All quiet on the Aussie front

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There was quite a media frenzy when Kevin Rudd changed his position on same-sex marriage and came out in favour of redefining marriage. Since then, he has returned to the position of Prime Minister, and has been billed by many as “the first Australian Prime Minister to support marriage equality.”

This of course ignores the little detail that he hasn’t been re-elected Prime Minister yet by the people, and when he was actually elected back in 2007, he supported the traditional definition of marriage, as did Julia Gillard when she won the 2010 election.

But that aside, Kevin Rudd doesn’t seem particularly interested in the topic. Whenever he is asked about the marriage debate, he turns the question on the Coalition Opposition Leader, Tony Abbot, saying that Coalition MPs should be given a conscience vote on the issue.

Tony Abbott has ensured that the Coalition vote as a block in favour of… click here to read whole article and make comments



What next for marriage in the US?

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The Supreme Court rulings on marriage have created a lot of food for thought on the future of marriage in the US. They may have given more momentum to the “inevitability” rhetoric, but at the same time they have highlighted many of the key issues in the marriage debate going forward. 

Ryan Anderson has a very insightful piece at RedState on what the three dissenting opinions in the DOMA decision signal for the future of marriage.

And the National Review has an interesting interview with Maggie Gallagher, the co-authour of Debating Same-sex Marriage.

And finally, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, published an excellent, sharp article in the Washington Post last week, outlining the case for preserving traditional marriage.

A culture based on the truth of marriage affirms that men and women are equally important, that they have equal dignity but are not the same.… click here to read whole article and make comments



A toxic combination: paedophiles, baby farms, and same-sex marriage

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The conviction of a gay couple who lived in Australia and the United States for trafficking their adopted surrogate baby and using him to make paedophile pornography ought to provoke questions about the wisdom of same-sex adoption and marriage.

Mark J. Newton, 42, American-born, but an Australian citizen, and his long-term partner Peter Truong, 36, an Australian, were arrested in Los Angeles in 2011. The facts of the case, which was tried in Indiana, have just emerged after Newton was sentenced to 40 years last Friday. Truong is awaiting sentencing.

The abuse was so appalling that the case was tried at a district court level to avoid subjecting a jury to the repellent images.

Media reports only provide a sketchy outline of the story. However it appears that Newton and Truong, who were based in the Queensland city of Cairns, began searching for a surrogate… click here to read whole article and make comments



Some reflections on the US Supreme Court rulings

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Where to for marriage in the US from here? And did the Supreme Court get it right on marriage? There is lots of helpful, relevant commentary on the rulings today.

Ryan Anderson has a great piece at CNN: Supreme Court got it wrong on gay marriage

There is also a quick interview with Anderson at the New York Times, and in addition he has a helpful, short video on the subject courtesy of the Heritage Foundation.

Thomas Peters at the National Review has an interesting piece on the democratic implications of the Supreme Court rulings: More than marriage is at stake now

Of particular interest was Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion on the DOMA case. There is a very good summary of his dissent at The National Journal.

And finally, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the most active pro-marriage body in the US, has released this statement on the… click here to read whole article and make comments



US Supreme Court strikes down DOMA, refuses to rule on Prop 8

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The long-awaited decisions by the US Supreme Court relating to two marriage cases have finally been set down, striking down DOMA and deciding that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to appeal (that is, the court didn’t rule on Proposition 8).

It is worth reading the rulings on the DOMA and the Proposition 8 cases, as there are a lot of interesting points raised in both rulings, especially by Justice Roberts.

So what does this mean for the marriage debate in the US? It will likely be some time before detailed analysis about the rulings and the extent of their consequences is available.

But in the meantime there is an obvious but important principle to be noted: the pros and cons of redefining marriage itself are unchanged by the ruling.

Redefining marriage would still radically change the institution. The overwhelming evidence suggesting children should ideally have both a mother and… click here to read whole article and make comments



Where would children come from in male same-sex marriages?

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A new study done by the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, has concluded that children born to surrogate mothers have more emotional difficulties than those carried by their biological mothers.

The study found that children born through surrogacy are more at risk of having adjustment difficulties, such as antisocial behaviour, anxiety, and depression. This has numerous ethical implications, not least for the same-sex marriage and parenting debate.

Surrogacy is an essential aspect of male same-sex couples having children, and necessarily results in a child being taken away from its biological mother, with all the negative implications for the child that this entails.

Do we really want marriage to encourage this? If marriage were to be legally redefined to include same-sex couples, then marriage in law would appear to be actively encouraging surrogacy. That is, if any children were born… click here to read whole article and make comments



Can same-sex marriage and religious freedom coexist?

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“Marriage and religious freedom will stand or fall together.”

So says Matthew J. Franck from the Witherspoon Institute in a very thought-provoking article at The Public Discourse Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom, Fundamentally At Odds.

Franck concludes:

The transformation of the law to redefine the meaning of marriage will be bad for marriagebad for children, and very bad indeed for those people of faith who want to maintain their faith’s teaching on marriage, in their religious institutions and in their work. The preservation of meaningful religious liberty, it turns out, is inseparable from the preservation, in our legal order, of the truth about marriage. They stand or fall together.

There is no shortage of cases to suggest that freedom of religion will be threatened by redefining marriage.

Redefining an institution which is thousands of years old and predates government is problematic for all sorts of reason.… click here to read whole article and make comments



Fewer marriages, fewer fathers

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With Father’s Day being celebrated this weekend in the US, Bradford Wilcox has a very relevant and timely piece at The National Review Happy Fatherless Day. He highlights the importance of fatherhood and the social cost of fatherless families:

In our public conversation about how best to accommodate today’s family diversity, what usually goes unsaid is that fewer marriages also means fewer fathers in our nation’s homes.

That is because marriage is the institution that binds men to their children. There is no substitute. Cohabiting couples with children are much more likely to end up on the rocks than their married peers (even in Sweden). Divorced and never-married fathers often have difficulty getting or making the time to stay in regular contact with their children once the relationship with the mother of their child is over. By contrast, fathers who are married to the mother of their children… click here to read whole article and make comments



Who invented marriage? Not the Church. Not the State.

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In nearly every country where the issue of same-sex marriage is debated, the Catholic Church has been one of the staunchest defenders of the traditional definition of marriage. Here Dr Thomas Paprocki, the Catholic bishop of Springfield, Illinois, sets out the Church’s arguments elegantly and concisely. This speech was delivered on May 31 in Phoenix to a largely Catholic audience. It is well worth reading, even for non-Catholics, as the central argument is that marriage is a “pre-political” reality which was not invented by Christians or the State. (By MercatorNet standards, it is unusually long, but stick with it!)

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A Google search on the Internet for the name “Matthew Shepard” at one time produced 11,900,000 results. Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old college student who was savagely beaten to death in 1998 in Wyoming. His murder has been called a hate… click here to read whole article and make comments



“Gays against gay marriage”

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The media and the same-sex marriage lobby tend to conveniently ignore the fact that many people with same-sex attraction oppose redefining marriage. This is because it completely undermines the general branding of defenders of traditional marriage as “homophobic bigots.”

Tom Geoghegan from BBC News has a very interesting article on his interviews with a range of people with same-sex attraction who nevertheless oppose redefining marriage. The reasons given are varied, but the telling factor is that they realise what the debate is about: the issue is not same-sex couples; the issue is marriage: what it is, and what its purpose is.

"It's demonstrably not the same as heterosexual marriage - the religious and social significance of a gay wedding ceremony simply isn't the same."

Jonathan Soroff lives in liberal Massachusetts with his male partner, Sam. He doesn't fit the common stereotype of an opponent of gay marriage.

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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