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Australians must demand to be respected by politicians for a plebiscite on marriage

Australians must demand to be respected by politicians for a plebiscite on marriage

By Paul Monagle
National President of the Australian Family Association
August 30th 2016

The Turnbull government has a mandate for a plebiscite on marriage. Those opposing the plebiscite are engaging in hypocrisy.

A Fairfax-Ipsos poll found that “A thumping 69 per cent majority of voters backed the idea of having their say on the issue, rather than a parliamentary vote,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald on July 1, 2016, just before the Federal election.

A plebiscite costing $160 million is just 0.04% of the Federal government’s $400 billion budget, while the ABC gets around $1.1 billion annually of taxpayer funds from the Federal government; that’s over seven times the cost of a plebiscite, and it is paid to the ABC each year!

There will be no resolution of the issue until Australian’s vote on the issue after a full public debate.

A parliamentary vote won’t provide a lasting solution. There have already been 16 bills before Federal parliament. Each time one is unsuccessful another one is moved. Regardless of what decision the parliament makes, this is such a deep and important issue, that if the people do not have a say there will be festering dissent and disaffection, with even more marriage bills in the future, costing more time and more money.

Labor leader Bill Shorten says that a plebiscite would be “a taxpayer-funded platform for homophobia”.

Bill Shorten is flip flopping. Just before the Federal election Mr Shorten told a forum in his own seat of Maribyrnong that he was “completely relaxed about having some form of plebiscite… I would rather that the people of Australia could make their view clear on this, than leaving this issue to 150 people,” he said.

The plebiscite is not binding – “It’s just an opinion poll”
The vast majority of parliamentarians would respect the will of the people and it is the only practical democratic tool to resolve the issue in the current environment.

“A plebiscite would ‘unleash hate’ and lead to suicide”
This is a desperate, very irresponsible argument sending a dangerous message to young people that opponents of same-sex marriage hate gays and lesbians; and that in such a climate of hatred the suicide of some people is inevitable.

GLBT people have a higher suicide rate than the rest of the community.
So do indigenous people. Since the Federal Department of Health warns that “the suicide rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples [is] twice that of non-Indigenous people”, should we cancel the planned referendum for recognising indigenous people in the preamble of the Australian constitution for fear that the debate could be a platform for racists?

Turnbull has broken his promise of a plebiscite this year.
Those claiming Turnbull has broken his promise are the same people campaigning against a same-sex marriage plebiscite. Isn’t that hypocrisy?

Many of the same-sex marriage activists making this claim are the same people who praised Ireland for having a referendum on marriage.

Rodney Croome, from Just.Equality and former Australian Marriage Equality convener, praised last year’s Irish referendum saying it “will inspire marriage equality supporters … and quash the myth that Catholics and other people of faith oppose marriage equality.”

Grainne Healy, from Australian Marriage Equality and formerly of the Irish Yes Equality Campaign, didn’t regard the Irish referendum as a platform for homophobia and division. Rather, just after the Irish referendum: “Today we woke up, smiling, in a changed Ireland. A kinder, gentler, more accepting Ireland.”

Tiernan Brady and Grainne Healty, both from Australian Marriage Equality and both formerly of the Irish Yes Equality campaign, said the Irish referendum was an affirmation of the Irish people that was critical in reshaping Irish culture: “This touching — this uplifting — outcome belongs to the Irish people… The Irish people have shown their compassion … The majority said one simple word; for a minority, that word means everything.”

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said of the Irish referendum, it was “very exciting to see Ireland embrace equality,” yet the Greens party says an Australian plebiscite would just “unleash bigots”.

ACTION:

Hand written letters to your Senators are best or try to visit them. If not, can you make a call to their electoral offices?

Focus on Labor, Xenophon Team and other crossbench Senators from your state/territory.

Also include an email to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Shorten. Bill.Shorten.mp@aph.gov.au

Please write to your papers several times over next 2-3 weeks:

Herald Sun here

Sydney Morning Herald letters@smh.com.au

Daily Telegraph (NSW) here

The Age here

The Australian letters@theaustralian.com.au

The Adelaide Advertiser here

The Courier Mail here

Hobart Mercury here

Canberra Times letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au

The West Australian letters@wanews.com.au

Sincerely,

Paul Monagle
National President
Australian Family Association

New Study Examines Homosexuality and Transgenderism Research

Introduction by Christian Federation:
26th August 2016

Today Roz Ward, a self-professed Marxist and co-author of the Safe Schools program was quoted in the Australian, stating at a recent conference that:

“The conservatives were really not going give up on their homophobia, their transphobia, so the Safe Schools Coalition became a focus for that. Most of their evidence is based on s**t they make up. They literally just lie, fabricate or use really outdated research.” – Roz Ward.

We at Christian Federation disagree and we present the following article by Family Watch International to refute that claim. The article also argues that the foundational teachings of the Safe Schools Coalition are not supported by scientific evidence either!

“The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings — the idea that people are “born that way” — is not supported by scientific evidence.

“The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body” — is not supported by scientific evidence.”

“Children are a special case when addressing gender issues. …The notion that a two-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science.” .

To protect children in your schools and in your legislatures from this harmful agenda, please spread this information far and wide

_________________________________________________________________________

Major New Study on Homosexuality and Transgenderism Surveys the Research that Should Dictate Public Policies
Sharon Slater
President of Family Watch International

Dear Friend of the Family,

The most extensive review ever undertaken of the scientific research on homosexuality and transgenderism has recently been published in The New Atlantis journal. This study, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the biological, psychological and social sciences,” is co-authored by distinguished scholars, Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer and Dr. Paul R. McHugh. Together these two scholars, who have impeccable and impressive credentials, reviewed over 200 research articles on sexuality and gender.

Dr. Mayer, who is a scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University, wrote in the preface that in writing the report he had “consulted a number of individuals who asked that I not thank them by name.” He explained, “Some feared an angry response from the more militant elements of the LGBT community; others feared an angry response from the more strident elements of religiously conservative communities.”

Mayer also stated, “I strongly support equality and oppose discrimination for the LGBT community, and I have testified on their behalf as a statistical expert.” He then dedicated his work on the report, “first, to the LGBT community, which bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared the population as a whole … And above all … to children struggling with their sexuality and gender.”

Dr. McHugh, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, served as the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital for twenty-five years and specialized in treating the mental disorder now labeled “Gender Dysphoria.”

Both researchers expressed compassion for those struggling with these conditions and the need for more valid research in a variety of areas.

Below are some of the major findings contained in the report.

Major Findings on Sexual Orientation:

  • The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings — the idea that people are “born that way” — is not supported by scientific evidence.
  • While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation. While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors.
  • Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80% of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults (although the extent to which this figure reflects actual changes in same-sex attractions and not just artifacts of the survey process has been contested by some researchers).
  • Compared to heterosexuals, non-heterosexuals are about two to three times as likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Major Findings On Sexuality, Mental Health Outcomes, and Social Stress:

  • Compared to the general population, non-heterosexual subpopulations are at an elevated risk for a variety of adverse health and mental health outcomes.
  • Members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.
  • Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41%, compared to under 5% in the overall U.S. population.
  • There is evidence, albeit limited, that social stressors such as discrimination and stigma contribute to the elevated risk of poor mental health outcomes for non-heterosexual and transgender populations. More high-quality longitudinal studies are necessary for the “social stress model” to be a useful tool for understanding public health concerns

Major Findings on Gender Identity:

  • The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body” — is not supported by scientific evidence.
  • According to a recent estimate, about 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as a gender that does not correspond to their biological sex.
  • Studies comparing the brain structures of transgender and non-transgender individuals have demonstrated weak correlations between brain structure and cross-gender identification. These correlations do not provide any evidence for a neurobiological basis for cross-gender identification.
  • Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about 5 times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.
  • Children are a special case when addressing transgender issues. Only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.
  • There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents, although some children may have improved psychological well-being if they are encouraged and supported in their cross-gender identification. There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.

There is nothing startling in this report.

For a while now, Family Watch and other pro-family groups have been using many of these same research findings to advocate for and support policies based on scientific research and common sense.

The value of this new review, however, is that it is such a comprehensive analysis that evaluates virtually all of the relevant research in these areas and that it has been done by two world-class academics.

The section of the report dealing with transgenderism is especially timely.

The fact that two highly qualified researchers have done such an exhaustive analysis and review of existing research and drawn the conclusions they have should have a major impact on policies related to transgenderism in the U.S. and around the world.

Their report warns of the potential harm to gender-confused children caused by the current “politically correct” policies of affirming them in their gender confusion. They warn especially against the spreading practice in the medical profession of administering dangerous puberty blocking drugs.

While much of the report is couched in traditional “academic speak,” Dr. Mayer, in his preface to this report is quite clear wherein he writes:

“Children are a special case when addressing gender issues. In the course of their development, many children explore the idea of being of the opposite sex. Some children may have improved psychological well-being if they are encouraged and supported in their cross-gender identification, particularly if the identification is strong and persistent over time. But nearly all children ultimately identify with their biological sex. The notion that a two-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science. Indeed, it is iniquitous to believe that all children who have gender-atypical thoughts or behavior at some point in their development, particularly before puberty, should be encouraged to become transgender.” (Emphasis added).

Sadly, militant sexual rights activists routinely misrepresent, deny or ignore the body of solid research and clinical experience in these areas.

Ironically, this analysis of the research shows that many parents, doctors, policymakers and school officials who promote the born-into-the-wrong-body-so-we-must-affirm-cross-gender-behavior approach to gender confusion, are being misled by those who have either completely ignored or purposely distorted the science.

The people who promote this transgender identity-affirming approach, while they may be well-intentioned, may actually end up hurting the very people they are trying to help by pushing irreversible surgeries that can maim children or by prescribing life-altering hormone therapies that may result in infertility or other harms.

The reality is that we don’t even know all of the long-term negative impacts that these controversial “treatments” can have on patients. There are many accounts of individuals who have undergone such treatments and have regretted and even tried to reverse them. (See SexChangeRegret.com.)

Radical sexual rights activists will no doubt attempt to challenge the scientific conclusions drawn by these eminent researchers—they always do.

But once again, the science is clear, and sexual rights activists should be pressured to confront the irrefutable facts that have come out in this landmark report.

 

Homophobia claims by same-sex marriage advocates are bullying

A winter election beckons and attitudes harden. No more so than those of gay marriage advocates.

It seems that the mardi gras crowd has a darker side.

Senator Richard Di Natale has called for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to disendorse George Christensen MP for his opposition to the Safe Schools program. This smacks of hubris.

In its pastoral letter, “Don’t Mess With Marriage”, the Australian Catholic Bishops reminded readers that “every man, woman and child has great dignity and worth”. Federal Greens candidate, and same-sex marriage advocate, Martine Delaney hauled Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous before the Tasmanian anti-­discrimination commission to justify his view on marriage. This smacks of hubris.

Marriage Alliance, a grassroots organisation whose aim is to preserve the definition of marriage, booked television advertise­ments late last year with all channels. The commercial standards regulator passed the advertise­ments. They were booked and paid for.

Channel 9 and Foxtel ran them. Channel 7 and 10 pulled them at the last minute, with no formal reason given. Following two complaints, the Australian Communications and Media Authority determined the advertisements were not in breach of the television codes of practice. The actions of Channels 7 and 10 smack of hubris.

In August last year, 47 indigenous leaders signed a Bark petition, presented to the parliament, saying that marriage is sacred, and that it is an affront to their ancient culture to redefine it. A full-page advertisement in The Australian followed, but there was no coverage in any other media. This action by other media smacks of hubris.

The Safe Schools Do Better campaign by the Safe Schools ­Coalition has been handed a yellow card by the federal government. The campaign quoted research that 10 per cent of schoolchildren are same-sex attracted and 4 per cent are gender diverse or transsexual.

In 2014, for the first time, the Australian Bureau of Statistics asked people about their sexual orientation. Three per cent iden­ti­fied as gay, lesbian or “other”.

Which is not to say that a ­greater number of people do not experiment.

Almost 9 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women ­reported ­either having feelings of attraction to persons of the same sex or some sexual experience with the same sex. (Smith and Badcock, Sexual Identity and Practices, 2012).

But mere experiment does not create the gender-fluid world the gay lobby asserts.

In attempting to de-normalise heterosexuality under the guise of bullying, Safe Schools went ­beyond its brief. That aspect of the program would more readily be achieved if teachers were more alert to bullying behaviour among students.

As for accountants PwC creatively producing estimates of the cost of the same-sex marriage plebiscite, these rational calculators might like to read the dissenting US Supreme Court judges on same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges 576 U.S. 2015).

The Supreme Court forced all Americans to accept same-sex marriage by ordering every state (over and above the 11 that had ­already done so) to license and recognise same-sex marriage.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the ­Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.”

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to ­accept their views.”

Australians should thank their lucky stars that they will have a say in this momentous plebiscite about the meaning of marriage.

When a member of the federal government in the early 1990s, I was approached by a homosexual member of the press gallery to ask if I could persuade the government to allow public servant “designated” partners, as an alter­native to “married” partners, to receive death and other benefits. I lobbied the prime minister on the matter but was rebuffed.

In 2009, the Australian government amended 85 commonwealth laws (The Same-Sex Relationships [Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws — General Law Reform] Act 2008 and the Same-Sex Relationships [Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws — Superannuation] Act 2008) to eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples.

Private homosexual acts are not an offence by law in any state jurisdiction. Rest assured, there is no discrimination in law against gay people.

Gay people are free to pursue their lives, especially happiness with a life partner.

But marriage is a “hetero-­normal” cultural construct based on biology.

Calling opposition to same-sex marriage homophobic is bullying. The gay community should ­restore dignity to the plebiscite campaign. If not, a backlash waits.

Safe Schools: tell concerned parents ‘tough luck!’

Safe Schools operatives have been coaching educators to dismiss parental concerns over the contentious sex and gender-­diversity program, asserting that parents are powerless to shut it down.

A Safe Schools national symposium was told by the program’s Victorian co-ordinator, Roz Ward, that schools could ­ignore concerns raised about the agenda.

“When people do complain then school leadership can very calmly and graciously say, ‘You know what? We’re doing it anyway, tough luck’!” she told more than 300 attendees.

Leaked video footage from the event, which emerged at the weekend, also appears to confirm what critics of the program have long suspected: that it was more about promoting radical political ideas around sexuality and gender than preventing schoolyard bullying.

“(It’s) not about celebrating diversity; not about stopping bullying,” Ms Ward said.

“(It’s) about gender and sexual diversity. About same-sex ­attractive, about being transgender, about being lesbian, gay, ­bisexual — say the words — transgender, ­intersex. Not just, ‘Be nice to everyone; everyone’s great’.”

Safe Schools project manager Joel Radcliffe, a fellow academic at La Trobe University, which spawned the program, told the audience that the issue of parental concern came up a lot when schools were considering whether to join the program.

“Parents … seem to have a lot of power (in) schools,” he said. “Parents don’t have the power to shut this down.”

The emergence of the video, which was shot in Melbourne in June 2014, follows the federal government’s decision on Friday to overhaul the taxpayer-funded program in light of an independent review.

Elements of the program, ­including homosexual role-play and asking students to consider gender as a fluid concept unaligned with sex at birth, have alarmed some parents.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has ordered organisers to curb their classroom campaign or lose their remaining $2 million in funding.

“Just as proselytising is not part of the school chaplaincy program, advocacy must not be part of the Safe Schools program,” Senator Birmingham said last week.

The Victorian government, which is pushing for the compulsory roll out of the program over the next few years, has said it will pick up the bill if the funding is cut, arguing that the program “saves lives”.

Launched in 2010, the program claims to be dedicated to creating “safe and inclusive” learning spaces for same-sex ­attracted, intersex and gender- diverse students.

It was created off the back of a campaign by the La Trobe University to elevate the interests of same-sex attracted youth in schools.

FamilyVoice Australia nat­ional research officer Ros Phillips said the video showed that the program was about pushing “rainbow ideology” not stopping bullying.

Ms Phillips said the organisation had received feedback from a significant number of parents who had been rebuffed when raising their concerns with principals.

A spokeswoman for the Safe Schools Coalition said the program aimed to reduce homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools.

Re-formation of Education

It’s not now, never has been and never will be possible to build a great nation without alignment with the truth about who we are, how we got here, why we exist and where we are going. In this regard the following Psalm resonates with truth that impacts the soul:

The Lord merely spoke,
and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries
and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the Lord,
and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began!
It appeared at his command.
The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes.
But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,
whose people he has chosen as his inheritance (Psalm 33:6-12 NLT).

Does this mean the earth is only 4000 years old? I don’t think so. It takes 4 years for light to travel from the nearest star, Sirius, to earth and 7000 years from Eagle Nebula – which is visible through the Hubble telescope. Yet with an intelligence and power beyond our comprehension daddy God created the universe in his own good time and invited us into relationship with himself through his son Jesus.

So isn’t this one of the greatest issue facing the nation… a secular education system disconnected from its creator and being unable to educate a nation on the most important questions of life: who am I, how did I get here, why am I here and where am I going?

These are questions to which atheists and secularists have no answer. Yet to be qualified to teach our nation properly we need to discover the truth that provides answers to these essential questions.

It’s time for re-formation of education across the nation.