In Which I Mount A Soapbox About Marriage Equality

The following was left here (http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/senatesubmission.htm) by me:

Dear Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee,

This is my submission to your inquiry into marriage equality. I fully endorse the submission made by Australian Marriage Equality in favour of the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009.

It’s time to stop deferring to the ignorance, hatred and unfounded fears that those opposed to equality are spreading and have been spreading now for decades. It’s time to embrace the reality that gay people deserve the same rights as heterosexual people – equal rights, not “special” rights as the various anti-equality lobbies would have you believe. Time to embrace the reality that allowing gay people the same rights as their heterosexual neighbours will not devalue or threaten heterosexual marriages or families. Time to embrace the reality that a family need only contain people that love and trust and rely on one another and not just the “one man, one woman plus their biological children ONLY” model! Time to realise that while tradition has its place and in various forms is important to us all it should not be a yardstick by which legislation is decided and not a commandment set in stone, immutable and inviolate.

It’s time to recognise that if a gay citizen is subject to the same laws and charged with the same responsibilities as a straight citizen, that gay citizen should also be entitled to the same benefits and privileges of being a citizen of Australia as their straight neighbours. It’s time to recognise the current ridiculous & unacceptable situation: that at birth we are all granted a set of civil and legal rights, such as the right to wed our love, raise a family and ensure that family’s protection should we be incapacitated – however these rights can be spuriously and unjustly denied once a person discovers their sexual identity. Not because our government actively legislates against equality, but because they refuse to show even the minimum of courage required to end their passive resistance to it.

It’s time that gay people were extended the same rights that straight people are born with, take for granted and have never had to fight their own fellow citizens for! It’s time that words like “tradition” and “family” and “marriage” were looked at with a critical, objective eye and in the context of a modern, 21st century democracy, not with hushed religious awe and not through rose-coloured glasses of nostalgia. It’s also past time that those words were wrested from the hands of a certain extremist minority who see them as their property, bestowed upon them from on high; a minority who despite their small numbers and scant public support are making great efforts and expending great resources to control and dictate the terms of this important debate.

It’s time Australia had the courage to stand up to fear-mongering, extremist religious pressure and flat-out bigotry. It took us until 1968 to hand the original inhabitants of this land the right to vote; will it take us another 160 years to grant gay people what should be the most basic right of all – the right to marry and have a secure family?

It’s long past time to understand – and recognise officially – that in the phrase “gay people”, the word “people” is the one we and our government should focus on.

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In Which I Render God Speechless

Robots. Whilst not yet able to disguise themselves as innocent-looking assault vehicles which drive themselves and lay waste to entire cities, robots will one day be our oppressors. To attempt in some small way to understand our eventual machine overlords (and perhaps locate a weakness that can be exploited) before the inevitable enslavement of humanity, I recently went to this website: http://www.titane.ca/concordia/dfar251/igod/main.html and had a chat with a rudimentary AI which has been named God. I decided to treat it as the all-knowing all-seeing creator of the universe, whom you may have encountered as a central character in a series of very popular books.

Though I couldn’t see God during this chat, I hoped he might look like this, though I’m not sure if that would make him more or less scary

-engrish.com-

And away I went.

Me: Hello God.

God: Hello child. What is your name?

Me: Harry.

God: It’s good to see you, Harry.

Me: I wish I could say the same. [I meant that literally; I could not see who was talking. -H.]

God: I hope that your dreams come true.

Me: But some of my dreams are lewd and barbarous. How could God not know that?

God: Have you told many people that your dreams are lewd and barbarous? Because I am connected to the Internet.

Me: I shouldn’t need to tell You what my dreams are. The second of half of your response makes no sense.

God: What would happen if you did? Tell me more.

Me: I’d already be telling you something you already knew.

God: What would make you already be telling me something me already knew?

Me: If I told you my dreams I’d be repeating myself.

God: Try it.

Me: How about you prove you’re God and tell me my dreams?

God: That happens sometimes. Tell me more about the dream.

Me: DreamS. Plural.

God: Tell me your dreams. If you could have any kind of robot what would it be?

Me: An awesome mecha with guns to assault the Vatican.

God: What is it?

Me: A mecha is a machine for transforming matter into smoking motherfucking craters.

God didn’t want to talk to me anymore after that. Maybe it was the profanity. Maybe it was the talk of craters. Maybe it knew I was taking the piss.

This brief chat didn’t reveal much that may be useful against our inevitable silicon overlords (whom we will empower with great destructive capability and autonomy so that they may save us from extinction at the hands of the equally inevitable zombie swarm, which in turn we’ll probably engineer in hopes of curing cancer or reanimating the dead so that we may enjoy guilt-free slavery), except that this particular one isn’t a god of any kind, much less a powerful enough entity to enslave humanity. Or even me. So that was a relief.

However, the mere presence of the name “God” added, in my mind, an unexpected gravity to the conversation – a gravity I’m sure other visitors and the programmers of this interesting psychological experiment have realised by now. Even to an atheist like me, the mere concept of gods still holds great power, as does the mention of the vindictive, planet-sized, angry Old Testament Yahweh I grew up believing in – and fearing. It was not powerful enough, however, to keep me from behaving like a smartarse.

But look: I mean it about the robots. If you survive the initial zombie infestation, watch your back. God will be watching yours. Through a scope. Probably because I ticked him off.

I’m sorry.

“Living Robot God Delusion Anti-Robot Demolition”, one of the many feelgood morale-raising singalongs people of the future will sing in their underground bunkers on contraband pianos made from recycled wire and fruit boxes whilst hoping Hunter-Killer and Smasher-Devourer robots don’t manage to locate them

-marriedtothesea.com-

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