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Erik is a public policy professional and owner of the online training course in democracy and civic action: www.3ptraining.com.au The Blog …explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military. The Book Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Gay Marriage Bill – where were the children’s rights?

I admire anyone who is good at their craft.  While the religious conservatives remained distracted with internal conflicts on everything from ordination of women priests to the war in Iraq, the gay movement ran a long term strategic, incremental, intergenerational campaign.  As a former campaigner (on other issues) I give them credit.  They came within a handful of votes, and succeeded in framing the issue as one of love and tolerance verses bigotry and hate.  They have captured the agenda, the momentum and the media.  Having done so, they were able to create a wedge issue that forced conservatives into a corner; and then shouted them down.

Shouting them down: homosexual activists denying freedom of speech and assembly in Brisbane

For friends finding this site from the USA please note that homosexual couples can register a civil union here.  This provides them legally with all the same rights to financial settlement as heterosexual couples, e.g. assets on separation of death of partner, superannuation, spousal pensions if insured for the death of a partner, probate, etc.  What they cannot do is call the union “marriage” and, as a married couple, adopt children. The marriage bill sought to change that.

I opposed the Bill simply to uphold the principle that children have a right to be raised by a mother and a father.  Both genders contribute different and complimentary things.  Both are necessary for the raising of well adjusted and resilient children.  While that is not always possible in the messiness of real life, the law should as far as possible safeguard that right.  For that reason it should be unlawful for anyone to access IVF who is not a married heterosexual – and yes, we really do need to stop subsidising a culture of intergenerational illegitimacy.  Single parenthood on welfare  is an accepted career option where I grew up.  Having lived with and seen the social consequences of welfare without obligation, I can say that it is high time we put the brakes on. 

Of course some homosexuals can be better parents than some heterosexuals.  Bad parenting and social dysfunction crosses all boundaries of gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality and religion.  Some kids are better off raised by wolves than by their parents.  That doesn’t change the argument.  It’s not about bigotry, it’s about making society work.  I have married heterosexual friends who have chosen not to have children because, for various reasons, they didn’t feel they could be responsible parents.

Key to this debate is the appropriate role of the State.  On the whole laws should not tell consenting adults how to live their lives unless there is an overwhelming public interest argument.  Children, animals, and the intellectually disabled don’t get to choose and we are compelled to choose for them.  The State therefore does have a role in setting boundaries.  The marriage boundary is an appropriate one.  I vote we keep it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Erik :)