MONDAY, 10 JUNE 2013

Australian defender of marriage passes away

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Christopher Pearson, a columnist for The Australian, speechwriter, and strong defender of traditional marriage, passed away on Friday.

Pearson (pictured above) had a very respected career both in journalism and in politics. He was a speech writer for former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and also an editor for current Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott.

Pearson wrote with great clarity on a wide range of political and social issues in The Australian, including those relating to marriage and the family.

I remember back in November 2010 reading his piece Gay marriage demands should be left on shelf. At the time, this was the first really clear article on marriage that I had read, and certainly helped to reshape my view of the same-sex marriage debate, an issue which I didn’t have any particular interest in.

Two things occurred to me reading his piece. One was the lucidity with which he made… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 7 JUNE 2013

Australian study on same-sex parenting questioned

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The interim report of recent research, the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) based in Melbourne University, has found no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on a range of indicators, and also found that children of same-sex couples did better than average for overall family cohesion and health.

This study has been uncritically reported by the media in Australia, and has also been picked up by news outlets such as the Huffington Post overseas. But how reliable is it really?

Sociologist from the University of Texas, Mark Regnerus, has pointed out many of the flaws in the study at the National Review. First, he quotes from the study’s methodology:

“Initial recruitment will involve convenience sampling and snowball recruitment techniques. . . . This will include advertisements and media releases in gay and lesbian press, flyers at gay… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 5 JUNE 2013

The marriage of two men means a motherless child

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Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell said, "It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society and worthy to be taken cognisance of by a legal institution." 

The legal institution of marriage is, as anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss puts it, "a social institution with a biological foundation". Our marriage laws and customs exist to reinforce this biological foundation, helping bind a feral-by-nature male to his mate for the sake of social stability and the child they might create. 

Not all marriages create children, but typically they do, and the institution exists for the typical case. Self-evidently, homosexual relationships cannot create children, so society has no institutional interest in regulating such friendships; they remain a private affair. 

Gay lobbyist Rodney Croome denies all this dreary biology (Commentary, May 30). He seems to write in ignorance of the facts of life: "The link between marriage and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 4 JUNE 2013

The top marriage myths debunked

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Bradford Wilcox, a US academic at the University of Virginia with expertise in marriage and family issues, has an article at The Atlantic entitled Unequal, Unfair, and Unhappy: The 3 Biggest Myths About Marriage Today. He argues that, contrary to popular opinion, most married couples with children are satisfied with their relationships.

...for most married men and women today, marriage looks pretty good...it is basically equal, fair, and happy. And that's the real and often unreported good news about marriage in America today.

It is concerning that there are so many unfounded views in Western societies on marriage. Australian politician Kevin Andrews, in his very well-researched and comprehensive book on marriage Maybe 'I Do': Modern Marriage and the Pursuit of Happiness, dealt with 7 common myths on marriage. They include: that there is a 50 per cent risk of divorce; that it is preferable to marry later in… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 31 MAY 2013

DOMA is Dead, long live DOMA!

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More than 40 years ago, Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer fell in love and spent the rest of their lives together in upstate New York. In 2007, taking advantage of the legalization of same-sex marriage across the border, they were married in Ontario.

Thea Spyer died in 2009 and left her estate to her partner. New York state recognized their Canadian marriage but, under the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the United States government did not. The result was a US$600,000 inheritance tax obligation that would have been $0 had the two women been recognized as married by the Internal Revenue Service. Windsor has taken the case all the way to the US Supreme Court.

Apart from the complex legal background, the plaintiff’s case is very strong from both a sentimental point of view and from the point of view of simple fairness and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 27 MAY 2013

Why do we need marriage to be happy?

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Sorry, guys, we missed this, and it happened here in Sydney. At the 2012 Sydney Writers Festival four gay writers on a public panel were asked, “Why get married when you could be happy?” There was a consensus that gays did not want to be married, as gays do not aspire after bourgeois respectability.

ABC Radio recorded the panel discussion which you can hear below.

The most interesting response came from journalist and activist Masha Gessen, a Russian-American dual citizen and the author of a highly-praised biography of Vladimir Putin. She was married to a lesbian partner in Massachusetts and then divorced (tougher than you might think). Now she has three children who have five different parents. She would like to see the institution of marriage abolished. And, interestingly, she says that it is necessary to lie about gay marriage:

“It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist… [Cheers and laughter from audience.]… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

SUNDAY, 26 MAY 2013

French blowback: “François, ta loi, on en veut pas!”

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This is such a cool song expressing the sentiments of the vast crowds in France who are protesting the recent same-sex marriage law. If your French is a bit rusty, they have provided helpful sub-titles. Very catchy, very moving, very joyful. 

click here to read whole article and make comments

 

THURSDAY, 23 MAY 2013

French marriage activists vow to fight on

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The marriage debate in France has been watched closely around the world. The huge rallies in favour of traditional marraige have been particularly noteworthy. Following the redefinition of marriage in France last week, MercatorNet’s Blaise Joseph caught up with young French marriage activist Maxime Lagorce, from La Manif Pour Tous Sydney, who recently spoke at the World Congress of Families.

So first up: France has just redefined marriage. What is the mood in the country? How do people feel about it?

Obviously there are some people who are happy, but many others are not. But I think we will see this coming Sunday with the number of people at the rally that people defending marriage haven’t given up. We are all expecting more people at this rally than at the two previous demonstrations. A lot of people are disappointed by this decision. It was rushed. After the constitutional court validated the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 22 MAY 2013

For the sake of future generations

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Andrew Walker and Ryan T. Anderson (pictured above), two young Americans from The Heritage Foundation in favour of traditional marriage, have written a piece for Citizen Magazine outlining why marriage must be preserved for the sake of future generations.

They examine the current marriage debate in the US, the harms of the long-term erosion of the meaning of marriage, the negative effects of redefining marriage, and the marriage movement in the future.

We’ve been asked—repeatedly—whether the position we’re promoting is pointless. Are we willing to endure cultural scorn for holding to a position as supposedly outmoded as natural marriage?

...Redefining marriage would further distance it from the needs of children and deny, as a matter of policy, the ideal that children need a mother and a father.

Redefining marriage would diminish the social pressures and incentives for husbands to remain with their wives and their biological… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

SUNDAY, 19 MAY 2013

Defending traditional marriage

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The World Congress of Families was in Sydney from the 15th-18th May. There were numerous talks and sessions on marriage, overall mounting very strong arguments in defence of traditional marriage.

Some of the highlights:

Brad Wilcox, who has been working on the World Family Map 2013, presented strong evidence that marriage is beneficial for children. Specifically, he explained that data shows that children living with their mother and father in middle/high income countries are more likely to stay on track in school and demonstrate higher reading literacy than are children living with one or no parents. He indicated that this was likely due to the additional financial, social, and cultural benefits that two parents can provide to their children.

Sister Moira Debono then gave a very deep explanation of the good of marriage. She invoked Saint Augustine’s three goods of marriage (fidelity, a permanent exclusive relationship, and children) to demonstrate how… 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 conjugality@mercatornet.com


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