Kevin Andrews: defend marriage on principles
by John Elsegood
News Weekly, October 8, 2016
In a recent visit to Perth, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews warned that those opposing traditional marriage were engaging in an emotional campaign of vilification of those who sought to defend marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Mr Andrews, the Member for Menzies (Vic), who has held many senior portfolios, including Defence, Social Services, Immigration and Employment, was in Perth for a Christian Heritage seminar and for a fundraising event for Peter Abetz MLA.
Mr Andrews argued that public policy needed to be founded on good principles and rationality.
“Essentially there are two competing views about marriage. The first is as a protective institution, especially for children, but also for adults, and society generally. The second view sees it as an affectionate relationship between individuals.”
While arguing that the two models were not polar opposites, he said it was the former that should have primacy with policymakers.
Mr Andrews said there was overwhelming evidence that traditional marriage produced the best model for society and that it was a pre-political institution. “Traditional marriage has remained the inspirational model for most people and was the most reasonable for social institutions, such as the state, to deal with to promote social stability,” he said.
Mr Andrews warned about changing marriage from being a union between “a man and woman” and substituting “two people”.
Marriage is more than just love between two people yet attempts were being made to remove the concepts of motherhood and fatherhood from the law, governance and administration in favour of “parenthood”.
Journalist Paul Kelly wrote: “Once enshrined in law, the education systems, of primary schools upwards, will teach your children the ideology of marriage equality, namely equality of homosexual and heterosexual unions, as the foundations for cultural norms.”
Mr Andrews said Kelly was right when he argued that “once the state authorises same-sex marriage then religions will come under intense pressure and another campaign based on further application of marriage equality will begin”.
Indeed, pro-polygamy adherents may question why a line should be drawn at just “two-person” marriage.
As Mr Andrews noted, the notion that law should not intrude into areas of common public morality has been undermined. What was once “permitted” has become a “right” with demands of protection by law.
“Rights are now being increasingly asserted for groups as opposed to individuals. Moral judgements against a group are now being deemed unlawful and punishable. Laws of defamation designed to protect the individual have now been subsumed by new star chambers seeking to protect group rights,” he said.
Mr Andrews’ warnings are timely, particularly in the vicious attack on traditional marriage. Even a constitutional conservative senator, Dean Smith (Liberal, WA), has argued that he cannot support a people’s vote as he claims that it will create a precedent for popular votes on tough questions.
Oh, really? There have been only three national plebiscites since Federation (1901), hardly excessive. But does it matter if there are more?
The first two (1916–17) were both important, relating to conscription in the Great War and twice the public opposed the government so Australia, rightly, had an all-volunteer force. The third, 1977, was related to a choice for Australia’s national anthem, with Advance Australia Fair emerging as the preferred model.
As marriage pre-dates the state, any attempt to redefine marriage by way of a parliament majority only can expect public resistance. Traditional marriage is the accepted institution of the people and they rightly expect a say, as the government promised in the 2016 federal election. Indeed, it was only a short time ago that Smith, Shorten and Greens leader, Senator Richard Di Natale, were all in favour of the people being consulted. Verily, they are a confused and fluctuating troika.
Smith, in particular, should listen to the words of his Liberal lower-house colleague, Andrew Hastie (Canning, WA): “Where Smith invests authority in the parliamentary sovereignty, I choose to invest it in the people.”
The fact is that plebiscites are provided for in the constitution and we have every right to use them. There is even an argument that Australia should have citizen-initiated referenda, as well as those proposed by the Parliament, thus following the example of Switzerland and many U.S. states.
Meanwhile the attacks on freedom of speech and assembly continue. Recently same-sex marriage advocates threatened violence and caused the cancellation of a Christian gathering at the Mercure Hotel at Sydney Airport. Hotel staff were subjected to a barrage of intimidation and abuse. And Dr David van Gend, a Queensland GP and pro-traditional marriage advocate, has had his recent book on marriage, Stealing from a child, “spiked” by the printers.
Of course, the silence of the same-sex marriage leadership on such tactics has been deafening. Easier to pontificate about imagined suicides if a plebiscite is held than rein in actual acts of social and cultural hooliganism!
Every child comes from and needs BOTH a mother and a father. Same-sex "marriage" intentionally keeps either a mother or a father from the child. Government should protect the child through upholding traditional marriage.
Please Speak Up Australia. Defend Children and Freedom.
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