Should conservatives rally ‘round the rainbow flag?

Aug 28, 2017 by

by Michael Cook, MercatorNet:

The federal president of the Australian Liberal Party says Yes.

Same-sex marriage is a cause for conservatives, says Nick Greiner, the federal president of the Australian Liberal Party. In an op-ed in today’s Australian, he writes: “Marriage is an institution that celebrates stability and commitment, and in doing so aligns with the values of the Liberal Party.”

Greiner’s argument is not original. In 2011 the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, declared that gay marriage was about commitment:

“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.”

The first to make this argument was Andrew Sullivan, the British editor of the American magazine The New Republic, in 1989. Sullivan contended not only that gay marriage would foster “social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence”, but that it would tame gays by making them less promiscuous. These is an argument which Greiner appears to have overlooked.

Greiner prides himself on his debating skills. One of the dodgier tricks of a debater is proof by association, something that Greiner uses to the hilt in his op-ed. He tells us that he learned his trade long ago at one of Sydney’s leading Catholic schools, St Ignatius College, Riverview — like, he reminds us, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher. And his stand on gay marriage is echoed by a prominent Catholic priest, Frank Brennan.

But burnishing his credentials as a good Catholic lad is legerdemain to distract us from the point Greiner needs to prove: the conservative credentials of gay marriage.

Is true love the distinctive feature of Australian conservatism? Are those malevolent liberals really fire-breathing enemies of family stability and personal commitment?  Probably not. To the best of my knowledge, Labor leader Bill Shorten has never announced that he wants to raise the divorce rate and decrease the number of marriages. So all that is a red herring.

The core beliefs of modern conservativism are strong families, limited government, small business, and political freedom. Gay marriage is a radical social experiment which puts all of these at risk. How does it stack up against these criteria?

Read here

Watch: Brendan O’Neill on gay marriage (from 2015)

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