I have been preoccupied with life for the last 4 years so I thought now would be a good time to come back in the political spectrum if you will.
This article will be mainly for Australians as the postal vote doesn't affect anyone internationally.
Right now there is a postal vote going on in Australia to determine whether or not same-sex couples should be allowed to be married.
Now in a democratic country such as Australia (at least democratic in relation to their values), you would think that resolving this issue would be a no-brainer.
You would think that same-sex couples would be given the ability to get married. In fact, there was already a bill in motion to achieve that same effect without infringing upon the religious freedoms of churches to not wed gay couples.
This bill would have given civil(not religious) celebrants the right to marry gay couples without forcing religious celebrants to do the same thing.
And to me in a democratic nation that seems perfectly fine. It preserves the rights of churches to not have to wed gay couples while giving gay couples the option to find civil celebrants who can wed them legally.
This would seem like a win-win situation for everyone.
Also, it doesn't make sense to say that everyone has equal rights if straight couples have the right to wed while gay couples don't. I mean if the government tried to propose a measure prohibiting people from marrying if they were of certain religious creed or race there would be massive outrage about that.
Yet why do members of parliament not want to give same-sex couples the right to get married?
Well as far as I can tell the issue seems to be related to religious ideas (or what some would say bigotry but not me though). Now I personally am a Christian and while I could get into a debate about how the word homosexual didn't really appear in the English translation of the Bible until 18th century and that the word in the bible which is translated as meaning homosexual is Arsenokoitēs which doesn't particularly mean homosexual as there are other words in new testament Greek that can be used to represent homosexual.
Now in regards to the word Arsenokoitēs the best explanation that we have of the word is from a Jewish contemporary of Paul's called Philo who believed that the word meant shrine prostitute which referred to the practice of having small children be sex slaves for the sex cults that existed in ancient time.
But all of this is beside the point. Because whether or not you choose to believe that homosexuality is a sin or not is beside the point. You're free to believe as you wish. That is your democratic right (or at least should be).
What is the point is that religious beliefs are not supposed to affect the policies and laws that politicians produce as there is supposed to be a wall between church and state. This is because the government is not supposed to tell you what to believe in terms of your beliefs in religion, ideology or sexuality.
If politicians want to believe that homosexuality is a sin then that is their right but it's the manner in which the no campaign and those politicians opposing same-sex marriage go about opposing the same-sex marriage that in my opinion is the problem.
I carefully examined the arguments of both sides as opposed to just labelling one side as bigots and the other as pro-gay propagandists or leftists.
The vote yes campaign seems to only be about giving gay couples the right to marry and nothing else. A popular slogan seems to be "All Love is Love".
This is very simple and nor do they seem to be trying to push an agenda other than the right to marry for gay couples.
Now if this vote is only about giving gay people the right to marry well what is the problem that the vote no campaigners have with this?
Well according to them, changing the traditional definition of marriage is going to open the way to changes to policies.
According to the most recent vote no add campaign which can be seen below. Voting yes to same-sex marriage is going to cause all sorts of changes to be made to schools and policies.
Now the ABC show the hack put up a good article doing the fact check of the above article and while I won't just repeat the article verbatim as you can read it yourself as it's a short article I will offer what I think are the valid points from it in my own terms.
There are numerous concerns referred to in the video but most seem to be unfounded or not related to the actual vote on same-sex marriage.
For instance, one lady claims that her son was told that he could wear a dress if he felt like it but this has been disputed by the actual principal of the Frankston High School has disputed this and there seems to be no evidence that I can find that corroborates her story, in fact, the above video offers no evidence of her son being told that at all.
Much of the video seems to be in reference to the Safe Schools program and how allowing same-sex couples to marry is somehow going to have an effect on our school programs but these are not interrelated.
The vote is simply about giving gay couples the right to get married that's all.
It has nothing to do with anything else. Now I understand that there are parents who have concerns about their children being indoctrinated with pro-gay propaganda(not that I can think any) or being concerned about their children exposed to lessons about sexuality particularly at a young age but these having nothing to do with the same-sex vote. They aren't related at all. They are separate issues.
Now the video also points out that "Kids in year 7 are being asked to role-play being in a same-sex relationship" in the Safe Schools program but once again this has nothing to do with this vote and unfortunately(or fortunately depending on your viewpoint) this program at least in Victoria is going to be mandatory in state high schools regardless of the vote. If you want to oppose that then fine but once again this has nothing to do with the same sex vote.
Now the last two concerns in the video refer to how countries with same-sex laws apparently have compulsory programs for students in regards to same-sex that parents will lose the right to choose whether or not their children participate in a Safe Schools style program but as the article points out in apart one exemption in one state which is in Ontario Canada this just isn't the case.
And Canada, in my opinion, has some over the top laws on political correctness anyway that you probably won't see in Australia.
These arguments raised by the no campaign have nothing to do with children and education. In my opinion, these are just excuses as has been pointed out the same-sex vote has nothing to do with the Safe Schools program or how children will be educated.
It is a straight-up question on whether or not gay couples should have the right to marry and that's it.
Now if you don't want to gay people to be able to be married that's fine. I don't agree with you but I won't call you a bigot or anything else. You have a right to believe what you want but then at least let's be honest about why you want to vote no.
Like that girl Madeline who was fired by Madeline Sims for using a Facebook Vote No filter. She was honest about saying that her view on God is why she chooses to vote no and that is fine as it is her democratic right.
This is what I find so abhorrent about the vote no campaign as it is using fear of the hypothetical to push its agenda and conflating the issue with other arguments that have nothing to do with it.
My father said something interesting yesterday which is that when it comes to racists it's not the racist country bumpkins that are dangerous because they are the way they are due to ignorance and because of their lifestyle but it's the educated ones that are dangerous because the educated ones should know better and they are more deceptive about pushing their agenda.
Now while I obviously wouldn't call the vote no campaigners bigots or racist the above argument rings true when it comes to this particular issue the vote no campaigners and people like Tony Abbott are using deceptive arguments and conflating the issue instead of saying I don't believe in gay couples being able to be married because I either think's it unnatural or because of my religious beliefs.
The ACL should simply have made their campaign for the argument on biblical grounds instead of trying to deceive people in voting their way by presenting half-truths and misrepresentation of facts.
What happened to the Democrats I thought they were supposed to keep the bastards honest.