LETTERS 16.9.17

Sherry’s shotgun wedding
IN his Thinking Allowed (“Why I’ll be saying ‘I don’t’”, Herald, September 2, 2017) Sherry Sufi claims that the upcoming vote to amend the Marriage Act 1961 is not about equal treatment but has used faulty logic to reach this point.
Further, he doesn’t seem to consider that the human propensity to ‘classify’ people according to their differences may well be what lies at the heart of the unequal treatment he agrees is a wrong that should be remedied.
While Mr Sufi makes a relevant argument that the Same Sex Relationships Act 2008 could have ended this conversation years ago, however he omits to mention that the conversation started when the Howard government changed the Marriage Act to redefine marriage as between a man and a woman (without any consultation, let alone a hugely expensive non-binding postal survey) and he is mistaken if he believes that the Same Sex Relationships Act gave same sex couples and their children the same rights as married couples.
I was never a supporter of marriage and believed it to be an out-dated and irrelevant institution until I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
We were granted the privilege of standing up in front of our friends and family in order that they could witness our vow of commitment to each other and the state would subsequently recognise that from that day forward we were a couple, with all of the status and rights that entails.
I would like this privilege to be extended to all those who wish to avail themselves of it.
Until same sex couples can be married, they do not enjoy equal treatment under the law and, to quote Mr Sufi, it is “imperative to vote yes.”
H Barratt
East Fremantle

Council politicisation
TANTAMOUNT to bullying, certainly unusual tactics, in the local council election down Fremantle/Cockburn way.
As ‘Roe 8’ was said to have given the Labor Party victory, it appears the same issue is being used to out candidates as to their private votes on that already solved subject.
Two Fremantle councillors were fined for obstruction during those tumultuous times.
So is this the new look for local government?
Australia Day, Statue hate and now personal votes on ‘Roe 8’—all subjects over which a council has no control.
Next candidates may also be required to publicise their yes/no Marriage leanings!
Suzanne John
High Street, Fremantle

Help the homeless
REGARDING Wendy Maben’s letter, (‘Depressing’, Herald, September 9, 2017) I to am appalled and embarrassed at the number of homeless and lost around the Fremantle area, and it is not just here, but every capital city in Australia.
Surely in one of the wealthiest counties in the world we can house or at least look after the indigent population.
However when someone like Clover Moore the mayor of Sydney say that the homeless sleeping on the streets of her city make her ‘uncomfortable’, what is to be done?
We have mayors and councillors getting paid for jobs that used to be virtually voluntary, and city CEO’s are paid outrageous salaries but fail to address this problem.
As for the demise of Fremantle as a place to visit, once the work on King’s Square commence in earnest the place will be even more chaotic.
Even now with sections of road dug up, empty shops, the construction site of  numerous apartment blocks you wonder what visitors to Fremantle really think of our once thriving and unique city.
Geoff Dunstone
Carrington St, Palmyra

Ahh…Freo
YOU just have to love the diverse range of characters and the wonderfully fabulous views manifested in this city, nowhere better witnessed than the letters sent to the Herald.
Take for instance Bob, who I imagine with arms flailing like demented wind turbines (much to his horror) as he rails against progressive lefties, their revisionist views of history (frustratingly accurate), as they completely fail to appreciate the truly Great Greatness of the Great empire that built this country.
Like Tony, it seems he feels that Australia wasn’t really discovered until a white man stood on its shores.
Then Sharon, who bravely ignores a huge wealth of scientific evidence but does enjoy a bit of repetitive re-enforcement of wonderfully dodgy anecdotal alternative facts to make her case, but seems to have missed out on the bit about the dangers of not vaccinating children.
But of all the letters this week, I particularly like Sherry Sufi’s logic regarding his views on the impending marriage plebiscite.
Sherry deserves respect—whilst ostensibly dog whistling to the diehard traditionalists about the dangers of same sex marriage, he cleverly uses an argument which was so beautifully confusing I had to read it half a dozen times before giving up.
As far as I can tell Sherry seeks to make an important distinction between the ‘Treatment’ and ‘Classification’ of people, where people should be classified differently, according to their gender, religion, colour of skin or access to wealth (very useful when the revolution takes place…), but according to him this has no role to play in how we should be treated, and despite one being black, female and poor or a white, wealthy male the same social institutions should be available to everyone.
But then it seems Sherry does a complete about face and argues instead that marriage is strictly based on your gender classification and you should excluded from access to marriage if you are different.
And yes, I give in.
He’s right—I can’t fault the logic, it’s because I simply can’t find it.
Paul Tod
Healey road, Hamilton Hill

Rewriting the article about rewriting history
THANK YOU for publishing the Thinking Allowed I submitted (‘Echoes of a shameful past’, Herald, September 9, 2017).
As is necessary, and respectfully acknowledging your editorial control, there were a couple of points left of out the final print article.
Firstly, you did not mention my collaborators and co-authors, so I acknowledge Emerlyn Honey and Joan Wardrop here.
Secondly, a key point that was lost when the submission was edited for brevity: that some of our monuments have already been recast.
Maitland Brown’s ‘Explorers’ Monument on the Esplanade had a plaque affixed in 1994 that acknowledged the other side of the story at the La Grange Massacre. Furthermore, the Round House was recast in 2017 when, on Fremantle’s alternate to Australia Day, the ‘One Day’, a smoking / healing ceremony was held.
In both cases, as with framing Australia Day itself, we need not tear down the monument but can recast to reveal the full history.
Darren Holden
Amherst Street, Fremantle

BMX benevolence
SOUTHSIDE BMX—a friendly and fun club.
While visiting us in Melville and watching the club members and neighbourhood kids all enjoying riding or racing round the Southside BMX track, my six-year-old Maori grandson decided he wanted to join in too.
With no similar facilities where they are, they joined Southside recently to ride here when they visit us, and what a great welcome.
Sandra, the club president, made it easy to get started and even arranged some donated BMX clothing for him.
My grandson is just a dynamo wanting to race anyone of any age and has been doing really well in his age group.
He’s got both myself, my daughter and his dad enthusiastic so we may soon join in too.
The facility is an asset to the area and the club does a fantastic job of building and maintenance.
So much better to see kids racing round on their bikes than sitting in front of another device.
Thanks Southside.
Gareth Evans
Avery Court, Booragoon

Colourgate
I HAVE just read edition No 35, September 2 of the Fremantle Herald and am somewhat confused about the picture of multi-coloured containers on page two, referred to as a ‘Rainbow Sculpture’.
Now, as a child I learned that a rainbow consisted of seven colours so unless the optical spectrum has changed in recent years, I fail to understand why the object is made of nine differing coloured containers.
Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to what two additional colours represent.
J.E Guy
Riverway, Applceross

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