7780_gay-marriage-b-110727-gettyAs I lay in bed this morning doing my daily scan of the various papers on my iPad, I came across an article that caught my attention.

The article, In their own words: Aussie men voice opinions for or against same-sex marriage, appeared to seek to provide “deeper” analysis of Australian men’s attitudes to same-sex “marriage”.

This followed on from a recent Galaxy poll conducted by Australian Marriage Equality into the topic indicated that 42% of Australian men believe same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry.

It was meant to be an in-depth examination of six Australian men and their opinions, however before we even got a chance to read the opinions of the six men, the author let us all know how he saw the discussion by surmising the issue as thus:

Statistics reveal heterosexual men less supportive of equality.

The author is Matt Young, an openly gay man who is proud of his sexuality. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (apologies to Seinfeld). I applaud him on living his life how he wants, for that is his right.

What I took exception to in relation to the article was not the topic itself or people’s position on it but rather that the author let his own obvious bias shine through immediately by conflating an opposing opinion to somehow being less supportive of equality.

How can a person’s legitimate opinion and opposition to same-sex marriage be boiled down to being less supportive of equality? WTF? That’s quite a leap of logic, a conclusion that is driven by the authors own biased viewpoint of the situation.

It just means that there are individuals who don’t agree with Matt’s and Australian Marriage Equality’s own biased view on the subject.  If you dont agree with Matt’s and others like him then you are tarred as some kind of unenlightened bigot that is somehow against “equality“.

The only thing I can take from this is that Matt is less supportive of other people holding different opinions to his own. I presume Matt supports diversity, but only if your opinion is the same as his.

Man looking on peak of mountainYou’re not voicing your own opinion, thoughts and values, you are somehow oppressing someone somewhere who thinks differently to you.

Your opinion is worth less than theirs, for you my friend are not as enlightened as they are, don’t you know?

There is barely enough room for everyone at the top of Mount Sanctimonious in our post modernist world.

It looks crowded up there in the rarefied air of the moral high ground from down here in the cheap seats.

I am definitely opposed to discrimination of all sorts in relation to how people treat each other, whether that be by the colour of their skin, their sexuality or choice of religion, for we are all humans who should be allowed to live how we want to.

However, I believe that words have distinct meanings and language is built on words having meanings, otherwise language breaks down and becomes meaningless.

In his book The History of Human Marriage (1921), Edvard Westermarck defined marriage as:

…a more or less durable connection between male and female lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of the offspring.

While this is an old source, marriage by definition is universally given to be a union between a man and a woman. A marriage requires a husband and a wife.  These are gender specific terms that describe the participants in a marriage.

A man cannot be a wife, nor can a woman be a husband.  A cow cannot be a bull, nor can a gander be a goose. They are what they are and no amount of wishful thinking can ever change these things.

This perverse need to alter and change language, and more importantly the underlying meanings of words is crux of the problem, for in the post modern world we have groups with agendas and barrows to push.

These groups seek to co-opt words that have distinct and legitimate meanings for a large proportion of our society and change them to suit an increasingly vocal minority’s viewpoint.

If you don’t agree with them and their opinions, they denigrate you and call you words that have long been the bastion of evil and hate.

Words like bigot, racist or misogynist.

Now these words are thrown around like confetti in order to silence any legitimate discussion of issues of great import. As this happens more and more, the opportunity to hold an opposing view is lessened more and more.

If new circumstances, such as the prominence and acceptance of homosexual relationships, appear then create a new word to describe that new circumstance or tradition, don’t seek to change words that have had traditional meaning for thousands of years to thousands of people to suit the worldview of a minority and seek to railroad the majority who think differently with threats of being branded bigots or somehow against equality.

Yet we are being railroaded into redefining this important word to suit the wants of a minority of people in our society, regardless of the wants of the majority.  If you disagree with their point of view, then you are “against equality”.

We are being hemmed into supporting a position for fear of being branded as being oppressive and I think many people just don’t want the trouble that comes with holding a differing opinion these days.

I can’t and won’t speak for anyone else but I am not against equality at all.

What I am against is people redefining words that mean something to me and others to suit them and them only.  Where is my opportunity to be allowed to retain traditions that mean something to me and many like me?

This whole issue reminds me a seminal and timeless classic from the twisted minds of Monty Python and The Life of Brian.

The pertinent lines for me are the last in the scene.

REG: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?!

FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

REG: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

I would like to also provide a disclaimer to my viewpoint before I am howled down as being a homophobe or against equality; My uncle is gay and has been out for over 15 years. I support his right to living his life how he wishes, unequivocally.

My uncle and his partner are integral participants in our family celebrations for just about as long as he has been open about his sexuality.  His partners part in our extended family is beyond question with my nephews calling his partner “Uncle Derek”.

We love both of them unconditionally, in fact whenever they are unable to join us in our various family occasions there is a distinct feeling of us missing out for they bring a unique sense of humour and celebration to our gatherings.

At my sisters 30th birthday fancy dress, Derek came in drag as a gangsters moll for the theme was the Roaring 20’s.  His costume was an absolute scream and he played both the part and the crowd perfectly.  There is something about seeing a 6ft 4 black man in gold lame dancing with your father on the dance floor as the disco tunes pump from the DJ’s booth but that is a post for another day!


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