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.