133 out of 150 electorates voted yes. Same sex marriage gets 61% approval in survey. 61.6 per cent of eligible Aussies – or more than seven million people – have voted Yes in the postal survey.
Turncoat’s treason on conservative values will never be forgotten:
MALCOLM Turnbull has ruled out weakening anti-discrimination laws so wedding planners can refuse to serve gay couples, as he prepares to welcome the historic outcome of the same-sex marriage vote today.
It’s ok to say ‘no’ – and that won’t stop tomorrow
John Adams Spectator Australia 14 November 2017
No matter the outcome of tomorrow’s same-sex marriage postal vote, conservatives should not accept the outcome.
In the parlance of public policy, the consideration and public debate on whether to allow same-sex marriage in Australia has been grossly flawed and mismanaged.
With any major reform to public policy, good government and experienced public policy practitioners typically seek to guide the reform effort through a robust policy development process.
Such a process often entails a thorough review of the issues under consideration, an articulation of the problem, canvassing and carefully considering all relevant policy options, anticipating any potential unintended consequences and then the selection of the option which best provides the largest net positive benefit to society.
This fundamental process to delivering robust public policy outcomes has been all but absent in the Australian SSM debate.
Continued below the fold:
In other news:
FORGET FREEDOM, SAYS TURNBULL
Our youngest Senator is right, and the Prime Minister is dangerously wrong to summarily dismiss his bill to defend freedoms once gay marriage becomes law:
MALCOLM Turnbull has ruled out weakening anti-discrimination laws so wedding planners can refuse to serve gay couples, as he prepares to welcome the historic outcome of the same-sex marriage vote today…
Mr Turnbull has lent his support to a private member’s bill by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith, which is expected to be introduced tomorrow if the yes vote is successful as widely anticipated.
But conservatives are backing an alternative bill proposed by Victorian Liberal senator James Paterson, which has extensive shield laws for businesses and others opposed to gay marriage, which would override some state anti-discrimination laws.
However, Mr Turnbull rejected calls for those far-reaching carve-outs.
“I don’t believe Australians would welcome, and certainly the government does not, would not countenance making legal, discrimination that is illegal, that is unlawful today,” Mr Turnbull said.
One conservative MP said Mr Turnbull seemed to have given up on holding the leadership for the long term.
The defence of the freedom of people not to cater to same-sex weddings is relatively minor issue – in the sense that I suspect few cases would arise. More important is defending the freedom of people to argue against same-sex marriage, especially given that three preachers have already been dragged before an anti-discrimination tribunal for doing so.
For Turnbull to simply dismiss concerns about such attacks on our freedom is a mistake. He threatens us and his own leadership.
The lack of a robust process and independent dispassionate consideration of all available evidence exposes Australia to potentially disastrous outcomes which comes with tinkering with a religious and social institution which has served as the bedrock for at least 5,500 years to societal stability and humanity’s progress.
Instead, arguments relating to homosexuality being a naturally occurring phenomenon as well as ideological pleas to fairness, love and compassion have dominated the debate by those advocating for change.
Any proper policy reform process on such a fundamental question that carries potential societal‑wide and intergenerational impacts should have encompassed an independently prepared first principles review policy paper canvassing several foundational questions including:
What is the institution of marriage and why does it exist? (Is the institution to bond two people’s love or is it an institution to facilitate procreation and the upbringing of children)
How does the institution of marriage differ across different societies around the world?
What public and private outcomes does the institution intend to achieve?
Who originally created the institution? (Was it religions or ancient governments that created the institution?) Who rightfully can claim ownership to the institution today?
What has the Government’s historical role in the institution of marriage been? Who has dictated what marriage is and who can marry?
When, and under what conditions, has marriage been most effective in delivering public outcomes?
What historical attempts have been enacted to reform or change the institution of marriage and have they been successful?
What difference is there between theologically-recognised and government-recognised marriage?
What ongoing role does and should the Commonwealth government have in regulating marriage?
What is the history of the SSM movement? Who funded the movement and what are their objectives? How has the movement been able to influence the perception of SSM over recent decades?
What societal or intergenerational impacts are expected from the introduction of SSM in Australia?
What data and empirical studies exist which may provide an evidence base to understanding any potential long-run effects from the introduction of same-sex marriage?
A proper consideration of these and other critical questions would have allowed policymakers and citizens to make a well-informed decision.
For those advocates of evidence-based policy, the absence of a proper public policy process, a well‑articulated evidence base justifying the reform and any longitudinal data where SSM has been implemented to fully comprehend potential inter‑generational ramifications means that the current (and expensive) process is fundamentally flawed.
The postal survey process has left many Australians to cast (whether for or against) a largely ill‑considered opinion.
To her credit, former leader of the Greens, Christine Milne, was correct when she stated in 2013 in the Senate that Australian community attitudes have changed regarding same-sex relationships and marriage over the past 30 years.
However, no one in the national debate has ever bothered to ask why this dramatic shift in social attitudes ever occurred.
There can be no question that an internationally integrated multi-dimensional and coordinated campaign has been pursued throughout the western world featuring Hollywood created or inspired cultural products (television shows, movies and music) comprising of regularly featured gay characters as well as gay intimacy and sexual activity, educational messaging throughout primary and secondary schools, academically driven advocacy from university arts faculties as well as political and mainstream media advocacy.
These elements have been the catalyst for the ‘normalisation’ of attitudes relating to homosexuality and same-sex relationships.
This integrated process, according to former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov, is referred to as ‘ideological subversion’ and was used extensively by the Soviets for nefarious geopolitical strategic reasons and now appears to be a predominant technique in the western world.
Such an approach, while legal, does not provide any deductive rational evidential basis for the consideration of public policy reform proposals.
This means that the Milne rationale as the basis for why SSM reform should occur carries no legitimacy.
A majority Yes vote in the postal vote tomorrow should not be seen as the end of the matter.
Without a robust evidence base or longitudinal data, conservatives and independent social scientists will need to examine the long run impact of any amendments to marriage customs in Australia as well as other comparable countries.
Similar to understanding the impact of immigration flows or other major public policy reforms, the effects of the introduction of SSM customs are unlikely to be felt short-term and are likely to be generational.
Any evidence which emerges that changes to Australian marriage customs lead to a net negative for Australian society should be the basis for the issue to be publicly re-examined.
Moreover, scientific research into why homosexuality exists is continuing to evolve. Recent peer-reviewed scientific research of identical twins who share identical DNA material but have different sexual preferences have proven categorically false the proposition that people are born gay.
This body of research has proven that homosexuality arises from post-birth factors which may include post-birth DNA mutation (or epigenetics) or other environmental (or nurture) factors.
Indeed, the emerging science explains how homosexuality was publicly encouraged in ancient Greece as a policy tool to enhance the fighting effectiveness of Sparta’s military personnel.
Recent scientific discoveries mean that policymakers and society at large have a legitimate basis to question the virtuousness of homosexuality, what quantum of homosexuality activity is optimal for society and to potentially develop new public policy tools to either encourage or discourage homosexuality activity across society.
Australia will know tomorrow as to whether we will embark on the greatest social experiment in our history.
Conservatives who believe that this social experiment is likely to have negative and disastrous effects on Australian society should call, and start to prepare, for a new plebiscite no later than 2027.
If within the next 10-year period, evidence emerges that this experiment has led to a net negative outcome to Australia, then conservatives should seek to overturn any legislation which is passed by federal parliament this year.
The experience of a constitutional prohibition of alcohol in the United States between 1920 and 1933 proved that some social experiments can lead to disastrous public outcomes and that a community, on reflection, can reverse previous decisions.
John Adams is a former Coalition advisor.
Same-sex marriage survey sees freedom for all lost in the post
The overwhelming number of human beings that have ever lived never knew freedom. They were slaves to tribal leaders, feudal lords, emperors, kings or ideological dictators. Truly free societies have never rested on freedom in the abstract but on particular freedoms.
These include the freedoms of conscience, speech, association and to own property. Not some philosophically abstract “freedom”, but these freedoms define liberalism, and free societies exist only to the extent that these freedoms exist. All of these freedoms are perpetually under threat somewhere, but I would like to focus on one that is often forgotten but no less imperilled today.
Freedom of conscience is the freedom not to be forced to act contrary to our deepest held values, those values without which we cannot even imagine ourselves being the same person. Everyone has a morality by which they live and therefore has an interest in freedom of conscience, for this freedom is the freedom from being forced to violate it and in doing so assaulting our own sense of self-respect.
Perhaps the best way to appreciate the significance of freedom of conscience is to imagine what society would be like in its absence. In fact, we don’t need to imagine, for history is our guide. The classical world was described by Benjamin Constant as one in which “no importance was given to individual independence, neither in relation to opinions, nor to labour, nor, above all, to religion”. Democratic Athens’ greatest citizen, Socrates, was executed for falling foul of community opinion. In the 1530s, Sir Thomas More found Henry VIII’s oath of supremacy over the church deeply offensive to his conscience as a Catholic. More, one of his age’s greatest statesmen, scholars and lawyers, was beheaded in 1535. Alexander Solzhenitsyn described his 20th-century Russian experience of a society with no freedom for conscience, one of forced labour, torture and death, all under the insidious banner of freedom and equality.
Sadly, there are many poignant examples today of regimes where freedom of conscience is no longer protected.
The degree to which we abhor these societies is the degree to which we should cherish the very freedoms whose absence would move us in that perilous direction. But these freedoms are being treated with increasing indifference in our own back yard under the well-intentioned cover of the same old abstract slogans. Sadly, the slavish pursuit of equality produces only slaves to equality, and slaves are no longer free; such is the paradox of good intention uninformed by history.
Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick illustrates this paradox of freedom: A free society will naturally develop economic inequalities as free people seek their own individual economic advantage. The only way to increase economic equality is to decrease freedom, and perfect economic equality is the perfect absence of freedom. It is no coincidence that the most unfree (and impoverished) societies have been those that stressed equality as their overarching ideal.
Equality movements that pursue “uniformity of opinion” bring extinction to the ever-fragile state of freedom. Another Harvard political philosopher, John Rawls, noted that in a free society, without coercion of thought, the natural state regarding questions of morality and human identity is a state of disagreement. The only way to get all people to agree on heartfelt issues is to force them to do so. Freedom and universal agreement on controversial moral questions are incompatible. If you want the latter you must abolish the former, and that’s precisely what is happening around the world, and in grave danger of happening in Australia.
The ideology of “diversity”, which seeks to reset views on sexuality, gender and marriage, has emerged as the most serious bandwagon threat to democratic freedoms today. The aspiration of this movement is for a society in which everyone must conform on the issues of sexuality, same-sex marriage and transgenderism.
The modus operandi of the movement has been to use anti-discrimination and hate-speech laws to punish people and organisations who disagree. This is the strategy of “jamming” called for by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen in their influential 1989 book on gay political strategy, After the Ball. It calls for unrelenting personal attack and vilification on any who offer an alternative view. This has been a hallmark of the same-sex marriage campaign and a dangerous precedent in any society where viable responsible debate is essential to the maintenance of freedom.
It is deeply perplexing that so many of our elected representatives seem unconcerned or uninformed about the potential dangers to the fragile rights of a free society in play across the Western world.
As Dyson Heydon has forcefully noted, modern elites do not desire tolerance but demand unconditional surrender. It is particularly concerning to me that so many who stand in the liberal and conservative traditions appear strangely unmoved and unengaged in the face of these potential dangers.
West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith’s bill guarantees only “the right of clergy and religious institutions” to decline participation in same-sex marriage services and celebrations. There is by omission no recognition of the likelihood of damage to the freedom of conscience for ordinary citizens and their businesses. Smith and many of his colleagues seem unmoved by the encroachments on freedom of speech and conscience already demonstrated in Australia.
Perhaps the importance of freedom of conscience is best appreciated if we put the shoe on the other foot. Consider the debate about forcing cake makers to supply same-sex weddings against their conscience. Should a caterer who happens also to be a LGBTI activist be forced to cater for an Australian Christian Lobby conference? Should a proudly gay baker be forced to bake a cake with an anti-same-sex marriage message on it?
To say that in the case of the bakers their refusal to make a same-sex marriage wedding cake was because the clients were gay is the same as saying that the gay caterer refused services because his customers were Christians. No, in both cases it is not the identity of the customers that is the issue, it is the activity of facilitating the celebration of something to which they had deep conscientious objections.
The Liberal Party is in peril of forgetting that there is more to free societies than free markets.
For Australians this is potentially very serious, for in our celebrated casual way we lack strong protections for freedom of conscience and speech.
Smith’s exemptions approach arguably does more harm than good, for it assumes freedom of conscience is of worth only to professional religionists and not to all Australians. This weakens even further the standing of this important democratic right and makes it an easy target for those who would lobby to erase this exemption and similar exemptions that may remain in state legislation.
Another, more worthy John Anderson, former professor of philosophy at the University of Sydney, once described the life of liberty as “a perilous and fighting life”. Liberty does not defend itself, it must be defended by those who understand its importance to our culture, which is so rare in the face of history; it must be defended by those who understand its fragile nature. Whatever the outcome of the postal survey, the question now facing us in Australia is whether we are prepared to defend vigorously our essential liberties.
John Anderson was Nationals leader and deputy prime minister from 1999 to 2005. He was the member for Gwydir in NSW from 1989 to 2007.