Abbott wants to keep marriage “undamaged”, but should he influence the debate?

Far from taking a political backseat after being ousted by Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, former prime minister Tony Abbott is
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Far from taking a political backseat after being ousted by Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, former prime minister Tony Abbott is now espousing his views about same-sex marriage. His controversial comments are bound to cause a stir amongst Australian voters and Liberal party members alike.

In addressing the United Nations in New York this week, Abbott told policymakers that whilst same-sex couples deserve respect, the “traditional” family unit should not be eroded. Abbott signaled his intention to speak in favour of conservative social policies beyond the next election.

“We shouldn’t try to change (marriage) without understanding it, without grasping why it is that one man and one woman open to children until just a very few years ago has always been considered the essence of marriage and the heart of family”, Abbott said.

His views are at odds with Malcolm Turnbull, who has guaranteed a plebiscite vote for Australians after the next election. There are now concerns the same-sex marriage debate will factionalise conservative Liberal party members from more conservative ones.

“Policymakers shouldn’t be judgmental about people’s personal choices but we can’t be indifferent to the erosion of family given its consequences for the wider community”, Abbott said.

“We can’t shirk our responsibilities to the future – but let’s also respect and appreciate values and institutions that have stood the test of time and pass them on, undamaged, when that’s best. That’s a goal we should all be able to share”.

Abbott’s comments are generally unpopular, and have been met with criticism from the public. One Facebook user wrote, “I’ve never in all my life come across a family that’s broken up because there’s gay people married. The husband or wife screwing around, yes. Financial pressures, yes. Gambling or alcohol problems, yes. Just plain-old not getting on or growing apart, yes”.

Do you agree with Abbott’s comments or is the notion of a “traditional family” outdated? Do you think Abbott should be taking a political backseat now?

  1. Royce Baucke

    when is Abbott going to get the picture – WE NEVER WANT TO SEE, HEAR from him AGAIN !!!!

    • That is your position, it is not mine nor many other peoples. In a democracy, I respect your right to voice your position, even though I strongly disagree with it. I and many others are calling on Tony Abbott to stay in office because we are convinced he has much to offer and is far likely to be a leader who learns from his mistakes compared to others. Tony, WE WANT TO SEE AND HEAR from you REGULARLY.

  2. Royce Baucke

    when is Abbott going to get the picture – WE NEVER WANT TO SEE, HEAR from him AGAIN !!!!

  3. Christine Sandoval

    Given the soaring divorce rate and the rise of the single parent family, I would say that heterosexuals have already damaged Abbott’s idea of ”’traditional marriage”.

    • I agree. The Australian Christian Lobby has even posted an article on its website articulating such. How this justifies damaging the best marriage model even further though escapes me. ‘Heterosexuals have damaged marriage, so lets damage it further by broadening its definition’. Huh? How about we try this. How about we review the results of the changes to marriage and family over the last 75 years, identify good changes and keeping them (The significant growth in respect and value for women and children, the importance of a loving Dad as well as a loving Mum, bringing DV into the spotlight and addressing the root causes of such) identify the bad changes and addressing them (absent Dads, no fault divorce, the awful wounding of women caused by abortion, the acceptance of pornography, putting career before nurture, the foolish pursuit of riches at the expense of family time, infidelity and the breakdown of the extended family. Lets not pursue another damaging social experiment that will only directly ‘benefit’ less than 5% of the population (noting that there is a very poor take up of marriage by homosexuals when it is legalised) and will handicap a larger proportion of the population who will be forced to submit to the new legal institution-wedding service providers forced to provide services against their conscience*, parents not permitted to opt out their kids from sex education classes normalising homosexuality**, children growing up not knowing who their biological Dad and/or Mum are, and of course, if SS couples are to be given so called marriage equality, then it is only logical that polygamous and polyamorous couples should be given the same rights, as indeed some are now calling for.

      How about we sit on this decision a while and see the results of what happens in the rest of the world? At the least, let it go to a plebiscite so all Australians get to have an equal say, instead of one special interest group forcing their changes onto the rest of Australia because it happens to be the current political zeitgeist.
      * Court: Farmers can’t refuse same-sex ‘wedding’ in backyard, fines them $13,000 USA
      ** http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/queering_education

  4. Christine Sandoval

    Given the soaring divorce rate and the rise of the single parent family, I would say that heterosexuals have already damaged Abbott’s idea of ”’traditional marriage”.

    • Christa Caldecott

      Well who knows how many same sex marriages will end up in divorce? Only time will tell once it’s legalised. Makes one wonder why people want to bother getting married!

  5. Barbara Easthope

    I would expect a early twentieth century stance from this man who tried while PM to take the whole country back there. The traditional marriage of one man, one woman hasn’t been a resounding success as the divorce rate would suggest, or the high number that choose never to formalise their partnership with anything so official as marriage.

  6. Barbara Easthope

    I would expect a early twentieth century stance from this man who tried while PM to take the whole country back there. The traditional marriage of one man, one woman hasn’t been a resounding success as the divorce rate would suggest, or the high number that choose never to formalise their partnership with anything so official as marriage.

    • Lisa Drury Hudson

      I guess Tony has a hard time dealing with this as he can’t push his fifties stance of ‘barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen doing the ironing’.
      Time he came into the 21st century or maybe become a priest. (Preferably in a silent order).

  7. Irene Keats

    why isnt he home representing his electorate,, after all, he is a backbencher with no portfolio, and i guarantee he didnt pay his own expences to be overseas

    • Joan Savell

      Why isnt he home tending to his marriage he and the mrs seem to spend a lot of time apart…except for phot opportunities.

      • Susan Munday  

        Much as I am angry withg Abbott for his backward ideas, I did read that his wife is there with him, but I agree he should be looking after his electorate and take his place as a bench bencher.

  8. Irene Keats

    why isnt he home representing his electorate,, after all, he is a backbencher with no portfolio, and i guarantee he didnt pay his own expences to be overseas

    • Joan Savell

      Why isnt he home tending to his marriage he and the mrs seem to spend a lot of time apart…except for phot opportunities.

    • Joan Savell

      Sue Todd year 3 in the marriage is my impression…but wait a minute a good catholic ex priest wouldnt consider a relationship outside his marriage….would he ???????

    • Anne Dodd

      No one is dumber than g w bush but then as you said, I thought about it . yes you are correct

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