Opponents of same-sex marriage are flooding the House of Representatives’ survey on the marriage equality bills before Parliament, while the Senate has published more of the submissions to its inquiry into the issue.
Sixty-five percent of respondents to the House of Representatives survey, which was set up by Greens MP Adam Bandt and asks people whether they are in favour of or opposed to the bills and their reasons why, oppose marriage equality. The tally of published submissions from the Senate inquiry is running at 43 against and 31 for.
Some of those opposing marriage equality claimed that same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry because they can’t have children, or would have too many children, or could potentially molest their own children.
“The risk of homosexual abuse, where a boy is being raised by two homosexual men, should give any reasonable person pause for thought,” Graham and Carol Phillips wrote.
“It beggars belief that society would allow such an abhorrent experiment on children.
“The lifestyles of homosexuals are notoriously promiscuous, providing, for many children, therefore, not only an upbringing skewed away from the traditional mother and father paradigm, but an upbringing within a lifestyle of regular promiscuity.”
John Rietveld wrote that it was not wrong to discriminate against people.
“We discriminate against thirteen and fourteen year old children being given the right to have an automobile license, even though many are competent drivers,” he wrote.
“We discriminate against children being sent off to war as soldiers, even though many are capable of using a rifle effectively and efficiently.
“Marriage between a man and a woman is fruitful. It brings life. It sustains society. It is generative. It enhances human development. It encourages growth. Homosexuality does not and cannot.”
Geoff Lapthorn wrote that there would be consequences for children who grew up without a mother and a father, quoting from an article he found on the internet.
“A father teaches a boy how to properly channel his aggressive and sexual drives,” Lapthorn quoted. “A mother can’t show a son how to control his impulses because she’s not a man and doesn’t have the same urges as one. A father also commands a form of respect from a boy that a mother doesn’t.
“Fathers play a restraining role in the lives of their children. They restrain sons from acting out antisocially, and daughters from acting out sexually. When there’s no father to perform this function, dire consequences often result.
“Same-sex marriage will increase sexual confusion and sexual experimentation by young people.”
In contrast, marriage equality supporter Benjamin Heathwood cited expert opinion.
“I would like to … address the misinformation being peddled by some fringe groups concerning children raised by same-sex couples,” Heathwood wrote.
“These groups argue that the ‘ideal’ situation for children is to have a married mother and father and that children raised by same-sex couples are disadvantaged. These assertions are hurtful and insulting and are not supported by the world’s major psychological bodies.
“The American Psychological Association for example concludes that ‘…there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents … not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents’.
“The Australian Psychological Society agrees, noting that, ‘no evidence supports the view that the ideal gender mix of parents is a man and a woman’.”
The first organisational submissions have also been published, with Amnesty International and the Humanist Society of Victoria writing in support of marriage equality.
Australian Marriage Equality (AME) national convenor Alex Greenwich said that now was no time for apathy.
“It’s time for action,” Greenwich said. “The outcome of the Senate and House inquiries will direct the fate of the marriage equality debate, now is the time for supporters, gay and straight, to submit and be counted.
“We have reason, logic, and progress on our side. This needs to shine through in the committee’s reports, but it only can if supporters take action.
“Don’t waste time being offended by hateful rants, take the time to make a meaningful submission.”
AME will hold Politics in the Pub events in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth in the next two weeks to help people to make submissions.
AME also has a dedicated web page at www.australianmarriageequality.com/senate-inquiry-submission-form to assist people making submissions to the inquiry.
The House of Representatives survey is at www.surveymk.com/s/spla-marriage
Sydney: Saturday, March 17, The Bank Hotel, Newtown 2.30-5.30pm www.sydpoliticsinthepub.eventbrite.com
Melbourne: Sunday, March 18, DT’s Hotel, Richmond 1-4pm www.melpoliticsinthepub.eventbrite.com
Adelaide: Friday, March 23, Prince Albert Hotel, Adelaide 6-8pm www.sapoliticsinthepub.eventbrite.com
Perth: Saturday, March 25, Queens Hotel, Highgate, noon-2pm www.wapoliticsinthepub.eventbrite.com