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Policy

8 March 2016

At recent meetings the Family Council of Victoria has discussed the importance of marriage - and the need to commend 'marriage between a man and a woman, voluntarily entered into, for life'.

A Statement has been written and agreed to by the Family Council of Victoria:

Timeless, Compelling & Irrefutable Reasons for Protecting Marriage: Identity is Core

  1. Marriage between a man and woman is consistent with the biological reality that every life is by design the product of two significant people; a father and mother who are equally relevant to a child’s existence and their biological, ethnic and cultural identity.

    The natural environment of the child provided by biological parents, or those that represent that reality, should be protected to promote identity certainty and stability. The big questions common to all are ‘where did I come from’ and ‘who am I?’

    Whether parents are married or not, or are natural parents or adoptive parents, as men and women they represent the biological reality of how all children came into existence. If a child is deprived of a natural parent for whatever reason it is rightly considered a deprivation. While unfortunate circumstances occur, it should not be considered the right of an adult to impose this deprivation upon another. It should certainly not be the right of the state to legislate it.

  2. Ignoring biology to include any sexual orientation in the marriage mix is to ignore the special relationship that exists between a husband and wife and the children they create together. In 2013 past Prime Minister Julia Gillard in apologising for the forced adoption of babies referred to the ‘most primal and sacred bond there is: the bond between a mother and her baby’. A homosexual couple by nature cannot provide this.

    Likewise, past Prime Minster Kevin Rudd in his apology to the Stolen Generation noted these children were ‘human beings who have been damaged deeply by the decisions of parliaments and governments’. That’s a history not to be repeated. Identity is important and therefore biology is.

    President Obama has on many occasions publicly lamented the pain of not growing up with a father in his own house and pointed to the connection of fatherlessness and violent crime.

  3. The alarming research on the cost to children and society at large due to fatherlessness, children disconnected from their natural fathers for whatever reason, is requirement enough to support the current Marriage Act.

    Same-sex marriage will create by design the normalisation of fatherlessness and motherlessness. What children need is better fathers and mothers, not to have them legislated out of their life altogether.

  4. The equality and all inclusive argument is faulty. Redefining marriage to include same sex couples may be seen as exclusive rather than inclusive for the most vulnerable in families.

    Same sex marriage and parenting, which cannot be divorced from marriage, by nature excludes the right of children to the equal opportunity of a mother and father afforded to other Australians. There is no equality for the children.

  5. If legalised, same sex marriage would also legally exclude the general public from legitimately holding the view that all relationships are not equal. This goes directly to freedom of conscience, belief, speech and association; hallmarks of liberal democracy.

    While all people are and should be equal before the law, it does not follow that all relationships must be equal before the law. If based on that premise, redefining marriage to include same sex couples will reduce the legal protection to oppose every other relationship being legalised; whether polygamous, adult/child marriage or an incestuous marriage. A legal precedent of ‘all relationships are equal’ would have been set.

    Most Australians would argue that these relationships are inherently different with some being rightly judged as better for children’s identity formation and life outcomes. Redefining marriage will foster greater exclusion of those who simply believe both mums and dads are important to children.

  6. Marriage between a man and a woman offers natural diversity to children. Same-sex marriage would offer ‘two of the same’ contradicting the diversity argument. Only a woman can be a mother and only a man can be a father.
  7. The main argument proponents have for redefining marriage is freedom to marry who you love. As previously stated, this leaves the door open for any loving relationship to be included, including polygamy and incest.

    The love argument is based on a feeling of love alone while the traditional understanding of marriage is of love that makes both a commitment and a sacrifice. In the context of marriage and family, this is a personal sacrifice to potentially offer a child a mother and a father. Australian law treats all couples the same, whether married or de facto, heterosexual or homosexual. There is full relationship equality already. But marriage is a special institution for heterosexual couples that benefits children, reflecting the natural order; because all things being equal, couples naturally produce children.

Conclusion:

People who support the current Marriage Act do so not because they are bigots or they hate others, but because the sustainable anthropological evidence that brings best outcomes for children is found in their relationship with natural parents, or those who represent father and mother. This is a unity of natural diversity that confirms ethnic, cultural and biological identity.

Many have sought to uncover their heritage for health and wholeness reasons and many have been hurt due to being deprived of the knowledge of this inheritance. Let’s not perpetuate identity confusion and add to anthropological instability.

                                                                Prepared by Vickie Janson.

___________________________________________

“Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose; They don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

Maggie Gallagher, National Organization for Marriage.

___________________________________________

Vickie Janson is a member of the Family Council of Victoria Management Committee, and represents Australian Christians, an affiliate of the Family Council of Victoria.

Introduction

It is important to express from the outset of this declaration that best practice health care and family/community well-being are an important value to our Council and that both the sick and vulnerable, particularly children, are protected to fullest extent possible from harms from all drugs both legal and illicit. We also acknowledge the long fought for and won regulatory processes and science being drug prescription processes must be defended and maintained for the best health care outcomes for the community.

Self-medication is bad medicine

All professional health practitioners and responsible government understands this fact. The AMA has commented saying that “any therapeutic potential of cannabis requires more research!”1 This statement by our leading medical body is important to note on two levels.

Firstly, the ‘self-medication’ experiment has been run and done! The USA had its highest number of registered addicts in the late 19th Century for one reason only - Substances such as opium and cocaine were ‘peddled’ as medicine without regulation or testing. Bought and sold on the free market as one would purchase an analgesic at a supermarket. People determined their own dose, according to their felt need, and perceived benefit, unaware of side effect or long term impact – This failed experiment led to the commencement of prescription processes and the regulation and classification of current illicit drugs.

The current folly in the U.S.A also demonstrates how chaotic and utterly abused the so called ‘Medical Marijuana for self-medication’ exercised has proven to be. The standard 'marijuana legalization bill' in the current U.S scenario ensures that, pot becomes "medicine", users become "patients", and drug dealers become "caregivers"!

“In reality, there is no such thing as “medical marijuana”; that is, there is not a particular type of marijuana used for medicinal purposes, let alone for a specific, proven medical purpose. Physician recommendations for medicinal use of smoked marijuana (obtainable in a dispensary) are not grounded in systematic, evidence-based research, which is the hallmark of our system.”— Dr Bertha Madras, Professor of Psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Secondly, is that foundational principles of good healthcare/practice dictate that untested and unregulated psychotropic substances be kept from the community as their potential for damage and/or dysfunction of users is high. The two foundation principles of disease and/or dysfunction management are to

1) reduce/minimise susceptibility and

2) reduce/minimize exposure.

Best Practice Medicine

Taxpayer funded healthcare initiatives will also insist on these measure for best practice. Any practice or medication that can potentially increase either, susceptibility or exposure to further disease/dysfunction, cannot be permitted in patient care – Self-determined ‘experimentation’ on patients, by even the best medical practitioners with substances (let alone an unqualified parent or care-giver), would be an outrage and is not permitted under current legislation and protocols – this must be protected and defended.

Proper testing and regulation of all potential medicine is imperative and any mechanism that negates these protective processes must be scrutinized fully and carefully. Good science and wise socio-political policy making cannot be overridden by emotional vitriol and manufactured media consensus. One does not ‘vote’ on which chemicals should be made freely available to the population. To do so is to set a disturbing precedent that will ultimately unleash a ‘self-medication tsunami’. (as we are currently seeing in the USA)

As a juxtapose to the issue and warning; It is vital to note that in the USA ‘medical opium’ (prescribed regulated opiates i.e. codeine based medicines) is now killing four times the number of people (over 16000 in 2010) than the illegal form; heroin.1 This too is the result of a combination of ‘self-medication’ by patients and/or simple ‘recreational use’ of prescription drugs for ‘pleasure’.

Marijuana is not a benign substance with some therapeutic values; it has a significant number of physiological, biological and psychological negative impacts.

“Although the general public may perceive cannabis to be the least harmful illicit drug, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of persons seeking treatment for cannabis use disorders over the past decade, particularly in the Americas, Oceania and Europe.”2

Marijuana is a complex plant and whilst there are potential and even proven medicinal properties in these plants, they also have a significant number of dangerous constituents. The extraction and synthesizing of the potentially beneficial components has been subjected to over a decade of trials and processes which have yielded a number of currently registered pharmaceuticals for pain management and other medical conditions - on the market now , i.e. dronabinol (Marinol), nabilone, nabiximols (Sativex) and rimonabant.

Whilst it is also acknowledged that there are perceived benefits from some emerging formulations from Marijuana plants, it is imperative that thorough and fully understood testing is done before registering such for public consumption.

There can be no place for use of Marijuana or its constituents outside of properly authorized and prescribed T.G.A and A.M.A approvals process.

Both wisdom and compassion for current and future patients insists that we recommend…

  • Full investigation and testing of potential therapeutic components of Marijuana to ensure short and long term safety for patients. (Let’s not repeat the Cigarette ‘health promotion messages’ of the past)
  • Proper regulation and management of any therapeutic derivations from Marijuana through the T.G.A (Therapeutic Goods Administration) and dispensed only under strictest medical prescription guidelines. These regulations and management protocols will ensure the precluding of all and any components of self-medication; from personal cultivation to formulation and dispensing by any and all individuals who are not authorized, licensed and fully accredited medical professionals.
  • Candidates eligible for use of these medications to be given low or no cost access to them as soon as possible. (I.e. via the P.B.S. framework.)
  • That all and every measure be taken to ensure the pro-cannabis lobby and their parliamentary backers do not manipulate/hijack this health agenda to simply further the agenda of decriminalising/legalising cannabis for ‘recreational’ use.

References

1. 100 Americans die of drug overdoses each day. How do we stop that? (The Washington Post - February 2014)

2. Executive Summary: World Drug Report 2014.

 

 In recent years the growing culture of alcohol use and abuse has raised serious questions about its increasingly negative impact on the community as a whole.

The Family Council of Victoria is especially concerned about the increasing impact from alcohol use and abuse on families, children and our young people.

Alcohol is a legal drug in Australia for people aged 18 years and over.

Alcohol is frequently used in conjunction with illicit drugs, thus compounding its adverse effects on the family and the whole community. Therefore this position paper should be read in conjunction with the FCV policy paper on illicit drug use.

A survey of Australians on the effect of alcohol on family life in 2008 showed that-

  • One in four families had experienced a negative impact of alcohol use.
  • One in five families had verbal arguments resulting from alcohol use.
  • One in ten families had experienced physical violence or threats from alcohol use.

In order to combat the adverse effect on families of a continual growth in alcohol use, the Family Council of Victoria supports -

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