That Referendum / Postal Survey

  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
I'm surprised that there has been no thread for this.

I will be voting no in this. I will express this view as I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus and because Australia is asking me to express a view.

In relation to this I see clear teaching through the Bible against all sexual activity between people of the same gender. I also see clear teaching against transgender activities.

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  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
The subject has such passionate advocates on either side, that I think the rest of us are waaaaaaay to scared to go near it! Shocked
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Can't this just go away ?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Banned
Point of order - it is not a referendum, it is a plebiscite.  The result of a referendum is binding upon the Parliament; the result of a plebiscite is not.

The teachings of the Bible, which many will profess to follow, have me intrigued. What is the Bible? It's a collection of books written by men, and is beset with inconsistencies and differing views and times of events even between the four gospel writers. In the New Testament, women are told to obey their husbands, and one could go on and on. Unfortunately, religions can be and are used to justify almost anything from charity to war.

I will be voting yes, as a humanitarian who considers the activities of gay and transgender people none of my business provided nobody is being forced to do anything against his/her will, and nobody is being hurt.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Hmmmm, a Hornets Nest is opened ('coz many were afraid to do so???)....  I'm more-or-less in agreement with GrahamH, but understand that most of Western Society now defines marriage in a very different way to how it's been traditionally understood.  And thus those on both sides of the debate seem to be shouting past each other and everyone goes "Huh, what you on about?"  So lots of heat and not much light.

I'm still of the view that children are best brought up with both biological parents in stable marriages (and of course that often doesn't happen due to numerous and varied reasons...).  But society seems to be throwing good traditions away, left, right and centre, and in doing so often vilify and restrict the freedoms of religious people and other dissenters in the tumult of such fundamental societal change.

Perhaps one option is to have two types of marriages recognized by the State - "Traditional Marriage" and the new post-modern deconstructed version, but with protections for the conscience and beliefs of individuals, businesses, and organizations who don't recognize, accept, or affirm the latter.

Incidentally, the Postal vote thingy is more a Government sanctioned social survey than a plebiscite or whatever....
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, I've also noticed this topic was absent in this group until now.

Technically I'm not voting, living in Dubai means its alot of work to vote and previously the Dubai Consulate was open on polling days and now no longer is for security reasons and since then most expats I know here don't bother voting anymore.

What would I vote, well I moved to the Yes more so in recent times, why?

The term "Marriage" is not fixed in time on its meaning despite John Howard trying to give it a time based definition 13 years ago. Traditionally, if that's what most want to refer to the meaning or Marriage was transfer of the ownership of the woman from her father to her husband. In many parts of the world it still means this. In Australia up until 70's or 80's, women needed permission from their husband or father to do a number of things including contraception etc etc and she took her husband for better or worse and the church didn't budge on this statement regardless of how he treated her. As my mum said, many a woman sat there with their priest talking of how to leave their husband while wearing a black eye and the advice was, you are doing something wrong, just love him. So I for one won't be taking the advice of any institution that indirectly supported domestic violence.

Agree with the basic meaning of "Marriage" in how its applied to many thing today and that is that its a union of two unspecified entities as the term "marriage" is frequently used outside two humans tieing the knot.  So for me two humans is enough of a definition and their sex is their business and for me irrelevant.

Its also not like many of the so called Traditional Marriages were this Utopian relationship often made out. Divorce rates exceeding 50%, 25% of women choosing not to have a baby, at least one partner being unfaithful exceeding 75%, before the age of DNA testing, 10% of UK children were calling the wrong person Daddy and didn't know it.

With regard to the Bible and other religious texts. Like our beloved Constitution, their documents written more than a few generations ago need to be updated in time to reflect changes in Technology, Understanding, Legal System, Culture, Mother Nature, Science etc. We have seen the growing number flaws and out of date concepts in our Constitution and in particular the USA's Constitution on the right to bare arms and these documents are  barely 120 to 250 years old respectively. Surely a book written 1400 to 2000 years ago is likely to have even more out of date concepts?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I will be voting no.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
There's a difference between having an opinion and making an action that will have an actual effect on how people are treated. The postal plebiscite is not an opinion poll, because it will have a direct effect on whether legislation is passed on the matter - if the Government is true to their word.

I'd like people to ask themselves something before they tick the box on the postal plebiscite form:
"If same-sex marriage is legalised, how will it affect me?"

Legalising same-sex marriage won't affect me in the slightest, so I see no reason in voting against it. The people it will affect will positively gain from it. Who is being negatively and materially affected by allowing same-sex marriages?
  MetroFemme Assistant Commissioner

Civil union already exists so no for me.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Banned
I think it should be pointed out quite clearly . . . same sex marriage is never going to be compulsory!

If the heterosexual community votes yes, and it becomes legalised, how on earth will it affect them? Short answer - it won't, but a no vote is going to make great number of people unhappy. If that's what you want, ok, but I'd like to know your reasoning for it.
  lsrailfan Minister for Railways

Location: Somewhere you're not
I don't think the High Court has ruled on this yet, so it may not happen

Kind Regards
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Banned
It has nothing to do with the High Court. It is the Parliament which will make a decision to either legislate in favour, or refuse to do so and hence continue with the status quo.

Edit: I probably owe lsrailfan an apology - I suspect he was talking about the challenge about the Parliament's right to allocate the $122 million as it has. I think I misunderstood his point.
  allan Chief Commissioner

I'm not sure why I'm being asked. I'm none of the LBGTIs. I'm disinterested, so will "vote" yes, to allow the LGBTI types to choose for themselves: not even the current Parliament will vote to make "gay marriage" compulsory!
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Point of order - it is not a referendum, it is a plebiscite.  The result of a referendum is binding upon the Parliament; the result of a plebiscite is not.
Incorrect, referenda results are not binding.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well whether it's legally binding or not is effectively irrelevant because the nature of a referendum (or postal poll) in a liberal western democracy is that it's politically binding, in the sense that no mainstream political party would dare disregard the clearly expressed will of the people on a specific issue.

Brexit is a perfect example of this. Although the Lib-Dems, Labour and most of the Conservatives campaigned to 'Remain', when 52% of the people voted 'Leave', the mainstream parties instantly acknowledged the will of the people. Okay a few rogue backbenchers tried to make trouble, but they were so overwhelmed that their opinions were irrelevant.

So whatever the peoples vote is in our postal poll, the Liberal, Labour and National parties will accept the peoples decision without question, if only because to query it would appear arrogant and that would be political suicide. So even if minority parties on the far left or far right like Green, One Nation and Conservative/Family First don't respect the clearly expressed will of the people, their position is irrelevant because Lib, Lab and Nat will work together to draft any necessary legislation and pass it quickly. Likewise if the vote is No, that will be end of the matter for a couple of parliamentary terms and gay people will continue to fly to New Zealand for the weekend if they wish to get married.
  Brianr Deputy Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
I became a  Christian, making a decision for Christ at a Beach Mission at  age 7. I think it was the stupidest decision I ever made although  I am a slow learner and it took 60 years to decide that. When I discovered I was gay, it only meant misery. That was the end of my plans to enter the Anglican priesthood but I have had a fulfilling career as a high school teacher. I have seen changes from something to be hidden and requiring psychological treatment to general acceptance (almost so what?) but my earlier experiences have had their effect

While there are many good people doing humanitarian work, the Church is the last bastion of homophobia and has fought most human rights developments over the ages such as womens' rights and abolition of slavery.

However more to the point,one of the best decisions I have made is to move to New Zealand and become a Kiwi. No great drama about same-sex marriage here. It was passed by a free vote by about 70% of members. It was news for a few weeks then everyone got on with life. I have not heard any criticism from my friends, most in their 60's and 70's. I am openly gay and all my many friends are heterosexual.
I feel I am a 2nd class citizen when I go to Australia. I considered tearing up my Aussie passport, I only use it to enter Australia. New Zealand is 2 hours ahead in time but years ahead in social and political development. I am Aussie by birth but Kiwi by choice.

I have lost the right to vote in Australia because I have left for 6 years although I have returned twice each year to visit friends and relations. I was able to vote in New Zealand as a permanent resident almost from my arrival. Now that I am a citizen I will not lose the right to vote here unless I stay completely away for 3 years or more. And by the way, I can stand for a member of parliament despite my dual citizenship.
  MetroFemme Assistant Commissioner

Seems we may have a high court challenge to the postal vote.

Brian I appreciated reading your post and say I myself am not convinced the no side has anything to do with homophobia. Australia I believe is a very inclusive country and society where people from diffferent backgrounds and different walks of life all speak to each other respect each other's views and we all live alongside each other.

I believe we are already all equal in this respect. Putting it out there I am concerned the vote if yes will lead to further pressure change othe aspects of the social construct in which we all live. Changing school circulum etc. should I be feeling this?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Banned
I believe we are already all equal in this respect. Putting it out there I am concerned the vote if yes will lead to further pressure change othe aspects of the social construct in which we all live. Changing school circulum etc. should I be feeling this?
Thank you for a very interesting comment. I can understand what you feel, but I do not believe that a yes vote will lead to very much social change. Gay people will continue to live the same lifestyle as they do now, and so will the hetero community. I believe that the only thing the gay community wants is the right to marry, i.e. have their unions officially recognized as is the case with the rest of the people.
I guess I should post the disclaimer that I am not gay, and I am not a spokesman for, or connected with, any gay organisation. My point remains that their happiness is involved, and I cannot see how a yes vote would harm anybody else.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Do I support gay marriage?  It depends on how rich the guy asking me is.

Quite frankly, in an allegedly free society having to get the Federal Government's permission to get married is an anathama.
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I think that we have a great deal more to fear from the lunatic fringe social engineers, who seem to have little to do other than promote fanatical radical ideas as to how society should be adapted, than from allowing a formal recognition of same sex couples.

Sadly so many of the social engineers seem to be female, government funded and with little else to do. Certainly nothing constructive to do eg male and female traffic lights.
  kapow Junior Train Controller

Location: Melmac
Point of order - it is not a referendum, it is a plebiscite.  The result of a referendum is binding upon the Parliament; the result of a plebiscite is not.
Incorrect, referenda results are not binding.
If possible could you post a link to this? All I've managed to find says the opposite so possibly I'm not looking in the right places.
  kapow Junior Train Controller

Location: Melmac
I do find it odd that religion is being brought up in the conversation, marriage is a contract between the two people involved and the Government and has nothing to do with religion in this context. If you are religious and believe it is a sin then don't marry someone of the same sex or engage is sexual activity with someone of the same sex. I do find it strange that anyone want's a vote on this as it really has nothing to do with them and that people are so accepting of spending 122 million dollars on a postal survey to resolve an internal problem of the Liberal Party. It's also confusing that people are so accepting that this requires a national vote to change an act of Parliament when we've already elected a Parliament to make these decisions on our behalf, it boggles the mind that we are happy with this situation.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Kapow, I think this will set an interesting precedent (and Australia did have a similar postal survey on what the national anthem should be about 40 years ago).

If we had occasional postal referendums on other contentious subjects, it would resolve the issue permanently and stop the sort of parliamentary gridlock and petty partisan squabbles that are becoming increasingly common amongst our politicians. I'm just thinking of an average of one postal survey every 5 or 6 years on really big and divisive policy issues, not regular surveys on minor things.

Because no (mainstream) politician would dare to contradict the expressed will of the people, those issues that deadlock parliament for years would be cleared up fairly quickly and politicians could get on with what we pay them to do.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Banned
Because no (mainstream) politician would dare to contradict the expressed will of the people, those issues that deadlock parliament for years would be cleared up fairly quickly and politicians could get on with what we pay them to do.
Oh, come on. They'd all have to go into re-education camps to be taught what it is they're supposed to be doing.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Banned
There are always those who will look for ulterior motives where there are none.

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