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Recently, the government of Brazil relegated all who oppose homosexuality to being "homophobic". Muller described how the homosexual lobby has gained widespread acceptance in the educational realm. With a rapidity largely attributable in large part to a total lack of articulate resistance, homosexual ideology has gained an unquestioned and uncontested legitimacy in American academic life. Within the academy, as within nonacademic elite culture, the definition of opposite to homosexuality as "homophobia - a definition which implies that it is impossible to give good reasons for the cultural disapproval of homosexuality - is the best evidence of the success of this strategy.

The American College of Pediatricians, commenting on one prototypical pro-homosexual bias which indicts contrary views as "homophobic", stated that such a response is "scientifically improper and demonstrates an anti-heterosexual viewpoint. This has also resulted in extreme attempts to negate the Biblical injunctions against homoeroticism and to read it into the Bible, in seeking affirmation for the sin.

See Homosexual misinterpretation. It may be speculated that the widespread response to labeling all who oppose homosexuals "homophobic" may itself be driven by an irrational fear of those who oppose them, in which homosexuals imagine that most or all of those who oppose them are motivated by irrational fears, and wish to do them harm, and from which type of people they must be especially protected.

It has also been claimed by preeminent pro-homosexual psychotherapist, John J. McNeill, that "Interiorized self-hatred is the sin of gay people, and we must learn to see it that way. In , lawmakers amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include bias against persons with disabilities. In , law enforcement agencies reported 1, hate crime offenses based on sexual-orientation bias, of which are property crimes which includes theft and graffiti.

Thus a conclusion that all offenders are heterosexual is faulty, and the methodology does not measure violence within the homosexual community. In all of , there was one anti-homosexual murder in the United States, and the FBI has reported none since. While bias-motivated crimes of persons against homosexuals were reported nationwide in , an earlier study found incidences of homosexual domestic violence in only nine cities, all of which are crimes of persons.

The subject of homosexual domestic violence has not been researched with anything near the thoroughness afforded to heterosexual domestic violence. In effect, "homophobia" is a bogus term invented to suppress and eradicate all resistance to the normalization of homosexual behavior under any circumstances, or criticism of LGBT ideology, activism and the LGBT agenda. It is being applied to an ever-wider range of things, such as resistance to increased political and social power of homosexuals in advancing their agenda.

The term is used regularly by activists to describe several kinds of people, which may or may not match the actual definition of "fear of homosexuals and homosexuality". The recipients of the "homophobia" label include those who feel uncomfortable around homosexuals, those who reveal that they disagree with LGBT ideas and even those who may privately tolerate homosexuality but who fail to publicly support homosexuals when called upon to do so.

The word "homophobia", which is widely used as an insult, is an ideological tool of left-wing "political correctness" and effectively enforces censorship by smearing all dissenters from LGBT ideology with accusations of mental illness - "phobia". It goes hand in hand with the ploy of replacing moral terminology with accusations of "hatred". The current usage of terms like "homophobic" and "homophobe" imply that all opposition to the LGBT agenda is crazy.

Actually, there are many rational reasons that logically-thinking people remain hetero-normative, and unconvinced by LGBT ideology. The term is closely linked with the slang expression "gay-bashing" and the two words are often used interchangeably as synonyms, strongly implying that anybody who will not capitulate to the LGBT ideology and accept all their arguments, is guilty of violent physical attacks on persons practicing homosexuality. By this casual association, hetero-normativity is denigrated and criminalized, while all logical debate is censored and silenced.

The term "homophobia" is increasingly applied to all hetero-normative discourse or moral criticism of homosexual behavior, implying that any such viewpoint is "irrational" see phobia. Furthermore, the term has been adopted in law as an equivalent term to "racism" and is now being used to criminalize hetero-normativity as well as classifying it as a mental disorder. The term "homophobia" gained currency during the AIDS pandemic in the s, when embattled LGBT campaigners were faced with the disaster of their own making.

Unwilling to admit that the lethal disease was the result of their own behavior, they insisted that homosexuals were dying because of the ignorance and prejudice of heterosexuals, who were guilty of "homophobia". This argument gained traction in the mainstream media, where homosexuals and activists have a disproportionate influence.

The term "homophobia" is closely linked to efforts of LGBT activists to publicize and exaggerate any acts of aggression towards any homosexual by heterosexuals worldwide, past or present, which all come under the category of "homophobia". This is a distorted picture meant to draw attention away from the unwelcome facts that most violence against homosexuals is carried out by other homosexuals, and that by spreading the AIDS pandemic they are killing each other as well as causing a grave problem for the population at large.

To support their claims of "homophobia", homosexuals and activists frequently invent attacks, and make false reports about violence against homosexuals, past and present. Here is just one, incomplete, list of such hoaxes that have been exposed. More such examples can be found using internet search [33].

See Homocaust myth. The term "homophobia" is twinned with the coinage "transphobia" used to mean any doubt about, resistance to or criticism of gender confusion ideology. And one more: Why is it that you haven't figured out yet: if you abuse people, they abuse you back. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone - and mike, you dont have a reason to abuse, harass, or sideline these people at all.

So why do you? And why haven't you figured out that if you shush about your bigotry, the issue goes away? How is having an entire compulsory program dedicated to your needs, none of them to do with bullying, being "treated the same as everyone else"? The purpose of the program is to ensure that people ARE treated like everyone else - "being treated like everyone else" is the objective, because currently, they are not. And this was Machiavelli's point. Dove only muslims believe that a book is perfect. Is that a fact? I'm certainly delighted that you've finally claimed subject matter expertise in something.

I was beginning to wonder. Even more impressive is to claim it through mind reading. I support your new vocation because after all, other people's minds would make a far more interesting read for you. Just to give you a hand here mike2 science never said the world was flat - science is a way of thinking, and a body of knowledge. At best, the primitive people living on the earth said it was flat, just as primitive people now say that homosexuality is 1.

It's a sin It's not normal He's no son of mine And what's wrong with the Gender Fairy? It's true. I can imagine how terrified that might make a number of posters here feel. I just dont know why it terrifies them. Actually, criticising the Safe Schools program pretty much does guarantee you're a homophobe.

No - it doesn't.

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It simply measn you don't agree with the program, like not agreeing with the ALP doesn't mean you hate democracy or Labor supporters. That's right. There might be many reasons other than homophobia that opponents might give. However, most opponents do rely on bigoted views as their arguments. Donelli, for example, quotes "parents are primarily responsible for their children's moral education" but this isn't moral education. It's trying to stop those parents' children from bullying others. Most of the opponents seem to be the very sort of bully this program aims to prevent but it's too late in their case.

Okay as far as a political party goes, but when you look at the objectives and methodologies of the Safe Schools program and still don't agree with them, then you aren't placing much value on the welfare of some students.

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Be willing to stand up for what you are. You can always quote George Brandis saying everyone has a right to be a bigot. I'd say the opposite - if you care about the majority of students, you need to object. The needs of the few can be met through other means that are less controversial and achieve the same end. That sounds great, Joel. What less-controversial means do you suggest to stop these kids being bullied and picked-on?

How do we change society's attitudes so they are not seen as "other" and, therefore, targets of hatred throughout their school years and later? It is usually not the majority that suffers from bullying. It is those who are a minority or different from the "norm" who tend to suffer the most. I am thinking of some people in remote areas and they can live their live without confronting a person outside of heterosexual or homosexual. I learn much. But not everyone is like me. Some are afraid of change. To them - the very idea of "others" is to embrace a world view without any conceptual notion of these "others.

It is easy to fight the program, not because of the homosexual part - but because it will cause you to face lots of issues and beliefs which you do not want to face. Most of the nay sayers are in this fear of change category - and they might or might not be homophobic. Some are just homophobic and do not fear change - they just want to hold onto their bigotry. Apparently it's mandatory we follow some international regulations but when it comes to something like refugees and bombing countries who don't ask to participate in their war Ahh, so the author is hypocritical for pointing out the proponents of this program are hypocritical.

Thank you for a very well argued article Kevin the hatred that si spewed at anyone who dares to question the content of this ideological program has sadly not surprised me. News flash adolescence is tough for most kids and this program puts too much emphasis on a tiny minority of children who are having trouble fitting into our society.

Jason : "our society"? Iain, I found this a badly argued article and can only assume Dr Donnelly's editor let him down. I do hope that someone involved in the Australian National Curriculum can put together a better argumentative essay than displayed here. Consider the paragraphs: " But according to research carried out by Anthony Smith and Paul Badcock from La Trobe University, out of the 10, men and 9, women interviewed, How does research that shows In any way?

I don't see a count of how many Trans people were included in the LaTrobe Uni research, which would have made that research relevant to the point. I do note the paragraph much later in the article that quotes Safe Schools as stating 16 per cent of students could be LGBTI, and accept the research quoted would be a solid counter-argument to this. In my opinion the article contains loose and disjointed arguments, I'm afraid.

Agreed Michael. Those people just aren't normal. Why should we do something about them? Which completely misses the whole point of a program aimed at ensuring students treat each other even a potentially hypothetical LGBTIQ student with respect and understanding. That they don't assume because something is mostly always a particular way, it must be that way.

That they don't look at the "not normal" and equate that with "bad", "other" or, as is so often the case, "target". Its genuinely sad that someone so well credentialed, and so deeply involved in the school curriculum, can have so failed to understand the very point of the program they are seeking to criticise and have actually reinforced its whole purpose in their critique of it. Michael You posit: "So, what part of the second point addressed the first, and therefore warranted the "But "?

One level is that people are conditioned to be hetero or homo - and yet the research is that most people are bi-sexual to one degree or another. Self identification is not reliable when you can only see two standards. Heterosexuality was thought of as "not homosexual" which is hardly scientific or accurate. The brain research on sexuality is more pointed and exact and yet we still do not know the figures. The only thing we know is that the differences between "real hetero and real homo" are far less than the differences between "the average Joe and either group.

It was a very good example of "having the answer and trying to get facts to verify it. If they can, then so can this program. If they can't then it's irrelevant. There are certainly a small percenathe who swing both ways and there are also a percetange who have had some sort of homosexual experiences in their youth but most settle down to being heterosexual as the reach maturity. Iain Hall You yourself defined the answer as "I really don't know any other way to decide id one is straight or Gay" The problem is that human sexuality is not divided between straight and gay, any more than colour is divided between black and white.

This was the very attitude which people who self identified speak of. As for "the born that way" idea - you must think that there is only nature and nurture. All neuroscience is based upon the way that the brain self programs by feedback. The process is replicated in artificial intelligence, and the earliest work in computers replicating self programming neural networks is fuzzy logic. Fuzzy logic, based upon the brain - creates a neural path and part of the process is randomness. No two fuzzy logic chips is the same. No two identical twins CAN think alike as every neural circuit in the brain is self programmed and unique.

Some of the programming can fire up entire areas of the brain - or shut them down. This is why there can be a genetic influence - and yet genetics is never enough. It is a self programming issue, not ONLY genetics. It is not a choice, but randomness. Homosexuality is a very early programming choice and it fires up entire areas of the brain which are often "associated with the opposite sex.

It is only much later when the sexual urges are sparked that the identity programmed as a baby are manifest. But children and animals are already "homosexuals" well before they reach puberty. Homosexuality, like many other conditions - including a lot of mental illnesses are programming "random path" things done as babies. It is a brand new science. Quite interesting.

And yet every part of the science has been here for over twenty years. Mark I tale a very simple view of sexuality, namely the biological purpose of sexuality is first and foremost all about procreation first and secondly to strengthen the pair-bond that we need to raise our offspring and frankly I am rather uninterested in the reasons why a small minority decides to become homosexual.

Nature or nurture or a combination of both makes no real difference to me because I also, due to my libertarian leanings, believe consenting adults are entitled to form any sort of consensual relationships that they find pleasing or mutually satisfying. I do however understand that there is a rather desperate desire by homosexual to prove that their inclinations are "normal" and essentially no different to heterosexuality.

It really does not matter to me if its normal or abnormal because my libertarian inclination does not require it to be either for it to be socially acceptable. The problem with the Safe schools program is that it pushes an extreme social justice agenda that wants to brainwash kids with their rather warped views of both gender and sexuality under the guise of an anti-bullying program. You've already detailed your view of gender and how you decide it. Others dont agree, and they would argue your views on it are warped, old fashioned, intolerant and redundant.

I'd tend to agree. Is it helping? Outline your objection in those terms please, not what you erroneously and arbitrarily declare is "warped". Indeed if anyone actually bothered to check up on Mr Donelly's references they would immediately read the paragraph that details the percentages as such: Nevertheless, 8. Indeed, half the men and two-thirds of the women who had had same-sex sexual experience regarded themselves as heterosexual rather than homosexual or bisexual, suggesting that same-sex attraction and experience are far more common in Australia than is indicated by the relatively few people reporting a homosexual or bisexual identity.

Which is actually quite pertinent information when referring to the What do you think your response would be if you were having difficulties coming to terms with your identity?

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Does that question require empathy? The anti-safe schools brigade have as their primary tools, irrelevant opinion, misquoted at best and irrelevant data, and diversion away from the facts that safe schools programme addresses a high-risk population, and it works. I've yet to see an informed and sane objection against it. Iain, it's about welfare, not ideology.

And please tell me who has said that critics of the program are responsible for future suicides. I haven't seen that in the discussions. But if you're happy to ignore this "tiny minority of children who are having trouble fitting into our society", that's your choice. But don't stand in the way of others who are trying to help. Brett Its not a case of me suggesting that anyone ignore indicators of self destructive ideation. Its just that its unreasonable to expect that the wider society can be made kinder to protect such troubled individuals.

In the end the solution has to be to try to make those individuals strong enough to survive, because we certainly can not make a bubble big enough to protect them from themselves in perpetuity. The suicide thing essentially boils down to being a bit of emotional blackmail used to silence critics of this program.

We are talking about children here who may be vulnerable. This is not about protecting them from themselves in perpetuity but it would be good for them if they can grow through childhood and adolescence into adults who are confident and comfortable about their sexuality. Please don't read this to mean the Safe Schools program will do all that on its own, but it is supporting them in their formative years. If other people don't need it, fair enough, but please don't take it away from those it is intended to help. I can only repeat I haven't heard anyone saying critics of the program are responsible for future suicides.

It seems to me an exaggeration by critics of the program possibly applying their own emotional blackmail. I have borrowed this revelation from a fellow poster: 'Roz Ward the architect of the Safe Schools Program is an academic from La Trobe Uni who moonlights as a writer for the Red Flag, the publication of a Trotskyite, self-described Marxist organisation. She publicly conceded the Safe Schools Coalition is part of a broader Marxist strategy to change society by promoting Gender Theory that has no legal or scientific basis.

I saw a video of Ward claiming at a private event the program was: "Not about stopping bullying. It is about gender and sexual diversity". The program is a Trojan horse that indoctrinates with a radical LGBT agenda and Liberation, neo-Marxist ideology, parading as an anti-bullying program. It was designed for children aged years. It promotes the view gender is not grounded in objective reality but subjective interpretation.

You know that the first NASA rockets were built by nazi's right? Do you see any evidence of nazism in NASA? Let me know if you'd like to contact nasa to tell them about your objection to their implicit association with the holocaust. I'm sure they'll regard your comments appropriately - exactly as they are regarded here - as hysterical nonsense. That's the program's architect admitting it's true agenda. It's not a 'red herring', and you have swallowed the program 'hook, line and sinker'. Where this programme exists, there are reports of its success.

I am pleasantly surprised that our ABC bothered to present 'the other side of the argument', which is common practice with other national broadcasters such as the BBC but not with our ABC. This is an important subject for most parents and while we all want to stop school bullying, we also don't want that any such subject be hijacked by some special interest groups for the social engineering of our children in the most critical years of their development. Lets talk and understand the details about the program rather than try to shut up the debate by ridiculing anyone trying to discuss the appropriateness of some details of the program.

Most people are getting frustrated by the media, politicians and other bullies, who try to ridicule and shut them up every time they raise some genuine concerns. What are you on about. Christian Fanatics are over represented here on the drum. They frequently write and are published at a rate disproportionate to actual church attendance. That their views are generally pulverised here in the comments section is a more accurate view of how the Australian public treats these views.

Thelma, I'm not going to speak for "most people" because at best I probably only know less than a thousand people from a population of over 20 million. And I certainly couldn't tell you whether or not they have any level of frustration with "the media, politicians and other bullies" that you mention. It's quite possible some do and some don't. I know a wide variety of people so it's more than likely. The program you are discussing may have shortcomings or elements you disagree with. The appropriateness or otherwise of some of the material contained within the program might be disputed by you.

But to try and claim that you and the "most people" you belong to are somehow the victims in this, a discussion about an anti-bullying program, is taking somewhat of a flying leap. It is also worth observing that any education system, or religious organisation, or familial structure is engaging in social engineering - even yours.

But it's only ever called "social engineering" when it's something we disagree with - and that's called an opinion, not a fact. Similarly, the label of "special interest group" is only ever lobbed at others, and could never apply to ourselves - could it? They certainly have an interest in social engineering. Thelma, your concerns are no doubt genuinely felt by you and shared by many people you know. They may even be right. And they are being heard and they have had an effect. Whether this has been an accurately proportional response is open for debate, but it has had an effect.

I'm happy for you to have your say, and you've had it, and been quite successful with it. Bully for you. Whether you deem it appropriate or not I think you would be hard pressed to argue that it is not necessary. The same is true for this program. Learning that what you are feeling is within the boundaries of "normal" is nessary for those questioning their sexuality which can happen very early and teaching the other kids that some of their classmates may be thinking, feeling and be attracted to their own gender is necessary whether or not you think it is appropriate.

It is because of parents that these programs are necessary. Which strongly suggest that the problem is with the parents and THAT, right there, is where the solution should be focused - getting parents to come to counselling to help them understand the issues their child is going through. The students' sexuality is a private matter. Going back to the top of this post above - perhaps instead of asking i it necessary, a alternative question is, is it desirable?

For those kids who have no intention of engaging in sexual activity until their 20s, there is probably no actual necessity to engage in either sex ed or instruction about STDs. It may be seen as necessary in the lives of some kids, n but clearly less so in the lives of others. Very well said Thelma. Anyone who questions certain things these day could almost claim they are being bullied!!! Agree, let's talk and understand the detail of the program and while we're at it, let's stop dog whistling with terms like "marxist agenda", "hijaking", "special interest groups", "social engineering" etc.

Let's look at the program and be specific in our comments. The program itself is based on "genuine concerns" and they should be respected too. Thank you, Thelma. There are no two ways of viewing criticism. There is no such thing in my books as constructive criticism. What people mean by that is probably just casual commenting. If you are going to do the talking, you might as well do it yourself. Casual commenting is a more polite way of putting it, if I were to do the talking. Constructive criticism is perfectly valid, and often necessary, method of improving something.

DF, you mustn't take things so literally. Putting the two words together makes it a "neutral" I suppose? My point, hence, is, it is pointlessly worded. Don't mind my casual comments by the way! My brother is a screenwriter and he often asks me to critique his drafts. I point out things that work, things that don't, offer suggestions etc. While I am most definitely criticising, pointing out flaws, it is not negative.

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It serves to help 'construct' a polished final draft. I think in lots of ways, "critique" is a much more "polished" word. A bit like French. Change the spelling of something and it changes the connotation altogether, you mean? As you can see, I used them interchangeably above and there was no loss of comprehension.

Though I will grant you in everyday language "criticise" usually means "pick apart", this is why it get's qualified with "constructive", to indicate it is meant otherwise. Does one constructively criticise a scientific paper or research? Do higher courts generally engage in constructive criticism if they over rule a lower court decision?

I'd say what indicates homophobia is a belief that it's possible to "turn kids gay". People who believe this don't ever seem to quite grasp the logical problems, about how the gay adults who allegedly want to "turn kids gay" ever became gay themselves when they were surrounded by a sea of heterosexual influences.

Personally, I grew up with straight parents, a straight sibling, straight role models everywhere, and it all failed to turn me straight. Good luck with that, but I believe it is the concept of primary age children simply experimenting with their sexuality that makes many parents shudder.

Many parents prefer that primary age children not be exposed to any concepts of sexuality whatsoever. I suggest a Safe School policy of "don't ask, don't tell" with fellow students and adults can then provide counsel on any sexual matters arising, rather than their fellow students. Rates of bullying of homosexual soldiers fell dramatically following the policies implementation. I need to make my sarcasm more clear. I am NOT in any way supporting a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Such a policy in no way changes attitude. Rather, it encourages fear and hostility. I'd say what indicates a gay entitlement advocate is an ignorant subscription to the demonstrably wrong ideology that sexuality is inherent. You wanting to believe that it's 'not your fault' that you're gay is evidence of nothing but your fragile ego. Do the research or stop talking about things you don't understand, activist.

If you wanted to, you could choose to be gay? How about you "demonstrate" the wrongness of the "ideology"? I doubt it would be a constructive discussion, David. After all, you don't even seem to understand the difference between something that is inherent and something that is a choice. From that, I presume that it is a choice. Is this what you mean? If, indeed, you maintain that sexuality IS a choice, then I presume that you're also saying that people who are not heterosexual choose to not be heterosexual. The logical extension of that, however, is that heterosexuality IS a choice.

If I have not understood you correctly, please correct me. And I'm still waiting for you to demonstrate how sexuality is not inherent. There have been 8 major studies of identical twins conducted over the past 2 decades in Australia, Scandinavia and the US. Identical twins have the same genetic material. The atypical result from the first study by Bailey was due flawed methodology. He drew his sample from the Chicago gay community. He repeated it using a random sample like the other studies and his results were consistent with the others. Believing that being gay has a "fault" that can be allocated doesn't mean that you are homophobic, it means that you are an ignorant bigot.

If you want to do some research I would suggest that expand beyond the reading list of the ACL and the research referenced on Fox News. I'd really like to hear what sort of demonstration affirmed that sexuality isn't inherent to you, and that'll do the same for anyone else who sees it? That's what "demonstrably" means, since you're huffing and blowing about comprehension. Twin studies. That whole nature-nurture paradigm. A bit obscure, I know. Makes me wonder, TrevorM, why then all this concern about "societally assigned gender norms" if such things aren't possible. I utterly surprised and shocked to see this article from the ABC, it's unbiased and reasonable.

Is this a turn for the better? IS the ABC finally realising the silent majority is sick and tired of progressive ideologies being shoved down our throat? I, for one, thank the ABC for taking the time out of it's progressive agenda to actually cater to the conservative majority this once instead of continually regurgitating progressive talking points. What's next? Are we going to make our children learn about Muslims and their struggle? It's ridiculous and I'm glad to see some unbiased reporting, for once.

I think you'll find the 'silent majority' is becoming the 'vocal minority'. Have a look at census data. The numbers of 'no religion' are going up, church attendance etc are going down, The younger you are the less likely you are to be religious and so on. How many people under say 40, would define themselves as socially conservative?

You are entitled by your views, but those who say they speak for the 'silent majority' are usually on shaky gound. Whether it be the 'silent majority' don't like the 'gay lobby' or the 'silent majority don't support our boat people policies. Stop assuming all opposition is religious based. It's stereotypical and well out of date. But religious belief is one indicator of a socially conservative point of view.

That is changing as well. I just used one example from census data. I know not all opposition is religious based, but a good proportion is. It's symptomatic of a wider trend to shut down debate by regressives. My concern is it will be all too tempting for governments to "agree" to introduce laws which decide what speech is acceptable or not.

If that happens the left will get a harsh wake-up call when they find these laws used against them too. But by then it will be too late. But you're still in there swinging with "but a good proportion is. That is usually what people like you demand of others. Uh huh, it is 'regressive' to want bigoted people to get over the sexual orientation of others. It is 'regressive' to support a school program aimed at intercepting unjustified bigotry and the associated bullying. Gotcha It is 'regressive' to invent non-terms such as "cultural marxism" to wage a rhetorical war in politics and the media.

It is 'regressive' to deride social science theory as "ideology", insinuating that there is in fact a frame that is NOT ideological. Okay then. Glad you enjoyed it, a turn for the better though? Likely not and while its pleasing when you find something that appeals to your own worldview, being open to learning experiences broadens our knowledge and increases our ability to interpret Y'see, homophobia is genetic How would you feel?

Like the bullying to continue until you took your own life? Or like the rest of the school to learn that while you're different Hows it feel now? I was made to sit through religious classes in school, learning about someones imaginary friend for a few hours didn't do me any great harm.

With that your silent conservative majority does not exist. Next is your dismay at social engineering. I hate to tell you this; school is social engineering. That is its main job - to produce workers and bureaucrats who can think, but not too much; who read, but not too deeply; who can count; but not so much as to invent or engineer. If it's the worst thing that ever happens in their lives, poor pets, then they should count their lucky stars.

But of course their situation is far more important and terrible than bullied kids. If your silent majority prefers regressive ideologies, then maybe it's preferable that they remain silent. Can you read minds, or do you analyze tea-leaves? I think you mean to say "an article I agree with" rather than unbiased.

Just because you agree with it does not make it unbiased. Also this is not reporting, it is an opinion piece in the opinion section. Kevin Donnelly is also one of the most biased writers that submits to the Drum and is published regularly. There are many other biased contributors from both sides of the political spectrum, but you have to expect that in an opinion site.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how "progressive" Australia really is, but for now, I'm happy that we are finally seeing some reporting of the other side of the coin, rather than the usual leftist talking points. AND it's guys, come on. I wish people would stop referring to this as a "leftist" issue. I stand in agreement with notorious lefties like John Key and David Cameron.

Who's scared?. I'm not scared. I don't mind this article was published, I believe in free speech. I was merely challenging the 'silent majority' and 'conservative majority' assertions. You believe you are speaking for the 'conservative majority', and I see no evidence that one exists, particularly in the younger generations. Also, you say this article is unbiased, but it is. That's fine, it's an opinion piece, by definition it has a bias, but you make the common mistake of believing your view is the only unbiased and reasonable one.

You and I are both biased, just in different directions. What a stupid comment just because he doesn't fully agree to your 'cause'? Its entirely unclear to me whether your post is sarcastic parody or genuine. If the former, its potentially too well done. If the latter, well, see below. It's reasoned. Its neither unbiased nor reasonable.

The agenda emerges when we start hearing about procreation between man and woman, and how most people are heterosexual. The first is irrelevant aren't we talking about kids, in same cases primary school kids? Why is procreation relevant? And aren't we opposed to sexualising children? Its a program designed to normalise the concept of not attacking people who are different to you simply because they are different.

Hardly an offensive ideology. These are all different to most other people. Oh dear, KP. And I would like to see our children learn about Islam, as the rubbish around on MSM is appalling and inaccurate. Show me one comment that is against prevention of bullying. Don't just say well if they're against Safe Schools they're pro bullying, because that's the point of the article, that they're not.

I am not homophobic and I can't stand bullies but I am against this program because it doesn't do what's on the box. Gosh society has a problem talking about sex. Because that is the real issue here isn't it, sex. No Yank, we only have a problem with adults talking to our kids about sexual practices that are clearly not the norm. It's called grooming. By that definition the whole schooling process is 'grooming'. And I suppose it is.

It is grooming these children to accept the spectrum of gender identities and to stop giving each other a hard time about it. A big part of the issue is that people often confuse "sexuality" with sex acts. Children don't need to be told about homosexual sex acts, any more than they need to be told about what Mummy and Daddy do in the bedroom. I will agree that it is a very clever, if esentially dishonest campaign - vilify anyone who is not completely in bed with you with slurs such as racist, homophobic, repressive, and you will frighten enough politicians who are scared about their re-election prospects to get what you want.

Actually marriage started out as an ownership issue as the common surname change which can go either way, but never does still reminds us , was then co-opted by religion as they do just about every issue they claim for themselves; but then religion is just a form of marketing and it makes sense to try and attach your brand to as many places and concepts as possible - but that's all irrelevant.

Marriage doesn't mean that anymore. Instead its a formal expression of commitment to a relationship. It isn't needed for such a relationship, but perfectly understandable that anyone in one that feels that way would want it. And the legislation should reflect and follow those social norms. Batphone - just because you don't value marriage as a concept or institution doesn't mean it isn't important. Clearly to many people it is important.

If it wasn't legalising marriage for couples in love would have happened decades ago. It didn't and in some backwaters still hasn't. As an avowed atheist you'd attest to the importance of evidence? Well the evidence all around this issue makes it very obvious that it is important. Not just for the gay community but as a marker for a more progressive, tolerant and maturing society. As an atheist you'd be for that wouldn't you? Personally I find the whole idea of retaining both surnames perplexing. Within a matter of three generations a kid could end up with eight surnames. I have a young kid in my under 12's soccer team I coach with four surnames!

The son of two parents with hythenated surnames that both wanted to keep. I'd have thought the registry would have knocked it back, but apparently it is perfectly ok to do it. At least they had the good sense NOT to give him a middle name. Lucky we don't still print phone books! Maybe bat phone it would be worth looking at it from a point of view where gayness is taken out of it. Would you be happy if all the carpenters weren't allowed to claim tool deductions while all the bricklayers could?

Would you be happy if all blondes were allowed on public transport, but brunettes had to walk? Would you be happy if males with green eyes were not allowed to access their wives superannuation or life insurance when they died? Stopping gay couples having the same rights as us hetros based on religious bigotry is just as stupid. Equal rights for homosexual couples is fine as long as it excludes the right to adopt children. Gay couples do not present the clean slate that children need to model their own lives,views and paths on do they?

Totally agree Lindsay well said this isn't just about gays is it , Childrens rights matter too ,that's why we are right in the middle of Royal commissions for abuse of children because their rights matter more than gays in my opinion , Give them recognition without the term Marriage and no kids! Marriage is not as you say essetnially a 'religious institution' at all. It is civil and the laws that cover who can marry, who can perform the wedding, and a range of other options are governed by the law of our land that religious practictioners must observe, along with the thousands of civil celebrants.

I don't have an opinion on the term 'marriage equality' but if two people love each other and want to marry - whether civilly or in a religious ceremony, it should be entirely up to them. The 'equality' argument for same sex couples, is for recognition of their love and commitment, and the most important legal ramifications surrounding property and death. Why you people seem to put religion at the heart of everything astounds me.

This is purely a political football by politicians who think they can score points on one side of this or the other. The majority of marriages in Australia are are secular, not religious. Secular marriages in Australia accounted for But hey don't let the facts get in the way of your opinion.

Ah, so we just wait Peter?

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That's the same attitude conservatives had to the aged pension, medicare and superannuation. Get with the times man!! You can do this. Marriage is different to sexual union. It is such an obvious thing to state. Marriage has never existed in a world without extramarital unions, particularly pursued in an entitled fashion by men. Women who strayed risked extreme punishment including death. This is still a norm in many areas of the world. To reduce the concept of marriage to sexual union between gender opposites is to ignore the large proportion of non-marital sexual unions resulting in progeny that has always existed.

It ignores polygamy as a marital norm. Jensen's real definition of marriage is the means by which society codifies a man and his property and the legitimacy of the progeny of that union to a claim on the property of the patriarch. For most of the last millenia, part of that property was his wife. Marriage ensured a particular status to particular men. Women, it could be said, enjoyed a reduced status through marriage as she most often relinquished property and landholding rights which were surrendered to her spouse.

She also lost ownership of her body which was deemed to be entirely for the service of his pleasure and delivery of his progeny. Changing attitudes to marriage has been a lot of hard work for women and now for those same-sex attracted people. Ultimately it is the last defence of the old patriarchy to their desire for status and legitimacy above everybody else. Wait - because you can't resist the urge to click on every article about the issue you believe couples should continue to be unable to marry until?

Rather childish, yes? The matter is too important to be left to politicians. One cannot trust the polls published by the Gay-marriage lobby. Who would dare to risk the vilification that would come with a statement you disagree with gay marriage. That way we see what Australia really wants and it cannot be changed back if australia does want gay marriage. Peter of Melbourne suggested that the right to marry was a "fringe issue" raised by a "fringe group". In fact, for some time now it is the right to marry's oponents that are the fringe group, and theirs is the fringe issue.

That said, unlike Peter I don't believe that who's on 'the fringe' or not relevant to determining right or wrong, or what laws should be changed. His argument, such as it is, fails on it merits. Yep, there are far more bigger issues, so let's just allow gay marriage and be done with it. If you want to talk definitions, we can have marriage, and gay marriage. There you go. Two definitions. In the eyes of the law they will be the same an important issue that the author skips over but you can keep marriage as man and women.

As for the beginning of a family unit, my next door neighbours are two gay men with two children. All is fine. But lets be honest here. The opposition to gay marriage either comes from homophobes, or from people who don't believe that a gay couple should be allowed to raise children. The latter is a genuine item for discussion, but it already happens with no ill effect, so has already been resolved.

It's a no brainer really. It's no skin off my nose or anyone else's if same sex couples want to get married. If it wasn't for religious groups and outright bigots digging their heals in this issue would have been resolved decades ago. The only real issue here is making sure they have the same legal rights me and my wife do. Once that is out of the way who cares what they call it? Love is in short supply, take it where you find it I say. They should be happy with that, just so long as they can't have what I have! They should know their place! Sorry, but that would not the end of it.

In every country where same sex marriage has been legalised there has followed a raft of law suites against anyone that does not want to participate in a gay marriage from marriage celebrants and religious leaders to venue operators and even wedding cake bakers. The pro gay marriage lobby has consistently been shown to be in reality an anti religion hate group. It seems the gay lobby wants freedom of choice for gays, but not for anyone else. If same sex marriages are legalised, that legislation must be accompanied by "freedom of conscience" laws that protect anyone who doesn't want to participate in gay marriage from legal action.

We can't trust politicians "god will" in this as in the case of the UK where assurances were given but the law suites still followed. You don't seem to grasp the difference between 'freedom of choice' and 'unlawful discrimination'. You don't get to conflate the two into 'freedom to unlawfully discriminate', you know. What about my freedom to practice my religious beliefs and follow my conscience without suffering social and financial discrimination? Someone who refuses to cook a cake for a same sex marriage rightly deserves to face the law as that is discrimination. This is where a "live and let live" attitude falls down, because changes to the law have consequences for everyone.

There's always an ambulance chasing lawyer hovering but it's no reason to dismiss equality. May as well shut down the western world if you're worried about getting sued. Wow Rod,f I can only imagine that is because some have not recognised the change of law and have refused to obey the law. Obey the law and there is no problems. Disobey the law causes problems. Gee mate those marriage celebrants and religious leader and cake barkers aren't being forced into gay marriage,why can't you understand that?

There are at lot of laws that I don't agree with but I need a better excuse than "I don't like them" or "they are not the choice I would choose" to avoid the obligation of having to abide by them. Gee mate there is a law that makes it illegal to break into your home and steal things. If people don't like this law are they being discriminated against? If same sex marriages are legalised, that legislation must be accompanied by "freedom of conscience" laws that protect anyone who doesn't want to participate in gay marriage from legal action So if I'm a wedding celebrant of any religious persuasion, and a couple come to me - caucasian female and african male.

Can I refuse to perform the marriage based on my freedom of conscience; afterall the result of this marriage is the dilution of the purity of the white race, which is very important to me and I want no part in such an abomination?

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Jane I mean in their mind they can define it gay marriage. Under the law it would just be marriage and that is it. Civil partnerships in some other states. Rights are not the same as marriage. Plus it doesn't have they same symbolism. Maybe we just need to change the name of civil union to gay marriage.

A civil union have the same property rights as married couples now. In fact anyone who is in a relationship and lived together for more than two years, regardless of sex, has all the rights of a married couple if they were to split up. Defacto couples do not have all of the same rights as married couples. The ignorance on here is astounding. Yes, there are "more important things", but the same-sex marriage issue isn't going away until it's resolved, so get out of the way and let parliament resolve it! The only people holding things up are you lot. Don't bother trying to deny you aren't.

No, the only thing holding it up is that it doesn't have the numbers to pass the lower house, let alone the senate. It certainly does continue to take up people's time in Canada Same sex marriage is just a step in the general trend of imposition of "progressive" gender and sexual politics on the wider culture. Are you saying we should instead be promoting regressive ones? Not sure on the actual statistics, however a certain degree of common sense might indicate that a similar number of women might be lesbians as are men who are homosexual You are absolutely correct.

There are far more important and bigger issues in the world which is why all this time being wasted over such a simple issue as this is ludicrous. Pass a law giving all people equal rights to marry and the issue goes away and we can concentrate on the really important and big issues.

Why do people care so much about who can marry and who can't? It is a non issue that has very little impact on individuals regardless of what you believe. The sky will not fall in, the world will not end. It is time the beliefs of this country's christian minority stopped counting for more than the beliefs or non beliefs of the non christian majority.

Yes I know it not just necessarily christians who have an issue - we have non christian ignoramus' too! Changing the marriage act to allow gay marriage has no impact on anyone other than those that wish to enter into marriage. I see no case what so ever not to allow the change. There are much more important issues that need to be dealt with. This particular one should have been done and dusted years ago. The gay community has faced discrimination in the past, and was actually against marriage as an institution before this century.

It appears that it is now payback time. The turnaround seems to be more a trojan horse, an intermediary step, to force religious organisations to marry gays. This is the final destination. Gay marriages being forced on the Catholic Church. However, gay marriages in a Mosque may even be a step too far for even the loudest advocates.

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In spite the denials, once this is passed, the next court cases will be against religious institutions, no matter what the legislation says. Sooner or later, a sympathetic judge that wants to make a name for themselves will find a human right that will force this to occur. Don't think this can happen? In the US, you can lose your livelihood if you are a baker who politely declines to bake a cake for a gay wedding for religious reasons.

The intolerance of the tolerance enforcers knows no bounds. Actually, you're wrong. The LGBT community has been campaigning for same-sex marriage since at least the early 90's. Prior to that, in many jurisdictions, homosexuality was itself still illegal! There were bigger problems. This isn't about the "destruction" of marriage. It's simply about wanting to be equal in the eyes of the state. I don't care if a bakery doesn't want to make a "gay marriage" cake, either, btw. The state shouldn't interfere in that. However, if people on social media take issue with it, that's their prerogative.

Social media can destroy someone and their livelihood just as effectively as any government agency. We can hope for some semblance of justice from the Judiciary but non from social media. Then that's a marketing decision by the cake maker. Discriminate and face losing your business, or make the cake. Most reasonable bakers would know which the smart call is. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don't think it should exist.

Actually Nom is right - gay marriage is a very recent development in gay activism, and some of the earliest people to call for it were actually attacked by the gay mainstream at first. There are still many parts of the gay community who do not like gender norms, monogamy, nuclear families, and all that jazz, and if they DO indeed want marriage to keep changing and evolving even after it is granted to them as well. Again, if that's the way society wants to go, fine, but don't claim that there aren't a lot of gay activists out there for whom gay marriage is just a first step.

It's about the legal principles - not religious. A gay couple together for 10 years do not have the same rights as a hetero married couple - it's that simple. No need to change marriage laws at all. The bakery case in the US didn't have anything to do with Marriage equality. Marriage was not legal in the state where the baker broke the law. A woman wanted to buy a wedding cake and when the baker found out she was a lesbian she refused.

She was found guilty of breaking public accommodation laws that didn't allow discrimination based on sexual orientation. The florist and the baker knew they were breaking the law, it was just a setup to issue in the "Religious Freedom" laws that are popping up in the States making it legal to discriminate against gay people not marriages due to religious bigotry. The Prop 8 case in the US is similar to what Australia is facing now. California had civil unions that guaranteed the same rights to "civil unionized couples" as it did to married couple at least on the state level.

The court found what you call it does make a difference. Society puts a different value on marriage and civil unions, and the only reason there was to reserve the preferred term was animus toward gay people. Separate but equal can never really be equal. Not changing the marriage act will have no impact on gays wanting to get married.

Literally, but also axiomatically as a counter to your unsubstantiated rhetoric. Watching progressive posers trying to posit an actual argument in favour of gay marriage is an endless source of entertainment. You are missing the point of the argument. We do not need to posit any argument in favour. Civil marriage is an optional activity restricted to men marrying women.

Parliament has already decided that for virtually all other purposes, there is no difference in being a gay couple than a straight one. Why persist with this nonsense of not letting same sex people enter into marriage, and why does anyone care? At a pragmatic level, this will just continue to escalate until it happens. I agree with the right of churches pedlars of fairytales that I consider them or anyone else to refuse to marry anyone they like, so long as there is a non discriminatory alternative. And there is. This is not a religious thing. It is a civil society thing.

I could help you but the moderators don't want me to. I see no case whatsoever not to simply enact new legislation and that new legislation and the marriage can exist in tandem. Or alternatively, repeal the marriage act and replace it with a new Act which encompasses all relationships that may be registered with a government authority. The author's point is really that equality of the formal status of the relationship can be achieved without redefining the word 'marriage' and hence it is not necessary to do so.

Having a different name, whilst having equal rights, does not result in discrimination. I disagree, WA. The author's point is: "To remove the sexual specificity from the notion of marriage makes marriage not a realisation of the bodily difference between male and female that protects and dignifies each, but simply a matter of choice.

This is based on the church's view that only sex in marriage is permitted, though they are tolerant of sex out of marriage if marriage in intended. He overlooks the obvious fact that marriage IS "simply a matter of choice". That's the point. Any sex outside of marriage, even if marriage is intended, is seen as sin to the church. Just as much as lying, stealing, murder and so on and so forth. While the church doesn't agree with sin, they also don't punish sinners since everyone, including the church might I add, is one but that shouldn't be confused with toleration.

That statement just troubled me and I needed to clear things up. Beautifully put, WA. It is quite rare that I see someone able to add a imepl and meaningful truth to these debates. It doesn't 'discriminate' that we use the word husband for the male half and wife for the female half of the marital couple.

It just helps to clarify who we mean. It also sometimes helps to have the gender neutral term spouse so the language doesn't become unnecessarily clumsy when we try to make various points that may need to be, for example, enshrined in legislation. Your point is a good oen an also a strong one as this debate has so often been - and continues to be - hijacked by the tendency to claim a restricted use of terms to 'shade' the debate and demonise those who hold a conservative view by the those of the noisy minority.

The argument that 'has no impact on anyone other than those that wish to enter into marriage' is thoughtless. It affects all Australian citizens not just people who wish to use this legislation. Are they making gay marriage compulsory? That is the thin end John " It affects all Australian citizens John: You're conflating two different things there - and particular argument from the debate, and who can participate in the debate. The debate is one everyone can participate in. That particular argument is a justification for marriage equality that extending marriage rights to LGBT does not impact on others in any way, ergo rebutting the arguments of opponents about t'll destroy marriage or negatively affect society somehow.

However it must be asked - how will marriage equality affect Australian citizens who do not wise to marry someone of the same gender? Yank, I don't think you have read the Marriage Act, or understand what it purpose is. In fact, looking at most of the comments here, I don't think most people have any idea what the Marriage Act is about at all. The Marriage Act never set out to define what is or is not a marriage. Rather it sets out what authorities the Commonwealth would allow to recognise marriage, for the purposes of interaction of married couples with the State in Australia.

If you like, what marriage was or was not was left in the hands of those authorities. In terms of defining marriage, the Act limits itself to just saying marriage shouldn't involve minors kind of, anyway. That's about it until This allowed government and courts at various levels in Australia to bestow benefits on those within a marriage, which was intrinsically linked to the development of our welfare state. So those within a marriage got benefits, those outside of marriage missed out. Hence marriage became an equality issue.

And this is the nub of the issue, really. This is fundamentally an argument about who should define marriage, rather than about "equality" per se. The equality part of the equation has already largely been dealt with. Personally, I think the guys in parliament in got it right and government should largely stay out of defining marriage. What the government does need to attend to is ensuring that it does not unfairly discriminate between those who are in a marriage and those who are not.

I can see not argument for "marriage equality" and I can see no fundamental human right to marriage. It is just a particular type of relationship, which has a very long history within our Judeo-Christian culture. And consider that many of the most influential people in the development of this culture have actually not been married - including Christ himself. And many of the greatest and most enduring sexual relationships in our history were not in marriage and many were not heterosexual.

Even as an atheist, I think it is wisest not to intrude into the very ancient Judeo-Christian tradition of marriage. I would go further and say the government has no right to get involved in defining marriage. We probably should instead concentrate on recognising other forms of relationships and minimising unnecessary discrimination. Marriage clearly isn't for everyone, whether they are gay or straight. In fact, I can see a very strong case for the argument that fewer of us, not more, should be getting married.

Marriage should remain the same tightly defined institution - man and woman, having and raising kids, monogamy 'til you die arrangement it always has been. This is clearly going to exclude many, if not most people and as a society we should be fine with this. Not being married shouldn't be a cause for discrimination. Unions between people as a public statement her done way before. Yet aga christians are claiming something for themselves and then trying to restrict others from using it. A lot of words that end up no where in particular. Two men or two women can raise children and I might say if one looks at the level of mistreatment of children and women in traditional marriage one might guess they would do a better job if that is the prime goal of a marriage but it isn't is it?

Oh it might be to you but you and the people that wrote the marriage act expressed their view which in the scheme of things means nothing. Assuming Australia is still a democracy, and yes I realise Abbott is doing all he can to destroy that concept, it is us the people that decide what benefit the state of marriage has. And this is being or not being done by those we elected. Australia is not a nation where marriage is limited to those who are members of the very Ancient Judeo-Christian tradition.

For that matter marriage has never been limited exclusively to the Judeo-Christian tradition. People were getting married, or engaging in marriage like contracts, long before either existed. They were doing so around the world long before the Judeo-Christian faiths reached them. Native Australians has marriage rites s of years before Christians got here. Thousands of years before Christianity existed. And some of them didn't meet the "Judeo-Christian" definition of marriage.

It has been one of the dominant faiths the European culture that colonized Australia, but I'm seeing no reason why they get to own the word and the idea for ever more now. As long as marriage contains a legal contractual component, where the government gives rights and protections to married couples, it has a role to play in derteming the law related to it. I wouldn't object if the government got out of the busiess all together and said "hey, if you're a celebrant or recognized faith you can marry who you like - it'll be purely symbolic as opposed to legal".

Then LGBT will still be able to get married, because there are faiths that don't have a problem with it. Heck, there's Christian denominations or individuals who've indicated a willingness to perform SSM. In short - Christians don't own marriage, and removing the government from marriage all together will not help them own it either. You're right that marriage certainly did not start in Christianity. Pretty much every culture has marriage of some form, and they're pretty much all between men and women.

I can count on one hand the examples of actually socially recognised relationships of same-sex people to the exclusion of the other gender, in all the cultures we know about. Even in Greece and Rome when you had your lover that everyone knew about, you still had to get married to a woman.

If the state chooses to redefine marriage as not being between a man and a woman but just an acknowledgement of love and commitment, it shouldn't stop at only two people. Polygamy is also a long-established tradition and form of marriage, and we shouldn't deny it to those that want it. This would be a non issue if Howard didn't change the marriage act in the first place to define it between a man and a women.

I agree with the author with regards to his underlying argument: marriage is for the protection of children and of the responsibility of the couple to each other in sickness and health. However, that does not preclude same sex couples. And what the author doesn't do is identify the real elephant the underlying argument points to : divorce. And divorce is far more common than same sex couples, a far more thorny issue to discuss. Jay that flaw in your argument is that we do not have a fantastic world and therefore not all children in a heterosexual marriage are as safe as those against same sex marriage would have us believe.

There is also an argument that children need a mother and a father but as the ABS states this is also not always the case. ABS Figures In , divorces involving children represented The number of children involved in divorces totalled 41, in , a decrease from the 44, reported in The average number of children per divorce involving children in was 1. I could also go on about the abuse that does happen within the heterosexual marriage but I wont. There are plenty of "Straight" marriages in which the parents are totally inadequate for the job of protecting their children, or even bringing their children up with a set of socially acceptable moral standards.

Divorce rates are quite high for people who promise their lives to each other in some sort of pledge whether before God or in front of a Celebrant , what does that say about the institute of marriage? Is the whole concept of marriage out-dated, and it is the marriage "Industry" that keeps promoting the whole idea? Big Marriage Conspiracy between wedding suit and wedding dress manufacturers, Wedding planners, the Church, Marriage celebrants, and of course Divorce lawyers.

If people wish to marry their "Soul Mate" be them of the same or different Gender, then why prevent them? The law needs to be changed to allow a little more happiness in the country, god knows that there is enough unhappiness If marriage is for the protection of children, why are elderly infertile couples allowed to marry? They have no more of a chance of producing offspring than a gay couple.

The author makes no mention of that little problem. Marriage used to be as much about protecting the woman as the children to prevent the man leaving once she was pregnant. Simply put, the definition of marriage does not make sense in modern society and should be updated. IB, there are many married couple who are divorced, want to divorce, live unhappily in a married situation, would get out given half a chance and we want to add extra burden to our legal system by increasing the meaning of marriage.

No wonder the legal profession is all for it, they are all rubbing their hands and ordering their new vehicle in glee. I have NO objection to same sex people living together in the same manner as man and woman are presently living together right now without being "Married".

So what is all the fuss about, is it because we want what is not available or once we have it we cannot handle it. Just an observation. Ciao, Tony. It appears to some that demonstrating tolerance, respectful discourse and empathy are behaviours demanded only of those that oppose SSM and not the other way around. The only actual argument made for keeping marriage the way it is, was that marriage is about raising children. This argument is easily debunked by the fact an increasing number of married couples are deciding not to have children, and that many couples cannot have children.

Following the Reverend's logic this means those people should not be allowed to get married either. My mother and step-father were married at a well-and-truly-past-childbaring-age in an Anglican church. Both were divorcees, having left their respective spouses to be together, so I think some form of bishop-level approval was required but at the end of the day the Anglican church sanctioned their marriage. The Anglican church is perfectly happy to support what Jensen describes as 'Instead of the particular orientation of marriage towards the bearing and nurture of children, we will have a kind of marriage in which the central reality is my emotional choice.

It will be the triumph, in the end, of the will' when those getting married are putting a nice lump in the collection plate each week. Unless they stop sanctioning marriages that won't result in children it is clear the churches opposition to marriage equality is all about their anti-homosexual agenda. Excellent point. One of my students has two mums.

They are two of the most caring and supportive parents at my school. I wish more parents were like them. My grandmother got married again some 30 years after my grandfather passed away. They had no intention or ability to have children. So under your logic they should not have been able to be married.

I also have friends who are married but will not have children by choice. Again under your logic they should not be married. Big flaw in the children argument. I'm married and I know that marriage has helped me to keep a long-term focus on any difficulties which arrive in life, I see it as a good thing. Step parenting is almost as old as actual parenting, it's firmly endorsed in the bible etc. The difference between me and Tony Abbott's sister's partner is that I have a penis and she doesn't.

My penis, I'm pleased to say, has not played a role in my step-parenting. Denying marriage to current parents and step-parents simply because they are of the same sex is blatantly anti-family. Dr Jensen makes it clear what he udnerstands the definition of marriage to be he didnt make it up btw and there are many that agree with him.

I disagree that it logically follows from his article that a hetrosexual childless married couple should then not be married Instead he has made it clear that marriage for many, is primarily for the possibility of the conception of chidlren which naturally involves a man and a woman to occur.

It doesnt matter whether it occurs or not Of course we can complicate the debate by talking about IVF, surrogacy etc Of course same sex couples can find a range of ways to parent a child