FAMILY AND SOCIETY by Peter KelleherNews Weekly
Dawn's warning at a minute to midnight
, August 15, 2015
Once a year we are reminded that countries around the world occupy different time zones: when New Year strikes in New Zealand, then Australia’s east coast, then Japan and our west coast, China, India, the Middle East, Europe, Britain, then the U.S. and Canada trailing behind.
spoke to News Weekly.
In a moral and political sense, the countries of the world also occupy time zones: in this case, though, even though New Zealand is again in the vanguard, Canada is running well ahead of anywhere else in the world.
I mean on the same-sex marriage issue. In Australia we are at a minute to midnight, but Canada can already give us a glimpse into the future that awaits us once the clock ticks over the hour here and the proposition that “marriage is between a man and a woman” will be frozen on our tongues. For that phrase is one that in Canada it is now a hate crime to utter. For Canadians it is not a horrible possibility that such could come to pass; it is bald, unadorned fact.
It is also part of the alarming message that Dawn Stefanowicz recently brought to us when she came to speak about the situation in her home country and to warn us, as things stand in Australia today, of what may soon be repeated here.
Dawn is a survivor and a thriver; in her book, Out from Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting, she tells her story. It is a story of an entire childhood spent in a household with a homosexual father and his string of partners, most of whom have died of AIDS, including her father. Were it not for the fact that Dawn has not only survived but has thrived, now married with two children and working as an accountant, the story has all the ingredients of true tragedy.
The word tragedy has been so abused in modern discourse that it has come to be applied to any situation deemed unfortunate or sad, when its full import is of a situation that can only be resolved and redeemed by final sacrifice and death. For Dawn’s father, tragedy is not an inapt term; for Dawn, it is tragedy lived but finally averted.
From her Canadian home today, Dawn has been in communication with over 50 adult children who were raised by GLBT parents and who now share her concerns about same-sex marriage and parenting. She says that many of these now adults struggle with their own sexuality and sense of gender because of the influences in their household environments growing up.
This is but the briefest of backgrounds to establish with what experience and authority Dawn speaks today, because she has come to warn us to avoid Canada’s fate while there is still time. Before we go down the road of legislating for same-sex marriage, she says, be aware of how Orwellian the situation has become in Canada over the past 10 years since same-sex marriage was legalised there.
Dawn’s immediate warning to Australians is that they wake up to what the endgame of the GLBT rights movement involves: centralised state power and the end of the freedoms of religion, expression, association and assembly.
Dawn points out that under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian citizens were supposed to have been guaranteed: (1) freedom of conscience and religion; (2) freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press; (3) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (4) freedom of association. All these freedoms were curtailed with the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
The debate over same-sex marriage that is taking place in Australia today would be a breach of discrimination laws if it were taking place in Canada, Dawn says. If you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including, anything questioning same-sex marriage), you could face discipline at work, or even termination of employment, and perhaps prosecution under the law.
Dawn asks why police prosecute speech under the guise of eliminating “hate speech” when there are existing legal remedies and criminal protections against slander, defamation, threats, and assault that equally apply to all. It is because hate-crime-like policies using the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” create unequal protections under law, whereby protected groups receive more legal protection than other groups. This is the Orwellian flower in full bloom.
So we find that GLBT-identifying persons have more protection under the law as a special interest group. GLBT persons are turned in fact into a privileged sector of society on account of not being heterosexual.
Over and over, Dawn recalls that Canadians were told that “permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive anyone of any rights”. That has been shown to be a lie. It will affect everybody all the time.
When same-sex marriage was legalised in Canada in 2005, parenting was immediately redefined, Dawn says. Canada’s same-sex marriage law, Bill C-38, included a provision to erase the term “natural parent” and replace it in all federal government documentation across the board with gender-neutral “legal parent”. Now all children have only “legal parents” as defined by the state.
By legislating to erase biological parenthood, the state ignores children’s foremost right: their immutable, intrinsic natural right to know and be raised by their biological parents. It also usurps the natural prior rights of parents who expect that they may look to government to support the entirely natural unit of their family. Now, rather, the government bestows on the family the (impermanent) right to exist; a right it may take away at any time, as it bestowed it, if you should misbehave. Misbehave here meaning having the effrontery to disagree with the special rights given to GLBT persons.
In this scheme, Dawn says, children become commodified. There is no justification for severing children from their natural parentage and trading them between unrelated adults. Yet that is the position of children in same-sex households.
From her own experience and that of many others, Dawn says, such children will often deny their grief and pretend they don’t miss a biological parent. Yet, no one denies that when children lose either of their biological parents through death, divorce, adoption, or artificial reproductive technology, they experience a painful void. It is the same for the children of homosexual parents. Their partner(s) can never replace the missing biological parent.
In Canada, says Dawn, it is considered discriminatory to say that “marriage is between a man and a woman” or that “every child should know and be raised by his or her biological married parents”. Just to say so can result in your being fined and be forced to take sensitivity training.
“Anyone who claims to be offended by something you have said or written can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commissions,” she says.
“It takes only one complaint for a person to be brought before the tribunal, and the cost to the defendant can be in the tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Plus a fine of $5000 (which goes to the complainant) for a first offence; plus a gag order.”
Meanwhile, the taxpayer picks up the tab for the person making the complaint. Yet the defendant, even if found innocent, cannot recover his legal costs.
“In Canada under gender neutralism, all varieties of gender and sexuality are protected … except heterosexuality,” Dawn says.
“When same-sex marriage was created in Canada, gender-neutral language became legally mandated,” Dawn says. “The legislation proclaims that it is discriminatory to assume a person is male or female, or heterosexual. So, to be inclusive, special non-gender-specific language is being imposed in media, government, workplaces, and schools.
“A special curriculum is being used in many schools to teach students how to use gender-neutral language. Unbeknownst to many parents, use of gender terms to describe husband and wife, father and mother, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and even pronouns (‘he’ and ‘she’), is being steadily eradicated in Canadian schools.”
Wedding planners, rental halls, bed-and-breakfast owners, florists, photographers, and bakers have already seen their freedoms eroded, conscience rights ignored, and religious freedoms trampled in Canada.
“But this is not just about the wedding industry,” Dawn adds. “Anybody who owns a business may not legally permit his or her conscience to inform business practices or decisions if those decisions are not in line with the tribunals’ decisions and the government’s sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination laws.”
Small business, which, according to Dawn, employs by far the majority of people in Canada, is in the sights of the gender-neutralists. They are easier to isolate and take down one at a time. Meanwhile, big business has seen the writing on the wall and has come down on the side of the same-sex activists.
What time is it, Australia?
If anyone should doubt the urgency of the message, let us not forget that much of the apparatus of oppression is already in place in Australia and has even been tested out. Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has been applied to a well-known media commentator, which silenced him on the issue in question merely for “offending” certain persons.
More recently, and more pertinently perhaps, Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart has been denounced for the hate crime of distributing the pamphlet of the Australian Bishops Conference, Don’t Mess with Marriage, to Catholic schools and parishes. The denouncer reckons that the booklet, which sets out in moderate and reasonable language the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage and sexuality, is offensive and he encourages people to complain to the government that it offends against the Anti-Discrimination Act.
Such laws, then, can be put on the books and left sit, after an exploratory outing or two, until a government willing to use them gets into power.
Already in the U.S., scarcely a month since the Supreme Court there legalised same-sex marriage, the movement is afoot to go “beyond same-sex marriage”. Legislators are to consider a bill, HR3185 – “To prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes” – tabled in Congress that will spread the gender-neutral message throughout all the legislation of that fair land.
The enemy is on the march
This may be the first time in the era of legislative adventurism in which we unluckily live that societies are propounding legal experiments in the full knowledge of the negative consequences – especially on children.
Dawn says: “Gay identity is a social construct in that it demands public recognition from others. Yet, the Supreme Court of the U.S. in its deliberations on whether to alter the age-old human institution of family by allowing same-sex marriage did not even consider what the effect might be on children; who, after all, are seldom found outside families and often make up the greater part of their members. These, the vulnerable and the voiceless, were rendered invisible and silenced.
“Australians need to be prepared. If you introduce same-sex marriage, no matter what you believe, the government will be free to regulate your speech, your writing, your associations, and whether you may express your conscience.
The clock is about to strike midnight local time.”
Dawn Stefanowicz is a member of the Testimonial Committee of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Her book, Out From Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting, is available at www.dawnstefanowicz.org. Also see her article, A Warning from Canada: Same-Sex Marriage Erodes Fundamental Rights, at the Public Discourse website.