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The Forum > Article Comments > Defining relationships > Comments

Defining relationships : Comments

By Rodney Croome and Wayne Morgan, published 20/5/2008

The prejudices of the ALP and the Religious Right have triumphed over the dual principles of sexual equality and ACT self governance.

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Many people would see the “The biggest innovations in Australian relationship law have been emerging from its smallest jurisdictions” as the WORST INNOVATIONS, and those would not necessarily be connected to the ALP or the Religious Right homosexuals are always screeching about.
Posted by Mr. Right, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 11:24:55 AM
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Prime Minister, the decision this week by the California Supreme Court is a wake up call to your government's position on Gay Marriage.

Chief Justice Ronald George, spoke about the benefits of marriage to families, yet also referred to the importance of ending bias against groups that historically faced discrimination. Your Attorney General has failed to end such bias. He has failed to get the right balance.

The Chief Justice invoked a 1948 California court decision that struck down a restriction on interracial marriage nearly two decades before the Supreme Court declared such prohibitions unconstitutional nationwide.

The state court said that giving same-sex couples merely "domestic partnership" status could relegate them to "second-class citizens."

Popular opinion in California, and views also borne out in surveys in Australia, is for equal treatment. At a news conference at San Fancisco's City Hall, a crowd erupted in cheers to speeches delivered by City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Newsom. "What a day for equality. This is an extraordinary moment and an extraordinary time. "It's about human dignity. It's about civil rights. It's about time," he said. "And by the way, as California goes, so goes the rest of the nation." Is he right? You bet.

Prime Minister, what possible public interest is served by denying gay couples the joy of celebrating their loving commitment to each other in a ceremony?

I attended a very public ceremony of a gay couple in front of the NSW Parliament as part of the Sydney Festival last year. The mood of well wishers and on-lookers was jubilant.

Your government's kill-joy authoritarian views are reflective of repressive fundamentalist regimes and show that you are completely out of touch with your duty to deliver secular, non-discriminatory laws to the citizens of Australia.

Your government has lost credability when more socially more conservative societies have done far more than you can manage for our mostly tolerant and broad minded citizens.

Mr Rudd, clearly your policy indicates that you have capitulated to the muscular views of religious conservatives. If this is your approach to good governance, then God help us all.
Posted by Quick response, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 12:15:41 PM
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Equality for all parties in an affirmative action policy - and that is what marriage was/is - is not going to happen unless you abandon the principles behind the affirmative action policy.

Recognition of de facto relationships in the 70's and now gay unions, undermines the original policy intention.

Why not just remove the 'advantages' of marriage and have a level playing field that way?

As for letting the Territories tell us how to run the larger states, I may as well cede that power to Blacktown Council...
Posted by Reality Check, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 12:59:37 PM
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So, Reality Check: you think either of the territory governments are as badly run as NSW? You're having a laugh, yeah?
Posted by Chade, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 5:08:57 PM
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The ACT Government could have (as one of it senior members said) passed the civil partnerships law in its entirety. That it did not speaks more of hypocrisy than lack of courage, in my view.

I don't think this is just an issue of pandering to the ALP right or Christian fundamentalists. I said in an unpublished letter to the editors of various broadsheets that to understand homophobia we needed to understand its development.

I said:

"I think the A.C.T Labor Government should have passed the full civil unions Bill, including ceremonies. That they didn't leaves homosexual couples in the A.C.T as second class citizens.

"I suspect that the ACT's Stanhope Government passed the watered down Bill to protect their Federal colleagues Ellis, Lundy and McMillan from charges of hypocrisy. These Federal ALP members clearly would not have crossed the floor to vote against their own Government if it moved to override a full ACT civil unions Act.

"I suspect too, given the federal ALP Government's homophobic stance, that Jon Stanhope [ACT Chief Minister - JP] could not have been sure of full support from his local ALP MLAs for the full Bill.

"The increasing repression of homosexuality coincided with the rise in the ideology of the family under capitalism. The system needs its next generation of wage slaves cared for on the cheap, and so has developed a whole raft of measures to ensure that occurs (including, apart from incessant bleatings abut the family being the bedrock of society, making male homosexual acts illegal.)

"The rise of the Women's Liberation Movement challenged this family as bedrock shibboleth and, coupled with militant activity from the homosexual community and others, opened the way for a lessening in the repression of homosexuality.

"However as the ACT Labor Government's backdown shows, as a society we have a long way to go. Only when we remove the profit system and all that goes with it can homosexuals and women ever be truly free from oppression."
Posted by Passy, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 8:00:33 PM
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The Rudd Govt is doing what they were elected to do - represent the wishes of the majority. They were democratically elected, and it's not up to them to ignore the views of those who put them there - the Australian public. There aren't many issues where the 2 major parties see clearly eye-to-eye, but this issue is one of them.

In terms of definitions, an apple is an apple...always has been...always will be. Now if someone comes along and wants to change the definition of a banana to be an apple, I don't see that as helpful. It's entirely different, and trying to hide the banana's identity by calling it an apple doesn't help anyone. It is not progress to mislabel something, it's not an inevitable change that has to happen - it's a nonsense. We can go on and on about similarities - they're both fruit, they're both healthy, taste good - that's all well and good, but ignores the fundamental differences that are readily apparent to anyone with at least 1 of the key senses.

Likewise, marriage is the joining of a man and a woman - always has been...always will be. To try and pretend that a homosexual relationship is a marriage is just that - it's pretend. We can agree there are some commonalities, but the fundamental differences preclude homosexual couples ever having a claim to be married.

Personally I think if homosexuals are proud of their relationships, then why not invent a new term to describe their legally recognised relationship? It can be called whatever they like - use some creativity. But let's not pretend it's a marriage in some attempt to hide the truth. If they are truly proud of what they have, then why try to steal yet another term from heterosexual society? I'd be happy to support a legal union for homosexuals, and giving legal rights to partner's property etc, so long as they don't try to enforce their lifestyle choice on the rest of society by hijacking the English language.

Let's apply a little common sense and be reasonable people.
Posted by cybacaT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:08:19 PM
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