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12 hours of Facebook – creative conversations put up the following status on Facebook.

Shorten: In removing discrimination from our laws we aim to eliminate prejudice in everyday life. ‪#‎auspol‬ ‪#‎marriageequality‬

 I decided to leave a comment as I sometimes do.  Remaining silent in this cultural war is like going into combat against the enemy, but with no weapons.
So I left a comment:
  • Jonathan May Sometimes, to discriminate means to discern the difference between two things. Do we really all want to be the same? Can a gay union even really be the same as a traditional marriage? I know it can on sit-coms – but in real life, it’s just never going to be the same.
    Like ·  14 · 

      Robert Wright Define traditional marriage, keeping in mind marriage predates modern religion and same sex couples were married over 3000 years ago.
      Like · 9 · 12 hrs
      Adam Black I’m interested in what you have to say Jonathan. Why can’t they be the same?
      Jonathan May Yes sorry Robert. I should have been more specific. I was talking about the Judeo-Christian traditional marriage that our current legal system is based on, not the types of ‘marriages’ from pagan societies.
      Like · 2 · 12 hrs
      Jonathan May Adam they are biologically different.
      Nigel Stewart Get out of the way Jonathon and go back to your cave.
      Like · 1 · 12 hrs
      Jonathan May I understand your frustration Nigel. I have a different world view than you and I know it would be nice if everybody who thought differently to you just disappeared. It’s never going to happen though. We’re all in this together and we need to work out collectively what it best for our society.
      Like · 6 · 12 hrs
      Daniel Begg What’s best for the country, is realising that we’re not a theocracy so judeo-christian values need only be followed to a point.

      What do dykes and faggots get out of marriage? How about legal recognition (tax reasons, next of kin details, etc). Public
      recognition that they have chosen a partner. I’m getting parried soon, tell you what, if someone came-up to me and said “LOL, you can’t get married because I say so. But I don’t hate you” I’d be pissed off as well.
      Like · 3 · 12 hrs
      Jonathan May Sorry Daniel I’m not certain on the laws of other States, but I can tell you that in Queensland, Civil Union already has the legal and public recognition. I’m doing my best to remain civil, but I find the terms you used above to describe homosexual people that I care about, pretty offensive.
      Like · 3 · 11 hrs
      Daniel Begg I used those words deliberately, Jonathan May. I’ve got nothing against the LGBT community.
      Like · 1 · 11 hrs · Edited
      Geoff Wayne Robert, your statement is false.
      Daniel Begg

      Do you need me to find evidence of monogamy in other cultures, Geoff Wayne? Perhaps monogamy in the animal kingdom (galahs and tortoises cone to mind) will suffice

      Illustrations and descriptions of marriage in Ancient Egypt.
      David Hall Let them get married, who is it hurting? No one. The only crime here is that the legalisation is taking so much time that is eating way too much money
      Like · 1 · 11 hrs
      Jonathan May It pays to get any legislation right. Shorten had it drawn up overnight. I doubt he’s considered every loophole or possible consequence.
      Like · 3 · 11 hrs
      Eddy Brink Maybe in your lifestyles it will never be the same as a hetro sexual marriage . But to these people it means everything . So why should they not have the right to marry just like every one else . They can’t procreate but they can adopt .  And like all families every were they can be good parents . And these children won’t turn out to be gay just because off two mummy’s or two daddies . So please Jonathan it’s 2015 most of the modern world has moved on
      Like · 1 · 9 hrs
      Jonathan May I think that everybody would agree that not all change in good change. Some is great. Some seems great when the choices are made, but turn out to be bad choices. Most of us know this from relationship choices. That’s why there needs to be a two-sided thoughtful, analytical and respectful debate that bases the decision on statistics and facts rather than emotional blackmail.
      Like · 3 · 9 hrs
      Jonathan May Clearly saying that most of the modern world has moved on is incorrect. These are the countries that allow gay marriage.
      Argentina (2010) England / Wales (2013) The Netherlands (2000) South Africa (2006) Belgium (2003) Finland (2015) New Zealand (2013
      ) Spain (2005) Brazil (2013) France (2013) Norway (2009) Sweden (2009) Canada (2005) Iceland (2010) Portugal (2010) Uruguay (2013) Denmark (2012) Luxembourg (2014) Scotland (2014) Ireland (2015). In addition to this Mexico and the United States have some areas where SSM is recognised. This is clearly not an exhaustive list of the ‘modern world.’ If you think it is, it’s time to go back to primary school geography. If you write off countries that reject SSM as being backward or wrong and archaic, then you are clearly racist, arrogant and ethnocentric.
      Like · 1 · 9 hrs
      Daniel Begg I honestly cannot see a reason why one would oppose SSM – assuming we’re discussing rational, analytical topics.  
      The only (vaguely) coherent argument I’ve seen to date amounts to “it makes baby Jesus cry”. Jonathan, that’s intended as a challenge, not criticism.

      Like · 7 hrs · Edited
      Jay Hockey-Smith Why can’t it just be called ‘marriage’. To say ‘gay marriage’ is to single out. Exactly the opposite of what we want. Marriage is simply the Union of 2 people who love each other. afforded the same rights as every other member of society.
      Like · 1 · 7 hrs
      Daniel Begg My honest opinion, Jay, is that gays are a time-honoured demon that pastors, priests, and politicians can whip out whenever they need to drum-up fear in the population. Simply put, gays are too valuable as a control mechanism for society’s shepherds to ever view seriously.
      Jonathan May To put up all the arguments with the thoroughness that you deserve Daniel, I’m afraid would take more time than I have. I own and run two small companies and am also studying at Uni with some heavy duty deadlines looming. Having said that though, I’ll try to outline what I see as some of the main issues. For starters, Australia shouldn’t legislate something solely on the grounds that another country has. That’s illogical. Secondly, in areas like Queensland, Civil Unions already have all the legal rights of Marriage or defacto relationships. Also, research done in some Scandinavian countries has indicated a rise in divorce rates when SSM is introduced and the researchers indicated that the reason for this seemed to be the devaluing of the concept of marriage. Additionally, many don’t think that it is wise to turn your back on the foundations of a society. By that I mean that the collective wisdom of thousands of years which has formed the basis of your nation’s legal, moral, political, economic, health, education system shouldn’t be just ignored because of the culture in a specific moment in time. As well as that, there is a good deal of research which indicates that children do best when they are brought up by a mum and a dad. Of course there are many situations where this doesn’t happen currently, but the ideal is there that we should be striving for to give our nation’s children the best possible chance. To legislate against giving a child both a mother and a father isn’t helping the children of that marriage. With this also, the divorce rate among same sex relationships is much higher than the statistical norm, and I don’t think anybody would argue with me and say that divorce is good for children. Currently the divorce rate in Australia is around 20% and falling. For the sake of kids, I’d like to see that rate continue to fall. There’s so much more I could say, but let me just finish by saying that I’ve never once heard a proponent of traditional Judeo-Christian marriage state that making baby Jesus cry is a serious outcome of gay marriage. If you want to talk about things that make Jesus cry, then I would think gay marriage would be down the list quite a way. As such, there are much greater issues that face us. Homelessness, suicide, poverty… I’d rather be continuing to put my energy into those rather than be here defending myself.
      Like · 10 · 7 hrs
      Jonathan May

      We all know and love someone with same-sex…
      Josh Olij Bill Shorton-everything has no ideas and no-vision for the future, other than hoping to get some political mileage riding the gay bubble of Irelands SSM marriage vote. He’s hurriedly drafted up a bill as a distraction from the real work of Government.   What we’re talking about is an issue drummed up by the minority of a minority of people who have been pandered to by Governments both federal and state and had practically everything handed to them as requested. This is really such a first world non-issue, there are so many serious problems of disadvantage in our own communities and amongst our regional neighbours that we should be focussed on… this is just a distraction by a small group of very selfish elitists. Once again Bill Shorten you prove that the ALP no longer represents Australian workers.
      Like · 2 · 4 hrs
      Stephanie Louise I’m not sure how I feel about gay marriage but I do have some degree of what it is like for children of gay parents. I’m 25 years old and during primary school and high schools I saw kids bullied relentlessly about having gay dads or mothers. Mainly because the education provided to kids of what is normal is having a mother and father because naturally there’s no alternative. I do know gay parents who are beautiful parents but that doesn’t mean there kids will be exempt from this mean and hurtful side of society. If we are going to grant gay marriage then this needs to be taught in schools from a young level as a family concept to prevent being singled out or laughed by other students who don’t understand.
      Jonathan May And that’s maybe a bit of an issue, Stephanie. Why should schools be trying to cram in issues of sexuality into an already overcrowded curriculum to very young children. What about Jewish or Muslim or Christian teachers who are opposed to SSM. Should they be forced to teach infants concepts that are against their beliefs? Isn’t this discrimination? What about secular friends of mine who don’t agree that it’s helpful or or wise for society to veer off in this direction? Should they be forced to teach the opposite of the conclusions that they have come to because the government is telling us what we are to think? Is teaching about sexuality and family structure the responsibility of the parent or the government institution? I don’t have the answers, but there are just SO many unanswered questions and consequences that need to be thought through. Already in other nations we can see the unwholesome and unintended consequences of SSM legislation being enforced. If anything, we need to find solutions that unite us as a nation rather than increasing division.
      Like · 1 · 2 hrs
      Kelly Jeanious Conservatives and religious people are afraid that one day it will be okay to be gay. One day kids won’t be terrified to tell their parents. One day kids won’t kill themselves rather than be found out. One day it won’t be a a truth surrounded by fear of judgment , people will be free to be the person that they are with out fear.

      Gay marriage paves the way for that future . It says it’s okay to be gay. People who argue with marriage equality can’t handle the idea of saying everyone is okay. The future should be about equality, a world where people are equal in right from the very first moment.

      A civil union doesn’t do that. Things evolve and you need to get over it cause it actually doesn’t effect you but it will make the world a better place.
    • Jonathan May Yes Kelly that seems to make sense and it certainly reflects the rhetoric that we’ve been fed extensively over the last fifteen years since the idea of gay ‘marriage’ became a fashionable thing. If you read the rest of the thread, you’ll see where we’ve discussed a little how it actually will effect everybody. We’ve also established the purposes of the institution, how children will be effected and how having civil unions instead of marriage is not discriminatory. The point that you make that really strikes a chord with me is that of youth suicide. Suicide is not the biggest killer of teenage girls and this is a terrible indictment on our society. The rates among young gays suiciding are also high, but interestingly, the research in that area has shown quite strongly that the majority of those deaths relates to relationships that have gone bad and really nothing at all to do with bullying. I know this is the opposite of what we’re told and what we’d expect, but the research is all there. This is not to say that bullying does not exist, but the GLBTI community certainly don’t have exclusive rights to being bullied. Bullying doesn’t mean we should attack the nature of marriage so that all bullying will automatically go away. By their very nature, bullies will find something to hate over. The solution as I see it is to create a culture where bullying is not cool and where it is considered completely unacceptable by society. I think we’re part way there, but when I consider how viciously I am sometimes bullied on Facebook by adults because of my counter post modern cultural worldview, I realise we still have a long way to go.

      So over 12 hours today, I may not have convinced anybody of the need to walk in Kingdom ways, but hopefully I’ve at least alerted a few to the fact that there is another side and it needs to be considered.  Because I’m a writer, this isn’t that hard for me.  For other though, it is more difficult.  What I would urge though is that it takes very little courage or risk to help out the people who are doing the talking by ‘liking’ their statements when they show some truth / light / salt / fragrance.  We are commanded to love our enemies and this is why we need to take a warm tone when we’re on social media engaging with those who so strongly oppose us.  Of course, loving our enemies doesn’t mean we have to agree with them or lie down and let them shove whatever they like down our throats.  As somebody who has quite a lot of experience using social media to influence, I would urge you to get involved.  Be respectful and kind.  Be gentle but wise.  Show understanding.  Let the Spirit lead you in what to say.  Be creative.
    • Ever changing; Thy Kingdom come
    • Jonathan

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