Do not forget The Rede

Posted in responsibility on October 26th, 2018 by gaiaswisdom — 1 Comment so far

I saw this article today – a group of “witches” in Brooklyn hexing the Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. See it here.

Now first off: I am NOT Wiccan. I’m pagan and as I’ve said before in this blog, all Wiccans are pagan but not all pagans are Wiccan (just like not all Christians are Catholic). However I AM a witch – “a wise woman” – practicing the art of healing herbs, positive energy, and environmental connectedness. I don’t hex – though I’ve been accused of doing so. I do ritual. I have been known to cast binding spells – which worked incidentally – but they have never been delivered in malice. Why? Because any pagan with the first clue about connectedness knows what you put out you get back.  By the goddess, even Christians know this one! “As ye sow so shall ye reap.” Sound familiar?

Clearly these Brooklyn “witches” have totally forgotten the most important words of the Wiccan Rede:

“An’ it harm none, do what ye will”.

Or the opening lines:

“Bide the Witches’ Law ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust.

Live thee freely and let live, fairly take and fairly give.”

 

So I’m reproducing The Rede here in full. I cannot remember where I found this version – it was many years ago – there are a few doing the rounds that say pretty much the same thing at their core though the words used to express the sentiment may vary slightly between versions.  It offers guidance on honouring your path, others, the elders, the phases of the moon, and the sabbats.

Please remember if you are hexing people, there’s a good chance you’ve forgotten what Wicca is about. Please don’t be sucked in by what you see portrayed in the media and in movies.

Blessed be.

 


THE REDE

Cast the Circle thrice about
To keep unwelcome spirits out
To bind the spell every time
Let the spell be spake in rhyme

Soft of eye and light of touch
Speak Thee little, listen much

Honour the Old Ones in deed and name
Let love and light be our guides again

Deosil go by the waxing moon
Chanting out the joyful tune
Widdershins go by the waning moon
Chanting out the baneful rune

When the Lady’s moon is new
Kiss the hand of Her, times two
When the moon rides at Her peak
Then your heart’s desire seek

 

Heed the North wind’s mighty gale
Lock the door and drop the sail
When the wind blows from the East
Expect the new and set the feast

When the wind comes from the South
Love will kiss Thee on the mouth
When the wind blows from the West
Departed souls will have no rest

 

Nine woods in the cauldron go
Burn them fast and burn them slow

Birch into the fire goes
In sign of what the Lady knows
Oak in the forest towers with might
In the fire brings the gods in sight

Rowan is a tree of power
Causing life and magic to flower
Willows, which by water stand
Ease us to the Summerland

Hawthorn is burned to purify
And to draw Faeries to your eye
Hazel, the tree of wisdom and learning
Adds its strength to the bright fire burning

White are the flowers of apple tree
That brings us fruits of fertility
Grapes, which grow upon the vine
Give to us both joy and wine

Fir tree boughs are evergreen
Immortal life in them is seen
Elderwood, the Lady’s tree –
Burn it not or cursed be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four times the major Sabbats mark
Twice in light, and twice in dark

In death the spark of life is born
At Samhain when the veil is torn
When the time for Imbolc shows
Watch for flowers through the snows

When the Wheel begins to turn
Soon the Beltane fires will burn
As the wheel turns to Lugh’s night
Power is brought to magic rite

Four times the minor Sabbats fall
Use the Sun to mark them all

When the Wheel has turned to Yule
Light the log – the Horned One rules
In the Spring, night equals day
Time for Ostara to come our way

When the Sun has reached its height
Time for Oak and Holly to fight
Harvesting comes home for all
When the Autumn Equinox does fall

 

Heed Ye Flower, Bush and Tree
By the Lady, blessed be
Where the rippling waters go
Cast a stone and truth you’ll know

When ye have and hold a need
Harken not to others’ greed
With a fool no seasons spend
Lest ye be counted as his friend

Merry meet and merry part
Bright the cheeks and warm the heart

Mind the Threefold Law ye should
Three times bad and three times good

When misfortune is enow
Wear the blue star on thy brow
True in love thou must ever be
Lest thy love prove false to thee

Eight words the Witches’ Rede fulfill
An’ it harm none … do what ye will.

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

Men and Women – Never Equal

Posted in women on June 16th, 2018 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!
This image was shared wth with me recently and when I saw it, well frankly I didn’t know where to begin.
There is nothing a man can do a woman can’t… but there are a few things a woman can do a man will never be able to do. Like bleed without dying; produce milk to nourish a child, and birth a new life. Hence the rise of patriarchy based in fear of women’s “power”. Paraphrasing Margaret Attwood: “”Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
Over the generations women have proved there is nothing – other than write their name in the snow – that a woman can’t do that was previously the ‘domain’ of men. Men and women will never be equal… but this doesn’t mean one is better than the other. What we are is equally VALUABLE. This is true feminism.
There are things I bring to the table my partner can’t and vice versa so by definition we can never be “equal”. But we are equally valuable. We focus on the wrong things IMHO. Until men and women realise their equal worth, and their worth to each other, we will always be in a mindless, unwinnable competition.
© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

What are the odds?

Posted in messages on April 10th, 2018 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Let me tell you a story …. and it’s true.

So it started maybe three weeks ago…. I began to feel someone more strongly around us – not just at home but also out. This isn’t unusual. It’s been happening to me since I was a kid. I’ve just learned to live with the passing parade 🙂 But this was different. As we got closer to Samhain they got more…. insistent. Not only were the familiar “out of the corner of the eye” flashes occurring, but I was actually running into them – literally – and when we were away from home. Like when my husband and I went shopping, I was looking at him while talking and when I turned back I was stopped in my tracks and said “Oh sorry!” because I thought I’d run into someone … who wasn’t there.

Then my husband started to experience it … that’s when I knew this wasn’t “usual” for us. Someone had something to say and they needed to say it NOW!

Probably a week ago I was at my desk working when I was gripped by a sudden pain in my chest – but not my chest – more like my entire ribcage was being hugged tight and I became breathless. “This is it!” I thought. I’m having a heart attack. Then it went. It came and went – with no other heart attack-like symptoms – for the rest of the day. I made an appointment with a chiropractor the next day thinking I’d done something to my back (I’ve lived at chiropractors almost monthly since I was 11 getting relief from ballet-induced chronic skeletal dysfunction). But by the time the morning came it was like nothing had happened.

I decided to investigate further. Someone was clearly trying to get my attention. I’d had experiences like this in the past. As an empath it’s often difficult for me to tell whether my “pains” are mine or someone else’s – and in the case of departed friends or relatives they let me know they’re around – or say goodbye – by sharing with me their pain. Like my best friend who died of peritonitis after battling ovarian cancer who visited me an hour before she crossed over with an excruciating pain in my abdomen at around 1.30am – and I found out the next morning she had passed at around 3am.

So I went to an intuitive friend to tell her what had happened and she got the similar “heart attack” like signs and felt perhaps the visitor had died of a sudden heart attack and was trying to let me know it was them. The only relatives I’d known who had died suddenly like this were my two grandfathers neither of whom I knew very well – one not at all. What could THEY want with me? Later my friend went home and did a reading. She drew King of Wands; 8 of Wands reversed; and 4 of Cups. The last two were very clearly talking to me and warning me about the way I was responding to a particular situation in my life right now. That was totally 100% clear. But the King of Wands? That wasn’t me. Was it the messenger? I didn’t know anyone who was both charismatic, charming, arrogant but also compassionate. This didn’t describe any of the male relatives in my life who had crossed over.

When discussing it with my husband later that night, completely out of the blue he said “What if it’s ….?” The name he mentioned was a partner I had 30 years ago – an incredibly abusive relationship where I was physically, emotionally and psychologically violated. It led to an Intervention Order after he broke my nose at work when I tried to break up with him. I was living in a completely different State from him now and had been for 20+ years. He fit the description though  but I didn’t think he was dead. “Go check” my husband said. So I did.

Image: www.itv.com

Some internet research later and he was indeed still alive – had spent the majority of the last 30 years repaying what can only be called a karmic debt with illness, loneliness, and – as it turned out – at least two recent heart attacks. As at 2018, he’s 53. As far as I could tell he’d never been married; never had kids. But he homed rescue cats. (A never before seen sign of ‘compassion’ in a man I knew as arrogant, narcissistic, but charming, persuasive, even kind to others?) Was this the King of Wands and were my symptoms my messenger directing me to THIS person? I dug further …. and then I saw it.

What are the odds that the universe would put this person – who nearly killed me, with the results of his abuse affecting me even today and rippling out to also affect my husband and daughter – literally smack bang in the middle of my world again? He had purchased a house in the middle of the area my husband and I had been researching for the last 18 months to relocate. No one knew exactly where we were looking. I’d not put anything publicly on social media. In a world this big – in a country the size of ours – what are the odds that he would land literally in the middle of the area we were researching?

So clearly my messenger was giving me a warning – to slow down; to think; to evaluate what I have and not be so frustrated with things not happening as quickly as I’d like – and then in no uncertain terms pointing me to the direct warning – that this person was back.

Now – what to do? Do I continue to let him impact our lives and the decisions we make by changing our plans? Do I ignore it and run the risk of running into him? Chances are he hasn’t even thought about me in 30 years. He never admitted to what he did – even in court – and has never apologised. He’s taken no responsibility at all. Perhaps he wouldn’t recognise me. Perhaps we would never run into each other. Is it time I just “let it go” and “move on”? But can I live with the knowledge that instead of hundreds of miles away he’s literally five minutes up the road? How can you “let go” of the trauma caused by abusive relationships – that leave both physical and psychological/emotional scars?

And is this lesson from the universe for me at all? Or is it for him? He has no clue where I am but what would HE do if he ran into ME? Would he recognise me? Would he apologise? Would he be aggressive? Or would this be his chance after two life-threatening events and a debilitating illness to own up to what he did all those years ago and apologise?

My daughter asked me what I’d do if I saw him. I have no idea. More importantly, I have no idea what my partner (who has lived with the results of this man’s abuse including comforting me after I woke from nightmares and my physical ‘remoteness’) would do. He’s involved in this too. Is it easier just to head in the other direction? By doing so am I denying HIM an opportunity to make reparation and take responsibility? Or do I refuse to let him continue to impact us at all?

Right now … I have no idea what we’re going to do….

As for who was trying to wake me up? I still don’t know but am grateful for the heads up. And it certainly reminded me not to ignore messages we’re being sent!

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

 

Insensitive?

Posted in life on April 7th, 2018 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

I saw this post shared by Prince EA on Facebook today and whilst I actually didn’t have the most awesome relationship with my mum, I was struck by some of the comments. Some ofrespect and cherish your mum them totally beggar belief. Desperate cries for likes and attention – desperate cries for validation. It’s sad. Here’s a selection:

Yeah only if your mother wasn’t a borderline personality psychotic abusive put me in foster care and then never explain to me why crazy b**** then yeah your mom’s your best friend otherwise no she’s not. Not fortunate enough to have one of those.

This statement is grossly incorrect for those of us with abusive and/or substance addicted mothers. While I rejoice that your own relationship was positive, not all are so blessed. Posts such as this one are both hurtful and harmful to the children of abusive mothers regardless of age, amount of time passed, or amount of counseling.

What are you talking about?? My mother tried to smother me w a pillow when I was 9, is a lifetime alcoholic, had my 2 sisters taken away and put into foster care TWICE. This meme is bullshit.

Having a crazy alcoholic mother [and father] does not make for happy warm fuzzy childhood memories. That’s why when I see something like this I sigh. It discounts 10s o thousands of people’s childhoods. Insensitive at best.

I like most of the things you post BUT this one needs to be taken down…THIS IS HURTFULL IN MORE WAY THAN YOU OBVIOUSLY KNOW.

My mother is gone and thank God there is no one like her. Some people’s mothers are broken to put it kindly. Let’s show a little sensitivity to those who had a less than perfect experience ok?

 

I feel bad for their experiences. But how is this “insensitive”? I hear the people who say “But not all mums are great”. Nor all fathers for that matter – I had one who was abusive – physically and emotionally – who used to drown us in the pool; suffocate my little brother with a pillow; humiliate us in front of others; … and more … but I don’t take it personally or find it insensitive when people post about how much they miss their dad or that he was the hero of their life or they just love him to distraction. I accept that people are different and people’s experiences are different. I don’t take their joy as a personal affront to my experience. I think “Good for you – wish mine had been different”. But it wasn’t. And that’s okay.  I still believe all parents do the best they can with what they were given. Sometimes that’s “not good enough” but they still did their best.

What’s NOT okay is for people to shut down others because THEY feel ‘offended’ by a post they consider ‘insensitive’. One comment was that it was insensitive to the “tens of thousands of us who suffered abuse by our mothers”. What about the MILLIONS who didn’t? They should ignore this, keep quiet, NOT celebrate her, so you don’t ‘feel bad’? What about those of us who didn’t have a great parent but are trying desperately to BE one? To break that mould?

I feel badly for people in this situation but you cannot define your life by your past experiences. They shape you but they don’t have to define you. That becomes your choice.

To all the great mums – and dads – Bravo to you! It’s a tough gig.

To those who aren’t so great – you probably don’t even know you’re doing it. We all make mistakes. And I hope you can do better. If it’s substance abuse based, I hope you can get help.

For those who suffered or still suffer – try and let it go and move on – it doesn’t define who you are as a person – it’s not your fault. Get help if you can’t. But don’t diminish someone else’s experience because of your own.

That’s the real insensitivity in my opinion.

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

Yes or No … Same Sex Marriage

Posted in relationships on September 14th, 2017 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Image: NT News

So during September and October 2017 the Australian people have an opportunity to participate in a non-compulsory survey on marriage in Australia, specifically whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry under federal legislation. Since the survey was announced, there has been an astounding amount of misinformation, fear-mongering, and deliberate redirecting taking place, so I wanted to write a piece on where we’re at, and addressing some of the concerns raised by those looking at voting No.

Full disclosure: I am firmly in the Yes camp. Why? Because to me this is a human rights issue – nothing more. If you believe all human beings deserve the same basic rights, then a Yes vote is really the only way to go. Plus I haven’t yet heard one logical argument to support a No vote (most being based on a personal moral belief system or religious dogma).

A lot of the No campaigning has been around religious objection, and fears that the fabric of society will somehow be torn assunder if same-sex couples are given the same rights as others. This article will attempt to address the more common objections with facts.

At the outset I should point out this article is NOT intended to change the minds of voters – as is your right in a democracy you should vote as your conscience dictates. The article does attempt however to respond to typical objections with facts without any of the fear-mongering or political posturing. These are also actual objections that I have directly heard during discussions around the issue.

You need to know what exactly it is you are voting on. With each objection I have looked for facts around the issue and references are included at the end of the post for further reading.

There are no laws currently preventing either side spreading false or misleading information about the other in this debate. So let’s attempt to clear some of it up 🙂

1.   The ‘No’ Campaign TV Ad

This ad, which was put together and aired by the Coalition for Marriage (comprising the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, and 25 other organisations) misleads viewers into thinking changing the law will impact school curriculum and parents’ rights to choose for their children not to participate in certain school-based programs. You can view the ad here.

Fact: The postal survey has nothing to do with curriculum or the Safe Schools Program (the program this ad is actually focussing on). A Yes vote will have no effect whatsoever on either State-based or Federal-based education policy. State and Federal governments will make decisions on whether to continue the anti-bullying program regardless of the outcome. Parents’ rights to exclude their children from the program is at a school level and won’t be affected by the outcome of the survey.

2.   What about children?

Some people have said that if same-sex couples adopt, for example, a boy, they will “probably interfere with them.”

Fact:  Just because they are gay doesn’t mean they are pedophiles. There are plenty of straight pedophiles being arrested and sitting in our gaols. Likewise there are plenty of straight people in hetero relationships who abuse children. Let’s not even get started on the state of ‘pedophile priests’. Same-sex couples have been able to adopt children for many years in Australia – the law around who is legally the parent however is incredibly complex and a whole other issue! Gay couples can also already foster, use IVF or a surrogate – so the postal survey won’t affect this at all.

Additionally, this argument ignores the current abuse of children by foster carers, church leaders, by caregivers in boarding schools and institutions, or by their own families. To say only same-sex couples are likely to abuse children is absurd. Statistically a child is more likely to be abused by a family member than by a stranger. According to research by Professor Stephen Smallbone of Queensland’s Griffith University, “In 70 to 80 per cent of all child sex abuse cases, there is a familial relationship between the child victim and the offender. Around 15 per cent of those abusers are the victim’s biological father. The rest are boyfriends, or stepfathers, or other adult males in an authority role”.  This is happening right now – across hundreds if not thousands of homes around the country. And given the number of people who identify as gay, and of those the number in same-sex civil unions, statistically the majority of the homes we’re talking about belong to hetero couples in supposedly ‘traditional marriages’, de facto relationships or second marriages.

3.   They can already get married.

Fact: Yes they can, but only civilly – meaning their union doesn’t have the same legal status as a federally recognised ‘marriage’. Marriage law in Australia appears to be quite complex. There is State-based legislation and Federal legislation. Marriages under state-based law are deemed invalid where they conflict with federal legislation. While it is true that same-sex couples can legally live as de facto couples and also have a civil ceremony, it’s worth noting that under Australian law differences exist between the rights a de facto couple enjoy and those a married couple enjoy particularly in relation to family law matters such as property settlement and entitlement to maintenance. Shouldn’t every couple expect the same rights when it comes to these issues? Even though each of the States and Territories views same-sex unions differently – eg civil unions, civil partnerships, domestic partnerships – Federal law views them all as de facto unions – with the limitations on rights that carries with it, including next of kin.

For more on the rights married couples have that de factos don’t see the resources below.

4.   They’re just doing this so they can be married in a church.

Fact: Perhaps some same-sex couples would like to be married in a church, but this argument presumes that the only place couples can marry is in a church – or for that matter a marriage is only valid if it is performed in a church. We see people tie the knot on a beach, in the backyard, in a park – even in a registry office. Their choice of location doesn’t determine whether they are legally married or not. Likewise a change to the legislation will not prevent marriage officiates refusing to marry same-sex couples based on their own beliefs … just as they do now.

5.   This will affect my church and religious freedoms.

Fact: As mentioned above, changing the federal legislation will not prevent ministers, priests, or celebrants refusing to marry same-sex couples – ANY couples – if they choose not to. Churches have always been able to decide who they will and will not marry. This won’t change. Some religious leaders also support same-sex marriage so clearly don’t support the view religious freedoms will be affected. Despite this, marriage is the purview of the State – (see 3 and 4 above). Marriage Certificates in Australia bear the Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Australia – not a cross. There is no reference on it anywhere to religion.

6.   If same-sex couples are allowed to marry there’ll be an increase in domestic violence.

Of course this ignores the fact that same-sex couples can already marry civilly (see #3).

Fact:  According to White Ribbon Australia one woman on average is killed every week by a current or former partner. The majority of these are women in hetero relationships. This is not to say that same-sex couples do not experience violence – but there is no basis in fact to the argument that an increase in DV will result by making the change.

7.   If we allow gays to marry, what’s next? Pedophile marriages?

Again this ignores that same-sex partners have already had the right to marry civilly (see #3) with no deleterious effect on social and moral positions around other types of marriages. Surely no right thinking person could actually believe this but let’s check the facts.

Image: Pinterest

Fact: Up until 1942 it was legal in Tasmania for a man to marry a 12 year old girl, and a woman to marry a 14 year old boy. That year law was passed raising the legal age to 16 and 18 respectively, and other states followed. This would indicate that at least until 1942 what we today would define as a “pedophile marriage” actually was legal for hetero men and women.

8.   The Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman.

Fact: Whilst this is true of the marriage ceremony, I have been unable to find a bible passage that specifically uses these gender identifying words when referring to specifically a man marrying a woman. Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-5 (and others – see Bible Verses About Marriage in the Resources below) both talk about a man leaving his mother and father and being joined to his wife, but the actual gender is presumed.

Furthermore, the bible was originally written in Biblical (Classical) Hebrew (an archaic form of Hebrew) with some portions in Biblical Aramaic. It was translated first into Greek and later English with scholars often making their “best guess” at what words of the ancient language actually meant. Some words in the ancient languages actually had more than one meaning. Some versions of the bible include footnotes indicating the multiple meanings of certain words: “This phrase could mean this, but it could also mean that”. So our English versions may not necessarily be as the originals were written or intended, but simply an interpretation of the texts by individual translators. “Lost in translation” comes to mind…

Additionally, not every person uses the Christian Bible as their life guide. For that matter, not every person is Christian, or even religious.

We should also bear in mind this is the same book that allows women to be forcibly married to their rapists or abusers, that takes no issue with slavery, child brides, polygamy, and virgin rape, that only virgins can be married, and that anyone who divorces and then remarries has committed adultery.

In terms of marriage being “between a man and a woman” under the law, the Marriage Act (the legislation covering marriage in Australia since 1961) did not include a definition of marriage until 2004. Until that time it was based on the definition in the common law. In 2004 the Act was amended to specifically include in Section 5 – Interpretation that “marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.

So the bible only ‘implies’ gender in a marriage, and the governing law didn’t define it specifically until 2004.

9.  Marriage is for the purpose of having children. Same-sex couples can’t have children.

Fact:  Leaving aside IVF, fostering and adoption, it is of course biologically correct that same-sex couples cannot have children with each other. But what about those hetero couples who choose not to have children, can’t have children, or who have lost children through miscarriage, SIDS or other misfortune? Should they not be allowed to stay married? What about second marriages or later-life marriages, where children aren’t possible or a consideration? This argument would surely also apply to these people too then.

Whilst a traditional Christian marriage ceremony includes words along the lines of “God bless this marriage with children”, 25 years ago our minister asked us whether we were intending to have children because if not, he could remove this part from the ceremony. Surely marriage is for the purpose of committing yourself to the person you love ‘forsaking all others’, sharing a life with a significant partner – and if children come along that’s a blessing, not a given.

10.  It’s not normal. They’re degenerates.

No “Fact:” preface on this one because frankly this is purely opinion and … define ‘normal’? Two people love each other: that’s normal. We have blurred the lines of ‘normal’ on so many other things. We now readily say that Downs Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, ODD, Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities are simply “variations on normal”.

This is a personal statement on someone’s sexual behaviours (or on the commenter’s personal beliefs around those behaviours) – not their sexuality.

While we’re on the subject of ‘degenerate’, how do we define straights accessing The Wall in Sydney? Or the number of straight men who find it perfectly normal and arousing for women to engage in lesbian acts in pornography? Clearly for these people it is less arousing to imagine those women in a loving, committed marriage.

11.   No one will be able to identify as male or female – and specifically mother and father. Children need both a mother and father.

Fact: How many surveys have you seen lately that ask “What gender do you identify as?” The question around gender has been fluid long before this debate and won’t change based on whether same-sex couples can marry.

All children – whether they live in a hetero family or same-sex one, for that matter a single-parent one – still have two parents: a mother and father. Same-sex couples still have parents – and therefore grandparents to these children. Male and female role models still exist for these kids via grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and other family.

12.  The Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria have proof that removing gender from marriage and removal of gender from society more broadly are linked.

This comes from the Coalition for Marriage website where a graph on gender dysphoria was lifted from the RCH website and used to “prove” the link between the introduction of the Safe Schools program in Victoria and the increase in children presenting to the hospital with gender dysphoria.

Fact:  First of all, as has already been pointed out, this survey has NOTHING to do with the Safe Schools Program. A Yes vote will have no impact on education policy. The graph has also been taken out of context. On the CFM site they have used the graph in support of their position that gender fluidity as taught in programs like Safe Schools directly leads to an increase in gender dysphoria. Whilst the graph does indeed come from the RCH website, it is included on a page which covers the background, funding and program logic for the Gender Services department of the hospital. The CFM has therefore used data gathered to back requests for funding the continuation of a research program in support of their contention removing gender from marriage, and society, directly leads to gender dysphoria. The hospital makes no correlation between the introduction of Safe Schools in 2010 and the increase in presentations of adolescents to the hospital who are gender diverse or experience gender dysphoria. The program began in 2003, and notes “since 2009 there has been an ever increasing number of referrals for … assessment”. The CFM has made the link between the introduction of Safe Schools in 2010 and the increase in referrals. However there is absolutely no scientific proof this is the case. It could simply be that the fact gender and sexuality are now more openly discussed in school, adolescents feel safer discussing these issues, and seek support.

Image: discoversociety.org

13.  It’s just a piece of paper – it means nothing.

Fact:  While it IS just a piece of paper – it certainly does not mean nothing. If it did, no one would get married. That piece of paper actually provides, as mentioned before, legal protections for the partners of the relationship, not afforded currently to same-sex couples. These legal protections are around next of kin status, access to benefits in the event of the partner’s illness and/or death, property settlement and custody rights, and stronger protections regarding inheritance – all things taken for granted by hetero couples but not currently afforded to same-sex unions. (Note: The Family Law Act 2009 does recognise the property rights of each partner on a break up including same-sex de facto relationships.)

14.  It’s none of our business. Why should we vote? Let the politicians decide.

Fact: Correct. It is 100% none of our business whether same-sex couples want to marry. How dare we dictate what other people can do right? But it has been made our business through circumstances and years of political wrangling. Our politicians have already proved time and time again they can’t do it. Many member’s bills blocked at Senate level despite the fact all four leaders and deputies of the major parties support same-sex marriage, 62% of the House of Representatives support it, and 58% of the Senate. It’s gotten ridiculous. As such we should at least let our legislators know whether we agree or not. I personally feel uncomfortable making a decision for a percentage of the population whose actions do not affect me. But I’ve been asked to, and so I will – but it is also why we should ALL ensure we have all the information on the topic before ticking the box.

15.   Our whole society will be affected – “traditional marriage” is being challenged and eroded. It’ll be the end of our society.

Fact:  There is actually no such thing as “traditional marriage”. People have been getting married in one form or another for as long as there have been people, and certainly well before the Church was invented or legislators began legislating. Like many things in a society, definitions are fluid and change. What was acceptable 50, 100, 150 years ago we would not view as acceptable now. For example, in 1918 there were restrictions placed on inter-racial marriages. Until 1966 married women weren’t allowed to work in the Public Service for fear they would “steal” men’s jobs. Once upon a time women could be traded for better social standing, money or tools and weapons. Some cultures still endorse this practice. Not so very long ago baby boys were dressed in pink because pink was considered a strong colour.

This argument has also been proved inaccurate in the countries that already have legalised same-sex marriage. Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK, USA, and Uruguay all still function. The world still turns. The sun still rises and sets.

The same argument warning about the erosion of family values and “traditional marriage” was used when de facto relationships received legal recognition. However most commentators using this argument point to marriage as being important in societies because “In its ideal form, it brings a man and woman together in a lifelong exclusive union and provides an optimal setting for the raising of children.” (Andrew Hastie, Herald Sun). The key words in this statement are “In its ideal form”. Unfortunately the facts show us that marriages are anything but ideal. They are certainly no longer “lifelong” (about one-third of Australian marriages end in divorce – down from when the Family Law Act was first introduced in 1975), they aren’t always “exclusive unions”, and not all marriages result in children. Given this “ideal world” clearly doesn’t exist, should we be using it as a reason to prevent same-sex couples likewise enjoying “lifelong exclusive unions”?

The number of people who identify as gay is also fluid across age groups according to Roy Morgan Research. But we’re talking probably about 3% to 4% of the population. It’s fairly safe to say that this number of people is unlikely to bring down a society simply by being allowed to marry the person they love. It’s difficult to see how allowing same-sex couples to marry is going to somehow tear the fabric of society.

What is “traditional marriage”? Is it the union of a man and a woman? Is it a union recognised by a particular set of religious beliefs? What about indigenous marriages? Pagan hand fastings? IS there a definition of a “traditional marriage”? (As noted in #8 above, even our governing federal law didn’t have a solid definition for marriage, let alone ‘traditional marriage’, until 2004.) Or is a marriage “in the eye of the beholder”? For that matter is there a definition for ‘husband’ or for ‘wife’ – or is it a personal interpretation?  Take for example the 25th Emperor of the Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (Elagabalus) who reigned from 218 to 222. Marcus Aurelius had a charioteer Hierocles whom he considered his “husband” and of himself said:

[I am] delighted to be called the mistress, the wife, the Queen of Hierocles”

 

SUMMARY

The postal survey on Same-Sex Marriage in Australia is really a simple one that has unfortunately been made more complex by misinformation, fear mongering and outright lies. It is a human rights issue. Plain and simple. The proposed legislative change grants legal recognition and next of kin status to same-sex couples – something hetero couples have always enjoyed and thus taken for granted. In my opinion religion has no place in the debate since the end result is a change to legislation, not religious freedoms or doctrine. No society that has legalised same-sex marriage has seen a deterioration in its ethics, morals, well-being or functioning. The foundations of our society did not crumble when de facto unions were legally recognised – though the fear-mongers were vocal on that too.

The question therefore is a simple one: do you believe everyone in our society deserves the same basic fundamental human rights? Perhaps that should be the actual question on the survey…

For more on the postal survey visit the ABS website. Surveys should be returned preferably by 27 October, final deadline 7 November. Results will be available 15 November.

Please … JUST VOTE!

 

 

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

 

Resources:

Fact checking the ‘No’ ad on same-sex marriage

Recognition of Same-Sex Unions in Australia

Same Sex: Same Entitlements – Human Rights Commission

White Ribbon Australia – Domestic Violence Statistics

ABC – Marriage in Australia – A Timeline

Bible Verses about Marriage

Religious Leaders put Dogma Aside To Support SSM

CM Lawyers – Australian Statistics on Divorce

Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Source Book of Basic Documents

Some Home Truths About Child Abuse

What Does the Bible Really Say About Same Sex Marriage

What legal benefits do married couples have that de factos don’t?