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Obama barracks for same sex marriage

By Don Allan - posted Monday, 14 May 2012

US President Barack Obama announced recently that his opposition to the idea of same sex marriage had changed and that now he thought the idea should be accepted. Could it be that his change of mind was due to the announcement made earlier by his Vice President Joe Biden, that he supported same sex marriage? Surely only cynics would think Obama's change of mind occurred because, hoping for a second term as President, he didn't want to be seen as playing second fiddle to his VP on this controversial issue or be seen sharing the same policy as his Republican rival?

This change of opinion by such a high profile politician was also grist to the mill of Australian Lesbian, Gay and Transgender LGBT) activists who immediately sprang into action in the hope that Obama's conversion could be used to pressure Prime Minister Gillard into changing her mind about same sex marriage. While I hope she changes her mind on many things, same sex marriage is not one of them.

In trying to exert pressure these activists alleged that, not only in the US but also in the UK and elsewhere, almost unanimous support existed for same sex marriage. They also alleged that In Australia various (unidentified) polls also indicated a majority of Australians supported same sex marriage. The cynic in me says they would say that, wouldn't they?


More to the point much LGBT rhetoric is devoted to saying marriage is the only way in which same sex people can publicly declare their love for each other, but because the law does not allow them to get married they are being discriminated against and treated as second class citizens. By any measure this is naïve reasoning because expressing love physically in heterosexual marriage can result in responsibilities that a couple in a same sex union will never face as a result of expressing their love.

Speaking as a hetero male married for more than fifty years and a father, I love men but have never needed or wished to express that love by cohabiting as if in marriage. As a result I get annoyed when I hear or read of same sex couples talking about their children. How on earth did they get them? They didn't give birth to them nor were they conceived by an accident of nature. And even if the children were born as the result of in vitro fertilization this process is a medically based form of heterosexual intercourse. I have also concluded that many LGBT people want marriage because it is a form of disguise.

In an article I wrote some time ago I suggested also that, rather than amend the Marriage Act, why not create a Gay Marriage Act. In doing so this will make clear the difference between the lifestyle and responsibilities that attends on each kind of union.

My suggestion is not supported by my lesbian niece in the UK who thinks civil unions better than Gay Marriage and as if to prove it has posted on facebook that she has joined in a civil union. She is not alone in her view. Many of my homosexual and lesbian friends also think civil unions better. But what surprised me most was that in some replies some LGBT people said they wouldn't want a Gay Marriage Act because using it would identify their sexuality.

I found this strange. In the same way as I am proud of my disability - not that being an LBGT person is a disability - I thought they would have been proud of their sexuality. In a sense this merely supports my view that for many LBGT people, marriage is a disguise.

Some also replied that they had a right to marriage. But marriage, even church marriage, is not a right, not even for heterosexuals. The fact is, all marriages are civil contracts that identify the responsibilities that men and women accept when signing their contract. However these responsibilities, such as children, do not occur for two men or two women in a civil union although the contract will allow them to adopt and accept responsibility for children at a later date.


Let me make it clear that while I respect President Obama, his opinion it is no more relevant than mine. Not being religious, my opinion is based on the fact that over millennia, marriage has evolved, been adopted by, entrenched and recognised by billions of people in societies across the world as the union of a man and a woman. I see no reason to change it.

Finally, few would argue that the marriage of a man and a woman is the basis of a stable society and predates any church rite. Diminishing that stability will also diminish society.

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About the Author

Don Allan, politically unaligned, is a teenager in the youth of old age but young in spirit and mind. A disabled age pensioner, he writes a weekly column for The Chronicle, a free community newspaper in Canberra. Don blogs at:

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