10 February 2008

More opinion on gay civil unions

| GnT
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The Canberra Times has an aricle today about an ongoing issue, gay civil unions. It appears the Federal Government is going to backflip on their promise to allow the ACT to govern itself, because it also made a promise to the Australian Christian Lobby that it would oppose civil unions.

I find it curious that in this debate we have the Australian Christian Lobby on one side and the Australian Coalition for Equality on the other side. After all, Jesus taught tolerance; he hung out with lepers and tax collectors, and taught people to take care of the disadvantaged and love their enemy. I would have thought most Christians would be in favour of equality.

The ACL also claims that “Most Australians and certainly all Christians, have simply had enough of the increasingly rapid erosion of traditional family values and ethics in Australia. We are rightly proud of a country that has built an enviable reputation for tolerance and quality of life and has so much potential.” I refute the claim of “all Christians”, unless they think that by supporting gay civil unions you cannot call yourself a Christian. I also think we should continue to build on our “enviable reputation for tolerance” by allowing everyone to join in a civil union.

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“Marriage as a heterosexual institution has an ancient history”

So did slavery and infanticide

let’s have a bit of calm… everything’s going to be ok people, i heard k-rudd talking on the tv this morning about how all australians are now equal and we’re turning a new page in history – this whole civil unions/equal rights block by the fed govt is clearly just a bad dream…

Gay civil unions? They can stick them right up their arses as far as I’m concerned. The dirty bastards!

Deadmandrinking12:58 am 12 Feb 08

Why should anyone give a damn but the people getting married is what I’m asking.

Yep, that would be the idea. Churches don’t have the monopoly on marriage, any more than they have the monopoly on bread and wine service.

Yes, they are perfectly entitled to control marriages that take place within their buildings – I’m happy to accept that if I, raised as an Anglican, want to get married in a Catholic Church, I might have a few difficulties (to say nothing of the fact that I’d be a bloke looking to get married to another bloke).

But their rights stop once they get outside their building – they can’t control how other people choose to get married. You can get married buddhist, pagan, or agnostic. It ain’t religion, and all the whining by those unelected lobby leaders who believe, with no evidence whatsoever, that they represent all christians, is going to make it so…

Marriage is just a word. It does not belong to any religious or non religious group. I’m getting married in a non religious ceremony by a celebrant. I’m doing it because I love my partner and I want to celebrate it with friends and family in a symbolic way. The word marriage is irrelevent, so if that’s the entire basis of excluding people from having a similar legal process with a ceremony of some kind… well, I just don’t get it. Everyone in the world is a person first, right?

Deadmandrinking9:54 pm 11 Feb 08

Umm…GnT, I hate to break it to you, but when many couples break up, there’s a f-kload of hatred and little to no love at all. Have you met my parents?

OpenYourMind29:18 pm 11 Feb 08

It’s funny when some christians eventually concedes that on second thoughts, it should be ok for gays to have a civil union and the legal rights etc. Then the only argument is about the use of the word ‘marriage’. If that’s all that’s being argued about then who gives a damn. It’s not like anybody owns the word ‘marriage’.

“Ahh, I can’t tell you how much Christians love it when secularists tell them what Jesus taught. Always a winner.”

What makes you think I’m a non-Christian secularist?

“The ceremony should be about love, between two people, through whatever may come bar divorce.”

No, it should be about love and committment between two people through whatever may come. Divorce is not a get out of jail free card.

“I hope that he [Rudd] is strong enough not to pander to the whims of every special interest group that whinges”

Are you talking about the Australian Christian Lobby?

(That should probably have a question mark and an exclamation)

Are we taking on Chinese human rights policies!


Yeah, I must admit I voted for Rudd cause I liked Howard…

I all started when I thought it would be clever to play a reverse psychology game with the vote counters. Looks like that plan failed miserably…

Oh well, I had fun following America while it lasted at least. Now look at America. It’s not fair : (

The only reason Rudd won is because of how similar he is to Howard. People claim to hate Howard, but noone seems to mind living in a safe, affluent society when the rest of the western world is in financial turmoil.

I didn’t vote for Rudd, but I think he’ll do a reasonable job. I hope that he is strong enough not to pander to the whims of every special interest group that whinges (unlike our local gov).

It’s time that Kevin07 said ‘sorry’ to the gay community.

“The other six married as an expression of love and commitment.”

… which means they are now legally recognised as a couple, and a family. Is there a problem with this? I don’t think there is.

The fact that some people choose to go to church to get married instead is just as valid a choice. Who are we to tell them not to? It’s a free country.

I don’t think the Christian church is trying to say that they have sole rights to marriage, but rather that they have done things a certain way, and don’t want the government telling them to change. Don’t like it? Don’t participate, simple. If it was any other group or institution getting bagged, the detractors would be being labelled the bigots. Interesting.

And over the last three months I know 7 couples around my age that have married. And only one of those marriages was because it was ‘the right thing to do by the church’.

The other six married as an expression of love and commitment.

For the younger generations now in their 20’s and even 30’s the meaning of marriage has developed and changed with society and in particularly with womens changing roles and increasing independence.

(And not to discriminate like Christianity does I should say that you can also see this across all generations, not just the younger)

Unless you are religiously inclined marriage is no longer about:

Being able to ‘have sex and not live in sin’- we have contraception nowadays so don’t fear your daughters promiscuity.

There is little to no stigma against children born out of wedlock – ie. don’t fear your daughters promiscurity there’s condoms at the servo.

(Thank god you don’t have to make your daughter settle with the first guy she likes either. You know he’s too young, and a twat. She’ll wake up to this eventually…)

And if someone becomes unhappy in marriage they no longer feel so obliged to stick things out for the next 50 years – ie. e don’t fear for the monetary welfare of women, now we HAVE to work.

Those were ‘old’ people’s ideals, fitting with the times.

Marriage to me, as a 20 something non religious woman is about expressing that you are in love with someone and also have a strong compatibility and friendship. It’s a show of commitment that says you’ve fond your life partner and soul mate.

Some marry a bit more hopeful, just to ‘give it a go’ but needless to say marriage is less about having kids, or being pregnant or getting married at 18 so you can lose your virginity, or doing what your parents think is best for your life.

Marriage is already diverting away from the ideals of the church and become more so a personal and romantic ‘choice’ so the idea that the church feels it can still hold control over the ideals of marriage and keep the concept in the dark ages makes me angry.

Get with the times Churchy.

Plus, I only believe in gay marriage when both chicks are hot.

I find it interesting that everyone is willing to throw crap at Christians, and religions in general, because of their stance against altering a long standing tradition. If you hate Christians and religion so much, why fuss about marriage at all? It’s a religious thing! You can always have a civil ceremony (and lots of people do).

If the government can come up with a way to support legal civil unions, then why not simply use that? That way, you don’t have to buy into an institution you clearly hate, and said institutions can go their own merry way.

I agree with deejay on this. Also, everyone knows that religion and churches in general have, over the years, done some fairly terrible things. But I don’t think marriage is one of them.

Using the term marriage for those of the same sex will always be akin to trying to put two north polarised magnets together.

Therein, EVERYBODY in a partnership should get a Government civil recognition, and all those religious freaks can go have their ‘marriage’ at a church in their white dresses with the shade of dirty mole did it before they got married, and all that other ‘traditional’ stuff.

Just to really throw the spanner in the works, I came to the conclusion via epiphany the other day that there is either no god, or lots of gods. The true constant is that it is impossible for there to be only one.

A quick and very short example is the Catholics who were not allowed to eat fish on a friday way back a few hundred years, but are now allowed to do so. One god says yes, One god says no, therefore at least two, yet in the same faith, all those who went to hell for eating fish on friday, but now find that it is ok, must be feeling a little ripped off as they slave away doing whatever fiery thing they are up to at the moment down in fish-eaters hell.

Given that the Church then, is fundamentally based off the sham that there is only one god, it seems prudent that the Government distance itself from their ‘marriage’ process and come up with their own.

Mælinar, Epiphanies 1:1

gun street girl, fair question. I don’t really have a problem with marriage for hets who choose not to have children, although I must confess that intuitively I don’t get it. (Oddly enough I am in a marriage that will probably not result in further children besides the ones we already have between us, but not by choice in the usual sense – a pregnancy would not be safe for me). My reasoning is that the complementarity I spoke of still exists, although I also think that marital love is missing something if it doesn’t manifest in some kind of desire to give beyond the couple itself. But that’s an entirely different debate.

Homosexual marriage? What next? Are we to also give women the vote, or to prevent children from being gainfully employed in jobs too hazardous for adults? You mark my words – the day will come when a man may no longer soundly thrash his wife or child with his walking stick, or even the back of his hand, and what sort of family values will we have then?

Well, they need some legal status before the law. Right now, they can say they are partners, or “married”, but they have no rights WRT superannuation, goods in the event of a breakup, if one is lying unconcious in hospital, the partner has no “right” to be with them while family members do… umpteen things that being married gives them, while being “partners” doesn’t.

Why do hets still get married if it’s meaningless? I guess the reasons why hets get married are the same reasons some gays want to get married for.

I’m more concerned that people are turning to the Government to be the love police. What’s love got to do with the law?

I agree with diprotodon that the law should catch up with the reality of modern society. And that reality is that no one cares whether you’re married or single regardless of your sexuality. If we’re talking about the capacity of two people to love one another to the exclusion of all others, why can’t we leave it at that? Why do we have to get the Government involved? Why do we have marriage laws at all, when de facto law (if extended to all couples or even polygamous families) does just fine? If you love someone, you shouldn’t need a certificate from the government to justify it for you. Pure madness. It’s time everyone grew up, not just Christians.

Deadmandrinking11:05 pm 10 Feb 08

I’m sick of the assumption that the marriage ceremony is completely based on sex. Do couple’s usually vow ‘to f-k, to blow and be open to your weird-ass kinks till death do us part.’?

The ceremony should be about love, between two people, through whatever may come bar divorce. That’s why girls cry and guys get pissed at weddings. What makes these ‘Christians’ think they’re the love police?

el ......VNBerlinaV810:57 pm 10 Feb 08

Jesus who?

Its about time that the law caught up with the reality of modern society. Most of modern society today are comfortable with, or at least tolerate, same sex relationships. They are here to stay. Refusing to give them comparable standing with heterosexual marriages, or even de facto marriages, is wrong.

Ahh, I can’t tell you how much Christians love it when secularists tell them what Jesus taught. Always a winner.

Yes, Jesus taught tolerance, but He didn’t teach that sin should be sanctioned. Sure He’d hang out with a prostitute or a tax collector, but He wouldn’t let them believe they were doing the right thing. “Go, and sin no more.”

There are a whole host of good arguments in support of gay marriages or civil unions or whatever, but arguing with Christians about the legacy of Jesus Christ just ain’t one of them.

“Family Values”. WTF is that? Oh, that’s when one part of society decides it is going to help itself to everyone else’s taxes to support their lifestyle choice.

So gay people get to contribute their taxes to the almighty Family Values, but can’t participate if they want to. I hope Rudd hasn’t mortgaged us all to the Christian fascist fundamentalists.

There would be no homosexuality under an Islamic state. Bring it on.

Marriage has evolved from being open to 12 year olds, people being promised to each other at birth, and women having to provide a dowry. If the ACL are so keen on traditions, do they plan to bring any of these back?

Current marriage is open to anyone, as long as they are of different gender – eg – people in their 80s who will not reproduce, disabled people – if fact anyone at all except two women or two men – this exclusion makes no sense to me.

But I do think that accepting Civil Unions is the way to go, and surely in a few years they can quietly become Gay Marriages.

gun street girl7:24 pm 10 Feb 08

Deejay, to play devil’s advocate, where do you stand on heterosexual couples who marry who have absolutely no intention to have children? Should they too be excluded from marriage because they won’t reproduce?

As my tag suggests, I am a person with a religious affiliation. The Australian Christian lobby does not represent me, or my views or the views of a preponderance of the overtly Christian people I know. In fact, I do not know anyone who draws his or her position on social/political issues from the ACL.

There will always be people whose sexual orientation is to their own sex, and it’s naive to think otherwise or to think that this can be changed by an act of will. It just is, and the world is richer for the variety. The gay/lesbian people I know are not out to convert others, and most of them are in stable, loving, monogamous relationships. If society denies them the chance to be openly in a relationship, it says that there is something wrong with their orientation and, consequently, their personalities. That would be an unfortunate message.

I am totally unworried by single sex civil unions and, frankly, I would have no problems calling them marriages or attending any to which I was invited. I fear Kevin07 may have wimped out.

The ACL are simply miffed that they are no longer inside the tent calling the shots anymore. They are on the outside looking in and their press release shows that they are in denial big time.

My ‘couldn’t agree more’ refers to GnT’s post.

Couldn’t agree more. It seems just a little selective (and that’s the kindest word that can be used) when ‘Christians’ quote, and rely on in literal terms, some parts of the Bible damning homosexuality, and then dismiss, or claim them to be ‘not meant to be taken literally’ other parts of the same book.

I also find it bizarre to be single out the ceremonies aspect of the legislation as being problematic – when marriage ceremonies, whether held in a church or a garden or wherever, are NOT essential or key in forming a legal marriage – it is the signing and witnessing of the marriage certificate which legally forms the marriage….sound a little bit like registration, anyone?

For my part, I am a Christian. I don’t want marriage for gays and lesbians, but I do want civil unions. Here’s my reasoning:

1. Stable families are to the benefit of societies. That’s true of all types of stable families. They result in increased residential stability and social roots, reduced crime, yadda yadda yadda. Legal incentives to promote stability in families are valid, and in the case of interdependence in matters of insurance and super, only fair. Even if it were preferable for a gay or lesbian person to form a heterosexual union (and I have my doubts about the stability of that arrangement) the likelihood of it happening just to gain benefits is generally low, so there is no gain by withholding those benefits and some gain by giving them. Hence my support for civil unions.

2. Civil unions protect families from unfriendly outsiders who happen to be related by blood, by providing the chosen family with a higher claim. Unfriendly blood relatives are very common among gays and lesbians; civil unions provide protection.

3. Marriage as a heterosexual institution has an ancient history. Anthropologically and religiously (across all religions), ritual marriage is tied to reproduction and physical complementarity. I don’t think we have the right to re-write that when there is a perfectly easy alternative in the form of civil unions (with their own form of ceremony if desired) that accomplish the same without trampling on that heritage.

Some may accuse me of trying to have my cake and eat it too – that is fine. As a Christian I do not have any issue with the State recognising gay and lesbian unions. I would prefer it was done so without using the word marriage but that is as conservative as I go on the matter.

el ......VNBerlinaV84:40 pm 10 Feb 08

The Australian Christian Lobby can go and f*** themselves as far as I’m concerned. They speak for no one but their own bigoted selves.

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