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Atheist Gillard says no to same-sex marriage

By Ben-Peter Terpstra - posted Thursday, 27 September 2012


Last week, two same-sex marriage bills were firmly rejected. As a result, campaigning journalists feel confused, even wounded. Or at least they’re pretending to be upset right now. Why isn’t their atheist prime minister on their side?

Left-wing gay activists are fuming too.After all, they believe Gillard should be for “marriage equality” in relation to monogamy (but not polygamy for some outré reason). Why isn’t their progressive prime minister on their side?

In response, political editor Ross Peake of The Canberra Times wrote, “Her detractors wonder how this works for an atheist living in a de facto relationship. That’s a useless observation - she is entitled to her views, no matter her personal situation.”

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Gillard doesn’t appear homophobic. Moreover, even the “gay community” is divided. Like theself-identified Liberal homosexual Dean Smith who also helped to defeat “gay (intersex, transgender) marriage” last week, there’s no recognisable bigotry here.

Or as the Coalition Senator stressed, “By not agreeing to same sex marriage, I’m not choosing to endorse discrimination against my fellow gay and lesbian Australians, or to be disrespectful to their domestic relationships... instead for me, it’s an honest acknowledgement of the special and unique characteristics of the union described as marriage.”

Quite. Marriage is primarily about raising well-grounded children. At least, scientifically-minded Australians understand why two people of the same sex can’t conceive naturally.

Exceptions aside, heterosexuals are highly likely to procreate because nature - like it or not - sets them apart. This is hard science, not hollow superstition, and a reasonable position for a nonbeliever to adopt.

Feminists against redefining marriage and their supporters aren’t Klanswomen. As Adam Kolasinski writesin The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage, “Some have compared the prohibition of homosexual marriage to the prohibition of interracial marriage. This analogy fails because fertility does not depend on race, making race irrelevant to the state’s interest in marriage. By contrast, homosexuality is highly relevant because it precludes procreation.”

Inarguably, biology is biology, and Rodney Croome is no Rosa Parks.

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This is not all. Kolasinskinotes the legal landmines associated with redefining marriage, meaning that gay marriage leads to more division and therefore community heartache. Remember: Feminist Gillard has a Bachelor of Laws. Therefore, she’d also worry (I trust) that “gay marriage” is an invitation to the sexist institution of polygamy.

Atheists against real religious extremists should be worried about gay marriage Canada, where pro-polygamy “Mormon” cults have engaged in lawfare. In New Age Brazil, three-person civil unions are being normalised. Or consider the Dutch experience. Fairfax journalists haven’t. In basket case South Africa too, polygamy and same-sex marriage are legal realities.

But there are other reasons why an atheist feminist might oppose “marriage equality.” As the lapsed Catholic Germaine Greer explained to LIFE magazine’s Jordan Bonfante in 1971, “By the act of marriage, you endorse all the ancient and dead values. You endorse things like monogamy,” and that was always a naughty no-no for the feminist movement (especially one so devoted to explicit anti-Christian teachings).

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About the Author

Ben-Peter Terpstra has provided commentary for The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.), NewsReal Blog (Los Angeles), Quadrant (Sydney), and Menzies House (Adelaide).

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