It is about the nature of reality and interpretations of reality that precede the law. An appeal to tradition: Dom Knight is a writer, broadcaster, and co-founder of The Chaser. There is no civil rights discrimination against an eight-year-old youngster who is denied the right to enter into marriage. To recognize in law the distinct character of a marriage relationship, which entails sexual intercourse, involves no discrimination of a civil rights kind against those whose bonds do not include sexual intercourse. What if it teaches people it's okay to be gay? This rhetorical device is known as the straw man. In that sense the question of marriage is not first of all a religious matter in the sense in which most people use the word "religion. The answer they want is for law making and adjudicating authorities to change the law based on the principle that reality is defined by the will and declarations of individuals, all of whom should be treated without discrimination.
So let's take a look at some of the things the No campaign has been talking about instead of the question being posed in the ABS one-question questionnaire — "should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? Senator Eric Abetz offered a slippery slope argument that actually involved a slope. Which is not to say that if the law changes, two male cycling mates shouldn't be able to get hitched if they so desire. In recent days, Cory Bernardi has made his own version of this argument via a "pink rainbow Trojan horse", which looks so much like a My Little Pony that he may well accidentally convince impressionable young girls that marriage equality involves rainbows, sparkles and magic friendship. Nor would equal treatment of citizens before the law require a court to conclude that those of us who pray before the start of auto races should be allowed to redefine our auto clubs as churches. The appeal now being made for homosexual marriage rights is not an appeal for judges and lawmakers to reconsider past empirical judgments about similarities and differences between heterosexual and homosexual relationships. The Medicare schedule, for instance, precisely delineates what the Government will pay for, and what it will not. The millennia-long debate in Hindu society, somewhat suppressed in the colonial period, has revived. People of the Third Sex, "several Gaudiya Vaishnava authorities emphasize that since everyone passes through various forms, genders and species in a series of lives, we should not judge each other by the material body but view everyone equally on a spiritual plane, and be compassionate as God is. Tony Abbott, who has a particular genius for opposing things, claims that people should oppose same-sex marriage if they don't like political correctness — which is of course, well beyond the bounds of the very limited question being asked by the ABS. We have a hundred million authorities. The answer they want is for law making and adjudicating authorities to change the law based on the principle that reality is defined by the will and declarations of individuals, all of whom should be treated without discrimination. Kevin Andrews' cycling buddies Our politicians love arguing via analogies, which is where you try to make a point about something controversial by pointing out something uncontroversial. This is a favourite of Lyle Shelton from the Australian Christian Lobby, and is what's known in formal logic as an appeal to tradition — the view that because something has long been the case, it must therefore remain so. We've already resolved the legality question of homosexual sexual relationships. Today, MCC congregations around the world perform more than same-sex marriage ceremonies annually. There is no civil rights discrimination against an eight-year-old youngster who is denied the right to enter into marriage. Rather the antidiscrimination principle is being used to ask that no citizen be denied the right to call something what he or she wants to call it. I wish kids in my high school had been asked to role-play gay relationships in Year 7. The point is that even in contract law, the law plays only a limited role in the relationship. There is no civil rights discrimination being practiced against a youngster who is not allowed the identity of a college student because she is not qualified to enter college. Here, Abbott is discrediting an argument by focussing on the way people express it — so instead of judging marriage equality on its merits, you reject it because it's just another instance of how namby-pamby lefties are always whining on about some vegan intersex poetry, or some other equally crude stereotype. For thousands of years, marriage law has concerned itself with a particular kind of enduring bond between a man and a woman that includes sexual intercourse—the kind of act that can but does not always lead to the woman's pregnancy. Now, they don't, because we know better. The sex may change but the soul retains its attachments, hence the love impels these souls towards one another. The two options are a society where many people are told that their sexuality is wrong and suffer as a result, or a society where consenting adults are allowed to love other adults as they please. Thus it is not marriage.
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