Christian Lobby hits the ACT Greens with a Please Explain on polyamory

johnboy 17 July 2012 65

The Australian Christian Lobby is mad keen for the ACT Greens’ Generalissimo Meredith Hunter to let us know what she thinks about polyamorous marriage (Big Love).

“Given the Greens have been strong proponents for Territory-based civil unions that mimic marriage, Ms Hunter needs to explain whether we will see a Greens-led push for polyamorous or polygamous civil unions in the ACT,” Mr Shelton said.

I’ve always been a big fan of The Pogues view on the subject “Two wives are allowed in the Army, but one’s too many for me”.

Should we hear back from the Greens we’ll let you know.


UPDATE 17/07/12 13:37 A Greens spokesperson had this to say:

ACT Greens policy platform, as endorsed April 2012 states:

“ACT Greens want legislative amendment to the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 to allow for legal marriage between two consenting adults regardless of sexuality or gender identity.”

Also available here: http://act.greens.org.au/policies/act/sexuality-gender-identity

Views expressed to the contrary are in a personal capacity.


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65 Responses to Christian Lobby hits the ACT Greens with a Please Explain on polyamory
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johnboy johnboy 2:35 pm 18 Jul 12

Mysteryman said :

He would seem more credible if he didn’t make inaccurate statements.

I’d back him over you. Anything in particular you want to use or are we just handwaving?

Mysteryman Mysteryman 2:28 pm 18 Jul 12

johnboy said :

Simon Jenkins recently had an excellent article in the Guardian on how the church only recently got involved in the marriage game and dragged the state along for the ride.

If any proof were needed for church disestablishment, it is the capacity of canon lawyers to find quarrels in straws. What consenting adults do in private should be of no concern to governments, and that applies to worship as much as sex. If grownups want to dress in Tudor costume, douse babies in water, intone over the dead and do strange things with wine and wafers, it is a free country. But for a Christian sect to claim ownership of the legal definition of a human relationship is way out of order.

The church has a dreadful record on marriage. Rome placed chastity and celibacy as the highest state of man (and woman), while marriage was for the fallen. As Milton said, the church regarded matrimony as a state of disgrace, “a work of the flesh, almost a defilement”. Only when medieval bishops saw where the money was did they declare marriage “so sacramental that no adultery or desertion could dissolve it”.

Throughout the middle ages the church struggled to gain control of what had been an essentially secular contract between men and women. It was not until the 13th century that weddings had to be hallowed by a priest, even if this meant little more than an exchange of vows in a porch. Churches tried to bribe couples to the altar, as by giving them sides of bacon (hence “bringing home the bacon”). Common law marriage in England was not outlawed until 1753.

He would seem more credible if he didn’t make inaccurate statements.

Baldy Baldy 1:05 pm 18 Jul 12

poetix said :

That’s Malcolm Turnbull, and I wish that he was still leader of the Liberals.

As a swinging voter who has given up hope of voting for any of the major parties until someone decent comes along, so do I.

p1 p1 12:11 pm 18 Jul 12

HenryBG said :

And why would you feel the need for a government licence to regularise your choice of intimate relationship?

Exactly. The government should not be sanctioning, licencing, or certifying any relationship at all.

    johnboy johnboy 12:20 pm 18 Jul 12

    Simon Jenkins recently had an excellent article in the Guardian on how the church only recently got involved in the marriage game and dragged the state along for the ride.

    If any proof were needed for church disestablishment, it is the capacity of canon lawyers to find quarrels in straws. What consenting adults do in private should be of no concern to governments, and that applies to worship as much as sex. If grownups want to dress in Tudor costume, douse babies in water, intone over the dead and do strange things with wine and wafers, it is a free country. But for a Christian sect to claim ownership of the legal definition of a human relationship is way out of order.

    The church has a dreadful record on marriage. Rome placed chastity and celibacy as the highest state of man (and woman), while marriage was for the fallen. As Milton said, the church regarded matrimony as a state of disgrace, “a work of the flesh, almost a defilement”. Only when medieval bishops saw where the money was did they declare marriage “so sacramental that no adultery or desertion could dissolve it”.

    Throughout the middle ages the church struggled to gain control of what had been an essentially secular contract between men and women. It was not until the 13th century that weddings had to be hallowed by a priest, even if this meant little more than an exchange of vows in a porch. Churches tried to bribe couples to the altar, as by giving them sides of bacon (hence “bringing home the bacon”). Common law marriage in England was not outlawed until 1753.

HenryBG HenryBG 11:07 am 18 Jul 12

p1 said :

mouthface said :

So here’s some distasteful shit on a slippery slope:
A woman marries her adult son, both consenting.
Two adult siblings marry, both consenting.
Two adult same sex siblings marry, both consenting.. just saying.
So this is a little unrealistic, but what the heck?

Seems to me, that a large part of any argument about marriage is that a lot of people cannot separate, even a little, the concepts of marriage, sexual intercourse, and reproduction.

Why would you want to separate them?

And why would you feel the need for a government licence to regularise your choice of intimate relationship?

Marriage is just a cultural practice with a particular meaning. The usual sociophobic suspects trying to demolish our society have just latched onto this as their latest battle against society. Why so many in authority feel the need to bother engage with this nonsense is both surprising and ominous for our future.

I’m sure they’ll be “calling the Human Rights Commission” as we speak…plus ca change….

p1 p1 9:58 am 18 Jul 12

mouthface said :

So here’s some distasteful shit on a slippery slope:
A woman marries her adult son, both consenting.
Two adult siblings marry, both consenting.
Two adult same sex siblings marry, both consenting.. just saying.
So this is a little unrealistic, but what the heck?

Seems to me, that a large part of any argument about marriage is that a lot of people cannot separate, even a little, the concepts of marriage, sexual intercourse, and reproduction.

HenryBG HenryBG 9:56 am 18 Jul 12

Walker said :

Let’s not be too anthropocentrically hasty. What is it with first world westerners thinking they’ve got the goods on everything..

Oh, I don’t know, how about the fact the rest of the world’s defective nations and cultures are falling over themselves alternately applying for foreign aid, or trying to emigrate to first world nations?

We *used* to have the goods, now we’re busy crawling up our own arses by forgetting about progress in order to placate crackpot fringes.

p1 p1 9:52 am 18 Jul 12

Jethro said :

…or a possum doesn’t have the ability to make the informed consent required.

Well, that explains the noises the possums were making in the tree out the front at 3am.

qbngeek qbngeek 9:50 am 18 Jul 12

Deref said :

It’s time that religions’ ownership of interpersonal relations was consigned to the dustbin of history.

Someone f**king elect this man/woman as prime minister. That is the best suggestion I have read in this entire thread.

Snarky Snarky 9:48 am 18 Jul 12

mouthface said :

So here’s some distasteful shit on a slippery slope:
A woman marries her adult son, both consenting.
Two adult siblings marry, both consenting.
Two adult same sex siblings marry, both consenting.. just saying.
So this is a little unrealistic, but what the heck?

I’m with p1 and chewy – “Remove all legal meaning to the word marriage. Have the government hand out “Registration of Relationship Between Two Consenting Adults Certificates” … then the church can hold all the marriages they want and it won’t mean s**t to anyone else.”

Aside from the genetic defect issues noted by Deref, if two people want to enter into a legally recognised relationship (won’t call it marriage) then what the heck indeed? Why do you feel the need to crawl into someone elses bedroom to check? Why are two consenting adults in a consenting relationship “distasteful shit”? Says more about you than them, I reckon.

Deref Deref 7:53 am 18 Jul 12

mouthface said :

So here’s some distasteful shit on a slippery slope:
A woman marries her adult son, both consenting.
Two adult siblings marry, both consenting.
Two adult same sex siblings marry, both consenting.. just saying.
So this is a little unrealistic, but what the heck?

Starting from the irrefutable premise that there’s no such thing as a victimless crime, there’s damn good reason why closely genetically-related people of opposite sexes shouldn’t reproduce. The offspring of such marriages would be highly likely to be victims.

However, “two adult siblings marry, both consenting” – as long as they’re the same sex, no victim, no problem.

Similarly with polygamy.

These things can and probably do go on without official recognition. It’s time that religions’ ownership of interpersonal relations was consigned to the dustbin of history.

mouthface mouthface 2:07 am 18 Jul 12

Jethro said :

Haven’t the new de facto laws already paved the way for polygamy? If I’m correct (which I may very well not be), I seem to recall that Australia’s most recent de facto laws give legal rights to mistresses of married men.

Honestly, if people want to be in polygamous relationships, why is that an issue for the rest of us? As long as all adult partners in the relationship consent, why is it a big deal (apart from the fact it deviates from current social norms)?

Polygamy has more of a historical basis than gay marriage (and I don’t see how gays getting married should be something that concerns the rest of us either). The Christians certainly couldn’t use biblical law to protest against it.

The slippery slope argument only holds up if the slippery slope leads to truly abhorrent practices (and even then, only if the slippery slope can be proven to actually exist in the circumstances). That’s why the next ‘slippery slope’ argument’ – that gay marraige (and then polygamy) will lead to legalised marriage between adults and children (or adults and animals) doesn’t hold water; surely the key issue in a legal contract between people should be the ability of those entering the contract to consent. A man and a man can consent to a marriage. A man and a woman and a woman can also consent. A child or a possum doesn’t have the ability to make the informed consent required.

Just because an idea is distasteful to us (and to me, the idea of having to share my partner with someone else is very distasteful) doesn’t mean we should prohibit other consenting adults from living the life they want. Polygamous relationships already exist in Australia. They just haven’t been fully codified under law.

Jethro said :

Haven’t the new de facto laws already paved the way for polygamy? If I’m correct (which I may very well not be), I seem to recall that Australia’s most recent de facto laws give legal rights to mistresses of married men.

Honestly, if people want to be in polygamous relationships, why is that an issue for the rest of us? As long as all adult partners in the relationship consent, why is it a big deal (apart from the fact it deviates from current social norms)?

Polygamy has more of a historical basis than gay marriage (and I don’t see how gays getting married should be something that concerns the rest of us either). The Christians certainly couldn’t use biblical law to protest against it.

The slippery slope argument only holds up if the slippery slope leads to truly abhorrent practices (and even then, only if the slippery slope can be proven to actually exist in the circumstances). That’s why the next ‘slippery slope’ argument’ – that gay marraige (and then polygamy) will lead to legalised marriage between adults and children (or adults and animals) doesn’t hold water; surely the key issue in a legal contract between people should be the ability of those entering the contract to consent. A man and a man can consent to a marriage. A man and a woman and a woman can also consent. A child or a possum doesn’t have the ability to make the informed consent required.

Just because an idea is distasteful to us (and to me, the idea of having to share my partner with someone else is very distasteful) doesn’t mean we should prohibit other consenting adults from living the life they want. Polygamous relationships already exist in Australia. They just haven’t been fully codified under law.

So here’s some distasteful shit on a slippery slope:
A woman marries her adult son, both consenting.
Two adult siblings marry, both consenting.
Two adult same sex siblings marry, both consenting.. just saying.
So this is a little unrealistic, but what the heck?

Walker Walker 11:11 pm 17 Jul 12

Let’s not be too anthropocentrically hasty. What is it with first world westerners thinking they’ve got the goods on everything. (Not that polygamy would answer much for us, may even backfire in our society as it stands).

At any rate why this even brought up, right? Yes. here it’s a misleading “what next toasters” argument. This approach herewith annulled and void.

gooterz gooterz 10:48 pm 17 Jul 12

Jethro said :

Just because an idea is distasteful to us (and to me, the idea of having to share my partner with someone else is very distasteful) doesn’t mean we should prohibit other consenting adults from living the life they want. Polygamous relationships already exist in Australia. They just haven’t been fully codified under law.

It should be all or nothing, not just single out the 2 member relationships.

Although how many people will get ‘married’ for tax purposes?

HenryBG HenryBG 10:16 pm 17 Jul 12

PoQ said :

Seriously, the problem with the ACL is that they’re repressed. They are acting like sniggering schoolboys.

Yeah, let’s talk about psycho-sexual disorders…

Jethro Jethro 10:15 pm 17 Jul 12

Haven’t the new de facto laws already paved the way for polygamy? If I’m correct (which I may very well not be), I seem to recall that Australia’s most recent de facto laws give legal rights to mistresses of married men.

Honestly, if people want to be in polygamous relationships, why is that an issue for the rest of us? As long as all adult partners in the relationship consent, why is it a big deal (apart from the fact it deviates from current social norms)?

Polygamy has more of a historical basis than gay marriage (and I don’t see how gays getting married should be something that concerns the rest of us either). The Christians certainly couldn’t use biblical law to protest against it.

The slippery slope argument only holds up if the slippery slope leads to truly abhorrent practices (and even then, only if the slippery slope can be proven to actually exist in the circumstances). That’s why the next ‘slippery slope’ argument’ – that gay marraige (and then polygamy) will lead to legalised marriage between adults and children (or adults and animals) doesn’t hold water; surely the key issue in a legal contract between people should be the ability of those entering the contract to consent. A man and a man can consent to a marriage. A man and a woman and a woman can also consent. A child or a possum doesn’t have the ability to make the informed consent required.

Just because an idea is distasteful to us (and to me, the idea of having to share my partner with someone else is very distasteful) doesn’t mean we should prohibit other consenting adults from living the life they want. Polygamous relationships already exist in Australia. They just haven’t been fully codified under law.

HenryBG HenryBG 10:14 pm 17 Jul 12

Pork Hunt said :

FioBla said :

> legal marriage between two consenting adults regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

I can haz marriage?

Quick, to the RSPCA.

I married a bitch once…

More fool you – I never married mine.

Walker Walker 10:09 pm 17 Jul 12

Deref said :

“…civil unions that mimic marriage…”

As opposed to religious ceremonies that mimic marriage?

Ha! +1

VicePope VicePope 10:04 pm 17 Jul 12

Every time any media outlet refers to the “Australian Christian Lobby”, it should include an express statement that the ACL is an unelected (or self-selected) body with absolutely no representative basis from the mainstream Christian religions. It seems – like the similarly concocted Australian Defence Association – to exist purely to give a couple of folk a megaphone to which they are not really entitled.

There might be others of this kind, apart from the bizarre phenomenon of industry lobbyists purporting to offer objectivity.

The simpler course might be to ignore them until they go away. But this would require the Australian media to think beyond reciting what’s in a media release. Seriously, if I marketed myself as the Australian Sensible Lobby, the media would reprint any self-serving rubbish I produced and interview me on TV and radio, when really I may not be all that sensible and I am certainly not the chosen advocate of any group of sensible people.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 9:25 pm 17 Jul 12

LSWCHP said :

Pork Hunt said :

LSWCHP said :

johnboy said :

GetUp is mostly a way to fleece lefties of their cash. Mind you the ACL do something similar to their own nutbags.

I love this place. Any organ that dumps on the ACL and GetItUp simultaneously is truly great. 🙂

And to hell, truly ruly, with the ACL.

Your version of hell or theirs?

My understanding of the conventional Christian version of hell is that it would be a pretty bad place to spend eternity. You know, burning in flames while being tortured by demonic monsters etc etc. Honestly, only a collection of lunatics could come up with such a concept, and only lunatics would perpetuate the nonsensical belief that an omnipotent God would sanction such a fate for a person because that person didn’t believe in him/her/it.

So, given the option, I would sentence the ACL and all who sail with them to that particular version of hell because it’s all of their own making. Given that they perpetuate this monstrous nonsense it would be nothing less than they deserve.

I’m cool with that, theirs it is then…

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