By Desmond Rutherford

Desmond Rutherford

Desmond Rutherford, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a poet, columnist and writer. Des DownUnder on Sundays is published under licence from Desmond Rutherford Associates Ltd., Adelaide, Australia.

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All articles by Desmond Rutherford


The separation of religion and hate: Attacking the protection of freedom

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The very core of the foundation of the U.S. Constitution is under attack, and it seems that the attackers relate very favorably to those who have encouraged Uganda and Nigeria, to mention just two nations, in their terrifying anti-gay legislation. The real concern, additional to the anti-gay intolerance, is a call to amend the Constitution; even to rewrite it, amounting to little more than a theocracy under which any religion could claim supremacy. [ Read more → ]

A Christmas for Carol

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
She was so awake. ‘Twas the day before Christmas and she had a thousand things to do. Why had she left everything to the last minute? Every Christmas it was the same. Carol Cage worked long hours, right up to Christmas Eve and then finally had to rush around to get everything done. She got out of bed and went to her en suite bathroom. She changed her mind and went to her bedroom door and opened it. She had made a habit of closing it to avoid overhearing her son and his friend in bed again. She had heard them that first night some three months ago, when they came home late from the movies. Her son, her illegitimate son, was in a relationship with another boy... [ Read more → ]
APQuentin Bryce

Australian Governor-General backs same-sex marriage

Saturday, November 23, 2013
SYDNEY, New South Wales -- In a landmark speech, the Governor-General of Australia on Friday publicly endorsed same-sex marriage [ Read more → ]

Tasmania lawmakers defer same-sex marriage debate to federal parliament

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
HOBART, Tasmania -- A motion to revive the debate over same-sex marriage in Tasmania's parliament was defeated in the Upper House Legislative Council Tuesday, as local MP's voted to leave the question up to the Federal Parliament in Canberra. [ Read more → ]
Tony Abbott

Australian Prime Minister signals challenge to capital’s gay marriage bill

Thursday, September 19, 2013
Newly elected Australian prime minster Tony Abbott said this week that his government is considering possibly blocking the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) proposed same-sex marriage legislation. [ Read more → ]

Christian lobby vows to block same-sex marriage efforts in Australian capital

Saturday, September 14, 2013
CANBERRA, Australia -- The Australian Christian Lobby, a powerful anti-gay political faction, announced this week that it will exert pressure on Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott, to override the Australian Capital Territory's proposed marriage equality law by passing a bill in the federal parliament to block the effort. [ Read more → ]
Kevin Rudd

Australian Prime Minister defends same-sex marriage

Monday, September 2, 2013
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia -- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, appearing Monday on an Australian national political program "Questions & Answers," defended his support for marriage equality in a spirited exchange in which he went toe-to-toe with a local pastor on the Biblical definition of marriage. [ Read more → ]

Aussie coalition opposed to gay marriage promotes $200 marriage vouchers

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia's Opposition leader Tony Abbott and his Liberal National Coalition, who are opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage down under, are offering a $200 voucher to couples who register to be married. [ Read more → ]

Lives mislabeled: Gay or straight, left or right, this or that…

Sunday, August 11, 2013
One problem I have with labeling ourselves as a this or a that, is that it usually stems from adoption of the values most familiar to us as we grow into young adults. Once adopted it can be very difficult to abandon those labels, particularly if the culture we live in seems to suggest that any alternatives are forbidden. While we might be subjected to psychological manipulation to think of ourselves as being one thing or another, philosophical alternatives, discussions and attitudes may be well and truly concealed from our consciousness; even to the point of them being actively denied as worthy investigations. [ Read more → ]

Push to legalize same-sex marriage in South Australia fails in State Parliament

Thursday, July 25, 2013
ADELAIDE, South Australia -- The South Australia State Parliament's lower house, in a voice roll-call on Wednesday, voted down a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage at a state level for the first time in Australia. [ Read more → ]
Kevin Rudd

Australian prime minister endorses gay marriage, suggests national vote

Saturday, June 29, 2013
In his first press conference since ousting Julia Gillard as Prime Minister and leader of the Labor Party, newly elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said this week he was "the first Prime Minister of Australia to be a full signed up supporter of marriage equality." [ Read more → ]

The freedom to love those who consent to love us is a universal right

Sunday, August 19, 2012
Whatever one’s religion, it is but a thought, a belief, and should never be imposed on anyone else. That’s why we have separation of church and state. Believe what you want, but don’t establish what you believe as a means to enslave others to your belief. To do so is to impinge on the human rights of others to live in freedom. The freedom to love those who consent to love us and express that love sexually, is not a belief, it is a universal right... [ Read more → ]

Let’s be rational, logical and real: Sex is not a sin

Sunday, July 15, 2012
Today's freedom for the sexual expression of our love for each other is recognised as the individual human right to determine with whom we wish to have an ejaculation, so long as that is what they want as well. If you both want to do so regularly, then you should have the freedom to marry each other. [ Read more → ]

The Cannibals’ Feast for Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
In those thousand years the evolution of government, self-government of the people, by the people and for the people, may well have become something far different than originally envisioned in 1776, or in the intervening period up to our time. Whatever transpires in this millennium, July 4th will always remain a day of historical change for the human race that began with a declaration of Independence from tyranny... [ Read more → ]

Shooting horses in the human race handicap

Sunday, June 24, 2012
There are so many groups throughout the world of people who just happily, or nearly so, manage to survive day to day. They might be religious, have no belief except in any crises of their existence, or no desire to believe beyond their own personal intimacy with the deity of their choice. Then there are those who want their religious choice to be everyone’s. Even more threatening and annoying are those who think they must be the deliverer of salvation to the rest of humanity... [ Read more → ]

To loving, accepting fathers everywhere, ‘Happy Father’s Day’

Sunday, June 17, 2012
It is true that there is a feeling of immortality in seeing our offspring grow and develop into young adults, with all the hope and clamor of life, but we must rejoice in their ability to bring new experiences to life, and new life to older experiences, free from the restrictions that we parents might have had to endure... [ Read more → ]

Surrendering our freedoms

Sunday, June 10, 2012
We are in the midst of a slow motion variation of an assassination. You may well be fooled into thinking that it is aimed at stopping the re-election of the President, but it is actually aimed directly at the hearts and minds of "we, the people." Would-be despots and tyrants, masquerading as bureaucrats under the guise of think tanks, have been busily organizing the dishevelment of society in order to maintain and increase the profits of the privileged, their positions of power, and the power of those positions... [ Read more → ]

Religion stops the world with gay abandon

Sunday, May 20, 2012
There has also been tolerance shown towards those remaining beliefs, customs and primitive explanations for existence, as long as they seemed harmless. However, recently those beliefs and customs have become rituals of terror in the lives of many people, in nearly all nations; from bombings to bullying. Many religious are claiming that their beliefs are under threat, evoking much sentimental support amongst their misguided followers. So outrageous, so egregious have their attempts been to subjugate peoples to their beliefs, that they have received righteous ridicule for their antiquated tenets... [ Read more → ]

Is ‘gay’ a religion?

Sunday, April 29, 2012
The parroting purveyors of pious propaganda cannot claim that they weren’t warned; that if they continued to oppress reality their religious view would be openly challenged until becoming obvious that theirs is an insanity based on completely uncorroborated myths. It can hardly be denied that human beings want, even need, something to believe in, but must that be delusional? Couldn’t it be as real as life itself; something that fills the void in the human spirit and yet we overlook it because it is so obvious that we continually miss its reality…the fact which makes us alive, makes life worth living, and creates life? [ Read more → ]

Silence Is Not Golden

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Taking down the bullies has to start with taking down those who empower the bullying. That’s not the onlookers, who are victims of their conditioning too, nor only the schools. Indeed, bullying is empowered by every institution that seeks to limit an individual’s ability to say, “No, I won’t be limited, I want the freedom to be me. I do not want to be what you want, but whoever it is that I can be, with all the good I might achieve. Now, teach me, provide me with the means to let me become all that I can be, or get out of my way.” [ Read more → ]

Easter love from a non-believer

Sunday, April 8, 2012
Easter can be seen as the symbolic crucifixion of love, with the spirit of compassion awaiting the resurrection of love in every human. Wherever loving companions create it, love wants to be recognized, proclaimed and honored, regardless of race, or of the sexuality of the consenting couples. [ Read more → ]

Holy Wars are not about traditional human values of freedom and equality

Sunday, April 1, 2012
You can hold all the traditional values you want, but nothing will make those values rational, sane or relevant to reality, if they have been born of superstition. Sadly, in the eyes of the religious conformists, it seems that rational values are non-traditional. The upsurge in violence and intimidation against LGBTQ people and other minorities is not just physical, it is soul destroying. [ Read more → ]

117 years since love dared to speak its name

Sunday, March 25, 2012
LGBTQ people only desire to realize their right to love each other, not impose it on others. Don't fool yourself, the mob rule of democracy will shift the discussion to a determination of what marriage means for the majority, rather than the protection of minority rights by judicial rule of law. This protection is inherent in the U.S. Constitution, but many religious followers do not understand this, or even when they do, they do not value it or accept it. [ Read more → ]

Rational argument is not immune to religious manipulation

Sunday, March 18, 2012
There has been so much effort put into overcoming the religious authoritarian control over human societies and individuals. ... Our achievements towards the freedom to live our lives in natural harmony with each other, without being persecuted for whom we love or wish to marry, is threatened in many cultures, by ignorance... [ Read more → ]

The Moral Predators

Sunday, March 11, 2012
I have found that nothing melts resistance to homosexuality faster than just showing that you are as human as anyone else. Strangely enough, effeminacy, sensitivity, “camp” or “affectedness,” as my grandmother called it, are not indicative of homosexual men... [ Read more → ]
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