23 January 2011


What is wrong with the following article which was published in the Sunday Age on 23 January 2011??

The writer of the article who comes out of his exercise as a homophobe of the first order is trying to equate voluntary euthanasia with gay marriage in the public eye, as if the one issue is competing with the other for the attention of the public.

Euthanasia is a vital issue which is important for people in my age group in their eighties, but just as important for anybody who has a life-threatening illness which is causing unbearable suffering and which is destroying the quality of life for that person and those who care for and support that person.

Gay marriage is being pushed by the "gay lobby" whatever that is, into the public arena as if it is the most important issue around today. Or that is what this journalist is trying to prove to the newspaper-reading public.

In fact the two issues have nothing in common and the idea of equating the one with the other is nothing short of an exercise in gay-bashing, however Paul Malone wishes to dress it up. His article is a disgrace, and the editor of the Sunday Age should have refused to publish such an article, unless he or she is also a homophobe.

Any letter I would have written to the Sunday Age on this topic would not have been published because in general, my political views are not acceptable to the right-wing religious bigots who control the media - or most of it.

Fortunately there are still blogs available to the likes of me, so I am able to express my views, fairly sure that the homophobes of the newspaper world will not even get to see what I have said about the issues under dispute.

Euthanasia is a vital issue and one which the politicans and journalists are too afraid to address positively, as if it is a threat to everyone's lives and no one will be safe if we have voluntary euthanasia legislation such as that introduced with great success in certain countries.

Gay marriage is also an issue which has not caused the sky to fall in, and also in overseas countries, has given equal rights to all its citizens - something which Australia is a long way from doing!

Here is Paul Malone's homophobic article:

Right to die surely a bigger deal than gay marriage

Paul Malone

January 23, 2011

ANYONE following the media coverage of the most recent federal election could be forgiven for believing gay marriage was an issue of overwhelming concern to electors across the country.

Another social issue, euthanasia, would not have appeared to be of great interest.
A number of candidates were keen to make gay marriage an issue and saw it as a vote winner, while few thought promoting euthanasia would increase their chances. And yet all the polls over the years show much higher and broader support for euthanasia than they do for gay marriage. Consistently, more than 80 per cent of the population approves of a doctor meeting a request from a suffering, terminally ill patient to provide a lethal dose of drugs.

Attitudes to homosexuality and gay marriage are much more divided.

Advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality commissioned a Galaxy Research poll of 1050 voters in October last year. After being told same sex marriage was legal in countries such as Canada and the Netherlands, voters were asked whether they agreed or disagreed that same sex couples in Australia should be allowed to marry. The result: 62 per cent agreed, 33 per cent disagreed and 5 per cent were undecided.
Australians have become more tolerant of homosexuality. But Roy Morgan Research has found that about 27 per cent of the population still believes homosexuality is immoral.

Given the high percentage of the population supporting voluntary euthanasia, you would think some candidates would consider it more worthwhile pushing this issue, rather than gay marriage.

There are two reasons why this has not been done. One is the success of the gay lobby. The other is the way in which the community is divided on the issues.
It's not surprising that newly elected Greens MP Adam Bandt is pushing gay marriage and last year moved a motion calling on parliamentarians to gauge their constituents' views on the issue.

This push, and the election result, has also prompted a number of Labor members to express their support for gay marriage, and the issue will be a major one at Labor's national conference late this year.

It seems strange to me that gay marriage has become such a cause. For years gays fought to get the state out of the bedroom. Until 1972, male homosexuality was a crime across Australia. Following the death of gay law lecturer Dr George Duncan, who was thrown into the Torrens River and drowned in May 1972, South Australians led a hard-fought campaign for decriminalisation. All states followed, with Tasmania the last in 1997. Now it appears gays want the state to oversee their relationships.
As someone who has lived with one woman for 30 years and has two grown-up children - but never married - I find this strange.

If people want to attest their relationships, there is nothing to stop them doing so in front of as many friends and relations as they care to invite. If they're religious, they can have a religious ceremony. Gays can get a group together as easily as anyone else and can formalise it with whatever piece of paper they choose to employ, except of course a marriage certificate.

I don't care if the state does allow gay marriage. It just doesn't seem such a big deal. (As they swear in sickness and in health, forever and ever etc, they will join the ranks of all the other married couples lining up for the right to divorce.)
But voluntary euthanasia is an issue for me. I want the right - should the time come - to be able to say: ''I've had enough. The pain is too great. Give me the lethal injection.''

Four-fifths of the population feels the same way. Only the fanatical moral minority opposes voluntary euthanasia.

It should be emphasised that voluntary euthanasia means just that.
No one will be compelled to seek termination of their life. Safeguards are not difficult to devise.

A doctor would provide lethal treatment to a consenting patient to alleviate suffering. The strict process, as outlined by the Dying With Dignity organisation, would require at least two doctors to confirm the diagnosis and prognosis.
Anyone who wanted more, could seek as many opinions as he or she wanted.
And cooling-off periods would be required. A patient could not simply request a lethal injection today, have two doctors look at him tomorrow and get it all over and done with in 24 hours.

Greens leader Bob Brown has introduced legislation to reverse the Howard government's act which stops the ACT and Northern Territory assemblies from making their own laws governing the issue.

The baby boomers, who are now giving us an ageing population, have pioneered many changes in society. Today some of these oldies maintain a rational outlook on life and death. It's time parliamentarians across the land granted these people the freedom to end their suffering should they have a terminal illness and live in great pain.

Paul Malone is a freelance writer.

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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm