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July 30th 2017 print

Peter Smith

Gay Conservatives Beat Hetero Wets

My local Liberal member backs same-sex marriage, which I oppose, and won't be getting my vote, although that is not my reason to preference him last. No, the unpardonablet flaw is being a simpering acolyte of our Labor-lite Prime Minister. Were he  gay, that would be the nicest thing about him

milo III thought I would touch on this matter of same-sex marriage (SSM) again on the off chance I could think of something new to say. I am with General Mattis when responding to a question posed by a US senator, and no doubt with many others, in not caring what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own quarters. This said, I object to SSM and would vote against it if ever a plebiscite were held.

My local (Liberal) federal member is in favour of SSM. I intend to put him last on the ballot paper at the next election. However, this has little to do with him favouring SSM. It is to do with him being one of those dripping wets that have infiltrated and, according to Christopher Pyne, largely taken over the Liberal Party.

This raises a question in my mind which I recommend you too to ponder.

Suppose my local member was in most respects a thoroughgoing conservative. Suppose he or she was full of fiscal rectitude, favoured cutting immigration down to sustainable levels, and wanted Western Judeo-Christian values to be taught, protected, and promoted. Other things could be mentioned, but you get the drift. At the same, this local member, for whatever reason favoured SSM; perhaps because he or she was gay. (Leave aside any quibble you may have that SSM is inconsistent with J-C values.) Would I vote for him or her? I believe I would.

To continue the theme in another context.

I am fond of a member of my extended family who is gay. She has a longstanding partner of whom I am equally fond. They live in the UK where SSM is legal. Suppose they decided to get married and asked me – as I hope they would – to take part in the ceremony. Would I? Of course I would, and without hesitation. My feelings for them would trump any qualms I had about the rightness of SSM. Wouldn’t you do the same?

My answers to these questions and others tier my priorities. For example, I would not vote for anyone, no matter how laudable I thought most of their policies, if I suspected that their loyalty to the country, its institutions and values were seriously compromised. On that account, I would not vote for a practising Muslim nor for anyone in favour of promoting Islamic values. Nor would I attend any ceremony converting a close family member to Islam. In my view that would be spitting in the face of Christ; though, perhaps, the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury would not see it that way.

So, for me, apparently, SSM is not crossing an un-crossable line as would be other things. I wonder whether I am right in having this view. The potential problem is the consequences; and how difficult they are to predict.

In 1960 Hayek wrote an article, Why I am Not a Conservative. Basically, he came to his view because he believed that simply resisting change would mean, in the end result, being dragged part of the way towards socialism. He believed that socialism had to be countered by a philosophy that prosecuted change in a competing liberal direction.

A lot turns on how conservatism is defined. I don’t regard its essential rationale as, per se, resisting change – though, admittedly, that is part of it – but as taking account of consequences. Conservatives are willing to embrace change, I believe, provided an assessment can be made of the consequences; and that such consequences are deemed beneficial or at least not overwhelmingly harmful. So back to SSM.

The import of extending a state-sanctioned marriage ceremony to same-sex couples turns on its consequences. I suppose one good that could come out of it is a greater degree of monogamy among gay males. This would presumably cut down on the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, including Aids. However, for the most part there is the possibility of adverse consequences.

One of these is the replacement of the acceptance of outlying sexual preferences with their promotion. Being gay is not especially worthy. It is just what it is and shouldn’t be extolled, particularly to children.

Another likely consequence is a loss of freedom of speech and conscience. Those who believe that engaging in homosexuality activity is wrong and who, therefore, object to participating in SSM ceremonies might face increasing social and legal pressure to toe the line.

A third and potentially pernicious consequence is the increased impetus it may give to the rearing of children in same-sex households. Here conservatism comes to the fore. You don’t start down a path when you have no idea where it will lead. And I think that is the situation in this case.

Face it. SSM is inevitable. It might do serious harm if all of its adverse consequences are allowed to play out. But such an outcome is not inevitable. Conservatives need to take a lesson from Hayek and focus on actively pursuing a strategy which takes society towards a different outcome. The option of simply standing against SSM is doomed to failure.

Efforts should concentrate on ensuring that children are not plied at school with inappropriate sexual material and instruction; that people, institutions and businesses can speak freely and act in accordance with their consciences or religious beliefs. And, importantly, that children, if at all possible, are given the advantage of being raised with a mum and dad.

SSM is one thing. It should not be allowed to undermine the natural order of things and the centrality of heterosexual unions and the procreation and nurturing of children. Nor should it be at the expense of free expression and freedom of conscience and religion. These, I suggest, are the real battle grounds for conservatives, before and after SSM is enacted.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [27]

  1. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Good thoughts Peter but do you really think the social engineers will stop just because SSM gains acceptance? Not likely. At the first sniff of success they will be off on the destruction of some other tradition. I do not trust the left so will not give them my vote on this or anything else.

    • Jody says:

      I feel the same. And apropos “progressive” and their pathological desire for “change”….a change doesn’t necessarily mean an improvement. I’d guess they’re not actually smart enough to see that point.

      • ianl says:

        > ” … they’re not actually smart enough to see that point”

        Dismal as it is, Jody, that’s not their agenda, not what they care about. Power is.

        Change, good or bad, is a means of destroying existing power links and then grabbing the the flapping threads. Self-described “progressives” know this; I fear most of us do not, we merely react aghastly, as it were, hoping each successful, fresh attack will have finally appeased them.

        I recommend the comment at:

        DM of WA
        #2454346, posted on July 30, 2017 at 1:20 am
        http://catallaxyfiles.com/2017/07/29/shortens-fix-for-imaginary-inequality-issue-is-to-tax-the-rich/#comments

        So depressingly accurate that even Cassandra shrinks back.

  2. [email protected] says:

    Same sex divorce with children from a surrogate with sperm or egg from a fourth party, that’s where we’ll get a better perspective on this train wreck. Anyone who works with ropes knows the real quality of a knot shows up with the ease or not of untying it after use.

  3. MattP says:

    Peter wrote: “I suppose one good that could come out of it is a greater degree of monogamy among gay males.”

    Maybe a nice sentiment, but when you have the likes of Dan Savage making claims along the lines of “monogamish” the sentiment there is clearly to undermine monogamy.

    I suppose the jury’s still out on whether monogamy would absorb gay attitudes, or whether SSM gay couples would bring a further reinterpretation of monogamy to the table.

    • Jody says:

      There’s an App on the phones which directs you to a number where people who want to hook up for instant homosexual sex are immediately available. My sister told me about it, claiming that homosexual men are “extremely promiscuous”.

      Eeeeeew.

  4. whitelaughter says:

    The oldest, largest, most widespread and most famous gay pick up joint is the YMCA – the Young Men’s *Christian* Association. And Christianity copes constant abuse from the gay lobby.
    The only nation in the Middle East to grant gays rights – and excellent rights at that – is Israel. So naturally the gay lobby supports BDS and similar evils, consider the latest Slut Walk refusing to let a walker carry a rainbow Star of David.

    Meanwhile, homosexuality is illegal in all Hindu countries, and recent attempts to change this have been solidly voted down; Buddhist nations refuse to acknowledge homosexual relationships; Sikhs condemn homosexuality – and so the Gay lobby ‘respects other cultures’.

    The Islamic world throws homosexuals off rooftops – so there are ‘Gays against Islamophobia’ marches.

    Since they perversely grovel to their enemies and lash out at their friends, it is simple self-interest to be their enemies.

  5. Bran Dee says:

    The current weekly edition of the North Shore Times had a piece where North Sydney Federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman supporting homosexual marriage for 2 members of his electorate 97 year old Neville and 74 year old Ian. Mr Zimmerman who is referred to as “the Coalition’s only openly gay MP in the House of Representatives” won his safe Liberal seat narrowly after being imposed on his Party ticket by the dominant Left faction of the Party.

    The above three claim they would have 70% support for changing the Marriage Act but are opposed to a plebiscite for the obvious but unspoken reason that they suspect there would be less than majority support in the electorate.

    Australia is one of the very few countries that has compulsory voting and so would it seems be very likely produce the numbers to oppose the redefinition of the word ‘marriage’. David Cameron arbitrarily imposed the change in the UK as did the former Prime Minister in NZ. Sixty percent approx. voted for the change in Ireland but only approx. 60% voted, so under compulsory voting the result may well have been 60% times 60% = 36%.

    Since probably less than 2% of the population would seek a homosexual marriage then the vast majority would lose the status of good words such as ‘marriage’, ‘husband’, ‘wife’. This overwhelming majority can be entirely justified in opposing the redefinition of marriage.

  6. Warty says:

    I’ve only read Peter’s introduction and I need to put in a polite point of ‘objection’. What one does in the privacy of one’s bedroom may well have an effect on society. No, I’m not subscribing to Gillian Trigg’s kitchen table conversation ban, if only because her comment smacked of socialist totalitarianism. But walls are only physical and open tolerance of shameful behaviour in the bedroom is also a state of mind, and one that has slowly taken hold since the late 60s. It has become part of the more liberal cliche: ‘I oppose SSM, but what people do in their own bedrooms is their own business’, as though we all live entirely independent existences: we don’t. We live in something called a society, and this same society has assimilated a host of ideas contributing to the undermining of a once fine culture.
    The point is not to storm various bedrooms to haul homosexuals before retributive tribunals, it is more a matter of restoring a concept of morality, not moral relativism.
    I’ll now read the rest of the article.

    • [email protected] says:

      Is this the same “what goes on in private is your own business” that permits Christianity in your own home.

      • Warty says:

        I’m left scratching my head, Gary. Are you perhaps suggesting homosexuality is somehow akin to Christianity?
        The way I see it, the Westminster system we follow; much of the fine art we appreciate; whole wallops of architectural styles that surround us; the science that shapes our world . . . were discovered, refined, disseminated by men and women who were Christians, and that the Christianity that went on in private and in public very much had ‘an effect on society’: it was the society.
        Unfortunately moral relativism is also now having an effect.

  7. Warty says:

    No, I’m afraid the article didn’t improve a great deal. I have a confession: I’d vote for a Muslim before I’d vote for someone openly in favour of SSM, quite simply because I feel the latter is indeed a line that ought not to be crossed. Further to this, it is not just a matter of ‘resting change’, I think one needs to be able to discriminate about what is useful as oppose to that which is unquestionably destructive.
    I would presume to question what Peter does or doesn’t know, but let me just say that destruction of ‘the family’ was one of many neo Marxist thrusts to undermine Western Civilisation. Cory was right back in 2012 (I think it was) when he was relegated for saying that SSM was part of the ‘slippery slope’. He wasn’t to know that the Canadian Supreme Court (voting 7-1 in favour) was to legalised bestiality (so long as there was no penetration). I wrote about this in response to a Quadrant article last year. The Greens had campaigned for legalising of pedaphilia in Germany back in the 1970s (and failed) but we all know that the push is on today for that to happen. Do we simply dismiss this as ‘what goes on in people’s bedrooms is their business’? I think not. It is symptomatic of all that is very wrong in society today.
    As for Hayek, no we ought not resist change per se, but along the lines of Jordan Peterson on Outsiders this morning, we resist those aspects that are destructive. If part of that is putting forward an alternative, truthful philosophy, so much the better, but there needs to be a strong voice to call out the lies of the neo Marxists lest we lose the lot.
    Peter, I do hope you are not becoming one of those ‘nice’ Christians along the lines of the Anglican minister Mark Durie, on the Bolt Report last week, who agreed Julia Baird ‘had a point’ regarding evangelists who beat their wives. I felt like giving him a beating.

  8. Warty says:

    Sorry, it ought to be ‘I would NOT presume to question what Peter does or doesn’t know . . . ‘.

    • Peter says:

      I hope not either Warty. I too found Durie all to typically Anglican. Very disappointing, to say the least.

      • padraic says:

        I agree with you Warty that SSM is just a warm up to legalising paedophilia. Paedophiles, like SSM activists, infiltrate organisations of power or public influence to further their aims. Peter is right to point out the adoption by SS couples of small children is dangerous. This would be an opportunity for paedophiles posing as “straight” SS couples to access children with impunity.

  9. Bill Martin says:

    All arguments and rationalising aside concerning SSM, this is the crux of the matter: Once the word marriage is not exclusive to designating the union between one man and one woman, there is no limit to the varieties of unions it could indicate. How about any number of people of whatever gender and sexual orientation? A SSM of three men has already taken place in Canada. Why not people and animals in whatever configuration? After all, SSM advocates constantly intone: love is love. I happen to love my wonderful dog, Danny, very deadly and he loves me no less. Should I be able to marry him in addition to my wife, provided she consented? She happens to love Danny, too. The possibilities are inexhaustible.

    • Warty says:

      I’m glad you mentioned this Bill. If you give me your address, I could bring over my puddy cat/cross possum and we could set up a swingers evening. One of my neighbours has a pet water dragon that likes to eat cherry tomatoes from her hand, perhaps he/she/it could join in too.

  10. Jody says:

    Can’t you see the legal profession loving this nice ‘little earner’? Sure; they will get lots more business from breakdowns of these ‘marriages’ than this is currently the case – an avenue closed off to them for business right now. And I’m hearing that the ‘divorce’ rate for these homosexual marriages is already quite high.

    (Don’t worry about Trent Zimmerman; he won’t last. That seat was Independent (Ted Mack) for a long time and will be again.)

    Tangentially; I watched a documentary about Gore Vidal on Foxtel last night. He was with his partner, Howard, for 40+ years until the partner died – and the usually bloodless Vidal, who admitted he didn’t know what love was – wrote movingly about that death in his “Point to Point Navigation”. Vidal openly boasted of this being “a non sexual relationship” – and that “we both openly had sex elsewhere”.

  11. Doubting Thomas says:

    I recall Christopher Hitchens’ account of a meeting with Gore Vidal in his own home. The old roué allegedly tried to seduce him, and Hitchens was somewhat vague about the outcome, but the impression was that Vidal was utterly promiscuous if very selective.

  12. ArthurB says:

    Re promiscuity and gay males: in 1982 I was working in a hospital, and used to spend some of my spare time in the library, reading the medical journals. I became interested in papers which reported a strange new disease among gay men, mainly in New York and San Francisco, at first it was called GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency) but when it was also found in drug addicts and haemophiliacs, the name was changed to the more general Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. There was a famous paper, I think in the New England Journal of Medicine, about the risk factors for the disease, and one of the most important was the number of their sexual partners. One gentleman who contracted the disease admitted to having an average of 90 sexual partners per month over a period of a couple of years, or over a thousand a year.

    Gay men in cities such as San Francisco and New York were hyper promiscuous, and one of the consequences was an enormous incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. If you are interested, as early as 1976 there were papers in the medical journals about what was happening. In Annals of Clinical Laboratory Science for 1976 there is a paper about “gay bowel syndrome,” and in 1983 there is a comment that “Any of the diseases previously regarded in the realm of tropical medicine are now being found in almost epidemic proportions among the gay population.” Many gay men seemed to take pride in talking about their sexual activity, some confessed to having as many as three thousand sexual partners in a lifetime.

    • Warty says:

      And to think my wife, on one of her darker moods, will berate me for having been married before. Can you imagine the furore were I to mention I’d had two or three girl friends before that.

    • Jody says:

      Rudolf Nureyev was a promiscuous homosexual and a lot of these encounters were actually with BOYS. So, you can draw your own conclusions about that. Re Hitchens. I read his “Hitch-22″ where he talks about homosexual encounters at university (Oxford, I think). He said it was ‘epidemic’. There would be some men who are not like this – to be sure – but what’s with the denial that the vast majority ARE??

      I’ve had a dull life and it’s getting duller!!!

  13. bts says:

    “Face it. SSM is inevitable”. No it isn’t, unless, as the author points out in the very following words, those of us who are adamantly opposed to homosexual marriage start doing something about it.

    Like what?

    Like ditching the plebiscite idea and agitating for a carefully crafted Constitutional amendment. Whether or not the thinking which gave rise to the idea of a plebiscite was Constitutionally sound, (and, for what it’s worth, I believe that it wasn’t and isn’t), the idea itself is plainly dead in the water. It was ruthlessly and shamelessly undermined, first, by the ALP/Greens Alliance, spearheaded by the utterly unprincipled campaigning of Mr Shorten upon a platform which said, almost in as many words, that even to discuss openly the pros and cons of homosexual marriage would be to unleash a torrent of hate speech resulting in youth suicides.

    It is being as ruthlessly undermined, and in as opportunistic a fashion, by those individual members of the Liberal Party who are determined to force an unwhipped Parliamentary vote, which, given the current composition of both Houses, is practically certain to pass.

    It has been definitively undermined by the refusal of the Senate to pass the necessary enabling legislation.

    If it is to be, indeed, that a pillar of civilised Australian culture is to be scrapped, then it is, surely, of the first importance that there be set in stone at that very same time clear Constitutional provision that stops dead in its tracks the determination of the usual atheist/feminist/homosexual/marxist cabal, not only to destroy the basic nature and function of marriage, but to distill that destruction into an alleged “human right” that is absolutely beyond any type of challenge by anybody and in any circumstances.

    S51(xxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution gives the Commonwealth Parliament legislative power in respect of “marriage”. S109 provides that if the Commonwealth and any State(s) should legislate upon, relevantly, “marriage”, then to the extent of any inconsistency between the Commonwealth and the State legislation, the Commonwealth legislation is to prevail.

    Why not begin now an agitation for the holding of a referendum designed to change s51(xxi), so that it reads somewhat as follows:

    (xxi) marriage. For this purpose marriage means any form of marriage, whether solemnised sacramentally or non-sacramentally, of any two consenting adult persons, whether a man and a woman, or two men or two women. Provided always that no individual, church, group or other person(s) shall be liable to any penalty, whether civil or criminal or party civil and partly criminal, for continuing in good conscience to regard marriage as being properly limited to the union for life and to the exclusion of all others, of one man and one woman; or for expressing that conscientious belief in any way whatsoever that does not entail violence or the threat of violence to any person(s).

    That wording is, of course, anything but definitive. Its only purpose is to make the point that a properly drafted referendum question could and should offer the homosexual lobby a package deal. They will be allowed to destroy, in their own interest, the established fundamentals of the concept of marriage in Australian society as it has existed since the enactment of the Constitution, but they will emphatically not be allowed to use that destruction so as to create a society in which heterosexual Christians become a marginalized and persecuted minority.

    If ever there was a need to keep one’s eye on the real ball, homosexual marriage is the paradigm example.

  14. Finn MacCool says:

    Peter,you are letting the homosexual lobby frame the debate by only considering the marriage option. My view is that they should justify why civil unions are not adequate. It will not be the end of the matter if homosexual marriage is made legal; the next step will be attacking the Christian religions, no matter what safeguards are included.