NOM BLOG

Category Archives: Australia

BREAKING: Australian Supreme Court Upholds Marriage

From the Associated Press:

Australia_MarriageAustralia's highest court struck down a landmark law on Thursday that had begun allowing the country's first gay marriages....

The federal government had challenged the validity of the Australian Capital Territory's law that had allowed gay marriages in the nation's capital and its surrounding area starting last Saturday.

[...]

The High Court unanimously ruled that the ACT's law could not operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act, which was amended in 2004 to define marriage as between a man and a woman. [SOURCE]

Go read more about the decision and the case leading up to it.

Along with the ruling, the Court explained in a statement that "The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same sex couples. The Marriage Act provides that a marriage can be solemnised in Australia only between a man and a woman. That Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage."

This case brings to mind the need here in America to pass a federal Marriage Protection Amendment. If you haven't already contacted your legislators urging them to support the federal Marriage Protection Amendment authored by Representative Tim Huelskamp, please do so today!

Australia Votes to Reject Rudd and His Promise of Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage has proven to be anything but a vote winner in elections not just across U.S., but internationally as well. Australia's opposition crushed the governing Labor party in yesterday's elections and the people voted Tony Abbott into office, who has made clear that he supports marriage between one man and one woman, over the incumbent SSM-pushing prime minister Kevin Rudd.

International News:

Tony Abbott“It is clear that changing the definition of marriage is not something that defined the way Australians voted despite Labor’s high-profile campaigning on it and strong support for it in the media,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.

“Australia has an opportunity now to move on from this debate but if same-sex marriage activists persist in the new Parliament, it should go back to the people again for the ultimate conscience vote in a referendum,” Mr Shelton said

“Mr Rudd’s bullying of a Christian pastor on Q&A in the final week of the campaign made Australians feel uncomfortable with the consequences for freedom of speech and freedom of belief should the law on marriage be changed,” Mr Shelton said.

“It should not be up to politicians to decide to normalise this sort of treatment of fellow Australians who will always believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

New Zealand Legislators Committed "Arrogant Act of Cultural Vandalism"

New Zealand held its first same-sex ceremonies yesterday, which you've probably heard something about in the news over the past 24 hours. The media has been at it again, celebrating NZ same-sex weddings with as much hype as possible, all the while ignoring the fact that legislators redefined marriage back in April despite strong opposition and very little debate at the time.

You won't hear much about it in the mainstream media, but conservative groups, religious leaders, and Kiwis across the nation are speaking out this week, saying that the new law "defies the national mood and common sense". We agree.

Wellington, New Zealand“Despite their grandiose view, the politicians never had the authority to redefine marriage,” said Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First NZ. “They committed an arrogant act of cultural vandalism with no clear public mandate."

Many people have commented on the bias in reporting on the day’s events. The mainstream media featured laudatory coverage of the weddings themselves, giving little attention to opponents' views.

Australian couple Trent Kandler and Paul McCarthy were flown from Australia to Wellington by Tourism New Zealand, where a “wedding” was held at the national museum, Te Papa.

NewspaperAir NZ provided an in-flight “wedding” ceremony for a lesbian couple, Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau, where Jesse Tyler Fergusson from the TV series Modern Family was present. The package included a honeymoon at a Palms Spring Resort in the U.S.

Lance Huxford is calling for people to complain to the media, saying he is “shocked at the unbalanced coverage of the same sex marriage law coming into effect on both TV 1 and TV 3.”

“We must continue to speak up for marriage as uniting a man and a woman with each other and any children born from that union” Dame Colleen Bayer, national director of Family Life International NZ, said. “For the sake of our children, we cannot stand by and let marriage be mocked.” -LifeSiteNews

Australian Senate Defeats Effort to Bypass Marriage Laws 44-28

The Australian Herald:

EFFORTS to change Australia's marriage laws to recognise gay couples who tie the knot overseas have been shot down in parliament.

The Australian Greens had moved a private bill to amend the Marriage Act, so that same-sex marriages validly entered into in foreign countries were recognised under Australian law.

But on Thursday the bill was defeated 44 votes to 28 in the Senate.

... DLP senator John Madigan not only voiced his opposition to the bill, but said he'd be calling for a referendum to recognise marriage as just a union between a man and a woman.

Sydney Harbor

New Zealand Government Moves Against Family Group After Redefining Marriage

More consequences of same-sex marriage immediately harming religious institutions:

New Zealand - Disappearing FamilyFamily First New Zealand has received notification that government's Charities Commission intends to deregister the charity. Why? Family First has a traditional view of marriage being one man and one woman. The commission's investigation began just after NZ’s gay marriage debate started last year.

The decision means that the organisation will no longer be exempt from income tax and, more importantly for a non-profit, donations to it will no longer be tax-deductible.

“This is a highly politicised decision which is grim evidence that groups that think differently to the prevailing politically correct view will be targeted in an attempt to shut them up,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. (MercatorNet)

Support for SSM Falls in New Zealand

News from a few weeks ago but a good reminder that attitudes about marriage change over time in both directions:

At last New Zealand's leading newspaper has acknowledged that support for gay marriage has declined ever since a bill to legalise it was introduced six months ago. TheNZ Herald's front page headline today reads, "Gay marriage shock" and the summary beneath it: "Religious sacremongering blamed for surprise increase in Kiwi's opposition to law change". Of course there had to be a sinister reason for Kiwis coming to their senses.

The fact remains that barely half the country supports same-sex marriage legislation which is already two-thirds of its way through Parliament. Asked in a Herald-DigiPoll "Which of the following best fits your view about marriage law? -- It should remain only between a man and a woman. OR It should be changed to allow it to be between same sex couples." -- 48 percent chose the first option and 49.6 percent the second. That's a rise of 7.5 percentage points against gay marriage from a poll last June and a decline of 4 points for it. Those who opted for "Don't know" or refused to answer declined from 6 per cent to 2.4 percent. The uncertain are making up their minds. (MercatorNet)

Australian Judge Tosses Out Claim that Marriage = Gender Discrimination

Bloomberg:

An Australian judge threw out a challenge to the nation’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling it doesn’t amount to gender discrimination.

Neither gay men nor lesbians are allowed to marry under the legislation and thus both sexes are treated equally, Federal Court of Australia Justice Jayne Jagot said in her ruling in Sydney yesterday.

“A man cannot enter into the state of marriage as defined with another man just as a woman cannot enter into the state of marriage with another woman,” the judge wrote. “The redress for these circumstances lies in the political and not the legal arena.”

New Polls Show Increasing Support for Marriage in New Zealand!

Via the new MercatorNet blog on the future of marriage Conjugality:

The following press release provides an update on the same-sex marriage issue in New Zealand, where a bill redefining marriage to include such unions is due for a second reading on March 20:

Family First NZ and the ‘Protect Marriage’ campaign is welcoming a Herald on Sunday poll today showing that support for redefining marriage has fallen from a previous high of 63% in a ONE News Colmar Brunton poll last May to just 53% now.

This echoes a similar slide in polling by Research NZ which showed support for ‘same-sex marriage’ dropping to less than 50%, down 11% from a similar poll in 2011...

"Unstoppable" Tasmanian Gay Marriage Bill Stopped!

Gay marriage advocates in Australia had argued that Tasmania's impending legalization of gay marriage should influence Australia's deliberations.

The national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich, for instance, said that the vote in the lower Tasmania meant that the move towards redefining marriage equality in Tasmania was ”unstoppable”.

But as we know, nothing in the marriage fight is inevitable.

Now both Australia and Tasmania have defeated gay marriage:

Gay marriage advocates have vowed to keep campaigning as numbers mount against them in the first attempt at pioneering state-based same sex marriage.

The numbers for reform in Tasmania were lost tonight when the eighth voice against the bill was declared in the 15 member state upper house, the Legislative Council.

... Already struggling for numbers in the council, the Same Sex Marriage bill fell after key undeclared MPs raised constitutional doubts. -- Sydney Morning Herald

Australian Senate Defeats Gay Marriage 41-26

The Australian:

THE Senate has followed the lower house in rejecting same-sex marriage laws, as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott talked down the prospect of federal laws for gay civil unions.

With the House of Representatives rejecting Labor MP Stephen Jones' bill 98-42 on Wednesday, the Senate rejected a similar bill from Labor senator Trish Crossin 26-41 on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Abbott said the defeat in the Senate settles the matter at least for the life of the current federal parliament.

The next federal election will not be held until 2013.

VICTORY: Gay Marriage Defeated in Australia 98-42!!

After months and months of pressure the bill was actually brought to a vote ... and was promptly defeated overwhelmingly in the Australian House of Representatives:

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted against legislation that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry.

Just 42 MPs supported the private members bill put forward by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, while 98 MP voted against.

... Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her deputy Wayne Swan voted against the legislation, while many of their Cabinet colleagues voted in support of the change.

... There are three other bills currently before Parliament that would have the same effect as Mr Jones's bill. It is unclear at this stage when they will be brought on for a vote. -- ABC News

President of Australian National Civic Council to National Marriage Day Rally: "We Are in the Majority!"

This is the address given by the president of the National Civic Council, Peter Westmore, to the Australian National Marriage Day Rally outside federal parliament last month:

"...We often hear media commentators say that the push for same-sex marriage is inevitable. If we listen only to the chattering classes, we could believe this to be true.

But in fact, it is not true. There were over 200 countries competing in the Olympic Games, but same-sex marriage is performed in only 11 countries, most of which are in Western Europe, and in a small minority of states of the USA.

In other words, same-sex marriages are not performed in over 190 countries, including Australia, which cover around 95 per cent of the world’s population. We are in the majority.

Nor is this a religious issue. There is not one country in Asia which has adopted same-sex marriage; yet in general, they are not Christian, and their cultures go back thousands of years. Moreover, they are also more technologically advanced than we are. There is not one country in the Islamic world, there is only one in the whole of the African continent and one in South America where same-sex marriages are performed and recognised." -- NewsWeekly

Australian Parliament Debate Indicates Not Enough Votes for SSM

GayStarNews:

A two-hour debate over a same-sex marriage bill in the Australian parliament today indicated that there is not enough support to change the law.

MPs from across the political spectrum expressed doubt over the passing of the bill, despite many saying that they support it.

... Labor MPs are allowed to vote freely on the issue but several are not supporting it, including chief whip Joel Fitzgibbon and the prime minister Julia Gillard, who was not in parliament following the death of her father this week.

Married Olympian Accuses Organizers of Discriminating Against Heterosexual Couples

CBS:

An Australian Olympic married couple claims they have been prohibited from sharing a room in the London Olympic Village, even though gay couples are reportedly allowed to do so.

Craig Borrow/Newspix

Olympic shooters Russell and Lauryn Mark toldnews.com.au that they are being discriminated against by officials.

“The stupid part of this, which I have argued to them, is that there are tons of gay couples on the Olympic team who will be rooming together, so we are being discriminated against because we are heterosexual,” Russell Mark told news.com.au.

Lauryn Mark additionally told the website that the Australian Olympic Committee has not helped them with their situation.

“Basically they said if we want to room together we need to check out of the village and go into a hotel at our own expense. It’s not feasible,” she told news.com.au. “I am very frustrated because in sport there are a lot of same-sex couples and it’s OK to be partners with someone of the same sex, but if you are heterosexual you are penalized.”

Brendan O'Neill: "Nothing in the Gay Marriage Debate Makes Sense"

Brendan O'Neill's always-provocative take on what is really driving the war on marriage:

"If you stop to think about it, you will notice that nothing in the gay-marriage debate makes sense. The struggle for ‘marriage equality’ is presented to us as a good, natural, straightforward civil-rights thing, which only cranky men of the cloth could feel riled by. But just a couple of minutes’ thoughtful consideration should reveal that it is in fact the most surreal campaign of our age, whose ascendancy to the top of the political agenda in Australia, Britain and the US defies both logic and reason."

... In a nutshell, then, the ‘gay marriage rights’ juggernaut is a campaign for something that gays traditionally haven’t been interested in, backed by people who don’t care very much for either marriage or rights. What’s really going on here? I propose that the only way we can properly understand the speedy rise of this bizarre issue, and its embrace by everyone from a cross-parliamentary inquiry in Australia to Barack Obama to Goldman Sachs (seriously), is as an act of high and unprecedented political opportunism. The real value of the gay-marriage issue is not in the improvements it will allegedly make to homosexual people’s lives, but rather in the opportunity for moral posturing and right-on preening it affords to its backers. Gay marriage isn’t a real issue; it’s a cultural signifier, where you support it in order to show that you are decent, enlightened and, most importantly, not like Them, the rabble.

In an era when old-style morality is on the wane, if not dead, the elites are forever feeling around for new issues through which they can communicate their moral superiority. And right now, banging on about gay marriage is the main way they do this. -- The Australian Spectator