19 September 2016

Plebiscite an abrogation of responsibility

| John Hargreaves
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marriage equality

What’s all this rubbish about having a plebiscite on whether two people can “marry”? why all the fuss and why all the expense? Why can’t the elected representatives just get on with it and vote and change the legislation?

The conservatives know that the likelihood of a success in a plebiscite in normal conditions is not good as can be shown by referenda in the past. This is just a tactic. They say that this is such a conscience issue that we need a whole of citizenship conversation. Well that didn’t stop them just legislating against the euthanasia laws of the NT or the right to marry in the ACT!

Civil marriage is different to the religious ceremony and in many societies one has to do both, France for example. This is true separation of church and state. And so it should be here!

No one is asking the churches, mosques, temples or other heavenly gateways to change the teachings of their founders. If the religious doctrine says “thou shalt not enter into wedlock with [insert description here]” then so be it. But the secular world takes its lead from the progress of its society. It is acceptable to have different attitudes and morays in each of the secular and non-secular worlds. We have moved on, guys!

Let’s get this straight. The advocates of marriage equality are not changing anything really. Same sex couples have been together as partners and parents since forever and will continue to do so.

All this plebiscite will do is to give a platform for denigration, discrimination, diminution and will give the anti-LBGTQI movement a platform to cast doubt on the legitimacy of relationships and wreak pain and suffering on so many people.

With their sanctimonious self-righteousness and direct link to the Almighty, the far-right conservatives are going to publicly tell kids that their same sex parents are subjecting the kids to unnatural environments. They will be putting confusion in the minds of these kids. Most kids just respond to love and affection, encouragement and support. They don’t care if their parents are different to other parents.

It may have been the case in the past with parents of different colour, of different religion, of different careers but not anymore. This hasn’t been the case for decades and these far-right religious zealots should come into the modern and real world. The Inquisition is over.

Torquemada has a new name and it is Bernardi! The Church does not rule in Australia and the sooner these people get it the better.

But we’re going to give every bible bashing, homophobic, fruitcake bigot a platform to spruik bile at those whose only problem is that they wish to have the same expression of their love as the rest of us.

And we’re going to pay dearly for it. The PM and ScoMo rant on about fiscal responsibility and economic strength. They constantly talk about their hero Jobson Groff. But they’re OK with chucking $160 million on a non-binding chatfest and are contemplating giving another $10 million to help both sides put their case. What part about abrogation of their responsibility don’t they get?

For mine, I’d like them to get on with passing legislation and giving all people the same rights before the law. Our law that is not canonical law.

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creative_canberran said :

rommeldog56 said :

Medium house prices in the ACT are heaps higher than that. Last I heard, for stand alone dwellings, it was over $500K, 2nd or 3rd highest in the country.

Indeed you are correct, about $560k in fact. As I said, $300k less than Sydney, where the median is now $990k.

dungfungus said :

I haven’t paid much attention to this debate – Australia has more pressing problems…

Supporters of “equal marriage rights” should scope what the costs are to undo a marriage before they venture in that direction.

As you referring to costs of marriage and more pressing concerns in Australia, seems a good time to point out that legalising SSM would help a bit with one pressing concern Australia has, sluggish economic activity.

In fact SSM would bring in at least $500m a year! And that’s according to big banks, not some tiny progressive outfit with an agenda.

So, spend $160m on a pointless question, or get it over with and start bringing in the dollars.

Are you talking about the same banks that Shorten wants to have a Royal Commission into?

If there are SSMs there wil be SSDs (same sex divorces) and this will enrich the family law sector. They will have to put the fees they collect into banks so maybe that is what you are alluding to?

Come to think of it, the family law sector has been almost mute on this issue. Why doesn’t the MSM ask them where they stand?

creative_canberran9:20 pm 23 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

Medium house prices in the ACT are heaps higher than that. Last I heard, for stand alone dwellings, it was over $500K, 2nd or 3rd highest in the country.

Indeed you are correct, about $560k in fact. As I said, $300k less than Sydney, where the median is now $990k.

dungfungus said :

I haven’t paid much attention to this debate – Australia has more pressing problems…

Supporters of “equal marriage rights” should scope what the costs are to undo a marriage before they venture in that direction.

As you referring to costs of marriage and more pressing concerns in Australia, seems a good time to point out that legalising SSM would help a bit with one pressing concern Australia has, sluggish economic activity.

In fact SSM would bring in at least $500m a year! And that’s according to big banks, not some tiny progressive outfit with an agenda.

So, spend $160m on a pointless question, or get it over with and start bringing in the dollars.

John Hargreaves9:13 am 23 Sep 16

madelini said :

gooterz said :

madelini said :

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

Why will it have an impact on married couples and children? Will existing marriages suddenly be annulled? Will their legally binding agreement seem less important if more people can make their own decisions? What impact will there be on children, and why will it be more severe than the current divorce rate?

I also do not understand your reference to marriages between related persons. Can you please explain the similarity between that and same sex relationships?

Family unit is the unit that raises and gives DNA to children. Children grow up being around those that share similar ability. Dad / Mum are likely to have similar interests sporting ability and illnesses. Marriage is a foundation of monogamy which gives the atomic family holding together two monogamous people together. A law which has been around for almost 4000 years. [Code of Hammurabi]

Marriage ‘equality’ is about disregarding gender as an attribute of a relationship, in the interests of a minority. On the other hand 1/3 of the worlds population live in cultures that supports polygamy. So it would be naïve to suggest that that also won’t be on the cards as soon as the same sex marriage debate has finished. With the precedent set that there nothing to stop marriage being obsolete.

The problem with the same sex marriage debate is that its really just a force to try and get acceptance of same sex couples, however flawed in that legalisation wont force public opinion. The inevitable outcome will be like the USA, where anyone found not treating SSM couples like other married couples is fined and forced to go on learning treatments.

Given the slippery slope we’re either going to unfairly target individuals or completely devalue marriage. Marriage deficient societies end up terrible, look at both the USA and UK, gun violence and the number of inmates whom come from broken homes.

There is much more too it than equality, only merely has to study the history behind marriage to find out why. As much as different religions has helped get us into society so has marriage.

As I said before we should remove marriage completely from law eventually but it needs to be done gracefully. Jumping into same sex marriage isn’t being graceful at all.

Note: I’m agnostic and don’t follow any religion.

Your point about agnosticism is noted, although the argument about marriage that I make is not anything to do with the religious point of view. Given that many, many marriages in Australia today do not take place in a religious ceremony, I think we can safely leave that argument for people who subscribe to any particular faith base.

Given that families are no longer restricted to Mum/Dad/2.5 kids, I don’t think that the DNA argument has much of a weigh in. For example, if a couple have fertility issues and use a donor sperm and egg, does that mean that they don’t count as a real family? If two people adopt children for whatever reason, are they also barred from that definition? Single parent families? Gay couples where one partner is biologically related to any offspring, but parental duties are shared? It has been a long time since anyone has been shocked by deviations from the nuclear family model.

I don’t buy the slippery slope argument. I think that there is a certain amount of rationality that we can expect the Australian public to have, and really, my concern at your comment wasn’t so much about polygamous marriages as incestual ones. I am ambivalent about polygamy, as long as if the partners are of differing genders that they have equal standing in the relationship.

I think there should be fines for treating same sex couples differently from other couples, because the act of doing so is an act of discrimination. You mention the UK and the US as marriage deficient societies, but given that Australia does not exactly have a squeaky clean reputation (see: one punch assaults, domestic violence epidemic, the ice scourge, gun violence including murders in Canberra over the years, etc) and a divorce rate of one in three, I wonder that we are not already included in your examples. But then, isn’t a marriage deficient society what you were arguing for? I am sorry if I misunderstood.

Marriage has always evolved. In some ancient societies, the couple being married would not be able to consent, and later, the woman was a part of the property and came along with her dowry. It is only relatively recently that it has been romanticised in the Western world. Marriage equality is the next step in the evolutionary process of marriage. If you don’t like it, then you are under no obligation to ever get married – unlike in history, it is now an act that you must consent to. Your dislike of marriage as an institution should have no weighing on allowing people to have equal and legal rights.

This is the most cogent and compelling argument I have seen. Bravo

I haven’t paid much attention to this debate – Australia has more pressing problems than changing the marriage act to include a few percent of the population who somehow feel marginalised because they can’t frame their “marriage certificate”.

I have two marriage certificates – one is now filed along with a decree nisi.

Supporters of “equal marriage rights” should scope what the costs are to undo a marriage before they venture in that direction.

Nevertheless, it was part of the coalition’s election platform to hold a plebiscite about it and I really don’t care what the outcome is. I am unaware what the Labor/Green stance was but they didn’t win the election anyhow.

Having said that I believe the outcome will be a resounding “NO”.

creative_canberran said :

Median house price in Canberra is $300k lower than in Sydney.

Look this is getting off topic but making the SSM case an issue of money is daft.

Medium house prices in the ACT are heaps higher than that. Last I heard, for stand alone dwellings, it was over $500K, 2nd or 3rd highest in the country.

Agreed, this is getting too far off topic. My last word is that if u and 1 or 2 others on here can find flimsy reasons to justify the waste of m$800+ by the ACT Labor/Greens Govt on the doomed ACTs same sex marriage legislation, then is it any wonder infrastructure projects such as the tram, has got support. Supporting the waste of that m$88+ is in itself, daft. Its no wonder we have such a poor performing ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t – we deserve that.

This topic has everyone fired up. I have not seen so many responses and long reads too.

The plebiscite is going to bring a new meaning to the democracy sausage on polling day. Circumcised frankfurt sir? [juvenile giggle]. Hope some of the proceeds go to LGBITQA+ causes.

creative_canberran11:25 pm 22 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

When u can no longer afford to live in the ACT due to ACT Labor/Greens Annual Rates increases of 10% avg.pa forever levies, $ wasted by ACT Labor/Greens on such things as the Tram and same sex marriage laws, etc, Im sure when u too have to move across the border, you are going to meet heaps of other ex Canberrians in the street.

lol, Sydney is one of the five least affordable cities in the world, housing costing over 12x the annual wage. Median house price in Canberra is $300k lower than in Sydney.

Sydney has an LNP government. The same party whose members take private jets and choppers.

So I don’t think wasteful spending is a partisan thing, and I don’t think the cost of living here comparers unfavourably to elsewhere.

If you want to move to NSW, be my guest. But if you’re living anywhere in surrounding regional NSW, you’ll find yourself back in Canberra if you need more intensive care in hospital (30% of emergency surgeries and over 30% of electives in Canberra hospital are for NSW residents), our fire brigade will also attend your house or business fire, and you might even come to Canberra for school and university.

Look this is getting off topic but making the SSM case an issue of money is daft. For everything one taxpayer things is a good use of money, another will think it’s a waste. Government’s have to see the big picture and trying to establish a constitutional precedent sure fits the bill.

madelini said :

It’s not ratepayers money. It’s government money. You don’t like the way it’s spent, then feel free to move over the border and feel free to know that your monies are going towards the Opal card rollout.

I would rather the local government spend that money and ensure that the argument stays in the public consciousness, and I commend them for what they did.

I can not believe the naivety and rusted on left view of some/many people here. Agreed that it is not ALL Ratepayers $, but most of it comes out of the back pockets of ACT residents/Ratepayers in some way, shape or form. The sad thing is that they vote too.

When u can no longer afford to live in the ACT due to ACT Labor/Greens Annual Rates increases of 10% avg.pa forever levies, $ wasted by ACT Labor/Greens on such things as the Tram and same sex marriage laws, etc, Im sure when u too have to move across the border, you are going to meet heaps of other ex Canberrians in the street.

madelini said :

rommeldog56 said :

creative_canberran said :

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

” But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less. “

So, the predictable and forewarned defeat of the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t same sex marriage laws was seen as “a positive outcome” ?

Nice spin. No, its not even spin. Its just propaganda.

” But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.”

No one claimed that it “broke the bank. Rather that is was a scandalous waste of Ratepayers $ – there is an opportunity cost.

Is there any other way you can minimise the impact on the budget ? maybe divide the 0.000000001% between each Ratepayer/resident to get it down lower ??

At the end of the day, it was $800,000.00 +, totally wasted – unless u are a lawyer of course.

It’s not ratepayers money. It’s government money. You don’t like the way it’s spent, then feel free to move over the border and feel free to know that your monies are going towards the Opal card rollout.

I would rather the local government spend that money and ensure that the argument stays in the public consciousness, and I commend them for what they did. Clearly it wasn’t in vain – South Australia today introduced a bill to do the same.

No they didn’t.

South Australia has brought in a relationships register to cover some of the legal issues mentioned on this thread. This type of solution is actually the end point of this argument, where “marriage” as a quasi civil, social and religious insituition gets removed entirely from federal law and is replaced by civil unions. Good to see you support it.

rommeldog56 said :

creative_canberran said :

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

” But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less. “

So, the predictable and forewarned defeat of the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t same sex marriage laws was seen as “a positive outcome” ?

Nice spin. No, its not even spin. Its just propaganda.

” But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.”

No one claimed that it “broke the bank. Rather that is was a scandalous waste of Ratepayers $ – there is an opportunity cost.

Is there any other way you can minimise the impact on the budget ? maybe divide the 0.000000001% between each Ratepayer/resident to get it down lower ??

At the end of the day, it was $800,000.00 +, totally wasted – unless u are a lawyer of course.

It’s not ratepayers money. It’s government money. You don’t like the way it’s spent, then feel free to move over the border and feel free to know that your monies are going towards the Opal card rollout.

I would rather the local government spend that money and ensure that the argument stays in the public consciousness, and I commend them for what they did. Clearly it wasn’t in vain – South Australia today introduced a bill to do the same.

No_Nose said :

Well the whole concept of marriage is now officially over anyway. I mean, if Brad and Angelina can’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us.

Vale Brangelina, you will be missed.

gooterz said :

madelini said :

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

Why will it have an impact on married couples and children? Will existing marriages suddenly be annulled? Will their legally binding agreement seem less important if more people can make their own decisions? What impact will there be on children, and why will it be more severe than the current divorce rate?

I also do not understand your reference to marriages between related persons. Can you please explain the similarity between that and same sex relationships?

Family unit is the unit that raises and gives DNA to children. Children grow up being around those that share similar ability. Dad / Mum are likely to have similar interests sporting ability and illnesses. Marriage is a foundation of monogamy which gives the atomic family holding together two monogamous people together. A law which has been around for almost 4000 years. [Code of Hammurabi]

Marriage ‘equality’ is about disregarding gender as an attribute of a relationship, in the interests of a minority. On the other hand 1/3 of the worlds population live in cultures that supports polygamy. So it would be naïve to suggest that that also won’t be on the cards as soon as the same sex marriage debate has finished. With the precedent set that there nothing to stop marriage being obsolete.

The problem with the same sex marriage debate is that its really just a force to try and get acceptance of same sex couples, however flawed in that legalisation wont force public opinion. The inevitable outcome will be like the USA, where anyone found not treating SSM couples like other married couples is fined and forced to go on learning treatments.

Given the slippery slope we’re either going to unfairly target individuals or completely devalue marriage. Marriage deficient societies end up terrible, look at both the USA and UK, gun violence and the number of inmates whom come from broken homes.

There is much more too it than equality, only merely has to study the history behind marriage to find out why. As much as different religions has helped get us into society so has marriage.

As I said before we should remove marriage completely from law eventually but it needs to be done gracefully. Jumping into same sex marriage isn’t being graceful at all.

Note: I’m agnostic and don’t follow any religion.

Your point about agnosticism is noted, although the argument about marriage that I make is not anything to do with the religious point of view. Given that many, many marriages in Australia today do not take place in a religious ceremony, I think we can safely leave that argument for people who subscribe to any particular faith base.

Given that families are no longer restricted to Mum/Dad/2.5 kids, I don’t think that the DNA argument has much of a weigh in. For example, if a couple have fertility issues and use a donor sperm and egg, does that mean that they don’t count as a real family? If two people adopt children for whatever reason, are they also barred from that definition? Single parent families? Gay couples where one partner is biologically related to any offspring, but parental duties are shared? It has been a long time since anyone has been shocked by deviations from the nuclear family model.

I don’t buy the slippery slope argument. I think that there is a certain amount of rationality that we can expect the Australian public to have, and really, my concern at your comment wasn’t so much about polygamous marriages as incestual ones. I am ambivalent about polygamy, as long as if the partners are of differing genders that they have equal standing in the relationship.

I think there should be fines for treating same sex couples differently from other couples, because the act of doing so is an act of discrimination. You mention the UK and the US as marriage deficient societies, but given that Australia does not exactly have a squeaky clean reputation (see: one punch assaults, domestic violence epidemic, the ice scourge, gun violence including murders in Canberra over the years, etc) and a divorce rate of one in three, I wonder that we are not already included in your examples. But then, isn’t a marriage deficient society what you were arguing for? I am sorry if I misunderstood.

Marriage has always evolved. In some ancient societies, the couple being married would not be able to consent, and later, the woman was a part of the property and came along with her dowry. It is only relatively recently that it has been romanticised in the Western world. Marriage equality is the next step in the evolutionary process of marriage. If you don’t like it, then you are under no obligation to ever get married – unlike in history, it is now an act that you must consent to. Your dislike of marriage as an institution should have no weighing on allowing people to have equal and legal rights.

creative_canberran said :

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

” But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less. ” So, the predictable and forewarned defeat of the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t same sex marriage laws was seen as “a positive outcome” ? Nice spin. No, its not even spin. Its just propaganda.

” But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.” No one claimed that it “broke the bank. Rather that is was a scandalous waste of Ratepayers $ – there is an opportunity cost. Is there any other way you can minimise the impact on the budget ? maybe divide the 0.000000001% between each Ratepayer/resident to get it down lower ?? At the end of the day, it was $800,000.00 +, totally wasted – unless u are a lawyer of course.

Well the whole concept of marriage is now officially over anyway. I mean, if Brad and Angelina can’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us.

creative_canberran3:57 pm 21 Sep 16

Mysteryman said :

No, it’s not. It’s really quite simple; if the states make a law that contradicts one made by the commonwealth on an issue outlined in S.51 as being one of the powers of the commonwealth, the state’s law will be overridden.

No it’s really not that simple. You would need to ignore s 109 and the vast body of High Court interpretation since to make it that simple.

BUT

You would also need to ignore that the ACT has unique inconsistency provision to the states by virtue of s 28 of our Self Government Act. That provision had never before been tested and is a vital question of to what extent the ACT can legislate for itself.

That’s also why no other states joined, aside from some obvious political reasons too.

Mysteryman said :

It was not a clever argument. At all. It was doomed to begin with, because anyone reading the Marriage Act could see it left no room for any other interpretation of marriage. The High Court’s judgement confirmed what everyone already knew (including the other states who were obviously smart enough not to wasting their time and money). Every legal expert worth their salt knew it was a pointless exercise. It wasn’t a “clever” argument, it was a cheap attempt to score political points. And it cost us nearly $1m in the process.

You know I bet someone said the exact same thing when Mabo reached the High Court. Expensive, doomed to failure, will never work.

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

creative_canberran said :

Nilrem said :

Hang on. The ACT legislation was overturned because the Commonwealth retained the right to overturn it in the ACT’s self government legislation. It had nothing to do with the ACT legislation breaching the Constitution.

The Commonwealth does have a unique right in the ACT to directly override legislation. However the High Court’s decision rested on s 51 and whether concurrent power existed under the Constitution. Please refer to the published decision of the court, available for free via Austlii.

.

Mysteryman said :

They absolutely knew it was in contravention. Why do you think other states Section 51 is very clear that marriage legislation is the dominion of the commonwealth, not the states. Any state/territory legislation that conflicts with the federal legislation will be struck down. It was obvious that the ACT law would fail the moment it was introduced.

No, that’s totally misreading the nuance of concurrent powers. It’s not so simple as if the Commonwealth legislates in an area, the states lose power. The scope of the power has to be particularised.

No, it’s not. It’s really quite simple; if the states make a law that contradicts one made by the commonwealth on an issue outlined in S.51 as being one of the powers of the commonwealth, the state’s law will be overridden. That’s what happened, and that’s exactly what everyone knew would happen, because because there was no grey-area in the Marriage Act, or the Commonwealth’s power to legislate it. The Marriage Act is clear that the definition of marriage leaves no room for interpretations other than man+woman. Read it. The Territory attempted to create a different definition and it was struck down for being in conflict with the federal Marriage Act.

creative_canberran said :

The ACT contended that because the Commonwealth had legislated for hetero-sexual marriage in 2004, that it left space under s 51 for states/territories to legislate for other forms of marriage, thus particularising the extent of commonwealth power as relating to heterosexual marriage only. It was an interesting argument, even clever, but not a strong one.

It was not a clever argument. At all. It was doomed to begin with, because anyone reading the Marriage Act could see it left no room for any other interpretation of marriage. The High Court’s judgement confirmed what everyone already knew (including the other states who were obviously smart enough not to wasting their time and money). Every legal expert worth their salt knew it was a pointless exercise. It wasn’t a “clever” argument, it was a cheap attempt to score political points. And it cost us nearly $1m in the process.

creative_canberran11:58 pm 20 Sep 16

Nilrem said :

Hang on. The ACT legislation was overturned because the Commonwealth retained the right to overturn it in the ACT’s self government legislation. It had nothing to do with the ACT legislation breaching the Constitution.

The Commonwealth does have a unique right in the ACT to directly override legislation. However the High Court’s decision rested on s 51 and whether concurrent power existed under the Constitution. Please refer to the published decision of the court, available for free via Austlii.

.

Mysteryman said :

They absolutely knew it was in contravention. Why do you think other states Section 51 is very clear that marriage legislation is the dominion of the commonwealth, not the states. Any state/territory legislation that conflicts with the federal legislation will be struck down. It was obvious that the ACT law would fail the moment it was introduced.

No, that’s totally misreading the nuance of concurrent powers. It’s not so simple as if the Commonwealth legislates in an area, the states lose power. The scope of the power has to be particularised.

The ACT contended that because the Commonwealth had legislated for hetero-sexual marriage in 2004, that it left space under s 51 for states/territories to legislate for other forms of marriage, thus particularising the extent of commonwealth power as relating to heterosexual marriage only. It was an interesting argument, even clever, but not a strong one.

As I said in a previous post, marriage and law are linked because of the essential effect marriage has on things like estate law, tax law and family law obviously. And the Commonwealth among its arguments in the High Court case pointed out the ridiculous and unworkable effect having different conceptions of marriage at state and Commonwealth levels would have in practice for laws that rely on marriage in those areas.

The High Court ultimately decided that the Commonwealth had legislated to an extent that all marriage was within the scope of the power, because the law was just as much about defining heterosexual marriage as it was about ensuring a uniform national conception of marriage. And that national conception of marriage can exclude or include homosexual marriage at the Parliament’s will.

pink little birdie10:46 pm 20 Sep 16

justin heywood said :

pink little birdie said :

The nuclear family has only been around a few generations previously to that even in western countries often the women and children were separated from the men….

? I’d love to see your link to that little bit of information!

Ok I looked it up. Apparently until recently (last decade) the prevailing theory of nuclear families was related to industrialisation. Now however there is evidence of nuclear families dating back to the 13th century English working class (however not the landed gentry which is how English history is most commonly discussed.
However this is limited to North and Western European cultures. China and India are currently moving slightly to more nuclear families as people move to for economic opportunities.

Here’s a few interesting links:
https://aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-32/extended-family-australia
http://family-studies.org/the-real-roots-of-the-nuclear-family/
http://www.historyfuturenow.com/wp/why-the-nuclear-family-needs-to-die-in-order-for-us-to-live/ – US focused but gives the history and some interesting arguments.

But I’m still an advocate of same sex marriage and it being termed marriage and not by another name.
The kids of my same sex friends are going to do just as well as my kids because we are similarly educated, similar socioeconomic status and all are wanted children – Probably more open minded and with more opportunities because the parents are being scrutinised much more than than I will be as a straight, married, Caucasian appearing, woman in the 25-34 age bracket.
(and also marriage isn’t about children anyway)

justin heywood8:21 pm 20 Sep 16

pink little birdie said :

The nuclear family has only been around a few generations previously to that even in western countries often the women and children were separated from the men….

? I’d love to see your link to that little bit of information!

pink little birdie said :

chewy14 said :

devils_advocate said :

creative_canberran said :

Would have to remove 4 centuries of common law precedent in the process. Because as they discover hundreds of years ago, marriage and the laws of the state are inseparable. Marriage impacts everything from succession law to tax law.

Well, yes, the whole point of this discussion is about legal reform. We know what the law is, the question is whether it’s still relevant in today’s society. I disagree that marriage and the law are inseparable. Women are no longer ‘chattels’, we don’t need any presumptions about parenthood (we have DNA testing for that), women can and frequently do obtain employment by themselves, so ‘abandonment’ and spousal maintenance is a relic of history.

There are plenty of other mechanisms whereby people can pass on their property or superannuation entitlements. But as creative_canberran has said far more eloquently and succinctly: “Just remove marriage from the law”.

As I’ve said above, I agree with this.

The idea that “marriage” and the laws of the state are inseparable is completely wrong.

What exact laws of the state could not be covered by a civil union register where people could register any relationship(s) they want?

For what reason should the state be providing celebrants to solemnise people’s relationships if it’s solely a legal contractual issue?

Proponents of same sex marriage always talk about recognising equal “love” without realising they’re actually providing the reasons why marriage shouldn’t exist as a state institution in the first place.

Cover the legal contractual issues in the same way you would other contracts and then people can have their own ceremonies as they wish, without state involvement, support or sanction.

Same sex marriage proponents should be happy, religioug people should be happy, everybody should be happy.

I’m really not sure how that would work. Given that the legal status of marriage provides rights in many countries even as a visitor.
Yes there are some countries that gay people will not visit/or should not visit due to their current laws. however they are also often the same countries defacto/non married straight couples would have similar but lessor issues in (no sharing hotel rooms, difficulties in arising medical and death issues).

Australia is a pretty tolerant country but you saw what happened in Adelaide when one partner of a UK married couple on their honeymoon unfortunately passed. Although legally married in their home country the next of kin rights were not available to his husband.
So Removing marriage from law makes travelling to Australia and travelling outside Australia difficult. That is essentially why it would continue to be called marriage within and internationally. It is a recognised legal status.

Also I would assume you are a lawyer who wants more work because the legal concepts automatically applied to marriage in Australia would be quite a money maker if people were required to go through lawyers to arrange (property, next of kin, inheritance). I understand that power of attorney is a separate thing but if it’s not arranged prior to need marriage makes it much easier to arrange.

The civil union register would provide those benefits without state involvement in the ceremonial or social aspects of a marriage for which they should not be involved.
If this debate tells you anything, its that they shouldn’t be giving state imprimatur to certain relationship types. If you argue they should, you have no more logical basis than the religious people who claim homosexuals shouldn’t be able to get married because God says so.

If your best argument for marriage is that other countries have it and it gives us special rights abroad, then it’s not a very good one.

pink little birdie said :

Violence is never ok. I often see people bringing up that Muslims are being violent towards Christians in the Middle East but there is no mention that Christians are being violent towards Muslims in Africa.

Can you give some examples?

pink little birdie5:28 pm 20 Sep 16

gooterz said :

Family unit is the unit that raises and gives DNA to children. Children grow up being around those that share similar ability. Dad / Mum are likely to have similar interests sporting ability and illnesses. Marriage is a foundation of monogamy which gives the atomic family holding together two monogamous people together. A law which has been around for almost 4000 years. [Code of Hammurabi]

Marriage ‘equality’ is about disregarding gender as an attribute of a relationship, in the interests of a minority. On the other hand 1/3 of the worlds population live in cultures that supports polygamy. So it would be naïve to suggest that that also won’t be on the cards as soon as the same sex marriage debate has finished. With the precedent set that there nothing to stop marriage being obsolete.

The problem with the same sex marriage debate is that its really just a force to try and get acceptance of same sex couples, however flawed in that legalisation wont force public opinion. The inevitable outcome will be like the USA, where anyone found not treating SSM couples like other married couples is fined and forced to go on learning treatments.

There is much more too it than equality, only merely has to study the history behind marriage to find out why. As much as different religions has helped get us into society so has marriage.
.

The nuclear family has only been around a few generations previously to that even in western countries often the women and children were separated from the men. Quite often until the child reached puberty.
There have been marriage like unions in all cultures prior to religious contact – these have not excluded same sex marriages.

Also we hear lots from the USA about the negative effects on businesses who are religious but they are all in contradiction of their discrimination act. We don’t hear how of similar issues in New Zealand, Canada, UK or any other country that has legalised same sex marriage.
I’m Straight married and I really can’t see any impact on my marriage or anyone else’s if same sex couples are allowed to get married. If they are friends I get to celebrate their love and commitment to each other. If they aren’t I don’t. this applies to straight couples also.
I also have to say making that formal and legal commitment of marriage in front of my family and friends to my partner was a pretty amazing experience. I don’t see why that experience shouldn’t be extended to 2 consenting adults who meet the other criteria (18+, not currently legally married, not coerced) and willing to make that legal commitment to each other.

pink little birdie said :

Masquara said :

I’m pro gay marriage and I am an agnostic on the plebiscite. I did notice, however, that the first “haters” have, surprisingly to me, not been the anti- side, but Marriage Equality forcing a hotel to close down a meeting where anti-gay-marriage advocates were going to meet and discuss the issue. According to the hotel, threats of violence were made. On a planet where Christians are burned alive in churches in the Middle East, and are the most persecuted people in that region, hearing about Christians being bullied makes me uncomfortable. Then it begs the question: how do you oppose such bullies, knowing that you will be accused of homophobia?

Violence is never ok. I often see people bringing up that Muslims are being violent towards Christians in the Middle East but there is no mention that Christians are being violent towards Muslims in Africa.

Well, now that you have mentioned it, how about you back it up with overwhelming evidence?

pink little birdie4:51 pm 20 Sep 16

Masquara said :

I’m pro gay marriage and I am an agnostic on the plebiscite. I did notice, however, that the first “haters” have, surprisingly to me, not been the anti- side, but Marriage Equality forcing a hotel to close down a meeting where anti-gay-marriage advocates were going to meet and discuss the issue. According to the hotel, threats of violence were made. On a planet where Christians are burned alive in churches in the Middle East, and are the most persecuted people in that region, hearing about Christians being bullied makes me uncomfortable. Then it begs the question: how do you oppose such bullies, knowing that you will be accused of homophobia?

Violence is never ok. I often see people bringing up that Muslims are being violent towards Christians in the Middle East but there is no mention that Christians are being violent towards Muslims in Africa.

devils_advocate4:39 pm 20 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

gooterz said :

As I said before we should remove marriage completely from law eventually but it needs to be done gracefully.

That is an unworkable idea. It will lead to an untenable situation in society where marriages of different religions and creeds will occur that are repugnant to national and international norms, and offer none of the benefits and security of state recognition and regulation.

Well that’s fairly easily dispense with by counter example – if you want to apply for a spousal visa, showing a marriage certificate will not determine the matter, you still have to prove there is a genuine relationship. Conversely, not having a marriage certificate doesn’t affect the outcome – you just have to prove there is a ‘marriage-like’ relationship.

Unless you’re being sarcastic, it’s a bit hard to tell. “marriages of different religions and creeds will occur that are repugnant to national and international norms” – what does that mean exactly?

pink little birdie4:35 pm 20 Sep 16

chewy14 said :

devils_advocate said :

creative_canberran said :

Would have to remove 4 centuries of common law precedent in the process. Because as they discover hundreds of years ago, marriage and the laws of the state are inseparable. Marriage impacts everything from succession law to tax law.

Well, yes, the whole point of this discussion is about legal reform. We know what the law is, the question is whether it’s still relevant in today’s society. I disagree that marriage and the law are inseparable. Women are no longer ‘chattels’, we don’t need any presumptions about parenthood (we have DNA testing for that), women can and frequently do obtain employment by themselves, so ‘abandonment’ and spousal maintenance is a relic of history.

There are plenty of other mechanisms whereby people can pass on their property or superannuation entitlements. But as creative_canberran has said far more eloquently and succinctly: “Just remove marriage from the law”.

As I’ve said above, I agree with this.

The idea that “marriage” and the laws of the state are inseparable is completely wrong.

What exact laws of the state could not be covered by a civil union register where people could register any relationship(s) they want?

For what reason should the state be providing celebrants to solemnise people’s relationships if it’s solely a legal contractual issue?

Proponents of same sex marriage always talk about recognising equal “love” without realising they’re actually providing the reasons why marriage shouldn’t exist as a state institution in the first place.

Cover the legal contractual issues in the same way you would other contracts and then people can have their own ceremonies as they wish, without state involvement, support or sanction.

Same sex marriage proponents should be happy, religioug people should be happy, everybody should be happy.

I’m really not sure how that would work. Given that the legal status of marriage provides rights in many countries even as a visitor.
Yes there are some countries that gay people will not visit/or should not visit due to their current laws. however they are also often the same countries defacto/non married straight couples would have similar but lessor issues in (no sharing hotel rooms, difficulties in arising medical and death issues).

Australia is a pretty tolerant country but you saw what happened in Adelaide when one partner of a UK married couple on their honeymoon unfortunately passed. Although legally married in their home country the next of kin rights were not available to his husband.
So Removing marriage from law makes travelling to Australia and travelling outside Australia difficult. That is essentially why it would continue to be called marriage within and internationally. It is a recognised legal status.

Also I would assume you are a lawyer who wants more work because the legal concepts automatically applied to marriage in Australia would be quite a money maker if people were required to go through lawyers to arrange (property, next of kin, inheritance). I understand that power of attorney is a separate thing but if it’s not arranged prior to need marriage makes it much easier to arrange.

devils_advocate said :

I know why the HC ruled the way it did, and that’s fine. But IMHO it was a reasonable question to be tried.

So did just about every Lawyer and commentator in the country warn that it would fail. As I recall, even the then PM said that the Feds would over rule the ACT same sex marriage laws.

That doomed exercise by the Barr ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t cost ACT Ratepayers $800,000+. Given the advice, that cost is not justifiable as “a reasonable question to be tried”.

devils_advocate said :

creative_canberran said :

Would have to remove 4 centuries of common law precedent in the process. Because as they discover hundreds of years ago, marriage and the laws of the state are inseparable. Marriage impacts everything from succession law to tax law.

Well, yes, the whole point of this discussion is about legal reform. We know what the law is, the question is whether it’s still relevant in today’s society. I disagree that marriage and the law are inseparable. Women are no longer ‘chattels’, we don’t need any presumptions about parenthood (we have DNA testing for that), women can and frequently do obtain employment by themselves, so ‘abandonment’ and spousal maintenance is a relic of history.

There are plenty of other mechanisms whereby people can pass on their property or superannuation entitlements. But as creative_canberran has said far more eloquently and succinctly: “Just remove marriage from the law”.

As I’ve said above, I agree with this.

The idea that “marriage” and the laws of the state are inseparable is completely wrong.

What exact laws of the state could not be covered by a civil union register where people could register any relationship(s) they want?

For what reason should the state be providing celebrants to solemnise people’s relationships if it’s solely a legal contractual issue?

Proponents of same sex marriage always talk about recognising equal “love” without realising they’re actually providing the reasons why marriage shouldn’t exist as a state institution in the first place.

Cover the legal contractual issues in the same way you would other contracts and then people can have their own ceremonies as they wish, without state involvement, support or sanction.

Same sex marriage proponents should be happy, religioug people should be happy, everybody should be happy.

devils_advocate said :

Mysteryman said :

The high court ruled that the federal Parliament has the constitutional power to legislate on same-sex marriage, not the states/territories. The ACT made a law in contravention of that, and it was struck down.

It wasn’t that cut and dried. The Commonwealth legislation defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. The question was, whether that definition was to the exclusion of all other meanings. As a pure matter of logical construction, saying that a concept includes A does not mean it cannot include B. I know why the HC ruled the way it did, and that’s fine. But IMHO it was a reasonable question to be tried.

And the ACT government knew, as did nearly all of us with any insight into the issue, that the answer was “yes, the definition excluded all other meanings”. It was pretty straight forward. Reading the Marriage Act it is very clear that marriage is defined to be a male and female union only. Which is why the High Court stated:

“The Marriage Act provides that a marriage can be solemnised in Australia only
between a man and a woman…That Act is a comprehensive and
exhaustive statement of the law of marriage”.

Any other law introduced by a state or territory that defined marriage differently was always going to be in conflict with the federal law, and would be quashed. The ACT Government tried hard to make it sound like there was enough ambiguity to waste taxpayer time and money on a challenge, but there wasn’t.

devils_advocate11:47 am 20 Sep 16

Mysteryman said :

The high court ruled that the federal Parliament has the constitutional power to legislate on same-sex marriage, not the states/territories. The ACT made a law in contravention of that, and it was struck down.

It wasn’t that cut and dried. The Commonwealth legislation defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. The question was, whether that definition was to the exclusion of all other meanings. As a pure matter of logical construction, saying that a concept includes A does not mean it cannot include B. I know why the HC ruled the way it did, and that’s fine. But IMHO it was a reasonable question to be tried.

devils_advocate11:44 am 20 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

Would have to remove 4 centuries of common law precedent in the process. Because as they discover hundreds of years ago, marriage and the laws of the state are inseparable. Marriage impacts everything from succession law to tax law.

Well, yes, the whole point of this discussion is about legal reform. We know what the law is, the question is whether it’s still relevant in today’s society. I disagree that marriage and the law are inseparable. Women are no longer ‘chattels’, we don’t need any presumptions about parenthood (we have DNA testing for that), women can and frequently do obtain employment by themselves, so ‘abandonment’ and spousal maintenance is a relic of history.

There are plenty of other mechanisms whereby people can pass on their property or superannuation entitlements. But as creative_canberran has said far more eloquently and succinctly: “Just remove marriage from the law”.

Nilrem said :

Masquara said :

I’m pro gay marriage and I am an agnostic on the plebiscite. I did notice, however, that the first “haters” have, surprisingly to me, not been the anti- side, but Marriage Equality forcing a hotel to close down a meeting where anti-gay-marriage advocates were going to meet and discuss the issue. According to the hotel, threats of violence were made. On a planet where Christians are burned alive in churches in the Middle East, and are the most persecuted people in that region, hearing about Christians being bullied makes me uncomfortable. Then it begs the question: how do you oppose such bullies, knowing that you will be accused of homophobia?

These aren’t your garden-variety Christians. These Christians are obsessed with the homosexual sex act, and have done plenty of their own hating. Think about this before getting sanctimonious about “haters”.

And we’re supposed to take your word for it, why? Before jumping to the defence of the hateful, vile, extreme left, maybe you ought to take a look at the horrible things they are saying and doing to anyone who disagrees with them.

creative_canberran said :

Mysteryman said :

The right to marry in the ACT was nothing more than an idiotic political stunt by a Labor government that knew they were in contravention of the Constitution. And they blew nearly $1m fighting a legal battle they knew was lost before it began. And for what? Many of their federal counterparts, including Gillard, also voted against SSM when they had the opportunity to pass it. Stop trying to re-write history, John.

They didn’t know it to be a contravention of the Constitution because the marriage power is one of the powers that is concurrent in the Constitution between state and commonwealth. It was an interesting constitutional case that clarified the extent to which commonwealth had legislated to the exclusion of the states and territories, and it’s through cases like that that we find out what is and isn’t so under the Constitution.

They absolutely knew it was in contravention. Why do you think other states Section 51 is very clear that marriage legislation is the dominion of the commonwealth, not the states. Any state/territory legislation that conflicts with the federal legislation will be struck down. It was obvious that the ACT law would fail the moment it was introduced. Don’t you think it was strange that the Labor government waited until their federal counterparts were out of government before they introduced the bill? They knew it wouldn’t fly so they used it to paint the newly elected Liberal government as evil homophobes. It was pathetic.

Nilrem said :

Hang on. The ACT legislation was overturned because the Commonwealth retained the right to overturn it in the ACT’s self government legislation. It had nothing to do with the ACT legislation breaching the Constitution.

No it wasn’t. Section 51 of the constitution outlines which areas/issues the commonwealth can legislate, and it determines that the commonwealth laws override those of the states/territories regarding these issues – including marriage. The ACT law was struck down for being in conflict with the federal marriage legislation.

From the high court:

“Today the High Court decided unanimously that the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013,
enacted by the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, cannot operate
concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961. The Court held that the federal Parliament has
power under the Australian Constitution to legislate with respect to same sex marriage, and that
under the Constitution and federal law as it now stands, whether same sex marriage should be
provided for by law is a matter for the federal Parliament.”

The high court ruled that the federal Parliament has the constitutional power to legislate on same-sex marriage, not the states/territories. The ACT made a law in contravention of that, and it was struck down.

Nilrem said :

Masquara said :

I’m pro gay marriage and I am an agnostic on the plebiscite. I did notice, however, that the first “haters” have, surprisingly to me, not been the anti- side, but Marriage Equality forcing a hotel to close down a meeting where anti-gay-marriage advocates were going to meet and discuss the issue. According to the hotel, threats of violence were made. On a planet where Christians are burned alive in churches in the Middle East, and are the most persecuted people in that region, hearing about Christians being bullied makes me uncomfortable. Then it begs the question: how do you oppose such bullies, knowing that you will be accused of homophobia?

These aren’t your garden-variety Christians. These Christians are obsessed with the homosexual sex act, and have done plenty of their own hating. Think about this before getting sanctimonious about “haters”.

Interesting article in today’s Canberra Times authored by someone who appears to either be an expert on or apologist for the homosexual act:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/queensland-conservatives-behind-the-times-20160919-grj9zt.html

Masquara said :

I’m pro gay marriage and I am an agnostic on the plebiscite. I did notice, however, that the first “haters” have, surprisingly to me, not been the anti- side, but Marriage Equality forcing a hotel to close down a meeting where anti-gay-marriage advocates were going to meet and discuss the issue. According to the hotel, threats of violence were made. On a planet where Christians are burned alive in churches in the Middle East, and are the most persecuted people in that region, hearing about Christians being bullied makes me uncomfortable. Then it begs the question: how do you oppose such bullies, knowing that you will be accused of homophobia?

These aren’t your garden-variety Christians. These Christians are obsessed with the homosexual sex act, and have done plenty of their own hating. Think about this before getting sanctimonious about “haters”.

Mysteryman said :

“Why can’t the elected representatives just get on with it and vote and change the legislation”.

They have voted. Numerous times. It failed every time.

“Well that didn’t stop them just legislating against the euthanasia laws of the NT or the right to marry in the ACT!”

The right to marry in the ACT was nothing more than an idiotic political stunt by a Labor government that knew they were in contravention of the Constitution. And they blew nearly $1m fighting a legal battle they knew was lost before it began. And for what? Many of their federal counterparts, including Gillard, also voted against SSM when they had the opportunity to pass it. Stop trying to re-write history, John.

“All this plebiscite will do is to give a platform for denigration, discrimination, diminution and will give the anti-LBGTQI movement a platform to cast doubt on the legitimacy of relationships and wreak pain and suffering on so many people.”

I assume you haven’t bothered to look at the hateful, bigoted, slanderous tweets about the issue? They are almost entirely coming from the left, and those in favour of SSM. As usual, they’ve taken the authoritarian approach of “agree with us or we’ll vilify you”. It’s abhorrent and they should be ashamed of themselves. Hate speech on the issue of SSM is already alive and thriving, and it’s entirely the doing of the SSM advocates – particularly those in politics.

Hang on. The ACT legislation was overturned because the Commonwealth retained the right to overturn it in the ACT’s self government legislation. It had nothing to do with the ACT legislation breaching the Constitution.

creative_canberran12:36 am 20 Sep 16

gooterz said :

Family unit is the unit that raises and gives DNA to children. Children grow up being around those that share similar ability. Dad / Mum are likely to have similar interests sporting ability and illnesses. Marriage is a foundation of monogamy which gives the atomic family holding together two monogamous people together. A law which has been around for almost 4000 years. [Code of Hammurabi]

That’s a very white anglo view of marriage. Look at indigenous culture and you see family is wider than just the direct contribution of DNA.

Interestingly you cite the Code of Hammurabai as a basis for the nuclear family, built on a man and a woman. Did you know that under that code, ‘surrogacy’ was allowed and the child was to be treated the same as if it were born by the wife (who btw was property of her parents).

Btw because the woman was property and the marriage a contract, only the husband had the right to end the marriage. Society’s conception of marriage has evolved, and no longer do we accept that women are bound as property in marriage. It makes sense the conception of marriage should evolve in other ways as society does.

gooterz said :

Marriage ‘equality’ is about disregarding gender as an attribute of a relationship, in the interests of a minority. On the other hand 1/3 of the worlds population live in cultures that supports polygamy. So it would be naïve to suggest that that also won’t be on the cards as soon as the same sex marriage debate has finished. With the precedent set that there nothing to stop marriage being obsolete.

Australian law has already changed extensively to grant same-sex couples and de-facto couples most of the same rights as traditional married couples. Same-sex marriage really has no effect in terms of substance of law, it’s about recognition of the equality of the partnership. Frankly marriage is already somewhat obsolete when you look at divorce rates, the number of married couples who are childless by choice and so on.

gooterz said :

The problem with the same sex marriage debate is that its really just a force to try and get acceptance of same sex couples, however flawed in that legalisation wont force public opinion. The inevitable outcome will be like the USA, where anyone found not treating SSM couples like other married couples is fined and forced to go on learning treatments.

Entering the realm of bigotry and conspiracy theory now with that comment. Learning treatments? Nope. Fined, yes if a business has discriminated against customers. Also fined and jailed if in the case of a government official, they let their own religion interfere with conduct of public duties. All justified under law.

Nothing about SSM is forcing acceptance of same-sex couples, because majorities in western countries have already accepted it. Further acceptance is inevitable because portrayals in media normalise it, and generally speaking support runs along age demographics, so younger people accept it more.

gooterz said :

There is much more too it than equality, only merely has to study the history behind marriage to find out why. As much as different religions has helped get us into society so has marriage.

Marriage reflects society, that’s why an emperor in Rome decreed who could and could not get married according to his ideal racial mix. That’s why a priest in Sydney once wrote to the SMH that a marriage in The Rocks between a white farmer’s daughter and an aboriginal labourer was doomed to failure because Aborigines couldn’t understand the vows of marriage. (Turns out they had marriage thousands of years before we did). Marriage was once for life, women the property, society moved on and deemed both those discriminatory and reprehensible. Society moves, marriage reflects society.

gooterz said :

As I said before we should remove marriage completely from law eventually but it needs to be done gracefully.

That is an unworkable idea. It will lead to an untenable situation in society where marriages of different religions and creeds will occur that are repugnant to national and international norms, and offer none of the benefits and security of state recognition and regulation.

gooterz said :

Note: I’m agnostic and don’t follow any religion.

Agnostic too, and straight, so I don’t have any personal interest in this. But know people who do, and I analyse the issue rationally, and do not see any justification for now allowing SSM.

Your justifications for not allowing it seem deeply rooted in two things, conservatism, and fear (of traditional relationships being somehow made to matter less). Those are not sound reasons to oppose SSM.

madelini said :

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

Why will it have an impact on married couples and children? Will existing marriages suddenly be annulled? Will their legally binding agreement seem less important if more people can make their own decisions? What impact will there be on children, and why will it be more severe than the current divorce rate?

I also do not understand your reference to marriages between related persons. Can you please explain the similarity between that and same sex relationships?

Family unit is the unit that raises and gives DNA to children. Children grow up being around those that share similar ability. Dad / Mum are likely to have similar interests sporting ability and illnesses. Marriage is a foundation of monogamy which gives the atomic family holding together two monogamous people together. A law which has been around for almost 4000 years. [Code of Hammurabi]

Marriage ‘equality’ is about disregarding gender as an attribute of a relationship, in the interests of a minority. On the other hand 1/3 of the worlds population live in cultures that supports polygamy. So it would be naïve to suggest that that also won’t be on the cards as soon as the same sex marriage debate has finished. With the precedent set that there nothing to stop marriage being obsolete.

The problem with the same sex marriage debate is that its really just a force to try and get acceptance of same sex couples, however flawed in that legalisation wont force public opinion. The inevitable outcome will be like the USA, where anyone found not treating SSM couples like other married couples is fined and forced to go on learning treatments.

Given the slippery slope we’re either going to unfairly target individuals or completely devalue marriage. Marriage deficient societies end up terrible, look at both the USA and UK, gun violence and the number of inmates whom come from broken homes.

There is much more too it than equality, only merely has to study the history behind marriage to find out why. As much as different religions has helped get us into society so has marriage.

As I said before we should remove marriage completely from law eventually but it needs to be done gracefully. Jumping into same sex marriage isn’t being graceful at all.

Note: I’m agnostic and don’t follow any religion.

If you want true separation of church and state, why is the state solemnising people’s relationships in the first place?

Why on earth should the state be providing celebrants for what should be a solely civil contractual matter that could just as easily be fixed with a civil union register for which anyone can register any relationship(s) they want to cover legal issues like property rights.

Unless you’re saying marriage is more than the civil, secular institution you make it out that is? What exactly do you see as the state’s role?

With regards to the plebiscite, the Liberals took it to the election as their policy and won. They should follow through. If you don’t agree and think that the parliament should decide the issue, then they have done so previously, you just didnt agree with the result.

The plebiscite should be an easy win for the Yes side and will force the government’s hand to act when the Yes vote wins by a landslide. If you want same sex marriage in the next few years, you would support the plebiscite. If you want to play political games or care more about the $150 million price tag, you would oppose it.

Masquara said :

I’m pro gay marriage and I am an agnostic on the plebiscite. I did notice, however, that the first “haters” have, surprisingly to me, not been the anti- side, but Marriage Equality forcing a hotel to close down a meeting where anti-gay-marriage advocates were going to meet and discuss the issue. According to the hotel, threats of violence were made. On a planet where Christians are burned alive in churches in the Middle East, and are the most persecuted people in that region, hearing about Christians being bullied makes me uncomfortable. Then it begs the question: how do you oppose such bullies, knowing that you will be accused of homophobia?

Its almost as though the pro same sex marriage proponents are concerned that a plebiscite will not return a “Yes” vote, so are making lots of noise and shouting down anyone who disagrees with them.

I’m pro gay marriage and I am an agnostic on the plebiscite. I did notice, however, that the first “haters” have, surprisingly to me, not been the anti- side, but Marriage Equality forcing a hotel to close down a meeting where anti-gay-marriage advocates were going to meet and discuss the issue. According to the hotel, threats of violence were made. On a planet where Christians are burned alive in churches in the Middle East, and are the most persecuted people in that region, hearing about Christians being bullied makes me uncomfortable. Then it begs the question: how do you oppose such bullies, knowing that you will be accused of homophobia?

creative_canberran5:41 pm 19 Sep 16

Well said John.

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.

Would have to remove 4 centuries of common law precedent in the process. Because as they discover hundreds of years ago, marriage and the laws of the state are inseparable. Marriage impacts everything from succession law to tax law.

rommeldog56 said :

I Disagree. There are some issues that i don’t want my “elected representatives” to vote on my behalf on, without asking me.
This is one of them.

That’s not how representative democracy works. There’s no recall power, not requirement short of constitutional change that justifies going to the people between elections. We elect representatives to make decisions on how behalf, and judge them at the next poll.

As for why this particular issue is one of the one that shouldn’t be voted on without your say, um, I don’t see why. Firstly the 2004 provisions that implemented a definition of marriage and extinguished states rights in this area didn’t go to a plebiscite, and the proposed redefinition is within the potential meaning of marriage in the Constitution which the High Court has specifically said it is for Parliament to decide to make so.

Mysteryman said :

The right to marry in the ACT was nothing more than an idiotic political stunt by a Labor government that knew they were in contravention of the Constitution. And they blew nearly $1m fighting a legal battle they knew was lost before it began. And for what? Many of their federal counterparts, including Gillard, also voted against SSM when they had the opportunity to pass it. Stop trying to re-write history, John.

They didn’t know it to be a contravention of the Constitution because the marriage power is one of the powers that is concurrent in the Constitution between state and commonwealth. It was an interesting constitutional case that clarified the extent to which commonwealth had legislated to the exclusion of the states and territories, and it’s through cases like that that we find out what is and isn’t so under the Constitution.

rommeldog56 said :

Deref said :

It’s not so much an abrogation of responsibility as an exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are doing everything they can to delay the inevitable, though Labor’s a little more subtle about it.

How so ?

The Libs plebiscite is supposed to be early 2017, if it gets through labors opposition in Parliament.

I would have thought that isn’t much of a “delay” ?

The plebiscite is nothing more than an opportunity for the bigots and homophobes to spew their hate – at our expense. The delay has given the government time to arrange to throw public funding at the completely unnecessary yes and no cases (we already know that some 70% of us want marriage equality), the, this latest delay is merely the latest – it’s probable that others will follow.

I can remember Gillard sitting next to Abbott on the front bench of the House of Reps chamber voting against gay marriage. I remember thinking that that was Gillard’s Meg Lees moment. In the same way that the photo of Lees shaking hands with Howard after doing a deal to bring in the GST was Lees and the Australian Democrats’ downfall, so too was that scene Gillard’s downfall. Unfortunately the party removed Gillard as PM because if they hadn’t she would have led Labor to a record loss against Abbott at the election rather than the modest victory Abbott had over Rudd.

justin heywood5:12 pm 19 Sep 16

Deref said :

…. exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are…

Homophobes. Again. Fruitcakes, bigots. etc. etc.

In the minds of some, anyone who doesn’t agree with them on this issue must have a personality disorder.

Unbelievably, these same people claim it’s all about tolerance.

Not to mention rank hypocrisy.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/hargreaves-gay-note-in-bad-taste-20120222-1tony.html

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

Why will it have an impact on married couples and children? Will existing marriages suddenly be annulled? Will their legally binding agreement seem less important if more people can make their own decisions? What impact will there be on children, and why will it be more severe than the current divorce rate?

I also do not understand your reference to marriages between related persons. Can you please explain the similarity between that and same sex relationships?

I am in two minds about this.

Obviously the simplest and easiest way forward is a free conscience vote by the Parliament. The fact that a plebiscite was an election promise is no longer relevant, as the Government has already started reneging on their election platform (iron-clad super reform for example), so they have shown there is no good reason they can’t flip on this too.

It does however look as though our elected representatives are not going to do the job they are paid for, so in the absence of backbone, I guess only option is to hold the expensive and pointless plebiscite.

John have you ever thought about going back into the Assembly ?
You were much jollier in those days.

Paul Costigan1:17 pm 19 Sep 16

Well said John. Good call.

For a read about what happens when you mix the secular state and religion, suggest a read of Don Watson’s essay:

https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2016/09/enemy-within

or for an extract (emphasis on fascism)

http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/don-watson-trump-and-fascism-20160822-gqy85o.html

and on how this country is “Being Turnbulled” – suggest reading this Guardian piece.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/17/malcolm-turnbull-doesnt-believe-in-marriage-equality-he-believes-in-majoritarianism

Deref said :

It’s not so much an abrogation of responsibility as an exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are doing everything they can to delay the inevitable, though Labor’s a little more subtle about it.

How so ? The Libs plebiscite is supposed to be early 2017, if it gets through labors opposition in Parliament. I would have thought that isn’t much of a “delay” ?

It’s not so much an abrogation of responsibility as an exercise in responsibility to the homophobes in their parties. Both the Liberal and Labor Parties are doing everything they can to delay the inevitable, though Labor’s a little more subtle about it.

“Why can’t the elected representatives just get on with it and vote and change the legislation”.

They have voted. Numerous times. It failed every time.

“Well that didn’t stop them just legislating against the euthanasia laws of the NT or the right to marry in the ACT!”

The right to marry in the ACT was nothing more than an idiotic political stunt by a Labor government that knew they were in contravention of the Constitution. And they blew nearly $1m fighting a legal battle they knew was lost before it began. And for what? Many of their federal counterparts, including Gillard, also voted against SSM when they had the opportunity to pass it. Stop trying to re-write history, John.

“All this plebiscite will do is to give a platform for denigration, discrimination, diminution and will give the anti-LBGTQI movement a platform to cast doubt on the legitimacy of relationships and wreak pain and suffering on so many people.”

I assume you haven’t bothered to look at the hateful, bigoted, slanderous tweets about the issue? They are almost entirely coming from the left, and those in favour of SSM. As usual, they’ve taken the authoritarian approach of “agree with us or we’ll vilify you”. It’s abhorrent and they should be ashamed of themselves. Hate speech on the issue of SSM is already alive and thriving, and it’s entirely the doing of the SSM advocates – particularly those in politics.

devils_advocate9:47 am 19 Sep 16

“No one is asking the churches, mosques, temples or other heavenly gateways to change the teachings of their founders. If the religious doctrine says “thou shalt not enter into wedlock with [insert description here]” then so be it.”

Until they do. Freedom of expression/speech/marriage is a one-way door. Progressives get the benefit of it while conservatives do not. Religious institutions will be subject to discrimination laws and will face penalties for refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Part of the reason the left is opposing the plebescite is that they are worried that in the privacy of the polling booth, people will respond differently than they do in public opinion polls.

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

justin heywood8:47 am 19 Sep 16

John Hargreaves says

“The far-right conservatives …….sanctimonious self-righteousness… bible bashing, homophobic, fruitcake bigot…far-right religious zealots…..a platform to spruik bile….”

The only name calling and bile I can see here John is by those who berate the government for asking the people’s opinion via plebiscite, which is, after all, what they said they would do.

Frankly I think any vote would reveal, as it did in Ireland, that most Australians aren’t the homophobic bigots that the chattering class would have us believe.

Having three very close relatives who are gay, one of whom who has been with his partner for 15 years, I can say from my own small survey that they don’t care about this issue half as much as the new guardians of our morality, the progressive Left.

Blen_Carmichael8:21 am 19 Sep 16

“But we’re going to give every bible bashing, homophobic, fruitcake bigot a platform to spruik bile…”

Said the doyen of tolerance.

I Disagree. There are some issues that i don’t want my “elected representatives” to vote on my behalf on, without asking me. This is one of them. But then again, Parliament can commit the nation to war without asking me I suppose – but wars hopefully come to an end. This is an enduring societal change.

Isn’t it the ALP who are denying their elected Parliamentary members a conscience vote ? Are they not required to vote to pass a same sex marriage law because its the ALP party platform/policy ?

Personally, I couldn’t care less whether same sexes can marry or not. Its been said before, but the federal Lib’s have a mandate to have a plebiscite. So, just get on with it and stop playing politics. Then the will of the people (as our elected representatives) can prevail.

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