September 17th 2011

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Remembering the day that shook the world

EDITORIAL: A decade after 9/11: bin Laden's failure

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Can Labor learn from the Rudd and Gillard fiascos?

IMMIGRATION: Labor in denial after High Court sinks "Malaysia solution"

OPINION: Party of the last, the least and the lost

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Australian manufacturing at the crossroads

SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND: Consensus builds for new national approach

FINANCIAL AFFAIRS: Ruby anniversary of demise of gold-backed currency

MARRIAGE: Same-sex marriage will damage family and society

OPINION: Julia Gillard's gift for Father's Day

SOCIETY: Fatherlessness linked to violence

ABORTION: Women deprived of independent counselling

BOOK REVIEW A sequel that surpasses the original

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Same-sex marriage will damage family and society

by James Bowen

News Weekly, September 17, 2011

In her article, “Same-sex marriage agenda to subvert marital fidelity” (News Weekly, August 20, 2011), Babette Francis highlights one of the serious risks that the gay rights agenda poses for traditional marriage and its important role in society.

The Greens, exploiting their crucial support for the Gillard minority Labor Government, are likely to continue their push for legalisation of same-sex marriage on the ground that it is no more than recognition of a basic human right.

This misleading view was pushed by contributing editor to The Australian and political scientist Peter van Onselen in his article, “Gays denied human rights” (Weekend Australian, August 20-21, 2011). Dr van Onselen accused those who oppose redefining traditional marriage to allow homosexuals to marry of the “vice of bigotry”.

He ignored the critical point that traditional marriage, being the enduring union of a man and a woman, has been valued and protected as the fundamental stabilising institution of civilised societies over 6,000 years of recorded history. This natural union of a man and a woman has been viewed over millennia as the best means of maintaining and increasing population; protecting and socialising children; and providing for their emotional needs as they grow.

Dr van Onselen could not point to any civilisation that has allowed same-sex marriage prior to 2001 when it was legalised in the Netherlands. Today, only a small number of Western countries and some American states have legalised same-sex marriage.

Judges have played significant roles in the United States and Canada by legalising same-sex marriage on the foundation of human rights legislation. In California, Hawaii and Alaska, judicial legalising of same-sex marriage has been overturned by plebiscite.

With federal parliament considering the issue of same-sex marriage at the behest of Greens MP Adam Bandt, and Dr van Onselen pushing the gay rights line in the national newspaper to justify legalising same-sex marriage, we are justified in examining the origins of the gay rights movement, its aims and its potential to change our society for good or ill.

The modern gay rights movement originated in the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969. Gay rights activists produced a list of demands that included legalising of all homosexual acts; reducing the age of consent for man-boy sex; removal of homosexuality from the categories of psychiatric disorders; the right for homosexuals to serve in the military and police; and prohibition of any discrimination against homosexuals in employment, housing and rental accommodation.

Most of these rights, apart from reduction of the age of consent for man-boy sex, have been granted in Australia. In Victoria, former Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon aligned the Victoria Police with gay rights politics when she marched in the 2009 “Midsumma” gay pride march and allowed uniformed police to participate in the march.

In pushing for these rights, and despite the fact that homosexuality is both biologically abnormal and a biological dead end, gay activists and their supporters have claimed that homosexuals comprise 10 per cent of any given Western society, and consequently, being homosexual is as normal as being left-handed. On this figure, two million Australians would be homosexual.

The 10 per cent figure was derived from the published investigations of human sexuality by Dr Alfred Kinsey whose research has now been heavily discredited by disclosures that, although married, he was himself a practising homosexual and voyeur who manipulated his research sampling to produce the 10 per cent figure and persuade Americans that the aberrant sexual behaviour that he enjoyed was practised widely.

However, extensive and independent random surveys in England, France, Norway, Canada, the United States and Australia have indicated that the incidence of homosexuality in any given Western society is likely to be between one and two per cent. In 1989, the Kinsey Institute in the United States also accepted these much lower figures. In Australia, these figures would produce an incidence of homosexuality falling between 170,000 and 340,000.

Why does the gay lobby persistently exaggerate the number of homosexuals in Australia and claim a figure of around two million? The likely answer is to gain political clout and pressure politicians into acceding to demands of the gay lobby.

In achieving their agenda, gay activists have also relied heavily on the removal of homosexuality from the categories of psychiatric disorders in 1974. Some senior psychiatrists will privately admit that removal of homosexuality from the categories of mental disorders is still controversial, but concede that public discussion of the issue is restricted by political correctness and accusations of homophobia.

Homosexuality had been included in the authoritative American “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM) as a behavioural disorder until gay rights activists declared war on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and demanded removal of homosexuality from the categories of mental disorders.

After gay activists violently wrecked the APA’s 1970 and 1971 annual conferences, the APA surrendered to this intimidation and removed homosexuality from the categories of mental disorders in the 1974 edition of the DSM. In attempting to justify this removal without supporting medical evidence, the APA announced that it had been persuaded by the research of Alfred Kinsey.

It is not completely irrelevant that these gay rights were achieved on the basis of two false premises.

In regard to education, the gay rights agenda demanded introduction into all schools of sex education courses, prepared and taught by homosexual men and women, and presenting homosexuality to schoolchildren as being as normal as heterosexuality; a valid, healthy preference and lifestyle; and a viable alternative to heterosexuality.

Although not fully achieved in Australia, the New South Wales Education Department has followed this approach since the 1980s and warned against “homophobia” on the ground that homosexuality is normal and that as many as one in seven schoolchildren could be homosexual, as claimed in the NSW Department of Schools’ Violence Against Homosexual Men and Women kit.

In relation to marriage and the family, the gay rights agenda demanded that homosexuals who cohabit should receive the same legal benefits available to married couples; the right for homosexuals to marry and adopt children; and, once achieved by homosexuals, the redefining of marriage to remove any requirement of fidelity to a marriage partner, any legal limit on the number of parties to a marriage, and any limitation on the duration of a marriage.

Legalisation of same-sex marriage in Canada and some American states has led to schoolchildren being taught that homosexuality is normal and to the criminalisation of any public comments that contradict that claim of normality, including quotations from the Bible.

Legalisation of same-sex marriage raises important issues, including redefining one of society’s most fundamental institutions.

The minority Gillard Government does not have a mandate to change by law the character of traditional marriage. It is a great pity that John Howard failed to provide traditional marriage with the protection of plebiscite that he gave to proposals to change the Australian flag.

If, as Peter van Onselen suggests, a majority of Australians would support the redefining of marriage so that it no longer means the union of a man and a woman, then it should be put to Australians for their decision at the next federal election after full public debate of the issues.

James Bowen is a Victorian lawyer and former crown prosecutor. 

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