Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, August 11, 2017

BASIC RIGHT: The time for debate is long gone, argues one contributor who believes Australia is languishing with a regressive view on same-sex marriage.

BASIC RIGHT: The time for debate is long gone, argues one contributor who believes Australia is languishing with a regressive view on same-sex marriage.

SLAVERY. The Civil Rights movement. Women’s suffrage. Apartheid. Homosexuality. Anti-miscegenation. The Racial Discrimination Act. Any number of instances where human rights were infringed upon.

Of all these cases what is the one commonality? Every single time human rights were denied the opponents were defeated.

With news the federal government has engaged a ploy to elongate equality between heterosexual and homosexual couples by way of a farcical $122 million, voluntary, non-binding postal plebiscite on an issue that is overwhelmingly supported, take note of all the previous cases listed.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Those who deny the human rights of others have always been defeated and history will prove this to be the case with marriage between same-sex couples in Australia.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Of the nine individuals who drafted the UDHR in 1948, Australian William Hodgson was among the nine. Australia has a moral and legal obligation to write the wrong which has caused immense suffering historically and in the present.

The time for debate is long gone. Around the world Australia is languishing behind with a regressive view that has been dismissed by countries that less than 30 years ago advocated a system of segregation based on the colour of a person’s skin.

History will not look favourably upon those who deny human rights. It is inevitable, so you can be left with two choices: embrace the happiness shared by two people who love one another or suffer the same fate as those who denied what is universally held by every person residing on earth.

Robert Crosby, Waratah

Just get on with it

MAYBE I'm missing something in the 'marriage debate' (Steve Barnett, Letters, 8/8 and numerous others before him).

I married in a civil ceremony 40 years ago this coming weekend. I have a Certificate of Marriage to prove it.

There was absolutely no mention of gods or other deities in our ceremony. We pledged our love in front of our families, guests and a state-authorised celebrant. That's all. The Marriage Act of 1961 allowed civil ceremonies (by definition, those without religious ceremonies) and the first civil celebrants were authorised in 1973. So, the necessity for religion in the marriage ceremony was removed by law 56 years ago.

As for extricating oneself from such a union, whether 'blessed' by the church or not, it's in the hands of the lawyers.

That's equality, like it or not.

As for 'gay marriage', love is love. It's a non-issue for me and the majority of Australians as poll after poll shows. It's long time for the Australian government to stop procrastinating and to stop playing politics with people's lives and get on with it.

Legalise same sex marriage.

Maree Raftos, Newcastle

Exposing evil within

WHEN I read Pat Garnet’s recent letter to the Herald I didn’t feel sad Adrian Price, I thought how very brave (Letters, 9/8). 

For far too long there have been cover-ups regarding sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. People who were abused and who spoke out were punished, fobbed off, not believed and treated like criminals. There are large numbers involved Adrian, enough for a royal commission, and more.

There are many who for various reasons have never told anyone about their abuse. And then there are those who have died, many by their own hand, who have gone to the grave with the pain of sexual abuse in their hearts. 

No one is denying that there are good people out there from religious institutions who work selflessly in charities.

But that does not make up for the vast numbers who have used their positions of power within the church to abuse children. It is shameful and criminal and these predators must be brought to justice. 

Julie Robinson, Cardiff

Troublesome Trump

WHY do I not feel reassured by the recent bellicose chest thumping of Donald Trump? Admittedly, the boyishly exuberant reaction of Kim Jong-Un every time one of his missiles blasts off demonstrates a puerile fascination with his latest toys.

And, of course, his regular threats to lash America with his developing weaponry, while juvenile at one level, can surely be seen for what they are: a desperate attempt to preserve his odious regime and his position as its leader.

Just as one should never underestimate the dangers posed by a repressive cult-like leader neither should one resort to counter-threat which will only reinforce a paranoid mindset.

Recent opinion polling in America indicates most Americans don’t have confidence in Donald Trump’s ability to effectively deal with North Korea. Count me in that majority.

John Buckley, Floraville

Plundered for progress

ARE any of these politicians fair dinkum? What has occurred over the past 30 years or so is mind boggling. Here you have the present government’s top team August 2017 to pull these power generation/supply and mining chaps into gear.

What an indictment on the last five so-called leaders, what the hell were that lot up to, when making available just about every resource we had? They let them have it in many instances cut rates from one of the safest, well-organised and infrastructure efficient countries on this violent planet, shaking in their boots frightened they may have obtained the resource's elsewhere, well have a look and think where.

The place has been plundered in the name of progress. Gas, for instance, almost given away for many years and I believe still is from some areas.

All the while this sell-out has been going on real jobs have been disappearing from around 85 per cent self sufficiency during the ’50s and still strong into the ’80s when the wheels started to wobble, We have given away or forfeited most of our outstanding wealth, don't have much more than a month or so fuel storage and probably couldn't refine it if we did, and Malcolm is haggling with the chaps for a couple of per cent of our gas or coal to help stop some poor bugger from freezing or starving. The parasites who committed us into this should be condemned into history. 

Russell Schatz, Narrabri

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