Cold War Revisited: Red Baiting Used to Belittle Gay Marriage
In what seems like a desperate attempt to strike down gay marriage, the ultra-conservative website, LifeSiteNews, recently reported that a communist group in Australia announced its support for same-sex marriage and suggested that the issue is a major part of the small party’s agenda.
The Communist Party of Australia, in an article in its official newspaper, the Guardian, noted that members of the group support marriage equality.
"The recent release of census data shows that over 1,338 Australian same-sex couples, nearly 2,700 Australians, have travelled overseas to marry," according to the article. "Such are the bald figures. So why are the state and the church against same-sex couples being married?"
LifeSiteNews, however, points out that the group is attacking traditional marriage because of the organization’s belief that marriage "arose out of private ownership." The website then sites a column by Dr. Paul Kengor, of Grove City College, who says, "The root of the [Communists’ support for redefining marriage], once again, is the Marxist/communist assault on marriage." Kengor added, "The communist priority is not gay rights but a continued assault on the family."
Currently, Australia does not recognize marriage equality but each state and territory legally recognizes both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships as "de facto" couples. A "de facto" ("from the fact" in Latin) is similar to a domestic partner in the United States.
LifeSiteNews then claims that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who wrote "The Communist Manifesto," wanted to destroy the traditional family and "replace home education by social" and create "an openly legalized community of women. Historians have long noted collectivists’ opposition to the nuclear family," according to the website, which didn’t bother to cite any of these "historians."
The article also attacks Mariela Castro, the niece of Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former president, and the daughter of the country’s current president, Raul Castro, who is a member of the Communist Party. She is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education and an LGBT rights activist as well, but LifeSiteNews claims that her recent trip to the U.S. to promote marriage equality and transgender rights "was facilitated by the International ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), a front group for the Workers World Party’s International Action Center, which led most of the early rallies opposing the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003."
The article concludes by saying although the Australian Communist Party supports marriage equality, the bill, that would legalize gay marriage, lacks the vote because a number religious leaders oppose the legislation.
This isn’t the first time those who oppose gay rights have tried to lump homosexuality with communism. Back in 1963, Albert S. Herlong, a representative from Florida, created a list that outlined, what he believed, were the 45 public dangers to Americans by the Communist Party. One of the goals said that communists would present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural and healthy."
Earlier this month, Graham Perrett, the chairman of an Australian parliamentary committee that looks at gay law reform, voiced his doubt about marriage equality in Australia and said he believes lawmakers will not remove the ban on same-sex marriage.
"You know when a rugby player is more progressive than many of the parliamentarians, even within the Labor Party, you know that Australia has changed significantly," Perrett said.