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Federal

Oct 21, 2011

Guarding the Left flank: gay unions and Labor's primary vote

A new poll shows supporting same-sex marriage would boost Labor's vote -- but mainly at the expense of the Greens.

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With speculation the prime minister will declare her support for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage ahead of Labor’s December national conference, a new poll suggests the issue could enable Labor to attract support from Greens voters.

Sources close to the PM have long hinted that there’d be a shift by Julia Gillard on the issue either before or at the conference, although not all the way in favour of same-sex unions. These have been strengthened by reports in News Ltd papers today that the PM is preparing to back a conscience vote, a compromise tactic designed to head off a damaging fight over the issue between social progressives and conservatives while shifting Labor to a more liberal stance than its current “man and woman” policy.

The pro-same-sex union group Australian Marriage Equality today released polling done by Galaxy looking at the impact on voting intention of a full Labor shift to supporting same-sex unions. The poll was undertaken last weekend with a sample size of just over 1000 respondents.

The poll showed 17% of people said they’d be more likely to vote for Labor if it supported same-sex unions and 19% less likely to support Labor, with 64% saying it would not affect their vote.

However, the distribution of those who say the issue would change their vote is significant. Coalition voters are more likely to be less inclined to vote Labor — 28% — than others, while Greens voters are much more likely to be more inclined to vote Labor — 47%. That is, Labor wouldn’t lose many votes from the issue, because Coalition supporters are most likely to be negatively disposed to support for same-sex marriage, but the votes it would pick up would be from the Greens. It would also strengthen Labor’s hold on its own voters, with 23% of Labor voters saying they’d be more likely to vote Labor, compared to 10% who would be less likely.

Galaxy calculates that overall, a switch to outright support for same-sex marriage by Labor might increase its primary vote by anything up to four points. That would primarily come from the Greens, to whom Labor has bled votes over the past two years, in effect representing a recovery of lost voters. It wouldn’t help on a two-party preferred basis, however.

There are some other interesting breakdowns in the polling results. Women are far more likely to respond positively to a Labor shift on the issue than men: 22% of women were more likely to vote Labor compared to 11% of men; 25% of men were less likely to vote Labor, compared to 14% of women. Younger voters were three times more likely to respond positively — 33% of 18-24-year-olds would be more likely to vote Labor compared to 10% of over-50s (and the figure falls linearly with age).

Queensland voters are more likely than others to respond negatively — 11% would be more likely to vote Labor and 25% less likely. High income and more educated voters are also more likely to shift their support to Labor than others on the issue. However, contrary to expectations, the differences between urban and regional voters are limited: 17% of capital city voters would be more likely to support Labor compared to 15% outside capital cities; 18% in capitals would be less likely and 21% outside capitals less likely.

While the results aren’t unexpected, they provide some context for the debate within Labor about how to fight the threat of the Greens to its Left flank. Some social conservatives in the party seem happy for the Greens to poach progressive ALP members and voters. Party powerbroker and Catholic reactionary Joe De Bruyn, who has claimed gay marriage will destroy civilisation, believes supporting same-sex marriage will wreck Labor.

Hardline Catholic MP John Murphy specifically urged advocates of marriage equality to leave the party and join the Greens earlier this year. Such an exodus would obviously strengthen the control of the conservative Right within the party, but accelerate Labor’s already dire problem of shrinking membership and boost the electoral clout of the Greens, who are serious opponents for Labor in inner-urban electorates.

Labor hard-heads less interested in improving their faction’s position and more interested in a long-term future for the party, however, understand that Labor must find a way to shore up its Left flank and fight off the Greens. This is done most effectively by co-opting what Green positions it can — a strategy that worked successfully for John Howard in confronting the threat to his conservative base from One Nation.

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76 thoughts on “Guarding the Left flank: gay unions and Labor’s primary vote

  1. Simon Mansfield

    A conscience vote on this issue is the surest way to defeat this policy and leave Labor looking even stupid than ever when the catholic right vote it down along with the LNP.

    The only way to bring marriage equality to all Australians is for the Labor Party to make it a centrepiece of it national policy platform at the next National Conference and compel all its MPs to vote for it or risk expulsion.

    The only reason a conscience vote is being considered is that the Labor Catholic Right is using it as a spoiler tactic to ensure it’s defeated.

    Moreover, the Prince of Machiavellian Politics – Senator Bob Brown – is most keen to see it go down at the hands of the Labor Catholic Right as he knows it will drive even more votes from the Labor Left to the Greens and cement The Greens into the Senate for a decade of righteous opposition.

    Kevin Rudd needs to embrace Gay Marriage as part of his political makeover and kick the Shoppie’s poodle out of the Lodge and take Labor back to a victory winning lead.

    Labor has only one chance at a leadership change and it must occur before the Libs dump Abbott for Turnbull. The clock is ticking and its time for Lady Jane Grey to be happy with the minor cabinet position of Minister for Work Place Relations.

  2. GocomSys

    A new POLL suggests …………….
    Reports in NEWS LTD PAPERS today………………
    Australian Marriage Equality today released POLLING done by GALAXY …………………….
    Party powerbroker and Catholic reactionary………………………
    Enough, thank you very much.

  3. Russell

    Yes – a move to embrace a conservative, bourgeoisie and personally restrictive institution is seems as “progressive.” Anyway, anyone who would change their vote over this issue has does so already, a long time ago. Labor won’t get them back.

  4. Modus Ponens

    What tosh – does Galaxy truly believe that the Greens vote would go from 12% to 6% if the ALP embraced their policy?

    Hardly.

    If it goes to a conscience vote and inevitably fails, all it will do is tip more people towards the Greens.

  5. Milan Ovich

    Makes me a little nauseous that a “Catholic reactionary” is a powerbroker in the party. Sociology is a fairly developed science that governments should be encouraged to draw their sociological policies from… instead we’re still influenced by people who think: contraception, abortion, and legal contracts between adults, need to be approved by their celibate, unwed male Pope. Note they’re not denying that same-s x couples exist, it’s just their legal entitlements that the church folks are opposed to… ?

    I could care less which religion any government official holds to in their private life… Sharia, Talmudic Law, Scientology, Mormon, Charismatic, etcetera… there simply isn’t room for baseless archaic notions on an overcrowded and starving planet that’s speeding towards crisis and needs intelligent answers for new problems as soon as possible.

  6. StrewthAlmighty

    Is it Friday?

    Must be time for the ALP to change it’s mind on policy.

    Problem is that the polling relates to a shift to a “pro” policy whereas this would be a shift to “no policy at all”. Whilst the ALP diehards may be comforted that another topic has been added to the list of policies on which they can’t make up their minds, it is hard to see Greens voters switching to a party whose representatives vote down a policy on which the party has no official view.

    On the other hand it is possible to see them losing a few more votes just for being so utterly gutless and pathetic.

  7. Simon Mansfield

    Just remember folks it is currently the agreed policy of the Greens for there to be a conscience vote. Even though it will go in flames. So one has to ask why would the Greens be pushing Labor to adopt a policy that is doomed to failure.

  8. SusieQ

    Firstly, Russell – the thing is that all of us, except for gay people, can choose whether we to follow this ‘conservative, bourgeoisie and personally restrictive institution’ – thats what this is whole issue is about. If Julia and Tim can exercise their right not to get married, why can’t a gay couple?
    Second, the SDA – surely one of the few trade unions (and pardon the sweeping generalisation here) that would have many, many gay members, so why is it not supporting its membership?

    I am a voter who has moved from ALP to Greens recently, but not only because of this issue. I don’t care if Labour becomes a stooge of the Catholic right – they will only have themselves to blame.

  9. Fran Barlow

    While I’d certainly like the ALP to adopt marriage equality as policy I’d actually prefer a conscience vote on the matter. It’s a useful thing to be able to identify and distinguish those who attitutdes to this matter are out of step with contemporary attitudes.

    It’s also a valuable thing to be able to say that the parliament as a whole approved the matter rather than people trolling the decision as having been “rammed through by party bosses based on political correctness”. If that means that the proposal fails, that’s still the lesser evil because the case can continue to be made against those who voted it down.

    On balance I think it more likely to succeed than fail with a conscience vote. Those opposing the concept are going to have to defend their position, and that will entail repeatedly asserting offensive nonsense on stilts. Few people in public life like the idea of being ridiculed or seen as bigots, especially when people on their own side are on the other side of the argument.

    I suspect many of the antis will choose abstention as the safer course.

    It’s much easier to hide behind party discipline, so if a conscience vote is not allowed, they can simply invited people to suppose that they had no choice and work both sides of the political street.

    I also think that given that the party didn’t run for office on the proposed policy, and indeed declared the opposite, you couldn’t really get reform this side of new elections in which you did run on it. A conscience vote sidestaeps this problem.

    Finally, debate is a good thing. Regardless of the state of the law, the state of the public mind is an indispensible factor in changing public attitudes in areas of policy like this. It is important that a thorough discussion be had — so thorough that people come to say — just get on with it so we can move on. That’s why even a defeat, while a setback in the campaign would nevertheless ensure that when the measure was adopted, as it surely will be in the near term future, the measure would be a product of an unimpeachable consensus.

  10. Scott

    The problem with these surveys is while they gauge the approval for gay marriage, they don’t often rate the importance the punters place on it.
    And for gay marriage, while people might be for it, in most of the surveys that do rate importance, same sex marriage doesn’t rate as a vote changer compared to other issues that most people do care about…i.e the economy, immigration, education, environment, health etc.

  11. kate

    @Simon Mansfield: “it is currently the agreed policy of the Greens for there to be a conscience vote”. Are you sure? Their published policy is to “legislate to allow marriage regardless of sexuality or gender identity”: http://greens.org.au/policies/care-for-people/sexuality-and-gender-identity

    @Scott. You’re right, most people really don’t give a rats (which is perfectly reasonable, seeing as it has nothing to do with their lives) and won’t change their vote.

    I strongly suspect that most of us who really do care won’t change our vote either if a conscience vote is offered, because a conscience vote is an insult (why should f—-ts like Joe de Bruyn any say whatsoever on my human rights anyway?)

  12. Stiofan

    Here’s one little question: where does this “right” for gays to marry come from?

    The Pope (and, I suspect, Joe deBruyn) could give you a far more coherent analysis of that question than 99.9% of all advocates for the alleged “right”.

    I suspect that @SusieQ would be one of those struggling to answer the question.

    ” If Julia and Tim can exercise their right not to get married, why can’t a gay couple?”

    Well, if you’re talking about “rights” purely in terms of legal rights, the answer is fairly obvious: there’s no legal provision for gay marriage (just as there’s no legal provision for healthy persons to claim disability benefits or non-indigenous students to claim Abstudy).

    One the other hand, if you’re arguing that the right to marry exists outside of (and should inform) the law, where does it come from? I suspect that Kant would have struggled to find such a right, so what’s the source – the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, the precepts of Scientology, the Dreamtime …?

  13. rossco

    Why would Greens voters change their vote on this issue? Just vote Green 1 and give your second preference to whoever is the most progressive alternative.

  14. denise allen

    I think John Murphy should go and join the hard right of the Liberal Party.

  15. Fran Barlow

    [ there’s no legal provision for gay marriage (just as there’s no legal provision for healthy persons to claim disability benefits or non-indigenous students to claim Abstudy]

    Your analogy is poor Stiofan. Disability benefits and Abstudy have relevant qualifications rather than arbitrary ones — disability benefit is devised to ensure the burdens of disability don’t unreasonably prejudice the life chances of disabled people. Ditto with Abstudy, which is designed to make equal opportunity for indigenous folk more likely than without it. Unless being disabled or indigenous is imposed as a qualification, the program couldn’t work, because the budget would be spread across a much larger class of claimants.

    Equally, these rights are not universal. Not all countries have disability benefit or benefits for indigenous people. This is a social provision with a qualification which one can call a ‘right’ in a different sense than rights we consider fundamental to all humans. Your analogy is really an attempt to win by equivocation.

    Granting all consenting adults the right to marriage does not deprive any other pair of consenting persons of that right, so it is not a zero sum game in the sense that social provision like Abstudy or disability benefit is.

    It would be more useful to see marriage rights as an application of the principle that people ought to be able to act as they please, free from the interference of others, save in those cases when allowing them to act would prejudice the legitimate interests of another. The onus is very much on opponents of gay marriage provision to show how such provision would prejudice the legitimate claims of at least one person and further, that this prejudice outweighs the benefits to all those who would seek to exercise this discretion to marry. In the absence of a persuasive case along these lines, one can see that the formula “marriage is between a man and a woman” is purely arbitary and not of the same character as qualifications for other kinds of provision.

  16. Malcolm Street

    Stiofan – so there’s no such thing as an unjust law? So there is never justification for changing a law? So a law cannot be amended or criticised from outside the law?

  17. Simon Mansfield

    Fran – The LNP will not allow a conscience vote on this issue. Therefore the only way to get it through is for it to be official Labor policy and for all Labor MPs to be then compelled by party discipline to vote for the measure.

    At most only 1 or 2 right wing Catholics will vote against it, and they will be balanced by a couple of LNP members who for family reasons will cross the floor on it and vote in support of it.

    There is a very small window of opportunity to get this through and done with – and that is right now with Labor realising this the perfect opportunity to put an axe through the soft Green vote and show that it’s major parties that get things done.

    The Shoppies are playing dirty on this issue and using a conscience vote as a spoiler move to stop it. The Greens are also playing dirty on this issue and want to use it as a wedge against Labor by supporting a conscience vote when they know it will fail and can then blame Labor for it going down.

    The irony is that the only person who can turn this around is Kevin Rudd and I think it would be a stunning political move for him to admit he was wrong on this issue and lead the call for it to become official Labor policy at the next National Conference.

    Otherwise it will be another decade before there will be a government that will support it. And on behalf of my many gay friends I reckon its time for the rest of us to actually stand up and play hard ball politics on this issue and bring home the bacon as Keating use to say.

  18. Suzanne Blake

    Good evening,

    Same Sex Unions – who cares, we have bigger issues.

    cool winds of change – according to one analysts, tips ice on Swans Surplus

    “…..was speaking to the senior partner of an accountancy firm this week and he tells me there is now major stress in the Australian SME business community. He measures ‘major stress’ via negative free cashflow and the fact there has been a big spike in the number of SME business clients now entering into multi-year tax payment arrangements with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). When the ATO is offering “3 year terms”, you know you have a problem.

    He also rightly believes that Treasurer Swan’s forecast of a fy13 budget surplus is complete fantasy, with tax receipts clearly likely to be well below Treasury forecasts. It’s just a matter of how big the fy13 federal budget deficit is. Trust me, it’s going to be big, reaffirming my long held view that the Labor party can’t even spell surplus, let alone deliver one.

    These real world, real time comments are confirmed by data from the Commonwealth Bank (CBA), which shows a spike in overdrafts. Overdrafts are mostly used by small and medium business to finance day to day cashflow.

    It’s also worth noting the chart below from ANZ showing ‘commercial 90+ day delinquencies’. Note the spike in “regional commercial banking” and “small business banking”.

  19. drsmithy

    Here’s one little question: where does this “right” for gays to marry come from?

    That would be the principle of non-discrimination in the law.

    The Pope (and, I suspect, Joe deBruyn) could give you a far more coherent analysis of that question than 99.9% of all advocates for the alleged “right”.

    Why does their analysis matter ? The issue is the legal contract of marriage. Religion has no place in it.

    If you think the Pope – or anyone else for that matter – can give a “far more coherent analysis” of why a particular segment of the population should be excluded from entering into a legal contract because of the sexuality, then by all means give some pointers to it.

    Well, if you’re talking about “rights” purely in terms of legal rights, the answer is fairly obvious: there’s no legal provision for gay marriage (just as there’s no legal provision for healthy persons to claim disability benefits or non-indigenous students to claim Abstudy).

    There used to be no right for women to vote, either. The same kinds of people undoubtedly predicted doom and gloom when that little bit of legal discrimination was removed from the books.

  20. meagankae

    @Scott – I voted Liberal at the last federal election and would NEVER vote for the Greens. I have no respect for Gillard as a PM or the way the party has handled the Carbon Tax. I would however vote for Labor next federal election if they supported Equal Rights/Gay Marriage.
    As Keane writes, Labor needs to support Gay Marriage if they want to maximize their chances of getting back voters they lost to the Greens. I suspect that I am not the only Liberal voter who is willing to vote labor on this potential change of policy.

  21. Fran Barlow

    Simon

    I am at least as interested as you appear to be in getting an early win for the LGBT community (and all of us who support reason in public policy) on this important issue.

    That said, I wouldn’t want the policy victory tainted by accusations that MPs were bullied into supporting a policy they couldn’t endorse. It seems to me that if the policy does allow a conscience vote, that it’s much more likely to become ALP policy. That puts pressure on the Libs to do the same. When a vote then happens, even if it is defeated, there’s no going back. We can resurrect the policy every term until we win.

    More to the point, the conscience vote policy can allow us to drive out of politics or marginalise all those who oppose same sex marriage rights, and since these are, for the most part, reactionaries, who oppose good policy on climate change and the environment more generally, asylum seekers, live animal exports etc … this can get us a win in other areas too.

    In short, the conscience vote policy can both ensure that the victory is politically irreversible and the foundation for a much more rational polity.

  22. Russell

    @ SusieQ. Thanks, I do get it. A group of people are upset that they can’t conform and join the mainstream. In this case by embracing an ancient and socially coercive institution –an inherently patriarchal one which has been used for years to keep the population “in check”

    What I don’t get is why this is a “progressive”? Tell me, SQ…

    Or why The Greens are so determined to wedge the only political party which can deliver ANY of their agenda? IS delivering (carbon tax), has gone out on limb (“lied”) and WILL loose the next election because of it?

    Then the tax is gone. So is any chance of gay marriage. What is the Greens agenda? Tell me…

    No, don’t… That agenda is VERY clear.

  23. drsmithy

    What I don’t get is why this is a “progressive”?

    Because there are certain legal privileges that come with being married. Not extending those same privileges to people base on their sexuality is simply raw discrimination, and removing discrimination is a progressive cause.

  24. TheTruthHurts

    This is a government that can’t balance a budget but wants to go on leftie crusades on things no one cares about like “gay marriage”.

    And then people wonder why this governments in the proverbial shitter.

    This is no longer the party of the worker, it’s a party of the inner city chattering classes.

  25. GocomSys

    I don’t understand why Labor ever dropped their support for marriage equality in the first place. It used to be core business to support equal rights.
    Ignore the poll peddlers! Ignore the “fear” mongers!
    All Labor has to do is get on with business as per party platform. Show guts, you have absolutely nothing to loose and we have everything to gain!
    Price on carbon! Tick.
    Onshore asylum seeker processing! Tick.
    Marriage equality! Next
    Mining tax! Next
    Tax reform! Next
    The list goes on…………….. success at the next election guaranteed.

  26. Suzanne Blake

    It will only boost Labor vote (MAYBE) cause its taken from the extreme Greens.

    The hairy armpit’s can swap between the two until the cows come home, as far at 90% of the population cares

  27. Fran Barlow

    Russell

    Hard as it may be for you to accept, politics is the business of getting useful stuff done and then making sure it stays that way. If a political party is behaving in ways that make that harder (the ALP for example) then wedging them makes sense. There are many supporters of the ALP who agree with us on carbon pricing and asylum seekers and gay marriage and the mining tax and live exports and so forth … Regrettably, the ALP’s neanderthal factions continue to run the show.

    If we simply roll over and accept whatever the ALP says, we become no more useful than the more or less useless ALP left. OTOH if we cause the ALP no end of trouble every time they pander to the right, then the ALP left gets leverage — they can scare the ALP right with the only thing this gaggle of unprincipled schysters are bothered about — holding office.

    It is true that this noptionally increases the prospect of the ALP being rolled at an election. OTOH, it makes it more likely that if they win an election, the victory will be meaningful because they are likely to appear measurably better than their official conservative rivals and we are less likely to be sandbagged.

    That said, I’m unconvinced that it makes the ALPs prospects of winning worse in practice. Most of the people who think the ALP is “too left” are rusted on colation voters, and some of those who think this will vote ALP on tribal grounds. It’s a reasoning flaw to say that pandering to the so called swinging voter is a winning strategy. That merely makes you look unprincipled and invites people to think both sides are much the same and so to focus instead on banality and whether the leader is charming or authentic. That’s a lottery.

    What Abbott has done is to harden up his core supporters by focusing on rightwing populism. What that means is that swinging voters know that if they switch to him, they can realise their policy hopes. That’s a huge advantage to Abbott. If the ALP could make the same claim — that all left of centre voters were rocksolid behind them — then swinging voters could believe that if the ALP would throw its weight behind their vision, that they cvould get this done. That would in practice restore the ALP to something like electoral parity and take the focus off the 24-hour news cycle and put it onto where the parties were taking the country in public policy terms.

    If the ALP wants to win, it must first devise a strategy to lock down a core constituency larger than its purely tribal support. That means appealing to those ALP voters who have what can be called “traditional labor values”. Opposing gay marriage, being in bed with big business, funding chaplains in schools, all the way with the USA, occupying Afghanistan, half-heartedness on climate change and the environment, budget surplus fetishism, hatred of refugees, indifference to live exports and so forth invite people to vote coalition since both parties are the same, without them getting any vote winning brownie points from those who like these policies. And even if a handful of people do switch to the ALP on the basis of them being simpering reactionaries, this support is much too soft a foundation for stable government. You have to keep pandering to them and poisoning your base to keep them. Far better to let such people vote coalition — and indeed to invite such people explicitly to vote coalition on the basis that you oppose such ignorant policies. That way you are seen as standing for something definite and you make supporting your side an issue of principle.

  28. TheTruthHurts

    Suzanne,

    Labor and it’s supporters are either purposely ignorant or just plain stupid.

    You’d think they’d realise by now that they don’t need Green votes, as Greenies overwhelmingly preference Labor anyway. What they need is moderate and right wing voters.

    So while Labor and Greens squabble over their 12% vote base, the Libs will sit back and gleefully take the other 88%.

    Labor needs to ditch the elitists, chattering classes, academics, bleeding hearts and do-gooders and go back to their roots…. back to representing the WORKERS. No more rose coloured glasses rubbish, start standing up for the values and morals of the working class you dills.

  29. Suzanne Blake

    @ TheTruthHurts

    I think the corruption, denials and issues around the Health Services Union, has left a deep wound in their ‘workers’ caring strategy.

  30. StrewthAlmighty

    TTH

    I wonder at times whether the Coalition have managed to plant a mole as Labor’s political strategist.

    The current version of Labor is doing its best not just to destroy the party (with the Greens alongside sticking in the knife) but also the health of Australian politics. When one of the most unpopular politicians of recent times (pre Gillard at least) can coast into the Lodge then things are seriously amiss.

  31. StrewthAlmighty

    And of course their supporters are busy patting themselves on the back because they’ve managed to trip over themselves and end up with an unpopular carbon tax and onshore processing.

    Now you can argue about whether or not Govts should just implement popular policy but if you are going to implement unpopular policy then you at least need to be leading the debate and doing it as a matter of principle.

    Instead we have a carbon tax because of Greens arm twisting, onshore processing due to the High Court and the only way we will end up with gay marriage is if a group of Coalition moderates vote for it.

  32. Russell

    There is no mystery behind all this, Strewthalmighty… The Greens figure there is electoral advantage to them if Labor is destroyed (and along with it, the carbon tax). Even better for them, an Abbot government.

    Bugger the rest of us. And the planet.

    The tragedy is, they are probably right. Their 12% might rise to 14%. Melbourne still in the bag, next Grayndler, Sydney… It is that cynical.

  33. TheTruthHurts

    [“I don’t understand why Labor ever dropped their support for marriage equality in the first place. It used to be core business to support equal rights.”]

    Lets not forget the Labor Party is the party that introduced the White Australia policy.

    Lets not forget the Labor Party is the party that introduced mandatory detention for illeglas.

    Lets not forget the Labor Party supported the invasion of East Timor by Indonesian troops.

    Lets not forget the Labor Party was the party that wanted to send kids to Malaysia to work the streets as sex slaves and get caned by authorities.

    Oh yes the party of grand morality and history. Give us a break.

  34. TheTruthHurts

    Oh yes and I forgot…. the party that introduced pokies to every state and territory in the country bar Tasmania(Lib/Greens minority government believe it or not)….

    Yep you guessed it…. Labor.

  35. Fran Barlow

    Interesting.

    I’ve a substantial post that has been sitting in the mod queue since Saturday 22 October 2011 at 2:11 pm … Another post on another topic is now on display, finally, but not this one. Hmmm …

  36. Fran Barlow

    As a test to see which bit triggered the spaminator, here’s the first bit of it:

    Russell

    Hard as it may be for you to accept, politics is the business of getting useful stuff done and then making sure it stays that way. If a political party is behaving in ways that make that harder (the ALP for example) then wedging them makes sense. There are many supporters of the ALP who agree with us on carbon pricing and asylum seekers and gay marriage and the mining tax and live exports and so forth … Regrettably, the ALP’s neanderthal factions continue to run the show.

    If we simply roll over and accept whatever the ALP says, we become no more useful than the more or less useless ALP left. OTOH if we cause the ALP no end of trouble every time they pander to the right, then the ALP left gets leverage — they can scare the ALP right with the only thing this gaggle of unprincipled schysters are bothered about — holding office.

    It is true that this noptionally increases the prospect of the ALP being rolled at an election. OTOH, it makes it more likely that if they win an election, the victory will be meaningful because they are likely to appear measurably better than their official conservative rivals and we are less likely to be sandbagged.

  37. Fran Barlow

    Now here’s the 2nd bit:

    That said, I’m unconvinced that it makes the ALPs prospects of winning worse in practice. Most of the people who think the ALP is “too left” are rusted on colation voters, and some of those who think this will vote ALP on tribal grounds. It’s a reasoning flaw to say that pandering to the so called swinging voter is a winning strategy. That merely makes you look unprincipled and invites people to think both sides are much the same and so to focus instead on banality and whether the leader is charming or authentic. That’s a lottery.

    What Abbott has done is to harden up his core supporters by focusing on rightwing populism. What that means is that swinging voters know that if they switch to him, they can realise their policy hopes. That’s a huge advantage to Abbott. If the ALP could make the same claim — that all left of centre voters were rocksolid behind them — then swinging voters could believe that if the ALP would throw its weight behind their vision, that they cvould get this done. That would in practice restore the ALP to something like electoral parity and take the focus off the 24-hour news cycle and put it onto where the parties were taking the country in public policy terms.

  38. Fran Barlow

    OK … I must be getting warm …

    That said, I’m unconvinced that it makes the ALPs prospects of winning worse in practice. Most of the people who think the ALP is “too left” are rusted on coalition voters, and some of those who think this will vote ALP on tribal grounds.

  39. Fran Barlow

    Let’s try the next bit:
    It’s a reasoning flaw to say that pandering to the so called swinging voter is a winning strategy. That merely makes you look unprincipled and invites people to think both sides are much the same and so to focus instead on banality and whether the leader is charming or authentic. That’s a lottery.

  40. Fran Barlow

    OK … it seems to be in there:

    Perhaps it is this sentence:

    It’s a reasoning flaw to say that pandering to the so called swinging voter is a winning strategy.

  41. Fran Barlow

    OK … warmer still … let’s break it down to fragments:

    That merely makes you look unprincipled and invites people to think both sides are much the same …

  42. Fran Barlow

    No … that was clearly outside of the time window … let’s divide that fragment:

    and so to focus instead on banality and

  43. Fran Barlow

    and so to focus

  44. Fran Barlow

    instead on banality and whether the leader is charming or authentic. That’s a lottery.

  45. Fran Barlow

    ah the word seems to be b@nality Perhaps the string {@n@l} seems scatalogical (sub @ for a)

  46. Fran Barlow

    b@nality and whether the leader is charming or authentic. That’s a lottery.

  47. Fran Barlow

    Let’s try the rest:

    What Abbott has done is to harden up his core supporters by focusing on rightwing populism. What that means is that swinging voters know that if they switch to him, they can realise their policy hopes. That’s a huge advantage to Abbott. If the ALP could make the same claim — that all left of centre voters were rocksolid behind them — then swinging voters could believe that if the ALP would throw its weight behind their vision, that they could get this done. That would in practice restore the ALP to something like electoral parity and take the focus off the 24-hour news cycle and put it onto where the parties were taking the country in public policy terms.

    If the ALP wants to win, it must first devise a strategy to lock down a core constituency larger than its purely tribal support. That means appealing to those ALP voters who have what can be called “traditional labor values”. Opposing gay marriage, being in bed with big business, funding chaplains in schools, all the way with the USA, occupying Afghanistan, half-heartedness on climate change and the environment, budget surplus fetishism, hatred of refugees, indifference to live exports and so forth invite people to vote coalition since both parties are the same, without them getting any vote winning brownie points from those who like these policies. And even if a handful of people do switch to the ALP on the basis of them being simpering reactionaries, this support is much too soft a foundation for stable government. You have to keep pandering to them and poisoning your base to keep them. Far better to let such people vote coalition — and indeed to invite such people explicitly to vote coalition on the basis that you oppose such ignorant policies. That way you are seen as standing for something definite and you make supporting your side an issue of principle.

  48. Hannibal Barca

    Wouldnt “marriage equality” mean that you support gay unions AND polygamy? Be quite hypercritical to support gays but deny polygamists.

  49. drsmithy

    Wouldnt “marriage equality” mean that you support gay unions AND polygamy?

    Not implicitly.

    Be quite hypercritical to support gays but deny polygamists.

    Why ? Monogamy and polygamy are not the same thing. Why would supporting one automatically mean supporting the other ? To say nothing of gay marriage requiring essentially no changes in legal statutes and procedures, while polygamy would require many.

  50. Hannibal Barca

    Why is it hypercritical you ask? Because for those who speak in favour of “marriage equality” therefore must make it so both gays and polygamists have equal oppurtunity to practice marriage do they not? If they want to use a word lke “equal” then they need to stand by it.

    The point I’m trying to make is that at this moment in time, people are arguing back and forth on the definition of marriage. And say that “gay marriage” does became law, in 10 years time the argument will have changed from hetereosexual and homosexual to Monogamy and Polygamy. You can argue that it would require many changes in legal statutes’, however, those in support of polygamy would merely argue you’re prejudice, just like those in favour of hetereosexual marriage are today.

  51. drsmithy

    Why is it hypercritical you ask?

    It’s “hypocritical”.

    Because for those who speak in favour of “marriage equality” therefore must make it so both gays and polygamists have equal oppurtunity to practice marriage do they not?

    Why ? Monogamy and Polygamy are two quite different things.

    If they want to use a word lke “equal” then they need to stand by it.

    “Equal” means removing discrimination, not significantly changing the legal definition of marriage (and implications thereof).

    And say that “gay marriage” does became law, in 10 years time the argument will have changed from hetereosexual and homosexual to Monogamy and Polygamy.

    Why would it ? The only difference between heterosexual and homosexual marriage is the sexual preference of the participants – as irrelevant to any of the legal implications of marriage as their skin colour.

    The difference between monogamy and polygamy is the number of spouses, which has a significant impact on the legal implications of centuries of law assuming that number is “1”.

    You can argue that it would require many changes in legal statutes’, however, those in support of polygamy would merely argue you’re prejudice, just like those in favour of hetereosexual marriage are today.

    The difference is that the necessary and significant changes to the law for polygamy are real, whereas the arguments against gay marriage really are nothing more than prejudice.

    Every argument being used against gay marriage was used decades ago to argu against inter-racial marriage – including the slippery-slope-to-polygamy fallacy. They were prejudiced, discriminatory, wrong and stupid then, and they remain prejudiced, discriminatory, wrong and stupid today.

  52. Hannibal Barca

    I’m not denying your view that there would changes needed for polygamy. What I’m saying is that you may feel your right to use that argument against polygamy. But those in favour of polygamy are only going to shout “discrimination!” And they would call anyone with your point of view wrong and stupid just as you would call those in support of the current definition of marriage. The world doesn’t just stop progressing. Both major parties are for progress. The difference is that one is faster than the other.

  53. drsmithy

    I’m not denying your view that there would changes needed for polygamy. What I’m saying is that you may feel your right to use that argument against polygamy. But those in favour of polygamy are only going to shout “discrimination!” And they would call anyone with your point of view wrong and stupid just as you would call those in support of the current definition of marriage.

    You’re missing the point.

    Monogamy and Polygamy are not the same thing.

    You cannot extend an argument saying we should stop discrimination against certain forms of monogamy, to an argument in favour of polygamy. It’s a non-sequitur – a logical fallacy. They’re two different concepts and completely independent issues.

    Those in favour of Polygamy may well argue that opposition is just prejudice, however, they would be wrong because the legal implications are real, and non-trivial. The same is in no way true for gay marriage. This is an objective fact, not a subjective opinion.

    To use the colloquial, you are arguing apples and oranges. Just like you would be if you trotted out on of the other stupid slippery-slope arguments like marrying pets.

  54. Hannibal Barca

    Alright DRSMITHY, I was trying to remain in pleasant tones but if you want legitimate arguments against “gay marriage” let me give you some of the objectional facts:

    1. Social security taxes will be increased (or benefits decreased) in order to pay survivor support benefits to homosexual “widows” and “widowers.”
    2. Medical insurance premiums will rise to offset the higher health care costs associated with homosexual behavior (i.e., AIDS, colon cancer, hepatitis and other diseases) which will likely increase if we approve same-sex marriage.
    3. Employee benefits will be reduced as employers are mandated to spread their limited benefit dollars to include homosexual partners. Limited benefit dollars given to homosexuals must come from somewhere; indeed, they are taken away from everyone else—married couples raising children.
    4. Homosexual couples will be given legal preference to adopt due to their inability to procreate. In other words, homosexuals will not be granted equal rights but super rights—rights that will supersede your rights as a citizen.
    5. Your children will be indoctrinated, with or without your consent, to accept homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage as the moral and social equivalent of heterosexual behavior and marriage
    6. Your workplace will attempt to indoctrinate you to the same ends—and if you refuse, you will either lose your job or not be considered a “team player.”
    7. Free speech will be curtailed as opposition to homosexuality is criminalized as “hate speech” (as is now the case in Canada and Sweden).
    8. In Norway, a country that has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties, illegitimacy is exploding. In Nordland, the most liberal county of Norway, more than 80 percent of women giving birth for the first time do so out of wedlock, and nearly 70 percent of all children are born out of wedlock. Across the entire country of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.
    9. Income taxes will be increased to make up for the marriage tax benefits given to homosexual couples and to pay for the social costs resulting from the increase in illegitimacy. We provide financial benefits to married couples because they produce and care for children. Why should homosexual couples get the same benefits as men and women raising children?

    Notice I didn’t use any discriminatory language.

  55. drsmithy

    let me give you some of the objectional facts:

    Well, you got it half right. They’re certainly “objectional” [sic], but none of them are facts.

    Speculation, irrelevancies, hyperbole, anachronisms, paranoia, prejudice – definitely. Facts ? Not at all.

    Incidentally, “social security taxes” ? “Employee benefits” ? What country are you talking about anyway ?

    Notice I didn’t use any discriminatory language.

    Yes, you did. Pretty much the whole diatribe is discriminatory, effectively trying to assert that being gay means you’re damaging society. It is, quite frankly, disgusting.

  56. Hannibal Barca

    How dare you? Seriously. What is the matter with you? Nothing I said asserted that being gay damages society. Read it like a logical and sane person next time.

    I’m talking about Australia incidentally. I give you flat out spin-free results of same-sex marriage and you take it as prejudice and paranoia. The real paranoia is that you think every argument against YOUR views is wrong and must be insulting some way.

    Heres fact 10 for you: You cant address the fact that I’ve out-argued you with logical and reasonable arguments so you call me names. I hope you realise one day that you are the exact same closed-minded, stupid and arrogant person you so passionately hate.

  57. drsmithy

    I’m talking about Australia incidentally.

    Really ? Then why are you talking about things like “survivor support benefits”, “social security taxes” and “employee benefits” that have no meaning in this country ?

    Could it be because you just copied and pasted it all from this ? Any particular reason you left off #10 ? Maybe because the uniquely American use of “liberals” would have made it too obvious ?

    Your points are neither “logical” nor “reasonable”. Such transparently hypocritical statements as:

    “We provide financial benefits to married couples because they produce and care for children. Why should homosexual couples get the same benefits as men and women raising children?”

    Don’t even pass muster as “arguments”.

  58. Fran Barlow

    It’s really quite simple HB

    Marriage equality entails treating every individual as if they have the same right to marry and the same constraints i.e. they are of marriageable age, capable of giving informed consent and have done so.

    Right now the rules preclude individuals from choosing same sex partners, but there is no reason for such a rule. It is purely arbitrary.

    The right to polygamy is not an individual right but a group right, so it is quite a different thing. There is not even, AIUI any identity community demanding it. Personally, I’ve no problem (subject to the above listed constraints) in recognising polyandrous or polygamous marriages, but that has nothing to do with the marriage equality issue.

    Your objections to marriage on the basis of benefit are at best silly. On that basis one could object to people having children as these cost the community large sums of money — far larger amounts than widowed gay folk. Perhaps the law should be changed to preclude heterosexual marriage as there are always going to be many more widows and widowers amongst that community — not to mention the offspring.

    Your posts are actually a pretty poor troll, as trolls go.

  59. Hannibal Barca

    “On that basis one could object to people having children as these cost the community large sums of money”.

    And when those children grow up they go into the work force and give back (pay their share of taxes). How did you not know that??

    “Your posts are actually a pretty poor troll, as trolls go.”

    Coming from someone who posted 15 posts in a row above, sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

  60. Milan Ovich

    @Hannibal: I’d like to apologize on behalf of those Same-Sex-Marriage (SSM) advocates who used insulting language towards you… in fact, I’d like to commend you for continuing to discuss a topic after enduring insults for your views. I did see your list of arguments, and appreciate that your opinion is considered. I am not homosexual, but I do promote enlightenment, so I would like you to consider these responses:
    1. Social Security would in fact be reduced, as couples draw far less benefits, than two singles (i.e. Some married pensioners are divorcing to increase their benefit income),
    2. Reason suggests homosexual activity occurs with or without marriage, and Anecdotal evidence suggests marriage reduces promiscuity, if not sexual activity.
    3. There are only a limited number of possibilities for benefits between two individuals: either both get single benefits or one of the two will take a family policy (less than two singles).
    4. There is no reason to believe that SSM will be given adoption priority, over a hetero couple unable to procreate . That would be discriminatory.
    5. Moral and social values are forever changing (i.e. Consider the contrasts between the Dark Ages and the Victorian Era… or even the 50’s versus the 60’s). Most children will at some stage learn that many sexual variations exist, but there is no reason to believe that a SSM is more likely to divulge intimate detail than any other couple. Children are far more likely to be impacted psychologically by divorce, inattentive parenting, or domestic violence.
    6. Workplaces already cannot discriminate on grounds of race, religion, gender or orientation, but I have not heard of any indoctrination. I would very much like to hear of any instances where this is the case.
    7. Homosexuals occur without indoctrination, and have always existed, so in that respect are a natural social element, and therefore opposition to them is in fact hate speech… and hate speech is already illegal (in most civilized nations), to protect your rights as much as anyone else’s.
    8. In statistics; correlation does not prove causality. During the same period you reference; the marriage rate has been decreasing steadily in most developed countries. Regardless, one county alone would not suggest a trend as much as an anomaly, which could be explained by any number of sociological and/or economic factors. But by definition the problem of illegitimate children cannot be caused by people who do not breed.
    9. Once again: two individuals draw more benefits than a married couple… and have done for decades.
    10. A personal attack on anyone, especially for their opinion, is an abhorrent act. It naturally diminishes respect between the parties involved, which never assists the sharing of information. I commend you for turning the other cheek regardless of whether we agree on details or not.

  61. Fran Barlow

    [And when those children grow up they go into the work force and give back (pay their share of taxes). How did you not know that??]

    That’s far from clear. The investments the community makes in children are verty considerable. Yet even if on average they do pay these back, it’s not at all clear that all of them do. Perhaps you need some predictive test so that as eith university) you only get to have kids if you score well enough on the scale.

    More seriously though, the state ought not to interfere in people’s lives unless there’s a persuasive reason for doing so, grounded in the common good. This is not the case in gay marriage or in birth control.

    I think it amusing that you call my attempts to discover which text strings got me moderated as trolling. It was a research project.

  62. Fran Barlow

    [A personal attack on anyone, especially for their opinion, is an abhorrent act. It naturally diminishes respect between the parties involved, which never assists the sharing of information. I commend you for turning the other cheek regardless of whether we agree on details or not.]

    Assumes facts not in evidence Looking back, I see nobody who attacked him (?)personally.

    We found fault with his/her conduct, which is a different matter. I certainly made that clear by referring to his/her posts as a troll.

  63. Milan Ovich

    Sorry for that… I just bridled a little at HB’s “read it like a logical and sane person next time”… I should’ve giggled at the irony, privately… but I couldn’t resist using Christian ideals to oppose Christian ideals.

  64. kate

    @Hannibal.

    YOU SAID 1.Social security taxes will be increased (or benefits decreased) in order to pay survivor support benefits to homosexual “widows” and “widowers.”

    RESPONSE: There is no such thing as “social security taxes” in Australia. This is a US concept. If you mean the cost of government providing welfare will increase, this seems highly unlikely, seeing as most “partnered” pensions are based on marital or de facto status.

    YOU SAID: 2.Medical insurance premiums will rise to offset the higher health care costs associated with homosexual behavior (i.e., AIDS, colon cancer, hepatitis and other diseases) which will likely increase if we approve same-sex marriage.

    RESPONSE: The diseases you mention are not “associated with homosexual behaviour”, they are associated with unsafe sex, which is engaged in by both homo- and heterosexual people, and in both cases are more likely to be engaged in by people who are not in long-term committed relationships. So even if your premise is correct (ie that approve same-sex marriage will result in an increase in homosexual activity – which I doubt), the fact that such activity will occur in a monogamous long-term relationship (ie a marriage, by definition) would suggest that such health risks would actually decrease.

    YOU SAID: 3. Employee benefits will be reduced as employers are mandated to spread their limited benefit dollars to include homosexual partners. Limited benefit dollars given to homosexuals must come from somewhere; indeed, they are taken away from everyone else—married couples raising children.

    RESPONSE: What “employee benefits” are you talking about? I don’t know of any benefits which employers are mandated to provide to anyone other than their employees. As to your second sentence, do you have any evidence of that at all? And what about gay couples raising children – don’t our kids deserve support?

    YOU SAID: 4. Homosexual couples will be given legal preference to adopt due to their inability to procreate. In other words, homosexuals will not be granted equal rights but super rights—rights that will supersede your rights as a citizen.

    RESPONSE: You do realise, don’t you, that:

    (a) Homosexual couples can already adopt
    (b) Adoption law has absolutely nothing to do with marriage law

    ?

    YOU SAID: 5. Your children will be indoctrinated, with or without your consent, to accept homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage as the moral and social equivalent of heterosexual behavior and marriage

    RESPONSE: Homosexual behaviour and same-sex marriage ARE the moral and social equivalent of heterosexual behaviour and marriage. That is why we are campaigning for marriage EQUALITY. What would you prefer children to be taught? – that gays are second-class citizens and there is something wrong with perfectly normal sexuality? I certainly hope, for their sakes, that your kids aren’t gay.

    YOU SAID: 6. Your workplace will attempt to indoctrinate you to the same ends—and if you refuse, you will either lose your job or not be considered a “team player.”

    RESPONSE: See 5.

    YOU SAID: 7. Free speech will be curtailed as opposition to homosexuality is criminalized as “hate speech” (as is now the case in Canada and Sweden).

    RESPONSE: Opposition to homosexuality is not criminalised – incitement to violence and serious contempt is criminalised. Or would you prefer the good old days when poofter bashing was socially acceptable?

    YOU SAID: 8. In Norway, a country that has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties, illegitimacy is exploding. In Nordland, the most liberal county of Norway, more than 80 percent of women giving birth for the first time do so out of wedlock, and nearly 70 percent of all children are born out of wedlock. Across the entire country of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.

    RESPONSE: I don’t know where you’re getting your statistics from but they’re just wrong. The truth is that data from the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland consistently reveal no decline in the rate of different-sex marriage rates or non-marital birth rates, since the introduction of rights to same-sex couples (Badgett, 2004). In fact, more recent data from the department of statistics from within these countries suggests that heterosexual marriage rates are, if anything, on the increase (Eskridge & Spedale, 2006).

    YOU SAID: 9. Income taxes will be increased to make up for the marriage tax benefits given to homosexual couples and to pay for the social costs resulting from the increase in illegitimacy. We provide financial benefits to married couples because they produce and care for children. Why should homosexual couples get the same benefits as men and women raising children?

    RESPONSE: Firstly, there are no such thing as “marriage tax benefits” in Australian law. Presumably you’re thinking of the US again. Married and de facto couples are equivalent in Australian tax and social security law.

    Secondly, how will allowing MORE people to get married result in FEWER children being raised within marriage? That doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Thirdly, we provide financial benefits to couples who raise children. Marital status is irrelevant. Why shouldn’t kids being raised by gay couples be supported?

  65. kate

    P.S. In future, if you’re planning to cut-and-paste word for word from an US anti-gay site, and then stomp your little foot in high dudgeon when you’re found out and claim I NEVER!!, it would probably be better to change the text a bit so your little ruse is not quite so easy to track down using a basic google word search. It does make you look a teensy bit like a total prat. Just sayin.

  66. Hannibal Barca

    Firstly, yeah, I got information from a source and used it. Better than re-inventing the wheel. Why would you assume that I would deny that?

    Secondly, “anti-gay”? Do you think that everyone who disagrees with “gay marriage” is anti-gay? I may hold true to the current definition of marriage but I dont hate gays and I dont wish to forbid them from being with each other. Don’t make the mistake and assume that I’m against “gay marriage” so therefore I hate gays. Thanks.

    Thirdly @ Milan Ovich: Lets keep this debate secular. Thanks.

    Fourthly, thankyou all for your responses, and as I have recieved quite a lot, it will take time for me to respond to all of them obviously. Time I do not have at this moment. Hopefully I’ll get a free day soon.

    P.S. @ Fran: I am a him if that saves you time.

  67. drsmithy

    Secondly, “anti-gay”? Do you think that everyone who disagrees with “gay marriage” is anti-gay?

    Yes.

    There are no rational or objective reasons to oppose marriage equality. That only leaves prejudice and bigotry.

  68. Fran Barlow

    [Do you think that everyone who disagrees with “gay marriage” is anti-gay? I may hold true to the current definition of marriage but I dont hate gays and I dont wish to forbid them from being with each other. ]

    1. Being anti-gay and hating gays, are not quite the same things though if you hate gays you are also anti-gay. One may be tolerant but prefer them to keep below the radar, or at any rate, off yours. That would be anti-gay without actually bearing them visceral animus.

    2. One can disagree with gay marriage and not be anti-gay, if by ‘disagree’ you mean you don’t think gays should get married. Personally, I don’t think anyone should get married. It’s a throughly reactionary concept steeped in religious nonsense, and I wish more people saw it that way. OTOH, that is my opinion and if other consenting adults feel they want to it’s none of my business to have the state prevent them. Your apparent desire to have the state deny one class of consenting adult denied the opportunity to marry another simply because he or she is gay, is by definition, ‘anti-gay’. What else could it possibly be? This is so even if some of your best friends are gay, you’re happy to have them mind your kids and handle your fruit and you once got drunk and kissed one at a party and later told it as a funny story to friends.

  69. Hannibal Barca

    Oh as if reply so quick. Anyway…

    “Your apparent desire to have the state deny one class of consenting adult denied the opportunity to marry another simply because he or she is gay, is by definition, ‘anti-gay’.”

    No. That is YOUR definition. It’s like denying someone entrance to a women’s aerobic class because they have a penis makes you anti-man (which it wouldn’t).

    Secondly, I wouldn’t call gays a “class” of people as such based on sexual preference. Unless you would refer to pedaphiles as a class of people also. (And dont start saying “Your saying gays and pedaphiles are the same! RAR RAR RAR!” thats not the point im trying to make so dont even start).

    Thirdly, let me put it as simply as possible. I’m not denying two guys/girls marriage because theyre gay. Im denying it because THAT’S NOT THE MEANING OF THE WORD!

  70. drsmithy

    I’m not denying two guys/girls marriage because theyre gay. Im denying it because THAT’S NOT THE MEANING OF THE WORD!

    So you have no problem with “civil unions” – legally identical to marriage – between same sex partners ?

  71. Hannibal Barca

    (How do you put my quote in its own little box?)

    “So you have no problem with “civil unions” – legally identical to marriage – between same sex partners ?”

    I guess I haven’t really made up my mind about those. I agree that civil unions are legally identical to marriage, so it would lead me to ask you, in your opinion, what would a civil union between a same sex couple provide that couple with?

    I hear a lot of “gays should have the right to marry”, but dont they want the legal rights that come with marriage?

    From where I see it, a secular view of the difference between a marriage and civil union is a party.

  72. drsmithy

    I guess I haven’t really made up my mind about those.

    A few posts ago you’d made your mind up. Most of the “arguments” you repeated against gay marriage are about the legal implications, and thus identically applicable to civil unions.

    I agree that civil unions are legally identical to marriage, so it would lead me to ask you, in your opinion, what would a civil union between a same sex couple provide that couple with?

    Equality of homosexual relationships before the law.

    I hear a lot of “gays should have the right to marry”, but dont they want the legal rights that come with marriage?

    Uh, yes ? That’s basically the whole point of fighting for marriage equality.

  73. Hannibal Barca

    “Equality of homosexual relationships before the law”.

    And what would be the result of that?

    “Uh, yes ? That’s basically the whole point of fighting for marriage equality”

    Let me word what I said differently. At one of those forums that Gillard and Abbott hosted, a lady stated “I want to be able to ask my same sex partner ‘will you marry me’ not ‘will you civil union me’ (or something to that effect).”

    If they wanted the “rights” that marriage grants heterosexual couples then wouldn’t they advocate for civil unions? According to Fran, marriage is religious nonsense. However, marriage is so heavily ingrained in society as the path lovers should eventually take. Homosexuals decline to advocate for civil unions because they too believe that marriage is the traditional way two people can celebrate their love (along with all the legal ramifications). Same-sex advocates want this tradition without the traditional meaning.

  74. Fran Barlow

    [(How do you put my quote in its own little box?)]

    Use square brackets instead of parentheses or quote marks when quoting.

    [It’s like denying someone entrance to a women’s aerobic class because they have a penis makes you anti-man (which it wouldn’t).]

    No it isn’t. The analogy is very poor. Assuming there’s a valid reason for a women-only aerobics class, then being female is a pertinent qualification. Aerobics classes, like clubs or dinner parties are private arrangements. The group can be as arbitrary as it likes about who attends. It has nothing to do with the state at all. The group might well be ‘anti-men’ or they might just have low self-esteem or be composed of people recovering from domestic violence.

    This has nothing to do with state-enforced restraints on an identifiable identity community (gays) being denied the right to conclude a private arrangement (marriage) with the imprimatur of the law and the status it confers.

    [I wouldn’t call gays a “class” of people as such based on sexual preference. Unless you would refer to ped*philes as a class of people also.]

    Of course both gays and ped*philes constitute a class of people based on sexual preference. In the latter case, for good reasons, society has criminalised acting on that preference, so discriminating against this latter class of people in our dealing is reasonable. The question is not about “discrimination” per se, but about arbitrary or unreasonable discrimination.

    [I hear a lot of “gays should have the right to marry”, but don’t they want the legal rights that come with marriage?]

    They do. That’s the point.

  75. drsmithy

    And what would be the result of that?

    No potential issues around being considered next-of-kin (eg: in cases of medical emergency or death) is probably one of the more obvious examples.

    Look, it’s really, really simple. Think about all the heterosexual people want to get married. Those are the same reasons same-sex couples want to get married.

    If they wanted the “rights” that marriage grants heterosexual couples then wouldn’t they advocate for civil unions?

    No, because then small-minded bigots like you are encouraged to treat them as second-class citizens with disgusting attitudes like this:

    “Your children will be indoctrinated, with or without your consent, to accept homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage as the moral and social equivalent of heterosexual behavior and marriage”

    Homosexuals decline to advocate for civil unions because they too believe that marriage is the traditional way two people can celebrate their love (along with all the legal ramifications).

    No, they decline to advocate for civil unions because they want marriage equality, not marriage equality-but-not-as-equal-as-others. “Equal, but different” has been tried numerous times in the past (and present) and consistently failed.

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