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Qld

Jun 26, 2012

Newman v gays: where else but Queensland?

Recent changes to Queensland laws represent once of the most significant rollbacks of gay and lesbian rights by a government in the Western world.

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There’s something that’s been missing from the commentary regarding the Queensland government’s changes to civil union and surrogacy rights for same-s-x couples. It’s that this is the most significant rollback of gay and lesbian rights by a government in the Western world, ever.

Sound like an exaggeration? It’s not.

While rights (such as marriage) have often been denied in various locations in the US and Europe, rarely have we seen the eradication of standing minority rights and protections. California’s Proposition 8 ballot measure to revoke the right of gay couples to marry is the closest equivalent to what’s currently unfolding in Queensland.

What we’re seeing in the Sunshine State is unprecedented; a significant, successive series of law reforms aimed solely at removing rights from a minority and prioritised by a government before it has even reached 100 days in power.

This world record is unenviable — whether you’re gay or straight.

It was a three-pronged plan starting with the removal of the most significant voice for LGBT Queenslanders, the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities. The state’s only health organisation for gays had nearly $2.6 million in funding stripped by Health Minister Lawrence Springborg in May for focusing too much on “political issues”.

Their only significant support body removed, it was on to civil unions, which saw Premier Campbell Newman stumble through half-truths about “compromise” with the state’s religious groups.

Already beholden to the far Right of the party room, the so-called compromise of simply removing state-sanctioned ceremonies quickly became a gutting of the entire Civil Partnerships Act and the introduction of a relationship register instead.

There were no press conferences this time, no explanations about why Newman had initially sought to calm fears about a rollback and tout his credentials as a master social policy negotiator. Civil unions simply ceased to exist in the early hours of Friday, June 22.

While Newman was at pains to try to disguise the fact that the LGBT community was under attack from the new government, there were no such signs of remorse or embarrassment from Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. In fact, Bleijie couldn’t wait to reveal that this was merely the beginning of what he had in store for gay and lesbian couples. The night changes to civil unions were pushed through, he unexpectedly announced in Parliament that next on the list for reform was Queensland’s surrogacy laws — changed in 2010 to allow same-s-x couples and singles the right to access altruistic (non-commercial) surrogacy.

Newman said as late as March that surrogacy laws were not going to be touched. Bleijie later informed us on Friday that the Premier just hadn’t been “briefed” on the LNP’s urgent plan to stop same-s-x surrogacy.

If you thought Bleijie was barely able to hold back his excitement, the Australian Christian Lobby went further. ACL chief of staff Lyle Shelton and Queensland director Wendy Francis welcomed the news that gays would be stopped from “acquiring babies”.

Despite falling over themselves with excitement, you’d be wrong in thinking Christian groups such as ACL have a lot of lobbying power up here — they hadn’t really mentioned surrogacy at all. The truth is the LNP, for all intents and purposes, are the Christian lobby.

One of the first couples to register their civil union in Queensland was Michael O’Brien and Anthony Gillespie. The couple are no strangers to having their relationship politicised. They featured in the controversial Rip N Roll safe s-x advertising campaign — created by the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities — that caused all sorts of grief for outdoor advertising companies in the state following another ACL outcry last year.

Understandably, the couple aren’t overjoyed at the fact that their relationship is once again the subject of debate over its worth in Queensland.

“Changing the name [of civil unions] has made it akin to registering pets, but to be honest I’m almost more disappointed at how underhanded it was,” O’Brien said. “It wasn’t mentioned in the premier’s press conference, it was just ‘oh, by the way we’re changing the name from civil unions’. We were completely lied to.”

O’Brien, who has a son with his partner, says he’s furious he will also have the option for future surrogacy options denied to him.

“It’s gut wrenching to think the government completely undervalues our ability to be parents and to be decent human beings,” he said. “It wasn’t put up for discussion. It was simply just another move to legislate against the LGBT community.

“You have a whole lot of family situations that break down and they’re basically saying that homos-xuals are the ones that are not going to be able to do it right. Well, no one else seems to be able to do it right, so why can’t we have a shot?”

There’s a wider issue here too, beyond repealing legal rights — significant as that may be. It’s the message that these reforms and their urgency send to the state’s LGBT population. How else is your average gay Queenslander to see this remarkable attack on their rights other than that their government is so hostile towards them that it would preference these social changes before an ailing economy and desperately needed infrastructure?

It’s undoubtedly damaging to the mental health of local gay men and women, already worn down by the increased hostility that has spawned from the federal marriage debate. Spread too thin over numerous battlegrounds without a champion to voice their concerns nationally, the local LGBT community is nearing lethargy.

After the March election, they’ve been left with a state speaker who once advocated “ex-gay” therapy on the floor of Parliament, an ambivalent Premier unable to control the anti-gay animus of his massive majority, and a state opposition too small to be competent at sounding the alarm over just how significant and frightening these rights rollbacks are.

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83 thoughts on “Newman v gays: where else but Queensland?

  1. jeebus

    A chap by the name of Jacob Holman sorted all of the Australian Christian Lobby’s press releases for 2012 and found 120 related to gays and a whopping ZERO related to poverty.

    A few days ago, Major Andrew Craibe of the Salvation Army did a radio interview to defend the inclusion of references in the Salvos training manual that gays deserve to die, and to complain about the calls for a boycott from gay groups in response to being told they deserve to die.

    For the record, the Salvo’s training manual does not reference biblical passages that call for adulterers, and children who disobey their parents to be put to death.

    And this is what it comes down to. The blatant hypocrisy of picking and choosing which biblical laws they want to try and cram down the rest of our throats. We don’t see them lobbying politicians to outlaw divorce, do we? Or to make adultery a criminal offence? Or to stop everyone from eating prawns because they are deemed ‘unclean’?

    We don’t need to talk about the irrationality of trying to live by the laws of a 2,000 year old middle eastern desert tribe, because it’s clear that all Australian Christian groups choose to ignore the biblical laws they don’t like.

    What we do need to talk about is the recent move by church leaders in Australia to focus on morality over delivering charity.

    It’s fine to have an opinion on a social issue and be able to debate it using facts and reasoning. What I object to is using a belief as a cowardly wall to hide behind in order to attack people who are different from you.

    Australian religious leaders need to seriously rethink their attempts to try and legislate religious morality, because it is taking the focus off the good work their organisations are involved with, and will harm them over the long term.

  2. Iain Hall

    Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Iain Hall, just because the Bligh ALP government was politically and morally bankrupt doesn’t mean that civil unions, gay marriage or the surrogacy laws were without merit.

    I have long advocated a form of Civil Unions as an alternative to any change to the marriage act for same sex couples and when Newman said during the campaign that he would repeal the act I was rather disappointed. But I am also a realist and I realised long ago that if both sides of an argument are to some extent unhappy with the result then it probably means the compromise is fair. As a conservative I think that any social change should be slow and incremental. Lets see how the situation here develops over the next decade or so and then we will see how our society feels about same sex marriage.

    When you say “Many of us….”, do you mean Queenslanders, homophobes, ill-informed know-alls or just regular suburban LNP voters?

    I mean Queenslanders first and foremost followed by suburban LNP voters. The tendency to suggest, as you do here, that anyone who has qualms about changing the marriage act does so out of any hatred of homosexuals is petty and flat out wrong.

    Do you see every moral and ethical outcome as a “reasonable compromise” – given the circumstances?

    What on earth are you on about with this question?

    The essence of democratic politics is compromise and the accommodation and reconciliation of differing viewpoints. In my experience only the ideologically blinkered think that compromise is a bad thing.

    Frankly Iain, how do you know what it is like to be “Gay in Queensland”?

    Well the standard answer is clearly I have family members who bat for the other team but also since it has become far less of a secret society to be gay its no big secret any more. Sadly far too many think that it still is.


    Flynn Thompson

    God there’s a nasty element to Queensland society that just won’t go away. So sick of these people and their prejudices.

    Mate, the real nasty element is the hard left ideologues (probably not unlike yourself) who can’t accept that anyone can disagree with their political viewpoint on an issue without it making them “evil”.

    Jeremy Sear

    I think it might well be somewhat of a pyrrhic victory anyway for the fundamentalists – civil unions were an attempt at compromise between equality and non-equality, a way to sort of hive off some supporters for equality with an “almost good enough” version that maintained their second-class status.

    Jezza, Mate,
    You are utterly kidding yourself here! The Queensland Labor party have a block booking for the political wilderness for the next decade at least which means that the changes wrought by Newman will stand for that long at least. At a federal level Labor is travelling no better than Bligh was before her resounding defeat so there is absolutely no chance that there will be any change to the marriage act under the Gillard government and even less chance of it being changed under an Abbott government. Do you really think that the Gay marriage rent a crowd can sustain its focus in the long run? I don’t.

    Getting rid of it just highlights that the only equality is full equality. You can’t be “a little bit equal”. You either are or you aren’t.

    This is a stupid argument because the issue is not “equality” its protecting the legal interests of individuals in a same sex relationship and a relationship register does precisely that.

    The community will now unite for full marriage rights. The half-arsed faux-marriage not-actually-equality “civil unions” are now dead as an option.

    Really? you are running “the people will rise up” argument? Gay marriage has always been little more than a side issue in Australian politics used by dull would be activists like you to make yourself feel like you are fighting the good fight. You aren’t going to win and when the bills before the parliament are soundly defeated what then? You have to ask yourself is there enough political Viagra on the planet to sustain this campaign for the next decade or more or will the country just breath a sigh of relief when it is, like Julia Gillard, consigned to the dustbin of history.

  3. Nerrilyn Diefenbach

    This issue for me is personal not political because it is central to the wellbeing and worth of my family. I simply want one of these politicians who oppose equality for my gay son, regardless of what political party they belong to, to tell me truthfully why they believe it is okay that my son is less valued in our Australian society. Why is he not treated equally under the law? Why in the state in which he was born, are his rights not just being denied him but now under this LNP government, are they being taken from him? What effect do you think this kind of blatant discrimination has on LGBTI teenagers who grew up trusting and believing they were equal and were taught that they lived in a democratic society where all should be treated as such. Then they discover at some point in their life that being true to who they really are means accepting that they are in fact second class citizens and that the society they live in is on the whole OK with this.

    Please explain to me why your heterosexual son or daughter is more valued and treated with greater respect and dignity than my homosexual son. If you think this issue will fade and die simply because the LGBTI community will tire under this ultra conservative government them you are very wrong. You are not just fighting them you are fighting us…… their mothers, their fathers, their grandparents, their siblings, their cousins, their friends. This is about family. This is about MY family. This issue will NOT go away because it is at the very core of what it means to be an Australian. This fight will never end for me until my son has FULL equality under the law. This is his and my birth right as Australian citizens!

    From “just another dull activist”

  4. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Iain Hall, thanks for your detailed response. I’d like to take you up on one part of it:

    “As a conservative I think that any social change should be slow and incremental. Lets see how the situation here develops over the next decade or so and then we will see how our society feels about same sex marriage.”

    When John Howard amended the Marriage Act in 2004 he did so specifically to prevent same sex marriage. He didn’t think about “slow and incremental” change, he went straight for the legislative jugular and cut off the blood supply. I can’t say I saw your name in lights at the time but I’d be prepared to wager that you never objected to this particular act of bastardry. Remember, before Howard’s move, the Commonwealth (legislation) was silent on same sex marriage, allowing the states to do as they pleased. Suddenly, without consultation, without a mandate and in a direct confrontation with a significant part of our community, the prime minister showed his activist conservative colours.
    Now another conservative, Tony Abbott, is opening up a front that is similarly unLiberal. The man of morality and conscience, of freedom of speech and action, will not allow a conscience vote of his Coalition colleagues. Now I appreciate that you (Iain) think that this gay marriage thing is a side issue, maybe not trivial but not really deserving of the attention it is getting. But why is it getting this attention? It’s because people, not you and yours but other people, do not think it is trivial. Tony Abbott thinks it’s trivial and he treats the whole matter with contempt – including taking the specifically political manoeuvre of preventing his colleagues from exercising their conscience on this question. Abbott is instructing our parliamentary representatives how to vote – just like he says union heavies instruct Labor members how to vote. Do you, as a conservative, support Abbott in this move?

  5. Iain Hall

    @ jeebus

    @Iain, it’s interesting that you would devote so many words of such little passion to this issue.

    Well frankly there has been more that enough “passion” about this issue from both sides so I just want to suggest that good sense and a little lateral thinking on this matter is what is really called for here.

    It doesn’t really sound to me like you are invested either way, other than wanting to slow the rate of social change because of your aforementioned conservative nature. What your comments tell me, is that for you, gay rights are little more than fringe politics. You don’t have any skin in the game, so to speak.

    Of course I’ve got “skin in the game” I have children and I am rather concerned about the nature of our society that they will experience.

    I challenge you to watch the Q & A clip of Joe Hockey telling Penny Wong to her face that he and his wife make better parents than Penny and her wife by virtue of their gender alone. You can see in his face how uncomfortable he is with the words coming out of his own mouth.

    Seen it and not that impressed either way to be honest

    And this is the reason why those in support of marriage equality will ultimately win. Because people like Penny Wong are not asking for special rights. They are asking for equal rights.

    They have the same rights as any other Australian to establish any sort of relationship that they please and no one gives a toss, that is the important thing here being able to call their pairing a marriage will not change the nature of their relationship or how well it is respected by society.

    And there is no good reason not to extend those rights to them.

    Like wise there is no good reason to change the status quo when homosexuals can openly live and love as they please

    @ Nerrilyn Diefenbach

    This issue for me is personal not political because it is central to the wellbeing and worth of my family. I simply want one of these politicians who oppose equality for my gay son, regardless of what political party they belong to, to tell me truthfully why they believe it is okay that my son is less valued in our Australian society.

    Why on earth do you think that your son not being able to call a pairing a marriage means that he is less valued by society? what he does in his personal life is surely far less significant than what he contributes to our society either in his profession or by performing altruistic service.

    Why is he not treated equally under the law?

    Are apples and oranges the same thing?

    Why in the state in which he was born, are his rights not just being denied him but now under this LNP government, are they being taken from him?

    Are you actually still living in Queensland because its sounds as if you aren’t, in which case the changes to the law here will have no effect on your son.

    What effect do you think this kind of blatant discrimination has on LGBTI teenagers who grew up trusting and believing they were equal and were taught that they lived in a democratic society where all should be treated as such.

    You don’t have to be gay to have a hard time growing up, I’m straight and I had more than my fair share of unhappiness, frankly there comes a point where you just have to say “toughen up princess”. But on your specific claim of “blatant discrimination ” I think you are being something of drama queen when we have a society that basically does not care if someone is gay or straight.

    Then they discover at some point in their life that being true to who they really are means accepting that they are in fact second class citizens and that the society they live in is on the whole OK with this.

    In my youth I would have agreed with you to some extent about the way that homosexuals were considered but these days? I would suggest that you are exaggerating.

    Please explain to me why your heterosexual son or daughter is more valued and treated with greater respect and dignity than my homosexual son.

    To do that would require context, but that is because I don’t consider who anyone desires sexually is any measure of their worth.

    If you think this issue will fade and die simply because the LGBTI community will tire under this ultra conservative government them you are very wrong.

    When the fight is not winnable how many people are going to devote a large slice of their lives to the cause?

    You are not just fighting them you are fighting us…… their mothers, their fathers, their grandparents, their siblings, their cousins, their friends.

    :roll: I could say the same about those on the other side of the argument.

    This is about family. This is about MY family. This issue will NOT go away because it is at the very core of what it means to be an Australian. This fight will never end for me until my son has FULL equality under the law. This is his and my birth right as Australian citizens!

    Is there anything stopping your son having a long term committed relationship with the lover of his choice?
    Is there anything stopping him openly setting up house with him?
    Buying a house or any other big thing together?

    No?
    Well then that means to me that the only thing that your son is being denied is the conceit that his relationship can be called a marriage.

    From “just another dull activist”

    I admire your passion but just think that its misplaced in a futile cause that has only got any prominence so that it can be a diversion form the Gillard government’s woes

  6. Andrew

    I normally just read these threads and can’t be bothered responding… But then I read these few lines…

    Iain Hall writes:

    Why on earth do you think that your son not being able to call a pairing a marriage means that he is less valued by society? what he does in his personal life is surely far less significant than what he contributes to our society either in his profession or by performing altruistic service.

    and

    Is there anything stopping your son having a long term committed relationship with the lover of his choice?
    Is there anything stopping him openly setting up house with him?
    Buying a house or any other big thing together?

    And here’s the problem I see quite often, people not understanding what that little word ‘marriage’ means in terms of law and protection.

    Here’s a few things any couple can do in Australia today, regardless of sexuality:

    * Go to dinner, a movie, enjoy other fun activities
    * Hang out with friends
    * Live together under the same roof, share a car, get a dog
    * Love each other

    And here’s a couple of things that get complicated when you’re not “married”:
    * Your partner collapses and gets taken to hospital and your not considered their spouse so you can’t direct healthcare, you can’t see them and get access to them. You get ignored.
    * Your life-long partner dies, you’ve talked about how you want things handled when this happens – but because you’re not their widow you get no say. Instead you get to watch their family brush you aside and do everything the way they want. You get ignored.

    I’m sure there are many other good examples, but at the heart of all of them is the fact that as a married couple in the eyes of the law you are granted many included benefits that just don’t happen when you ‘shack up together’, or ‘get a civil union’ or as it happens now ‘register your relationship’. This is why anything less than full and equal marriage rights is such an issue – because it doesn’t include all of the ‘taken for granted’ rights and social benefits that comes with the package. Understand that it’s not about wiggling into fancy Church ceremonies, it’s about getting the legal standing and recognition of your relationship like every other couple in the country.

    Add to that, that without equality in something so ‘trivial’, we continue to feed discrimination and hatred for a community that for all other purposes suffers alongside, takes beating after beating and continues to do it’s part. The people that make up the LGBTI community, yes they are actually people, pay taxes, have car accidents, get mugged, get robbed and have bad days like everyone else – but they also get to grow up hiding who they are, usually getting bullied or picked on everyday of their lives and for many years question themselves because society continues to single them out for what they are instead of who they are.

    Leveling the field and having true equality removes discrimination and goes a long way to changing peoples attitudes on the whole. Once Australia has equality in marriage, it will give a real voice to stopping homophobic bullying in schools, workplaces and in society in general, it will bring about more widespread acceptance and it will promote understanding and compassion towards yet another group of people that are ‘just a little bit different’ from everyone else – and that can only be for the good of humanity, society, whatever; Because we should ALL be enjoying life and not having to worry about it so much.

  7. Lamond Shane

    @Iain Hall.
    You have dominated the conversation with your long posts but seem to be missing the point on lot of things which others are articulating in a much better way than you in contest to your arguments.
    First of all your use of the term “batting for the other team” serves only to reaffirm what we are all thinking, that you perceive the rights and fair treatment of a whole section of the community as of little import because we do not actually develop relationships. We do not “bat for the other team” we form long lasting and caring relationships, the equal of their heterosexual counterparts that should be fully recognised under a secular, democratically elected government designed to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.
    Secondly, you miss the point that in a state government that receives GST revenue (among other income streams from certain taxes targeted at individuals and businesses) we are not only being denied equal rights as tax and rate paying members of society, we are having rights and legislation that protects our minority status withdrawn! I’m not sure you read the first paragraph but it is unprecedented.
    Thirdly, this isn’t just about legal recognition and legal protection. If it was the GLBTI community would have accepted amendments to various pieces of legislation years ago and the battle would have ended. There is nothing stopping me from having a long term committed relationship, nor buying a house with my partner but there is something stopping me from getting married to my partner and employing surrogacy as a means to conceive a child thanks to the policies of conservative governments. I want to get married (which brings with it legal protections, status, access to certain public resources as well as being a symbol of hope and commitment) and I want to be able to father a child without the State government declaring me a criminal.
    I feel every person in Australian society should be supportive of this, not just the majority. It is only when people respect each other unconditionally that true equality will have been met.

  8. Iain Hall

    @Lamond Shane

    @Iain Hall.

    You have dominated the conversation with your long posts but seem to be missing the point on lot of things which others are articulating in a much better way than you in contest to your arguments.

    This is my fifth comment to this thread, so to suggest that I am in any way dominating it is an exaggeration.

    First of all your use of the term “batting for the other team” serves only to reaffirm what we are all thinking, that you perceive the rights and fair treatment of a whole section of the community as of little import because we do not actually develop relationships.

    No I use the term merely to describe homosexuality in an affectionate manner on that basis that we are all playing the same game of life

    We do not “bat for the other team” we form long lasting and caring relationships, the equal of their heterosexual counterparts that should be fully recognised under a secular, democratically elected government designed to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

    Really? then why is so much of the Gay subculture focused on celebrating and endorsing transient casual encounters and disavowing monogamy? That said I would argue that you can’t force the majority to endorse your lifestyle and that if you want gain social acceptance the best way to do that is by the way that you live your life rather than trying to coerce the majority into acceptance.

    Secondly, you miss the point that in a state government that receives GST revenue (among other income streams from certain taxes targeted at individuals and businesses) we are not only being denied equal rights as tax and rate paying members of society, we are having rights and legislation that protects our minority status withdrawn! I’m not sure you read the first paragraph but it is unprecedented.

    What on earth has the GST or any sort of taxation got to do with the issue? Further you can’t invoke notions of equality in the treatment of taxpayers and then claim that your exceptionalism is being removed if you want your argument to be logically consistent.

    Thirdly, this isn’t just about legal recognition and legal protection. If it was the GLBTI community would have accepted amendments to various pieces of legislation years ago and the battle would have ended. There is nothing stopping me from having a long term committed relationship, nor buying a house with my partner but there is something stopping me from getting married to my partner and employing surrogacy as a means to conceive a child thanks to the policies of conservative governments.

    Surely you jest? Legal recognition and protections are the often invoked Raison Detre of the push for Gay marriage, surely if you can’t get that precisely the way that you want to but it can be achieved in another way then you still win?
    Social affirmation of homosexuality as a valid expression of humanity will not be delivered by noisy would be revolutionaries it will take time and incremental change

    I want to get married (which brings with it legal protections, status, access to certain public resources as well as being a symbol of hope and commitment) and I want to be able to father a child without the State government declaring me a criminal.

    Well thank you for acknowledging the most important thing that our society says about homosexual unions, namely you and your partner are entirely free to openly and honestly make a life together. But when it comes to surrogacy I and many others are seriously concerned that children thus created are of necessity being alienated from one of their biological parents and that even in so call “altruistic surrogacy” children are reduced to being a commodity or a vanity possession.

    I feel every person in Australian society should be supportive of this, not just the majority. It is only when people respect each other unconditionally that true equality will have been met.

    Well I am 110% supportive of homosexuals such as yourself being able to openly live with and love whoever they please
    and good luck to any, like yourself who find enduring happiness with that one special person. Just find a name other than marriage for your pair-bond.

  9. jeebus

    @Iain,

    “why is so much of the Gay subculture focused on celebrating and endorsing transient casual encounters and disavowing monogamy?”

    This smacks of a double standard, mate. Step into any nightclub on a Friday night and you will find hordes of men trying to get laid. When straight guys do it they’re just regular blokes, when women do it they are sl-uts, and when gay guys do this they’re part of a “subculture focused on celebrating and endorsing transient casual encounters”?

    And are you honestly suggesting that Penny Wong or Bob Brown should not be able to marry their partners of 10+ years because there are too many promiscuous gays out there?

    Do you judge your own eligibility for marriage on the actions of Britney Spears, Bill Clinton, and Elizabeth Taylor? And if not, why not?

    “That said I would argue that you can’t force the majority to endorse your lifestyle”

    Can I ask you, Iain, when did you choose to become a heterosexual?

    Now if your response to that question is, “I didn’t choose who I was attracted to, my d-ck did”, then perhaps you can grasp the reaction that most homosexuals have when people like yourself tell them being gay is a lifestyle choice.

    For most people, sexual attraction is not a choice. They are just born that way.

    If you were born a woman in the early 20th century, you couldn’t vote.

    If you were born black in Australia in 1966, you were not considered a person.

    If you were born black in America in 1966 you could not marry a white person.

    If you were born gay in Australia in 1966 you could go to jail for starting a relationship.

    The Netherlands, a country of 17 million people, was the first to legalise gay marriage in 2001. And what have you heard about that since? Nothing. The Earth didn’t cave in, the sky didn’t fall. A formerly oppressed minority celebrated their successful push for equal rights, and then life went on as usual.

  10. Nerrilyn Diefenbach

    When listening to those who argue that gay men should be happy with what they’ve got, which basically is the legal acceptance that their sexual relationship and the physical intimacies that entails is no longer illegal, (It never has been illegal for woman…….strange that) it becomes so obvious to me how much the “sexual act” as performed by homosexual men is the cornerstone of the objection for the ultra conservatives although I’m fairly sure they would vehemently deny this. I believe it is this that fuels the passion and the outrage. It is no longer okay to object to homosexual relationships on the grounds of the sexual act and the fear that illicits in some very insecure heterosexual men. Shock horror! Now the nasty homosexuals are actually trying to take over marriage which belongs to us heterosexual males and our wives. How terrifying.

    Grow up! Marriage does not and never has belonged to any particular religious group. It is a CIVIL institution. Churches can only marry people because the state gives them the power to do so. Regardless of why a marriage occurs, it is ultimately the legal union of two people designed to give them certain protections, privileges and a particular status under law. It is time to extend this to the homosexual community. Why? Because it is the right, democratic and decent thing to do.

    Stop acting like selfish little children and learn to share or how about YOU go find another name for your relationship if having a different name is so important to you. The STATE calls it marriage. That and all the privileges that go with it rightfully belong to my gay son because he is an Australian Citizen and the majority of Australians agree.

    No woman has every been able to look me in the face and answer this question? Why is it okay that your heterosexual son is entitled to more rights under Australian law than my homosexual son.

    From: Just Being a Drama Queen Again!

  11. Iain Hall

    @Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Iain Hall, if you were “honest” you’d admit that the only reason Tony Abbott is enforcing the no-conscience-vote is because he knows that in all likelihood enough Coalition members would in fact vote to pass the Bill.

    Abbott is not game to take the risk – not because his party has been suckered by Labor spin (boy, that’s desperate explaining) but because his conservative position is out of step with community values and there would be fatal division in the Coalition.

    well neither you nor I are privy to enough detail to argue about such a scenario but unlike the far left I really don’t think that its even a first order issue for most conservatives which makes me think that you are actaully wrong here

    Principle doesn’t enter in to it.

    Well I take as my prime principle on this issue that everyone is entitled to have sex with any other consensual adult of their choice, point me to any jurisdiction in the country where that is not the case.
    jeebus

    @Iain,

    This smacks of a double standard, mate. Step into any nightclub on a Friday night and you will find hordes of men trying to get laid. When straight guys do it they’re just regular blokes, when women do it they are sl-uts, and when gay guys do this they’re part of a “subculture focused on celebrating and endorsing transient casual encounters”?

    Well I’ve never been a big fan of pubs, bars or night clubs be they gay straight or focused entirely on attracting train-spotters.

    And are you honestly suggesting that Penny Wong or Bob Brown should not be able to marry their partners of 10+ years because there are too many promiscuous gays out there?

    That is not my argument. What I am saying that if the underlying issue of the current Gay marriage push is to make homosexuality more socially acceptable then the public image of the subculture needs some serious reform to achieve that.

    Do you judge your own eligibility for marriage on the actions of Britney Spears, Bill Clinton, and Elizabeth Taylor? And if not, why not?

    Even licentious idiots have the right to root as they please

    Can I ask you, Iain, when did you choose to become a heterosexual?

    Now if your response to that question is, “I didn’t choose who I was attracted to, my d-ck did”, then perhaps you can grasp the reaction that most homosexuals have when people like yourself tell them being gay is a lifestyle choice.For most people, sexual attraction is not a choice. They are just born that way.

    This hoary old chestnut eh? We both know that sexual orientation is not actaully an either or proposition for many people its more of a spectrum in my experience with quite a few shades of grey in the middle.
    Nerrilyn Diefenbach

    it becomes so obvious to me how much the “sexual act” as performed by homosexual men is the cornerstone of the objection for the ultra conservatives although I’m fairly sure they would vehemently deny this. I believe it is this that fuels the passion and the outrage. It is no longer okay to object to homosexual relationships on the grounds of the sexual act and the fear that (e)licits in some very insecure heterosexual men. Shock horror! Now the nasty homosexuals are actually trying to take over marriage which belongs to us heterosexual males and our wives. How terrifying.

    As long as individuals keep their sex consensual and in private I have no fear or even disgust for any sort of sexual act so I think that you are projecting your own feelings about Gay sex

    Grow up! Marriage does not and never has belonged to any particular religious group. It is a CIVIL institution. Churches can only marry people because the state gives them the power to do so. Regardless of why a marriage occurs, it is ultimately the legal union of two people designed to give them certain protections, privileges and a particular status under law. It is time to extend this to the homosexual community. Why? Because it is the right, democratic and decent thing to do.

    If you think that our democracy requires such a change to the way we recognise marriage then why don’t we put that to the test of a plebiscite? and then if you can convince the majority of our people that its a change that needs doing then I might even change my own view.

    Stop acting like selfish little children and learn to share or how about YOU go find another name for your relationship if having a different name is so important to you. The STATE calls it marriage. That and all the privileges that go with it rightfully belong to my gay son because he is an Australian Citizen and the majority of Australians agree.

    Yeah about that plebiscite? would you be up for it?

    No woman has every been able to look me in the face and answer this question? Why is it okay that your heterosexual son is entitled to more rights under Australian law than my homosexual son.

    Our sons have precisely the same rights to live and love as they please and to do so openly and honestly, that is what is important here not what you can or can’t call their unions.

    From: Just Being a Drama Queen Again!

    We all have an inner drama queen sometimes, but best to keep her on the leash (I hear that she may just enjoy that too much 😉 )
    Are you free?

    Having never sought surrogacy services, perhaps someone can enlighten me: is the LNP disproportionately “concerned” about LGBTI surrogacy relative to hetero. surrogacy? If the answer is even slightly yes, then the “Won’t someone think of…” cries are blatant lies to cover bigotry.

    I have no idea about the LNP as I am not a member of the party but having had some contact with the assisted fertility industry I am far from sanguine about it for anyone.


    Diefenbach Jake

    Don’t worry about Iain Hall. I read his posts *shrugs* You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t stop it from posting self-aggrandising, pseudo-intellectual garbage on crikey.com.au.

    :roll: do you want to engage and persuade or do you just want to silence dissenting voices.

    Ruhl Miles

    As for you Iain, you can stretch out your arguments and try to seem as ‘centrist’ as you like (read: pretty damn far to the right) but if you do not support FULL equality for EVERYONE in this country, then put simply; you are part of the problem.

    No matter what I think its not going to happen now is it? you can shout and stamp your feet ion the most sustained hissy fit but the simple inescapable fact is that you just don’t have the numbers, so in real terms this issue will go onto the very back back burner with the fall of the Gillard government and I really don’t think that it will get anywhere near the front of the stove for a decade at least

    Continuing discrimination and persecution, made all the worse by condonation and in fact direct perpetration by our so-called ‘leaders’ will do no good for us. In the long run it will only harm us as a society through division and fear of the different.

    Hmm I think that you exaggerate because the reality is that its a lot easier to be Gay now than it was when I was a young man in the seventies which is something that this straight bloke things is a very big social improvement.

    Theo

    Is this the same argument you would use when debating that women should have fewer rights than men? I doubt it, because (most) people have over time come to realise men and women should be treated equally. My point being: oranges and apples are both fruits. Men, women, heterosexuals and homosexuals are all people. Whether you like it or not, sexuality is just one characteristic, like sex is, and such a characteristic should never be an argument to discriminate.

    As I have pointed out earlier the most important “right” for everyone is that we are all entitled to form the relationships of our own choice and we are able to do so openly and honestly. What you call it has very little to do with the quality of your relationship

    Miles Ruhl


    Hear hear Theo! I thought of replying similarly to that clear indication of homophobia but figured in Iain’s case I’d be wasting my breath. That and didn’t have time to read the accompanying essay denying the fact that he is a twit.

    Maaate, I neither fear nor even dislike homosexuals
    Nerrilyn Diefenbach

    Conceit indeed! It is not conceit to expect to be treated equally and fairly under the law. This one statement truly sums up this man’s views regarding homosexuality despite all his protests to the contrary. This is the kind of bigotry and ignorance that the LGBTI community have to put up with every day of their lives. They have my utmost respect.

    Oh I get it you see “the LGBTI community” as some sort of noble victims, well that explains a lot.

  12. Iain Hall

    Buddy

    I usually try to stay calm and measured but this statement is so offensive I had to comment. You statement speaks to your underlying belief that only heterosexuals have children because they want the joy and blessing of raising a family… HOW deluded can you be and how dare you even for a moment suggest that this is how we, me and every other parent in our community treats our children…… .

    Mate my concern is not about Homosexuals raising children, quite clearly they can do that with as much competence as any other caring human being. My concern is with the children being excluded from contact with or even knowledge of the people who have provided the gametes that have enabled their creation in the first instance. The experience with “secret’ adoptions that have been the norm in many jurisdictions for decades has been that many adoptees feel a profound sense of dislocation and loss when they are prevented from knowing who they actaully are.

    Our four beautiful, wonderful children would also be horrified by your suggestion and now, as adults stand beside us , fighting ever step of the way for equal rights for everyone … Including our LGBTI community.

    Really then why don’t you ask them how they feel about being excluded from knowing the truth about their biological heritage?

    Oh and by the way…. There are thousand of our community raising the children of the heterosexual community through foster care programs… Why? Because there’s just not enough straight people who seem to give a damn to give a home to a needy child…

    Really? facts and figures to back up this claim if you don’t mind.

  13. Thorn

    Well, I have not had the misfortune of reading comments from this Iain Hall guy before – and even for someone as cynical about the untruths and morally disposable dogma of the far Right in Australia as I am – Mr Hall really is a throwback to the very worst of times when discrimination was sanctioned by those in authority.

    It is hard to believe that in Australia today there actually exists someone as intinsically nasty and spiteful that they are so against any two people of age being able to be married. I have read all his vitriol against gay marriage and have seen no way that what he is so opposed to can possibly have any affect upon him or anyone else in society at all. The only people affected by this are the people involved. He says he has children and he is concerned about the kind of society they will grow up in. I can not believe his level of ignorance and hostility.

    This man has used a list of insulting and discriminating expressions to describe gay people and their relationships that would do justice to some horrible American racist organisation – just substitue gay for black and Hall could be the Grand Pooh Bah of the KKK. I would not be surprised if he feels the same way about blacks actually.

    It is this level of divisiveness that is the crowning achievement of the far Right in Australia. The hate of refugees and anyone ‘really foreign’ created by Howard and the single minded ambition of Abbott to control things no matter what the cost to this countrys economic and social well-being are the twin towers of hate that have come to dominate Australian politics.

    Shame on you for being a part of that.

  14. Iain Hall

    Thorn

    Well, I have not had the misfortune of reading comments from this Iain Hall guy before – and even for someone as cynical about the untruths and morally disposable dogma of the far Right in Australia as I am – Mr Hall really is a throwback to the very worst of times when discrimination was sanctioned by those in authority.

    Gee Thorn that’s news to me! Simply put I only object to same sex unions being labelled as marriage, so how precisely does that make me discriminatory?

    It is hard to believe that in Australia today there actually exists someone as intinsically(sic) nasty and spiteful that they are so against any two people of age being able to be married.

    As long as they meet the current requirements of the act I have no objection at all

    I have read all his vitriol against gay marriage and have seen no way that what he is so opposed to can possibly have any affect upon him or anyone else in society at all. The only people affected by this are the people involved. He says he has children and he is concerned about the kind of society they will grow up in. I can not believe his level of ignorance and hostility.

    Hostile to the idea of changing the marriage act, certainly but also for another legal instrument being created for same sex unions like the one we have here in Queensland.

    This man has used a list of insulting and discriminating expressions to describe gay people and their relationships that would do justice to some horrible American racist organisation – just substitue gay for black and Hall could be the Grand Pooh Bah of the KKK. I would not be surprised if he feels the same way about blacks actually.

    Oh dear what a precious flower you are! Your terribly “PC” collar and tie is clearly too tight

    It is this level of divisiveness that is the crowning achievement of the far Right in Australia. The hate of refugees and anyone ‘really foreign’ created by Howard and the single minded ambition of Abbott to control things no matter what the cost to this countrys(sic) economic and social well-being are the twin towers of hate that have come to dominate Australian politics.

    No mate the derisiveness is a result of activists seeking to change the marriage act at the behest of the Greens and the Labor spinmiesters who know that this issue will not reach the conclusion that they desire

    Shame on you for being a part of that.

    Right back at you

  15. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Iain, I told the story of a simple but complex ‘family’ arrangement I know of not to make a debating point really but to show you what’s out here. I know you’ve got a few hang-ups about fertility services but really those issues arise because of the inability of society, administration and politics to keep up with technical and social innovation – I don’t think it has any connection to gay marriage per se.
    You explicitly state : “Simply put I (only) object to same sex unions being labelled as marriage”. This is the part I don’t understand. It’s as if you personally, or married people as a subset, or a whole bunch of unrelated people, married or not, believe they have some sort of exclusive ownership of the institution and terminology of marriage and that you/they are self-appointed gatekeepers of that institution. I just don’t see the gate. No one owns my marriage. It’s just mine. Our constitution established/recognised marriage as an institution – the same institution that all societies, faiths, religions and nations have recognised since time immemorial. The marriage that our constitution recognises is a relationship pure and simple. It’s not a procreation mechanism, nor a fixed and labelled way of life. It’s just a relationship which the State supports and encourages because of the positives that are likely to arise from it.
    The State can’t mandate behaviour inside marriage. That’s entirely up to the participants. Gay relationships are pretty indistinguishable from straight relationships if you accept a broad definition of ‘relationship’. And what other definition could you have?
    Loosen up. Marriage is a great thing for those that want it. It’s of no interest to many couples. Live and let live.

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