Last Friday a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia waltzed through both the lower and upper houses of parliament. Though some further formalities have yet to be performed, Australia has joined the band of Western countries to accept same-sex marriage.
As a wife (of a man, I feel I need to clarify), and mother of our two children, I believe this overturning of our country's marital values to be calamitous. Time and again I hear the opposition’s cry that these changes to the marriage law are only positive — that more freedoms have been bestowed upon humanity. But I hesitate to believe that.
An individual’s freedom from things like religious persecution, social engineering and a great many other things has suffered a heavy blow. There are three major problems for me in this.
My family is marginalized. Individuals and families who hold to the traditional belief in marriage as being between one man and one woman have suddenly been pushed by the law onto the fringes of society.
They are now officially a “backward”, “archaic”, “bigoted”, “narrow-minded”, “mean-spirited’ lot. They “hate” homosexuals and desire the return to a patriarchal social hierarchy where anyone who considers themselves LGBTIQ or P would be ostracized, chemically manipulated for “correction”, whipped, or even put to death.
Such claims are reckless lies. Yet hyperbole has become one of the Left’s most powerful tools for marginalizing us. If you don’t like gays getting married, you must detest them as people. You desire them to be miserable. This not the attitude of those who resist the redefinition of marriage. Citing extreme media rants or fake posters is simply a ploy to drown rational and respectfully stated arguments.
It separates us from our children. My husband and I need to come to terms with the fact our children now inhabit a social order wholly different from the one we grew up in. To that extent we are isolated from them. They will have to struggle with the fact that their family is different, their parents’ values are not mainstream and that they are not respected for them.
Schooling becomes a problem. Although the controversial Safe-Schools programme has been implemented in schools around Australia for some time, the new same-sex marriage regime will give it more authority. Safe Schools, you may recall, is designed to reduce bullying of LGBTQI students and “heteronormativity” – the “belief system” that male-female attraction is normal.
I have to hand it to them, whatever group of people are behind the wheel of this new cultural revolution are using highly effective strategies. Such a sudden and radical social shift, one that has the whole of the Western world in its grip, can hardly represent the “will of the people”; it has to be something orchestrated – by those with plenty of money to spend, for example.
I have a choice … at least for now
In less than two decades, a social institution that has stood fast for millennia has been overturned. It is ridiculously arrogant to presume that all peoples before our time were so obtuse, or so cowed by social acceptability as to not see the “obvious”: that a homosexual relationship has the same significance for society as a heterosexual one, despite the fact that it is biologically impossible for a homosexual couple to beget society.
Next thing we will be reviewing history’s heroes to find the closet homosexuals among them and give them new honour, while unmasking the homo/trans-phobic bigots so as to strip them of their accolades. As a history major from the University of Melbourne who has studied the likes of Joan of Arc and William Wilberforce, I find this preposterous.
Which is why I am now seriously considering something I have never seriously considered before: providing my children’s education at home. I’d rather they were not guinea pigs in this new social experiment, nor socially shunned for belonging to a family that fails to toe the new legislative line.
I want to teach my children to honour the inherent dignity in all peoples (there’s a lesson on Wilberforce there) not have them told that those who disagree with the new social norm (like us) are nasty people. I’ve heard of too many incidents now to suggest schools won’t guard against that.
Veronika Winkels is a freelance writer who lives in Melbourne and is married with two young children. She recently completed a thesis on the philosophy of science.