On Wednesday November 15, 2017, the Australian Statistician declared, in a long winded announcement, that the “Yes” campaign for same sex marriage had won the day in the eight week long national opinion poll, or postal plebiscite, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at the Australian Government’s direction.
Voting, or rather completing and returning the survey form was voluntary, unlike elections and referendums in Australia, and survey papers were sent out to everyone on the Federal Electoral Roll. This exercise took the form of a postal survey rather than a plebiscite because the Labor/Greens/Cross Bench alliance in the Senate would not approve legislation for a plebiscite. This alliance opposed any effort or measure to allow the population a say in whether same sex marriage legislation should be enacted.
A survey by the Bureau of Statistics did not require parliamentary approval. (Of course, after the result they all sought to claim credit for themselves for the genius of the process and the outcome. The original idea for a plebiscite had been that of former conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He thought the Parliament should not legislate to change millennia old traditional marriage without an opportunity for the voting public to express a definitive view on such a monumental social change).
The question on the paper was, “Should the law be changed to allow for same sex couples to marry?”
Nationally, about 79% of those eligible to “vote,” by completing and returning the survey form–-with a simple “Yes” or “No” box ticked or crossed–-participated.
Of that number 62% or 7.82 million responded “Yes.” Those responding “No” were 38% or 4.87 million. Those who had no opinion, could not care less or were too lazy to tick a box and place the form in a “free post” envelope was 20 % of those eligible to complete the survey.
This was a case where the opinion polling, both before and during the voting period, actually reflected the final result. Indeed, the postal survey was itself an opinion poll.
So, what does this fateful survey result lead to? It leads to the Federal Government attempting to fulfill its promise that in the event of a “Yes” vote it would legislate same sex marriage by Christmas. Second, third and fourth it means that all of the negative impacts of same sex marriage on Australian society will now inevitably flow. But these will be touched on later.
A Little History
The Australian Constitution grants exclusive jurisdiction to the Commonwealth of Australia (the Federal Government) in respect of marriage. The Commonwealth’s power with respect to marriage comes from s. 51(xxi) of the Constitution. Section 51(xxi) states:
“The Parliament shall … have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: Marriage.”
At the time that the Constitution was framed there was no doubt as to the meaning of marriage––namely, a formal, monogamous and heterosexual union for life. That was the description of marriage enshrined in the Marriage Act 1961 and the Family Law Act 1975. Various High Court judges, in reasons given for several leading decisions over the century since Federation and the passing of the Constitution, have pondered whether it may mean more but the definition has held––till now.
In a 1999 High Court decision McHugh J in Re Wakim; Ex parte McNally gave a hint of things to come: “The level of abstraction for some terms of the Constitution is, however, much harder to identify than that of those set out above. Thus, in 1901 “marriage” was seen as meaning a voluntary union of life between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. If that level of abstraction were now accepted, it would deny the Parliament of the Commonwealth the power to legislate for same sex marriages, although arguably ‘marriage’ now means, or in the near future may mean, a voluntary union for life between two people to the exclusion of others.”
And, of course 18 years later that is precisely the result of this public opinion survey.
The push for same sex marriage is long standing. Undoubtedly that prospect even back in 1999 led Justice McHugh to postulate a change to “voluntary union for life between two people to the exclusion of others.”
That push for same sex marriage and utterings from the High Court, such as that of McHugh, certainly would have influenced former Prime Minister John Howard to legislate the Marriage Amendment Act 2004 that amended the Marriage Act 1961 so as to insert the definition of marriage as being “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” And also introduced section 88EA that reads:
88EA Certain unions are not marriages
A union solemnized in a foreign country between:
(a) a man and another man; or
(b) a woman and another woman;
Must not be recognized as a marriage in Australia.
No doubt all that is about to change.
“Yes.” Homosexuality was decriminalized across Australia decades ago. Over the years homosexual rights have been legislated at both the State and Commonwealth level with equal rights legislation across the gamut involving same sex partner rights in superannuation law, inheritance law, leave entitlements, carer entitlements, adoption rights, fostering rights, even legally recognized same sex unions–the list is long and comprehensive of every aspect of modern life and entitlements. Ostensibly, the only area left where some claim of discrimination by the State could be mounted by the homosexual community, collectively known as the LGBTQI (or alphabet people), was the time old and tested institution of marriage; the principle building block of tribes, clans–nations–through the establishment and stability of family. Husband, wife. Father, mother, children. So time tested that we find in Genesis 2:23-24:
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
The campaign for the “yes” vote was premised on a slogan, “Love is love” and an argument for “marriage equality.” The claim is that homosexual couples have as much right to have their loving relationships sanctified as a heterosexual couple.
62% of respondents to the postal survey seemed to agree not only with this proposition but by force of their choice that this ‘right’ trumped several actual fundamental human rights, hard fought for over centuries and even set forth and confirmed in United Nations treaties and covenants.
But many of them probably did not look further than “love is love” and let’s just get this over with. Many expressed frustration that this issue was chewing up the national political discussion and just wanted to see the back of it. They just thought this whole exercise was about letting two people who “love” each other get legally hitched, with little or, more likely, no regard for the foreseen and unforeseen consequences to the operation of civil society.
“No.” Those consequences were what the “No” campaign highlighted. The “No” campaign was conducted in large part by an organization called “Marriage Alliance” of which the Australian Christian Lobby organization was a leading participant, as well as numbers of actual (not fake) conservative politicians. The campaign highlighted the consequences for schools, for children and for fundamental freedoms such as freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
In brief, the arguments put forward were:
The Consequences for Schools
“When marriage is redefined, there are consequential changes in education programs and policies in schools, and parents are increasingly excluded from having a say in the sex education of their children.”
“Once ‘equality’ defines heterosexual and homosexual relations the same, then differentiating between the two will be regarded as discrimination. The LGBTQI activists will demand that all schools teach ‘queer gender theory’; that biological sex cannot be understood as male/female; that sexual diversity and gender diversity are a natural part of each individual’s true identity; that identity in all its forms must be affirmed and celebrated…”. This includes the lunacy of so called “sexual fluidity”––a concept that in all of human history till now had not raised its pointy head in even radical circles.
A program called “Safe Schools,” passed off as an anti-bullying program, was rolled out across Australia and later curtailed, and Federal funding withdrawn, once parents found out what it was teaching–and Coalition Government politicians (now in power) woke up. It was instigated by the Labor Socialist Government of Julia Gillard. The program was devised by activists pushing queer gender theory. Astoundingly, this “safe schools” ideology found root with the education bureaucracy around the country, and the teaching profession at large. Some few teachers have publicly declared they could not teach the content to their classes. But this program is to be made compulsory for all schools in Victoria in 2018 at the direction of that State’s Socialist Labor government. Elements of it still exist in NSW, Queensland and elsewhere. Will it now be mandated to come back in full across the country? If as expected the next Federal Government is a reversion to Labor Socialist it undoubtedly will come back with perverse sex education starting in kindergarten.
The Consequences for Children
Homosexual couples have for years been able to adopt children, have children through IVF, through surrogacy, and of course, it is often the case that both men and women who have been in a heterosexual relationship and have children, discover after years of marriage to a member of the opposite sex, that they are in fact “homosexual.” They get divorced. And, often they get the children of that former traditional marriage or relationship and bring them along into the new same sex “partnership.”
The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that a child has, as far as possible, “the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.” The redefinition of marriage would, from the very beginning, deliberately deprive a child of this right. In most instances, if not every instance, of a homosexual couple raising a child, at least one, and possibly both, biological parents are out of the picture.
The Impact on Freedoms
The freedoms likely to be impacted as a result of the law changing to allow same sex marriage are freedom of speech and association, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.
Freedom of Association and Speech
There are now a number of examples of all these freedoms of association and speech being eroded and lost to individuals. Corporations have now adopted diversity policies that rejoice in the LGBTQI agenda and woe betide any employee who expresses any dissent. Some companies and corporations have forced employees to resign their membership of bodies outside the employing entity that espouse views on same sex marriage and queerness contrary to the employing entity, or face the sack. Some have been forced out of their job for it being revealed they contributed, perhaps years before, to an anti LGBTQI cause or pro traditional marriage organization.
Freedom of Conscience
There are now many examples in various countries that have adopted same sex marriage laws where suppliers of goods and services have been prosecuted for refusing to have their business involved in a same sex marriage–venue owners, cake shop proprietors, florists, photographers. It is claimed these individuals have no right to express their moral stance in respect to lending their material support to enabling a same sex marriage ceremony or celebration. It’s just business after all. And business is amoral, is it not? Oh, except when it is moral to say, boycott Israeli businesses, boycott and demonize various industries thought to be “destroying the planet”–think coal, oil among others. Ethics is situational, right?
The Bill currently being debated in the Australian Parliament (and which will probably be law by Christmas) apparently contains protections for only clerics. The Government has appointed an “expert” panel to advise on other protections. That expert panel would report mid 2018 and a separate Bill may emerge with recommended protections. However, the Leader of the Socialist Opposition has vowed that if his party won government at the next election it would repeal any such protections. And it is likely, very likely, that the Opposition will form Government after the next election according to the polls.
Freedom of Religion
The push for marriage “equality” was framed in the language of “tolerance.” Now having succeeded with a mantra of “tolerance” with the “yes” vote, can anyone think the LGBTQI lobby, especially the Left activist faction is going to be “tolerant” of religious freedoms? There is at least one example of an LGBTQI activists dragging a churchman before an “anti-discrimination” tribunal just for espousing his churches doctrinal beliefs on what constitutes marriage. What’s more the Tribunal was prepared to hear the matter. Thankfully the complaint was later dropped–because it wasn’t a good look in the midst of a campaign based on “tolerance.” But without legislated protections how long before the next religious leader or layman is hauled off to an anti discrimination tribunal merely for stating his churches doctrine?
The attitude of many who voted in favor of changing Australia’s marriage law seems to have been governed by a belief that it truly was just a simple question about two people of the same sex having exactly what two people of the opposite sex can have; a society approved and legally binding union for life to the exclusion of all others–that is marriage.
Having achieved their goal, many of those voters will think that is the end of it. They won’t have to hear about it anymore, they won’t have to listen to the cries and claims of LGBTQI types that they are victims of a terrible discrimination in marriage. It’s all done. Indeed, many did express the view that they just wanted to put the issue behind and get on with the important issues for the country.
Is it all done? Not really. Not done at all. As indicated by the arguments of the “No” case there is now much fertile ground for the LGBTQI activists to till, and till it they will until every last vestige of traditional society, its freedoms of speech, conscience and religion are gone. In other words, they won’t stop. Radicals never do stop.
The schools will be overrun with gender fluidity theory, individuals will be hounded in and from their employment for not toeing the corporate toady LGBTQI line on “diversity.”
If there was any doubt about the nihilistic, secular nature of Australia, this postal survey put that to rest. The “No” campaign made no effort at all to frame their position in terms of God’s Law and Commandments; that the Bible condemned homosexuality and everything associated with its practice. That argument was lost long ago, even before homosexuality was decriminalized and certainly many years ago with the recognition of homosexuals’ rights in every aspect of law.
Yes, it has been obvious for years that Australia as a whole is irreligious, unbelieving, secular. No point mounting a religious argument to those who despise religion. Especially when even many members of so called “Christian” churches openly support same sex marriage, including many of their ministers/pastors, some of whom led the charge.
Australia was the last hold out for same sex marriage in the Anglo-sphere and perhaps the western world. And with Australia, or at least a substantial majority of those who bothered to vote, acquiescing with this indulgence of fake marriage we can see where the world is now as the Bible in fact describes it:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
The Apostle Paul expands on this litany of appaling conduct in Romans 1:18-32 if you have the time to read that passage. Remember, the Roman Empire is the exemplar of a civilization collapsing in large measure under the weight of prurience, licentiousness and every perverse and sexual deviancy, leading to the decay of the family and the Empire over centuries (See Edward Gibbon’s “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”). But remarkably, Rome never did legalize or sanctify homosexual “marriage.” Not even they thought that was a good idea!
Are we in the last days? It certainly feels like it. The last domino has fallen.