Yes, I am going there…
Many people try to side-step the issue, or simply don’t think of the bigger picture, beyond “But it’s always been this way, so why change it?”
Remember, Marriage used to be more of a ‘sale’ of the bride, swapping her for a few goats or a cow. The bride’s family would gift her to the Groom’s family and practically disown her. The Woman was a burden to a struggling family, as they couldn’t work, and “didn’t matter”.
This country had the same level of uproar about Women voting, Women driving a car, Aboriginals owning property, Aboriginals drinking in a bar. We even kicked up a stink when Bob Hawke wanted to float the Australian Dollar on the stock exchange.
“But it’s always been that way, why do we have to change it?”
Progress. That’s why. Go back about 200 years when our laws were beginning to be written. It was a different time. A time when Black people didn’t matter, Gay people didn’t exist and Women belonged in the home. Now look at Australia in today’s world. Women can vote, drive and work; we even have a female Prime Minister, a female Governor-General and a female Monarch. Aboriginals can now not just own property, but businesses too. They can hold any job they want to and in the eyes of the law, are no different to any white man.
Yet the Gay community has been left behind in it all. Nothing has really changed for them, except that they are more openly accepted now than they were 200 years ago. Sure, gay couples can own a house, a business, hold a job and all of that. But think of this. Gay people also pay Taxes and Vote. They play our sports to entertain us, fight in our armed forces, and do most things that a normal person would do from day-to-day. Yet, although they are registered voters, and pay taxes, the Government will not allow them the right to call another person their spouse.
Recently a friend of mine took his boyfriend on a holiday to Thailand. They returned as a married couple. This is the extent that some gay couples will go to, simply for a basic human right that all of us take for granted, and quite a few hetro couples manage to screw up.
Change the law, I say.
Hetro couples have screwed up enough marriages, why should we then say ‘marriage is sacred and for hetro people only’? Honestly, reading the comments around the internet on this topic about ‘choosing a different word’ and ‘introduce new legislation, worded exactly the same, but just for gays’ is disgusting.
Politics and Religion should NEVER mix. that is what starts wars. The law does not refer to a marriage as ‘a ceremony overseen by a religious elder or priest’, as you can be married by a state appointed celebrant, and totally remove religion from the entire experience.
The churches have the right to refuse to marry a couple, as certain churches currently do. (Catholic church may refuse to marry a Muslim for example) however, this is the church’s decision, and in the end, it is the priest’s prerogative. Gay people probably wouldn’t want to be married in a church, given how much crap they have copped from the churches. It’s no wonder church attendance numbers are falling, with so many religious homophobes around, why WOULD they attend?
If we cannot change laws to allow gay couples to marry and to legally call their significant other their Spouse, then I vote that we give them all Tax cuts, so that they can fun their flights to a more understanding country, and get married over there. Seriously, even America is ahead of us on this… America!
To all who say our leaders are doing nothing, remember to look at who is having a conscience vote, and who is refusing one. It may not be much, but it is a damn sight more than the Liberals have done in the “11 years of the great leadership under John Howard”.