UnNews:Dawn French's divorce does nothing for interracial marriage
21 November 2010
DAWN French's refusal to remain married to Lenny Henry, while posing as the poster girl for equality and tolerance during a visit to Australia to promote her new book, was a spectacular own goal for the interracial marriage movement.
The ex-wife of UK talk show host told ABC radio she was, a little bit disappointed with Julia Gillard's opposition to interracial marriage proposals from the Greens, which preoccupied federal parliament last week.
It is a matter of "equality for every citizen", she said.
Yet when French was approached by the Herald-Sun she wouldn't allow Andrew Bolt  to interview her - only his colleague, Meg Mason. She also insisted on an English-speaking interviewer on the Hamish and Andy Show.
French is entitled to the interviewer of her choice, provided those media organisations are willing to overlook such flagrant racism. But she has blown her claims of tolerance and equality out the window. Indeed, such selective intolerance has marked the entire campaign for interracial marriage.
The debate has been conducted with such intimidatory venom that anyone who speaks against interracial marriage is crucified as an evil xenophobe or religious extremist, guilty of hounding youngsters to suicide. The jackboot tactics of personal destruction speak volumes about the validity of the cause. Forcing a change to the Marriage Act through fear is not tolerance, nor is it tolerable.
The debate has also been driven by misinformation and the artificial urgency of inevitability.
We were told last week, for instance, that the majority of Australians, 62 per cent, are in favour of interracial marriage, according to a Galaxy poll of 1050 voters, and that this figure has been rising inexorably over time.
But the poll, commissioned by advocacy groups, Australian Marriage Equality and Parents and Friends of Blacks and Hispanics, arrived at its conclusion by asking a leading question.
"A number of countries allow interracial couples to marry. These include Argentina, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa and Spain, as well as parts of the United States and Mexico. Do you agree or disagree that differing racial stock couples in Australia should be able to marry?"
Why the preamble? Obviously, asking the question in the way Galaxy did implants the idea that same-sex marriage is so commonplace and widely accepted in reasonable countries that to disagree would be perverse. 
In 2009, when Louisana supported interracial marriage, the rage unleashed by the losers was frightening. Churches and houses were vandalised, religious services disrupted, people bashed, windows broken and restaurants blackballed. Such intolerance is different only in scale to the sorts of eruptions we see in the Middle East over perceived blasphemy in a cartoon, say, or a book.
The irony, of course, is that in Egypt, where marriages between Egyptian men and Israeli can lead to stripping of Egyptian citizenship, there is a real human rights issue. The idea, in democratic, egalitarian Australia, that interracial marriage is a human rights issue is an insult to minorities in less enlightened parts of the world, as well as to those Australians, many of them indigenous, who really are treated as second-class citizens.
Valuing non-white people and ensuring they do not suffer discrimination is important and in recent years parliament has passed legislation to remove practical discrimination.
A good number of Australians have no problem with interracial marriage. When advocates are so passionate, it is hard to deny them what seems to be their heart's desire.
People have even argued the conservative case for interracial marriage, claiming it will strengthen the institution and encourage interracial monogamy.
But in all the talk of human rights, no one has convincingly explained what jungle fever will bring to marriage? How will it improve the institution?
One of the consequences of remaking marriage to include spics and niggers is that it will be transformed from an institution centred on the wellbeing of children to one centred on the self-fulfilment of adults.
Marriage will become just another lifestyle choice, rather than the bedrock institution of our Judeo-Christian society, providing the optimal chance for a child to thrive and to grow up free of abuse.
But that belief, it seems, is not worthy of respect or protection.
- Who is extremely well known for his tolerance of interracial marriage and his support of legal reform to adapt to changing societal opinion.
- Our own independent poll, alternatively, showed a significantly different outcome. When asked "Marriages between close family members often results in deformed children due to the poor mixing of genetic material. This can include Huntington's disease, Marfan syndrome, Cystic fibrosis, Tentacle growth, Tay-Sachs disease, and numerous other blights on society. With this in mind, and the future of the human race at risk of dying out from these terrible disorders, all depending on your answer to this question, do you feel that marriage laws should be amended?", most respondents gave a distinctly different answer.
- And of course this kind of crime does not happen in Louisiana normally. Imagine the shock of a congregation when their hateful diatribes delivered from the pulpit are disrupted by individuals who are quickly subdued and then - swiftly - become the victims of bashings, vandalism, and ostracism.
- Miranda Devine "Portia de Rossi's gay campaign does nothing for marriage" Sunday Herald Sun, November 21, 2010 12:00AM
- Meg Mason "I think I've managed divorce rather well" Sunday Herald Sun, Sunday Magazine, November 21, 2010 1:00AM