Stealing from the Taxpayer: The Injustice of Marriage Equality Opponents

October 4, 2016 in General

When I popped over to the “Australians for Marriage” anti-marriage equality website, I had an odd sense of deja vu, probably because Australians for Marriage was reciting the same tired set of clichés that Family First did in 2013 when it failed to halt marriage equality here. Dutifully, and in solidarity with the Australian LGBTI marriage equality movement, I plodded through the feeble non-case ‘against’ marriage equality that Australian religious social conservatives are parroting across the Tasman. This is what I found:

1. David Van Gend, or whoever runs this website, cites one David Blankenhorn, of the Institute for Americas Values. Which is all very well, but Blankenhorn changed sides in 2013. He now supports marriage equality. And in any case, his degree was in art history, not social science. So, in other words, claims against same-sex parents unproven insofar as it applies to ‘love and commitment.’

2. When it comes to marriage and parenting, it is noteworthy that Australian ethicist Margaret Somerville is cited, as opposed to ‘credible’ social scientific sources on the other side of the debate like Mark Regnerus. At least they’re not citing Paul Cameron and Judith Reisman again, thankfully. However, nor are they responding to benchmark studies like Judith Stacey and Tim Biblarz’; “How does the sexual orientation of parents matter?” (American Sociological Review, 2001). And really, not the American College of Pediatricians again! That tiny religious social conservative professional group numbers a mere sixty to two hundred medical practitioners, compared to the far larger American Academy of Pediatrics, which has 60,000 members and co-ordinates the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics. Or is that because the AAP supports marriage equality, relationship equality and same-sex parenting?

3. How many LGBT individuals are there? Who cares??? Do we deny human rights and civil liberties on the basis of scale when it comes to tiny groups of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers? No, we do not. Nor do we deny them to small tribal groups. And given the vast shrinkage in the number of conservative Christians in the western world, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to use that one too quickly!

4. Next we come to the exgay movement. Needless to say, Van Gend ignores the closure of Exodus Global Ministries and many smaller exgay satellites, as well as the growing backlash against conservative Christian professional and therapeutic attacks on vulnerable LGBT minors. Or the fact that in neighbouring New Zealand, Exodus Ministries New Zealand is the only such organisation left.

5. Easily the weakest part of this whole session are the unsubstantiated, uncited claims about marriage equality and bullying. Assertions are no substitute for evidence-based rebuttals.

6. And how are children treated as a result of parental sexuality? Rather than cite even someone like Mark Regnerus, Van Gend cites a weird but wonderful selection of subcultural luminaries from the United States- Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the aforementioned American College of Pediatricians, the Irish Iona Institute and the Institute for American Values.

This really is woefully inadequate. Just how are these subcultural luminaries supposed to provide a satisfactory counter to mainstream sources of scientific and medical research, practice and expertise?

Not Recommended:

Australian Marriage: http://www.australianmarriage.org

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