Hooray for Australia! They are to be congratulated on bringing us to the
realities of better days ahead.
Claiming this change in Australia for the 'pro family' camp is really
grasping at straws.
To Hutterite,If you read the article carefully you will note that I
stated "the loss by Rudd’s Labor Party was mainly due to a slower
economy and the disunity and infighting within the party." But, it is true
that the new Prime Minister is pro-family in many ways. We are grateful for his
leadership in important ways that will be good for the family.
Why are "pro-family" people opposed to parental leave? Sounds very
family friendly to me.
Dear Susan Roylance;Just an FYI, anti-gay marriage is NOT
"pro-family". It is purely anti-gay.Guess what, LGBT people
have families too. By denying that we're families, denying that our
families are families, it MAKES YOU ANTI-FAMILY.
To Roland Kayser.The parental leave proposed in Australia, as
explained in the article, only provides money to those who are working, who have
babies. Mothers who have chosen to stay at home, full-time, to care for their
children will not get any financial help. Many "pro-family" people
support the concept of children being raised by their mother, without government
financial assistance. As you can see by the comment of Babette Francis, the
government financial help could also increase the taxes, making it even more
difficult for families with stay-at-home mothers.
To Ranch:The term "pro-family" is a term that has been used
for decades that is more culturally defined than literal -- just as the term
"gay" has multiple meanings. The term generally means that the people,
or organization, is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and pro-motherhood. In
my work at the United Nations, "pro-family' also means that we believe
the government should recognize the family unit as the basic unit of society,
and work with the family as a unit, rather than only recognizing people as
individuals. You might also accept that definition.
Susan Roylance - It appears that you actively advocate for the subversion of
loving, committed couples from marrying and becoming a family. Thus, you
marginalize couples by denying them the ability to become a family, thereby
denying them the ability to form the "basic unit of society" which
forces the state to merely recognize them as individuals. Based on your own
provided definition of "pro-family" according to the UN, you are
This is refreshing news! Thank you Susan Roylance for your careful wording.
To Salwart Sentinel,The term "pro-family" is culturally
derived, not "according to the UN" -- in much the same way as the term
"gay" has come to mean "homosexual."
Susan - In your 8:45 post, you provide two alternate definitions of the term
"pro-family" - one of which you claim is culturally-derived, the other
you claim is from the UN. I made no mention of the culturally-derived version
because 1) I do not pretend to speak for a culture or cultures, of which we have
many in the US, and 2) I see your "culturally-derived" version of the
definition more of a marketing tool rather than an actual definition,
particularly because that definition is highly suspect to social mores - thus it
is not a definition, as much as it is a societal norm. And yes, I understand
that definitions change over time so it would do everyone good for you to
acknowledge that, as time is moving forward, your perspective is increasingly
viewed as anti-family not pro-family. Perhaps your "definition" should
reflect that?Indeed, my comment was to point out that, according to
the definition you provided as the UN's perspective of
"pro-family", your efforts are anti-family. A point you failed to
rebut. Thus, per the UN, it appears you advocate an anti-family stance.
To Stalward Sentinel:In an effort to educate those who read this
article, the basic founding document for the UN is the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Article 16 states: “The family is the natural and
fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and
the State.” The word “natural” is generally understood to
mean “biological.” Several UN conference documents include the
words: “Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the
intending spouses, and husband and wife should be equal partners.” (See
Social Summit, 80; ICPD Principle 9; Habitat Agenda, 31; and Habitat +5, 30).
The words "husband and wife" imply a marriage between a man and a woman.
Raising children in a loving and secure environment with a father and mother is
pro-family. Children can be raised in loving and secure environments under other
conditions but I believe (and I believe there are a lot of statistics to support
this)the most stable environment is one where father and mother (man and
woman)are married and raising their children together. I feel it is important
for our governments to support this most stable condition. Certainly the
governments must work for protection of all children but not at the expense of
the most secure environment for the children.
Susan - Given that you are trying to alter your original representation of the
UN's view, rather than defend it, I still reach the same verdict. Further,
how did you conclude that "natural" is generally understood to mean
"biological"? It appears such an assertion automatically marginalizes
step and adopted children or re-married peoples. Further, referring
to the UDHR (from 1948) and referencing documents (mostly from the 1990s) does
not provide a full perspective on the UN's position b/c it ignores current
efforts, specifically the UNHRO's Free and Equal campaign - specifically
the High Commissioner stating, of the UDHR, "it's still a hollow
promise for many millions of LGBT people forced to confront hatred, intolerance,
violence and discrimination on a daily basis," further stating the UDHR
ought to ensure LGBT are "equal in dignity and rights — no exceptions,
no one left behind." Finally, I must have missed it, but where
in the UN documents you quote does it say, implicitly or explicitly, that
marriage ought to be limited to the rubric you lay out? Even if all your
"implicit" assumptions are true, an affirmation of one thing is not a
condemnation of another.
Great news Susan and great coverage. I hope the message of how powerful the
natural Family is reaches everyone.
The election of Tony Abbott in Australia demonstrates -- for the thousandth time
-- that strong pro-family candidates are not handicapped in elections, as long
as they are not single-issue candidates. Pro-family candidates who combine their
position on social issues with a strong understanding of economics and foreign
policy almost invariably do better than candidates who run away from social
issues.Abbott's grasp of the social issues enabled him to
withstand the inevitable tendency of the news media to caricature. That in turn
reinforces his electoral strength with the majority of voters, who are much less
liberal on these issues than the media.
Great news! Goes hand in hand with the June defeat of a bill that would have
allowed the recognition of same-sex “marriages” to Australians that
were wed overseas. That bill was handily defeated. Australians evidently
understand that strong societies are built upon stable, married heterosexual
families, that there are important difference between men and women, and the
combining of men and women in a marriage is the best vehicle to prosperity and
equality. Want to talk about civil rights? Validation of same-sex
marriage says that government thinks it’s OK for children to be stripped
of their most basic right: to know and be reared by both their mother and their
father who are married. That is the REAL civil rights issue of our time. Thank you, Australia, for leading and not falling for the feel-good fad
of the hour on this one. “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because
they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
@Susan Roylance;I get it. You think that gay couples should always
be treated as individuals and not as a family. When a heterosexual couple
marries, they are not biologically related. When a gay couple marries, they are
not biologically related. "Natural" is in the eye of the beholder;
homosexuality is every bit as "natural" as heterosexuality. I've read many of your other articles and they've been extremely
anti-gay. Your anti-equality stance is qutie apparent. It is also
indefensible.@azbarlow;Civil rights mean that we get
treated by the government in exactly the same manner you do. It is quite
simple. If you're worried about children and their bio-parents, you should
fight divorce, not marriage.
@susan Culture has given birth to much rhetoric that has been
harmful to or society and individuals within it. The very fact that any attempt
to give an example would lead to this post being rejected gives proof of that
point. Simply because a word or grip have been adopted by some parts of our
culture for purposes of rhetoric does not make them any less harmful.
Great article, Susan! The definition of marriage was first given in Chapter 1
of Genesis in the Bible, verse 28 when we are told that God married Adam and
Eve. I have five dictionaries and all of them define marriage as being between
a "man and a woman." By what authority, Ranch, do you think
you can change the definition of words to mean something totally different than
they have meant for thousands of years?
@marymThanks for the bio cal reference unfortunately for your
argument it actually does not say what you claim. The truth is your adopted
definition of marraige does not date back more then a hundred years in our
country and has never been a unversal definition.
Sorry that was suppose to be bible reference.
Concerning the historical definition of marriage:In Samuel
Johnson's dictionary marriage was defined as:"the act of
uniting a man and a woman together according to law"This
dictionary was first published in 1755 and widely used in North America as
well as in England.Before 1836 marriages were legally performed only
in parish churches. After many yearsof researching family names in parish
records, there has been no recorded marriage but, according to its
definition, between a man and a woman.No parish church, moreover, could
perform a same gender union as it would be solemnizing a relationship that
was illegal and notorious.The practice of sodomy was punished by
death by our pagan Germanic ancestors,and remained shamefu and illegal
within living memory. Ancient Greeks and Latins may havepracticed
homosexual practices but I know of no record of any tradition of marriage
betweentwo homosexuals.Homosexuality, until this generation,
was considered an immoral practice by Jews, Christians and Moslems and
there was no talk of changing the definition of marriage to accommodate a
smallminority of vociferous activists.
@Susan Roylance"Many "pro-family" people support the concept
of children being raised by their mother, without government financial
assistance."So they support sexist policy.
Gildas - This may come as a surprise coming from me (active LDS) but your
historical reviews of what marriage means to religious/faiths is given literally
very little to no credence in the court of law because the issue of marriage
equality is a state issue, not a religious issue. Indeed, ought we go into all
the terrible things done historically in order to justify continuation of said
unrighteous acts today? Of course not. To do so would be to thwart progress.
I could not care less what you or anyone else considers
moral/immoral; what matters is equal treatment under the law. Thankfully, my
perspective tends to win in the US Courts so I am optimistic regarding the
future of our Nation with respect to marriage equality. In fact, I don't
doubt that this article, and others like it, will be viewed with astonishment
and disbelief by the generations to come.
@Gildas;You are ignoring other societies in your definition. You
don't get to decide what is or isn't marriage for anybody but