All tip – no iceberg


The Sydney Morning Herald reports…

“Several ostensibly grassroots organisations found their voice this week with expensive advertisements against same-sex marriage as the Coalition met to discuss the issue.

The campaigns were eye-catching, but what they did not freely disclose were links to a more powerful moneyed lobby, the Liberal Party and even the Prime Minister himself.

TV and online ads – including on Fairfax websites – compared the legalisation of same-sex marriage to an iceberg and said the change potentially carried negative consequences for children and human rights.

The campaign was paid for by a group incorporated a month before the ads hit airwaves: Marriage Alliance, which also commissioned polling reportedly showing same-sex marriage was a low priority for voters ahead of Tuesday’s government party-room vote.

Behind this self-described collection of “individuals, businesses and community organisations” are volunteers with Liberal Party connections.

Marriage Alliance’s directors include former federal Liberal president Ashley Goldsworthy, a 79-year-old who won an OBE for work as a computer scientist before building a high-flying career in real estate and higher education.  

Like Mr Goldsworthy, fellow director James Dominguez​ is a knight of the Catholic Order of Malta. The former investment banker and coal executive has been a patron of the sometimes controversial World Congress of Families conference.

The Marriage Alliance’s public face also has Liberal links.

PR firm Hugo Halliday, founded by the Liberal mayor of Ryde, Bill Pickering, is handling the group’s media relations. (Nathaniel Smith, son of former NSW Liberal attorney-general Greg Smith, is managing the account.)

The group’s spokeswoman is barrister and academic Sophie York, a former Liberal candidate for Brendan Nelson’s seat of Bradfield, whose 2005 book Angels of Aceh was launched by Tony Abbott, whom Mrs York has known for nearly 20 years, according to statements she gave to other media. 

Another group of “concerned people and organisations” took out a full-page newspaper advertisement this week on the allegedly deleterious impact of being raised by same-sex parents.

The Australian Marriage Forum, founded in 2011, said the ad – at a cost understood to be in the order of $25,000 – was paid for by a direct-mail campaign to members.

But the group does not appear to have disclosed fully its affiliation to the Australian Christian Lobby.

The Marriage Forum notes the ACL is one of its many supporters, but records show its website is registered in the name of the Australian Christian Lobby president, Lyle Shelton.

“We felt there was a need for another voice in the debate,” Mr Shelton said, while adding the links between the organisations are disclosed in registration documents lodged with the Queensland government. 

The ACL – which the current Prime Minister and his Labor predecessor and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have addressed – spent about $100,000 on campaigns and polling last financial year. It received $150,000 in donations. The ACL proposed in May a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage, an option the government will now consider instead of a free vote in Parliament, which it voted against on Tuesday night.

It is not known how the Marriage Alliance funded its campaign. A 30-second prime-time TV spot costs up to $35,000.

Mrs York could not be reached for interview and there was no response by deadline to a message sent to Mr Goldsworthy.

A crowd-funding campaign for the Marriage Alliance last week achieved about half of its $20,000 target.

But a spokesman for the group denied that the organisation was linked to another Catholic group that opposes same-sex marriage in more strident terms: Defending Natural Marriage.

“There is no direct link [between the two],” the spokesman said. “Marriage Alliance believes the rights of children are being subjugated by arguments about equality between gay and heterosexual adults.”

Defending Natural Marriage, which posted photos from the Marriage Alliance’s launch on its Facebook page, and to whose website the Alliance links, warns of an “agenda being pushed on society by homosexual activists”.



20 thoughts on “All tip – no iceberg

  1. But thinking about it… would have to repent everytime you use a condom, and then feel guilty next time. But with your approach, you only sinned once, and then after you’ve repented its okay.

    So have fun and …no, I won’t go there with a juvenile joke about Mrs Bones


  2. I dont anymore.

    Snip. Snip. Snip.

    The wife came in to make sure it was done.

    I’m now living in perpetual sin.

    6 baby Bones’ s is enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “You really think its thousands..?”

    Just in the US

    In 2004, the John Jay report tabulated a total of 4,392 priests and deacons in the U.S. against whom allegations of sexual abuse had been made. The numbers of abuse allegations and court cases has increased worldwide since then. It was compiled solely from numbers provided by leaders of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which paid John Jay College to do the study.

    Or if Pope Francis is to be believed – 1 in 50 priests.


  4. “I see Catholic Archbishop Nienstedt in the US told a woman to have nothing to do with her gay son or she’ll go to hell.
    Then he resigned over sex abuse cover ups.”

    What a punchline. That should be in a joke. Hey did you hear about the Archbishop…

    be interesting to hear where he thinks HE’S going.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Everyone moralises, Bones, yourself included.

    But you’re essentially correct that we should get our own house in order before moralising about others.

    Problem with that, though, is that none of us would say anything about anyone else if that were adhered to.

    Hang on Isn’t that what Jesus said somewhere? I think you’re onto something, mate.


  6. Morality is subjective ss are right, wrong and truth.

    The Old Testament is essentially immoral.

    As for which Catholics, that would be the thousands of leaders who have been abusing the weakest and covering it up while telling people gays are evil.

    Its quite an affront to human decency that you guys think you can tell everyone else about Right and Wrong when your own organisation doesn’t.

    Yet again secularism has to drag the Church into the Light.


  7. “The Catholics need to get their own house in order before preaching to the world about ‘morality’”

    Which “Catholics need to get their house in order” exactly. You use a broad generalization.The Jesuit’s?, the South Americans? The Monks of New Norcia? Prcatically, no-one has their house in order.

    Really, Bones your point is moot … Truth and Morality, Right and Wrong exist independently of Man and his behavior.


  8. Sorry but Godwin’s Law applies here. Telling people to stop persecuting others isn’t Nazi.

    I see Catholic Archbishop Nienstedt in the US told a woman to have nothing to do with her gay son or she’ll go to hell.

    Then he resigned over sex abuse cover ups.

    The Catholics need to get their own house in order before preaching to the world about ‘morality’.

    Don’t you just love religion and what it does to people.


  9. So what is the point? That there is a group of conservative / Catholic people who are communicating their views against new-models of marriage? I see plenty more advertisements in favour of new-models of marriage. Should only one side be presented?

    Of course it is not politically correct to speak out against this wrong-headed behaviour, just as it was to speak out against the wrong-headed thinking of the time in Nazi Germany.


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