Home > Oz Politics > Can Parliament sit again?

Can Parliament sit again?

June 27th, 2013

If so (advice from anyone who actually knows the rules would be helpful), it should. I assume this would require an election date later than 14 September but I don’t see a problem with that. A

In general terms, the democratic process would be improved by a chance to see the aspirants to the Prime Ministership present their case to the Parliament. The public is entitled to ask for a decent look at the new improved Kevin Rudd, and also for Abbott to present a positive alternative, rather than coasting to victory on the basis of negative views about the incumbent, as was his plan until yesterday.

More specifically, there are a number of issues where Rudd ought to put forward legislation.

One of the most important is equal marriage. Abbott is fudging on the question of a free vote, and Rudd ought to force him to take a stand. He should say that the vote will be either free on both sides, or party-line on both sides. Since the majority of Labor members voted for equal marriage last time, a party-line measure would mean equal marriage passing both houses.

A number of the other suggestions I’ve made, such as increasing Job Search Allowance would need legislation. That would be much better than having them as campaign promises, since it would put the onus on Abbott to endorse them or commit to repeal.

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  1. John D
    June 27th, 2013 at 12:58 | #1

    It would be good for Rudd to make some simple changes to spell out that a change has been made and that his government will be more caring. My wish list includes:
    Allow refugees to work
    Treat refugees in a way that recognizes that most of them will become citizens who we want to be pro Aus
    Increase Newstart
    Reverse decision on single mothers. (If newstart increase has not replaced all the lost income?)
    Declare that the LNP Manus/Nauru policies haven’t worked and shut them down.

  2. paul of albury
    June 27th, 2013 at 13:07 | #2

    I think in addition to allowing for some demonstration of positive changes in policy it would provide some reassurance that a successful Rudd wouldn’t immediately be dumped for the faceless men’s choice. (this is the line I think the Libs should use – I see they’ve already started so I don’t have to worry about giving them ideas)

  3. Alan
    June 27th, 2013 at 13:22 | #3

    The only thing that prevents a parliament from sitting is expiry, dissolution or prorogation. The current parliament doesn’t expire until the third anniversary of its first meeting hits on 27 September 2013. The general election can be as late as 30 November. Dissolution and prorogation are in the hands of the prime minister. The election date proposed last January was not binding on the prime minister, the governor-general or anyone else.

  4. phoenix
    June 27th, 2013 at 15:46 | #4

    Recycled Krudd

    Marriage= two flesh becoming one.

    How can you legislate that?

  5. michaelfstanley
    June 27th, 2013 at 16:15 | #5

    phoenix I think it would violate JQ’s commenting policy to explain the details but GLBITQ Australians figured out your conundrum a while ago. There’s plenty of good websites that can explain if you google them.

    Troll feeding aside, from a practical perspective equal marriage legislation either as a symbolic move today or a promise as the first act of a new parliament would be an excellent issue to batter Abbott with.

  6. phoenix
    June 27th, 2013 at 16:34 | #6

    Thanks for getting back to me Michael.

    I am not trolling, I just have a few philosophical problems with your reasoning.

    From the beginning marriage has been two flesh joining together to become one- otherwise we would not exist. I fail to see how it can be anything else.

    If gay people want to live together as a couple with equal rights the same as a heterosexual couple, I do not have a problem with that. I do not even have a problem if you want to change the definition of the word marriage to be a couple living together with certain rights. I do not have a problem if you want to call two flesh becoming one something else that is fine.-Just let me know what word you want to use as a substitute for marriage.

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  7. michaelfstanley
    June 27th, 2013 at 17:12 | #7

    Phoenix I was mocking your choice of words, so I must confess to a bit of trolling myself. I think we both know where this argument will lead as it has been played out a bajillion times on the internets and will be for a while yet. I don’t really wish to derail an election thread.

    I would be happy to discuss the practical implications of using equal marriage as an election issue. My hunch is that there are far more votes to be gained than lost by labor embracing it.

    For a number of reasons this is an issue where politicians have gotten uniquely out of step with the views of the populace. On other issues like immigration or privatisation there’s a lot of ‘say one thing and do the other’ by both parties, but with this issue the open stance of many clearly go against the majority.

    I think there’s considerable opportunity for the major party that wants to be the first mover (as opposed to initiator of a symbolic doomed consceince vote) on this.

    Not a neutral summary, but it’s pretty hard to spin these numbers to any other conclusion –

    http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/who-supports-equality/a-majority-of-australians-support-marriage-equality/

  8. Vegetarian
    June 27th, 2013 at 17:24 | #8

    @John D
    Refugees can already work. It’s asylum seekers who can’t. Hard-hearted as it seems, I can see a problem with letting them work. Considering that anyone can CLAIM asylum, what’s to stop anyone from anywhere who wants to work in Australia from coming on a tourist visa and claiming asylum?

  9. Doug
    June 27th, 2013 at 17:30 | #9

    Vegetarian – you are well behind the news on this. It has been happening for a long time.

    People do arrive as you suggest by air on all sorts of visas, their claims are tested and the rate of success of their claims are about 50% as opposed to 90% of those who arrive by boat.

  10. Vegetarian
    June 27th, 2013 at 17:43 | #10

    @Doug
    But my point is, claimants are not now allowed to work.

  11. phoenix
    June 27th, 2013 at 18:21 | #11

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for that link to the gay marriage site it has some informative sections.

    I do not think you will derail this thread as it states in regards to issues “One of the most important is equal marriage”

    I appreciate this issue is very important to you, but in regards to the mainstream it is minor. Only between 1 and 5 percent of the world choose to be gay. The nuances of the legal distinctions between civil unions and marriage is unknown to most people and frankly they couldn’t care less, as it is presumed in Australia that everyone is treated equally under the law (and that includes gays, de facto’s & married). Also, as gays cannot have their own children, only ½ of somebody else’s; this kind of propagating poses the silent majority a big moral dilemma.

    Labor promoting gay marriage is just another of the many indications that they are out of touch with mainstream society; i.e the other 95% who are not gay, but they are trying to represent.

    Take care

    phoenix

  12. Jason
    June 27th, 2013 at 19:27 | #12

    Equal marriage has to be number 1 for Rudd. Lots of parallels with the sorry to the stolen generation. The right thing to do too!

  13. Tyler
    June 27th, 2013 at 19:30 | #13

    @Vegetarian
    they are absolutely allowed to work when they come by plane, it’s one of the absurd distinctions the no-advantage test draws between ‘boat people’ and other unauthorised arrivals

  14. June 27th, 2013 at 20:02 | #14

    “Can Parliament Sit Again?”

    Yes. There are about 11 days in late August early September for H of R and a few Senate days too. So as Alan at #3 notes, they can keep going to 27 September if they want.

    http://www.aec.gov.au/elections/australian_electoral_system/electoral_procedures/Federal_Election_Timetable.htm

  15. Tim Macknay
    June 27th, 2013 at 20:16 | #15

    @Tyler
    Except, if someone arrives on a valid visa, they’re authorised. I’d expect that whether or not they can work would depend on the visa category.

  16. Tyler
    June 27th, 2013 at 20:41 | #16

    they void their visa when they claim refugee status, one of the conditions of their original visa is that they not claim asylum. They’re placed in the community on bridging visas as their claims are processed and work rights

  17. June 27th, 2013 at 20:46 | #17

    Pr Q said:

    More specifically, there are a number of issues where Rudd ought to put forward legislation. One of the most important is equal marriage. Abbott is fudging on the question of a free vote, and Rudd ought to force him to take a stand. He should say that the vote will be either free on both sides, or party-line on both sides. Since the majority of Labor members voted for equal marriage last time, a party-line measure would mean equal marriage passing both houses.

    When Jesus rose from the dead he was reported to have ascended into Heaven to save all mankind from damnation. When Rudd gets a resurrection the re-booted Messiah is advised to make first priority the promotion of homosexual marriage. Progress!

    Seriously, this would send exactly the wrong message to Middle Australia: that your concerns are secondary to a vocal minority of mostly well-off inner-city elites. The symbolic politics of the rainbow coalition is fine for the Greens but turns off average Labor voters who have more substantive things to worry about, such as the extinction of the manafacturing sector.

    The idea that this would somehow wedge Abbott by bringing the Doctors Wives onto the streets is risible.

    FWIW I am a luke warm supporter of homosexual marriage, although not on grounds of civil rights grounds (youve got to be kidding).

    Married homosexuals are generally in the public interest. Firstly because the manacles of matrimony will get some homosexual men away from the public health risks of the gay beat. And lastly because unmarried homosexuals need legal reinforcement for their domestic partnerships as they tend to age badly without much of the normal social support networks that hetereosexuals take for granted.

  18. rog
    June 27th, 2013 at 20:48 | #18

    @phoenix Equal marriage has less to do with sex and flesh and more to do with discrimination and rights. In that respect individually and as a society we benefit from more not less equality.

  19. Tyler
    June 27th, 2013 at 20:50 | #19

    @Tim Macknay
    “But those who arrived by plane – despite being eligible for release into the community and not having to face years of detention on Nauru or Manus Island – were almost twice as likely to be rejected as refugees.
    The new figures come after the government, with Coalition support, passed changes to the Migration Act that introduce explicit discrimination against asylum seekers based on their method of arrival.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/overwhelming-majority-of-boat-arrivals-deemed-to-be-refugees-20130519-2juty.html

  20. Tyler
    June 27th, 2013 at 20:53 | #20

    @jack strocchi
    The deluded commentary suggesting that marriage equality is somehow not supported by ‘middle australia’ despite receiving 60+% support in polling is extraordinary.

  21. TerjeP
    June 27th, 2013 at 21:08 | #21

    Tyler – there is a difference between breadth of vote and depth of vote. A lot of people support same sex marriage (me included) but how many of them will change their vote because of it? How many of those 40% opposed to same sex marriage will swap sides to avoid voting for a proponent?

  22. Tyler
    June 27th, 2013 at 21:14 | #22

    very few based on the example we see in the US (as one obvious case)

  23. Tyler
    June 27th, 2013 at 21:18 | #23

    in fact if there’s a single example of a centre-left party suffering at all as a result of a push towards marriage equality in the last few years i don’t recall hearing about it. We’ve obviously seen Obama elected, the french socialists campaigned prominently on the issue, UK labor hasn’t run into difficulties on that basis

  24. alfred venison
    June 27th, 2013 at 21:23 | #24

    the rusted on voters won’t change their vote because of it, but swing voters are open to switch their votes by definition. one would want to know how many swing voters would lean to labor if it had a marriage equality policy vs how many would lean to another party if labor didn’t. -a.v.

  25. Doug
    June 27th, 2013 at 21:31 | #25

    Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia with a valid visa may be given a bridging visa which will allow them to reside lawfully in the community while their application is being processed. Some bridging visa holders are allowed to work and can access Medicare. According to Refugee council of Australia

  26. Tyler
    June 27th, 2013 at 21:32 | #26

    oh for sure it’s hard to say but obviously similar parties internationally are managing to attract similar percentages overall

  27. Jim Rose
    June 27th, 2013 at 21:57 | #27

    Doug :
    Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia with a valid visa may be given a bridging visa which will allow them to reside lawfully in the community while their application is being processed. Some bridging visa holders are allowed to work and can access Medicare. According to Refugee council of Australia

    if they have a valid visa, why do they need a bridging visa?

    if no valid visa, how can you give a bridging visa to someone who perhaps cannot be properly identified?

    the chances of drowning in a boat is about 2%, so for some from poor countries, it is a good gamble.

  28. alfred venison
    June 27th, 2013 at 22:19 | #28

    do you think this decision of the u.s. supreme court will have any effect on the debate here?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/06/26/f-scotus-doma-prop8.html

    the Supreme Court ruled that the 1996 Defence of Marriage Act [DOMA] is unconstitutional because it “violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the federal government”

    “DOMA’s avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states.” -a.v.

  29. phoenix
    June 27th, 2013 at 23:01 | #29

    Hi Rog and others.

    I am all for equal rights and no one should be discriminated against.

    ‘Marriage’ as defined by me above, is a physical action that is part of the propagation process and as such is physically impossible for gays. You do not have to be legally married to live as a husband and wife; you only have to live as a husband and wife and gays cannot do that. I have heaps of friends who have for many years lived as husband and wife, yet they are not legally married (I’ve done it myself). When two women or two men can have their own child, then I might change my definition.

    Michaelfstar’s Gay Marriage Equality website states:

    “Studies in the US and UK also show that civil unions do not deliver the same legal security and social recognition as marriage.”

    What the gay lobby is on about is equal social recognition for their relationship. No one is denying them that social recognition. As for legal security, civil unions if treated the same way as a de facto relationship would provide the legal effect of ‘marriage equality.’

    ” For all intents and purposes, a de facto relationship that meets the criteria set out by the courts is viewed equally to a legal marriage when it comes to matters of the law.”

    http://www.wattsmccray.com.au/blog/difference-de-facto-relationship-marriage-eyes-law

    The only problem I can see with deeming gay relationships as equal to heterosexual ones is when children arrive and the rights of the child and the absent parent have to be equated into the relationship.. I am not saying there is anything wrong with gay marriage, merely that it is different to the normal marriage in that the rights of any future children and absentee parents need to be factored in specifically. i.e some sort of surrogacy law.

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  30. Ikonoclast
    June 28th, 2013 at 07:52 | #30

    A number of homosexual relationship families have one parent and one step-parent. A number heterosexual relationship families have one parent and one step-parent. Seems the same to me. The problems of these “blended” families in relation to parent rights and child rights are equate-able in every sense. Existing and developing law and rights can and willl address these issues equally. I think phoenix you are attempting to invent a new problem with new characteristics where a simple analysis shows no new problem exists at all.

  31. Ikonoclast
    June 28th, 2013 at 08:05 | #31

    To address the topic of the post, I don’t think there is any tactical or strategic advantage to Rudd and Labor in recalling Parliament and rushing legislation. Perhaps it would be better to go to the election with clear promises, including those issues that our host has raised. The problem in that would be convincing the electorate they were core promises and would indeed be enacted.

    Is there a way Rudd and the Labor Party could make explicit promises to the people before the election that would be seen as firmly binding at a moral and public level and not as a stunt? The problem finally is thAT a government is an entity that does not exist before it is formed and commissioned by the GG. What does not exist cannot make binding promises before it exists.

  32. Paul Syvret
    June 28th, 2013 at 08:17 | #32

    Greg Jericho has taken a pretty detailed look at this here:
    http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/vale-43rd-parliament-or-not.html

    Short answer is yes, it can sit again.

  33. may
    June 28th, 2013 at 11:59 | #33

    paul of albury :I think in addition to allowing for some demonstration of positive changes in policy it would provide some reassurance that a successful Rudd wouldn’t immediately be dumped for the faceless men’s choice. (this is the line I think the Libs should use – I see they’ve already started so I don’t have to worry about giving them ideas)

    this “faceless men” business puzzles me.

    in the light of no knowlege of where the money comes for the coalition electoral campaign,

    how come there is no cry of “faceless money”?

    i’m probably missing something.

  34. may
    June 28th, 2013 at 12:03 | #34

    and the coalition NBN?

    four out of five people will have to front up $5000:oo to connect to the fast lane as well as pay for high cost future maintainance from the public purse.

  35. Fran Barlow
    June 28th, 2013 at 12:45 | #35

    @may

    And also, why isn’t Murdoch, to be counted amongst the “faceless men”? He has far more to do with who runs both parties than anyone else and is niether in parliament nor even a citizen — and has a track record of nefarious activity in relation to public office in at least the G20 countries over a very long period of time.

  36. Fran Barlow
    June 28th, 2013 at 12:46 | #36

    oops … neither

  37. Fran Barlow
    June 28th, 2013 at 12:46 | #37

    oops … neither three G20 countries

  38. derrida derider
    June 28th, 2013 at 13:52 | #38

    @may
    The “faceless men” jibe is usually aimed by the Murdoch press at people simply too ignorant to know either that the only caucus members get to vote on the ALP leadership or that caucus is composed solely of elected MPs, so none are faceless and they’re not all men. There’s actually no difference from the Liberal party there. But perhaps paul of albury is one of those whose ignorance the Murdochracy depends on.

    The original “faceless men” were the ALP Executive who are mostly not MPs, but they have had no say on either policy or leadership for decades now. It was actually Saint Gough who, in the most amazing of all his miracles, broke their power after narrowly escaping early martyrdom at those heathen hands.

  39. Uncle Milton
    June 28th, 2013 at 14:17 | #39

    @Fran Barlow

    “And also, why isn’t Murdoch, to be counted amongst the “faceless men””

    Because everybody knows what he looks like.

    Expanding on DD’s point, the term “faceless men” was coined by the journalist Alan Reid in the mid 60s to describe, accurately, the ALP national executive. These were men nobody had heard of, much less knew what they looked like, and they they dictated policy to the ALP political leaders. In fact the leader had to wait outside the room while they made their decisions.

  40. John Quiggin
    June 28th, 2013 at 14:26 | #40

    @Uncle Milton

    Yes, the classic photo was of Calwell and Whitlam on the steps of the Hotel Kingston waiting for some big decision of the Executive meeting inside. It was my local a decade or so later, as it happened.

    OTOH, as happened more than once, Whitlam’s miracle of shared power has been turned into an elective dictatorship where the PM can unilaterally reverse policy determined in open debate by a National Conference, then demand unquestioning support on pain of expulsion.

  41. Doug
    June 28th, 2013 at 14:30 | #41

    Jim Rose

    Once a person claims asylum the visa on which they entered Australia no longer applies so they are given a bridging visa while their claim is assessed. Cases that I am aware include persons who arrive here on a student visa, or on diplomatic visas who then apply for asylum.

  42. phoenix
    June 28th, 2013 at 14:31 | #42

    Hi Ikonoclast

    You stated;
    “A number of homosexual relationship families have one parent and one step-parent. A number heterosexual relationship families have one parent and one step-parent. Seems the same to me.”

    Generally with a gay couple the only way they can go about having a child if they do not already have one from a previous heterosexual relationship or adoption is to use their sperm with a surrogate mother or in the case of a lesbian couple, a sperm donor. This is somewhat different to general blended families in that male gay couples have to use a surrogate if they want a child. Even for heterosexual couples the issues with surrogacy are opaque and not clearly defined.

    Surrogacy involves a number of complicated procedures and therefore raises a range of complicated legal issues. One common issue that participants of surrogacy arrangements often inquire about is whether or not surrogacy agreements are enforceable. In Victoria, and almost all other states in Australia, surrogacy agreements are unenforceable.

    Therefore, before agreeing to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, the following broad legal issues must be agreed upon between parties, in the event that a dispute does occur:
    • Attendance at medical and counselling appointments
    • Reimbursement costs that will be covered by the commissioning parent(s)
    • Custody and access to the child for the surrogate
    • Legal status and parentage issues of the child
    • Process if the arrangement does not proceed according to plan.

    So hope all goes well as the agreement unenforceable.

    Unfortunately surrogacy is intertwined with gay marriage and it is impossible to separate the two issues.

    You could say gay marriage is a surrogate for real marriage.

    Anyway, moving on from the gay marriage issue.

    “More specifically, there are a number of issues where Rudd ought to put forward legislation.”

    The last time recycled Krudd put forward and passed legislation it resulted in over a 1000 deaths on the high seas. Any legislation he can put forward to stop boat people drowning’s would be appreciated on humanitarian grounds.

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  43. paul of albury
    June 28th, 2013 at 15:09 | #43

    My point was that there is a very real possibility that if Rudd was to win the election, having done this valuable task the AWU etc would again engineer his removal in favour of their preferred candidate. We’ve seen this in NSW Labor, as soon as a premier starts doing alright and getting somewhere they get dumped for someone the people who believe they own the Labor Party think they can control.

    This has nothing to do with the faceless men (and woman) financing and directing the Liberal party. Or the business interests financing and lobbying Labor. It’s the brilliant tacticians inside Labor HQ I’m talking about, who managed to turn Abbott into preferred prime minister and have made the rabble that were NSW and Qld coalition parties seem apparently responsible governments even with the Shooters dumbing them down further

  44. paul walter
    June 28th, 2013 at 15:12 | #44

    Rudd has apparently made a public statement on gay marriage reform.
    As for the rest, careful children, you may yet succeed in handing the senate to the Obscured Abbott.
    Let’s have finally have a little focus on IPA Hockey and Abbott , Zombie Economics and the role of Murdoch, Rinehart, Can-Do and others behind the scenes.

  45. Tyler
    June 28th, 2013 at 16:23 | #45

    the right are going nuts about his perfectly reasonable statement about towing back the boats potentially causing disputes/conflict with indonesia. He seems to be off to a fair start, indications the single parents payment will be bumped back up, changes to newstart etc all positive as well

  46. Luke Elford
    June 28th, 2013 at 16:46 | #46

    @jack strocchi

    I’m curious: do you do any research before you decide to pontificate about the state of public opinion? Or are you Australia’s David Brooks, who *just knows* what “Middle Australia” thinks, without ever having to check? If so, do you ever worry that the opinions you ascribe to others might be no more than projection?

    You describe those advocating equal marriage as “a vocal minority of mostly well-off inner-city elites”, in contrast with “average Labor voters who have more substantive things to worry about, such as the extinction of the manufacturing sector” and find the issue a turn off.

    Let’s check these descriptions against the facts, as revealed by recent research by Galaxy (http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/GalaxyAug2012.pdf) [1].

    Are those advocating marriage equality a “vocal minority”? Nope: they’re in the majority, 64% to 30% [2].

    Are they “mostly well-off”? Nope: those from poorer households are nearly as supportive as those from richer households, with support of 59% and 68% respectively.

    Are they “inner-city elites”? Nope: 60% of those from regional and rural areas support same-sex marriage.

    What about average Labor voters, do they find same-sex marriage politics a turn-off? Nope: 73% are in support of same-sex marriage.

    And what about the traditional Labor base of blue collar workers, do they find same-sex marriage a turn-off? Nope: 59% of those from blue collar households are in support.

    In contrast with your ridiculous caricaturing, the reality is that support for same-sex marriage is a majority position with a broad base.

    It’s still possible that it might be bad politics for Labor to support same-sex marriage; certainly, the Gillard government has thought so. But that would have nothing to do with inadequate public support and everything to do with the ability of Labor to capitalise on that support in a multi-policy context, and the tyranny of swing voters.

    [1] The poll was commissioned by an advocacy group, but its findings are similar to those of other polls commissioned by newspapers.
    [2] The poll surveyed people aged 18-69 years. Those aged 70 and over make up 12.7% of those aged 18 and over. Thus, even if none of those aged 70 and over supported same sex marriage, it would still be a majority position (56%) amongst those aged 18 and over.

  47. paul walter
    June 28th, 2013 at 17:04 | #47

    His gut has told him the previous ministry (too many from the right factions) was too cautious, defensive. In fact, the Gillard ministry tried very hard, so hard, too hard, but the public, encouraged by the garbage msm, mocked them for trying to not give offence.
    Rudd is signalling that, unlike the previous PM he CAN and WILL play filthy at politics back to thug Abbott and WILL beat him at his disgusting game; that’s the way they’ve wanted to play it.
    He may even be doing it to avenge Gillard, in a sense.
    Now the light is focused on coward Abbott and I adamantly hope the opposition leader gets the curry he’s long deserved.

  48. June 28th, 2013 at 17:35 | #48

    My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
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  49. J-D
    June 29th, 2013 at 20:03 | #49

    @John Quiggin
    The ‘thirty-six faceless men’ (actually it appears one was a woman) meeting at the Hotel Kingston in 1963 were not the Executive, but the Federal Conference, for whatever little the detail is worth (the essential point is, of course, the same).

  50. Ken Fabian
    June 30th, 2013 at 09:03 | #50

    Given what Tony Windsor has said about not supporting a Rudd led government, could another sitting of parliament open the possibility of a successful No Confidence motion by Abbott?

  51. Jim Rose
    June 30th, 2013 at 09:56 | #51

    Will recalling parliament to rush through gay marriage win votes from abbott

  52. Tyler
    June 30th, 2013 at 13:56 | #52

    @Ken Fabian
    no, rudd can obviously rely on Katter/Wilkie/Greens/Slipper/Thomson which is enough to maintain confidence. If the libs could get a no confidence motion up they’d have done it last thursday

  53. phoenix
    June 30th, 2013 at 18:23 | #53

    Hi All,

    Further to my at posts; 4, 11, 27 & 42

    Allowing gay marriages to have marriage equality on par with normal marriages could be problematic, especially when children are involved.

    There is an elephant in the room in this debate that needs to be considered and that is; should gay couples be allowed to have kids?

    “An Australian man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in the United States for trafficking his adopted son to a global paedophile network….

    Police say the man and his gay partner travelled the world with the child, allowing at least eight men in several different countries, including Australia, the US, Germany and France to molest the boy when he was aged between just two and six years old.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-29/man-jailed-trafficking-adopted-son-paedophile-ring/4789730

    As there are millions more childless heterosexual couples wanting to adopt children than there are children to adopt, should we even be considering changing the marriage laws to make it easier for gay couples to adopt?

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  54. J-D
    July 1st, 2013 at 17:48 | #54

    @phoenix
    This could conceivably be an issue on a planet where opposite-sex couples never abuse or exploit their children (adopted or biological). On this planet, there’s no evidence that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to abuse or exploit children.

  55. Luke Elford
    July 2nd, 2013 at 02:23 | #55

    @ Phoenix:

    Wow. For somebody who apparently isn’t a troll you do a terribly good impression of one.

    There is no evidence that men who are sexually attracted to other men are any more likely to sexually abuse children than men who are sexually attracted to women. A significant proportion of child molesters have no interest in adult sexual relationships of any type.

    The American Psychological Association states it flatly: “Heterosexual and gay men are equally likely to sexually abuse children. A perception that most perpetrators are gay men is a myth and harmful stereotype.”

    Here is an overview of the relevant literature by a UC Davis psychology professor (a resource you could easily have found yourself, if you were interested in informing yourself rather than posing offensive rhetorical questions): http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html.

  56. phoenix
    July 2nd, 2013 at 12:48 | #56

    Hi J-D & Luke,

    I am not trolling; maybe my life experiences give me a greater insight into this issue and put me closer to it, than would normally be the case. So I need to speak up for and to the silent majority.

    No one is saying “opposite-sex couples never abuse or exploit their children” in fact they do more, because as a proportion of the population, they number more.

    “On this planet, there’s no evidence that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to abuse or exploit children.”

    “Three kinds of scientific evidence point to the proportion of homosexual molestation: 1) survey reports of molestation in the general population, 2) surveys of those caught and convicted of molestation, and 3) what homosexuals themselves have reported. These three lines of evidence suggest that the 1%-to-3% of adults who practice homosexuality (3) account for between a fifth and a third of all child molestation.”

    The disturbing fact is that if about 2% of the population is gay and if (that) 2% of the population is responsible for 20% to 40% of something as socially and personally troubling as child molestation, something must be desperately wrong with that 2%. Not every homosexual is a child molester. But enough gays do molest children so that the risk of a homosexual molesting a child is 10 to 20 times greater than that of a heterosexual.

    http://www.familyresearchinst.org/2009/02/child-molestation-and-homosexuality-2/

    Considering gay marriage is not prevalent in society yet and priests have not been allowed to marry, there seems to be a pattern of abuse emerging that supplements the above evidence:

    “My adoptive dad abused me for years but social workers ignored my complaints because he’s gay”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300779/My-adoptive-dad-abused-years-social-workers-ignored-complaints-hes-gay.html

    “Lombard, who is gay, is accused of inviting an undercover officer to have sex with his adopted 5-year-old son”
    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5466526/

    http://www.rpvnetwork.org/profiles/blogs/gay-adoption-horror-duke

    “They took turns raping me’: New claims of child sex abuse revealed as gay couple accused of molesting two of their 9 adopted children withdraw guilty plea and decide to go to trial “

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305125/Gay-couple-accused-molesting-9-adopted-children-withdraw-guilty-plea-decide-trial-fight-allegations.html

    “at least eight men in several different countries, including Australia, the US, Germany and France to molest the boy when he was aged between just two and six years old.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-29/man-jailed-trafficking-adopted-son-paedophile-ring/4789730

    “The twins were videoed naked by Faunch, a third boy was involved in sexual activities with both men, and a fourth was touched by Faunch.
    Their victims included a 14-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, who had a mental age of seven and was forced by Wathey to watch explicit gay pornography.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1522158/Gay-couple-jailed-for-abusing-their-foster-children.html

    As a reaction to this increase in abuse, India and Russia have recently banned adoption and surrogacy to gay couples.

    http://rt.com/politics/foreign-couples-sex-same-863/

    http://world.time.com/2013/02/15/why-people-are-angry-about-indias-new-surrogacy-laws/

    Regurgitated Krudd should call for a conscience vote on gay marriage and its adoption/ surrogacy implications. MPs need to way up gay rights verses children’s rights.

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  57. Luke Elford
    July 3rd, 2013 at 01:56 | #57

    @phoenix

    I provided you with a link explaining the consensus view among psychologists and documenting the peer-reviewed research that is the basis for that view. In turn you present work by the Family Research Institute, a right-wing Christian think tank committed to “restor[ing] a world where…homosexuality is not taught and accepted, but instead is discouraged and rejected at every level”.

    The think tank is run by a psychologist, Paul Cameron, who has been expelled by the American Psychological Association over ethics breaches, and been publicly criticised by three other professional bodies for misrepresenting research. Here is what the American Sociological Association’s Committee on the Status of Homosexuals in Sociology had to say about his work: “It does not take great analytical abilities to suspect from even a cursory review of Cameron’s writings that his claims have almost nothing to do with social science and that social science is used only to cover over another agenda. Very little of his work could find support from even a bad misreading of genuine social science investigation on the subject and some sociologists, such as Alan Bell, have been ‘appalled’ at the abuse of their work.”

    Of course, the link I provided you with carefully dissects the Family Research Institute’s work, and I can’t help but wonder whether that is how you came across it. The link does a far more thorough job demonstrating why the Family Research Institute’s work is nonsense than I could in a blog comment, and since you either have chosen to ignore it, or cannot understand it, I see no point in me trying to convince you.

    However, I will briefly explain, for the benefit of anyone else reading this exchange, why the Family Research Institute’s work is erroneous. It is true that the percentage of child sex abuse that is committed by men against boys rather than girls exceeds the percentage of the male population that identifies as homosexual. However, the vast majority of child sex abuse is committed by (a) men who are completely or predominantly heterosexual with respect to their adult sexual relationships, or (b) have no interest in adult sexual relationships. Only a small percentage of child sex abuse is committed by (c) men who are homosexual with respect to their adult sexual relationships. When you compare groups (a) and (c), and the percentages of heterosexual and homosexual men in society, it becomes clear that homosexual men are no more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men. It follows logically that screening out men on the basis that they engage in homosexual relationships with other men does nothing to prevent child sex abuse.

    Phoenix, let me make a further point. You are deluded in thinking that you are speaking for a silent majority. You are speaking for a minority who oppose gay rights (see my comment at 46), a minority which includes a significant component, including the organisation you use to try to buttress your case, who propagate or believe nonsense about gay men wanting to use paedophilia in order to convert children to homosexuality, the lunacy of which should be obvious to any thinking person. In relying on the work of Cameron, who believes that homosexuality should be criminalised, you’ve moved a long way from the position you adopted earlier, that “[i]f gay people want to live together as a couple with equal rights the same as a heterosexual couple, I do not have a problem with that”.

    And that’s it from me. I don’t believe it is fruitful to continue the discussion any further.

  58. July 3rd, 2013 at 04:26 | #58

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  59. phoenix
    July 3rd, 2013 at 14:21 | #59

    Hi Luke,

    Yes, we have said all that needs to be said on this issue so I will end our conversation on this note.

    I do not agree with a lot of the views of Paul Cameron. For example I agree with equal rights for gays and he wants to revert back to the 1970’s, when homosexuality was illegal. But when statistics are involved, I let the figures speak for themselves.

    That being said, I hold the rights of the innocent, people who cannot fend for themselves and children over and above the rights of gays and or anyone else in the community (gay or not) for that matter.

    The only problem I can see with deeming homosexual relationships as truly equal to heterosexual ones, is when children are wanted to be equated into the relationship.

    You agree with Paul Cameron as you have stated “It is true that the percentage of child sex abuse that is committed by men against boys rather than girls exceeds the percentage of the male population that identifies as homosexual”. i.e “that the 1%-to-3% of adults who practice homosexuality account for between a fifth and a third of all child molestation.”

    According to Paul Cameron’s figures that you do not dispute, the risk of a homosexual molesting a child is 10 to 20 times greater than that of a heterosexual. By allowing homosexuals to become foster-parents or adopt children; increases the risk of molestation to those children by the same degree.

    I am not against equal rights for homosexuals, but as stated above, the safety and rights of children surpass the rights of the gay community and as such, a gay marriage can never be totally equal with a heterosexual one; as this would expose children to an increased risk of molestation if gay couples are also allowed to become foster-parents or adopt children.

    Gays should be allowed to marry, but extra safeguards would need to be legislated in the event they wanted to become foster-parents, adopt or have surrogate children.

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  60. J-D
    July 4th, 2013 at 08:02 | #60

    @phoenix
    Since all you have said in response to Luke is to repeat information which is a distortion of the truth, in ways that Luke has already explained, I will only add that the technical error in your argument is the fallacy of equivocation, which reduces the merit of your case to nil.

  61. phoenix
    July 4th, 2013 at 13:39 | #61

    Nothing further from you, please.

  62. John Quiggin
    July 5th, 2013 at 13:01 | #62

    I haven’t been following this thread, but it’s time to close it off. Nothing more please.

Comments are closed.