Posts Tagged ‘child abuse’

If the denial to gay and lesbian people of the right to marry is based upon a PERCEIVED threat to children – it must then stand to reason that those people who are ACTUALLY a threat to children, or who have who have been found GUILTY of ACTUAL child abuse, ought have their right to marry revoked.

In my opinion, if you take the Christian right’s arguments against marriage equality to their logical conclusion, then the right to marriage can be revoked on many levels. For example, a couple of old chestnuts… Claim – Marriage is about procreation. Logical conclusion – non-productive consummation of marriage is grounds for annulment of that marriage, as they have done damage to the institution as a conduit for procreation… another… Claim – The love between a man and a woman is special/sacred and must be treated as such. Logical Conclusion – Those found guilty of spousal abuse ought have their right to marry revoked, as they have done damage to the institution as a special/sacred loving union.

Religious rightists railing against marriage equality between hetero and homosexual people are not really interested in protecting’ marriage, nor are they really interested in protecting children, nor are they really interested in protecting the wellbeing of those in marriage. They are by their words, coupled by their lack of action in actually doing what they say they are defending, are simply protecting and defending their own ideology and positions of power.

The institution of marriage, of itself, does not create nor protect children, it does not protect those in a marriage from each other, nor does it elevate one class of couple’s love above another’s – for love simply is… The quality of, relevance of, protectiveness of, and the loving and nurturing nature of the institution of marriage can only be generated in the hearts and minds of those involved in such relationships. Such virtues are not the sole preserve of one class of person or couple, are not found in greater or lesser quantities in straight, gay, bi, or asexual people – but are intrinsic to individuals, and are amplified when coupled through love.

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I have been reading about the recent discovery of the emaciated corpses of twin infant siblings in their cot. Reports say that the children may have lain there dead for up to a week. The parents, both mother and father, have been charged with murder and torture of those children. I cannot help being reminded that “children are always best served by being brought up by their biological parents” or “in a family headed by a man and a woman”.

The all too recent case of the father who imprisoned his daughter, regularly raping her and fathering seven chidren by her; while his wife sat upstairs seemingly unaware of what had been going on for 24 years – reminds me how important keeping marriage heterosexual is, in protecting children from sexual predators.

Any number of spousal abuse cases remind me of the “special and unique bond and relationship that can only be between a man and a woman, which leads to children”.

Like a dog chasing its tail, it goes around in circles, focussed only on itself.

Whilst not directly related to the above topics of abuse, the issue of same sex marriage is made relative to these topics and issues by the rationales behind denying same sex attracted people the right to marry. The reasons given are singularly and collectively a furphy, and a dangerous furphy at that; behind which, abuses like those above, and so many many others are hidden from the view of others. How else can the unscrupulous and the uncaring in our society create such calamity without the slightest hindrance.

While I do not for a moment pretend that same sex couples are any better or worse than heterosexual couples, or that individual families are not subject to abusive situations; I can’t help being reminded that in Australia there are at least 30-40,000 reported cases of child abuse and neglect every year, yet it is seen by the opposition to be important to deny same sex couples recognition of their relationships, and call it an act of protecting children, and the institution of marriage.

It makes me wonder if this country is more willing to tolerate thousands upon thousands of acts of child abuse and neglect more than one gay marriage.

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In the face of the plethora of news stories that pass at light-speed before our eyes in the modern news medias, once in a while there are those which momentarily take our breath. One in question is the story of the Austrian father who had built a living space in the cellar of his house where he imprisoned his daughter for 24 years regularly raping her, leading her to give birth to seven children (one of which died). I will not go into details of what happened, these details can be found in the linked article. What I am concerned about is the things which make it hard to find or detect the monsters that live among us, or perhaps are there things that are accepted by the wider community which make it easier for the monsters to hide?

From the linked article in relation to the above story – “How is it possible that no one has ever heard or seen anything?” Der Standard newspaper on Monday asked of events in the town of Amstetten, outside Vienna.
“What does it say about the neighbors, relatives, family and friends, but also those who had to deal officially with the family? How could he have been successful keeping people fooled?”

Are there things that stop us from seeing, or gaining awareness of, something out of the ordinary (perhaps not sinister), or something that may not ‘add up’ with those around us in our communities? Have people within communities become so disengaged, one from the other, that we do not want to see what may be over the fence; or (in small towns) do we believe that we know some people well enough that assumptions may hide our vision from something that is consciously hidden? Could what is accepted through social custom, be part of the facade created by those with something to hide? In that, did the people living around this man’s family home see something that matched their concept of an acceptable arrangement (married heterosexual couple with kids), and beyond that, they did not want to see anything different; and having that box of acceptability ticked, they readily accepted stories of his daughter in a sect giving away her children to her “devoted grandfather doing his best to look after his abandoned grandchildren“? Blind by social custom.

I am not attacking marriage per-se, but looking at the social meanings and possible social privileges that may be placed on married couples that may be used (i.e. in this instance) to mask what was happening behind closed doors; and herein lies another dilemma, personal privacy versus public and or personal safety. This dilemma is too broad an issue to cover here, the voyeuristic wish to see what happens behind closed doors tempered by the need for people to live without the constant gaze of a Big-Brother figure.

What are the things that stop us from noticing or questioning things which may not ‘add up’? Do these things include the most mundane and socially accepted concepts like marriage, family and what that may mean?

What can we do to find the monsters among us?

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