The Liberal Party Must Allow MPs A Free Vote On Gay Marriage

I DON’T SUPPORT gay marriage, but the issue will arise repeatedly if improperly considered by Parliament; with some in the ALP trying to bind MPs to a “yes” vote and the Communist Party Greens hard-wired to impose the measure in disregard of opposition, ample evidence is appearing that gay marriage is the thin edge of the wedge for the global Left. The Liberal Party must allow MPs to vote as they believe. The cards will fall where they will.

When credible and well-sourced stories begin to appear in the reputable mainstream press — suggesting that Coalition frontbenchers personally supportive of gay marriage resign from the government, or that Liberal MPs who support gay marriage be removed from their seats at preselection, or similar heavy-handed propositions bordering on a totalitarian wielding of the Right’s dominant numbers in the party room are advanced — I would say the Liberal Party is saddling itself with a rather large problem.

Readers know I have no truck with the push to legislate gay marriage, for reasons we have discussed ad infinitum in this column.

But in the face of incessant political pressure locally and internationally on this issue, attempts to either turn the debate in Australia into a sham or to smash it to pieces with an iron fist will simply ensure it returns to the political agenda again, and again, and again — until, through the creation of the sense of inevitability the political Left is trying to engineer, the only politically viable path is to legislate it.

Last week, and less than a day after the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalise gay marriage in America, we looked at an academic piece that gleefully and almost spontaneously appeared in the reputable Politico magazine to trumpet that it was “time to legalise polygamy;” as I argued at the time, the instantaneous switch of left-wing liberals from fighting in favour of gay marriage to fighting in favour of polygamy (or so-called “polyamorous” marriage) was too brazen and apparently considered to be anything other than the next step in a push to completely undermine the traditional values liberal democratic societies are built upon with a view to destroying them altogether.

At the time, I was pilloried (offline as much as in this column) for jumping to conclusions off the back of the first article that materialised but those excoriations completely missed the point: there were “thinkers” on the Left all ready to go with the next step in its political quest to completely destroy marriage as a traditional institution and with it, the primacy of the family unit as the building block of society; far from representing the isolated views of an “obscure” academic, the article by Fredrik deBoer was simply the first from a growing cacophony of illiberal and chillingly resolute voices agitating for their views to prevail at any cost.

Since Dr deBoer’s article was published, the sentiments expressed in it have permeated the ongoing debate over gay marriage and, as I suggested with a more favourable reference to hardline conservative Senator Cory Bernardi’s past utterances on the subject, the distasteful objective of polygamy being the next stop for the “progressive” train as it seeks to railroad western societies into a complete breakdown of orthodox values has virtually become a mainstream aspect of the Left’s narrative as a fait accompli.

In the meantime, troglodyte conservatives in Australia bicker over stripping preselections and workshopping ways of preventing a cross-party bill from ever being tabled in Parliament as the chief mechanisms to avoid joining a battle they either lack the robust debating firepower and/or the stomach to fight, or ostensibly seek to cover their unwillingness and/or inability to argue for what they believe with the fig leaf of denying the debate is happening at all.

Whether you like it or not, and whether you support it or not, the argument over gay marriage is not going to go away in Australia at any time soon.

Now, the Greens in Britain, led by an Australian expatriate (where, incidentally, the Conservative Party legalised same-sex marriage prior to the general election in May) have signalled that they are “open to legalising polygamy,” and if this isn’t enough to break the pointless tactics of the hard Right element inside the Liberal Party then I don’t know what is.

Simply, and as sure as night follows day, the “debate” over polygamy — probably bestiality too at some later juncture, or God alone knows what else — is going to take root in the mainstream political discourse in Australia as surely as it already is in the United States and in Britain.

Closing their eyes and wishing it out of existence will no more work to the troglodyte conservatives’ advantage at that point than it will now; the only way to prevail is to fight fire with fire, and join a battle of ideas — and to date, those among out parliamentary representatives who would uphold traditional concepts and definitions of marriage and family have proven spectacularly inept at doing so.

There is a rich arsenal of debating points from which to draw in staring down calls for gay marriage — or anything else lined up behind it — and it does not necessitate the descent into bigotry to draw upon it.

For example, the right of children — in the ordinary course of events — to both a mother AND a father are an aspect of the gay marriage debate that have been all but airbrushed from existence. Where, in any meaningful sense and with impact, are the voices of the conservatives in the Liberal Party on this?

Someone posted a link during the week in the comments section of my site to an article by a girl who grew up with “two mothers” and accepting of gay lifestyles, only to realise later that she had been denied a father figure in her life and that the effects of that denial were and are permanent: consequently, she has transformed from being a gay marriage advocate to a children’s rights activist. Where has the effort been made on the political Right in Australia to find and promote similar examples in this country?

It is now crystal clear that if the gay marriage crowd triumph in Australia that polygamy and, surely, bestiality, will soon follow from the illiberal opinion engineers of the political Left; such a prospect is no longer able to be dismissed as some ambit scare tactic because that precise scenario is now unfolding in the US and Britain. The gay marriage debate, hijacked and exploited by the global political Left, originated abroad before taking root here. It is not inappropriate to frame a campaign in these terms.

But above all, critics of opponents of gay marriage have lamented that this is not an issue “of conscience” but rather one on which those elected to do so should simply lead: and in my view, such sentiments are merely a recipe for the ALP and the Greens to line up on one side, and the Liberal Party, the National Party and Family First to line up on the other. All voting as blocs, with the outcome as good as predetermined, but with some or most MPs forced to vote against their personal inclinations no debate could be said to have taken place.

Keeping the private member’s bill off the parliamentary notice paper is, in equivalent terms, tantamount to shoving the collective head of the hard Liberal Right up its own backside. This issue is everywhere, and it must be considered and responded to — one way or the other.

I don’t support gay marriage, but I do want it dealt with in the appropriate fashion, and that means a vote by both houses of Parliament.

Unlike the previous occasion such a push was considered by Parliament, everyone should be permitted to vote according to conscience, be they Liberal, National, Labor, Green, or whatever.

If the politicians get it wrong, retribution at the ballot box will be swift and savage.

But if the Liberal Party wants to call itself “liberal” at all, then it should start behaving like it, and those who have taken it upon themselves to behave like the Stasi in their pursuit of MPs in favour of gay marriage should get a grip on themselves, wake up, and smell their coffee.

After all, the Liberal Party has been perfectly content to rip into the ALP over the prospect — advanced by leadership traitor Tanya Plibersek in her attempts to appease lunar-Left activism in her own electorate — of Labor MPs being forcibly committed to support of the measure even if they are personally opposed.

It is simply not good enough for some in the Liberal Party to seek to profit politically from such outrageously totalitarian behaviour in the ALP only to turn around and behave in an almost identical fashion themselves.

The Liberals (and the Nationals, to be clear) should engage in this issue, fight the debate publicly ideas, with the end vote being a matter for individual MPs to determine in accordance with their own beliefs, consultation with their constituents, or whatever other method they utilise to arrive at a position.

Yes, the outcome might be that gay marriage passes Parliament — and if it does, then the cards must pragmatically be accepted to have fallen where they did.

But if such a free vote sees the measure defeated a second time, it would strengthen the hand of those who do not wish it to be considered again.

As distasteful as this issue is to some — including, to be clear, myself — there is only one decent and principled way to deal with it.

And that does not include bludgeoning people into silence, stifling dissent, refusing to allow differences of opinion to be aired, or preventing debate from taking place.

It’s time for the Liberal Party to put its money where its mouth is, and let its MPs do what they were elected to do: represent their constituents unimpeded by the Gestapo-like strictures of centralised control, threatening careers, or simple old-fashioned bullying.


Gay Marriage: No, It Is NOT Time To Legalise Polygamy

LESS THAN A DAY after the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of gay marriage — legalising the measure in all 50 states, making the pressure to follow suit here harder to resist — voices of the liberal Left are already pointing to polygamy as the “next step forward” in their “progressive” crusade. The ruling by the Court is a travesty. For those who’ve opposed gay marriage and warned of what might follow, those forecasts have quickly proven right.

As fair-minded as I am about my conservatism, I find myself offering an unconditional apology to Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi this evening; the Senator — whom I pilloried when he warned that sanctioning gay marriage would inevitably lead to calls for polygamous unions to be legal, and further along the slippery slope marriages (and presumably sexual relations) between people and animals — was probably right.

Three years ago, when Bernardi caused uproar and brought shame on conservatives with his graphic warnings of polygamy and bestiality, I never thought I would see the day when I would say this: but the attack I made on him in this column is one I now unreservedly and fulsomely withdraw.

By now I’m sure readers are aware that overnight the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a majority decision by a 5-4 margin that legalises gay marriage in all 50 US states; and whilst the victors are entitled to be jubilant, declaring “love wins” and rattling on about “equal love” and marriage “equality” — when there is no such thing — the decision already looks to be the thin edge of the wedge, and promises to stir great division and conflict in American society.

An article from the New York Times, which details the decision and which I strongly recommend readers review, can be accessed here.

I’m sick of being told I am a bigot, or a homophobe, or ignorant, or a Neanderthal, when I am none of these things; as far as I am concerned, gay people can go off and do whatever they like with each other. As far as their place among the rest of us goes, that’s a given. I understand there are still people around who think gay people should be bashed, ostracised, prosecuted or worse. But I am not one of them and I am fed up with sanctimonious “do-gooders” taking it upon themselves to make such insidious spot diagnoses when they have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.

But my opposition to gay marriage (in spite of a wide liberal streak that says they should do as they please) isn’t about brutalising and vilifying gay people; rather, it stems from the need to preserve traditional social values: values that, sadly, seem to break down that little bit more each day, when they are the foundation and the bedrock of our society — and not some arbitrary product of it, as this decision is, and as it will be if developments in the United States come to be mirrored here.

I think the ruling of the Court is a travesty, made as it seems to have been with the cavalier disregard for its consequences that invariably accompanies judicial activism, and driven as it has been by the hardline activism of the illiberal political Left. It is one of those oxymorons that in recent years where social policy is concerned, those traditionally ascribed the label “liberal” have largely come to be nothing of the kind.

The regime this decision will spawn in the United States will seek to vilify and to crucify anything or anyone who fails to parrot unquestioning compliance with the new “order,” and before anyone scoffs, there are already signs of the same thing happening in Australia. Exhibit #101 in this regard is deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek, who has already shown her hand (and that of the wider Australian Left) through her push to enforce a compulsory vote in favour of gay marriage on Labor MPs if and when the matter comes before federal Parliament.

It defies belief that the use of force would stop there: and with the prospect of conservative campaigners in the USA now facing a barrage of legal and social attacks for their trouble, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that a) this change could tear American society apart, and that b) that effect could well be replicated here if gay marriage is legalised in Australia.

I’m sorry, but exhortations of “goodwill” from those activists campaigning for this change amount to nothing — literally nothing — when viewed against the backdrop of the very clear signs that have already emerged in the States in the wake of their Honours’ decision.

I’m not going to labour the point on the decision, but less than a day after it was announced a prominent American academic has published an essay in the respectable Politico magazine, in which he argues “group marriage” is the “next horizon in social liberalism” in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.

Just as readers should acquaint themselves with the coverage I’ve linked from the New York Times, they should read Fredrik deBoer’s article from Politico as well.

The point that I would make of his theoretical case is that from a logical perspective, it is very persuasive.

Yet this is a key problem with socialism in all its forms, and with the ideologies of the Left in general: you can make a case for them, and those cases may seem compelling. From a purely practical perspective, however, they are generally unworkable — the experience of the Soviet Union is obvious proof of it — and when it comes to engineering the complete breakdown of traditional social values that have endured and underpinned liberal democratic societies for centuries, it’s not unreasonable to assert that their implementation, if taken to its logical conclusion, risks the breakdown of the society as well as the values.

Polygamy is popular with welfare rorters; until the practice was clamped down upon in Britain, the UK had hundreds of polygamous families on its books claiming millions of pounds in welfare payments; here in Australia, there have been cases of the same thing occurring. To the best of my knowledge, the practice (in terms of welfare claims) remains legal, even if the “family” structure is not. But if the likes of Dr deBoer win the argument, this adoption of “family” structures with which to abuse public resources will skyrocket.

Polygamy is also popular with all the kinds of people the Left purport to hate: misogynists, sexists, tokenisers of women, those who are violent and/or abusive of women, and those who hide behind what deBoer euphemistically describes as a “hub and spoke” view of “family” relations.

As Dr deBoer himself gleefully acknowledges, the decision of the US Supreme Court has set American society on the slippery slope: and his embrace of the fact is alarming, considering where that slope may lead.

I don’t intend to tear his arguments apart at length any more than I intend to dwell on the “historic” decision of the Court; those who feel elated by its handiwork can celebrate, but they should be careful in contemplating what they think they have won.

Do I have a problem with gay people in relationships, or with extending to them the same rights at law that heterosexual people enjoy? Of course I don’t.

But as I have now said many times, calling it “marriage” is one step too far: and for a group in society that arguably ranks among its most intelligent, my suggestion they come up with their own institution rather than hijacking a “hetero” entity half of them want nothing to do with anyway is a sincere one.

Yet regrettably, having trashed marriage in its traditional sense, other injuries to decent and traditional social norms will quickly follow, and if one of the first to be inflicted is to bring polygamy into the mainstream as the Left has done with gay marriage, then it’s only a matter of time before outright social decay ensues.

The thing that makes us civilised as human beings is that we don’t behave like animals: our societies are ordered according to a set of values that give them structure, and operate within the rule of law to give them order.

To begin to kick the pillars out from beneath the edifice is to invite the entire thing to collapse; gay marriage might well be the harmless foible its proponents claim in attempting to steer conservatives toward supporting it, but it really is the thin edge of the wedge.

To me, it is no surprise the call for polygamy to be legalised has already rung out in the United States; the only mildly surprising thing about it is the indecent haste with which that call has been made but then again, there is never all that much about the social engineering efforts of the Left that could be characterised as “decent.”

Let those who are so inclined celebrate what has transpired in the United States; for the legalisation of gay marriage is a Pyrrhic victory indeed, and one which raises the curtain on the prospect of it ultimately delivering far more harm than good.

Suddenly, Cory Bernardi’s warning about sex and marriage with goats and horses and God knows what else looks a little less hysterical than it did 24 hours ago.

Even if that sounds — as it deserves to sound — thoroughly ridiculous.


A View On Gay Marriage — It’s A “F— Up:” Tebbit

FORMER THATCHER government minister and chairman of the Conservative Party in the UK, Norman Tebbit, has sparked controversy with a provocative and expletive-laden outburst against Prime Minister David Cameron and his pursuit of legislating same-sex marriage, and his remarks warrant attention.

Attention, yes, and discussion, yes, although I do point out that whilst this column does not support the legalisation of same-sex marriage, as readers already know, there are surely better ways to argue the case than this.

Tonight’s post is an observational one,  and more to generate discussion than anything as well as keeping an eye on what’s going on elsewhere in the world that is relevant to debates and discussions taking place here in Australia.

This is especially relevant today, given former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement that he has changed his mind on the issue, and now supports the measure.

There are three stories in today’s British press that I refer readers to here, here and here.

To give Australian readers a little context, this is a much “hotter” issue in Britain than it is here; the ruling Conservative Party is losing a lot of popular support at present to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), predominantly over the issue of Britain’s continued membership of the EU, but same-sex marriage is fuelling the drift as well.

There is ample anecdotal evidence that traditional Tory voters want a referendum offering the option of leaving the EU altogether (the so-called “in-out referendum” you may have heard of) and for marriage in Britain to continue to be defined as being between one woman and one man, as is the case here in Australia.

David Cameron, who — in a ceaseless campaign to “modernise” the Conservative Party that seems to be transforming it into a bastard amalgam of economic conservatism and social postmodernism — is doing all he can to avoid the referendum, but to legalise gay marriage.

So there is real…er, spice…surrounding this issue in Britain, and much of it has nothing to do with gay rights, same-sex marriage and so forth.

Enter Tebbit.

He says — among other things — that Cameron and the Tory Party leadership have “fucked up” by alienating the grassroots vote over such issues.

There are two ways to look at what he has had to say; once you’ve read his remarks in full from the clippings I have pasted here, I will be interested to see which way you view them.

It is important to note that despite appearances to the contrary, Tebbit in the past has been known to opine that whilst he disagrees with the practice of homosexuality, he is a defender of the right of the individual to practice it.

But even so, “I rather fancy my brother, perhaps I’ll marry my son” would seem to be a somewhat extreme means of expressing opposition to same-sex marriage.

So, too, is his scenario of a lesbian queen inseminated using semen from an anonymous donor.

Are these scenarios realistic?

Tebbit does touch on a couple of issues that haven’t been given consideration, such as inheritance tax, but really — and remember, I don’t support the measure either — isn’t this going a bit too far?

I’m in two minds as to how to judge Tebbit, given I was a big fan of his when he was a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, and given he is — normally — a voice of hard cold reason, dour as it sometimes is.

On one hand, is he guilty of an indiscretion here on the scale Cory Bernardini was roundly (and rightly) savaged for, by supporters and opponents alike of same-sex marriage, some time ago?

Or on the other, is Tebbit right to rip into the ridiculous, focus group generated slogans “marriage equality” and “equal love” with venom to prosecute his case and, if so, are his illustrations justified?

I’d be interested to hear what people think.

There is a parallel debate in Britain at present, which is gathering pace; whether David Cameron should be replaced as Conservative Party leader (and Prime Minister) before the next scheduled British general election in 2015.

The hubbub over gay marriage is the latest in a litany of issues that have sparked both controversy over Cameron’s leadership and an exodus of Tory voters in the direction of UKIP.

I was one of David Cameron’s staunchest Antipodean supporters for a long time, both before and after he became Prime Minister; I came to the conclusion some time ago that I was in error, and that he must be replaced if Labour is to be prevented from an unjustified and unmerited return to office in two years’ time.

What effect will Lord Tebbit’s outburst have on that?

I look forward to hearing readers’ thoughts — both for and agin.

By the way, I wish to note to readers that I will be resuming “normal” columns in the next day or two; I’ve been distracted for a few days by other issues, but will have a little more time to post very shortly, starting with the post-budget polling.