LCA Submission Opposing Gay Marriage. And YOU Sent It!

A post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Sometimes I think I would like to use every Jesus and Mo comic strip that “author” produces. But I don’t want to stretch the friendship. This one is just too perfect for our topic today. Check them out at jesusandmo.net

The President of the Lutheran Church of Australia has made a submission to the Government in opposition to the Marriage Equality legislation currently under consideration. As was said in the accompanying  email, this submission has been made on YOUR behalf reader.

Isn’t it nice that we have people who can speak for us :). And, well, since you are possibly a gay member of the Lutheran Church of Australia I thought you would be particularly interested in what has been said to the government on your behalf.

I include sections of the submission in the boxes with my comments underneath.

I have included most of the submission but the full document can be seen here. Just scroll down to no. 76 and press the PDF link. While you’re there, have a look at mine No 69. and perhaps Dr Pollnitz’s no 100. (RATS! He got the best number.) Dr Pollnitz is the head of the Lutheran Church of Australia’s Committee on Social and Bio-ethical Questions. His submission makes VERY interesting reading indeed! My review of that document will be next. I bet you are on the edge of your seat yeh? Let me give you a sneak preview…do the names…Cameron, Schumm and NARTH mean anything to you?

Here is the LCA President’s submission.  (on your behalf)

Astonishingly generous of us. Excuse me if this first comment is a bit of a rant but this stuff makes me angry.

Wonderful!  We don’t want THEM thrown in prison for putting their penis where it doesn’t belong. It is discouraging that whenever this issue is discussed by our church the focus goes to an “act” rather than a person. The act of homosexual sex (anal sex) continued to be illegal in Australia until into the 1990. If we do not hold that “act” to be illegal then why were we silent as a church for the 100 plus years since Federation as this injustice continued to be inflicted upon our gay brothers and sisters? Why were we not first to oppose this terrible injustice instead of the last.

The same can be said for the comment that

“Australia should provide legal recognition and protection for people in same-sex partnerships”.

If this is so, then why did we fight these legal recognitions every step of the way. We even sent a submission to the INQUIRY INTO THE SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIP (EQUAL TREATMENT IN COMMONWEALTH LAWS – SUPERANNUATION) BILL 2008 specifically opposing the amendment in superannuation laws designed to bring legal equity for same-sex couples. I commented on this embarrassment in an earlier post.

This comment is an example of the church’s historical approach in these matters. We did it with slavery, inter-racial marriages and women’s rights. We stand against change and argue long and loudly how it contravenes God’s word and will spell the end of society. And when the changes are forced onto us by a government that seems to be closer to the compassionate heart of God than us…we suddenly forget all our past arguments. We then have the hide to claim the changes as proof of our compassion and sense of justice.

LCA..you aint foolin’ no-one!  We should rather be asking God and the gay community their forgiveness for the stumbling block we placed in the road to LGBT legal recognition and protections for same-sex partnerships. That is OUR duty as church. I look forward the President’s retraction of the 2008 submission and his public apology on behalf of us all.

Ok, let’s get this straight. (pardon the pun) We are quite happy for gay people to form relationships and to have all the legal rights and protections that are enjoyed my married couples. No problems. After all, we aren’t unreasonable bigots operating from a basis of irrational fear.

It’s just that…well…If we let THEM marry… we believe that the entire social and  political order of the nation will be destabilised and the prosperity of the country put at risk.

OK. Yeh… I get the logic there.

Wait. No, I don’t think I do.. Can you explain that again? But, maybe this time, pretend you are talking to someone who ISNT scared of gay people.

More impeccable logic here.  But  it seems to be a different logic than what I use. For me, logic is connected with demonstrable facts.  I dunno. Maybe its my peculiar brain.

In the last couple of months a United States court of appeal provided an opportunity to test statements such as these. Previous posts have looked at this case and the the findings. (You also might want to look here when you have some time.)

Judge Vaughn Walker in his deliberation on the Californian Proposition 8 Trial re: legalizing gay marriage made the following findings of fact.

 33.The elimination of gender and race restrictions in marriage has not deprived the institution of marriage of its vitality.

48. Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions. Like opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples have happy, satisfying relationships and form deep emotional bonds and strong commitments to their partners. Standardized measures of relationship satisfaction, relationship adjustment and love do not differ depending on whether a couple is same-sex or opposite-sex.

55. Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not effect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise effect the stability of opposite-sex marriages.

Now, this is a logic that works for me. It is based on fact and not fear. I cannot, for the life of me, see how a gay couple who marry effects, weakens, undermines my marriage in any way at all.

The statement about “reverse discrimination” is simply laughable. I think a lesson is in order.

OK. Human Rights and Discrimination 101. Are we listening LCA? It’s really not that hard.

Let say , I have a basic human right to love another person. Lets say I have exercised that right and am in a long term committed and sexual relationship. Then, lets say that I refuse you, reader, that right for whatever reason I choose. That is a denial of your basic human right. It doesn’t matter what my reasons are for not wanting you to experience and express that love. It could be on religious grounds. It could be because of your race or your intellectual capacity or some aspect of your sexuality. Whatever the reason, my objection  discriminates against you and infringes your human rights.

If, lets say, the government overrides my objection and grants you that right.  I have not now been discriminated against. I have not lost any of my fundamental rights. The denial of my prejudiced and unreasonable request is NOT some kind of “reverse discrimination”.

The opening and closing articles of the UN declaration of Human Rights says it all very well.

This means that the LGBT people in our community are born free and equal in dignity and rights. It means that every right that is afforded to me should be afforded to every gay person in Australia.

This means that no article of the declaration, and no claim by any person organisation or CHURCH can in any way claim any right, to argue against the rights of the LGBT community.

Late last year Hillary Clinton spoke to the united Nations about the Human Rights of the LGBT community throughout the world.

She said the following…

Human rights are violated when people are forced to hide in shadows for fear of harm, or when they are not granted equal access to justice simply because they are gay.

In the Lutheran Church some 80 teachers, pastors and other church workers who are gay are presently hiding in shadows. If they were to be public about their sexuality it would be to the detriment of their career paths. Their human rights are violated. If they were to choose to enter into a life long union with the one they love they could not, at present, continue in their employment. Their human rights are violated. There are some 1400 gay members of the LCA. They cannot commune with their partners nor receive the blessing of their church community to their union. Their fundamental rights are violated.

The LCA may believe that they have good reason to argue against gay marriage. That’s fine. What we CANT do is claim that this is not discrimination or that this is not a violation of the rights of the gay people in our community. And, for GOD’s sake,  we certainly can’t claim that it is US who are on the receiving end of some kind of “reverse discrimination”.

Hilary Clinton’s speech is here for those interested. (long and short versions)

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Honestly Reader, If you are gonna go making submissions to government and stuff…You really gotta get a fact checker or somethin’…

Hmmmmm… Idea!

Neil. Note to self. Check out possibility of developing “Fact Checker” App. Could be worth MILLIONS! Although…possibly a limited market… more thought required.

Anyway reader, there is too much here for one post so stay tuned for Part 2 of the Submission YOU sent to Parliament. Tomorrow? Maybe?

Late note: I emailed this review to the Office of the President earlier today. The President was kind enough to respond despite the short time frame I gave him. His comment is as follows…

Thanks for your interest in the statement requested by the Government enquiry regarding same sex marriage. You make some intriguing assertions.

Is the issue  ‘logic’ or ‘theologic’? Human rights or the right to be called a child of God?

AHHH yes, Mr President. AND…Is there a difference?

Wait! Did he just confirm that his submission to the Federal Government  IS about theology? Curiouser and curiouser…

Until tomorrow, Reader. :)