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Pages tagged "human rights"
The harm to children of same-sex marriage: David van Gend address to WCF
· May 16, 2013 10:00 AM
Dr David van Gend is a family doctor and President of the
Australian Marriage Forum
. He gave the following talk at the World Congress of Families, Sydney, May 16th 2013:
“The harm to children of same-sex marriage”
Frank Brennan, the former Chair of Australia’s National Human Rights Consultation Committee, has this to say on same-sex marriage and the rights of the child:
In the name of equality of adults, future children should not be deprived the opportunity to be born of a man and a woman. Citizens need to consider not only the right of same-sex couples to equality but even more so the rights of future children.
This is the heart of opposition to same-sex marriage: that it
same-sex parenting, and same-sex parenting
that future children must miss out on either a mother or a father.
Marriage is a compound right under Article 16 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
: “the right to marry and to found a family”. Therefore homosexual marriage includes
the legal recognition of an exclusive relationship
the right to form a family by artificial reproduction – such as surrogacy - but any child created within that “marriage” would have no possibility of being raised by both her mother and her father.
Of course, there are already tragic situations where a child cannot have both a mum and a dad, such as the death or desertion of a parent, but that is not something we would wish upon a child, and it is not something that a government should ever inflict upon a child. There are already situations where broken families reform as a homosexual household, and nothing can or should be done about that. But what we must not allow is the situation where Government facilitates the deliberate creation of motherless or fatherless families.
That offence against the child, inherent in any institution of “homosexual marriage”, is the primary reason why the proposed reform is wrong and must be opposed, and likewise why any law is wrong that compels a child to live without a mother or without a father - such as single or same-sex surrogacy and same-sex stranger adoption.
Even the pseudo gay-marriage of a civil partnership can allow for this abuse of a child’s birthright. That is the case with Elton John and his civil partner, David Furnish, who in 2010 created baby Zach using an anonymous egg donor in India, a vial of their blended sperm and a rent-a-womb. The old rock star needed “someone to love into my old age”. Too bad if baby Zach needed a mother’s love, because the men ensured that Zach could never know her. Spurious “equal rights” for rich homosexuals to obtain a child, at the cost of authentic “equal rights” for all babies to enter the world with their own mother and their own father.
The life between mother and baby is the most profound human bond, but that primal relationship is abolished by the “marriage” of two men. Homosexual marriage heralds an authentic “gay stolen generation”, destined to the same disorientation and pain as children conceived by anonymous sperm-donor fathers or removed at birth from single mothers.
Australian ethicist Professor Margaret Somerville observed that demands for gay marriage “force us to choose between giving priority to children's rights or to homosexual adults' claims.” The claims of homosexual adults always take priority with the progressive media, who frame the debate narcissistically in terms of the desires and “equal rights” of adults. Who, then, will defend the child’s point of view?
A child has the right to her own mum and dad, to be nurtured by their complementary love. She has the right to look up and see the only two faces on earth that reflect her own: the woman and the man who together gave her life. A little girl should not have to look up and see two “married men” as her parents. Neither man can be a mother to her; they cannot guide her as a mother would when she is growing from girl to woman, nor model for her the complex relationship of husband and wife. Likewise, any boy needs his father’s companionship and example to help him become a man; no matter how competent and caring a lesbian partner may be, she cannot be a dad to a little boy.
Laws allowing “homosexual marriage” would abolish a child’s birthright to both a mother and a father; such laws would subject children, without consent, to an uncontrolled experiment on their emotional development.
On this question of emotional development, sociologist David Popenoe states the obvious: “Few propositions have more empirical support in the social sciences than this one: Compared to all other family forms, families headed by married, biological parents are best for children.” However, we don’t need sociologists or social science to convince us that a child needs the love of both a mum and a dad; that insight is bedrock sanity, and if we lose it we will become a deranged culture.
Predictably at this point some raise the scenario of an abusive mother and father and argue that it is better for a child to have two loving same-sex carers than a dysfunctional pair of biological parents - but neither option gives a child what she needs. We must reject both, restraining parents who would inflict abuse while also restraining governments who would inflict laws that normalise the motherless or fatherless child.
Governments need to be restrained, because some matters are beyond the authority of any politicians to tamper with.
Marriage is not a social
to be cut to shape according to political whim; it is a social
of timeless natural reality: male, female, offspring. The father of modern anthropology, Claude Levi-Strauss, called marriage “a social institution with a biological foundation”. He notes that throughout recorded history the human family is “based on a union... of two individuals of opposite sexes who establish a household and bear and raise children.” So all of our marriage laws and customs exist to reinforce this biological foundation, helping bind a man, a feral-by-nature male, to his mate for the sake of social stability and for the sake of the child they might create.
Not all marriages do create children - but typically they do, and the institution exists for the typical case. If adult sexual relationships did not have the momentous consequence, typically, of creating a child who needs nurturing for many years, there would be no need to urge the binding contract of marriage on sexual partners. Even the atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell, understood this when he wrote back in 1929:
It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.
Self-evidently, homosexual relationships cannot create children, so society has no
interest in regulating such friendships. These relationships are of great importance to the individuals involved, and demand neighbourly civility, but they do not meet nature’s job description for marriage-and-family.
If we do choose to abolish the mammalian model of marriage and family and redefine it in terms of Oprah sentimentality - any two adults who love each other - then we must follow the logic of such a redefinition.
Lord Daniel Brennan, former Chair of the Bar Association in the UK, wrote in March 2012:
If you can abolish the most important pre-condition of marriage – namely that it requires a person of each sex – why should you be able to retain other pre-conditions, such as limiting it to only two people? In the Netherlands, where same-sex marriage was introduced in 2001, “cohabitation agreements” have been used to give three-way relationships a measure of legal recognition.
Here in Australia, James Dominguez of Bisexual Alliance Victoria prefers four-way relationships. He told The Australian in May 2012: “Some time … we should look at the idea of plural marriage". Right now he lives in a bisexual polyamorous foursome, awaiting true “marriage equality” for groups of deeply committed, loving adults.
And only last month in the mainstream journal, Slate, came an article celebrating group marriage. This is the working out of the logic of same-sex marriage: for if ‘equal love’ trumps gender, ‘equal love’ also trumps number.
The day we cut marriage adrift from the rock of nature, from the mammalian order of male-female-young, is the day we lose any fundamental reason to deny “marriage equality” to any combination of consenting adults. The only non-consenting party is the child brought into such a chaotic world: perhaps with three ‘fathers’ and no mother, perhaps a bisexual polyamorous foursome. All in the narcissistic name of ‘equal love’.
Back to Frank Brennan, who shows us the civil way forward on this debate:
I think we can ensure non-discrimination against same-sex couples while at the same time maintaining a commitment to children of future generations being born of and being reared by a father and a mother.
“Non-discrimination against same-sex couples” is exactly what Federal Parliament achieved in 2008, when over 80 pieces of legislation were amended by a bipartisan majority. There is now no unjust discrimination against same-sex couples in Australia.
What Brennan calls “commitment to children of future generations” requires that we discriminate, justly, between two quite distinct social projects: the widespread public task of marriage-and-family, and the rare private commitment of gay partnerships.
The number of gay partnerships in Australia is indeed very small, involving only 0.7% of all couples according to the 2011 Census. Respect even for tiny minorities is necessary, but appropriate discrimination in favour of the vast social goods of natural marriage and the child’s right to enter life, where possible, with both a mother and a father, is also necessary.
Homosexual couples now enjoy practical equality with married couples in every way short of marriage. The process must stop short of marriage, because marriage is about something much deeper than civil equality; it is about a natural reality – male, female, young – which society did not create and which only a decadent political party like the Greens, so out of touch with nature, would seek to destroy.
ACL's Submission to the Sex Discrimination Amendment Bill
· May 01, 2013 10:00 AM
to read the ACL's submission on the Sex Discrimination (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013.
Media fails to report on murder trial of doctor who ran abortion clinics in US
· April 15, 2013 10:00 AM
Dr Kermit Gosnell (left) ran two multi-million dollar abortion clinics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was arrested in 2011 charged with eight counts of murder. Prosecutors allege he was responsible for the death of a woman and that he killed seven babies who were born alive. He could face the death penalty should he be found guilty.
His trial began in the United States last month, with several former employees testifying against him. One claims that they saw 100 babies' spinal cords being snipped with scissors. Many babies were allegedly older than the 24-week limit for abortions in the state.
Denison Forum, a Christian ministry in the US, has raised concerns about the failure of the media to report on trials with such enormous implications for human rights, particularly the rights of the unborn. They note Kristen Powers in
explaining that none of the news shows on the three major national television networks have mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. She says "this should be front page news. When Rush Limbaugh attached Sandra Fluke, there was non-stop media hysteria…Yet, accusations of babies having their heads severed - a major human rights story if there ever was one - doesn't make the cut…The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace."
Abortion continues to be a major issue in Australian politics. The introduction of a private member’s bill by Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne's
Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill
into the state parliament recently has attracted widespread criticism from people all over the country.
The community has raised concern about the extreme nature of the abortion bill, originally allowing abortion on demand for up to 24 weeks but recently changed to 16 weeks. This removes protection of the most vulnerable in society and diminishes the rights of unborn children.
The Church in Tasmania has expressed their disagreement with the proposed legislation. Last week saw each of Tasmania's major heads of Churches and Christian networks launch a joint statement presented to parliament affirming that all human life is sacred. You can support this initiative by signing the Salamanca Declaration at
ACL made its own submission to the inquiry on the bill and launched a
'Make a Stand' campaign
encouraging Tasmanians to lobby their politicians against the proposed legislation.
MR: ACL calls on Gillard Government to uphold religious freedom
· February 21, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Friday, 22nd February 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby is today urging the Gillard Government to reject Senate Committee recommendations which threaten to dramatically undermine freedom of religion.
The parliamentary report into Labor’s new anti-discrimination laws includes a recommendation to remove exemptions and exceptions enjoyed by faith-based organisations in service delivery.
“Faith-based schools and hospitals do not discriminate, they provide a particular range of services consistent with their faith, and government must protect their ability to do that to honour its responsibility to protect human rights,” said ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace.
“The exemptions and exceptions in anti-discrimination legislation are protections for religious freedom, which under international law is a basic or fundamental human right.
“Former Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s legacy is a complete confusion.
“You cannot sacrifice fundamental human rights like freedom of religion because of a desire not to discriminate. This has created an ideological soup which will threaten basic human rights,” he said.
In the media - a wrap up of the last week's commentary
· February 21, 2013 11:00 AM
In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on issues such as the push by Attorney-General George Brandis to ensure that basic human rights are protected . See below for links to mentions in the media.
On human rights:
Christian Today Australia -
Australian Christian Lobby backs push to better protect basic human rights
ACL's Nick Jensen also had an opinion piece published in Canberra City News about the ACT government's unwillingness to attend a church service marking the beginning of the political year:
Canberra City News -
Church upset: politicians move in strange ways...
MR: ACL backs push to better protect basic human rights
· February 20, 2013 11:00 AM
Wednesday, 20th February 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has backed the push by shadow Attorney-General George Brandis to ensure that basic human rights are better protected.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace agreed with concerns raised by Senator Brandis that the Australian Human Rights Commission is focused too much on anti-discrimination to the detriment of basic freedoms such as speech and religion.
“It is important basic human rights are not subordinated to other agendas. Where other right claims conflict with long-established human rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, it should be a greater priority of the Australian Human Rights Commission to defend and advocate for these,” he said.
“Whilst non-discrimination and equality are important, it is also important that these do not subordinate human rights which make for a free society.
“It is absolutely essential for free speech and the freedom of religion that people are able to express and live their views about family, marriage and life in the public square without fear of being subject to an anti-discrimination claim because their views differ from others.
“ACL believes human rights are paramount to a well-functioning society and that Christian values contributed to some of the most significant progress in the development of human rights as evidenced through the anti-slavery and civil rights movements,” Mr Wallace said.
Mr Wallace urged the Government to also consider the direction of the AHRC and re-orientate its work to protecting basic human rights.
Dan Flynn on the Political Spot
· January 29, 2013 11:00 AM
Dan Flynn is the Victorian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He recently went along to the Senate Committee hearings into the federal government's new Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination bill and spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about the hearing.
Employee wins right to wear cross at work
· January 16, 2013 11:00 AM
A British Airways employee, who was asked to remove her cross necklace at work, has won a discrimination case at the European Court of Human Rights against the company.
This demonstrates a great win for those who uphold religious freedom.
Read the ABC story
MR: ACL concurs with discrimination concerns raised by media submission
· January 10, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Thursday, January 10, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today concurred with concerns raised by the media companies over the draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill put forward by Attorney General Nicola Roxon, concerns also reflected in its submission.
Managing Director of the ACL, Mr Jim Wallace, said that “while the move to consolidate, clarify, and simplify five different commonwealth laws is welcome, the draft Bill goes well beyond consolidation and would increase the reach of current laws, further impinging on freedom of religion and freedom of speech.”
“The joint submission by the media companies has rightly pointed out the increasing reach of this Bill to include conduct that offends or insults,” said Mr Wallace. “In addition to this, unlawful discrimination is defined subjectively as ‘unfavourable treatment’, with the onus of proof on the one who has supposedly offended or insulted while there is no definition of what constitutes “ harassment”, something the draft looks to target.”
“The exposure draft creates too many vulnerabilities for people of faith and faith-based institutions and will need radical redrafting,” said Mr Wallace.
Chelsea Pietsch on the Political Spot
· December 17, 2012 11:00 AM
Chelsea Pietsch is from Freedom for Faith, a new body representing various Christian Churches and faith-based organisation in relationship to religious freedom. She spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about Freedom for Faith's concerns about the proposed
Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill
which could see a loss of freedom.
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