated to actual increased freedoms around marriage equality given the age of the sample (750,000 children in yrs 9-12). After all, they’re well below likely marriage age.

    A more likely conclusion is the improved suicide attempt statistics are a reflection of the reduced perception and experience of discrimination. And further, there’s likely a benefit from increased acceptance of same-sex attraction by LGBTI youth themselves as well as their families and their peers.

    The findings of this study mirror those of an earlier one by Hatzenbuehler and colleagues in 2010 who observed alarming increases in the rates of psychiatric disorders and substance use among LGB individuals following bans on same-sex marriage in 16 US states.

    Any policy or encouraged public perception that causes same-sex attracted young people to believe they are less than or less accepted is going to cause an increase in mental health episodes, particularly those related to low mood (depression) and safety (anxiety).

    With Australian adolescent suicide attempts in 2015 estimated at 41,000 by research institute Orygen, a possible seven per cent reduction in Australia following marriage equality equates to 2870 teenagers not trying to take their own lives.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/youth-suicide-rates-fall-when-samesex-marriage-is-legal-so-lets-just-get-it-done/news-story/12c38c879db53d18a6cc6dbe013b8a59

  125. Matt

    Miriam,

    I am doing what I think is best, and I always try and use love as my guide. You may not believe that, or you may simply not understand where I am coming from. I think the latter is more likely.

    But thank you everyone for engaging with me here, and you Joseph for taking the time to read my links. It was encouraging in the end that we could have this discussion in a civilised way, even if we did not end in agreement.

    Regards,

    Matt

  126. Kaye Lee

    Matt, what I ask of you is to consider the impact on other people by making them feel different and excluded. I want you to genuinely consider what impact marriage equality would actually have on you if any (please don’t bring up animal husbandry and midwifery – I promise you they won’t all of a sudden stop). I truly cannot think of one way in which it will impact on your life or your beliefs. You will be completely free to carry on as you are.

  127. Joseph Carli

    Matt..you have , by your intransigent refusal to accept your ( your agents) ledger of values have been thoroughly defeated ; Historically via proof of Roman law, morally; Miriam /Kaye lee/others points made, ethically ; many here on the value of the rights/ equality of ALL citizens and finally democratically; No citizen has the singular right to frame a law to judge or demand explicit social behaviour on another citizen, THAT is the job of our Parliament ….THAT you cannot yield to the better argument in this debate ,places you in the same category of those I referred to in my recent essay : “The Simple and the Simple Minded”.
    Go your way, sir, as you please..but do not believe you have society or rational justice on your side.

  128. Miriam English

    Matt, I do believe you that you think you are guided by love, and I do think you are basically a good, well-meaning person (that is evident in the way you discuss things), but you have let prejudice cloud your vision and neutralise love where gay people are concerned.

    Read Kaye’s post that immediately precedes yours and tell me honestly that an abstract definition is more important than the lives of countless people.

    It’s perfectly okay for you to use that obsolete definition, just I prefer to use a lot obsolete terms too. Nobody will ever want to take that away from you, but in trying to push that old, restrictive definition onto others and aid the haters in crushing gay people you become a willfully blinkered participant in events that lead directly to immeasurable pain and suffering and the loss of life for a great number of people.

    That doesn’t sound like a very loving thing to do.

    A lot of Christians like to ask themselves “What would Jesus do?”
    In this situation I think he would tell the religious people who are voting No to wake up, that they are being used by evil forces motivated by naked hatred, who want to hurt innocent people. They should instead vote with love and compassion in their hearts, and not to be tricked by the lies, obscure definitions and petty legalese of the religious extremists.

    Australia’s version of the Taliban are the major reason why religion is becoming deeply unpopular here. So long as religious moderates give strength to the extremists, Christianity will continue to die away.

    But then, perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps you should vote No. It will let Australia see how very little it takes for Christians to betray ordinary, decent Australians and hold back our advancement toward a truly compassionate society.

  129. Joseph Carli

    The “trick” that the LNP/ right-wing conservatives are using by implementing this “you have your say” survey methodology, is that it harvests the ” I have the right to have my own beliefs” citizen to believe they are being given the responsibility of deciding, via their own conscience, society’s future direction..So then the “gravitas of the situation” comes into play and theoretically the “honest citizen” of conservative values believes they must vote as their conscience directs them and not for the general good of their multi-varied/ multi-cultural community….It is a cruel psychological con on the basic good intentions of a citizen to “do the right thing”.

  130. Kaye Lee

    I would like to try to understand what the NO case mean when they say religious freedom is under attack.

    Churches have always discriminated against people.

    A priest would not conduct my marriage ceremony unless I went to lessons because I was not Catholic. My nephew had to be christened at age 16 in order to go to the local catholic school. Both the Catholic and Anglican churches refused my request that, rather than christening my child in a certain religion, I just wanted them welcomed to the house of the Lord. As far as I am aware, the Catholic church still refuses communion to divorced people. Churches have never faced challenge for their discrimination which might be ok if they were a private club but they are enormously subsidised by public money.

    When they talk about the cake makers and photographers who do not want to provide their services for gay and lesbian couples, I can guarantee that many many more would be looking forward to having more customers. Perhaps those who are against marriage equality could just advertise that they don’t serve homosexuals to save everyone embarrassment though I very much doubt anyone would make that commercial decision.

    Marriage equality would do absolutely nothing to stop anyone from practising their religion as they see fit.

    How is religious freedom under attack? What change do they fear? What do they mean??????

  131. Peter F

    Kaye, you know that all this talk of religious freedom being under attack is a load of rubbish supported by TA. The ‘plebiscite’/opinion poll is merely a way of creating the circumstances where the extreme right can push their agenda. The last thing they understand is freedom.

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