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The Plebiscite for Marriage Equality

Isee

Lurker... who occasionally speaks
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I respect their their right (and anyone else's) to vote from their conscience. That's what a democracy is about. But where, oh where do they get this rubbish from. It most certainly wasn't their minister.

One of the strangest arguments I have seen over the years with this debate was actually during the time NZ was changing their laws, and I have a very evangelical acquaintance on facebook. When the debate as normal went to marriage being for the purpose of procreation, and I asked the question of those that are unable to conceive in heterosexual couples, I was informed that God was punishing those people for sins they have done in their life. I cannot imagine any minister, or religion I would want to know about anyway, teaching that!
 

timmy

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Was that stuff seriously happening?
I’m kinda glad I missed it all...
Yes, all of that and a lot more. LGBTI people abused and spat on, murals vandalised, graffiti on a Sydney train:



The whole process was littered with hateful abuse (and I admit not all from the No side, but mostly). And the LGBTI community knew all along this would happen and that is why we fought so hard against the plebiscite. No campaigners made out that we didn't want it because we thought we would lose, but 10 years of polling told us we were well in the majority and a poll or plebiscite was not only unnecessary but would also be damaging and hurtful.

This whole year has been very emotionally draining to me personally, as I'm sure it has been to my LGBTI comrades.

NEVER AGAIN.
 

Tuttle

Well-Known Member
One of the strangest arguments I have seen over the years with this debate was actually during the time NZ was changing their laws, and I have a very evangelical acquaintance on facebook. When the debate as normal went to marriage being for the purpose of procreation, and I asked the question of those that are unable to conceive in heterosexual couples, I was informed that God was punishing those people for sins they have done in their life. I cannot imagine any minister, or religion I would want to know about anyway, teaching that!
I think some people have a belief that only the way they think matters.
I kind of feel sorry for them, they have missed out on so much in life due to being "right" all the time.
 

Beachsands

Formerly known as desertsands
I have Facebook friends on each of the far right and the far left. There are no randoms on my friends list. I saw both sides behaving badly and I hated that we had been put into a situation that would foster such vitriol. I have seen a little of the same in response to the outcome but not nearly as much as I feared.
We had a church service barely an hour after the announcement and one couple very seriously said that the world is now going to end sooner and that ISIS would now step things up against Australia. Their opinion was dismissed by everyone else there - but respectfully and gently. I think we were all alternating between screaming in frustration and howling with laughter on the inside.

I respect their their right (and anyone else's) to vote from their conscience. That's what a democracy is about. But where, oh where do they get this rubbish from. It most certainly wasn't their minister.
Hey Vicar of Gundy. Have you read Father Rod Bowers post today. So good. If you haven’t I’ll try and repost. I believe he is a true Christian, but would love to know what you think.
 

Beachsands

Formerly known as desertsands
Yes, all of that and a lot more. LGBTI people abused and spat on, murals vandalised, graffiti on a Sydney train:



The whole process was littered with hateful abuse (and I admit not all from the No side, but mostly). And the LGBTI community knew all along this would happen and that is why we fought so hard against the plebiscite. No campaigners made out that we didn't want it because we thought we would lose, but 10 years of polling told us we were well in the majority and a poll or plebiscite was not only unnecessary but would also be damaging and hurtful.

This whole year has been very emotionally draining to me personally, as I'm sure it has been to my LGBTI comrades.

NEVER AGAIN.
And your straight friends. Not as much as you obviously, but I’ve been pretty passionate about this.
 

Beachsands

Formerly known as desertsands
A truly free human does not discriminate. That’s the whole point of being free, you don’t see others as a threat and therefore don’t experience the need to exclude or control.

I often wondered why I feel deep resistances to people who call me up and want to vilify refugees or LGBTI people. I have discovered that it isn’t just what they were saying that I was resistant too it is their feelings of fear, loss and anxiety. It is as if they are in a prison and are trying to drag me in with them.

Ironically the freest person I think I have ever met was in fact in prison. He had nothing left to loose, he had pleaded guilty and accepted the consequences of his actions. He was truly free.

We are hearing a lot today about safeguarding ‘religious freedom’ in the passage of the Marriage Act Bill. Sadly those raising these issues have no concept of what religious freedom truly means. They seem for the most part entirely imprisoned in their own fears and anxieties.

One of the great spiritual masters, Ignatius of Loyola, wrote in his Spiritual Exercises: “Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created things, as far as we are allowed by free choice and are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short. The same holds for all other things.” (Spiritual Exercises # 23)

I have heard this put in more contemporary terms as ‘not caring that you care’ that is deep and mature freedom.

Existing laws already restrict our ability to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality, however the church has some limited dispensation for anti-discrimination laws. Therefore it will remain legal for the church to teach that Christian marriage is between a man and a woman, but not legal to vilify LGBIT people in order to promulgate that teaching. Likewise faith-based schools have responsibilities, especially if they receive public funding, to adhere to a curriculum. For example, in a civics class, a responsible educator should be required to inform students that the Marriage Act allows for same sex unions. While in the same school, in a class on religion, it would be perfectly acceptable to teach that their particular religion held that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The kind of so called freedoms that some Christian leaders are now demanding is indicative of not only their own spiritual poverty and immaturity but their total lack of awareness that they are imprisoned in their own human brokenness.
Current anti-discrimination law prevents commercial businesses that provide goods and services from discriminating on the grounds of age, race, religion, gender or sexuality and there is really no viable legislative architecture that could provide exemptions from this requirement. Civil marriage celebrants are not preforming religious rites they are providing a service on a commercial basis and therefore should not be exempt from anti-discrimination legislation.

It is important for us humans to remember that perfect freedom is found in the ability to serve others, especially in the provision of a just and compassionate society for all, regardless of age, race, religion, gender or sexuality. The Christian bias must always be toward those who are vulnerable to discrimination rather than in favor of those who have the power to discriminate.

Fr Rod
A worthwhile read even if you an atheist
 

Consuela

Here to Reign™
Awesome site donor
Suffice it to say yesterday's result was a wonderful belated birthday gift. It's a day I'm unlikely to ever forget. I had gotten the day off as I knew I wasn't going to be very productive whatever the result. So the other half and I were in Queens Gardens to hear the announcement and I'm not going to lie I ugly cried, and I mean UGLY.

I was pretty pessimistic coming into this thing and had prepared myself for the worst so when I heard that number a flood of emotions went through me. I was proud that so many of my fellow Australians saw through the noise of the debate and saw the question for what it was. I was disappointed in myself that I hadn't had more faith in Australians. I was relieved that this part of the process was finally over. That the worth of my relationships - that my own worth as a human being - wasn't going to subject of prime time debate any more. I was anxious about the next stage; the inevitable attempts to delay with talk of 'religious freedom' and 'parental rights'. I was overjoyed that after so many years of talk and debate there was at last a real and tangible move towards equality. Most of all I was saddened for all those who hadn't lived long enough to see this day; that they'd never experience the joy to come.

This whole experience has been far far harder than I imagined. I've always considered myself fairly resilient but I found myself very near to breaking. I'm happy we've gotten to this point but I wish we didn't have to take this particular path. I don't think I'll ever forgive the powers that be for putting me and my community through this. And unless you're a part of that community I don't think you can really ever understand what these past months have been like, no matter how empathetic you may be.

To everyone that voted yes. Thank you.
 

Beachsands

Formerly known as desertsands
Suffice it to say yesterday's result was a wonderful belated birthday gift. It's a day I'm unlikely to ever forget. I had gotten the day off as I knew I wasn't going to be very productive whatever the result. So the other half and I were in Queens Gardens to hear the announcement and I'm not going to lie I ugly cried, and I mean UGLY.

I was pretty pessimistic coming into this thing and had prepared myself for the worst so when I heard that number a flood of emotions went through me. I was proud that so many of my fellow Australians saw through the noise of the debate and saw the question for what it was. I was disappointed in myself that I hadn't had more faith in Australians. I was relieved that this part of the process was finally over. That the worth of my relationships - that my own worth as a human being - wasn't going to subject of prime time debate any more. I was anxious about the next stage; the inevitable attempts to delay with talk of 'religious freedom' and 'parental rights'. I was overjoyed that after so many years of talk and debate there was at last a real and tangible move towards equality. Most of all I was saddened for all those who hadn't lived long enough to see this day; that they'd never experience the joy to come.

This whole experience has been far far harder than I imagined. I've always considered myself fairly resilient but I found myself very near to breaking. I'm happy we've gotten to this point but I wish we didn't have to take this particular path. I don't think I'll ever forgive the powers that be for putting me and my community through this. And unless you're a part of that community I don't think you can really ever understand what these past months have been like, no matter how empathetic you may be.

To everyone that voted yes. Thank you.
Great post Consuela
 

timmy

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This whole experience has been far far harder than I imagined. I've always considered myself fairly resilient but I found myself very near to breaking. I'm happy we've gotten to this point but I wish we didn't have to take this particular path. I don't think I'll ever forgive the powers that be for putting me and my community through this. And unless you're a part of that community I don't think you can really ever understand what these past months have been like, no matter how empathetic you may be.

To everyone that voted yes. Thank you.
Perfectly said.

But now that the "respectful debate" is over, can I just add that Tony Abbott is a cunt? He started this, after all.
 

Beachsands

Formerly known as desertsands
Perfectly said.

But now that the "respectful debate" is over, can I just add that Tony Abbott is a cunt? He started this, after all.
Have you read the article where he claims that he is responsible for the victory? Made me so angry. Cunt is too nice a word for this lying, miserable toe rag. Warringah vote him out.
 

Isee

Lurker... who occasionally speaks
Awesome site donor
I just hope the sheer amount of people who did vote yes do help to mend some of the hurt and pain felt by the LGBTI community over the last few months, and that you can feel the amount of love and support, not just the vitriol of what is the minority view.
 

qtkt

Vicar of Goondiwindi
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Hey Vicar of Gundy. Have you read Father Rod Bowers post today. So good. If you haven’t I’ll try and repost. I believe he is a true Christian, but would love to know what you think.

I agree with much of what Rod says about a lot of things. I hadn't read his comment on this until you posted it. Obviously someone had quoted part of it without giving him credit as I had seen bits of it - especially the first paragraph,which I think is brilliant. I've watched a number of his sermons too and they are excellent. Most of my contemporaries are on a similar page to him - but Sydney Anglican churches are very fundamental and would not be celebrating today.
 

Consuela

Here to Reign™
Awesome site donor

Penny's reaction hit very close to home for me. The raw emotion seen on someone who usually keeps a pretty good poker face was a sight to behold.

It could well be. I saw a lot on facebook on various timelines. Maybe I was suffering from sensory overload as I had made up my mind a long time ago and wanted it over and done with. I wasn't particularly interested in how people voted and only know how my mother voted because she told me.

The comments online from both sides were really not great at times. I think that's just par for the course for online debate. Decorum and civility often get thrown to the way side online, but I think on the whole the debate IRL was better with the notable exceptions from both sides of course.

You know, for me it was very hard to keep asking politely for equal human rights, but I managed to keep it civil. Just. That's where some people's frustration and (at times) anger came from. Don't forget that. At least the Yes campaigners weren't slashing people's banners/flags, painting swastikas on their houses, throwing rocks through people's windows or leaving dog shit on their doorsteps.

And also, for No campaigners to whinge about a little bit of abuse they copped, try being on the receiving end of hate like that YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.

Yeah like I said in my post it's really hard to comprehend how affecting this has been. It's hardly surprising then that the frustration and anger felt came out in unhelpful ways at times. And that comment from Canavan about growing a spine really made my blood boil. The things LGBT+ people have had to endure their whole lives doesn't compare to what the no side has had to 'endure'. The amount of times in my life some wanker has yelled out fag from their car as I walk the streets is too numerous to count and that's hardly the worst I've experienced.

Perfectly said.

But now that the "respectful debate" is over, can I just add that Tony Abbott is a cunt? He started this, after all.

If there's someone more deserving of being called a cunt I'm yet to meet them. I'll admit I felt a perverse satisfaction his electorate was one of the top ten. If anything I fell sorry for him that so much of his energies are spent on us gays.
 

qtkt

Vicar of Goondiwindi
Awesome site donor
@Consuela thank you so much for sharing your experience and being so honest about your feelings and emotions. I admit to being very teary myself when I heard the result and I pray that the legislation follows quickly and that the support of so many of the community will sustain you when the minority continue to fight against the inevitable. Blessings
 
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