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The Forum > Article Comments > Homophobia: a litmus test of social morality > Comments

Homophobia: a litmus test of social morality : Comments

By Noel Preston, published 27/6/2012

Amending the Marriage Act would be evidence of the social compassion every society needs to survive.

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Ho Humů More debate pitching Secular Ethics and Atheism against Religious Morality. And the delivery vehicle? Same sex marriage no surprise!
Posted by diver dan, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 9:28:31 AM
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"As a retired minister of the Uniting Church I am saddened at the lack of compassion evident in organised campaigns in the name of Christ on this matter."

As a retired minister of the Uniting Church, you must know that the Bible is very explicit on this matter. If you believe in the faith that you claim to espouse, you must not only oppose gay marriage, but insist -- as Salvation Army Major Andrew Craibe did -- that homosexuals should be put to death.

If, on the other hand, you regard that as a barbaric Bronze Age atrocity and the book which mandates it as an appalling collection of lies and bigotry, then your course is clear: abandon the daft religion which produces such ridiculous attitudes, and endorse rational and compassionate decision-making based on the facts, rather than the expressed prejudices of an imaginary deity.
Posted by Jon J, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 9:29:24 AM
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"For me, it is simply an ethical no brainer. Amending the Marriage Act would be evidence of the social compassion every society needs to survive."

I have been using my brain a lot over this matter and I find many flaws in your argument. One of the most obvious is the constantly used statement that we have accepted many other forms of relationship, therefore we have to accept this one. That is very flawed logic and, if carried through to its logical conclusion, will show that for itself.

How dare you question someone's compassion based on their view of homosexual marriage. How can you justify doing that? Ridiculous.

People have widely varying views on this matter and they should be allowed to express them freely (and appropriately) without being told they have no brain and no compassion.
Posted by rational-debate, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 9:41:42 AM
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I have said it before, but I think that it is worth saying again. The problem with this issue is that the legal/contractual aspects are being confused with the traditional/cultural.

A traditional marriage involves entering into a binding contract that imposes rights and obligations on each partner. Those legal aspects also apply to de-facto relationships (I think after two years) and so far as I know, apply as well to same-sex relationships. Certainly, if they don't they should.

The term 'marriage' has a long standing cultural and traditional meaning (perhaps a couple of thousand years or more) that reflects the views of the population. As for many other issues, the way that 'marriage' is seen is changing over time. And perhaps eventually, socially and culturally we will all become used to allowing the term to be applied to same-sex contractual relationships.

In the meantime, isn't the simple solution to separate the legal from the cultural, for example, by removing the cultural term 'marriage' from the Marriage Act?
Posted by Herbert Stencil, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:31:03 AM
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Well, given sexuality is decided by nature, in the womb, there is simply no justification for any form of homophobia! Only the incredibly ignorant or the criminally callous, would continue with this absurd archaic practise.
Julia Gillard says she will allow a conscience vote, while Tony Abbott says, he will run true to form and simply say, no, no, no never.
So any move to further liberalise the marriage act, will likely be defeated on the floor, unless some very brave and "genuine liberals", cross the floor.
I think I smell the resurrection of labour's prospects here, if Julia simply allows Her conscience vote, to occur in caucus, and then take that position to parliament's floor.
There,s enough independent good will, I believe, to see the marriage act alteration pass, so as to include every committed loving consenting adult relationship.
If it gets through the lower house, it is almost certain to pass the senate.
Tony and co, would then be wedged by their own words?
Tony could be hurt politically?
Make no mistake, his endless political posturing and negativity, is beginning to register, with voters, [even rusted on liberals,] as simply self serving, partisan, power hungry politics?
And may well come back to bite hard in the only poll that counts!
You know, if Jesus walked amongst us today, still unmarried and or preferring the almost exclusive company of men, we might ask of him, "are you gay" and or, "is that why along with your peer group, you are exceptionally caring, humane and kind, and even willing to give your very life, so that others, might live free"?
It is time the remaining Homophobes amongst us, set aside their patent Nazi like belief system, and rejoined the human race.
And or, embraced genuine Christian compassion, for a minority, who have in times past, been persecuted from the cradle to the grave, for daring to be born different!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:50:39 AM
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Very challenging article, Noel - and one which I sent onto others on my email list. Certainly we must do everything we possibly can to counter homophobia in Oz culture and society - and I'm pleased to note that attitudes are changing positively. Nevertheless, a just recognition of the civil rights of those living GLBT lifestyles does not automatically mean that one has to abandon more accepted concepts - such as the acknowledgment of the traditional definition of marriage - for a new reassessment of marriage BECAUSE we are living in a far more accepting age.

As one of my friends wrote regarding your article:

"RE: "Marriage as an institution in Australia and countless other nations has evolved significantly over recent decades. No longer is there a black and white template for what is meant by 'marriage'."

RESPONSE: The marriage template which I suspect the vast majority of Australians use, is very much black and white with the 'Adam & Eve' model as opposed to the 'Adam & Steve' model being predominant.

As for "countless nations"...hmmm, 11 out of 196. I hardly call that countless. Obviously all of these other nations are unenlightened and still evolving or perhaps they have drawn a line in the sand and are saying 'ENOUGH'!"

Yuri
Posted by Yuri, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 3:37:05 PM
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