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Policing attitudes

October 2015

Allowing same-sex marriages is a way for the state to expand its power over the lives of citizens, Brendan O’Neill has warned.

In a guest blog on website ‘The Catallaxy Files’, an Australian libertarian and centre-right blog,the journalist and editor of web newspaper Spiked online, said his beef with gay marriage was that the state was exerting too much power over individuals.

He said, ‘The first way it does this is through allowing the state to redefine the moral meaning of marriage. The moral idea and value of marriage is something that developed organically over centuries, through the interplay of communities and traditions’.

He claimed the gay marriage campaign had granted the state a new, unprecedented authority over how we defined our personal relationships and family lives.

Mr O’Neill added: ‘This is clear from the relish with which the ruling elites of Canada, the UK and elsewhere have rewritten public documents to excise mentions of “mothers”, “fathers”, “husbands” and “wives”, in favour of a more neutral language to suit their homogenisation of all relationships as “marriage”.’

While Australia debates bringing in same-sex marriage, he warned that the ‘policing of language is often a policing of attitudes, a reengineering of societal values, so they better accord with the elite’s view’.

According to Mr O’Neill, the second way the gay marriage campaign is boosting the power of the state is in the realm of moral conscience and freedom of thought.

He said, ‘New equality laws have been used to punish those who refuse to acknowledge gay marriage. Bakers who won’t make gay cakes have been taken to court. Through gay marriage, the state — in the shape of the courts, the policing of “hate speech” and the restructuring of moral education in schools — is exercising greater control over what can be thought and said about human relationships’.