Gillard is against gay marriage

If it was ever true that anything followed from atheism, then it’s odd that there are a number of atheists like myself who favor equal treatment of gays, while at the same time there are other atheists who think just the opposite. The Prime Minister of Australia is one example.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she does not support legalising gay marriage in Australia.

Labor policy on gay marriage will remain the same under her prime ministership, Ms Gillard told Austereo show today.

“We believe the marriage act is appropriate in its current form, that is recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman, but we have as a government taken steps to equalise treatment for gay couples,” Ms Gillard said.

Asked if that was also her personal view, Ms Gillard said it was.

I suppose she did only say she was atheistic, not anti-theistic.

13 Responses

  1. If she was “anti-theistic” she could not have the same opinion?

  2. You get the same thing with religion. There have been a number of splits over the past decade because of whether or not gay pastors and in some cases gay bishops should be allowed.

    Than still other churches have no view on homosexuality, they couldn’t careless one way or the other.

    While it may be true, as you claim, that atheism has no set beliefs, atheists are an entirely different matter. Everyone has their own personal prejudices, many without empirical evidence to back them up. Regardless of how solidly rational you claim to be.

  3. She could have the same opinion, but it would be reasonable to expect she wouldn’t since values can be derived from anti-theism, and one common value is the support for same-sex marriage (what with there being virtually no convincing secular arguments against it).

  4. She is a politician. Who knows what she actually believes?

  5. Anti-theists have a common value system now?

  6. I didn’t mean “common” to indicate a uniting value system, but instead to merely mean prevalent. Religion is the primary bastion of bigoted arguments against same-sex marriage, so it’s reasonable to conclude that an anti-theist is going to actively reject such arguments, likely going in just the opposite direction. Of course, some secular arguments do exist against same-sex marriage, so an anti-theist may support those. But I just think those arguments are so weak and fundamentally dishonest that not many people are going to gravitate towards them without a religious push.

  7. Hello Mr. Hawkins, I came across your blog while looking for a transcript of the comment by Ms Gillard which you’ve quoted here.

    I’m trying to work out why you support same-sex marriage. (Naturally I checked your “gay marriage” and “Same-sex marriage” labels first, but they contained links to posts from other blogs; I also skim-read your blog’s first page, to no avail.) Could you explain why, or direct me to a post where you do so? I can understand how, as an atheist/anti-theist, you would see no moral reason to oppose it (no higher being than man => no such thing as true and proper moral obligation, no natural law, &c.), but there would still be the logical reasons (following from the definition of marriage, in its most general sense, as the uniting of two complementary parts into a whole, with marriage in the particular sense of matrimony involving sexual complementarity) .

    (I’ll be back on Monday night, Australian time.)

  8. Well Reginald, you type well for having been dead 500 years!

  9. Here are a couple posts which may clarify things:

    They have a small libertarian flair, but they’re grounded more in Kantian logic: act so as to universalize one’s actions. I’ll likely add more, perhaps making a whole new post, at some point tomorrow.

  10. Clarify things? In those posts you don’t even define what rights, those posts’ very subject matter, are, let alone what marriage is.

  11. I did define rights. But then, you’ve already shown some trouble with basic English.

    You have a search bar for 1,000+ posts, a number of which are on same-sex marriage. I’m not going to hold your hand.

  12. “[You] did define rights.”

    No, you didn’t, at least not in this post, in any other recent posts as far as I know, or in the posts to which you linked. Here are the three paragraphs where you talk about what you think rights are (the following is taken from the first of the two links which you provided; both of the posts to which you linked are, of course, almost identical, with a bit of American political history as background at the start, then these three paragraphs, then an explanation of why you think rights are important):

    “Moving beyond Madison, a discussion of the concept of rights needs to happen. What is a right? A succinct definition is hard to formulate, but I think a good idea can be created. Something which does not infringe upon another’s rights should be a right [1.]. This alone isn’t much of a definition because it assumes the existence of rights, the very thing we want to define. But within a certain context [2.] it does give a good approximation of what a right should be; we already have established rights (free speech, religious beliefs, protest, etc), so assuming we agree [3.] on those, we can ask ourselves, does X infringe upon these? If the answer is “no”, then there’s a good chance [4.] that X is a right.

    “I think it is eminently appropriate to also include safety and security as one defining piece of rights [5.]. Does X cause bodily harm to me or others? Does it cause undue financial hardships? Does it put someone at risk of life or health? If the answer is “no”, we again have another good indicator [6.] that X is a right.

    “I hope it hasn’t escaped anyone that the previous two paragraphs are speaking of natural rights. These are rights which extend to all peoples, not merely Americans or Europeans or Russians or any one particular group. They are effectually based upon the idea that rights are to be based upon humanity and the human condition [7.].”
    [my square-bracketed interpolations throughout]

    1. That’s a characteristic (and one asserted without explaining why it’s necessary), not a definition.
    2. So you’re talking about rights “within a certain context”, and even then, you’ve only come up with a “good approximation”, not a definition.
    3. Yeah, “assuming we agree”. And it’s hard to know whether we agree or disagree until you tell us what you think a right is.
    4. “[G]ood chance”, “good approximation”; that’s nice. Still waiting for a definition, though.
    5. Why? (And that’s still only “one defining piece of rights”, not a definition of rights.)
    6. “[G]ood chance”, “good approximation”, and now we have a “good indicator”. Still no definition.
    7. So “rights are to be based upon humanity and the human condition”. Now we know on what rights are to be based, but we still don’t know what rights are.

    So, no definition of rights. Do you, in fact, know what a right is? (Do you even know what a definition is?!)

    “[I] have a search bar for 1,000+ posts, a number of which are on same-sex marriage.”

    Ha ha ha, so I have to go trawling through more than a thousand posts in order to find “a number” (1? 2? 3? 998? 999? 1000?) of posts, which, while being “on” same-sex marriage, probably won’t even tell me what you think marriage is, if your posts “on” rights are anything to go by. If you don’t want to discuss these matters then just say so and save us both the time.

  13. Those posts (one which was made for this blog, the other of which was made for physical print) worked under the assumption of the constitution defining rights. If we agree that what the constitution currently protects is rights, then we can infer what else constitutes rights. That is, most everyone agrees that we have to follow the constitution. Since we have that baseline, it isn’t important to find some more fundamental basis. If we’re going to have a race and we all agree to start in France, it doesn’t matter if some people come from England while others come from Canada. We still all have the same starting point for the race. What you’ve done is assumed I need to define rights objectively in order for them to exist at all. I don’t. They’re a purely subjective, human affair.

    Ha ha ha, so I have to go trawling through more than a thousand posts in order to find “a number” (1? 2? 3? 998? 999? 1000?) of posts, which, while being “on” same-sex marriage, probably won’t even tell me what you think marriage is, if your posts “on” rights are anything to go by. If you don’t want to discuss these matters then just say so and save us both the time.

    The fact that you’re an annoying, sniveling little twit does not mean other people do not want to discuss this or that. It just means people aren’t willing to indulge in your sense of privilege at every turn.

    I can tell you why you’re a bigot, but that I see no reason why you’ve earned book length responses from me.

    And the sort of individual post you want is buried way, way down deep on page 3 under that who-would-ever-check-this-category?!, “Same-sex marriage”.

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