Religious exemptions is a must

According to LGBTQ publication, SameSame, there is a “Plan B” on legalising same – sex marriage in Australia… well, in theory, anyway. Openly gay Coalition MP, Tim Wilson has met with founder of marriage rights activists group, just.equal Ivan Hinton – Teoh to discuss the plan. There is a mood that same – sex marriage should become legal in this term of Parliament, as it’s a debate that’s not going to go away, and provide religious – based exemptions in anti – discrimination law. Wilson has vehemently denied this exemption will be extended to businesses, like bakers (that’s where a lot of trouble has been in the US), but rather it would allow people with convictions that marriage should be between a man and a woman to be able to state it without prosecution.

I think it’s reasonable.

I have expressed fear about how this may turn out multiple times. After the Kim Davis case in Kentucky, multiple court cases, and, most scarily, preachers praising the Orlando massacre in June, my fears haven’t died down. This is why I initially agreed with a plebiscite – to give everyone a chance to have a say, get whatever they needed off their chest, and, if it passed, then at least opponents couldn’t say they’d been ambushed with it. However, like so many others, I got suspicious when I realised the process, the fact that it wasn’t binding, and how there was no real discussion on the mental health of LGBTQ people until MP Warren Entsch brought it up. I firmly believe that this should’ve been a serious consideration for both parties from the start – and by serious considerations, I’m not including the blackmail that Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten tried to use when he used teen suicide and a young teenage boy being raised by a same – sex couple as a political pawn. Why were Labor too eager to bow down to the conservatives while they were in power and openly supported the plebiscite initially? Both parties have treated the LGBTQ+ community as pawn, and neither side has given a damn about the impact. While they may applaud themselves, I put members of the Coalition in that camp because of how they tried to push this, without any protections toward the LGBTQ+ community. They said they’d advertise both sides, without any concern how it’d affect LGBTQ youth and families. The talk about mental health, brought on about Entsch, was too little, too late.

 

Back to the marriage versus conservative debate. I guess with the lack of exemptions for businesses, I guess Australia doesn’t have the constitutional clashes the Americans have and  hold so dear (i.e. the freedom of religion and speech vs. the rights of same – sex couples). So, maybe the backlash against the LGBTQ community may not be so major… or at least people won’t have a leg to stand on. The thing is though, I don’t want anyone – regardless on their views on marriage – to get hurt. I don’t want my LGBTQ+ friends and family members to get hurt. I want everyone to be safe, happy and live without fear. If same – sex marriage does become legal, but there is a backlash against the LGBTQ community, is it really a victory?

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Can or will polygamy ever be legalised in Australia if same – sex marriage is?

Newscorp journalist, Andrew Bolt warned (again) about the increasing demand for the legalisation of polygamy, and that proponents of same – sex marriage won’t be able to resist it based on their arguments for same – sex marriage. He’s argued this again and again. I’ve got to say that the blog post he published on Monday nearly had me convinced, or at least open my mind to his concern. Then, I did some research… and now… not so much. Still possible, but…. I’m less convinced.

Let’s get one thing on the table first (which does make sense, but I didn’t know conclusively – the difference between polyamory and polygamy (plural marriage). According to “Love Outside the Box”, there are similarities between polygamy and polyamory, but also, quite significant differences. They include:

Similarities

  • Multiple partners
  • Deserving of human rights (I’ll get back to this point when talking about polygamy in more depth)
  • Lack of government and social recognition as a family status

 

Differences

This is where things get a little interesting

  • While polyamory is deemed egalitarian, polygamy is patriarchal
  • Polygamy is often based on religious ideology rather than secular freedom of choice
  • Partners in polygamous structures exclude people who identify LGBTQ. It’s heterosexual – based whereas polyamory can be practised by people of all orientations and gender identities
  • Polyamory is permitted in the US, where as polygamy is largely outlawed
  • Polyamory is based on romantic/ sexual relationships and desires, where as polygamy is generally about family
  • Polyamory isn’t necessarily cis – normative, whereas in polygamy, all members are expected to fit the male/ female gender binary

These differences sound benign, yeah? Maybe apart from polygamy being LGBTQ+ exclusionary. People may also be uncomfortable with a supposed lack of equality between men and women in polygamous relationships, if this list is anything to go by. And family and children? I”ll talk about that shortly, because that is one issue that is raised frequently in the debate of same – sex marriage.

Polygamy vs Bigamy

I wonder if these terms get mixed up. Bigamy – the act of having more than one legal spouse is not legal in any country that has permitted same – sex marriage. According to lawyers.com both polygamy and bigamy are illegal in the US. However, it’s impossible to police and implement, as was proven in one case.

According to Huffington Post, a polygamous family featured in “Sister Wives” unsuccessfully overturned Utah’s anti – polygamy laws. The initial 2013 ruling by Justice Clark Waddoups was overthrown earlier this year because the Brown family hadn’t been prosecuted in the first place. The family’s attorney and legal scholar, Jonathan Turley said in a blog post that he’d challenge the ruling.

Countries, like Canada, have taken a strict stance. Section 293 under the Criminal Code outlaw both bigamy and informal multiple – partner arrangements. In 2011, Chief Justice Robert Baumann ruled that the anti – polygamy law be upheld due to fear of the effect that polygamy has on women, men and children. The claim that this ruling has been in breach of Canada’s “Bill of Rights” has fallen on deaf ears. Ironically,  prolific polygamist and fundamentalist Mormon leader, Winston Blackmore, has come out in support of Chief Justice Baumann’s decision, saying that polygamy exploits women.  Blackmore has been charged under the anti – polygamy laws in 2007 (which were dropped), and 2014. The 2014 charge is still pending, with no trial date being set as of 3 August this year.

The fear about the treatment of women in polygamous/ bigamous settings are not uncommon, nor unfounded. According to The National – UAE, a survey of 100 women conducted by associate professor in the department of English at the American University of Sharja Dr. Rana Raddawi, revealed that many women who took part in the study felt neglected and experienced jealousy.

According to Zainab Al Hammadi, some sociologists have suggested that in some communities, polygamy (as in polygyny – one man, many wives),  has economic and productive advantages and is widespread particularly in agricultural areas where the inhabitants’ education is limited. Howver, Al Hammadi’s LinkedIn article tends to echo the gender inequality of other studies:

Polygamy refers also bias gender and why males are allowed to marry one wife, two or three wives; this indicates males have advantage in bearing responsibility, so that they have ability to take decisions in their marriage type. The main problem may face wives that men are always love new wife in particularly young wife. This desire changes in men’s desire toward older wives. As in indicated in the “Her Three Days”, story narrated by Numbe, said Mustafa had married a younger women. This sudden realization of the facts sent a pain to her heart, a pain of anguish.” (Sembene) (sic)

According to Al Hammadi, the feeling of neglect by older wives in a polygamous family is common. Studies indicate that the jealousy gets so intense that it can cause women to be physically harmed and sometimes some may take their own lives due to the distress. The first wife is particularly vulnerable.

Children are often negatively affected, due to aggression that can be present polygamous households. Drug and alcohol abuse and other problem behaviour isn’t uncommon among teenagers in the Middle East who live in polygamous households. In 1985, a study in Kuwait found that women in polygamous households were over represented in needing mental health care. I think you get the idea. It’s not a pretty picture. You can read the whole study here. Other negative effects that have been shown in areas where polygamy is widely practised include: overpopulation (McMahon, 2010), the struggle to maintain rate of sexually transmitted infections (Beamer and Calder, 2013). Polygamy has even shown to  negatively affect men. They face issues such as alcoholism, bought on by psychological problems (Jencks and Milton, 2010), and they often have lower education levels than monogamous counterparts. However, women are said to be more negatively in polygamous families.

 

Now, I have to be fair. These studies I’ve just (tried) to summarise refer to strictly polygyny; one man, multiple wives. It does not take into account arrangements like polyandry (one woman, many men), or any polyamorous/ LGBTQ+ – friendly groupings. So, what are the studies and what do they say? In 2013, Elisabeth A. Sheff PhD, CASA, CSE published an article in Psychology Today on a study she conducted on poly – families.  Her findings I thought were interesting. Now it is important to note that Sheff admits early on in the article that the sample (which was voluntary), included people who were generally happy and well – adjusted in their poly families. She also admits that information that she could get from American universities was restricted because of confidentiality protocols, so the respondents couldn’t be directly contacted after the study or give further information. Issues such as people only being in a poly lifestyle for a certain time naturally dropped out of the study, which also affected the sample.

Findings

The participants were middle – class Westerners and many were highly educated. This contrasts with polygamous families in the U.S. where some children don’t even finish primary school. This is an interesting finding, and in my opinion, does create a bit of contrast between polygamous/ polygynous families versus polyamorous families. Education allows people to make choices and maintain independence and autonomy.

The overall finding was that children in poly families  were not any worse off than traditional/ monogamous families. This is an interesting contrast compared to the negative effects of polygyny on children in countries where it’s widely practised. As I pointed out above, abuse, spousal neglect and drug and alcohol abuse seemed to be common concerns repeatedly raised in those studies.

However, some people disagree that children are not affected in poly families. James Lopez of “The Stream”, argued that children are worse off in poly families, arguing that a child is best off with his/ her biological parents. It gives one point to marriage traditionalists. In short, he uses the argument that children are best off when raised by their two (preferably married), biological parents and that children who are not in that sort of environment are at higher risks of abuse, neglect, and in some cases, homicide.

So, married biological parents are best environments for children. So, that excludes same – sex parents, yes? Academically, a number of studies have been done on this topic. 74 out of 78 of the studies recorded that there was no significant difference between children raised by same – sex parents and children raised by heterosexual parents, while four did suggest that children were adversely affected. One study was by Mark Regenerus from the University of Texas, who’s “study has been praised by conservative Christian organisations such as the Family Research Council. However, Regenerus’ study has come under fire for using flawed methodology. Professor Simon Cheng (University of Connecticut) and Brian Powell (Indiana University), accused Regenerus of mis – classifying many of the people used in the studyIn part, Powell and Cheng noted:

Research communities in the social sciences have long been aware that methodological decisions can potentially affect the inferences of survey research (Firebaugh, 2008). This threat to the validity of research inferences is particularly challenging for studies that focus on a very small group of interest, such as some racial minority groups, atypical families, and same – sex families (Cheng and Powell, 2005 and Cheng and Powell, 2011). In such research, even a tiny percentage of measurement errors for the small subsamples could powerfully distort patterns from the surveys, and other methodological choices can similarly affect empirical results. When research findings from these analyses are used as policy guidelines, the threat goes even beyond scientific communities, It is therefore incumbent for scholars to critically assess the impllicatoins of these decisions in their own work as well as that of others.

On Regenerus’ study:

Below, we first discuss the NFSS and Regenerus’s measures of family types using the data. and highlight the difficulties in using the NFSS to accurately distinguish between family types, using adoptive households and intact biological families as illustrations. We then discuss the challenges in accurately identifying same – sex families. We follow this discussion with a closer look at the NFSS survey and demonstrate the potential for misclassifying a non – negligible number of respondents as having been raised by parents who had a same – sex romantic relationship. Finally, we assess the cumulative implications of these possible classification errors and other methodological considerations from from various stages of the research process by reanalyzing the NFSS seven steps.

These reanalyses provide a “reality check” regarding the conclusions from the original Regenerus study. The patterns from these reanalyses offer evidence of the fragility of these conclusions – so fragile, in fact, that they are due primarily to methodological choices made by Regenerus. Or, to put it another way, when equally plausible and, in our view, preferred methodological decisions are used, a different conclusion emerges: adult children who lived with same – sex parents show comparable outcome profiles to those of other family types, including intact biological families. That this (sic) revised conclusion is consistent with those reported in most previous studies and inconsistent with Regenerus’s findings illustrates how the accumulation of research decisions throughout the research endeavor – and, in particular, measurement decisions that overlook inconsistent information within the data – may lead to questionable conclusions, even with a population-based large sample.

(All emphasis mine).

A year later, Regenerus himself admitted to (ironically) Focus on the Family that the findings in his study were “too weak to draw the conclusions that many have made”. I can hear/ see critics now blaming Cheng and Powell for being biased against Regenerus because of his Christianity, etc, but either the facts stack up or they don’t. And clearly, in this situation, the study conducted by Regenerus wasn’t done to a satisfactory standard.

Going back to the slippery slope argument in general – I have yet to be convinced. Frankly, I think a lot of it scare mongering. Then again, I guess no one can know for certain that it’d never happen. Personally, I won’t hold my breath, considering much of the information I’ve linked to and written above. In regard to same – sex marriage in general – it’s most likely going to be a plebiscite in February, or if Labor block it, nothing until at least 2019 if Labor win the next Federal election. Until then, my hope is that the LGBTQ+ community stay strong. For non – LGBTQ+ allies, families and friends, please be there for your LGBTQ+ family members/ friends if it all becomes a bit too much. For anyone who needs help, the Lifeline number is 13 11 14. For support and information, you can also look up Beyond Blue and, QLife. If you need help please get it.

To finish off, I want to quote Ellen Degeneres. “be kind to one another”.

 

 

If you resort to abuse, not only will you lose support, you lose the argument

LGBTQ+ are fighting back against years and years of oppression, discrimination and, in some cases,. abuse they’ve faced over the years. Many have been harmed, mostly psychologically and spiritually by religious organisations in Australia – so – called ex – gay therapy is an example. As I’ve written before, LGBTQ+ youth have also been over represented in bullying.  Many have been kicked out of home. Many LGBTQ+ young people have felt stung when their parents tell them that they can’t be a part of their lives anymore because of their faith. The saying “love the sinner, hate the sin”, has just been yet another knives in many LGBTQ+ people’s hearts.  Last year, blogger John Pavlovitz, a Progressive preacher even went as far as to call it a “bastardisation of the gospel”. From all what I’ve read about it, it just another blow to the LGBTQ+ person – a confirmation that they will lose the ones who they love because of their sexuality or gender identity if they are live the way that fits their identity..

Now, many LGBTQ+ people are angry. And they’re no longer holding back.

This is both understandable, but, frankly, not good. Why? Because too many LGBTQ+ people and their supporters resort to abuse. Falsely calling people homophobes, unfairly attacking people of faith, telling people to “shut up” instead of arguing the case with facts, or at least backing up a different viewpoint (e.g. different perspective on religious texts, etc).

Deliberate misrepresentations and arguments like the linking of gays and paedophilia are infuriating. Paedophilia is classed as a Paraphilic Disorder in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM V). In 2013, the APA tried to differentiate between atypical sexual or gender expression behaviours and disordered behavioural patterns. This, for example, lead to change in terms and differentiation. For example, sadomasochism, an act in which people use pain and humiliation in sex play has been differentiated from Sadomasochistic Disorder in which a person’s ability to function is impaired and real harm to the persons involved can be caused. Psychiatric Publishing states:

 Most people with atypical sexual interests do not have a mental disorder. To be diagnosed with a paraphilic disorder, DSM-5 requires that people with these interests:

  • feel personal distress about their interest, not merely distress resulting from society’s disapproval

or

  • have a sexual desire or behaviour that involves another person’s psychological distress, injury or death, or a desire for sexual behaviours involving unwilling persons or persons unable to give legal consent. 

Paeodphiliac Disorder is specifically defined as:

…a paraphilia that involves abnormal interest in children….

Most mental health professionals, however, confine the definition of pedophilia to sexual activity with prepubescent children, who are generally 13 years or younger.

 

The legal age of consent in Australia is between 16 and 18, depending on the State or Territory or, controversially, whether the sex is between people of the opposite sex or same sex. Other Western countries have similar age restrictions. That includes the US – which legalised same – sex marriage last year. In many cases, people more than a few years (about three), years older than the child under the legal age of consent, are able to be charged with statutory rape.And, despite what many Safe – Schools and same – sex marriage critics say, no, Peter Tatchell does NOT support paedophilia, but has argued that the age of consent should be dropped from 16 to 14 (which I personally don’t support).

I could go on with all the slippery slope arguments, but I won’t.

 

Going back to my original point. The more same – sex marriage proponents resort to name – calling or other forms of abuse, the more would – be supporters would back off. Treat opponents or sceptics with much respect as possible – at least let them have their say without being verbally abused.

Same – sex marriage proponents should emulate the tolerance and respect that they themselves say they want. At the very least they should refrain from name – calling and telling people to “shut up”. Otherwise, this battle will be a lost cause.

ABCN scholarship controversy will backfire on the LGBTQ+ community

Content warning/Trigger warning: homophobia, Orlando massacre (only brief mention)

TV presenter, Sonia Kruger has come under fire again, this time for criticising the Australian Business and Community Network Foundation, (ABCN), for asking about a potential scholarship candidate about their gender identity and whether they identify as LGB. She argues that scholarships should be given based on merit alone and she has labelled e ABCN move as ‘reverse discrimination’. 3AW talkback presenter debated this with former Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs.

When I read about this, I did a little research on ABCN, including the link to the information and application form to be filled out by Principals, not students or their parents. If you look at the form, the first section asks about student’s academic achievement, and the other part focuses on social, personal or economic challenges that the potential applicant faces. The two questions that are causing uproar are:

What is the student’s gender?

Male

Female

Transgender

Prefer not to say

And:

Does the student identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual?

Yes

No

Prefer not to say

 

Now, the other questions in this section of the form goes on to ask about racial identity, Aboriginality/ Torres Strait Islander identity, disability and so on – to indicate what struggles potential recipients face. I get that. What makes everyone gets their knickers in a knot is on the website, the ABCN admit that this year, they are directly targeting to get students who are LGB to apply.

Is this “reverse discrimination” in the legal sense? Well, according to Triggs, no. The Sex Discrimination Act (NSW) 1984, Section 21 does prohibit education providers educators to discriminate against students on the bases of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, intersex status, etc. The only exceptions (at least in this section) is if a school is specifically aimed at one gender (single – sex school, for instance). Religious institutions, including schools are exempt from anti – discrimination laws surrounding, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy if it goes against their faith teachings. There seems to be nothing in regard to reverse discrimination (not that I can find – if anyone knows anything that I haven’t found about exemptions, feel free to let me know).

 

Sure, not only LGBTQ students are able to apply for scholarships through ABCN, I still think that the fact that they specifically advertised for any applicant that identifies as LGBT and have those questions on the form is a bad error of judgement and, as I’ve said before on a number of issues, has the potential for backfiring on the LGBTQ+ community.

The fact that the scholarships are aimed at disadvantaged youth is praise – worthy. As I’ve written before, LGBTQ+ youth do face a number of personal issues, such as homelessness, suicide/ self – harm and bullying. But is advertising specifically for LGBT people – or in this case – getting the Principal to disclose LGBT status the way to help the youth?

I’ve also said this before, worldwide, there is a push back against the LGBTQ+ community and their allies where LGBT rights – including same – sex marriage, has been pushed down people’s throats without any chance to argue a differing viewpoint. Since the tragic Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida in June this year, two pastors have been exposed as applauding the shootings against the Latinx/ Latino/ Latina LGBTQ+ community. This was less than a year since the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), ruled that same – sex marriage was to be legal in all 50 states after the Obgerfell vs. Hodges court case.

Brazil is still a hotspot for LGBT – based hate crime, even though same – sex marriage was legal in 2013. In 2014, Conservatives – including anti – gay evangelicals rose to power, creating concern that progress of LGBT rights will backslide. According to Catholic publication, Crux, a study indicated that a slight majority of Brazilians were actually against same – sex marriage.

 

Closer to home, the “anti – bullying” initiative, the Safe Schools Program has proven to be a total debacle, with one of the creators, Roz Ward being exposed as having a socialist ideology and that the program was not to combat bullying, but to push gender – less, anti – Capitalist agenda. Along with other controversies, like the Daily Telegraph accusing Cheltenham Girls’ School in Sydney of banning the term “girls” or “women” and others banning terms like ‘mum” or “dad”. For the record, the Principal at Cheltenham has denied that they enforce a ban on terms like “girls” or “women”, but I think the damage is already done.

This is why I do support a plebiscite on same – sex marriage. People – especially conservatives, are sick of being backed into a corner. Also, would – be supporters of LGBT rights, including supporting same – sex marriage, are getting turned off by the political correctness and the never – ending outrage from the militant same – sex marriage activists. A number of would – be same sex marriage supporters have criticised the reaction over Kruger and other over – reactions toward those who merely question the length that LGBT rights activists are going to – I hate to say it but… provide LGBTQ+ people with “special rights”. People want equality, yes? Well…this isn’t the way to go about it. I truly think it isn’t.

 

All LGBTQ+ people unequivocally deserve safety. The social challenges that face many LGBTQ+ people, especially youth is unacceptable – period. But we need to do this in a way that doesn’t alienate straight people, especially would – be allies. Pushing this, frankly elitist agenda will only drive them away.

Same – Sex Marriage Leads to Polygamy Argument Slips Into A Ditch

So you think that the legalisation of same – sex marriage inevitably leads to polygamy? Really? Read this from a site on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It argues that while same – sex marriage would have little effect on marriage where it’s legalised, polygamy almost always has disastrous social consequences on both men and women.

Read it and judge for yourself.

Would Same – Sex Marriage Be A Start?

I’m a real scatter – brain when it comes to the same – sex marriage debate, so bear with me if you can.

I read this article that was linked on the Christian Democratic Party website before. Now of course, the CDP vocally support the traditional definition of marriage. No surprise. This article, though isn’t written by any member or supporter of the party, but Serena Ryan, a broadcaster who hosts the LGBTQ station The Standard on Omni Radio and Radio.net. Although she says that she supports same – sex marriage, Ryan argues that that’s not the main issue surrounding LGBT equality. Issues she raised included:

  • LGBTQ youth homelessness
  • Mental illness in the LGBTQ community
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • LGBT domestic violence
  • Lack of services equipped to assisting LGBT people

Ryan’s right. The legalising of same – sex marriage won’t solve these issues. I’d also add a few others, adding the “plus” of LGBTQ+ into the equation. Same – sex marriage alone won’t:

  • Eradicate bi – erasure and bi – phobia
  • Won’t prevent transphobia
  • Won’t prevent ignorance toward the asexual community
  • Won’t prevent the coercion and harassment faced by members of the asexual community or even other members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Won’t end the negative stereotypes faced by members of the LGBTQ+
  • Won’t prevent discrimination WITHIN the LGBTQ+

So, let’s face it, if the plebiscite in Australia went through and the Government (whoever won the next election), and they stuck to their promise and same – sex marriage was legalised, it wouldn’t fix all the struggles faced within the LGBTQ+ community. However, I’ve got to say, I can see merit with the pro same – sex marriage debate. Same – sex marriage would make same – sex couples equal in the eyes of the law. Same – sex couples will be able to make their commitment public, front of family and friends (well, hopefully). Is it a stretch to say that the legalisation of same – sex marriage may put issues such as same – sex coupled domestic violence out of the shadows? If same – sex marriage was legalised and made public, willl it make mental health organisations more likely to brush up on their skills and expertise in dealing with LGBTQ+ properly? I don’t know, these are just my thoughts.

What do you think? Would the legalisation of same – sex marriage be the start of dealing with other issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community?

Special Pride AFL Game?

I heard last night that AFL’s St. Kilda Football Club (a.k.a. the Saints), have put in a request to have a “Gay Pride” round when they play against Sydney Swans. Melbourne’s The Age the St. Kilda Football Club had lobbied league bosses to play the round to stand for equality and fight against homophobia. This was inspired by Jason Ball, the first openly gay footballer. His team, the Yarra Glen. have played such games, where they give out a rainbow coloured trophy, for the past two years.

When I first heard about this on 2GB last night, to be honest, I was underwhelmed. Usually when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, I’m usually choking back tears until they roll down my cheeks. But last night, nothing. Well, nothing but maybe a bit of scepticism. Look, I’ve argued before that because of the AFL’s national reputation and how it’s a cultural phenomenon in Australia, that players and codes standing up for social issues like racism and Aboriginal recognition (e.g. the “Reconciliation Round”), plus it’s condemnation of violence against women is understandable. But such a divisive issue such as gay marriage? The caller who bought this to the attention to Andrew Bolt and Steve Price on 2GB last night who raised the topic and said that he didn’t need “education” or be “lectured to” at an AFL game.

Here is where I guess I worry. I worry that these pushes of such strong political issues, only alienates people. I fear that people, out of being so fatigued, will eventually turn a blind eye to LGBTQ+ issues (if they haven’t already). I fear that same – sex marriage opponents (some of them anyway), will finally spit it. And when all hell has broken loose, the people who are just fatigued by the whole same – sex marriage debate, even if they aren’t necessarily opponents, will give up the fight to combat issues facing the LGBTQ+ community such as suicide, bullying, harassment, being kicked out of home (for young people), etc.

All I’m saying is, give people breathing space. For platforms like AFL or NRL, don’t alienate supporters. Just back off and give people a chance to enjoy the game without any politics or sociology being thrown around. I mean, football is usually on Friday night or the weekend anyway. Isn’t that for a reason?

I’d be falling over if I saw football players having a purple, grey white and black trophy.

What do you think of St. Kilda’s decision next year? Too far or do you agree with it?