gay marriage

Bill Shorten doesn’t want gays to have mother in laws

Bill Shorten has decided that Labor won’t support gay marriage in Australia. He doesn’t want gays to have mother in laws like everyone else.

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the door is still open for same-sex marriage despite Labor “playing politics” and putting party interests ahead of the wellbeing of same-sex couples.

Opposition Lead Bill Shorten announced on Tuesday he would put a stop to the “harmful” plebiscite — rejecting the Government’s election mandate — in a bid to push a free vote in Parliament.

During Question Time, Mr Turnbull deflected a question on whether he would have a free vote in Parliament marriage equality.   Read more »

Family First caught distorting facts

Gay marriage

Pat Brittenden has a long post busting the mis-truths of Family First and Bob McCoskrie they are spreading about gay marriage.

It was too hard to edit so I called Pat and asked if I could re-publish it.

by Pat Brittenden

I read with interest an article on last week about Living Springs, a Christian venue in Christchurch, that has changed its position on allowing LGBTI couples to get married there. From the tenor of the article it seemed that the venue had come to this policy change in a sensible, rationale and logical way. The director, Denis Aldridge, was quoted saying, “we’ve been on a journey with this one, and we’ve got there… It took a while.”

Part of the journey involves a recent Human Rights Commission complaint against Living Springs after a lesbian couple were refused their request to hire the venue for their wedding. According to the article, Living Springs did not feel coerced by the Human Rights Commission to change their policy. In fact Elizabeth Wiltshire, one half of the couple who made the Human Rights Commission complaint, rang to speak to Aldridge after the change in policy. Wiltshire indicated that Aldridge seemed to be perfectly happy with the outcome.

“It was good, actually. I felt it was genuine. It wasn’t ‘Oh, we’ve had this unlawful policy and now you’re making us change it,’ [he was] very thankful,” she said, “It gave them a mandate to push for change.”

Fast forward one week and lobby group Family First distributes a press release headed “Function Centre Pressured to Allow Same-Sex Weddings.” The Press Release uses Living Springs as a reason to push the narrative that “Faith-based function centres” are being held hostage and forced into holding LGBTI marriages when they don’t feel they should have to. Family First also continues to make allegations that some in government said this would never happen which is factually incorrect as the opposite was clearly signalled at the time.

“If a church currently hires out their hall for money, they can’t discriminate against any group who chooses to hire out that hall.” Louisa Wall, Q&A.March 2013

I saw Family First’s Press Release on Facebook and it didn’t ring accurate to me after having read the stuff article. The change in Living Springs’ policy seemed more pragmatic than pressured. The conversation on the Facebook post ebbed and flowed between Living Springs and general negative comments about marriage equality. However anytime a contributor suggested the headline of the Press Release may be incorrect Family First director Bob McCoskrie pushed back with the idea that Living Springs “were certainly placed under pressure.”

This really didn’t add up to me, so I phoned Living Springs Director Denis Aldridge myself and requested a formal interview to use for elephantTV. It turns out Aldridge’s story is fascinating.

As a Pastor he was at the forefront of protests in Balclutha in 1986 opposing the Homosexual Law Reform Act. Since then he has been on what he describes as a “journey of thirty years”, where various people came into his life at different stages and challenged his perspective on what it means to be gay. Today Aldridge is an supporter for marriage equality. To have shifted from being someone who led the march against homosexual law reform to someone who is now ‘pro’ marriage equality is simply remarkable.

I wanted to clear up the most important claim by Family First that Living Springs was ‘pressured’ into changing their policy. Aldridge’s response was simple.

“It’s totally wrong and that didn’t come from us, that was the narrative that the guy that rung me wanted and I refuted it” he said. “The reality was [Living Springs] didn’t feel strongly that way, we’d actually come as an organisation [to the place where] we were seeing it, we believe, on a higher level and the higher level was ‘what would Jesus do?’”

Aldridge also made it clear that if they were to take what many Christians believe to be a “biblical interpretation” on marriage and reject marriage equality, then “we have to take a biblical line on re-marriage and divorced people” as well, given that the bible specifically denounces those forms of marriage.

Family First contacted Aldridge looking for comment on their change in policy prior to writing the press release and Aldridge wanted to make clear that he told Bob McCoskrie that they did not “feel coerced [into making the decision to change policy].”

“It’s actually that we have decided it’s the right thing to do” Aldridge said.

Aldridge feels as if Family First has purposely ignored their position.

”They obviously have an agenda, there’s a certain narrative that they wanted to hear and they’ve printed that narrative,” he stated.

Aldridge said they “weren’t pressured into [holding Same Sex marriages]” and they “don’t see it as capitulation.” The issue of Same Sex couples using the venue was already being spoken about at Living Springs, “we’d already had this conversation and that was the words I felt Bob [McCoskrie] was trying to put into my mouth that we were bullied into it, we answered that [we were not] but he’s gone ahead with that story anyways.”

Aldridge finished the interview with a challenge to us all, “I felt really proud of [Living Springs] in the end that we had, I suppose, the humility to say ‘well we haven’t always been right in this thing.’”

To clear up one issue with this whole thing. The law is clear, and it hasn’t changed since Same-Sex marriages were legalised. There is no ambiguity. If you hire a venue to the general public then you must abide by the Human Rights Act of 1993. This doesn’t allow discrimination in twelve main areas, one of which is ‘sexual orientation’. If you hire your venue to the general public for marriages, now that LGBTI couples can marry, then you cannot withhold the venue from them because of their sexual orientation. Prior to marriage equality, if your venue made itself available to the general public and that same LGBTI couple wanted to use it for a birthday party, or a baby dedication, or any kind of celebration that you’d hire it to any heterosexual person for, you also couldn’t refuse them because of their sexual orientation. There is no difference in the law.

I gave Family First the opportunity to retract or correct their statement about Living Springs informing them of the interview I had conducted and the information that came from that interview. They have refused to do so. It is now unequivocally clear that Living Springs were not ‘pressured’ or ‘bullied’ or ‘forced’ into making this policy change. They chose to, and were happy to change.

The full unedited interview with Denis Aldridge is below.

Social Liberalism has Polygamy in its sights

Whenever we make a substantial change in our laws people talk about a slippery slope. When abortion was first legalised they said it was a slippery slope and that not only would we end up with abortion on demand but that we would end up having late term abortions. They were right. Now a Social Liberal has pointed out that by winning for Gays the right to be married we have dismantled all the arguments that previously could be used against Polygamy. Fredrik deBoer says that we are now on a slippery slope and society is heading straight for Polygamous marriage.



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Good news: gays can have mothers-in-law now in the US

The US Supreme Court has handed down their ruling that same-sex couples can enjoy the same misery of heterosexual married couples…mothers-in-law.

Gay and lesbian Americans have the same right to marry as any other couples, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Friday in a historic ruling deciding one of America’s most contentious and emotional legal questions. Celebrations and joyful weddings quickly followed states where they had been forbidden.

The vote was narrow – 5-4 – but the ruling will put an end to same-sex marriage bans in the 14 states that still maintain them, and provide an exclamation point for breathtaking changes in America’s social norms in recent years. As recently as last October, just over one-third of the states permitted gay marriages.

Public acceptance has also shot up in recent years, in stark contrast to the widespread outcry against a 2004 ruling by the high court in Massachusetts legalizing same-sex marriage there, prompting several states to ban it and galvanizing conservative voter turnout during George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

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And we think we have dud judges here

I didn’t cover this story at the time:  a lesbian couple in the US created a stink because the bakery refused to make a “same-sex” wedding cake.   It’s one of those manufactured outrage situations.  A bit like pulling a ponytail, in a sense.

But now the whole thing has gone up several notches on the ‘you-gotta-be-kidding-me-ometer’

A judge in Oregon has concluded that the bakery owners who refused, for religious reasons, to make a cake for a gay wedding should be forced to pay [US]$135,000 in fines.

“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the gay couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, a judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries.

The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein, who have seven children, say the exorbitant fine could force them into bankruptcy.

This decision even makes Graham McCready look like a legal scholar. Read more »

Face of the day


Courtney Hoffman (Facebook)

Todays face of the day Courtney Hoffman reacted in an unexpected way when a business that was happy to serve Gay people in its restaurant refused to cater a Gay wedding. By reacting the way she did she made a much more powerful statement about Gay love than any of the haters who threatened and harassed the business owners.

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Kid rationalises a gay couple

Charles Krauthammer on the the totalitarian instincts of the Left

Charles Krauthammer comments on the Mozilla case where they sacked their chief executive for having donated $1000 to a lobby group against same-sex marriage more than six years ago:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: One of the sound bites you had earlier, someone saying this is a kind of intolerance entering into the culture. I think it’s narrower than that. This is the culture of the left not being satisfied with making an argument or even prevailing in an argument, but in destroying personally and marginalizing people who oppose it, in the same way that proponents of climate change declare the issue closed. It’s over. There’s no debate. It is settled science.  Read more »

One of the major reasons why Marriage Equality was necessary

I supported marriage equality mainly because it was right but also because I believed that everyone deserves a mother in law.

It simply wasn’t fair for heterosexuals to bear the burden alone.

The Telegraph has a handy check list for those happy gay couples thinking of tying the knot in order to identify what type of Mother in Law they will be enjoying for the foreseeable future after their nuptials.

My favourites are:

3 – The Apologist

She’ll ring in the middle of children’s teatime, when baby is choking on lumps and his brother is painting his own name in mashed potato on the French doors. “Is this a bad time?” she simpers. “I know what it’s like”. “It’s OK,” you spit out, catching a glob of shepherd’s pie in your free hand. You wonder if she didn’t start out like that, whether it might not occur to you to feel annoyed. She tiptoes around you like a gopher in a bear cave, apologising for her own existence, until you can’t help but snap.

“Oh dear”, she sighs, with the dying breath of the little match girl striking her last flame. “It seems I’ve overstayed my welcome.”  Read more »

Poor buggers, having to exploit a back door loop hole

A gay couple in Pennsylvania have had to resort to all sorts of legal trickery in estate planning because their state doesn’t recognise same-sex marriage. Poor buggers…this is just sad when you think about it.

A man in Pennsylvania has adopted his partner of 44 years to circumvent high property taxes that would be imposed on either of the men if the other dies.

John, 65, and his partner Gregory*, 75, made the decision to become father and son to avoid a 15 per cent tax on any property and assets willed to one if the other should die – a much higher tax than married spouses or family members are required to pay.

The state of Pennsylvania, where the men reside, recognizes marriage as being only between a man and a woman and has no provision for civil unions at this time.

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