Angela Shanahan (“Politicians’ dubious moral compass risks our freedom”, The Australian, 9/7) promotes a number of falsehoods, most insidiously that “[c]hildren will suffer…within a same-sex relationship”. Research consistently shows this is not the case, despite the unsubstantiated assertions of academic Margaret Somerville.
It is also false that “[m]arriage exists…only to protect the children born of the union”. Childless couples, adoptive and step-parents may all marry, as long as they are straight.
Warnings that legal gay marriage will infringe “rights” to criticise and shun homosexuals are risible: the legality of, say, prostitution has no bearing on whether one is allowed to discuss its morality or required to socialise with its practitioners.
Far from being a “contentious” debate which “the Greens are forcing on us”, Australians overwhelmingly support gay marriage. Shanahan is clutching at straws in her attempts to dress up her anti-gay agenda as something more noble.
Frank Furedi’s attempt to paint gay marriage support as defining “cosmopolitan cultural elites” (“Where gay matrimony meets elite sanctimony”, The Australian, 25/6) fails for the simple reason that it is a view held by the majority of Australians, making it the only mainstream value rejected by both major parties.
Furedi’s argument is of a familiar fallacious pattern: take an issue with feisty antagonists, and pillory one side only for its feistiness, while feigning neutrality on the issue itself. The fact that he (presumably) would not take this position if the question were, say, the abolition of slavery, betrays his assessment of gay marriage as unimportant at best.
Whether the Territories should have legislative parity with the States should obviously be decided on its merits, not on speculation about what decisions they may make if it comes to pass (such as potentially approving gay marriage). Unfortunately The Australian has chosen to add to this widespread confusion (“Canberra should not cede power to territories”, 3/3).
Worse, they opine that because voters’ views in the A.C.T “do not always coincide with those of the wider Australian community”, they should not be able to legislate for their own constituency. By the same reasoning, rural voters should not be allowed to vote for National Party candidates. In fact, why not go the whole hog and outlaw minor parties altogether?
This self-contradictory, “you can have democracy as long as you agree with me” attitude reflects the fact that small-L liberals and social conservatives, who both fly the conservative banner, actually have nothing in common at all.