Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
Menu
April 04th 2016 print

Michael Warren Davis

Gays Taking Liberties

Gay marriage is a topic that fascinates the Guardian, Fairfax and ABCers, who all seem incapable of resisting the temptation to go on at great length about a subject that is, for most of us, profoundly boring. What they never mention -- not yet, at any rate -- is the likely erosion of religious freedom

homer marriageI wanted so badly to be able to support same-sex marriage. I wanted to believe its proponents when they say its ratification will mean that gay couples can tie the knot, nothing more and nothing less. Because – and I think most Australians are with me on this – more than I’m strongly pro- or anti-SSM, I’m just sick of talking about it.

Then the US Supreme Court passed down its decision on Obergefell vs. Hodges, and SSM was the law of the land. (I’m an American, by the way.) ‘At last!’ a surreptitious little part of me cheered. ‘It’s finally over!’ I was for traditional marriage, but – and I can’t stress this enough – I couldn’t care less about the issue. My opinion was a formality. If asked, I could give my definition of marriage; but, then, if asked which claimant to the French throne I support I could tell you that, too. (The Orleanist.) The real question, I guess, is who asked me?

So I’m not here to galvanize Aussie conservatives into supporting traditional marriage. That would be hypocritical. And, truth be told, I still don’t really care about it ipso facto. What I am here to do is give a simple warning: everything the pro-gay marriage lobby is telling you is pretty much a lie.

Take The Guardian’s ‘Why Knot?’ forum, which Andrew Bolt called a ‘leftie love-in’[1]. They seemed to take issue with Mr Bolt’s characterization, which is strange considering the ‘broad range of voices’ they enlisted for their ‘wide-ranging conversation’ spent the whole night agreeing with each other.

Serious news outlets failed to take notice of ‘Why Knot?’, so The Guardian was kind enough to report on the event themselves, [2] ensuring the proceedings of this momentous occasion would be preserved for posterity. Really, we should be grateful they did: tucked away in their self-congratulatory bubble, the Guardianistas gave a little glimpse into their real designs for a post-SSM world. And it’s not pretty.

The Guardian’s main argument, which I bought lock, stock and barrel, is that we should just get this over with. As they say: ‘according to all the polling evidence, most Australians just want it to be done and dusted’. No doubt. But let me say that, if you’re supporting same-sex marriage just to get the issue out of the way, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Unsurprisingly, a total revamp of a millennia-old institution like marriage doesn’t just happen with the stroke of a pen. There are registries to update, religious liberties to accommodate, dissidents to be purged[3] – it’s a lengthy process.

Which brings us to the next little snag. Over in the great states of Virginia and Georgia, Republican-controlled state legislatures put forward similar bills that would protect clergymen who objected to performing same-sex marriages. Easy enough, right? We were promised the whole way through that churches would never be forced to marry gay couples. Come to find that was a big fat lie. The Democratic governor of Virginia vetoed the bill outright,[4] while the Republican governor of Georgia did the same under pressure from major corporations, such as Disney.[5]  I don’t mean to scare-monger. That’s not to say Adam and Steve are going to sue Father Brown for refusing to marry them. It just means that Adam and Steve have the right to do so. ‘What happens if Father Brown is found guilty?’ you ask? Who knows! That’s what makes it so exciting.

And lest anyone should think this is a uniquely American phenomenon, we have The Guardian to set the record straight. Their report speaks glowingly of former New South Wales premier Kristina Keneally’s ‘long march through Catholic institutions’. Unless my ear’s gone all tinny, The Guardian is unironically quoting Rudi Dutschke, the German Marxist who described the proletarian revolution as a ‘long march through the institutions of power’.

Keneally apparently used her allotted speaking time to expound on her theories of Christian ethics – namely ‘the church’s very warped teaching on homosexuality’. ‘The church teaches that a person’s sexual orientation is valid; it is the acting upon it that is sinful… In my mind, that would seem God’s cruel joke,’ she told the forum. On any other occasion our reply would, of course, be, ‘Who cares?’ We shouldn’t consider the ex-state premier an authority on Christian morality any more than we’d enlist the Pope to lead a royal commission into union corruption.

But this time it matters. It matters because, as we’ve seen in the US, governors (premiers in Oz) will in essence become religious judges. If they feel a church’s objections to same-sex marriage are ‘warped’, they can simply dismiss them. The boundaries of religious freedom will not be absolute. They won’t even be codified. They’ll be set arbitrarily by politicians, depending on what they consider to be valid theology and what they consider ‘a cruel joke’.

So be wary of the ‘gay-marriage line. It’s not going to be a quick, painless nip/tuck. Would that it were so simple, dear reader! Alas, no. It’ll have consequences ranging far beyond the fact that gays get married with the full recognition of the state. Passing same-sex marriage legislation could very well mean throwing churches at the mercy of state and federal governments, cost civil servants their jobs for holding traditional Christian beliefs, and land conservative clergymen with hefty fines – or worse.

So, if you’re sort of on the fence, or pro-trad marriage but not terribly invested in the issue, just remember that it’s not all about the definition of marriage: it’s really about the definition of religious liberty. And that’s a cause, one would hope, that every conservative and libertarian would stick out their neck for. I wish I had.



[1] http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/another_debate_of_the_left/

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/apr/01/love-wins-guardian-marriage-equality-forum-feels-the-passion

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/04/us/kim-davis-same-sex-marriage.html?_r=0

[4] http://www.wsj.com/articles/virginia-governor-vetoes-bill-that-would-shield-gay-marriage-opponents-1459365994

[5] http://www.wsj.com/articles/georgia-governor-vetoes-bill-protecting-opponents-of-gay-marriage-1459176421

Comments [9]

  1. Mr Johnson says:

    Somehow I doubt many mosques will be performing any same sex marriages. And I dare say, that there will never, ever be a word said about it. Perhaps when our veiled overlords are in superior numbers, there will still be gay marriage legislation, but you might just find that there a fewer and fewer people admitting to being gay.

  2. Mayan says:

    You mention that this change might “cost civil servants their jobs for holding traditional Christian beliefs,” but there are a couple of problems with that.

    Firstly, the role of public servants is to administer the law as it stands. If we allow public servants to pick and chose which laws they will or won’t uphold, then we do terrible damage to the concept of the rule of law. In the USA, people who have a conscientious objection to the death penalty are not accepted as jurors where that punishment is a possible consequence of a guilty verdict.

    Secondly, would the author be so understanding of a Muslim checkout operator refusing to handle bacon and alcohol, or a Hindu abattoir worker refusing to process beef?

    If you cannot in good conscience do a particular job, then you should find another line of work. Similarly, if your job involves the administration or enforcement of the law, then that is your job. It is not to enforce only those laws that you like.

    • ianl says:

      > If we allow public servants to pick and chose which laws they will or won’t uphold …

      The police do that all the time.

      How many times has one seen the police enforce trespassing/public affray type laws against violent, picketing CFMEU unionists ?

      I agree with the main thrust of this article. The “love that dare not speak its’ name” (Oscar Wilde stuff) now won’t shut up. Very, very boring and irritatingly shrill. They run the risk of turning me, and many others, from a very bored “YES, now please stop yapping” to “NO, now bugger off you noisy eejits”

      • Lawrie Ayres says:

        I will not be voting “yes”. These people are annoying in the extreme, I like my traditional marriage, I want my church to be able to tell them to bugger off. If they want to hook up, go for it but don’t ruin a great tradition for purely selfish reasons. As for politicians making the decision, what a joke. They can’t decide the big bissues let alone the minor ones. Most still think CO2 causes climate change so I wouldn’t have confidence in them knowing what marriage is. The author refers to the leftie love in at the ABC which simply reinforces the need to get rid of it. That billion could be used for something productive.

  3. BTW says:

    Here is the real purpose of the push for gay marriage taken from an article written by Micah Clark (04/06/13) entitled “Homosexual Activist Admits True Purpose of Battle is to Destroy Marriage” after listening to an ABC Life Matters program in which lesbian journalist Masha Gessen is interviewed.

    Link to Micha Clark’s article here: http://illinoisfamily.org/homosexuality/homosexual-activist-admits-true-purpose-of-battle-is-to-destroy-marriage/

    Masha Gessen:

    “It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

    The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.

    I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three… And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”

    (Source: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/why-get-married/4058506)

    Micah Clark comments:
    “For quite some time, the defenders of natural marriage have attempted to point out that the true agenda behind the homosexual demands organizations is not marriage equality; it is the total unraveling of marriage and uprooting traditional values from society. (This will ultimately include efforts to silence and punish some churches that openly adhere to their religious teachings about marriage and sexual morality.)”

  4. Real Oz says:

    There seems to be an overlooked problem. The question of consanguinity? If any 2 persons are able to marry what then. Two brothers, two sisters, brother and sister? Why not? Are they not entitled to their MARRIAGE EQUITY like two sodomites, lesbians normal’s etc?
    Of course one might argue that this is a small minority problem of people of deviant sexual proclivities and hence not worthy of further consideration.
    BUT just to be sure we are not unintentionally excluding any minorities I will be voting NO.

    • psstevo says:

      Should the march of militant Islam continue in the West as it appears at present then there is a problem for supporters of so-called Marriage Equality. How long will it take for the Immams to cancel this unnecessary law, and where will the SSM proponents be? Be very careful what you pray for….you may just get it!!

  5. MichaelMcCarthy says:

    There is a simple solution to all of this. Change the Marriage Act to the Civil Union Act, which gives legal rights to gays and lesbians in civil union, and leave marriage as a religious concept. The opponents of this position are militantly committed to the notion of ‘Sameness’ which is different to the the notion of equality. Herein lies the heart of the issue. One should reflect on the agenda for Sameness and the deleterious effects on society should this movement intersect with other elements of community life. This is the logical outcome of the SSM campaign – if a long-held institution can be redefined, then anything is possible.