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Putting Pandora back in the marriage equality box

By Jim Wallace - posted Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Slogans such as ‘marriage equality’ and ‘equal love’ have dominated the gay marriage debate so far. But as the federal parliament inches closer to dealing with the three ‘marriage equality’ bills that are before it, we are finally beginning to see their consequences.

During the recent Senate Hearings into one of the bills, the Green’s Marriage Equality Amendment Bill, former High Court Justice Michael Kirby was asked what logical reason could be given for not extending ‘marriage equality’ to other configurations of love such as consenting polygamous and polyamorous ones.

“The question that is before the parliament at the moment is the question of equality for homosexual people,” he told the Senate.“There may be, in some future time, some other question.

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The lesson in courts and in the parliament, I suggest, is that you take matters step by step.”

And it is clear by recent events that there are those who are very interested in seeing those next steps.

Last week, leaders of Australia’s polyamorous community expressed disappointment with Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young for rejecting equality for their relationships.

Hanson-Young is yet to respond to the specific question of whether the Greens will drop their support of ‘marriage for all’ and the clear expectation the bi-sexual community in particular has in their policy.

This week The Punch andSBS featured a polygamous relationship in which the participants complained of discrimination from authorities and said if it were legal they would marry.

Of course such talk is dangerous indeed for gay activists, and Rodney Croome, the campaign director for Australian Marriage Equality, felt it necessary to explain why ‘marriage equality’ did not apply to the poly communities, so as not to unhinge his own campaign.

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Ironically, many of his arguments mirrored those used against same-sex marriage.

Croome says that same-sex attraction is ‘immutable’ but then tells the poly community their sexual attraction is a choice, which seems strangely at odds with his allies the Greens, who must surely treat all these sexualities equally.

Or do they now suddenly believe that we shouldn’t treat everyone’s love equally?

Certainly such intolerance from gay activists seems less than acceptable to Nikko Antalffy who recently gave a rambling defence of polyamory in a national newspaper, claiming it takes us back to our pre medieval natural desires. 

But let’s be honest, they are in reality pagan desires, customs rightly long rejected, and now only contemplated by a parliament that is perhaps less esteemed than any in the country’s history. A parliament forced to consider the intolerable due only to the artificial power of the Greens.

Marriage was institutionalised to protect not only society from the nonsense of things like multiple unions, but specifically children. Unless children were involved, government would have no interest in marriage.

Neither gay nor polyamorous “marriages” could serve the interests of children. Gay marriage by definition denies a child either a mother or a father. Mother love and father love that no amount of gay-activist-dominated studies can tell a parent doesn’t matter to a child.

Croome says another reason for not extending marriage equality to polyamorous people is that it would complicate the family law system.

But in some states gay activism has already erased fathers from birth certificates and led to the nonsense of even a single man being able to get a child through surrogacy.

In Croome’s mind this level of complication to family law, not to mention to the child, is OK.

How insulting it must be to polyamorous people to be told by Croome that their love is less equal and that the ‘group dynamics’ of their relationships means they can’t have ‘marriage equality’.

He argues their relationships are less stable. So too are same-sex relationships, when compared to marriage, but try using this as an argument for man-woman marriage without being demonised.

Again, more breathtaking double standards.

Comments by polyamorous activists such as James Dominguez and his wife Rebecca, show they are deadly serious about rights for their community.

They live with Mr Dominguez’s boyfriend and Mrs Dominguez’s boyfriend and went to the trouble of lodging a submission to the Senate inquiry.

In blog comments last week, Mr Dominguez expects that the Greens will champion any future popular move to legalise poly marriage.

He says no-where in the world where same-sex marriage has been legalised has there been a push for poly marriage.

This is simply untrue. The first country to legalise same-sex marriage, Holland, now allows civil law contracts for polygamists.

In seeking to allay society’s concern of a slippery slope, activists assure us that same-sex marriage is a natural stopping point, but if nature can be brought into this argument, then surely biological marriage is the natural stopping point.

It is time to move past the slogans and consider the consequences for society and children of redefining marriage.  Because clearly there is an agenda well beyond the current claim on it.

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About the Author

Jim Wallace AM has been the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) since 2000. He was a career soldier for 32 years and a commander of Australia’s elite Special Forces. In 1984 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his services in developing Australia’s counter terrorist capability. ACL is a non-denominational, non-party partisan lobby group representing a broad constituency of Christian supporters.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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