A Secular solution for Marriage Equality for Australia’s second-class citizens

Marriage Equality
Marriage Equality

On August 14 the Equal Love people put on another rally in Melbourne.  It started on the steps of the State Library of Victoria and ended on the steps of the Marriage Registry in Spring Street.

It was a lovely afternoon for a rally to protest the unnecessary discrimination that same-sex couples face in Australia.  There is absolutely no justification for this appalling situation.

I have documented the event using photos, and uploaded them to Picasa and Facebook, as I have done in the past.  Please take a moment to look at the photos and understand that the people you see who are not allowed to get married by the Australian government are all second-class citizens.  Australia is a better place than that.  It’s citizens deserve full equality in all aspects of life.

There is a federal election less than a week away.  One way you can send a message to the politicians who legislated this hateful situation and also to the politicians who have not promised to overturn it is to vote for a party that promises full equality in marriage.

I will be voting for the Secular Party of Australia.  They promise 100% marriage equality and will fight to overturn every piece of legislation that denies full equality to Australia’s GLBT citizens.  So committed to marriage equality are the Secular Party that they have undertaken a commitment to guarantee full marriage equality in advance of a nationwide relationship register. I understand this is an undertaking the Australian Greens refuse to commit to.  The Secular Party will ensure marriage equality is a priority.  Equality must be 100%.

You can help make a positive change this election by voting Secular in the Senate, and if you have a candidate in your electorate, also for the house of reps.

If you want full equality in marriage, you have the power to make a difference.  Use it wisely.

Michael.

Chris Meney – speaking through the anus of the Catholic Church

Chris Meney quotes in an opinion piece published in The Age from a United States Government report (see email below), that makes the claim:

Compared to children living with married biological parents, those whose single parent had a live-in partner had more than eight times the rate of maltreatment overall, over 10 times the rate of abuse, and nearly eight times the rate of neglect.

I live with my partner and his two teenage children.  They are not being abused, maltreated or neglected.  I see them receiving a whole lot of love, care, respect and a fairly decent deal overall.  I would say they are two fairly well-adjusted teenage children who have a father in a stable and happy relationship.

They also spend quality time with their mother, as time and circumstances permit.  They have unlimited access to both parents and get what they need from both of them as much as possible.

My partner and I met in November 2008.  Meeting Gregory changed my life in the most wonderful way.  I had been in a very lonely and dark place for some months and his presence uplifted me and brought me back to a stable and happy place.  I may even have succumbed to my suicidal thoughts if I had remained single for much longer back then.  Having each other in our lives makes us truly happy and it wasn’t too much longer after starting a relationship that we made it known to our friends and families.  We even registered our relationship with the Victorian Government on April 21 this year.  We did this for legal reasons as by default our relationship would only be recognised under law after two years.

Gregory’s children have grown up with their father having a male partner since they were very young and for them this was normal.  When I came into Gregory’s life I also came into their lives.  I had never been in a relationship with a parent before.  It was uncharted territory for me.  Yet it seemed very straightforward.  I have adapted to having a partner who has had to juggle his time between me and his children, and it works well.

Gregory has been his children’s primary care-giver for a number of years prior to his marriage breaking up, some 13 years ago.  Complicating the picture is that his ex-wife is not well and is no longer able to work.  He supports his children and the support sometimes has to stretch to supporting his ex-wife as well, so she can look after their children when they are with her.  This puts strains on the finances.  Despite that Gregory somehow makes ends meet, and makes sure his children are looked after.  He goes to pains to make sure they are not neglected.

Chris Meney has extrapolated American research to an Australian situation.  The two societies are not the same.  His assertions about Australian society are unfounded as the research he (ab)uses is not relevant here.  There may be parents in Australia who neglect or abuse their children, but it is not because they are unmarried or living in the types of relationships that he does not approve of.  I know of children who have been abused by one or both of their married parents while living in the family home and have sustained long-term psychological damage from it.

Heterosexual married parents may offer a stable environment for children but so do homosexual parents and single parents.  I can guarantee no child born into a same-sex relationship ever happened by accident.  The same cannot be said of all too many children of heterosexual couples, married or otherwise.  Further, I am yet to hear of a pregnant woman in a same-sex relationship who has had an abortion, despite the increasing numbers of women in same-sex relationships giving birth.

The Catholic Church, together with its ideology, is pure evil.  Chris Meney is no better for being its mouthpiece.  Actually it’s more of an anus than a mouthpiece.

Michael.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: jimwoulfe
Date: 16 July 2010 18:22
Subject: Meney article and the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse
To: ausqueer@yahoogroups.com

The study referred to in the Meney article is here:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/abuse_neglect/natl_incid/nis4_report_congress_full_pdf_jan2010.pdf

While the proportion of children raised outside marriage is going up, the study reports a 26% decrease in reported child abuse or neglect in the period 1994 – 2005/6, including a 38% decrease in sexual abuse cases (pages 6-7).

In the overwhelming majority of cases (81%) the perpetrator (both of abuse and neglect) was the child’s biological parent (page 14) and “68% of the maltreated children were maltreated by a female, whereas 48% were maltreated by a male”, though males were more highly represented in cases of abuse carried out by non-biological parents.

Children living with the non-biological partner of a parent were 8 times more likely to be maltreated than children living with two married biological parents (page 12). This statistic is the platform on which Meney builds his argument. Given the lower rates of co-habitation in the US, generalising this statistic to countries with high rates of cohabitation (like Australia) is highly questionable.

The overwhelming evidence from this study is that children in marginalised families are more likely to be abused or neglected. In the United States, to be born black, poor, or to a single parent is to be born more vulnerable to abuse.

With respect to families headed by same-sex couples, the only message you could infer this study is that they should be allowed (indeed encouraged) to marry. Instead Meney has dogwhistled rainbow families with “Vocal minority groups often assert a right to have children delivered to them on demand”.

It’s interesting that he departs from the usual arguments when he says, “At some point, however, the debate needs to move beyond paying mere lip-service to “the best interests of the child”.” Well, yes. Valued, well-respected parents have valued well-respected kids.

If only Meney could follow his own logic.

Shoshana Silcove: “I am against gay marriage”

Shoshana Silcove posted a comment on Mark Baker’s blog on Galus Australis telling the world she is against gay marriage.  That would make her a party pooper and a homophobic bigot, for starters.

Shoshana writes (her spelling errors are included):

I am against gay marriage but, that does not mean I would in any way supoort slaughtering people for being gay. One can see homsexuality as immoral yet, not be in any manner or form a proponent of persecution or genocide of gays. Persecuting or genociding any one group for any reason is horrifc and immoral too. I take umbrage with Mr. Baker’s implication (read between the lines) that those who do not want to see gay marriage legalised are inclined to be immoral persecutors or murderous beasts.

Let’s play a game here.  I think I’ll call it ‘swapsies’.  It goes like this.  Take a word out of a sentence and swap it with one or more other words.  It’s very simple.  We’ll play the game using Shoshana’s statement:

I am against gay inter-racial marriage
I am against gay Jewish marriage
I am against gay Progressive-Jewish-is-not-really-Jewish marriage
I am against gay Muslim marriage
I am against gay Christian marriage
I am against gay indigenous marriage
I am against gay secular marriage
I am against gay religious marriage
I am against gay fat-person marriage
I am against gay really-ugly-person marriage
I am against gay disabled-person marriage
I am against gay marriage-of-convenience marriage
I am against gay marriage

That was fun.  I’m sure I could play the game for hours on end.  Will they bring it our for Xbox or as an Android/iPhone App?  But what would Shoshana Silcove have to say about these?  Would she approve or disapprove of any of them?  Shoshana?   Do any of them appeal to you?  Send me your preferences.  I’d like to hear them.

Dear Shoshana, who gives you the authority to determine which two consenting adults can or can’t get married?  If same-sex marriage doesn’t please you, kindly refrain from commenting.  I don’t care who you marry.  It’s none of your business to make judgement calls about who I can marry.  I may disapprove of your choice in marital partner, if anyone would want to marry you, but to be honest, I don’t give a rats arse.

Michael.

The bitch has died, and I’ll miss him dearly

Addam Stobbs, Bitch Queen to the Melbourne gay community, dies at 3am on Wednesday June 16 2010

Addam Stobbs at the 2009 Midsumma Carnival
Addam Stobbs at the 2009 Midsumma Carnival (photo by Michael Barnett)

News just in that a person who has been a staple in the gay community for at least the past 14 years that I’ve known him has just died.  This is a shock and complete surprise.  Addam Stobbs.  Bitch to the stars.  Gone.

I loved Addam.  He was one of the nicest-to-your-face people I have ever met.  But he was a nice person.  He made me laugh.  Just listening to him talk, on the radio, on a microphone at Midsumma, in the street, on the phone, at Club 80, wherever.  He was a lovely, callous, direct person with a huge heart.

The world needs more bitches like Addam Stobbs.

I’ll miss you sweetie.

Mikey.

[My photos of Addam on Google Photos here and on Facebook here]

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DP Tex McKenzie <texmcx57@yahoo.com.au>
Date: 16 June 2010 15:13
Subject: [QueerNews] Vale Addam Stobbs
To: Qmelb <qmelb@yahoogroups.com>

Hi all – sad news.  I have just forwrded the following email around the Victorian AIDS Council and People Living With HIV/AIDS Victoria (hence the mention of Addam being a supporter of our organisations).

I have just been on the phone to the Program manager @ JOY 94.9 and have been told that Addam Stobbs passed away today.

Addam was a long time supporter of our organisations and was the host of Allegro Non Troppo on Sundays on JOY.  He was also on the board of JOY and had been a long time member.

Addam has in the past interviewed many people about HIV and same sex related issues.  The program Allegro Non Troppo is broadcast on the Community Radio Network around Australia and the programs he and his radio partner Peter presented helped to de-mystify both HIV and homosexuality to non-alphabet folk.

Earlier this year he and his partner celebrated their 9th year together.

He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

I imagine funeral details will be in the print media and online in the next few days.

Thanks…

DP Tex McKenzie
Health Educator – Outreach