Sunday, May 13, 2012

VEOHRC bullies Prof Kuruvilla George on gay marriage

The politically correct Left are just a cowardly pack of bullies, aren't they? They simply cannot bear the thought of dissent. Just one individual who doesn't obediently mouth the party line is enough to terrify them completely and provoke a swift recourse to their much-loved tribal intimidation tactics.

Take the case of Professor Kuruvilla George, a Victorian psychiatrist who has the temerity to openly endorse the outrageous idea that marriage should be between a man and a woman. No matter that there are well established scientific grounds that such an upbringing is best for children. The local pro-gay marriage thought police have decided that he is guilty of committing a thought crime:

Victorian opposition attorney-general Martin Pakula said Prof George needs to explain to the Government and the community why he should remain a board member on the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), given his views.

I'm sure that many in the community are glad that Professor George is a board member, and for the very reason that he holds his particular views on gay marriage. He doesn't have to explain anything to them.

On the contrary, if anyone needs to justify themselves to the community, it's the commission itself. Given that they have such disdain for so many people's views and are on a relentless campaign to censor them completely, they need to make a case for their own continued existence.

Gawd, but the whole thing sounds like a bloody show trial from Mao's Cultural Revolution, doesn't it? VEOHRC is clearly a totalitarian organization in which diversity will not be tolerated

27 comments:

  1. What parts of "human rights" and "equal opportunity" are difficult to understand? If the claim being made had been about people of different ethnicities marrying, would the problem be sufficiently obvious then?

    And the problem isn't that somebody's expressing a personal opinion. We have a group that claims to be speaking from an evidence-based medical standpoint. They claim to be speaking _as doctors_. They're making an extraordinary claim, so they'd better be prepared to stump up some evidence or yes, they will attract some opprobrium. We have a practicing psychiatrist taking a professional stance that's out of kilter with the mainstream, so expect questions.

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    1. I understand them perfectly well, as does Prof George. Gays have equality in this country. They can have civil partnerships.

      Not surprised you're using that line about ethnicity, implying that those who oppose gay marriage are akin to racists. Cheap, nasty stuff. (A lot like conflating Islam and race. And aren't lefties fond of that one, eh!)

      To state the bleeding obvious: Gender is not the same as race. D'oh!

      They are a group of doctors, yes, but this is a political and cultural issue. Are you arguing that VEOHRC itself is not political, but only has an objective, scientific agenda? And speaking of science, and data, there's heaps of disagreement about gay marriage on that score as well (as there is about all issues, of course). I know lefties find this deeply threatening, but disagreement is good!

      And it's not just "opprobrium" the thought police are heaping on Prof George. It's heavier than that. It's a clear attempt to intimidate a dissenter into compliance.

      And if you're talking about the medical mainstream in your last line: I'm not sure that most shrinks see gay marriage as all hunky dory. But if it appears that way I suspect the reason is not that they have objectively come to that conclusion. Rather, they are afraid of being labelled homophobic and having their careers wrecked as a result. (Actually, it sounds a lot like what's been going on in climate science, albeit on a smaller scale.)

      My point holds. The fact that just one person is not allowed to hold just one dissenting opinion -- and it's only slightly dissenting, since he's expressed no condemnation of gays, only their right to marry -- is truly sinister.

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    2. No, I'm not implying that those who oppose gay marriage are racists. That's obviously ridiculous, as you point out. What I AM implying is that the argument against gay marriage is every bit as ridiculous as the arguments against inter-racial marriage were. And the arguments are basically the same ones - references to tradition, what's best for the children, biblical allegories, claims that society will collapse etc. etc. Basically they're all variations on "I don't like it", status-quo bias and crazy slippery-slope assertions about people marrying dogs.

      One big difference is that we now all see that the previous argument was a load of bunk, because it's a done deal - we've moved past it. Well, guess what's going to happen with this issue as well. Gay marriage is coming, it's a certainty. Public support has swung behind it now - do you think obama would be pitching it otherwise? And you know what? Society will be just fine.

      And yes, the conflation of a religion and race is an easy trap for young players. That's why I prefer to skip "racist" and just go with "xenophobe". But that's a different topic.

      "They are a group of doctors, yes, but this is a political and cultural issue"

      Read the submission. They couch their entire submission in terms of health issues, as health professionals, and claim to cite research that supports their claims. They're doctors, yes, but they're dressing up an ideological position as a health issue and using dodgy claims to do it.

      And joining this merry band is a professional psychiatrist who (presumably) influences decisions about equal opportunity ... and he's advocating AGAINST a position of equality. I have no beef with any of these people personally (my GP signed the letter, incidentally), but they should separate a religiously grounded opinion from a fact-based professional claim, or risk be judged on their evidence and reasoning (which is pretty woeful, in this case).

      Here's a thought - suppose the same guy had declared that children should not be adopted by christian fundamentalists, for some bogus reason. Would that still be just some guy voicing a brave opinion, daring to challenge the groupthink orthodoxy?

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  2. You do realise that the submission from Doctors for the Family has absolutely no scientific basis don't you? If you would like to read it, here's the link: https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=72f834ec-9d0e-49b7-8f1c-a3ea380

    It's hardly a matter of VEOHRC playing bully. Someone in Prof. George's position really shouldn't be lending his name and credentials to such a poorly evidenced opinion. In fact there is very little scientific research to support the argument that same sex unions are detrimental to the health of children, and a very large evidence base to say that children do as well as, and in some cases better, as children of heterosexual unions.

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    1. By citing the phrase "poorly evidenced opinion" you've actually hit on the nub of the issue without knowing it. This issue is overwhelmingly political. When people have an ideological, political opinion, they will cherry pick evidence to support it.

      But if you are being so scientific as you claim, and you're correct in saying that children of gay parents do as well as or better than those of heteros, then why isn't VEOHRC advocating gay unions (and therefore gay marriage) as the norm? I mean, gays make better parents (just), right?

      While I wouldn't be surprised that there are some gay rights zealots who hold this view, even the Stalinists at VEOHRC would consider that a bridge too far; too politically extreme and risky. But they are politically zealous enough to want to invert an ancient, universal social institution and force this on society through stealth and intimidation. And they feel deeply threatened by an individual in their ranks who won't kowtow on every single aspect of their revolutionary agenda. So they're trying to shame him into compliance.

      Demanding that someone must hold a certain opinion is creepy and totalitarian, and deeply disturbing in a democracy.

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    2. "why isn't VEOHRC advocating gay unions (and therefore gay marriage) as the norm?"

      I don't think it's their. As I understand it, their role is to help resolve disputes under the various relevant acts, and to assist in education and outreach services. They're not an advocacy group for changing the law as it stands.

      "I mean, gays make better parents (just), right?"

      Better than what? One straight parent? No parents? Two terrible straight parents?

      "they are politically zealous enough to want to invert an ancient, universal social institution"

      Like slavery? Women as chattels?

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    3. There should be a "brief" in that first sentence.

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  3. Would you object if someone with an important title published a total lie about you claiming it to be the truth ?

    If say a collection of scientists came out wit a lie and said publicly that "Christians eat babies in secret rituals " would you rightfully complain ?

    All studies have shown that same sex couples are equal to hetro couples in raising children.

    The doctors comments are a lie.

    You are perfectly entitled to your own opinions, no one is stopping you from holding those.

    You are not allowed to make up your own facts, that is called telling lies.

    If you are of the christian faith then there is even a commandment that you must not tell lies about others.

    Remember there is no commandment about homosexuality, jesus said nothing against homosexuality.

    There is a commandment against telling lies and Jesus was very clear about dishonesty.

    If you believe the bible then tell the truth, same sex marriage do not harm children.

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    1. Doug, mate, you've really got to come up with something better than "liar, liar, pants on fire!".

      And no, I'm not a Christian. I'm an atheist. I find your insinuation that I might be hateful, discriminatory and prejudicial. This violation of my human rights has caused me immense hurt and trauma.

      You never know, I might even lodge a claim with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission ...

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    2. You could try defamation too ... except that you published the comment, somewhat undermining your case ;-)

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    3. G'day Doug,
      I'm interested to know on which bible version are you saying the following sentence, " Remember there is no commandment about homosexuality, jesus said nothing against homosexuality."
      Many thanks ....

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  4. Children are at a disadvantage in same-sex relationships in a number of ways, including missing the benefits of the complementary characteristics that a mother and a father bring to their well-being and development. The short term nature of these relationships means children suffer from moving between relationships, even though a parent may still be with them.

    There is more than "a little scientific research" showing that children fare better on a range of indicators in families with their biological mother and father than in same-sex families. Mainstream research both here and overseas continues to show that children are better off physically and psychologically by being in families with their natural parents who are married.

    For example, the statement from the American College of Pediatricians provides a wide range of references supporting this contention and associated aspects:

    "In summary, tradition and science agree that biological ties and dual gender parenting are
    protective for children. The family environment in which children are reared plays a critical role in forming a secure gender identity, positive emotional well-being, and optimal academic
    achievement. Decades of social science research documents that children develop optimally when reared by their two biological parents in a low conflict marriage. The limited research
    advocating childrearing by same-sex parents has severe methodological limitations. There is
    significant risk of harm inherent in exposing a child to the homosexual lifestyle. Given the
    current body of evidence, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate,
    potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old
    prohibition on same-sex parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science."

    – see www.acpeds.org/Homosexual-Parenting-Is-It-Time-For-Change.html.

    There is also the Australian study from Assoc. Prof. Sarantakos (Sarantakos, S., Children in Three Contexts, Children Australia, 21 (3), 1996):

    "The study has shown some directions regarding the effects the nature of parental relationships may have on the development of children. Some major differences between children of married and unmarried heterosexual couples and of homosexual couples were found to be significant. Overall, the study has shown that children of married couples are more likely to do well at school, in academic and social terms, than children of cohabiting heterosexual and homosexual couples."

    Another study, looking at the soundness of research making claims for same-sex parenting found a range of flaws in the research and that the studies offered no basis for the claim that there was no difference between heterosexual and homosexual parents – see Lerner and Nagai, "No Basis: What the Studies Don’t Tell Us About Same-sex Parenting" at www.unav.es/civil/nsd/nosindebate/mhnobasis.pdf. It provides an extensive evaluation of 49 empirical studies on the impact of same-sex parenting on children.

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    1. "The short term nature of these relationships means children suffer from moving between relationships, even though a parent may still be with them."

      I assume in the statement above by "these" relationships you mean same-sex ones?

      You realise this whole issue has come about because same-sex couples are fighting for the right to long-term marraige?

      Irony much?

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    2. It's pretty well established that gay men find long term fidelity even more difficult than straight men do. (Lesbians, on the other hand, tend not to struggle with this particular issue, it seems.)

      So it may well be that gay men demanding marriage rights should be careful of what they wish for. Many may consider that not being allowed to marry is a form of oppression, and that gay marriage is emancipation (freedom) from this. But as anyone who's been married knows only too well, marriage is definitely not about freedom. On the contrary ...

      So there's another little irony for you there.

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    3. Anonymous, thanks for your references supporting argument against gay marriage.

      There's also the issue of sperm donation. Children born as a result suffer several disadvantages.

      http://voices.yahoo.com/study-shows-psychological-impact-6257640.html?cat=5

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    4. "It's pretty well established that gay men find long term fidelity even more difficult than straight men do."

      How can I argue with objective, impartially established statements like that one? The evidence is so concrete!

      If you're saying that throughout Australian history (when gay sex was until recently illegal and most gay men were married to women as there was no other socially accepted alternative available), yes I would agree most same-sex relationships had just a few hurdles to overcome and weren't generally publicly celebrated as long term unions.

      If you're saying that gay men somehow lack a fidelity chip the rest of us are blessed with then you're just a bigot.

      It's like arguing children from low income families are less intelligent than the rest of the population because they're less likely to attend university.

      If you haven't given someone eqaul footing from the get-go how can you judge the resulting behaviour?

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  5. Whatever you may think about the "politically correct Left", one thing's for sure, the incorrect Right often seem to have difficulty distinguishing between their own opinions and matters of principle. Let me spell it out for you:

    1) it's illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, among other things

    2) the VEOHRC exists to oversee this, and

    3) George's views conflict with his ability to do that.

    It's very simple. But in case you still don't get it: Would you think it was OK for someone opposed to inter-racial marriage to serve on the Board?

    It is also clear from the manner of George's appointment that he was put there to to run interference. You may agree with that approach, but that's not the point; he is unsuitable for the job.

    Another thing you Righties don't seem to get is the difference between censorship and criticism - when someone criticises your views, that is in fact free speech in action, not an attempt to stifle it. George has not committed a "thought crime", he is just very wrong, both on the science and in terms the propriety of his role, and he is being called on that, not least by his medical peers. Toughen up.

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    1. Nobody disputes it's illegal to discriminate aginst homosexuals. Only an ideologue would seriously dispute that children fare best with a mother and a father. Using the law to deny children a mother or a father is child abuse is my book. Homosexuals can't marry because they don't meet the requirements - the "this man and this woman" bit.

      VEOHRC are bullies. Professor George has every right to express his professional opinion without being attacked by the PC crowd.

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    2. John O, it's ironic that you should cite blind obedience to the law (your first point) as reason to tolerate this bullying. I mean, aren't you trying to get the law on who can marry changed?

      And re that ol' chestnut about interracial marriage. Once more: completely false argument. Race and gender not the same thing.

      And I love how you use that phrase "the science". I could swear I've heard it repeated ad nauseam in relation to another contentious political issue lately.

      I can't for the life of me recall what the hell it is, though ...

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  6. "Cowardly pack of Bullies". In my mind this is an absolutely ridiculous statement to make. Professor George is on the board of Equal Opportunities. His professional position is to protect and enable equal rights for minorities. Victorians that are same sex attracted are one such minority that he is meant to represent in that position. He should be held to account for his comments - being held to account is not the same as being bullied.

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    1. A friend wishes to wed two girls (both fifteen years of age); I take it, Anonymous, that you will support their right to marry, that you will publicly condemn all those who might calumniate them, and that you will support their right to celebrate the hymeneal festivities in the mosque or church of their choice, whatever the knuckle-dragging bigots in charge of any mosque or church may say.

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    2. Straw man argument, deadman. The problems with girls marrying at such a young age are well understood - they run the risk of being exploited, missing out on normal development opportunities, falling pregnant at a time when they would be better off studying and expanding their horizons. They also lack some of the healthy cynicism about relationships that comes with age. Oh, and at 15 they're not even technically adults, so I don't quite see how they're supposed to enter into any sort of binding legal arrangement anyway.

      And as things stand I also see a problem with polygamy. Not because I don't think it can work, but because I haven't seen a credible explanation for how it can work. If somebody can come up with a legal framework for polygamous marriages that ensures that everyone's personal and property rights are preserved, that exploitation doesn't occur, that decisions are only made with the consent of all parties etc ... then I actually don't see a problem with it. I just don't see anyone offering that solution.

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    3. Many countries (including some States of the USA) allow 15yo girls to marry legally, so ”problems with girls marrying at such a young age” along with your “see[ing] a problem with polygamy” are irrelevant to my point: if, as some say, there be a right to “gay marriage” which is predicated on a right for any person to love whom he or she might choose, then those who argue thus must surely support both polygamy and marriage to minors. Defining a person only as an adult (by Australian law) and defining a marriage as involving only two persons seems rather prejudiced.

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  7. Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
    Ayn Rand

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  8. Let's talk rights Ayn,

    Justice proceeds on the assumption that if one person's legitimate right must be limited to protect another's legitimate right, the limitation that does the least harm will be the most just.

    The Legitimate right of a innocent child to have a mother and a father is a rock solid. It is a societal right. The perceived right for two poofs or two lesbians to marry each other is a desire. It is not a right because rights involve responsibilities to a child amd these perverse and ugly couplings cannot possibly provide to a child. Love does not solve everything. Love does not replace a women's nuture and nature. A man certainly can't morph himself into a women even if he is grossly effeminate.

    The limitation that does the least harm is clearly that two men and two women cannot marry, because if it does become LAW a child's rights will be removed and their development warped.

    For those homosexuals and lesbians that think children will not be damaged by these disfigured relationships I suggest you read "Strained Relations" by Bill Muehlenberg. Of course you won't because you really don't care a dam about the rights of children. It's all about you. Homosexuals and the Labor Left do care about the rights of a children and the potential damage that will result. Welcome to the next stolen generation.

    regards
    Phil

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  9. In my opinion, the problem in the western world is not financial, the road toll, drugs, guns, global warming,gay marriage, drink driving, gambling, big business or overpopulation it seems to me we have a moral problem. Honesty, truth, integrity,sincerity,decency, fairness, respect, fidelity, genuineness, openness, justice, mercy and compassion on a personal level. You might say to me “harden up sunshine”, but the reality is our world community will not survive the way it's going.

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  10. As a committed Christian, I love all people including gay people.
    As a committed Christian, I love God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind and with all my strength.
    As a committed Christian, I believe in the Word of God and the Word of God symbolises the relationship between Jesus and his Church as the relationship between a husband and his wife. This is why it matters so much to true believers that such relationship be preserved. This is why God s enemy (who rules this world ... for NOW) is so keen to distort and corrupt a husband&wife relationship and is manipulating people and governments to make a husband&husband and wife&wife relationship as good and acceptable.
    If you do not believe in God or the Bible, of course all this will just be gibberish. But to Mr George and many others including myself, God s plan for marriage is between a man (the husband) and a woman (the wife). It is so important in his eyes that he has compared it as the relationship between him and the community of believers.
    “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” Rev 19:9

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