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Comments about ‘Susan Roylance: Pro-family prime minister elected in Australia’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11 2013 3:25 p.m. MDT

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Cora Gene Anderson
South Jordan, Utah

Hooray for Australia! They are to be congratulated on bringing us to the realities of better days ahead.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Claiming this change in Australia for the 'pro family' camp is really grasping at straws.

Susan Roylance

To Hutterite,

If you read the article carefully you will note that I stated "the loss by Rudd’s Labor Party was mainly due to a slower economy and the disunity and infighting within the party." But, it is true that the new Prime Minister is pro-family in many ways. We are grateful for his leadership in important ways that will be good for the family.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Why are "pro-family" people opposed to parental leave? Sounds very family friendly to me.

Ranch
Here, UT

Dear Susan Roylance;

Just an FYI, anti-gay marriage is NOT "pro-family". It is purely anti-gay.

Guess what, LGBT people have families too. By denying that we're families, denying that our families are families, it MAKES YOU ANTI-FAMILY.

Susan Roylance

To Roland Kayser.

The parental leave proposed in Australia, as explained in the article, only provides money to those who are working, who have babies. Mothers who have chosen to stay at home, full-time, to care for their children will not get any financial help. Many "pro-family" people support the concept of children being raised by their mother, without government financial assistance. As you can see by the comment of Babette Francis, the government financial help could also increase the taxes, making it even more difficult for families with stay-at-home mothers.

Susan Roylance

To Ranch:

The term "pro-family" is a term that has been used for decades that is more culturally defined than literal -- just as the term "gay" has multiple meanings. The term generally means that the people, or organization, is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and pro-motherhood. In my work at the United Nations, "pro-family' also means that we believe the government should recognize the family unit as the basic unit of society, and work with the family as a unit, rather than only recognizing people as individuals. You might also accept that definition.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Susan Roylance - It appears that you actively advocate for the subversion of loving, committed couples from marrying and becoming a family. Thus, you marginalize couples by denying them the ability to become a family, thereby denying them the ability to form the "basic unit of society" which forces the state to merely recognize them as individuals. Based on your own provided definition of "pro-family" according to the UN, you are anti-family.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

This is refreshing news! Thank you Susan Roylance for your careful wording.

Susan Roylance

To Salwart Sentinel,

The term "pro-family" is culturally derived, not "according to the UN" -- in much the same way as the term "gay" has come to mean "homosexual."

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Susan - In your 8:45 post, you provide two alternate definitions of the term "pro-family" - one of which you claim is culturally-derived, the other you claim is from the UN. I made no mention of the culturally-derived version because 1) I do not pretend to speak for a culture or cultures, of which we have many in the US, and 2) I see your "culturally-derived" version of the definition more of a marketing tool rather than an actual definition, particularly because that definition is highly suspect to social mores - thus it is not a definition, as much as it is a societal norm. And yes, I understand that definitions change over time so it would do everyone good for you to acknowledge that, as time is moving forward, your perspective is increasingly viewed as anti-family not pro-family. Perhaps your "definition" should reflect that?

Indeed, my comment was to point out that, according to the definition you provided as the UN's perspective of "pro-family", your efforts are anti-family. A point you failed to rebut. Thus, per the UN, it appears you advocate an anti-family stance.

Susan Roylance

To Stalward Sentinel:

In an effort to educate those who read this article, the basic founding document for the UN is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 16 states: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” The word “natural” is generally understood to mean “biological.” Several UN conference documents include the words: “Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intending spouses, and husband and wife should be equal partners.” (See Social Summit, 80; ICPD Principle 9; Habitat Agenda, 31; and Habitat +5, 30). The words "husband and wife" imply a marriage between a man and a woman.

JAS
Murray, UT

Raising children in a loving and secure environment with a father and mother is pro-family. Children can be raised in loving and secure environments under other conditions but I believe (and I believe there are a lot of statistics to support this)the most stable environment is one where father and mother (man and woman)are married and raising their children together. I feel it is important for our governments to support this most stable condition. Certainly the governments must work for protection of all children but not at the expense of the most secure environment for the children.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Susan - Given that you are trying to alter your original representation of the UN's view, rather than defend it, I still reach the same verdict. Further, how did you conclude that "natural" is generally understood to mean "biological"? It appears such an assertion automatically marginalizes step and adopted children or re-married peoples.

Further, referring to the UDHR (from 1948) and referencing documents (mostly from the 1990s) does not provide a full perspective on the UN's position b/c it ignores current efforts, specifically the UNHRO's Free and Equal campaign - specifically the High Commissioner stating, of the UDHR, "it's still a hollow promise for many millions of LGBT people forced to confront hatred, intolerance, violence and discrimination on a daily basis," further stating the UDHR ought to ensure LGBT are "equal in dignity and rights — no exceptions, no one left behind."

Finally, I must have missed it, but where in the UN documents you quote does it say, implicitly or explicitly, that marriage ought to be limited to the rubric you lay out? Even if all your "implicit" assumptions are true, an affirmation of one thing is not a condemnation of another.

UnclePhil
Mapleton, UT

Great news Susan and great coverage. I hope the message of how powerful the natural Family is reaches everyone.

Gordon Jones
Draper, Utah

The election of Tony Abbott in Australia demonstrates -- for the thousandth time -- that strong pro-family candidates are not handicapped in elections, as long as they are not single-issue candidates. Pro-family candidates who combine their position on social issues with a strong understanding of economics and foreign policy almost invariably do better than candidates who run away from social issues.

Abbott's grasp of the social issues enabled him to withstand the inevitable tendency of the news media to caricature. That in turn reinforces his electoral strength with the majority of voters, who are much less liberal on these issues than the media.

azbarlow
Gilbert, AZ

Great news! Goes hand in hand with the June defeat of a bill that would have allowed the recognition of same-sex “marriages” to Australians that were wed overseas. That bill was handily defeated. Australians evidently understand that strong societies are built upon stable, married heterosexual families, that there are important difference between men and women, and the combining of men and women in a marriage is the best vehicle to prosperity and equality.

Want to talk about civil rights? Validation of same-sex marriage says that government thinks it’s OK for children to be stripped of their most basic right: to know and be reared by both their mother and their father who are married. That is the REAL civil rights issue of our time.

Thank you, Australia, for leading and not falling for the feel-good fad of the hour on this one. “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton

Ranch
Here, UT

@Susan Roylance;

I get it. You think that gay couples should always be treated as individuals and not as a family. When a heterosexual couple marries, they are not biologically related. When a gay couple marries, they are not biologically related. "Natural" is in the eye of the beholder; homosexuality is every bit as "natural" as heterosexuality.

I've read many of your other articles and they've been extremely anti-gay. Your anti-equality stance is qutie apparent. It is also indefensible.

@azbarlow;

Civil rights mean that we get treated by the government in exactly the same manner you do. It is quite simple. If you're worried about children and their bio-parents, you should fight divorce, not marriage.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@susan

Culture has given birth to much rhetoric that has been harmful to or society and individuals within it. The very fact that any attempt to give an example would lead to this post being rejected gives proof of that point. Simply because a word or grip have been adopted by some parts of our culture for purposes of rhetoric does not make them any less harmful.

marym
Provo, UT

Great article, Susan! The definition of marriage was first given in Chapter 1 of Genesis in the Bible, verse 28 when we are told that God married Adam and Eve. I have five dictionaries and all of them define marriage as being between a "man and a woman."

By what authority, Ranch, do you think you can change the definition of words to mean something totally different than they have meant for thousands of years?

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