Australia presses pause button on same-sex marriage

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott    

Same-sex marriage is dead in the water in Australia until a Federal election sometime next year.

Facing intense pressure from supporters from within his own Liberal Party for a conscience (or free) vote, Prime Minister Tony Abbott acted decisively to defuse the issue. He called a snap meeting of Liberal and National Party members of Parliament on Tuesday to debate whether the Coalition should redefine marriage.

The marathon discussion took place behind closed doors, but Mr Abbott said that about 60 MPs supported the status quo, while 30 favoured a conscience vote. Troy Bramston, a journalist with The Australian, tweeted that the tally was 48 out of 78 Liberals backing the existing position and 18 out of 21 Nationals.

Mr Abbott said that this is the last time that MPs will be bound by Party policy. The… click here to read whole article and make comments



Teaching just one view of marriage could make you an extremist

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What is an extremist? This is an important question in Britain today as the Conservative-led government of David Cameron clamps down on jihadist preachers and right-wing groups who stir up hate and incite violence. If you are doing that sort of thing the authorities will very soon be able to slap an “Extremism Disruption Order” (EDO) on you, restricting your freedom. Putting it positively, the new laws are intended to protect “British values”.

Just who else might be deemed a serious threat to these values has been unclear, but last week a Conservative MP attempted to clarify the issue for a constituent who wrote to him, asking if it was true that EDOs could be used to silence people with traditional views about marriage.

No, no, Mark Spencer (pictured) replied:

“I believe that everybody in society has a right to free speech and to express their views without fear of persecution.… click here to read whole article and make comments



How big media (do not) promote debate on gay marriage

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Australian politicians returning to the federal parliament today were met with conflicting messages about marriage. Thousands of flowers covered the forecourt of Parliament House as a thank-you to the MPs opposing a push to legalise same-sex marriage. But already as they flew in to Canberra this morning the MPs found the terminal building lit up in rainbow colours and a giant #WeCanDoThis campaign sign out the front.

A bill supporting gay marriage and sponsored by members of the federal coalition and Labor is due to be introduced in parliament on Tuesday. Australia is the holdout against ssm in Anglo world and Prime Minister Tony Abbott is personally against legalisation.

In a repeat of recent scenes in Ireland gay rights supporters were out in force over the weekend, and part of Sydney’s main street was closed on Sunday to allow a large crowd rallied by a group calling itself Community Action… click here to read whole article and make comments



Behind Kenya’s harsh penal code

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Yesterday’s post in Conjugality by Matthew Otieno scolding President Barack Obama for chiding Kenyans about their views on homosexuality has created a lot of controversy on MercatorNet. Several readers have noted that Kenya has very severe penalties for gay sex in its Penal Code

What does the 2009 Code actually say?

Article 162 deals with homosexual acts. “Any person who -  (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of  nature; or  (b) has carnal knowledge of an animal” is “liable to imprisonment for 14 years”.  Homosexual rape is punishable with 21 years’ imprisonment.

Article 163 deals with attempted unnatural offences. Such crimes are punishable with 7 years’ imprisonment. Article 165 deals with acts of “gross indecency” by males, whatever that means. Perhaps a stolen kiss. These are punishable by 5 years’ imprisonment.

Do these sound harsh? Absolutely.

But if you take a… click here to read whole article and make comments



In ten to thirty years, the survivors will speak out

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Noah Berger/Reuters/New York Times  

The New York Times reported this week  that the American Boy Scouts are ending a nationwide ban on gay leaders. According to the Times, the organization was seeking to resolve an issue that threatened to tear apart the organization and expose it to crippling lawsuits. Discrimination based on sexual orientation will also be barred in all Boy Scout offices and for all paid jobs. The step, the paper says, is aimed at heading off lawsuits in New York, Colorado and other states that prohibit such discrimination in employment.

It's a pity, however, that the Times missed a shocking story which emerged at the same time as jubilation over the new policy. If they had the stomach for it, it might make readers think twice about the wisdom of allowing the Boy Scouts to have gay leaders.

It… click here to read whole article and make comments



A note to Obama: don’t lecture Kenyans on gay rights

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Dear Sir,

I must begin by congratulating you on being the first sitting American president to visit our country. It is highly unlikely you noticed it, but they renovated the highways and swept the streets for you. Never mind that a few blocks away from the highway you used, I have frequently escaped being knocked down while walking on the road, which is the only sensible place to walk if you don’t want to arrive at your destination with shoes caked with dust.

But anyway, that aside, we are Kenyans. We like visitors, and we make the living room, which is where we host them, very clean and beautiful, even if it means sweeping all the dirt and muck into the other rooms. We’ll deal with the trash when you are gone. And I hope that you were not fooled by the excellent behaviour of our leaders;… click here to read whole article and make comments



Is marriage evolving? Or being dismantled?

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The campaign to redefine marriage has recently gained such momentum - with now three and soon four bills before the Commonwealth Parliament - that many think it is inevitable. This can leave those with misgivings feeling that they are already losers in a done deal.

Some think it is the inexorable progress of liberty and equality - which leaves the doubters on "the wrong side of history."

In this context supporters of classical marriage are presumed to have no real arguments to offer. So here I want to offer some reasons - not decrees from on high or from the past, not expressions of hatred or prejudice - but reasons I hope anyone can understand. I also hope these reasons prove persuasive and helpful in proclaiming and witnessing to true marriage among families, friends and colleagues.

Regardless, I hope this will help explain why Australian law has always held,… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 27 JULY 2015

Monkey business at Amazon as marriage scholar’s book is published

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There’s a “one-star vs five-star” battle going on at Amazon on the page of Ryan Anderson’s newly published book, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, the first book to respond to the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage.

With the print version not even released yet (August 31 is the date) but availble on Kindle, Anderson’s book is already No 1 Best Seller in the General Constitutional Law category at Amazon and at this moment has 222 reviews, 69 percent of which give it a five star rating while 26 percent give it one star. There’s nothing much in between. The average rank is 3.9.

However, that’s up from a couple of days ago when the average rank was 3.4, with 40 percent of 120 reviewers giving it one star. At that stage, the Heritage blog The Daily Signal reported that opponents had been working social media outlets to orchestrate a campaign of negative reviews,… click here to read whole article and make comments



Assessing Justice Kennedy as a marriage counselor

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Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States



The Supreme Court seems to know a lot about marriage, Justice Kennedy especially. His Honor says once gays get married they’ll radiate dignity, and autonomy and spirituality. Sad to believe they’ll need all that. The wife and I destroyed each other’s dignity and autonomy right after our honeymoon. Odd thing: we’ve been happy ever since.

Year one, her chief object was to keep me from wearing cargo pants. No man was ever taken seriously wearing them, she said. Next she separated me from an old pair of wingtips and a loose fitting seersucker suit. My bow ties disappeared too.

She didn’t win much dignity or autonomy marrying me either. I made her eat Middle Eastern food and read bad poetry. My poetry. I pressured her into foreign adoption which at the time… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 20 JULY 2015

Obergefell: the states’ duty to seek rehearing

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To the Attorneys General, Governors, and Legislatures of Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky:

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the Obergefell case, purporting to overturn all state constitutional amendments and laws in your four states defining marriage as a covenant union between two people of the opposite sex.  Since then, numerous efforts have been made, urging each state to file a Petition for Rehearing of that decision, as permitted in the Rules of the Supreme Court before the deadline of Tuesday, July 21, 2015.  Apparently, to date, every such effort has been rebuffed.  In response, various of your offices have stated that such a Petition would be:  (i) unlikely to succeed; (ii) a waste of time: and (iii) a waste of money. 

We know of two draft Petitions for Rehearing that have been prepared by outside lawyers.  One of these… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Conjugality deals with the true nature of marriage and the challenges it faces today. Our current focus is on the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. We'd love to get your comments and suggestions. Send an email to

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