Q & A same – sex marriage debate exposed the weakness of the “No”campaign

Screenshot of Monday's Q and A same - sex marriage debate featureing Magda Szubanski, Karina Okotel, Anglican archbishop Glenn Davies and Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer, Frank Brennan
While the debate on ABC’s Q & A was respectful, it exposed the weakness of the “No” case.

I always get nervous when people say that the “Yes” voters will win same – sex marriage. Remember how many people said that Trump couldn’t be come US President? Or that the UK would not leave the EU? I think we’ll just have to wait for the result on the fifteenth of next month.

ABC’s Q and A had a episode dedicated to the same – sex marriage debate on Monday. I want to commend everyone who was a part of it. It was respectful. I thought the host, Tony Jones was respectful, too. He only interrupted if a panelist was going off topic or someone needed to get to the point.

I thought that a number of answers were well done. I was particularly impressed at how Jesuit and human rights lawyer, Fr. Frank Brennan answered the question on the sacrament of marriage (as is stated in Catholicism), and its separation from civil marriage. To be frank, I think many progressive Christians/ Catholics tend to trip on these sort of questions.

The “No” campaigners, Karina Okotel and, to a lesser extent, Anglican’s Glenn Davis didn’t do the “No” much justice. They proved how weak the “No” campaign is.

To be clear, I don’t want to be disrespectful. I have friends and family who have voted “no” in the postal vote and feel strongly about it. This is in no way a reflection of these people as individuals. I am purely basing my observation on the overall campaign and the Q and A episode.

With all that out of the way, here goes…

The “No” campaign is weaker than water.

The argument about children proved to be a big downfall for both Okotel and Davis. Karina Okotel said that one of the reasons why she opposed same – sex marriage was because children were best raised by a mother and father (common argument). However, when being confronted with a young man who was raised by two lesbians and a pediatrician arguing that children of same – sex couples are well adjusted, Okotel back pedaled on her original claim. Most studies on same – sex parenting that The Conversation referred to suggest that it’s not the gender of the parents that have the big impact, but rather stability of the family.

The “No” campaign’s frequently claim that freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right for parents (not same – sex parents apparently /sarc) to have control over what is taught to their children will be affected. This is the argument that the ‘Coalition for Marriage” currently use in their advertisements.

To back their campaign, they have a Canadian father of two, Steve Tourloukis. He argues that since same – sex marriage was legalised in Canada back in 2005, his children were forced to “celebrate homosexuality.

Tourloukis did lose a Supreme Court case last year when he tried to sue his children’s school. But it wasn’t because he personally opposed homosexuality. Tourloukis was demanding that his children’s public school give him adequate notice when “false teachings” were going to be taught. What was perceived as “false teachings” went beyond same – sex relationships (although that was one). It extended to “environmental worship”, (I’m guessing that’s things like climate change, etc), moral relativism and sex education, as well as homosexuality and transgender-ism. After six years, Justice Robert B. Reid ruled against Tourloukis, stating the following reason:

[The public education system] by definition, provide education to the broadest possible cross-section of the population. To the extent that the concern about “false teachings” outweighs other advantages of the public school system, the applicant may need to seek other alternatives.

So, Tourloukis didn’t lose the case simply because he didn’t want his children to ‘celebrate homosexuality’, (can anyone tell me exactly what that means? Dancing to ABBA in a rainbow wig?), it was because he demanded that the public education system to change to fit his personal religious beliefs. I can understand why, in Canada or anywhere in the West, that those sort of demands wouldn’t be granted. The public education system has to include everyone, including those who’s parents aren’t conservative Christian, Greek Orthodox, etc.

Frankly, I’m not completely convinced that the “Yes” vote will win next month. I think a lot of damage has been done because of the actions of some on the far left, so – called LGBTQ+ ‘allies’. But the “No” camp have been getting quite desperate. It’s starting to become more and more obvious that they don’t have a convincing argument against legalising same – sex marriage in Australia.

 

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