“What are you watching?” Master10 asked me tonight.
“Just an ad about gay marriage,” I told him.
“Good,” he said. “People should be able to marry whoever they love.”
“It’s not saying that,” I told him. “This is saying they shouldn’t be allowed to.”
Then we watched the whole thing together. And an interview by David van Gend defending it (both vids below).
Straight off the bat I’m going to say this is the first time I’ve heard an anti-gay-marriage argument which hasn’t gone down the track of gay marriage offending our maker or how the idea of two men/women doing it is just icky.
So kudos for that.
But also straight off the bat, I still think their argument sucks balls.
Because it’s spin. It’s saying something that sounds right but which doesn’t actually mean anything, especially in a world where parents can die young, where divorce is so unfortunately common, where a mother or a father can disappear from their childrens’ lives on a whim, and where, let’s be honest, there’s already a lot of fine, well adjusted, loved children raised in gay households.
I even know a couple. They’re good people. What’s more, you can’t tell the parents are gay.
Zach Wahls, an American gay marriage activist raised by two women (I’ve included a vid of him below too), gives a different answer to the idea that every child deserves a mother and a father, and to be quite honest it makes a lot more sense – both emotionally and in terms of common sense.
“Every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine,” he says. “Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the bad times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love which binds us. That’s what makes a family.”
Families are so much more complicated than a mother and a father, and they have been forever. I don’t even have to look further than my own family to give an example. My father had a cousin who was raised as a sister. My older two kids were raised as stepchildren of my second wife (she’ll throttle me when she sees I’ve referred to them as anything but her children).
Families can be single parent, adopted, fostered, step, living with grandparents or siblings and so many more scenarios. I know someone who’s taken in a young man these last couple of years and raised him to adulthood without any family connection or government assistance just because the kid needed someone to care enough and she felt it was the right thing to do. I know a young girl who was housed and raised by the teachers of a school when the parents (a mother and a father) decided it was all too much and kicked her out.
So saying it must be a mother and a father for it to work out okay is all manner of daft.
But I do understand how some people find same sex couples a bit icky. I just don’t think their emotional responses matter a hoot compared to the happiness and well-being of people who simply want the same rights as straight people.
What’s more, for me, the idea that these people at Australian Marriage Forum are trying to use children as a human shield for their bigotry and out of date views is a little icky.
After half an hour watching the vids, my son was on his high horse. I’d hardly said a word. Also, I was so proud.
“You should write something to tell them they’re wrong,” Master10 told me. “Why should they be able to stop two people from getting married. And just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they don’t want to have a family.”
“I’ve already done it,” I assured him, and we read my comment at the bottom of the Youtube video together.
“I don’t think I’m gay, Dad,” he told me. This is the first time he’s actually said anything like this. Not sure if laughing was the correct response but I went with my gut. “But if I was,” he continued, “I’d still want a family.”
“I know,” I told him. “This whole thing is about people who have something trying to stop others from having it because they’re different. It’s about discrimination.”
And then he said something which not only gives me hope for the future of our society but also strengthens my resolve to continue to message my federal member (Warren Truss – who doesn’t share my view on discrimination and thinks most people in our area agree with him), comment on posts & Youtube videos, bring it up at parties and rant on my blog.
“I love you, Dad,” Master10 said when we finished talking and I sent him off to bed. “You’re doing the right thing. You’re the best.”
He’s just turned ten and he gets it.
And finally, one of the many responses I’ve received from my federal member, Warren Truss, when I’ve written him on my views and asked him to please change the law so gay people can have equal rights and marry. He doesn’t agree with me. I’m not giving up on him.
If you’re in the Wide Bay area consider contacting Warren Truss to let him know your thoughts.
If you enjoyed this post please share, like or comment.
It really does make a difference. Thanks.
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”
Sometimes I wonder if we would be better off if our nation was run by 10 year olds!
This next generation will get it done. But I have high hopes they won’t have to.
I’m glad you watched the whole of that ridiculous video of old mate, because I couldn’t get past the first minute. That makes no sense to me whatsoever. I have seen many many many heterosexual couples who should have never been allowed to have children, but no one stopped them. Why is that all of a sudden the Australian Marriage Forum’s argument anyway? What a stupid organisation. Thank you for raising your children the way you have.
Smoke and mirrors for discrimination.
Out of the mouths of babes….P.S. you need to change your MP. Remind him of that when next you write to him.
I write him about every six months to ask if he’s changed his mind yet. He must hate it when he gets my emails 😀
Bruce, you’re an incredible ally, and you’re raising a wonderful family. Glad I know you mate. Thanks for sticking-up for families like ours. See you soon!
Looking forward to catching up around a game of Rummy-O, Michael 🙂 You guys are doing a fantastic job raising those boys. They’re a credit to you 😀
So, his argument is all about not having a mother. Should I assume that he’s okay with lesbian couples having children?
All children should have good, strong, male and female role models in their lives and children of gay parents are no less likely to have that. Where I live in the southern U.S. close family is a big deal, it is common for generations to live together and kids are often very close to aunts, uncles, and friends of the family. It is not unusual to refer to a long-time neighbor as Grammy or an aunt or uncle to be known as a second mom or dad. As long as kids have lots of people who love them, AND two parents who try to raise them well, they’re going to turn out just fine.
Love this. Here in the US there is so much hate still, but we’re working for a positive change. My little man knows that love is love and he gets very upset if someone tries to tell him any differently. He is being raised by me (his bio-mom) and his Justin-daddy (step-father). His Dad lives near us with his dad’s long-term girlfriend. He has 4 sets of grandparents who dote on him and more than a dozen biological and non-biological aunts and uncles who spoil him, many of whom are in “non-traditional” relationships. Trust me, he has no issue recognizing love when he sees it, or knowing what a healthy relationship is. I have so much hope for the future generation, both here in the US, and from the looks of it, Bruce, your flock will do a fair job of Australia!
My son had very similar views at 10 and it made my heart swell with pride. He’s 15 now, and still feels the same way, as do his younger sister and brother. If the next generation running this country can have more open and accepting views, then we’ve done this parenting thing right!
This is just anti gay marriage, this is anti gay MEN marrying. Pure, shameful discrimination. And there argument doesn’t had water at all. Not unless they’re also campaigning for the removal of all children in the care of fathers or any other non traditional family setup. Plus last time I looked marriage wasn’t a prerequisite to starting a family nor is starting a family mandatory after marriage. I’m raising my kids, five and three, with the belief that any two consenting adults who love each other can marry. I’m hoping that the law catches up before I have to explain the whole legally recognised marriage vs publicly declaring love and commitment but not having it legally recognised.
All the commentary and the rah rah towards gays still does not make it right. Using the argument that you can take in foster children and raise them as your own, and the likes, is NOT the same as being gay. We SHOULD be able to help out different family and non-family members. We should not be gay. Sorry to put it so harshly, but there is no other way to say it. God intended for a marriage to be between a man and a woman only.
Dear Anonymous, if indeed that is your real name, you are wrong and I’ll tell you why. Firstly, whichever God you look up to that is entirely your business. But your God and your holy text (I assume it’s the Bible but it could be the Book of Mormon, Qur’an or Torah or what have you) does not have a place in our laws. We are secular. And that’s important. It provides you with the freedom to study from whatever book you like and to live your life by those values. It does not give you the right to bigotry and discrimination. If it does then one would wonder why you would even consider joining that particular religion. Consider a few countries around the world where their laws are based on religious teachings and you might give yourself a bit of a jolt because they are not tolerant and safe societies to have your own points of view and to live with what modern societies are calling equal rights. We do not want that here. Being gay isn’t a bad thing. People are born with it. It’s not even restricted to humans – there are lots of animals who display gay tendencies. So if you want to claim the god of your religion forbids it then you might want to ask yourself why it’s there in the first place. Thanks for stopping by. I do hope I’ve given you something to think about.
Mr. Devereaux, I know that people may not want to think about God because they want to live a life of freedom. However, we and all creation are made of God and he made it very wisely. He also fashioned a man and a women in his infinite wisdom, exactly for the creation of man. NO other union can do that. It’s that simple. I implore you to think of that. Of course you are free to believe as you will; but when the end of the earth does come, everyone will be judged on what they didn’t do or didn’t believe. I had to tell you that because I came upon this post and I would otherwise have been guilty of not telling you.
Dear Anonymous. I have no issue with God. I have a huge issue with people using religion to promote their bigotry. I had to tell you that because otherwise I would have been guilty of not telling you 😉
Ah Bruce, I enjoy your replies very much 🙂 I think followers of religion often forget their own doctrine too easily. It’s very true that the onus to ‘spread the word’ is on the parishioners however that ‘word’ is supposed to be love and forgiveness, not damnation. Silly beans. Also, if you want to discuss marriage in terms of religion, God ‘created’ marriage for a man and a woman who intended to procreate. So technically marriages that don’t produce children are against the teachings of God. And don’t you even consider having sex for anything other than reproductive purposes. Having children outside of wedlock is also against these teachings so all of those unwed pregnant women had better get abortions. Oh wait, THAT’S against these teachings too. Maybe, call me crazy, people should just treat each other as they would like to be treated. THIS is one teaching I can stand behind whole heatedly.
“As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”
– Adolf Hitler
So easy to hide your bigotry behind the words of a religious text.
Keep fighting the good fight. It’s how dictionaries get changed.
Interestingly, there was no definition of marriage in the Australian Marriage Act written in 1961. It was only amended in 2004 to include language about marriage being between a man and a woman. So those who talk about history and tradition are wrong. The narrow-minded language was only written into the act 11 years ago! Very, very recent history.
My local MP for Warringah is Tony Abbott so somehow I think you might have more success with getting Warren to change his mind.
I just emailed Tony Abbott, Diana. Thanks for the idea 🙂 Here’s where you can send him a message on this: https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm
Here’s what I wrote to the PM just now:
I’ve been writing to my local member, Warren Truss, for some time on the
issue of marriage equality. I’ve also started writing posts on my blog about
it. I thought I’d share my thoughts with you and your office in the hope
you’ll reconsider your position on this matter of discrimination.
I think it’s time to stop hiding behind nonsense issues and allow marriage
equality in Australia. In the name of fairness and common decency I’m calling
on you, as the Prime Minister of this country, to not only allow a conscience
vote but to speak out against discrimination.
Post: My Response To Australian Marriage Forum’s Latest Ad (31 mar 15)
Post: This Right Is Still So Wrong (7 Dec 14)
There’s also been a lot of comments supporting this on my blog’s facebook
page when I shared these posts and Warren’s response to one of my emails.
I look forward to sharing your response with my readers.
Hi Bruce, Did you get a reply from Mr Abbott?
Actually Carly, abortion is fine under the law of Moses. But only if a man suspects his wife of cheating on him. A “bitter water” is forced upon the wife by a priest (not a physician, mind!) which causes her foetus to perish and her womb to become barren. God is love.
Numbers 5: 11-31.
…and all life is sacred.