Guest Post: Michael Potter – Will gay marriage stimulate the economy?

In short, probably not.

The argument, raised on ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, is that gay marriage will cause a boost to economic growth from all the weddings that will occur. An article in the Fairfax press raised the same argument and even the Small Business Minister, Bruce Billson, appears to have hopped on the bandwagon.

It is wrong. It is basically magic pudding economics; those running this line don’t understand how the economy works.

In short, what they miss is that the money for gay weddings doesn’t come out of thin air: it comes from somewhere else in the economy. In order to spend money on a wedding, the money comes either from reduced spending elsewhere, or from reduced saving.

Obviously, spending on a wedding that is offset by reduced spending elsewhere doesn’t provide an economic stimulus.

The other option is that wedding spending comes from reductions in saving. But again, the money saved by one person is the money borrowed and spent by another person. Pretty much every dollar* saved goes to spending and investment by someone else. And pretty much every dollar* withdrawn from saving to spend on a wedding is a dollar less for consumption or investment by someone else.

A more subtle part of the argument is that spending on an Australian wedding will come from spending that would otherwise go overseas. But again dollars don’t disappear when someone buys from offshore. Every time someone converts an Australian dollar to a US dollar (say), another person converts from a US dollar to an Australian: the total amount of Australian money remains unchanged, and the amount available for saving or spending in Australia remains unchanged.

And all of these arguments work in reverse for the money allegedly lost because Australia won’t permit gay marriage. The spending isn’t ‘lost’ to Australia: it just appears elsewhere in the economy.

Basically, gay weddings do not create money; and their absence does not destroy money. People arguing for gay weddings should be looking elsewhere for their justification. One possibility is that gay weddings improve our overall economic wellbeing, but that is a completely different argument, much harder to empirically support or dismiss.

We may not expect sound economic arguments from the ABC and Fairfax media, but we should expect more of a Federal Minister.

*for pedants, please let’s not get into a debate about banking reserves: this would have a tiny impact on this argument.

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85 Responses to Guest Post: Michael Potter – Will gay marriage stimulate the economy?

  1. faceache

    Do you mean non-consummated marriages?

  2. None

    May as well call Bruce Billson ‘Caitlyn’. He’s as much a fake and a joke.

  3. So another pseudo-argument for gay ‘marriage’ bites the dust. Happens every day.

  4. Gab

    http://www.npr.org/2013/07/08/200021271/how-many-gay-couples-have-tied-the-knot-nobody-knows

    How many gay couples have had a wedding? Very difficult to get the answers as marriage certificates in those states in the US, where the state has legalised homosexual “marriage”, do not “discriminate” by mentioning gender on the certificates.

    Best estimate via the census was 114,000 pairs, but that is based on data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), 2005 through 2011.

  5. Sydney Boy

    So in other words, it’s just another example of the broken window fallacy.

  6. Blogstrop

    This spurious contention, that the economy would get a boost, comes from the same people who spend most of their waking lives barracking for the Greens & ALP, who are doing their level best to kill our economy.

  7. johno

    but we should expect more of a Federal Minister.

    What evidence is there to support your underlying assumption that government ministers have any understanding of economics? I would argue that the evidence clearly supports the opposite position.

  8. Pyrmonter

    In short, what they miss is that the money for gay weddings doesn’t come out of thin air: it comes from somewhere else in the economy. In order to spend money on a wedding, the money comes either from reduced spending elsewhere, or from reduced saving.

    Obviously, spending on a wedding that is offset by reduced spending elsewhere doesn’t provide an economic stimulus.

    When commenting on the economic comments made by others, it is best not to fall into obvious, well known traps oneself.

    In this case, the trap is that that “value” represented by “money” has an objective, measurable, indestructible quality, in the way that the “stock of wages” or “value of labour output” was once, wrongly, said to have a fixed value. Any sound Austrian or neo-classical knows that “value” is a subjective measure; is difficult, if not impossible, to measure directly, and depends on the value attributed to particular products or transactions selected by individuals in a free market. On that basis, whatever the measured “material” value, it should be straightforward to see that increasing the set of available choices will, in the absence of material market failure, increase social welfare.

    It really is amusing seeing the bad economics of the socialist and social-democratic canards like GDP being trotted out against so illiberal a cause as the “pro marriage” arguments against SSM. I stand by for the author’s contributions against the unfair competition offered to the electricity generating industry offered by the sun, and he desirability of hiring small boys to smash windows, if only to have the opportunity of pasting long passages from Bastiat in refutation.

  9. Michael Potter

    Pyrmonter: I do mention the possibility that gay weddings will increase wellbeing or social welfare. But that is a completely different argument from the economic stimulus argument.

  10. Infidel Tiger

    We don’t need SSM to be legalised for gay weddings to occur.

    They can have a wedding every day they like.

  11. AP

    Maybe we can replace coal with gay marriage. /sarc

  12. Ant

    If gay marriage does stimulate the economy, polygamical marriage is sure to send the growth rate soaring – just like it does in Pakistan!

  13. caveman

    They might elope or get married in exotic locations like Las Vegas.

  14. Jim

    Michael

    Agree with your main points.

    But can you explain why reversing the trend for couples travelling overseas to get married and spending their money in another country makes no difference. It almost reads like to are saying something like changes in net exports doesn’t really matter because the stock of AUD available still remains the same.

    I get that the stock of AUD doesn’t change, but doesn’t the policy potentially change net exports, which impacts on the real exchange rate, and won’t that have an impact on trade and economic activity in other sectors of the economy? Won’t there be some impact, albeit negligible.

    Maybe I’m just missing something. Please explain.

  15. Pyrmonter

    So Michael, what is the important policy objective: “stimulus” or “wellbeing? There used to be a big literature on measuring physical output; i doubt it’s one you’d want to associate yourself with.

  16. Rabz

    SSM is certainly going to ‘stimulate’ the legal profession.

  17. Roger

    Really a perfect real life example of the flaws of Keynesian economics and the preoccupation with stimulus spending as the solution to all our problems! Comment from Steve, please.

  18. Pyrmonter

    Rabz

    – any more than de facto relationships law and legislation already does?

    The disdain for what amounts to an increase in contractual freedom seen in the comments on the Cat these days surprises me.

  19. John

    Heterosexual marriages have been happening around the globe for a few thousands years. With all this “stimulation” to economy why do we have Global Financial Crisis?

    Did any “scientists” conducted a study of how much this hot and smelly air (fart) is contributing to global warming?

  20. notafan

    Isn’t the only thing that increases prosperity that adds value is when someone actually produces something?

    The gay wedding argument just another Keynesian spending boondoggle.
    The $259 million ‘stimulus’ in New York just equating to 259 million less spent in whatever states didn’t have gay marriage.
    Maybe some Australians do go overseas to have polygamous and other wedding ceremonies performed that aren’t recognized here, so what?
    Their spending the same here isn’t going to add value to our economy .

  21. notafan

    I don’t accept that the ‘liberty ‘ to enter into pseudo marriages is something that the government need legislate or other people should be forced to recognize.
    That is all this debate is about.
    Homosexuals can have all the weddings and pieces of paper they like but along with men pretending to be women, two women pretending to be a child’s biological parents and all other delusions the rest of us shouldn’t be forced, under fear of penalty, to play along.

  22. Percy

    Will gay marriage stimulate the economy?

    No, not one measurable fecking iota. A few dozen extra weddings will not lead to any increase in the production or value adding processing of the raw materials that eventually end up as wedding cakes, matching suits and dueling bouquets.

  23. Mayan

    There is no such thing as legalising same sex marriage.

    State recognition of marriage is a relatively recent happening. Apparently, there was a significant period of time in which the churches accepted a marriage as having occurred based on the word of the participants. What the SSM lobby are screeching about is recognition by the state. As it happens, the government in this country has set parameters upon what it will recognise as marriage.

    Talk of legalisation makes sense when one thinks of acts that were the subject of criminal sanctions becoming free of those sanctions. The prohibition of sexual acts between members of the same sex is a prime example. That has been legalised. Legalisation is about people being able to act without worrying about prosecution for that action.

    I don’t see how two people of the same sex having a ceremony and calling it marriage will result in anyone going to gaol. Maybe marriage celebrants will get into trouble for using the m-word, but that is because they have a special role declared by the state on terms set by the state. However, the participants to the marriage, as they might call it, can call it a marriage. Indeed, churches, for example, view marriage as a contract between the parties.

    Alas, the SSM crowd, being dedicated statist reactionaries, cannot imagine anything existing other than by state diktat. This is their flaw. It is also what might eventually kick government out of the marriage business which, in the long term, might be a good thing. You see, the human rights crowd being what they are, they will then extend marriage to include things such as polygamy. We all know that, sooner or later (and hopefully sooner), the public will not only withdraw their acquiescence to this, but in fact become deeply opposed to the mess that the Marriage Act will become.

    Who knows, maybe one day people will realise that one can wake up each morning and go about their lives without the government holding their hand … dragging them where they do not wish to go.

  24. Rabz

    any more than de facto relationships law and legislation already does?

    That isn’t what was referring to.

  25. Pyrmonter

    Mayan – in the countries that draw their law from England, there has been registration of births/baptism; marriage and death/burials since the time of Henry VIII.

    For centuries this was a matter for the established church, with consequnces for the “dissenters” as well as catholics and (after Cromwell allowed their return to England) jews. The history of the impediments to religious liberty on the part of what are now the congregational, presbyterian, methodist, baptist and “uniting” denominations is long – google it.

    In the late 18C and early 19C, in stages, registration was secularised, and rites of the dissenting protestants, RC and jewish faiths recognised. Later in the 19C there was some recognition of other faiths’ activities (Hindus, Moslems) as well as those of non-believers. These haven’t always been dealt with in a very sensible or practical fashion.

  26. gay marriage will cause a boost to economic growth from all the weddings that will occur

    Did they subtract all the heterosexual weddings that won’t happen by those so disgusted at the denigration of this institution that they will not bother getting married?

  27. Craig Mc

    It’ll stimulate the divorce lawyer industry.

  28. alexis

    Completely off-topic but your favicon is now the Guardian symbol, have you been hacked? If not, please remove it, it is very disturbing.

  29. Lysander

    It’ll stimulate the divorce lawyer industry.

    Yes Craig; divorce rates in “SSM” (or whatever its called next week) are 2 -3 times higher. STD’s/HIV sufferers are also an overwhelming majority so expect a boom in the medical industry.

  30. Louis Hissink

    Sort of the broken window fallacy being peddled by the usual suspects but…, when did the denizens in Canberra ever understand economics?

  31. .

    Rabz
    #1700436, posted on June 4, 2015 at 8:35 am
    SSM is certainly going to ‘stimulate’ the legal profession.

    I’m changing my pants right now.

  32. alexis

    Mayan – in the countries that draw their law from England, there has been registration of births/baptism; marriage and death/burials since the time of Henry VIII.

    There was no civil registration of marriage at that time in England. My family research has all been in mainland Europe and I’m pretty extremely confident that records are completely church/other religion-based before around the late 18th century in many parts of Europe at least. Often changing over from 1792 during changes triggered by the French revolution and Napoleon’s conquests.

    It seems to me this is an argument about nothing, unless the Government is your church and Tony Abbott your pope/imam. Gay weddings are already happening anyway, I’ve been to a couple, and they were completely identical to the old-fashioned version. Mind you the grooms did fly abroad to get a little certificate . I can’t see too many Italians flying to Australia to obtain a marriage receipt from our government though.

  33. .

    Did they subtract all the heterosexual weddings that won’t happen by those so disgusted at the denigration of this institution that they will not bother getting married?

    Most men are already disgusted with marriage.

  34. alexis

    Yes Craig; divorce rates in “SSM” (or whatever its called next week) are 2 -3 times higher.

    Couldn’t be because gay couples can’t be ‘divorced’ in Australia, nor can their marriages be nullified or voided. They can however access the Family Court to have orders formalised. They probably can’t get divorced in their original country of marriage either, not being resident there.

  35. .

    It seems to me this is an argument about nothing, unless the Government is your church and Tony Abbott your pope/imam. Gay weddings are already happening anyway, I’ve been to a couple, and they were completely identical to the old-fashioned version. Mind you the grooms did fly abroad to get a little certificate . I can’t see too many Italians flying to Australia to obtain a marriage receipt from our government though.

    Pretty much true. I support the LDP policy but getting out of marriage like Alabama has is for the best.

  36. alexis

    I didn’t know about Alabama. But it has just been shot down in committee. Ultimately it would have the same effect as legalising gay marriage and I imagine there would be the same opposition in the legislature.

  37. Tim Neilson

    Pyrmonter
    #1700433, posted on June 4, 2015 at 8:29 am
    So Michael, what is the important policy objective: “stimulus” or “wellbeing? There used to be a big literature on measuring physical output; i doubt it’s one you’d want to associate yourself with.
    Sigh.
    The assertion was about stimulus, so Michael commented about stimulus. Complaining that he mentioned wellbeing only in passing is like complaining that he didn’t address climate change.
    Pyrmonter
    #1700454, posted on June 4, 2015 at 9:08 am
    The disdain for what amounts to an increase in contractual freedom seen in the comments on the Cat these days surprises me.
    Sigh.
    They can enter whatever contracts they like, and I’m not aware of any grounds on which the contracts wouldn’t be enforced. All they have to do is contract that their relations with each other will be exactly the same as if they were married. State recognition of “marriage” does nothing to alter freedom of contract. It is about a myriad of interactions between the couple and third parties – things like spouses’ equitable interest in the home, compellability of witnesses etc.
    What is it with the wish to impose an absolutist edict about how the rest of society is to relate to LGBTQ etc. couples, rather than addressing each real issue (e.g.’s above) on the merits of that issue?

  38. .

    Alexis it isn’t worth ripping people’s heads off over. I’ve been guilty of that myself though.

  39. alexis

    All they have to do is contract that their relations with each other will be exactly the same as if they were married. State recognition of “marriage” does nothing to alter freedom of contract. It is about a myriad of interactions between the couple and third parties – things like spouses’ equitable interest in the home, compellability of witnesses etc.

    I disagree, as the process of “getting married” whether civil or religious* does not in itself affect the rights that domestic couples have. I can’t think of any legal rights conferred on a couple by formalising their marriage. Spousal privilege doesn’t actually exist in Australia. Although, granted, de facto couples are probably not entitled to that privilege in other countries where it applies.

    *There is probably an exception for religious marriage contracts which MAY be enforceable to some extent in Australian courts. I signed one, which was in Aramaic with text intact from the time of Christ. I’m still supposed to find 200 silver coins from Tyre. I’m also obligated to provide conjugal relations and provide for her even if I have to sign over mortgaged goods, and even if I’m bankrupt. Ouch. Luckily she doesn’t read the language.

  40. Ultimately it would have the same effect as legalising gay marriage and I imagine there would be the same opposition in the legislature.

    I’m not sure that is correct.

  41. Milton Von Smith

    Good post Michael. Divorce “boosts the economy ” as well – it puts money in the hands of the legal profession. So using the same logic, the government should encourage (or indeed force) everyone to get divorced.

  42. Tim Neilson

    Alexis,
    Two points :
    Whatever rights and obligations, if any, that subsist between a couple by virtue of formal marriage in itself could in my view be duplicated by contract. I’m not sure whether you’re disputing that, but if you are I’d be glad to see the evidence. If there are absolutely no such rights or obligations my point still stands – the LGBTQ etc’s are not being denied anything in relation to their own relationship.
    As for the rights of the couple vis a vis third parties, one example.
    Formal marriage would affect at least the evidentiary burdens in a dispute on an intestacy – i.e. it would affect the potential rights of the third parties who would otherwise inherit.
    I’m not saying that formal marriage has widespread significance – I’m just pointing out that some such significance does exist.
    The two things together add up to my point – the push for LGBTQ etc. “marriage” has nothing to do with their liberties as between themselves, it is about demanding to dictate the way that the rest of society interacts with them in an absolutist way rather than on an issue by issue basis.

  43. .

    So using the same logic, the government should encourage (or indeed force) everyone to get divorced.

    A subtle way to bury jars of cash.

  44. .

    The two things together add up to my point – the push for LGBTQ etc. “marriage” has nothing to do with their liberties as between themselves, it is about demanding to dictate the way that the rest of society interacts with them in an absolutist way rather than on an issue by issue basis.

    Like what, the privity of a will or contract?

    We have no moral right to breach that privity even if we have a legal right to do so.

  45. “Does Gay Marriage stimulate the economy?”

    Hahahahah… bwayhahhahaa.. titihehehehe… (choke, splutter,) .. bwahwhawh.. kekekeke.. haw hahwhahw… (lean against wall, try to catch breath)…. hahahhhawhwhahhvhavbahbah…..

    Answer: …NO….

  46. alexis

    I’m not sure whether you’re disputing that, but if you are I’d be glad to see the evidence.

    No I agree

    If there are absolutely no such rights or obligations my point still stands – the LGBTQ etc’s are not being denied anything in relation to their own relationship.
    As for the rights of the couple vis a vis third parties, one example.
    Formal marriage would affect at least the evidentiary burdens in a dispute on an intestacy – i.e. it would affect the potential rights of the third parties who would otherwise inherit.

    It definitely counts as evidence, I didn’t really think of that. Actually it’s beyond evidence, it means the facts don’t need to be tried unless a fraudulent wedding is alleged. Proceedings investigating de facto status only occur because there is no marriage.

    Like what, the privity of a will or contract?

    We have no moral right to breach that privity even if we have a legal right to do so.

    It’s a complex question but ultimately I think I disagree. If I give birth to a child I am generally liable for child support if I leave the partner and so I should be. Accordingly, if a descendant is homeless and starving and I leave my billions to the lost dogs’ home I think the will should be disregarded, as happens now. Don’t forget all kinds of testamentary provisions can be rejected in law – perpetuities etc etc

  47. Wow! imagine the boost to GDP if we banned sex before marriage.

    /sarc

  48. Tim Neilson

    Like what, the privity of a will or contract?

    We have no moral right to breach that privity even if we have a legal right to do so.

    Given that no-one on this thread has gone within a trillion light years of suggesting that we do have such a right, I’m not quite sure what your point is.

  49. .

    You reckon gays “affect you” by entering into contracts and wills.

  50. JohnA

    Fairfax:

    Legalising same-sex marriage could pump $1.2 billion into the Australian economy,

    and

    Myriad businesses – many small – are involved in weddings. From bakers and tailors to celebrants and jewellers, marriage was worth $7.3 billion last year.

    So that article by inference estimates that there would be an increase of about 15% in the number/value of weddings, as a result of this proposal.

    Q&A Questioner Bodhi Matthews asked:

    Since the state of New York legalised gay marriage it has brought 259 million dollars to their economy

    Population of New York state: 19.75m

    Population of Australia: 23.8m

    So within a population about 20% larger, they calculate a boost four times larger? And there are no adjustments for the differences – like lavish NY weddings, larger NY gay population, exchange rate, for instance?

    And how did the questioner (or their source) arrive at the $259M?

    They need kidneys between their ears to filter out the rubbish.

  51. Andrew

    In short, what they miss is that the money for gay weddings doesn’t come out of thin air: it comes from somewhere else in the economy. In order to spend money on a wedding, the money comes either from reduced spending elsewhere, or from reduced saving.

    The left have always struggled with the idea of opportunity cost. Its generally lesson 1 in any economics course.

  52. john of dandenong

    This is the sort of stuff that built this country! Pigs arse.

  53. Zhan Pintu

    I agree that the homosexual lobby will try anything to ‘justify’ to pollies, and others who should know better, to support same sex marriage or risk being vociferously labelled as ‘homophobic’. The term homophobia is a sad joke on the meaning of the English [Latin?] language. Homo means ‘man’, phobia means ‘fear of’. I and others who do not subscribe to homosexual agendas are not fearful of man nor of homosexuals nor do most ‘hate’ homosexuals as ‘phobia’ has been amended to become ‘hate’ rather than ‘fear of’.
    Perhaps another new ‘word definition’ can be invented: ‘Christophobia’ – fear of or hate of Christians?!
    The methodology of the Kinsey skewed research interviewing jail inmates and other likely prospects ‘proving’ that 10% of the world are practising homosexuals is a falsehood. It’s more like 2-4% max. shown by later widespread population university research/surveys, however I do agree that homosexuals and lesbians have done a “brilliant” collective job of ‘selling’ their sexuality lifestyle while the Christian church largely continues burying its collective head in the sand. Perhaps the homosexual lobby could DEMAND that all textbooks on marriage at schools, universities, etc must be revised to reflect that marriage is not just heterosexual ‘normal’ marriage after their same-sex marriage agenda is achieved. The frog is getting warmer in the pot.

  54. Tim Neilson

    .
    #1700632, posted on June 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm
    You reckon gays “affect you” by entering into contracts and wills.

    Where did I say anything which could be misinterpreted, even by a single figure IQ psychotic on an overdose of LSD, as saying that we should interfere with the privity of contract of gays – or even, if you want to shift the goalposts, that gays “affect” me by entering into a contract? The whole point of what I was saying is that contracts are just between the people who enter them, so they are quite different from things which affect third parties. I.e. exactly the opposite of what you’re now claiming I said.

    As for wills, I never suggested for a second that gays can’t make whatever wills they like, i.e. no interference with privity of a gay’s will at all. Again, what sort of mental deficiency would be required to misinterpret what I said to think that I did? The only reference I made to probate law was to point out that on an intestacy – i.e. in the absence of a will, not from the making of one – certain results follow. I also specifically said that issue of equality for gays on things like that intestacy issue should be addressed on their merits – no interference with “privity” from making a will at all.

  55. Pyrmonter

    Alexis and Mayan

    The English, Welsh and Irish churches were “established”: for most purposes, they were an arm of the state (as were their Lutheran and Reformed counterparts in most of northern Europe). You “did” birth, marriage and death through them, and, at times, were expected to attend divine worship periodically, at risk of penalty. Ireland, where the reformation never completely took, worked somewhat differently, but for most purposes the “United C of E and I” as it operated as an arm of the state. For example, it was ecclesiastical courts that dealt with both the validity of marriage (and could deal with annulment) and with the succession of personality (though not land, which was dealt with by the common law courts).

  56. Pyrmonter

    Tim

    There are myriad instances where personal relationship status matters. As an example, a widow(er) has standing to challenge an improvident will, and to take on an intestacy, in ways that cannot be established by mere contract between to parties. This is a matter of increasing the available set of choices, and really shouldn’t be anywhere nearly as controversial as the queer-baiters are making it.

  57. Tim Neilson

    Pyrmonter
    #1700705, posted on June 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Yes, and – as I was trying to make clear but obviously failed – each such issue should be dealt with on its merits, not by an absolutist decree of universal application to all things foreseen and unforeseen. I’ve got no problems with those particular issues being resolved in the way you imply they should be.

  58. Snoopy

    Where did I say anything which could be misinterpreted, even by a single figure IQ psychotic on an overdose of LSD

    LOL.

  59. None

    The disdain for what amounts to an increase in contractual freedom seen in the comments on the Cat these days surprises me.

    The headlong rush to extend the reach of the state into our bedrooms and our conscience by the sodomy fetishists on the Cat these days doesn’t even cause me to blink. I’ve always said libertarianism tends to authoritarianism.

  60. None

    There is not a single federal law that discriminates against GLBT. Not one. Even Plibersek conceded that.

    Also civil union or not, any other contract or not, GLBT relationships are considered defacto relationships. Equal standing.

    The state only has an interest in marriage because male-female coupling can produce children. And it is in the interest of the state, and every poor bastard taxpayer, as well as society in general, that said children are socialised and raised to be good citizens. And the best place for that is within a family with both their biological parents. And marriage increases likelihood of said parents hanging around to do so.

    We have yet to see a male-male or female-female coupling produce children by sexual congress and we don’t care what said males and females do in their bedrooms. We do know that the manner in which said couples procure children are exploitative, particularly of women and should never be encourage; quite the opposite. So I can hardly see that as a net social benefit.

    And while it’s sad that Michael had to point out the obvious, even to our Fed Small Business minister, I think even a child could work out that if Labor pissing $96billion against the wall failed to ‘stimulate the economy’, $1 or $2 billion at best, at best, of state sanctioned sodomy isn’t going to do anything. Except rack up Gaystapo gay weddding cake vigilante court actions.

    In countries which have had gay marriage the longest 1. overall marriage rates have plummeted 2. divorce rates among gays and lesbians have been up to 150% higher than hetero. Hardly surprising. Who in their right mind, wants a marriage which has been reduced to nothing more than a public servant’s recognition of their daddy issues? The social costs of those consequences however are significant.

  61. rickw

    What is the economic impact of the nations productive people being distracted and giving thought to this sort of rubbish?

  62. notafan

    On the defacto issue, the young gay community appears to be also somewhat concerned that living defacto with someone could see a former partner demanding half the assets of the more prudent of the former ‘couple’
    The same issues that turn normal men off long term relationships are also causing the other to balk.
    What we should be doing is winding back the things that are damaging society not adding to them.
    Making people without children serve ten years in a relationship before getting dibs on the other ones possessions.
    Where there are children awarding joint custody as a standard unless there are exceptional circumstances.
    Reintroding fault divorce etc

  63. Tim Neilson

    rickw
    #1700811, posted on June 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Luckily most of the people who are really obsessed by it are the unproductive class – ABC/Fairfax propagandists, left wing politicians et. al.

  64. .

    Where did I say anything which could be misinterpreted, even by a single figure IQ psychotic on an overdose of LSD, as saying that we should interfere with the privity of contract of gays – or even, if you want to shift the goalposts, that gays “affect” me by entering into a contract? The whole point of what I was saying is that contracts are just between the people who enter them, so they are quite different from things which affect third parties. I.e. exactly the opposite of what you’re now claiming I said.

    It is about a myriad of interactions between the couple and third parties – things like spouses’ equitable interest in the home, compellability of witnesses etc.

    The two things together add up to my point – the push for LGBTQ etc. “marriage” has nothing to do with their liberties as between themselves, it is about demanding to dictate the way that the rest of society interacts with them in an absolutist way rather than on an issue by issue basis.

    You’re full of shit, Tim.

  65. Sydney Boy

    @None –

    There is not a single federal law that discriminates against GLBT. Not one. Even Plibersek conceded that.

    Also civil union or not, any other contract or not, GLBT relationships are considered defacto relationships. Equal standing.

    Exactly. So why all the fuss?

  66. Gab

    There is not a single federal law that discriminates against GLBT. Not one. Even Plibersek conceded that.

    Also civil union or not, any other contract or not, GLBT relationships are considered defacto relationships. Equal standing.

    Exactly. So why the need to redefine something that is the building block of society? Something that is a tradition which only a few years ago was ridiculed by gay activists as an out-dated practice and nothing but a ‘piece of paper”.

  67. .

    Exactly. So why the need to redefine something that is the building block of society? Something that is a tradition which only a few years ago was ridiculed by gay activists as an out-dated practice and nothing but a ‘piece of paper”.

    Maybe they realised they were wrong and would prefer marriage and stability – compare young gay couples and older ones. MDMA and endless sex vs Better Homes & Gardens.

  68. Gab

    Maybe they realised they were wrong and would prefer marriage and stability – compare young gay couples and older ones. MDMA and endless sex vs Better Homes & Gardens.

    Nothing stopping them from stability now. Or is your contention that heterosexual de facto couples don’t have any stability until they get a piece of paper and recognition of the status by the state?

  69. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Mayan at 9:41 am:

    “… Who knows, maybe one day people will realise that one can wake up each morning and go about their lives without the government holding their hand … dragging them where they do not wish to go.”

    They’ll be in the boys primary schools before the nongs wake up, relying on some legislated right to be heard, encouraging the pretty young fresh meat to explore the loveliness of poo with their sex.

    I do so wish that, just like whinging millionaire footballing bully boy Adam Goodes (who does precisely nothing to help frightened infants in Wadeye and Aurukun who, as we speak, are being buggered by their fathers and his mates), the homosexual “marriage” fantasists would just shut their gobs and go away. They can shove their bleating for blokes to legally marry blokes right up their clackers for mine – get a solicitor to draw up a contract for division of assets down the track and leave society’s honourable institutions out of it.

    “even the Small Business Minister, Bruce Billson, appears to have hopped on the bandwagon”

    This really ships me to tears. This palooka is paid to do a real job in government, focused on real and important issues. Why is he spending his time and my money even thinking about these mincing poodles?

  70. alexis

    The English, Welsh and Irish churches were “established”: for most purposes, they were an arm of the state (as were their Lutheran and Reformed counterparts in most of northern Europe). You “did” birth, marriage and death through them, and, at times, were expected to attend divine worship periodically, at risk of penalty

    Yes I agree that is mostly true, although my ancestors were part of a religious minority that maintained its own traditions regarding marriage and funerals, and none of their communal issues appear anywhere outside their own religious institutions until the 1780s at the earliest. In the UK various recognised minorities were formally exempt from the requirement to marry in Church and read banns.

  71. Michael Potter

    Jim
    #1700432, posted on June 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Michael
    But can you explain why reversing the trend for couples travelling overseas to get married and spending their money in another country makes no difference. It almost reads like to are saying something like changes in net exports doesn’t really matter because the stock of AUD available still remains the same.

    I get that the stock of AUD doesn’t change, but doesn’t the policy potentially change net exports, which impacts on the real exchange rate, and won’t that have an impact on trade and economic activity in other sectors of the economy? Won’t there be some impact, albeit negligible.

    Jim – you raise a good point. The policy does impact on the mix of spending and investment in the economy; but you’d have to run a full economic model to find the economic impact of this change in mix. I can confidently say that the supposed economic impact stated in the articles are not from a full economic model.

  72. Tim Neilson

    .
    #1700840, posted on June 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm
    Epic comprehension fail Dot.The latter two things you’v quoted self evidently have nothing to do with contracts or wills,

  73. None

    @sydney boy, @gab

    Exactly. Why the outcry about equality? Several reasons. And the first reason is this is not about gay marriage.

    Keep in mind that the GLBT community is divided on gay marriage – not that you will ever hear that discussed openly – many are indifferent, don’t want it, some want it to destroy marriage, some think its just for ‘breeders’, some are genuinely pro male-female marriage, a lot want it because of daddy issues (and here O’Neill is right on the money, right on the money). Most GLBT who want it (and that’s a tiny minority of the tiny minority fall into the destroy camp or the daddy issues camp, although the latter always includes the former). Neither is about marriage or preserving or strengthening it.

    The ‘equality’ argument is imported from the US where marriage laws are state responsibility, they don’t have the same laws as us, and the whole idea of making it a civil rights issue is likely to resonate more. Except it doesn’t. Black civil rights leaders in the US have condemned the way the gay lobby as co-opted their cause for gay marriage (and most black Americans are generally against gay marriage). Anyway they like the equaliyt lie as it feeds the old white guilt tactic (you are bigots if you oppose, wrong side of history – a line used by Marx, Hitler et al) and the lefties are of course cause junkies. This is why I fire off emails every time I hear a politician repeat that lie and point out our laws to them. Ditto journalists when I have the time.

    Also some direct U.S. interference. As we saw in Ireland, U.S. interference is less a case of caring about gays in Ireland or Australia as manouevering momentum to get things changed in the US where every vote goes against them and so they have to resort to gay marriage by judicial fiat or sheer bullying and authoritarianism. Ireland was important as it is an old Catholic country and does not have compulsory voting. So it’s easy too to psych people out into staying home and importing the usual unthinking suspects to vote yes. The Irish referendum was no different to an Obama campaign.

    Doesn’t mean those organised tactics aren’t also played within national borders by local Gaystapo. That sort of tactic has been in play here for some time when gay lobbyists buttered up the Tasmanian AG to force Tasmania to get a relationship register as the thin end of the wedge. The key players then move to NSW etc to start work on the next wedge, each step expanding the demands etc. (Too late at night for me to spell out the details). I was not surprised to read Abbott’s sister had been picking off the weak links among the Libs as part of some larger network/strategy (frankly I am getting pretty peeved at the Abbott family: PPL by Abbott’s daughters, child care changes by Abbott’s wife – whose business stands to gain – gay marriage by Abbott’s sister. Bugger her poor husband and kids. I really think it is all VERY poor form that they be allowed access and influence above and beyond the ordinary punter). Anyway AN ORGANISED MINORITY WILL ALWAY ROLL A DISORGANISED MAJORITY. And once again this is not about marriage but just pure authoritarian socialism and daddy issues. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Most of the sodomy fetishists pushing for gay marriage aren’t GLBT themselves. They are largley stock standard lefties (including lefty libertarians and lettuce leaf Libs) for whom all that matters is being left. And who, ironically, get very queasy when you bring up the very subject of gay sex. They see conservatives as being for marriage /against gay marriage (even though some ‘conservatives’ arent’) and so they will oppose it. Just out of bloody mindedness, because of some false sense of moral superiority. See how quickly Shorten dropped the bipartisan approach when Abbott suggested it. Far be it for them to be seen to be ‘in collusion’.. If the LNP came out now as 100% pro gay marriage lefties will oppose it (and bear in mind all sides of politics are playing with the most fundamental social insitution over which none and no one, no person or group, have any competence or authority to judge).

  74. Diogenes

    All marriage has become these days is a waiving of the 2 year (less if Civil Union, or children produced) “cooling off” period . The rise of no fault divorce (changed my mind – goodbye) , equivalence of defactoness under law, and the idea of a civil union – the only real difference is a slightly changed set of requirements ie the celebrant has to be registered by the AG , be given 30 days notice on an approved form, saying some “approved” words, and signing 3 certificates of an approved form.

    I have also noticed a trend for even married coupes to say “my partner” rather than “my husband” or “my wife”.

  75. Chris M

    Will gay marriage stimulate the economy?

    Assuming you mean homosexual marriage (many of these relationships are not ‘gay’) the exact opposite would likely prove to be the case. Didn’t work out so well for Sodom and Gomorrah after all.

    The principal immediate effect is continual hectoring and prosecuting of conservatives and churches and further suppression of free speech. Further down the line you then have the sadly often disadvantaged children from these relationships which is a burden on society.

  76. ChrisPer

    I dislike the idea of gay ‘marriage’ because I believe it is as ‘None’ says, primarily a stalking horse for PC hate-bots to attack non-leftists.

    The arguments FOR are generally grounded on non-sequiturs like ‘who we love’. There is no inquisition about love in straight marriage.

    Gay marriage is actually an innovation, and the ‘precautionary principle’ should apply here as much as in any issue. BUT we can canfidently assert that gay marriage is likely to do far less social harm than no-fault divorce and state subsidy of single motherhood. When whole suburbs of abandoned GLBT single parents are raising maladjusted, high-crime-rate children, I will believe that gay marriage is harmful.

    The ‘economic stimulus’ argum,ent is bollocks as the OP says. But economic activity (not stimulus) is a strong measure of the demand for a social good. Just as half a billion dollars a year spent on fishing or hunting shows that people value it very highly, a quarter of a billion on gay weddings shows that the new freedom would be highly valued by participants. Let them have it I say, but be ready with mob, tar and feathers for the antidiscrimination whining-parties.

  77. .

    Tim Neilson
    #1701114, posted on June 4, 2015 at 10:35 pm
    .
    #1700840, posted on June 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm
    Epic comprehension fail Dot.The latter two things you’v quoted self evidently have nothing to do with contracts or wills,

    You can crap on about “my comprehension” but you are contending that gay couples entering into contracts affects the liberties of third parties. You are arguing against gay marriage with an externality argument.

    It’s nonsense.

  78. Tim Neilson

    .
    #1701389, posted on June 5, 2015 at 11:01 am

    …but you are contending that gay couples entering into contracts affects the liberties of third parties.

    I have never said anything of the sort. You have utterly failed to quote anything where I said what you claim I said, because you can’t, because I never said it.

  79. .

    No externalities here:

    It is about a myriad of interactions between the couple and third parties – things like spouses’ equitable interest in the home, compellability of witnesses etc.

    ???

  80. Tim Neilson

    .
    #1701403, posted on June 5, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Externalities, but nothing to do with contracts.

  81. .

    So your equitable interest in a home has nothing to do with a contract, ever?

  82. Tim Neilson

    A spouse’s equitable interest has nothing to do with contract. It is imposed by law.

  83. .

    Tim Neilson
    #1701411, posted on June 5, 2015 at 11:25 am
    A spouse’s equitable interest has nothing to do with contract. It is imposed by law.

    After they proceed with purchase contracts and take out mortgage contracts – ditto they are married under contract law, which gives rise to such an interest.

  84. Tim Neilson

    A spouse’s equitable interest can arise even if the home was inherited or received by gift (even well after marriage) and is imposed by law irrespective of any”contractual” intention of the married couple.
    FFS Dot, you started by falsely accusing me of advocating lesser rights for gays re contracts and wills, and now you are reduced to displaying your ignorance of equity law. Give it a rest.

  85. Tim Neilson

    In summary, the shorter Dot:
    “1. A married couple may enter a contract to buy a home;
    2. Whether they acquire a home by contract,gift or inheritance, the law may impose a spouse’s equitable interest;
    3. In his first posting on this thread Tim Neilson said that a gay couple were at liberty to agree, by contract, to replicate marriage – which of course includes the liberty to agree by contract what proprietary interests they will have in their home;
    4. Therefore Tim Neilson is advocating that gays should have less rights to enter contracts than anyone else.”
    Dot, my old mate, my old mucker, I have repeatedly said that I do not advocate that gays should have any less rights re contracts or wills than anyone else. Is that really so hard to accept?

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