TaraElla Themes 2017-18

A Liberal and Truly Intersectional Feminism, no GLIF
Only Liberal Feminism is Truly Intersectional Feminism. Learn more here.
Both the Ideas Lab and The TaraElla Show aim to advance liberal intersectional feminism.
To learn more about how other 'intersectional' feminists are doing it wrong, read The Disappointment of G.L.I.F.

More Music
More new work will be added to the catalog of TaraElla's Music.

A Moral Liberty
Contrary to popular (American) belief, real liberals are not Left (or Right), but pro-liberty.
The Ideas Lab is on a campaign to revive Moral Liberalism.
For more about Moral Liberalism, read TaraElla's book Liberal Revival Now.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Marriage Equality: A Case of Gays Saying 'Look At Me Now'?

To many observers, gay couples campaigning to be included in marriage seems like yet another 'Look At Me Now' moment. We have long repealed any laws against gay behaviour, we have given them couple rights in society, in many places we have given them the option of civil unions, and yet they are screaming for more. Aren't we fed up by now? Won't they take what they have and go away quietly?

Once upon a time I thought like that too. Then I studied the topic carefully, and I found out just how wrong I was.

The gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage and a family life, even if they do not have children to raise, are actively seeking to join the age old tradition of marriage and commitment. They have actively rejected the 'liberation' movement, which has promised them a life of endless hedonism, lots of sexual freedom and no institutions to rule their lives by. Just like us, they have chosen to reject the postmodern promise of endless freedom and have chosen to embrace instead the tradition of commitment and family values. Not many people out there are aware of this, but for choosing to side with tradition they often face the ridicule, disdain and outright discouragement of more 'liberation' orientated gay and lesbian people. For choosing to adopt our values and join our lifestyle, they have been derided as asssimilationists, people who are ashamed of who they are and seek conservative society's approval at all costs. We, the people who embrace family values, are their natural home. To reject them here too would be far too cruel and indeed inconsistent with our compassionate family values. To reject them would also be to confirm that their critics are right, that being gay means you cannot embrace family values, that you must embrace 'liberationism'. I really don't think that is the right message to send.

The fact that gay and lesbian couples are actively rejecting 'liberation' and embracing the tradition of marriage is another thing we should take heart to, and may even be able to use as a starting point for a general return to family values in society. The fact that gay and lesbian couples, who live in a culture where just a decade or so ago 'liberation' was the norm, have come to reject it so decisively, can be a great conversation starter for a wider societal discussion on marriage and family values, and why they represent a superior lifestyle to 'liberation'. Again, it is an opportunity we can only take if we first embrace the idea of marriage equality first.

A related argument is that gay marriages will never be universally accepted as real marriages, not by many churches at least. So why should they bother? Well, I personally still see an ideal for the future where divorce rates go back down to 1950s levels for all couples - again this is not universally accepted as a goal. Shall we just give up on everything then? I guess not. If it's good for family values in the end, we should embrace it. Others may take a longer time to do so, but we should be part of the process to help along any idea that may bolster family values for our future generations. Letting go of this (or any other) opportunity is not something we can afford to do, when the future of family values is already looking this shaky.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What Marriage Really Is, and How it Relates to Marriage Equality

One major concern of modern times is that marriage rates have declined, generation after generation. Non-marriage births have risen all over the West. Another concern with marriage right now is the sky high divorce rates. A society with divorce rates above 40% really is not sustainable in the long run, I believe.

The proposed solution is to restart a conversation about what marriage is and what the commitment means. Remake the case about marriage, procreation and family - specifically how marriage is a commitment that is not just about the 'love' and desires of adults, but rather a stabilising institution that forms a good foundation for a family. I totally agree that this would help a lot. As a society, we should discuss and hopefully come to a conclusion that marriage is not just about love or adult desires, but is about the formation of families and providing for them a stable structure.

Some people have suggested that including gay couples in marriage would take us further away from the above consensus. In fact, some have even suggested that it is because society has lost the above consensus regarding marriage that the idea of gay marriages has become appealing to young people in society. I disagree with all of this. In fact, I not only disagree with all of this, but I will take the opposite view: embracing marriage equality is the first step in having the public conversation about marriage, in getting the public to be receptive of our arguments, and the only way in which a consensus about the nature of marriage can be re-established.

Honestly, if the arguments about marriage, procreation and stable families are tied to necessarily excluding gay couples, it wouldn't work. It would severely turn off at least a significant proportion of society - many of which will be young people, the very people who the conversation ought to engage to be successful. Many young people now believe that excluding gay and lesbian couples from marriage is unacceptable, period. Through these lens, any argument purporting to make a case to exclude gay people from marriage will be seen as bigoted.

I propose an alternative: we need to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married as a matter of equal compassion and inclusion. Once this issue is sorted out, the clean air then lets us deal with the matter of what marriage is. No longer will idea about marriage, procreation and stable families be associated with bigotry. My critics say that including gay couples necessarily defeats the procreation and family idea of marriage. I strongly disagree. We already do include infertile and childless couples in marriage - as a society, we have long believed excluding them will be too cruel an act, whilst including them will not affect the function and ideal of the majority of procreating marriages and families. Whilst the older generation may be used to the idea of marriage excluding gay couples, for much of the younger generation, their exclusion is just as cruel as excluding infertile couples. Including gay and lesbian couples, who are by definition infertile couples, would not really distract from the idea of marriage being for procreation and for the stability of families resulting from the procreation act, any more than allowing heterosexual childless or infertile couples to marry (as we currently do) would. In reality, being rigid rarely works. I believe it would make perfect sense to say that marriage was meant to help couples set up family by encouraging procreation and then providing a stable structure for the resulting family, but being an inclusive society, we also extend this institution to cover those couples who unfortunately cannot procreate but are living in similarly committed arrangements.

There's No Way Back to the 50s, but There can Still be a Bright Future for Family Values

Many defenders of family values, especially older ones, tend to think like this: marriage did not include gay couples a few decades back, and family values functioned well. We want to go back there. Therefore, we must oppose gay marriages.

However, this is a faulty argument. I do acknowledge that the decline of family values since the 1960s is a sad thing. However, there are many reasons for that, and gay people are not part of the reason. There is simply no way 2% of the population can cause or significantly contribute to a society-wide decline in family values. Things have gone wrong in mainstream straight society, and it is there things must be fixed. Scapegoating gay people and gay rights will only blind us to the real problems that need to be fixed.

Meanwhile, things have changed. In the past, many believed being gay to be a lifestyle choice. This is because they haven't seen many gay people around them. When everyone around you is straight, many people naturally believe that being straight is the only natural way of being, and being gay must be a choice some people in a very different segment of society make, for twisted reasons. In turn, this homophobia has kept gay people closeted and underground for centuries. Today's younger generation did not grow up this way, however. They see gay people everywhere in their lives. They have gay friends, and often have gay family members. That being gay is a characteristic of a person and not a lifestyle choice is a clear thing for the majority of the younger generation, and gay couples today live openly amongst us.

As the situation has changed, we cannot just hope to go back in time by refusing to accommodate the new situations. Excluding gay couples from marriage was just natural in the 1950s, as gay couples were generally closeted and excluded from every sphere of society. Excluding gay couples from marriage in the 2010s when they clearly live normal, integrated lives amongst us is rightly seen as a form of apartheid by many young people. Withholding rights and respect from gay people in the 1950s was just natural, as it was accepted that they have a deviant and criminal lifestyle choice. Withholding rights and respect from gay people in the 2010s feels like an injustice to many people, because it is hating people for who they are. In the 1950s marriage was a society-wide brand even as it excluded gay couples, because gay couples were out-of-sight, out-of-mind anyway. In the 2010s, if marriage excludes gay couples, it is by definition no longer a society-wide brand, and therefore would be seen to be very optional even amongst straight couples. In general, if we continue to hold the line that marriage should exclude gay couples, marriage itself is being demeaned in the eyes of many people, particularly younger people. This is clearly not a good way to encourage family values.

A re-implementation of the 1950s playbook is not feasible. The 1950s never will be again. But what we can hope for is a future implementation of family values that will make the whole concept popular society-wide again. Marriage equality is part of the work that will get us there. It renews the idea that marriage should be a society-wide brand, and that it is about family and commitment, rather than exclusion. Without embracing marriage equality, the public image of marriage can never be healthy enough for us to successfully then embark on further campaigns of marriage promotion and public conversations on marriage, which are what will bring in a new golden age for family values.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Conservative Case for Marriage Equality

By the time this is being written, there are many articles entitled 'The Conservative Case for Marriage Equality', written by many people. The points are now well established and repeated again and again by now. I am not going over all of those points again. I am going to provide a fresh perspective on the matter: my own perspective, from my deep study in recent years into the topic.

I want to talk about marriage itself first. We all need to recognise one thing: marriage is in crisis. Marriage rates have been declining for many years, and the decline has not halted unfortunately. If the trend is not reversed, I am afraid that many of us will live to see a time when marriage will have become a minority concern. It's a tough reality, but it's one that we need to face. In response to this phenomenon, there have been efforts on marriage promotion. However, these have been very limited in their success. Still, we keep doing it because it's the only hope to keep marriage alive. Just why marriage promotion is not working very well needs to be studied, and programs will need to be improved upon. I suspect that opponents painting marriage as outdated, hierarchical and elitist, amongst other things, have had at least some effect. I don't believe in any of that rubbish personally, but I know people who do. In the long run we need strategies to defeat comprehensively the 'liberation' ideology that has torpedoed marriage.

However, right now, perhaps more urgently, there is one clear threat to marriage promotion: that much of the younger generation are starting to see marriage as an exclusionary, bigoted institution. And whilst that may not mean they will all refuse to get married, I suspect few of them would be too happy to get on board marriage promotion when it is promoting an institution excluding and hurting their gay and lesbian friends, and in many cases, family members. When marriage clearly excludes gay and lesbian couples, every word of marriage promotion will hurt their feelings - this is literally true, and something that cannot be said any milder. As a result, marriage promotion will rightly be seen as a hurtful exercise by many young people. Even I, a supporter of marriage, have had trouble explaining to my friends that whilst I support marriage I don't support the exclusionary aspect of the marriage laws out there. I simply have given up on talking about the matter most of the time.

Another concern with marriage right now is the sky high divorce rates. A society with divorce rates above 40% really is not sustainable in the long run, I believe. The proposed solution is to restart a conversation about what marriage is and what the commitment means. I totally agree that this would help a lot. As a society, we should discuss and hopefully come to a conclusion that marriage is not just about love or adult desires, but is about the formation of families and providing for them a stable structure. However, it wouldn't work when people are using the 'what marriage really is' argument to exclude gay and lesbian people - again the important message would be lost in accusations of bigotry. A better way would be to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married as a matter of equal compassion and inclusion, which actually lets us then deal with the matter of what marriage is, without all the noise. Including gay and lesbian couples, who are by definition infertile couples, would not really distract from the idea of marriage being for procreation and for the stability of families resulting from the procreation act, any more than allowing heterosexual childless or infertile couples to marry (as we currently do) would. In reality, being rigid rarely works. I believe it would make perfect sense to say that marriage was meant to help couples set up family by encouraging procreation and then providing a stable structure for the resulting family, but being an inclusive society, we also extend this institution to cover those couples who unfortunately cannot procreate but are living in similarly committed arrangements.

The gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage and a family life, even if they do not have children to raise, are actively seeking to join the age old tradition of marriage and commitment. They have actively rejected the 'liberation' movement, which has promised them a life of endless hedonism, lots of sexual freedom and no institutions to rule their lives by. Just like us, they have chosen to reject the postmodern promise of endless freedom and have chosen to embrace instead the tradition of commitment and family values. Not many people out there are aware of this, but for choosing to side with tradition they often face the ridicule, disdain and outright discouragement of more 'liberation' orientated gay and lesbian people. For choosing to adopt our values and join our lifestyle, they have been derided as asssimilationists, people who are ashamed of who they are and seek conservative society's approval at all costs. We, the people who embrace family values, are their natural home. To reject them here too would be far too cruel and indeed inconsistent with our compassionate family values. To reject them would also be to confirm that their critics are right, that being gay means you cannot embrace family values, that you must embrace 'liberationism'. I really don't think that is the right message to send.

The fact that gay and lesbian couples are actively rejecting 'liberation' and embracing the tradition of marriage is another thing we should take heart to, and may even be able to use as a starting point for a general return to family values in society. The fact that gay and lesbian couples, who live in a culture where just a decade or so ago 'liberation' was the norm, have come to reject it so decisively, can be a great conversation starter for a wider societal discussion on marriage and family values, and why they represent a superior lifestyle to 'liberation'. Again, it is an opportunity we can only take if we first embrace the idea of marriage equality first.

Finally, many people, especially in the younger generations, are supportive of marriage equality as an idea. However, they are nowhere as passionate and committed as me in seeing this reform get done. The difference is because I believe in the essential conservative values of commitment, the importance of marriage, and the importance of family values for the future of our humanity, beliefs that have become too rare in our generation. Marriage equality will not fix all the problems surrounding marriage and family in our society, but it is where we must all begin. Sending the wrong message on this matter means not just that gay couples suffer - it gives a huge boost to our opponents in our long running battle for hearts and minds. This is why marriage equality cannot wait - it is an urgent priority. Ten years down the track, we may have lost a very good opportunity to change things indeed.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Other Side of the Entertainment Industry - There's Plenty of Hope Still

The Hollywood shock value scene is getting more disgusting by the minute. It's in the performances, it's in the music videos, it's even in the lyrics of some songs. My 'boycott list' is growing larger by the year. Fortunately, there are still plenty of artists who would never do things like that.

Taylor Swift is perhaps one of the best examples of a genuine artist who doesn't get involved in the crazy side of Hollywood, and Demi Lovato wants to follow in her footsteps.

“She's like, 'Well, I don’t go out.' I don’t go out to clubs and I don’t party and to me, it says more when you don’t have to do things for shock value. You're more respected as an artist. And that’s what I want to be, I want to be respected as an artist and not a tabloid headline," Demi told Entertainment Weekly recently.

I think being real and having decency standards are a large part of Taylor Swift's popularity. In this regard, Demi Lovato is definitely on the right track. I am pleased to see that she will continue to follow this path faithfully into the future.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Free Market Principles Applied in Cultural Matters

It is a well settled fact that the government should not be heavily intervening in the free market economy. This is a point now accepted by left and right alike. Whilst the left may have a different view of fairness than the right, both agree that we should not have sky high tariffs, that we generally would not have government monopolies in most industries, and that intervention is only justified when they serve a clear purpose of preserving a free and fair playing field. Both sides agree that businesses in the market economy should be able to trade and innovate freely in general. Both sides agree that intrusive governmental intervention is clumsy and anti-freedom, is anti progress, and benefits nobody.

I believe the same standard should apply to cultural matters. Some regulation is required to maintain a free and fair playing field for everyone. For example, we need to have law and order, and some (including myself) would argue that we also need antidiscrimination laws and gun control. But all those things are based on a clear need to protect a free and fair playing field, and do not otherwise stifle innovation. Here, both left and right should reject heavy handed, intrusive regulation – like banning certain lifestyle choices, or banning gay adoption, for example, no matter how they feel about the subject personally, unless there is a clear consensus on the need for it, backed up by clear evidence, and in the service of freedom and fairness. Of course, I also believe unwarranted government monopolies, for example in the area of marriage, should also be abolished.

It is possible and desirable to have the same set of principles, based on freedom, for both the social and economic spheres. It is time we start thinking this way.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Decentralising the Control of our Traditions

We have come to a crossroads in how the traditions of our collective heritage is to be maintained. Rapid changes in the way we see the world and changes in our knowledge of the world have challenged our traditions, and our traditions have had to adapt quickly.
As to just how they should adapt, that was a question that divided us. It caused some of the most famous 'cultural war' battles in our recent history. Amidst all this confusion, a sector of our society decided to just stick to what we knew, as if these changes in circumstances never happened. They claimed the conservative tradition for themselves, and went unchallenged for some time. But it appears they don't have the answers at all. As the years go by, it has become ridiculous to maintain a worldview that is based upon evolution being untrue, being gay being a choice, and only the traditional interpretation of the religion you grew up in being the source of all the answers to the world.

Young people are leaving tradition behind, and many are doing it wholesale. Values like commitment, decency, and valuing the family are in danger of being left behind. Yet a new way of preserving the best of our traditions whilst adjusting old rules to new knowledge and circumstances have arisen. It would appear that this would rescue our great traditions, but then we are fighting over the politics over it, and squandering all the goodwill. David Cameron may be right about embracing marriage equality to promote the institution, but for every Cameron there are plenty of people like Tony Abbott, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, who remain too stubborn to listen. Implementing this cure via political means is going to be disappointing, clearly.

Tradition needs to become a decentralised thing. Rather than being administered by government or specific authority bodies, we need to own it as individuals, and give it our best shot at interpreting it in the circumstances of the modern world whilst maintaining its spirit. And politics should just give way to allow this to happen. Over time, the best adaptations will win in a free market of ideas.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marriage Privatization Just a Name Change? It's Much More!

Marriage privatization, as a term, simply means that there should be no references to the word 'marriage' in law. There have been many approaches suggested, but I would suggest going for the most conservative method: changing 'marriage' to 'civil union' in law, and perhaps also reforming the law to give equal rights to non-registered cohabiting couples as is already the case in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

This approach has been criticised for just swapping one term for another. But it's a matter of perspective. Marriage will always be a popular cultural institution, and civil unions will always be only a legal institution rather than a cultural one, I believe. After all, you don't say 'please civil union me' or 'we are civilly united', as marriage equality activists have pointed out. Therefore, the terminology change causes the government regulation to become more separated from the cultural and historical institution.

In my model, marriage will be the institution people enter into to create families, and will be maintained by the couple and their surrounding community. Civil unions will be the legal contract governments administer, as a tool to help marriages. Governments now control something that can assist marriages rather than the marriage itself here, a very important difference.

This change can have a profound effect on things. For example, we can have a simple and non-bitter process for ending the civil union, but culturally we can still view that marriage shouldn't end unless there is significant problems. The divorce rate wouldn't have skyrocketed after the no-fault reforms if this approach had been taken, I believe.

Or take the marriage equality thing. Rather than having a politics heavy campaign that feels top-down that 'redefines marriage' in our opponents' eyes, it would have been a cultural change that started from everyday life. The acceptance of these unions as a part of normal everyday life will finally demanded the government's equal treatment through provision of equal civil union rights. And we may have had it done long ago if we could go that route instead.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Marriage Equality 'Changes the Definition of Marriage'? That's a Myth.

Opponents of marriage equality have long been charging supporters of equality of 'changing the definition of marriage', often adding that they are doing a dangerous thing by meddling with a long-standing definition.

To this, I answer that yes, we are campaigning to change the way the marriage laws are written. However, this is because the law is rigid as it always is, and hasn't been able to fairly accommodate a minority in our society, gay and lesbian couples.
Marriage itself, however, is defined in culture, rather than law. Different cultural and religious groups may have slightly different definitions of marriage, but they generally do agree on fidelity, family formation and raising the next generation as important elements. Still, not all of these concepts appear in the marriage laws. The marriage laws of a secular state, thus, has never been the cultural authority on marriage.

Does marriage equality 'change the definition of marriage'? I don't believe it does. Whilst not stated in the marriage laws, marriage is generally for a lifelong cohabiting, exclusive sexual relationship. It does not include close friends, for example, indeed any pair of close friends trying to get married without intending a cohabiting, exclusive sexual relationship would generally be met with disapproval culturally. Whilst the law states that marriage 'is a union between a man and a woman' without referencing what I just touched on, you would find that a cohabiting, exclusive sexual relationship would be expected. It appears that around 98% of the population is only capable of entering into a cohabiting, exclusive sexual relationship with the opposite sex. Therefore, even if the law is changed to state that marriage 'is a union between two people', you would find that 98% or more of marriages will remain between a man and a woman. The changed definition creates a flexibility to accommodate a 2% minority. I believe the actual outcome of enshrining marriage equality will change the situation from 'marriage is between a man and a woman as a rule with no exceptions' to 'marriage is between a man and a woman as a rule, but for a small minority who cannot follow this rule we have accommodated their needs compassionately'. That means it's not like the definition of marriage has been changed, we have just compassionately allowed exceptions.

This confusion about the legal vs cultural definition of marriage is a good reason why we need marriage privatization - but let's leave that for another discussion.

We have indeed changed the definition of marriage in the past, as a society. And some of those changes, like no-fault divorce for example, haven't been pretty. But that's a separate issue. Every time we changed the definition of marriage in the past it applied to every couple. For example, legalising interracial marriage meant that every person could choose a spouse of a different race, which is a new choice that is open to every person. Legislating for no-fault divorce meant that every married couple could divorce more easily - again it affected every couple. Marriage equality is about providing equality for a minority of about 2% whilst changing nothing for the vast majority of around 98%. How is that called changing the definition, except technically?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Marriage Privatization the Answer to Fixing the Cultural Side-Effects of No-Fault Divorce

I have now come to the conclusion that the proper way to fix the cultural mess no-fault divorce has created is by marriage privatization.

No-fault divorce was legalised in many places before I was born. Originally a legal device to improve things for separating couples and decrease the risk of people being locked in situations of domestic violence, it has helped if not created a culture of easy divorce. Luckily, I come from an extended family where divorce was generally taboo during my upbringing - it wasn't the sort of thing that happens to families like ours. But divorces were happening out there, and I have long held a view that the current divorce rate is unacceptably high - by a factor of at least 50 times probably. No contract other than marriage comes with the possibility of one party just walking away from it without needing to pay appropriate compensation, and no other contract comes with an almost 1 in 2 chance of failure.

Can we, or should we, go back to the previous system we had, though? Up until around 2006 I was in favour of courts not granting divorces easily, a few years ago I instead embraced an optional covenant marriage style legislation, for a while. But it wasn't going to change things - people could still separate, for one. Covenant marriages have been quite unpopular too, and it won't be a force for change either way. Also, determining fault in marriage breakdown is rather complicated in the modern world, may lead to potentially unfair outcomes, and would generate lots of legal costs.

It is the culture of divorce that is driving the high divorce rate, I believe, and no-fault divorce has caused that, as a side effect. Whilst no-fault divorce may be a good idea for court proceedings, it has also generated the cultural idea that marriages can just end because the couple has drifted apart and are no longer attracted to each other. The truth is that, marriage is a life-long commitment, and you cannot just end it because you are no longer attracted to your partner or you find a 'more suitable' one. It shouldn't end unless you really, absolutely, cannot live with each other. People are still usually able to live with each other even when not particularly attracted to each other, unless there is violence or intimidation, or one party has committed adultery. To walk away in the absence of such absolute need is fault in itself, I believe. Whilst no-fault divorce is actually quite practical in law, in culture it is a disaster. It's just another way that putting a cultural and religious institution into the law can generate inappropriate outcomes. Marriage privatization can fix this.

The fact that marriage, if based on a marriage certificate from the government, is owned by the government and could be revoked by the government at any time, is the source of many problems. If marriage was instead owned and maintained by the couple and witnessed and helped by the community of family and friends around them, I believe things would be much better. If governments no longer own any claim on marriage, any 'no-fault' separation would just be the termination of a civil union. Whichever party was at fault of not trying their best to maintain the marriage - well, they would know it themselves, and the family and friends would know it too. And there would be no government to help soothe the guilty conscience, nor any decree from a court to make a moment of profound failure into a moment of freedom (the decree would be to dissolve the civil union - the marriage is still broken solely by the guilty party). This would definitely help end the divorce culture, I believe.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Child Needs a Mother and a Father, but not Sexism and Homophobia

Let me now address one important argument of those who are against gay family rights.

I think, speaking generally, it could be agreed that a child NEEDS a mother and a father. After all, most children have as their biological and legal parents a mother and a father. In those cases, the ideal thing is to have the child brought up by both of them. It would definitely not be a good scenario if there is, for example, a divorce of the parents and only one parent gains sole custody. That is why I am a staunch proponent of shared custody, and also creating restrictive terms for ending couple relationships.

However, there are problems like infertility out there, and society's compassionate response is that infertile couples shall be able to create children using donor material. In that case, the infertile couple will be the parents. Some may say that this idea puts adult desires before child welfare, but children grow up to be adults too, and it is not good for child welfare for a society to be rigid and uncompassionate. After all, nobody can dispute that children who come to the world in this way generally do no worse than other children. This is a good arrangement, it's not perfect but we cannot let perfect be the enemy of good.

Now there's another type of infertile couple out there being discussed - gay and lesbian couples. If we uphold the idea of equality, and accept that their infertility, caused by their sexual orientation, is an inborn thing rather than a lifestyle choice (which most of us do), then they too should be treated the same way as straight infertile couples.

Now here is where some people take the 'a child needs a mother and a father' idea in the wrong direction. They argue that a child always needs male and female parents, even when they are not their biological parents. So such equal treatment of gay couples should not occur. Now this is not only a strange way to think, as unsubstantiated ideas should never be used to justify unequal treatment, it is also downright sexist. People are not their sex or gender. There are as many types of males as there are females, and I can guarantee you that the average geek girl is more similar to the average geek guy than the average girly party girl. I do acknowledge that gender stereotypes as often generally true, but they are only true on average. But even biological parents are not always the typical male and the typical female, yet everybody just accepts this as part of nature's diversity. Nor would anybody seriously say that only infertile couples who are the typical male and the typical female should get assisted reproduction - that would be incredibly sexist. Having different rules just because the couple's gender is different is both sexist and homophobic.

It is true, for 97%+ of cases, that 'a child needs a mother and a father'. After all, a child needs two parents and is best served by being raised by their biological parents. However, rigid application of this idea is stupid, and unfortunately is often a front for bigotry.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This is What Hate Causes

You know, sometimes I am accused of being too staunchly critical of people who promote racism, homophobia or hate in general. Some people are just slow to evolve, you should respect your opponents, things like that have been said to me many times. But it is out of a hope that hate will be eradicated that I am being so stern towards haters. So I will continue doing it.

And if you are still not convinced about my approach, you can take a look at what hate can actually cause:


And finally, to haters: you can hide behind all the religion you want to, but to me you are still no more than a hater. Religious people who don't hate, well, don't hate, and I believe all haters hiding behind religion are no more than pretenders. And no, I am not taking that back, ever.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I Will Never Support Any Church Same Sex Marriage Campaign

Recently I was giving a speech on the topic of marriage equality again. I was asked a question about churches and same sex marriages. What if one day there is a campaign urging churches to perform same sex marriages?

Firstly, I will be staunchly opposing any action via politics or courts to force churches to perform same sex marriages. I will not just be taking a neutral stance, I will be opposing that action. I am surely many fellow supporters of marriage equality in the law would also stand with me on this issue. Any attempt at interfering with religion via politics, government or courts is an affront to religious freedom and the separation of church and state, and will never, ever be something I can morally support. Not now, not in 100 years time.

How about a campaign by church members themselves that doesn't involve the government or the law? I would stay out of that, as being not a member of any particular church I don't think I should have a say on that at all. The church members should solve it themselves, applying their own reasoning of religion. The only thing I would say about such a campaign is that the outside world should, as part of their respect for the freedom and dignity of religion, stay out of the conversation too if they are not a member of the said church. I will again staunchly oppose any attempt to influence church definitions of marriage from the outside world by cultural pressure.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Revisiting Citizen Initiated Referenda

Citizen initiated referenda to enable people to make laws or even alter the constitution even when the government would not act. They are often supported by libertarians. A group would have to first gather enough signatures, upon which they can demand a referendum.

I myself have had reservations about them due to civil rights concerns. For example, people can and probably will demand a referendum for capital punishment in many European countries, Canada and the US states without capital punishment, and their odds of winning it are almost 100% in many cases. In libertarian thought, rights should trump even democratic mandate, as is necessary to prevent tyranny of the majority.

However, a system without citizen initiated referenda can actually be bad for civil rights. Recently I had a look at a map of global acceptability of gay relationships, and it appears that whilst the likes of the UK and France are moving towards marriage equality, at least 3 countries with a lower level of homophobia (Germany, Finland and Australia) still do not have marriage equality. The parliament in these countries appear to be made up of people more conservative than the general public on this issue. The situation seems to be the most ridiculous in Germany, with 89% support for gay relationships, yet the government only recently treated them equally in the financial sense. If Germany, Finland or Australia had citizen initiated referenda marriage equality would almost certainly be law in these countries.

I propose a solution - that Citizen initiated referenda only be allowed when they are consistent with human rights. That means that every petition for referendum must be submitted to the court for ruling, and a referendum will only be granted when ruled by a court to be compatible with civil rights. I think this strikes a balance, and will provide the best outcome for civil rights in any situation.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Committed Gay Couples Who Don't Prefer Marriage Should Be Respected. They Also Don't Defeat the Need for Marriage Equality.

Believe it or not, there are gay couples out there who actually believe that marriage is 'too straight' for them, and they don't wish to take part in it. Now the anti-equality people have snatched this up as a vindication of their belief that marriage is heterosexual only. In turn, some sections of the equality community have questioned the motives of those gay couples who don't want marriage.

Actually, those gay couples who believe that marriage is 'too straight' are not only free to do so, they have a point too. Marriage will always be 98% straight even with marriage equality, and changing from 100% to 98% doesn't change anything really. Marriage will stay a straight culture based institution. If they want a gay culture based institution they can have their own.

But how about forcing all gay couples away from marriage? Just because it's straight culture based, doesn't mean it should exclude gay people. Society operates at its best whenever its institutions try to accommodate minorities' aspirations too. Our popular culture is mainly made by and for straight people, but does not exclude gay people. Likewise, to exclude Asian people from a festival of European culture because they may taint it with their Asianness is a very racist idea. They are welcome to participate as long as they respect that it is a festival of European culture, not Asian culture. They would not be forced to join the Asian culture festival instead. Moreover, marriage itself already inherently has that flexibility and compassionate accommodation - marriage has historically often been about procreation, but infertile couples are not excluded, for example.

Some gay people like to have a culture of their own, but most gay people from my observations tend to want to join mainstream society, and would fully respect the predominantly heterosexual character of it, as long as they are also allowed to join. Heterosexual society should accommodate them, therefore, just like most gay bars and gay parades also welcome straight people.

The other issue is that marriage, as an unfortunate consequence of developments during Western history, is written into the law, so marriage discrimination is legal discrimination.

Therefore, even if some gay couples want a gay culture based institution for commitment rather than marriage, that doesn't defeat the need for marriage equality.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I am a Proud 'Liberaltarian': Libertarian and Social Democrat Fusion

When you read that headline, did it confuse you? In much of the West, libertarians are thought of as right wingers resolutely opposed to any government wealth redistribution, and social democrats are very much pro-welfare.

I did start my adult life as a complete libertarian. I still do believe that freedom is the best, and a free competition is the best way to get great outcomes. But, even with my limited education in economics, I do know of something called market failure. Even traditional libertarians know that a country cannot survive without an army, a police force and some sort of government, and none of it is provided by the free market. But traditional libertarians have overlooked other forms of market failure - for example, loss of freedom for the disadvantaged due to market forces, media empires determined to force a particular outcome on a democratic election (see Australian election 2013 for example), and loss of freedom for people of minority ethnic groups and LGBT citizens due to hate crimes and lack of anti-discrimination legislation. I believe it is the government's responsibility to address these too, in a truly free nation. Since many of these things do cost money to implement, an obsession with small government must give way to the idea of having enough government to maintain freedom for everyone. Hence, economically, I would have to be centre-left, or social democratic.

Of course, many things about libertarianism remain valid even in this 'expanded' view of freedom and what a libertarian government should do. For example, I support the following positions which are shared by many if not most libertarians:

Citizen initiated referenda to enable people to make laws even when the government would not act (only when ruled by a court to be compatible with civil rights - every petition for referendum must be submitted to the court for ruling)
Marriage privatization - and I have a long term plan for that, rather than just talk
Opposition to 'affirmative action'
Opposition to 'antitrust laws' and other competition laws
Opposition to compulsory military service
Opposition to military expansion beyond the need of self defence
Opposition to military action not directly related to national defence
Opposition to environmental regulations and taxes not clearly supported by democratic mandate
Recall elections to ensure governments cannot act outside of democratic mandate
Removal of victimless 'crimes', including legalization of marijuana
Regular judicial review to remove all unenforceable legislation
Remove of all protectionism in international trade
End all middle class welfare, corporate subsidies and farm subsidies
Support for strong civil liberties guarantees against populism or 'security based excuses'
Support for states rights and opposition to centralism in federations like the US and Australia
Support for the government maintaining a morally neutral stance in matters including abortion, feminism, lifestyle choices, competing visions of family values, the climate change debate, etc.

I also happen to believe that once we have a strong social safety net, we can more effectively embrace the free market. Currently, deregulation has often had to be compromised, when there are potential devastating effects on people's livelihoods. A strong social safety net would mean deregulation can occur without this compromise.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moving to Marriage Privatization - First Steps

Whenever one examines the issue of marriage privatization, there are indeed a lot of practical problems associated with its implementation. What we need to do to prepare for the day when we are ready for marriage privatization is to prepare the legal infrastructure for it. And it is going to take some time.

One popular argument opposing marriage privatization is that governments would have no way to distribute couple benefits and divide assets and settle custody issues in divorce when marriage is no longer set in law. Some even said that there would be difficulty applying domestic violence laws. But this does not have to be the case, and certainly is not the case everywhere.

Analyses pointing out the above problem usually come from a purely US perspective. In the US, politicians have had an unhealthy obsession with marriage as enshrined in law for decades. But in Australia, for example, as I understand all the above is applied equally to married couples, couples in civil unions or registered relationships, and cohabiting de-facto couples who have been together for more than 2-3 years. The system in Australia has been functioning like that for a long time and it hasn't collapsed - there is no reason why the US cannot follow suit.

Another thing we can do is to review the benefits given to married couples and decide whether to tailor them to needs so they can be more justifiable rather than sentimentally attached to legal marriage. For example, I firmly believe that tax breaks for married couples should only apply to those couples who have children under 21. It should cease to apply to childless couples or couples who only have adult children, because they do not need such a benefit, and it would be unjustifiable to provide it to them without providing the same to any two single people who wanted to share in it.

Whilst we are trying amend marriage legislation around the world in pursuit of marriage equality, the wording of the legislation can also be considered. Canada has put it best in my opinion. The Civil Marriage Act of 2005 states that 'marriage, for civil purposes, is the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others'. Notice it says 'for civil purposes' - three words I believe should be in the marriage acts of every country.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

An Olive Branch to Marriage Equality Opponents

Whilst I passionately fight for marriage equality because I believe in civil rights and equality under the law in every area, I really cannot be honest if I said my opponents are all homophobic bigots. There are indeed plenty of people who have a problem with 'marriage equality' but who otherwise would be decent towards gay couples.

The thing we should recognise is this - the whole struggle is based on a historical wrong. Power hungry governments assumed control of marriage in Europe, which then spread all around the world. The law should not have a definition of marriage at all - it did OK without one for many centuries. I totally respect that people can have different views on the definition of an institution, but now that it has come to this, those of us that demand civil rights equality must fight for our position. It's a fight that we should not need to have had, but circumstances made it necessary. So if anything, we should not blame the opponents, we should blame history.

I guess the Canadian Civil Marriage Act has the best answer. Whilst it legislated for marriage equality, it also states this: "For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom." This, I believe, should be in every marriage act across the world, along with equal marriage rights.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Australians, Please Save Our Best Prime Minister Ever!

Kevin Rudd, current Australian Prime Minister, is facing a tough election tomorrow. He has a great record but the circus they call the media here is trying to get him out of office, by spreading unfound fear about our economy, an economy that he was responsible for saving from the Global Financial Crisis.

He has got to be one of the most courageous Prime Ministers in our history:


Meanwhile, his opponent Tony Abbott is quite elusive on this and other matters.

And it's not just marriage equality. Consider the following: it would be a shame if Australia missed out on ANY of these things, don't you think?



Meanwhile, the media are desperate to destroy the best PM we ever had, likely because its interests lie elsewhere:


Just something to make your blood boil, isn't it?

Final words: If you are Australian, please consider your vote carefully. If you are not Australian, then it may help to raise what I just said with an Australian you might know. Australia just cannot afford to lose a great PM like Kevin Rudd.

Monday, September 2, 2013

I'm Not Going to Fight For Marriage Privatization Anytime Soon

In response to my latest article about marriage privatization, there were plenty of responses along the lines of 'why don't you start a movement for marriage privatization'?

I mean, I do support marriage privatization, and it addresses problems that marriage equality cannot. For example, nobody will need to beg a rogue government to recognise their relationships anymore, the new civil unions system can not only provide for married couples all the needs they have now but can also be extended to for example two widows living together, etc.

But as I mentioned in the last post, the current legal infrastructure makes it impractical to achieve right now. Plus creating any further distraction from the last civil rights movement in history, marriage equality, is not morally sound, in my opinion. Especially to highlight a cause that just cannot be achieved in the next 20 years anyway.

Instead, I will be focusing on bringing the benefits of marriage privatization to society, whilst keeping the issue alive for those who are interested. For example, my Make Your Marriage Count movement aims to do just that, in an apolitical-person-friendly format.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Marriage Privatization: The Realities, and How We Can Overcome Them

I first advocated for marriage privatization back in 2004. (Just google it if you don't know what it means) It is the idea that the government just doesn't legislate for 'marriage' at all - it will be a cultural and religious thing not mentioned by law. There are two forms of this movement - one is to transfer all current marriages to civil union status, and transfer all laws associated with marriage to civil unions. I support this form of marriage privatization, since it is much simpler and not socially radical - there is no change to the everyday functioning of society. The other form is doing away with a one-size-fits-all status altogether, and everyone instead negotiates their own martial contracts which are lodged with the government. Somehow I think that's a radical change people won't appreciate.

But the point is academic anyway. The current structure of the law means that there is no convenient way of mutual recognition of anything not called a marriage between different countries, and between different state and federal governments within one country. So we just don't have the legal infrastructure for that yet. Maybe one day we will, but until then, we cannot proceed with marriage privatization in law.

Anyway, that's unfortunate, because I happen to be a staunch believer in marriage privatization. So what can we do? There are several things we can do to slowly kick-start the process.

1) Cultivate a cultural view of marriage that is distinct and separate from the legal status of marriage. One word can have multiple meanings - like a bill can be a bill of parliament or a cutting instrument. Of course, the cultural marriage should be cherished above and beyond how we view the legal status of marriage.

2) Governments can offer parallel civil union or registered partnership systems, open to all couples, with the full set of rights and responsibilities found in legal marriages.

3) Encourage respect for marriage as a cultural institution, rather than as a legal contract.

4) Demand respect for all relationships and marriages, no matter how they are registered with the government, or not.

5) Respect that there are different views of marriage, and celebrate them all. For example, a church may believe marriage really means those married under its laws, whilst gay and lesbian citizens may believe in gay and lesbian marriage even if their church or government does not. Both these views can exist, and co-exist peacefully, we believe.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rudd and Albo, Three More Years!

The Australian election is coming up. My friends, in life there aren't many easy choices, but here is one. I believe we have the clearest choice in the country's history this time. In my opinion, anybody not voting for the return of the Rudd government is a fool - there's no nice way of putting this.

Here are my reasons:

1) The Rudd government has been a good custodian of our country. Its economy has weathered the global financial crisis well, and I trust that under the Rudd government we will weather any future challenges, including the end of the mining boom, very well.

2) Kevin Rudd and Anthony Albanese support marriage equality. In contrast, Tony Abbott has called it a 'fashion', and even prevented his colleagues from voting for it! Tony Abbott is every bit a right wing extremist who will take away freedom, equality and opportunity when it fits the right wing agenda.

3) Tony Abbott's sister is in a committed lesbian relationship, and hopes to get married. If Abbott does not even care about his sister, will he care about the rest of the country?

4) Tony Abbott's economic policies hurt families. Workchoices and 15% GST are possibilities, and to see their impact one only needs to look at the original GST and Workchoices as implemented by the Howard government. Going even further, Tony Abbott has talked about changing the already meagre Newstart allowance so that potentially people will have to move miles away from their families to work in mines and farms when they are not even trained to do so! An Abbott government will be toxic for families. For this reason alone it is scary.

5) The 'direct action' environmental policy is not only inferior to the Rudd government's Emissions Trading Scheme, it is also very costly and will lead to either unnecessary new taxes or cuts in spending - ultimately, it is families who get hurt. All this so that the Coalition can have a 'different' policy!

6) Team Abbott have been playing dirty, in my opinion. They have released policies which do not add up in a hope to get over the line. The Murdoch-led media has also been very biased, hellbent on getting Abbott into office. One widely suspected reason is because Murdoch fears the government's National Broadband Network will affect the business of Foxtel. All this cannot be rewarded. We need to show them that this is a democracy, and WE are in charge.

7) Tony Abbott has also repeatedly singled out the Greens as an 'extremist party', probably because they wouldn't support him to be PM in the 2010 hung parliament negotiations. There are some things the Greens do that I will not agree to, but I believe the Liberals under Abbott are much more extreme than the Greens. Even under Howard they had Workchoices, something more extreme than any Green policy will ever be. And Abbott looks more of a right wing extremist than even Howard. The pot calling the kettle black is just not on.

Therefore, isn't it a clear cut choice?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Opinion: Ethnic Enclaves Good for Socities

People have long been saying that ethnic enclaves are a bad thing for society. As someone who likes controversy and debate, let me put my own alternative viewpoint into play: ethnic enclaves are good for society, and are just what society needs in this day and age.

In a global society, we need to encourage the free flow of people and resources to keep up economically. This applies to all countries. Protectionist measures are no good for the future of any country, and will be increasingly despised in this global world. A country's talent will need to be maintained and enhanced by immigration, or their industries will perish. A country also would benefit from having culturally diverse people as part of its workforce, and countries without this will not be able to keep up in the global race.

However, there is considerable fear from both natives and immigrants in every country, that their culture is going to be eroded. Nobody actually wants the world to be 'one culture'. For immigrants, life in the ethnic enclave is a way to participate in their new society, whilst not losing their cultural heritage. For natives, the fact that historically foreign cultures are kept in enclaves mean that the mainstream culture can continue its existence, whilst there are increased opportunities to make contact with different cultures, something which would have been the preserve of the rich just decades ago. It really is the best of both worlds.

A melting pot is a difficult situation for many people, as nobody wants their own culture to be melted down. However, we can all happily co-exist in a salad bowl, where nobody is melted down. Enough said.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who Deserves to be Hanged

Who deserves to be hanged by our judicial system? This is an emotive question. And honestly, it's one that I have had trouble answering sometimes. At various times, I have thought that terrorists, people who kill others in hate crimes, and people who kill their parents should be eligible for hanging. After all, limiting hangings to these crimes would make it sufficiently rare, and a fitting punishment for extraordinarily evil acts.

However, there's a catch. Hanging is irreversible, and the judicial system is not perfect. I have done my research, and have found several cases of people found guilty of the above crimes but had their convictions overturned on appeal. If those people were hanged, that would have been a grave injustice.

Hence my conclusion: I can never support the state sponsored execution of criminals, whatever the crime. I firmly believe that there is a special place in hell for terrorists, people who kill others in hate crimes, and people who kill their parents, but it's not the place of our justice system to condemn others to death if it is imperfect.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Marriage Boycott: Not for Me, but Still Noble

Marriage boycott is the idea that you will not get married - or have a wedding ceremony but not legally sign papers for the government (as David Pocock did for example) - until everyone can. In previous years, in the face of widespread apathy over the issue, I supported the cause for a few years, and then deemed that it was unnecessary to support it anymore because the required public awareness has been raised. Many people are still continuing their boycott however. So having backed away from it for quite some time now, what do I think of it?

Marriage has a cultural and heritage significance for many people, me included. Maybe it's because I am partially conservative at least. That's why I wouldn't be part of a marriage boycott unless I believed it was the only way we could raise awareness for equality - that was what I believed 5 years ago, for example. Now that we have more effective strategies, I will use those strategies to contribute towards the goal of equality instead. However, some couples still want to use the marriage boycott as part of what they contribute to the equality movement. Good on them, I say. Everyone should be contributing what they feel comfortable about, even if we may end up making different contributions.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Literally Stupid?

Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine recently said "I hate this country" during a live episode of The Voice, after two of his contestants were eliminated. Nothing special here, I guess. The reaction was surprising though. There have since been calls for NBC to fire him.

Obviously we know that Adam doesn't really hate America. But apparently, some people must take everything literally. How crazy!

No wonder some people in America are now saying that everything should be taken literally. Or wait - did that come first? The dumbing down of culture has really hit hard!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Lohans Reconcile for the Sake of Their Children

Well known couple Michael and Dina Lohan, divorced a few years ago, have reportedly decided to reconcile for the sake of their children. They recently met for dinner in Hollywood.

Isn't it great news?

I am a staunch fan of the traditional commitment for life model, and I am no fan of any divorce, as readers of my column would well know. But what happens when things don't work out? Some traditionalists would refuse to even discuss the matter - but that doesn't help. I rather prefer the philosophy of harm reduction.

Harm reduction is a philosophy we use in our healthcare system, and I think it's a philosophy we can apply in family life too, in a way. It's basically saying that, even when there is undesirable behaviour or outcomes, we can and should still do our best to reduce the harm to all parties. In the case of relationships that break down, I think the best harm reduction strategy is an agreement to try to reconcile for the many years ahead, for example agreeing to meet each other regularly in the years ahead, and to continue to have family outings. I think we should support and encourage ex-couples to do that more.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Marriage Will Never be Obsolete. Here's the Future.

You all know that I am in the business of fighting for marriage equality, and I am serious about it. Recently, somebody asked me: marriage will be obsolete anyway, why fight for it?

The truth is that, marriage will NEVER be obsolete, and I really don't want to see it become obsolete either. I believe almost all those fighting for marriage equality will see it the same way. This is why it is a meaningful fight for us.

But nowadays couples are not choosing marriage in increasing numbers right? 25% of children are already not born in marriages, right?

Marriage is but one way of permanent commitment, truth to be told. It is especially appealing to those in some religious faiths, and maybe less appealing to others. But it is here to stay. Other forms of permanent commitment include civil unions and domestic partnerships, other religious covenants, and cohabitation backed up by declaration of permanent commitment to friends and family, for example. Even within marriage, some people choose a 'biblical' marriage, others opt for a civil ceremony. More choice that lead to the same objectives is always better. That objective is permanent commitment, and one that we would like to see encouraged. That means encouraging marriage, for now and forever.

In the future, marriage won't be the only choice for permanent commitment, but an equally valid choice amongst others to achieve the same objective. Therefore, it will always be encouraged, and will always be relevant. Therefore, we need to fight for marriage equality, and ignore those who want instead the 'abolition of marriage'.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Catherine Zeta-Jones Gets Treatment for Bipolar

Catherine Zeta-Jones has reportedly checked into a treatment centre for treatment of bipolar disorder. She had previously revealed her condition back in 2011.

Mental health and illness is an often ignored topic in society. I hope high profile cases like these can raise awareness. We need to talk about and acknowledge this problem big time.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Will NEVER be Supporting Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs

Since my last post on The Sex Ed Wars, I have received comments that I should sign on to the Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage bandwagon if I was for family values. Let me make this clear - I will NEVER be supporting Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage programs, and this is an article of faith for me.

My position on Sex Ed in schools have been well described in the last article. Outside of that context, I am all for freedom of choice for all adults, as I have said, but I am all for abstinence outside of firm, permanent commitment, and I will support its promotion as a cultural thing amongst adults. I will not stand for making any position, including mine, to be taught as orthodoxy for adult behaviour in schools, and be part of the crowd who is being accused of indoctrinating people, as it would hurt our cultural cause.

What I will also not support in any context is any Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage programs, and that is for absolutely any context. The emphasis on Marriage is simply not compatible with my beliefs, and it would hurt my conscience to say otherwise. It is ironic that it is my long term support for marriage equality that taught me that no moral program should be tied to a government and church sanctioned institution, and that is what marriage is. My standard is for abstinence until permanent commitment, which includes, but is not limited to marriage, and I believe that practically speaking it is as strong a standard as Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage. And to me, that is a major difference, something I will never be able to gloss over.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The 90s Model

The 90s model, a model of cultural stances based on the superb arrangement of things in the 1990s, is something that I am proud to support. After all, it's the model of success. I have objective proof of this.

Let's look at how the other models stack up against the 1990s model:
1) The 1950s model. There was a great deal of family values, but the atmosphere was repressive and not conducive to real progress on issues. It was a bad time to be a minority of any kind.
2) The 1960s model. There was real progress on many issues, but this decade was a double edged sword. It proved to be the beginning of tolerance in the West, but also the beginning of decadence in the West.
3) The 1970s model. There were lots of arguments, and society was nearly paralysed in more ways than one. Family values also fell away quickly, for multiple reasons, which is not surprising when everything else good also fell away.
4) The 1980s model. There was too much greed, and not enough awareness paid to emerging problems like HIV/AIDS. One big mistake we should never repeat.
5) The 2000s model. Lots of polarisation, lots of hate everywhere. Popular culture and music became repulsive in many ways. Dangerous drug use soared, and the sexualisation of the media proceeded without brakes. A total disaster.

In fact, these models all serve as warnings for us not to repeat certain mistakes. For example:
1) The 1950s taught us that there should be a bottomline of freedom for individuals, and repressive institutions repressing minorities should not be endorsed for the sake of stability.
2) The 1960s and 70s taught us that some values should be held dear, or they will fall away irreversibly.
3) The 1980s taught us that greed is not good, and emerging problems even when they only affect minorities should be dealt with with care.
4) The 2000s taught us that hate and divisiveness can tear a society apart.

So what is the 90s model? It is a model of tolerance and acceptance for all. But whilst doing that we remain proud of our culture, our family values. In fact, we are not afraid to show it. Allowing freedom for everyone doesn't mean that we need to shut up about our most treasured values, it merely requires that we do not judge people who do not live our lifestyle.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Behind Spring Breakers

Films like the recent Spring Breakers may appeal to those who like sexy scenes, and I won't judge because that's not what I do, but everyone should know what people have to endure in their production. Now it has been reported that Selena Gomez had a mini breakdown when filming Spring Breakers. "I got overwhelmed doing some of the things we were doing and having such an active audience at all times, even though I knew at heart we were super-safe," she said.

Obviously, I won't be watching Spring Breakers. It doesn't fit with my morals.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lady Gaga Stands by Principles

Lady Gaga has reportedly rejected a $1 million offer to perform at the Republican National Convention last year.

It appears that, like her or not, this woman has principles, which is more than can be said of many Hollywood people nowadays. If you really believe in something, you have to put your money where your mouth is. If you believe in marriage equality, you don't do anything to support a party that has such a strong position against it. I think we can all learn from this.

Maintaining the Integrity of Civil Unions

In some Western countries where civil unions are available, they have become a popular 'lower tier commitment' alternative to marriage. France is a good example where this has occurred. And it is something that I staunchly oppose.

Firstly, civil unions are derived from marriage. It is supposed to serve a similar function, but without the religious baggage. Just as I do not accept the idea of 'open marriages' or '12 month mini marriages', I cannot accept the idea of a marriage-lite institution. Civil unions are a marriage alternative that should be equally as serious and solemn, not a marriage-lite easy way out.

The second, and perhaps even more important reason, is that civil unions serve to be a way gay couples can have equal rights where marriage equality is not yet available. This type of equality does not negate the need for marriage equality, but still is very useful. For places where marriage equality can be readily achieved, and I believe this now includes much of Europe, and US and Australia, we should push for marriage equality. However, this is completely out of the question, and will still be out of the question in 30 years' time, in most of the world. Some of those countries, however, may be ready to adopt civil unions. There is even a movement for civil unions in Japan already, for example! The cheapening of civil unions will not do this cause very well. Moreover, the cheapening of civil unions by heterosexuals in the West can only serve to reinforce the second class status of gay couples in civil unions in other parts of the world, and is something true equality believers should not do.

Civil unions have also been bad mouthed by some marriage equality advocates, and I believe this is unfortunate. From the start civil unions were about equal rights and dignity. The need for equality in the institution of marriage is a separate issue and a separate type of equality issue altogether, and the lack of marriage equality should not be a reason to bad mouth civil unions.

A good guide regarding civil unions is that they must be treated like marriages, seriously and solemnly, and in the spirit of family values. Good examples are those couples who regard marriage as too religious or 'bourgeois' and choose civil unions (or cohabitation) instead, but still uphold the value of commitment.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

From a Music Chart to Seeing Culture At Large - Family Friendly vs Inclusive?

My personal music chart, the Jenienland charts, have been running for over a decade now. Some have praised it for bringing family friendly music to people's attention. However, others have criticised that, on occasion, a not-so-family-friendly (in my opinion and others' opinion) hit comes up. A good example would be last year's How We Do by Rita Ora. Why don't I make it all family friendly, people have asked.

The reason is that I stand for the principle of equal opportunity for all cultures and lifestyle choices, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else. I am inclined towards more traditional sounds and cultural themes myself generally, but I do give every song an equal opportunity, and if I like it, I like it. Even if it means Rita Ora going number one.

I extend this approach to other cultural matters too. Culture should be a matter of free market and competition, I believe, and may the best cultures win.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Using 'Partner' for Same Sex Marriages

A while back, Associated Press has reportedly issued a memo stating that generally their writers should use the word 'partner' rather than 'husband' or 'wife' when referring to same sex marriages. They have also been respectful about letting writers use 'husband' or 'wife' for those couples who have used it themselves regularly. This has stirred controversy in some quarters. As a result, AP has now clarified that the terms husband and wife can be used for any married couple.

However, I personally agreed with the AP decision. These are the same standards I use myself anyway. Husband and wife are quite gendered terms, and I think not all married same sex couples will identify with those terms. Using the term partner has quite a tradition in gay culture, and it is respectful. My lesbian friend agrees with me.

In fact, I have decided to use that standard for everyone now, using a non-discrimination principle. All couples are referred to as 'partners' in my articles, unless they self refer to themselves as husband and wife. After all, even heterosexual couples may not abide by these gendered terms in their lived reality.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Case of Stevie Nicks: Why Drugs are Bad for You

I have often maintained my belief that a lifestyle of alcohol and recreational drug use is no good for anybody's wellbeing, and I am very serious about it. Some have blamed my stance on my conservatism, yet I can clearly tell you that it's a clearly reasoned decision. I don't even support the criminal laws surrounding recreational drug use - I believe they are useless and anti-dignity. But I maintain that it is my duty to point out the pitfalls of a lifestyle of alcohol and recreational drug use.

Here is just one more example.

Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks recently discussed her past cocaine use on TV. "Save your money, because it's gonna cost you $50,000 to go to rehab... You will have to go or you will die," she told cocaine users out there. Clearly the cocaine use didn't work out too well for her. And I suspect it won't really work out well for anybody else either - after all, that reality is the same for everyone.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lindsay Lohan: A Case of Privilege

So Lindsay Lohan avoided jail again recently, but will have to spend 90 days in rehab. Reportedly, she was upset because she would have to spend her birthday in rehab. However, sympathy from out there is very thin - many commentators I have seen are calling for her to be put in jail instead.

Why so much animosity towards her?

I guess the answer is that she has a case of privilege that most people won't have. Regarding the rehab sentence, for example, she can choose to pay an expensive sum to check into a relatively nice place, whilst a poor person facing the same sentence would have to opt for a state run facility that is similar to jail. At least she can be spending her birthday in a place that doesn't look like jail! Also, despite her chaotic lifestyle in recent years, she continues to receive jobs, and the money that comes with it. Many people who choose to live this lifestyle would have been long unemployed. What a privilege!

I guess sections of Hollywood is full of unearned privilege, and many of us are frustrated.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

On Opposing the 'Civil Union Boycott' Movement

Recently I have seen gay couples who have decided to 'hold off everything' until they can legally marry in their home country. This seems to be the case especially in places like parts of Europe and Australia, where marriage equality is not yet reality but might soon be. However, I really don't agree with this. In my opinion, if you are ready to commit, you should commit by having a ceremony and drawing up legal connections. If you are not ready to commit, that's another matter, but if you are ready to commit, you should.

The legislation of marriage equality, although important, is a political affair. Having a formal ceremony and drawing up legal connections as much as possible are personal affairs. If one cannot register a legal marriage yet, there are still ways to live in commitment, in the same spirit that a marriage should be lived in. One can have a formal commitment ceremony and at the same time have either a civil union or registered partnership (where it is available) or at least draw up legal contracts and update their will (where civil unions are not available). One can, in the ceremony, announce to everyone their legal commitments, and their spiritual commitments to stay together to the exclusion of all others and for life. After all, a publicly declared legal and spiritual commitment with the intention that this commitment is exclusive and lifelong is what marriage is about. This is the core of the spirit that should be guiding marriages anyway, and couples interested in marriage can and should also live in this spirit even where legal marriage is unavailable to them.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Carly Rae Jepsen Hopes to Push for Change

Carly Rae Jepsen recently pulled out of a Boy Scouts of America concert because she did not agree with their stance banning gay members.

My admiration for her just increased five fold. I admire people who stand up for their beliefs, and do their part to push for change.

Can all of you learn anything from this? I'm sure this is good inspiration.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Katy Perry vs Feminism - Which has a Problem?

There was a lot of controvery when Katy Perry declared that she was not a feminist last year. After all, according to some people, feminism simply means that women should be equal to men. And it's likely that Katy Perry does believe in that, I think.

However, it's more likely that the image of feminism has a problem. For example, a brief search reveals that feminism has been associated with the following:
-women who would like to be homemakers forced out into the workforce
-the despising of traditionally feminine women
-the introduction of unilateral divorce
-man-hating and the supremacy of women over men
-the devaluation of family life
-transphobia, often of the most serious kind

In the ideal world none of these should be in any way related to feminism. Yet they are now, unfortunately. It is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Why do people 'hate' Taylor Swift? How about, Back Off Bullies!

Recently, I have seen many people writing about wondering why Taylor Swift has become hated by 'so many people' recently. They offer all kinds of explanation, but it really doesn't do the topic justice. In my opinion, it's a simple phenomenon that unfortunately frequently occurs in schools, although even more sadly some adults seem to never have grown out of it. It's called bullying.

Let's address the accusations first. Is she fake? We don't really know, but we don't know that about anyone else either. Is she bad for feminism? I can't see it, unless feminism means the denial of human reality and the embracing of a 'fantasy' world where girls should never act like girls. It is these people with these weird fantasies of how the world should be that have destroyed the perfectly good aspiration of being housewife for many young women, it is these people who have given feminism a bad name in some circles. Who are they to say that Taylor is bad for feminism then? Does she have too many boyfriends? She has not gone through a marriage or commitment ceremony with any of them, so she's entitled to leave whenever she wants to. Has she been mean to other women? There is no evidence of that, unless you count her songs as 'evidence'. Even more ridiculously, today I came across an article which said that it was her fault that after a year she was still saying how hurt she was at Kanye West's inappropriate behaviour, and how she was perpetuating racist stereotypes - just by telling us how she felt. Needless to say, I won't even dignify this 'argument' with a response.

So there's really no reason to dislike Taylor Swift.

My theory is that Taylor Swift is being collectively bullied, nothing more. We last saw this phenomenon with Britney Spears when she was younger. I know so many people were at least secretly happy to see Britney cry on TV that day in 2006. And I think I know the reason why it has happened to these two and not others.

Hollywood is unfortunately filled with types who unfortunately don't care about being good role models, and promote a lifestyle of endless alcohol, sex and recreational drugs. No amount of accusations will change the image of certain public figures (I don't wish to name names here but you know what type of person I am referring to) because their images are so rotten already. But Taylor Swift has a great image and is therefore different. Some of those people who have launched a verbal attack on Taylor Swift probably at least subconsciously believe they can help destroy her. It's the same kind of perverted satisfaction that comes from deliberately voting for poorly performing contestants on singing shows and seeing the next day that the frontrunner is gone.

In Hollywood, sadly sometimes it pays to be rotten. At least you don't get picked on like Taylor. How sad.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Justin Bieber Earns More Than $6,000 per Hour

It has recently been reported that Justin Bieber earned an estimated $55 million last year, or more than $6,000 per hour.

This is really wrong. I have nothing against Justin Bieber himself, but nobody deserves to earn that much. It is just testament to how unequal our society is and what direction we are heading in. This insanity must stop.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

10 Years of Marriage Equality Support Series: Marriage, Procreation and Same Sex Marriages: Part 2

Regarding the argument over marriage, procreation and same sex marriages, I sometimes cannot help but wonder if the people arguing on this basis against same sex marriages are really angry at something else, and are unfortunately taking their anger out on marriage equality. In what I believe to be an unfortunate development, many people in society have really decided that marriage shouldn't be about procreation and family but should be about only love. This, however, started out in heterosexual society and has nothing to do with marriage equality.
A common theme around opposition to same sex marriages state that it is a redefinition of marriage, and the last time that happened was with no fault divorce, which has brought on the consequence of broken families. From this line or argument, it is not hard to infer that at least some of the opposition to marriage equality is based on a fear that marriage will be further taken to be not about procreation and family. However, one can support marriage equality in the same way they support infertile couples being able to enter into marriage, without taking away from the belief that marriage is about procreation, unless one is an ideological purist, which most of us are not and should not be in relation to social matters. I, for example, am principally opposed to the idea of unilateral divorce. I personally am only not opposed to unilateral no fault divorce as law now because I respect the majority opinion on this. I see unilateral divorce as undermining the family, and I am not going to apologize for this. No fault divorce is applied across the spectrum, and represents a core change in the meaning of marriage, perhaps the most radical change ever. Marriage equality, on the other hand, is about extending some decency and equality to a minority group, and does not represent a core change to marriage as I outlined previously in Part 1.
There is indeed a case to be made for re-opening the discussion of divorce. It won't be popular, and it sure is not one of my priorities to help it along at the moment, but there are indeed merits to re-opening this discussion. There is surely widespread discomfort with the consequences of no fault divorce, and I believe only a frank discussion will solve the problem. But blaming everything wrong with no fault divorce on 'gay marriage' is the coward's way out. It is unfortunately too often cowards who hate the consequences of no fault divorce on society yet would not discuss that in fear of backlash, who have used 'gay marriage' as a surrogate thing to attack instead. We must not give credit to these cowards, cowards who do not even dare to challenge what they really believe is wrong but instead use an oppressed minority as a scapegoat.

10 Years of Marriage Equality Support Series: Marriage, Procreation and Same Sex Marriages: Part 1

Some people have argued that, as marriage was clearly designed for procreation, same sex couples just do not belong in marriage. They also say that allowing same sex couples to marry will mean that marriage is redefined to be about the emotional needs of adults.
I agree that marriage was clearly designed for procreation and it isn't just about love. Therefore, I do not support the idea of 'freedom to marry', I only support 'marriage equality'. There is no absolute freedom to marry just anybody you like, and there should not be. But including same sex couples in marriage is not about this. Marriage is a specific institution, and it should be kept that way.
The core of marriage is about procreation, it is the reason marriage exists. However we do allow infertile couples to get married. Anti equality advocates argue that this is because they still 'resemble' the arrangement for procreation, a wishy-washy argument that may also apply to at least some gay couples, e.g. butch-femme couples, and may be even applied to all gay couples since all of them are in conjugal relationships. I would rather argue that we let infertile couples marry because we are a decent society, and do not wish to exclude infertile people from marriage, so we have decided that infertile couples who otherwise live in a marriage like commitment are allowed to be married, even when they cannot procreate. We have made this decision as a society because the cost of maintaining absolute purity regarding marriage and its roots in procreation are not worth the discriminatory outcome that would taint our society so badly. The same case can be clearly made too regarding same sex couples.
More importantly, including infertile couples in marriage has not affected the central idea that marriage is for procreation, making the 'cost' of such inclusion only technical, and the case for excluding them only palatable to ideological purists, and not to the majority of the population where practical outcomes matter most. This is because infertile couples are a minority, and extending inclusiveness to them does not affect the central idea of marriage. To believe that by including gay people, comprising 2% of the population, in marriage is going to change what marriage is, is a ridiculous proposition. To uphold ideological purity now is even more ridiculous, when it has already been lost by including infertile couples. Excluding a whole class of people from an important institution in society because of a characteristic they were born with clearly taints the conscience of our society, and is clearly not worth it when the benefits are only to maintain some ideological purity, that has already been lost anyway.
A related argument against same sex marriages is that heterosexual marriages are 'complementary' whilst homosexual relationships are not. However, it is the same argument as the one above, just without spelling out the specifics. I cannot see where all heterosexual marriages are complementary and gay relationships are not, except in the field of procreation. Again, in the field of procreation, infertile couples can be said to be not strictly 'complementary' in function again, at least in some cases (e.g. where there is no womb for creating offspring in the woman). Again, to insist that this 'complementary' idea be an absolute requirement of marriage in every case is just another form of ideological purity over practical outcomes, and pertaining to an ideological purity that has already been lost anyway.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Snoop Dogg's New Single 'No Guns Allowed'

I don't usually like Snoop Dogg. But he has done something worthwhile - he wrote a new song, No Guns Allowed, hoping it will make a difference to the gun debate in the US.

Popular culture can help change minds, especially since popular culture figures talk from their own experiences, unlike many politicians. Here, Snoop Dogg comes from a position of experience - he has experience on owning guns, but his viewpoint has changed. I just felt like I had got to the point in my career and my life where I didn't need guns in my life, because I didn't project that energy. I felt like I was positive and peaceful," he recently explained. This is particularly valuable for the debate.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chris Crocker: This Generation's View on Love

Youtube personality Chris Crocker recently posted a video 'This Generation's View on Love'. View it below. It's just something we all feel, honestly.

Then someone reminded him that homosexuality was illegal in the 1920s.

There's much to be celebrated about how far we've come along today, I guess. As I said in my last post, marriage equality will end an era of struggle not just for gay people but for the whole of oppressed society.

But we can still live a traditional life. It's a good lifestyle choice, I can guarantee.

Here's the video by the way:

10 Years of Marriage Equality Support Series: Why Marriage Equality Concludes a Movement

Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our generation. And not just that - it is likely the LAST major equal rights movement. Gender equality has been achieved, in my opinion. There may be a lot of racism out there, but at least the laws of modern Western nations are not actively racist (like segragation in the US or the White Australia Policy). People are also no longer discriminated in law based on their religion. In recent years gay and lesbian rights have advanced, to the point where marriage equality is the only missing thing in many Western nations.

It is in this background that I have come to the conclusion that marriage equality isn't just the end of the struggle for gay legal rights, but a perfect end to the whole equal rights movement. Marriage equality may be much less challenging and impact a smaller population than some of the previous waves, but it will be our generation that will have finally achieved the equal rights dream. It will be for this that we will be remembered.

Of course, the eradication of cultural racism and homophobia, as well as general social justice and civil rights issues remain things that we need to continue to fight for in the long term. Whilst homophobia eradication seems quite successful in parts of Europe, racism appears much more deep rooted unfortunately. But that's a separate issue.

10 Years of Marriage Equality Support Series: From Same Sex Marriages to Preventing Polyamorous Marriages

As I said in my last article in the series, championing marriage equality by allowing same sex marriages will not open the doors to polyamorous 'marriages' at all. In fact, polyamorous 'marriage' are anthema to marriage equality.

I think this point should be stressed. Our homophobic opposition often make this point out of their ignorance, and although it is absurd, we need to answer it. I think we should also make it clear in all marriage equality materials that one who supports marriage equality can never logically support polyamorous 'marriage'.

That said, we are not going to discriminate against polyamorous people.  I know for a fact that some of them have children too so we should think about their welfare too. I support setting up our legal system to allow suitable custodial arrangements for their children. However, that has nothing to do with marriage or marriage equality.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

10 Years of Marriage Equality Support Series: Marriage Equality Is Just That

Maybe it is the fact that many marriage equality campaigns focus on the 'love=marriage' aspect, but there is considerable confusion over just what is marriage equality, and we need to address that. It is PURELY about equal opportunity that we have to address this problem. As a society we uphold equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. Everyone should have an equal opportunity before the law, but not everyone will get the same outcome and it's okay. Some people choose not to marry or cannot find the right partner, but that's okay - they have/had the opportunity to just like everyone else. Now we know that gay and lesbian people really cannot form a proper intimate relationship with the opposite sex, the basic requirement for a marriage not just on paper but in the spirit of the institution. Hence heterosexual only marriage laws effectively deny them any opportunity to enter the institution. That is inequality in opportunity. The fact that some heterosexual people who have had the equal opportunity still don't get married is besides the point. (And the fact that one of them is the Prime Minister of Australia and she is in love with a man is also besides the point.) It's really about equal opportunity rather than 'love'.

Now I want to address some people's weird idea that marriage equality is not 'equality' yet, or that it just serves as a slippery slope towards the destruction of marriage. Both views are two sides of the same coin in fact, and probably arise from the wrong belief that supporting marriage equality means that everyone in love should be able to get married. And I will address them in one go.

"But someone may want to marry their dog" - Civil marriage is part of the secular legal system. As the legal system is set up to deal with interactions between people, not other animals, it cannot and will not deal with anything like this. Animals are not legal persons and cannot enter into contracts for example. Hence nobody can marry their dog anymore than they can sign a contract with their dog or make a will in favour of their dog. Not now, not in 5000 years.

"But someone may want to marry their cousin" - Nobody is wired to be exclusively attracted to their cousin. Heterosexual men who want to marry their cousins for example are also attracted to other women, with whom they can have an intimate relationship with, with whom they can get married to and live a proper married life. They are not excluded from marriage simply because they cannot choose to marry their cousin, unlike gay and lesbian people, who are excluded from marriage because they cannot have an intimate relationship with the opposite sex. Furthermore, the ban on marrying your cousin should apply equally to heterosexual and homosexual people, in a further show of equality.

"But someone may want to marry three partners" - Marriage in the modern secular Western legal system can only accommodate two people. Otherwise there will be real inequality. For example, a monogamous married couple can get tax breaks applied to the 2 people concerned. If polygamous marriage were recognised, some people will get the same tax breaks applied to 3 or more people, which is clearly an unfair situation under our modern secular standards. Some religious states allow polygamous marriage and can make it work because the concept of fairness in their legal system is based on religious doctrines. But in a secular Western state this can never happen. Hence marriage equality REQUIRES the rejection of legally recognised polygamous 'marriages'. (In fact I think this should be a point actually made as part of citizenship education for new citizens so that they will not think it is ever possible for our laws to be amended to accommodate polygamous marriages.)
Polygamy, or polyamory as some modern Western practitioners of this idea like to call it, is also fundamentally a choice, unlike sexual orientation. I know of many married men who would otherwise like multiple sexual partners too, but chose the path of marital monogamy because they believe such an arrangement to be best for their family, and that family welfare should come before any personal sexual needs. I happen to completely agree with them here, and this I think is the spirit of marriage. Hence choosing 'polyamory' is clearly equivalent to rejecting marriage itself, and marriage will never be redefined to include something so opposite to what it is, like the definition of black cannot include white. The men that choose marriage despite their sexual appetite are also as a result able to fulfil the spirit of marriage, as whilst they would like more sexual partners, they can be properly intimate still when there is only one partner, as clearly everyone who can be intimate with more than one person can also be intimate with just one person, although it may not fulfil their sexual appetites adequately - but fulfilling sexual appetites is not what marriage is for anyway. Gay and lesbian people are also able to fulfil the spirit of marriage if they choose to, except the law is excluding them. They have not rejected marriage, the law has rejected them. As it currently stands, they can either have a proper intimate relationship with someone of the same sex but cannot enter marriage, or they can on paper 'marry' someone of the opposite sex but can never fulfil the spirit of the institution.

"Everyone is equal - to marry the opposite sex" - Let me make an analogy here. Imagine if an office job stated that you need to be over 5'9" to apply. There are no sex or racial requirements. Yet such an advertisement would likely be illegal, as the requirement to be 5'9" excludes most women, and also most men of certain races. Under Australian law, for example, this is called 'indirect discrimination'.

"Some heterosexual people cannot find the right partner either and never get married" - Let me make another analogy here. Imagine a job requiring a person be white and also have a master's degree. There are many white people without a master's degree and hence cannot apply, just like the black man with a master's degree. However, this would still constitute racial discrimination, and is clearly unacceptable. This is what 'equal opportunity' is all about.

As you can see, 1) marriage inequality is a REAL issue not a theoretical one dreamed up by activists and 2) to make things equal it ONLY requires the inclusion of same sex couples. It will NEVER require or encourage another agenda, not now, not ever. In fact, even interracial marriage was a separate issue - there was no 'inequality' there, just that it was inhumane and racist. Separate issues are argued on their separate merits, just like interracial marriage was won and marriage equality is being won right now. If somebody else wants to further change the definition of marriage, it will be up to them to argue their merits, and for the cases I listed above, they will clearly fail.
Sound changes to institutions based on good reasons will never automatically lead to unsound changes. After all, women have been able to vote for almost 100 years now, are children and animals also entitled to vote? The interracial marriage movement, whilst changing marriage law, NEVER led to the opening of the gates for polygamous marriage for example, because they are separate issues. The marriage equality movement also will NOT open the gates for them to come in and ride on our backs, not now, not ever.