Thursday, September 14, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG says Turnbull and Shorty are two peas in a pod

Deception on freedom of religion key to SSM Yes case

Bible Christianity is a threat to the legitimacy of homosexual behaviour so most homosexuals are hugely hostile towards it.  And the pinkshirt element are very angry and aggressive people. They want tolerance for themselves but will show no tolerance to Christians. 

Once they get homosexual marriage accepted, their campaign against the churches will be stepped up. Anti-discrimination laws, for instance, will be used to attack those who disagree with homosexual marriage. Ultimately there will be no freedom of religion for Bible-believers or Muslims.  A No vote is needed to stop the pinkshirts in their tracks

With the Yes case positioned to win the postal plebiscite, it is more important than ever the misleading and false claims of its advocates — that there is no religious issue at stake — be confronted and the ramifications put on the table.

These claims are made by senior Coalition and Labor politicians. Indeed, it seems they think rejection of the religious argument is fundamental to the success of their campaign. This is alarming because it implies the Yes case depends on persuading the public of a false proposition.

The government and parliament, despite years of emotional debate, declined to address the wider religious freedom question. The political class engaged instead in a great pretence: that the only such issue concerned the wedding ceremony and protections in the Marriage Act for clergy and celebrants, an extremely narrow view of religious freedom.

Given legalisation of same-sex marriage means the laws of the state and laws of most religions will be brought into direct conflict over society’s most essential institution, the one certainty is ongoing legal and political trench warfare over the balance between acceptance of the same-sex marriage norm and the scope for freedom of belief and religion.

There is a litany of examples from the overseas experience. Fatuous remarks that “the world hasn’t come to an end” in countries that have legislated same-sex marriage are just that — and designed to deceive.

Having refused to confront the issue the advocates of the Yes case now get agitated and self-righteous when it has become an issue in the plebiscite. This was inevitable. While some aspects of the No case are obnoxious, its warnings about religious freedoms risks are entirely valid. What matters is that the many highly intelligent political champions of the Yes case are trapped: they are selling a shoddy intellectual bill of goods and many of them know it.

The first point is that religious freedom guarantees in this country are inadequate. This was agreed and documented in February’s Senate select committee report. Unlike many Western nations, Australia has no statutory expression of a stand-alone right to religious freedom. There are far greater legal protections in relation to sexual orientation than in relation to religious belief.

This is an anomaly given that under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights freedom of religion is an inviolable right. The risk now is our parliament undermining Australia’s commitment to the ICCPR.

Evidence presented to the Senate committee shows that statutory protection of religious belief is weak both in federal law and a number of states. It mainly exists as “exemptions” from anti-discrimination law. The Anglican Diocese of Sydney made the obvious point to the committee that this failed to treat freedom of belief and religion as a fundamental human right. Marriage Alliance said: “We submit that religious freedom is a fundamental human right (and) that framing a debate in terms of exemptions misunderstands this fact.”

There was strong support in submissions for parliament to legislate to enshrine religious guarantees as a protected attribute in federal anti-discrimination law. This is the pivotal point. The committee unanimously agreed there was a “need to enhance current protections for religious freedom”. The Human Rights Law Centre said: “Religious freedom should be protected in law. Indeed, we are on record in a number of inquiries supporting the addition of religious belief to protections under federal anti-discrimination law.”

Committee chairman Liberal David Fawcett warned that “if Australia is to remain a plural, tolerant society where different views are valued and legal” then such action on religious freedom is essential. What was the reaction of the Turnbull government and Labor to the Senate report?

It varied between disregard and contempt. The reason is apparent — politics. Labor has abandoned any interest in addressing the inadequacy of religious protection laws with its embrace of the LGBTI cause. As for the Coalition, the story is the weakness of its conservative caucus. The deeper point is the churches are vulnerable and the politicians know it.

The lamentable situation was summarised by the University of Sydney’s Patrick Parkinson: “There have been numerous bills introduced into parliament to enact same-sex marriage over the last few years and what has been common to most of them has been a minimalist protection for freedom of conscience.”

The second core conclusion is that this battle over rights will continue after same-sex marriage is legislated. In Denmark the Lutheran Church has had its rights restricted. The Swedish PM has said priests should no more be allowed to refuse to marry same-sex couples than medical professionals should be exempt from abortion procedures. The Speaker of the British House of Commons says “proper equal marriage” won’t happen until the churches are compelled to obey by law. Australian Greens formally say they want the religious exemptions in anti-discrimination law to be wound back. Many in the ALP left have the same view.

We are being put on notice. You would have to be politically blind to deny the reality (an option many politicians have deliberately chosen). The post-same-sex marriage battle is already under way. This is because while many people genuinely see same-sex marriage as an issue of non-discrimination, this was never its essence. It is an ideological cause seeking fundamental changes in Western society, laws and norms. It will continue apace after the law is changed.

Marriage equality is an ideology and ideologies, by nature, do not settle for compromise victories. As Benjamin Law says in Quarterly Essay: Moral Panic 101: “It might be stating the obvious but same-sex marriage is far from the final frontier in the battle against homophobia.” The struggle will continue — in schools and in institutions. Law says the two biggest LGBTI issues are Safe Schools and same-sex marriage.

He says Safe Schools is “supposed to discomfort people” by up-ending how we see gender and sexuality. He talks about exploding accepted norms with queer theory, inviting “people to reconsider why anyone should be obliged to identify as female or male at all”. The aim is to introduce Safe Schools across the country and make it compulsory.

The pretence by Yes case politicians that the plebiscite has no consequences for the Safe Schools program treats us like fools. Legislation of same-sex marriage will tilt the scales decisively in this struggle between sexual rights and religious freedom. This legal and cultural change will influence decision-makers everywhere — public servants, corporates, media and educational institutions.

The churches will remain a prime target and the fact their protections are weak makes them highly vulnerable once the assault gains momentum.

The Yes case bases its campaign on human rights but misses the exquisite irony that you cannot cherry-pick human rights and keep your integrity. As Parkinson said, consistency of principle means those who justify their campaign on human rights need to give proper consideration to how rights can be balanced.

That hasn’t happened in Australia, not even remotely. Every sign is Australia will legalise same-sex marriage devoid of any serious attention to religious freedom issues and, as a result, religious protections will be exposed and sacrificed.

The politicians are doing this because they think they can get away with it. They are entitled to that judgment. What they are not entitled to is a gross deception. The assurances they give on religious protection are worthless — their inaction proves that. People, regardless of how it affects their vote, need to know the reality.


Free speech in Australia under heavy threat over homosexuality

 Free speech is under siege. Everywhere we look, there’s a new attack on the rights and liberties of Australian citizens. In the same-sex marriage postal vote, gay-left militants are showing their true colours.

For them, “marriage equality” is not about love and tolerance.  It’s part of a spiteful obsession to get their own way in life, wiping out contrary points of view.  Instead of debating the issue, freely and openly, their preferred tactic is authoritarianism: vilifying, bullying and boycotting anyone who disagrees with them.

If a doctor like Pansy Lai says she believes in traditional man-woman marriage, they try to have her thrown out of the medical profession. If two parliamentarians have a civil debate about the Marriage Act, hosted by a beer manufacturer like Coopers, the militant tendency tries to close down the company. If parents organise a meeting at their local church to discuss the education of their children and Safe Schools program, as they did in Brisbane last Thursday night, gay-left protesters try to block them from entering the building.

Is this a forerunner to the type of division and intimidation that will dominate Australian politics if the Yes vote succeeds?

A nation where anyone who chooses not to worship at the altar of homosexuality and gender fluidity will be run out of town?

I fear for the Christian cake-makers and tailors who chose not to be involved in gay and transgender marriage ceremonies. In the United States, with the passage of “marriage equality”, these small businesspeople have been attacked and demonised — fighting all the way to the Supreme Court to defend their rights.

The only way to stop a similar reign of terror in Australia is to vote down the postal ballot.

The Turnbull government is not proposing to legislate to protect the religious freedoms of these people.

The only practical freedom for Christians and conservatives is the freedom of gay marriage never coming into law.

If gay-left militancy and legal inconsistency weren’t bad enough, last month there was a third strike against free speech in Australia.

The High Court refused to hear Major Bernard Gaynor’s appeal against his unfair dismissal from the Australian Army.

In June 2013, Gaynor received a notice from the Chief of the Defence Force David Hurley, confirming his sacking on the grounds of “intolerance of homosexuals, transgender persons and women” that were “contrary to (Defence’s) policies and cultural change program”.

As a political activist, in his private time, Gaynor had made a series of contentious statements — most notably, that he would not allow gays to teach his children at school. This is not something with which I agree, but so what. They are Gaynor’s children, not mine or anyone else’s.

As a father he has the right to decide what’s best for his family. Having outlined his views publicly, they should have been seen as an exercise in parental belief and free speech.

Hurley acknowledged that Gaynor “was not on duty, in uniform or performing any service for the Army at the time of the comments”.

He also said Gaynor had “interacted with male and female Defence members in a cordial and respectful manner in the workplace”. Gaynor was a decorated war hero, having served in Iraq. He hadn’t done anything other than articulate political opinions consistent with his Christian faith and parental responsibilities.

Yet he was out on his ear.

After two years of court action and huge personal expense, the High Court ended Gaynor’s matter by not even hearing it.

It’s like the old line about homosexuality: I don’t care what they do, as long as they don’t make it compulsory.

In today’s ADF, it is compulsory, even in one’s private life, to gushingly support same-sex and transgender relationships. How is this relevant to national security? It’s another politically correct distraction from the core responsibilities of government.

Australia urgently needs a Free Speech Act. Twenty years ago, in the Lange case, the High Court declared that Australians enjoyed the “implied rights” of freedom of political speech. As our constitution is based on a vigorous parliamentary democracy, we need to be able to debate issues without censorship or punishment.

Yet in Gaynor’s case the High Court ignored this principle. If it won’t defend its own precedents for free speech, Parliament must legislate instead.


‘Grow a spine’

The pinkshirts say that there should be no debate on homosexual marriage because it will upset their delicate little egos to have their practices questioned in public.  It is a very poor excuse for trying to suppress free speech

Nationals senator Matt Canavan says people offended by the same-sex marriage debate need to “grow a spine” and stop being “delicate little flowers” amid warnings the campaign was having an impact on the mental health of gay people.

Mr Canavan said this morning the debate had not been “that bad” in response to a statement by the National Mental Health Commission which issued concern about the impact the campaign could have on gay people.

“Can’t we just all grow a spine and grow up? The debate hasn’t been that bad, indeed if there is any complaints to be had it’s from those who advocate Yes, some of the vile tweets and statements we have heard from Yes campaigners,” Mr Canavan said.

“But I can ignore that, let’s stop being delicate little flowers and have a proper debate.

“This is an institution that has stood the test of time for thousands of years, it is an institution that remains a union between a man and a woman in a majority of countries, all countries really in our region and that is going to be maintained for years.”

Mr Canavan said it was hypocrisy for Yes campaigners to call No advocates bigots, given they would not go to Indonesia and do the same.

“Say we do change the law here in Australia and apparently if you do hold a different view and hold a traditional view of marriage you are a bigot, how do we go to Indonesia and talk to them in reasonable way?

“These people say if you hold a different view you are a bigot, Indonesia is not going to change.”


‘Marketing con’ fears as Elon Musk’s SA battery costs remain secret

A contract between US tech billionaire Elon Musk and the South Australian government for the world’s largest lithium-ion battery hides the cost and key details, fuelling claims the deal is a “marketing con”.

The contract says the grid-­connected battery facility is to be commissioned and operational by December 1.

“The facility will provide ser­vices to maintain power system security, integrity and stability for the South Australian electricity network, prevent certain load shedding events, provide supply during critical peak periods and participate in ancillary services and wholesale electricity markets,” the contract says.

The contract value is “not disclosed” and the contract is “not disclosed in full as it contains confidential business information”.

Mr Musk’s company Tesla won a public tender in July from about 90 other bidders. It will build a 100-megawatt battery to store energy from French renewable company Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, 230km north of Adelaide.

Mr Musk won the contract after promising to build the giant battery in 100 days or it would be free. Although the contract start date is listed as July 6, the “100 days or it’s free” pledge starts only once a grid interconnection agreement has been signed.

The opposition said it was outrageous the state government could disclose what it paid Origin for gas, Caltex for fuel and Qantas for air travel, but could not say how much it was paying a foreign billionaire for a battery.

“With every passing day Labor’s secret deal sounds more like a marketing con than a genuine plan to deal with South Australia’s electricity problems,” Liberal deputy leader Vickie Chapman said. “Jay Weatherill needs to be honest with the people of South Australia about how much public money he is handing over to a foreign billionaire.

“The last time the government was being this secretive about a contract it was the Gillman land deal. That ended up being investigated by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.”

It is understood specific financial and technical details of the contract have been kept commercial-in-confidence at the request of Neoen and Tesla. The cost is estimated at about $50 million.

Tesla will not comment, but will make a “milestone” announcement at the site on September 29.

Sources said Neoen, Tesla and the government were negotiating with the Australian Energy Market Operator and private transmission company ElectraNet for approval of the connection agreement as soon as possible.

Construction has started at the site and the batteries are being shipped to South Australia.

A government spokesman said the project would stabilise the wind-reliant grid and add competition to reduce prices.

“Instead of criticising aspects of the plan that AEMO says will improve grid security, (Opposition Leader) Steven Marshall should announce his own energy policies, rather than keep them ­secret,” the spokesman said.

On Tuesday, a fleet of generators that arrived in South Australia from Europe at the weekend were awaiting installation at two sites as part of the Weatherill government’s plan to prevent blackouts this summer ahead of the March state election.

The state government further delayed its Energy Security Target to January 1, 2020, after criticism from companies including Tesla. The target requires retailers to source 36 per cent of the state’s electricity needs from gas gener­ators and other synchronous power sources.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

Everyone I know is just fed up with Gay marriage this and Gay marriage that. There will be a lot more No votes simply because the facts are now less annoying than the campaign itself. Unfortunately Sista Blue-Hair and the virtue-signalers may have derailed the whole thing for themselves. I'll probably vote No because I don't want to see the ABC showing endless clips of annoying Lesbian weddings or 36 year old White men kissing their 18 year old Asian boyfriends as though love is somehow involved.

More people who would otherwise be fence-sitters will vote no simply because they are sick of being told what to do. That has become the bigger issue. It will be a classic push-back result, a bit like the Republic vote was.