September 12th 2015

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Arab world must help fix Syria and Libya crises

FAMILY AND SOCIETY They don't want diversity but to impose conformity

CANBERRA OBSERVED Young Nats jump aboard generational juggernaut

TRADE UNIONS Why royal commissioner declined to step down

RESEARCH Spin on the contraceptive pill a bit hard to swallow

LIFE ISSUES Singer escapes Fisher's net in euthanasia debate

HISTORY OF INDONESIA Suharto's "New Order" a period of stability

CULTURE Academic centres turn on Western civilisation

FAMILY LIFE A father's presence in the home: part II

OBITUARY Historian Robert Conquest documented the horrors of Stalinism

PUBLIC HEALTH UN knows: harm reduction does not reduce harm

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Witness to Marriage Day, August 1

CINEMA On the rough road away from loneliness: Last Cab to Darwin

BOOK REVIEW Good science, specious argumentation


The coup against Tony Abbott

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They don't want diversity but to impose conformity

by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, September 12, 2015

There were howls of protest from the same-sex marriage lobby when Sydney’s Daily Telegraph recently reported parents objecting to a documentary on gay families being compulsory viewing in a Sydney high school.

They don't want diversity but to impose conformity

You will conform.

Senator Penny Wong tweeted that this was “bullying”, automatically classing as bullies parents wanting to teach a different value system to the same-sex marriage lobby. [1]

Fairfax Media’s Brisbane writer, Rebecca Shaw, who describes herself as a well-adjusted lesbian in her 30s, wrote an article saying, “I won’t accept your ‘tolerance’” and demanded “complete acceptance” (The Age, August 30, 2015). [2]

Effectively, Shaw demands that all those who believe in man+woman marriage must now abandon their beliefs and accept the view that marriage is between any two people with any combination of numerous sexual orientations and sexual identities.

If the same-sex marriage lobby can make such demands on everyone, then why can’t the Labor Party demand that all Liberals abandon the values that make them Liberals and embrace only Labor values?

Why can’t anti-religious secularists demand that Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists – all people who hold religious beliefs – must completely abandon their beliefs and completely accept secular beliefs?

Rebecca Shaw’s demand for “complete acceptance” is a demand for complete uniformity of beliefs to create a homogenised society.

Complete acceptance of one value system destroys diversity and creates uniformity. It is authoritarianism.

Has the same-sex marriage lobby lost its pride in diversity?

The ground rule for a liberal democracy is tolerance of another person whose views differ from yours.

You can disagree with your neighbour’s values but tolerate your neighbour who believes them. You can disagree with your neighbour’s lifestyle without inflicting on them vitriolic abuse, hatred, bullying, denigration and threats of legal action.

This is most clearly demonstrated by civil debate between opposing groups.

The demand for “complete acceptance”, not just of same-sex marriage but also of writing sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) into anti-discrimination law, is itself intolerant.

“Complete acceptance” abandons diversity for universal conformity.

If realised, this demand moves society from a liberal democracy to an authoritarian state where only one belief system is promoted by government and the institutions that make up the state.

When democracies cease to be tolerant, they can quickly become tyrannical.

Around three hundred companies have publicly supported same-sex marriage. Last week, former Liberal premier Jeff Kennett and the board of his Beyond Blue organisation used an advertisement in The Australian (September 1, 2015) to argue that it will “not make any difference to the lives of the majority, including married heterosexuals … ”

Are these pillars of liberal democracy ignorant of how same-sex marriage and SOGI laws push us towards an authoritarian state? After all, it’s not just people with religious faith who recognise this fundamental threat to liberal democracy.

UK free-speech libertarian and editor of Spiked, Brendan O’Neill, clearly argued on the ABC’s Q&A that coercion is built into the global push for same-sex marriage.

He says that redefining marriage is the main mechanism through which the elites in modern society challenge traditional cultural norms. This is how they express their dislocation from, and growing disdain for, the old-world values of family life, family sovereignty, long-term commitment and loyalty.

Writing in Spiked (April 30, 2014) [3], O’Neill said: “Gay marriage has emerged as the perfect means through which our post-traditional, relativistic elites can both subtly denigrate older values and also impose a set of whole new values, related to viewing traditional married life and family integrity as problematic, and therefore more individuated, changeable forms of human relationships as good.

“And because this is fundamentally about eradicating old moral values and enforcing new ones, it constantly verges on being coercive, expressing a hostility towards its opponents that tends to treat them, not simply as wrong or pesky, but as actual blocks, as ‘ideological enemies’, to the elite’s attempted enforcement of a new moral outlook.”

O’Neill says that this has happened in two phases. First was “the sacralisation of homosexuality, the transformation of sexuality from a simple matter of who you have sex with into a set of values and behaviours …

“Such has been the sacralisation of homosexuality, everywhere from popular culture to the political sphere, that the criminals are now those who criticise gay sex.”

Second, “We have seen the weaponisation of homosexuality, the transformation of it by sections of the political and media classes into the focal point for the expression of hostility to the straight world – which means not just people who are sexually straight, but also so-called straight culture and straight values, straightlacedness itself, ways of life that are based on commitment, privacy, familial sovereignty, things that tend to be viewed by the modern cultural clerisy as outdated or, worse, dangerous and destructive.”

O’Neill says that the speedy and strikingly authoritarian way in which gay marriage has been adopted by governments is “because officials recognise in it the opportunity to push further their instinctive hostility towards traditional communal and familial ideals that to a large extent exist outside of the purview of the state”.

“Understanding the impulse behind Western officialdom’s feverish adoption of gay marriage is key to understanding what makes this new institution so illiberal and intolerant.”


Paul Kelly, commentator for The Australian, says there are questions about the real ideology of the same-sex marriage campaign.

“Is it merely to allow gays to marry? Or is its ultimate purpose to impose ‘marriage equality’ across the entire society, civil and religious? Ideologies do not normally stop at the halfway mark.” (The Australian, July 11, 2015) [4]






[1] Senator Penny Wong’s Tweet, August 25, 2015, 3.49pm

[2] Rebecca Shaw, “Tolerance no longer enough for LGBTQI community, we demand acceptance”, The Age, August 30, 2015.

[3] Brendan O’Neill, “Same-sex marriage: coercion dolled up as civil rights”, Spiked, April 30, 2014)

[4] Paul Kelly, “The same-sex marriage debate and the right to religious belief”, The Australian, July 11, 2015.

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