To all honourable members and senators who voted overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage and then celebrated so enthusiastically, I have a question: Hands up all those who secretly hope their children don’t grow up to be gay. Don’t be shy, my discretion is guaranteed. No-one will know.
Only about 50% of you prepared to admit it? Come on. Any advance on 50%? No. OK. That seems a bit low to me – I’m betting it’s closer to 90%, but let’s run with it anyway. Why do you 50% feel this way? Because of the discrimination your gay offspring will inevitably suffer?
Nah, can’t be that. Gay people are prominent and successful in all walks of life. We love their 1st Piano Concerto and their Yellow Brick Road. We applaud (and reward) their acumen in transferring Qantas, in a few short years, from a supplicant of government largesse to a very profitable business. We elect them to represent us in any number of House of Representatives or Senate seats. We shower them with Oscars. We celebrate their sexuality with colourful and outrageous parades. We positively welcome them into the Armed Forces. We even promote their lifestyle to our school kids in terms so pornographic that they would never be tolerated in days gone by, when what used to be termed ‘sex education’ was decidely more vanilla. And, thanks to your recent vote, they are now free to marry.
Well maybe because, at some instinctive level, you want to continue your bloodline and homosexual sex doesn’t actually cut it in this endeavour. How about that for a reason? Nope, not that either. With surrogacy and IVF your homosexual kids can still beget grandchildren.
Well, come on, why don’t you want your kids or grandkids to grow up homosexual? There must be a reason.
Perhaps it’s because you really think homosexuals are not ‘normal’ after all, that there is something amiss?
It’s true that homosexuals have been badly treated and discriminated against and, human nature being what it is, they will continue to be into the future, albeit only at the hands of a very small minority. But for many years the attitude of most people has been live and let live. That acceptance is, in fact, the underlying logic most of you used to justify your support for same-sex marriage.
Which brings me to the question of religious protection. The familiar examples — the baker unwilling to provide a wedding cake, the fundamentalist florist — tend to obscure more important issues, such as parental rights. Focusing on the recalcitrant baker or even, for that matter, the caterer, photographer or candlestick-maker allows the kumbayah brigade a convenient strawman in order to dismiss the concerns of traditionalists as no better than discrimination disguised as religious conviction. They also tend airily to dismiss religious beliefs as ‘not normal’ or ‘outdated’, asserting as has Tasmania’s former discrimination commissioner Robyn Banks, the gay activist who entertained a complaint that forced her state’s Catholic bishops to jump through hoops, that religious belief must genuflect before “community standards”.
But even when it comes to notionally homophobic pastry chefs, I say to you legislators (and you activists), why not extend to all, regardless of sexual preference and opinion, the same live-and-let-live consideration that informed your support for same-sex marriage. To my knowledge there have been very few, if any, cases where Australian businesses have refused service to homosexual customers – certainly none that have made headlines and can I could find with a quick Google search.
Indeed, where service has been refused, the boot has been on the other foot, with hotels and conference centres cancelling Christian conferences due to harassment by rainbow activists. Had militant hetero-supremacists done likewise they would have been charged and convicted. But the gay brigade gets a free pass, apparently.
So, elected representatives, is that the reason you rejected any and all attempts to write religious safeguards into your legislation? Come on, ‘fess up, and admit it: you were scared you might be the next targets for organised and relentless campaigns of abuse and harassment.
I mean, who wants their office blown up by a drama queen gay activist with a van full of gas cylinders. If that doesn’t ring a bell, ask the Australian Christian Lobby all about it. You can find their new address in the phone book with much less effort than ACT police invested in not not acknowledging the patently but inconveniently obvious.