Marriage equality for all has been on the political agenda in Australia since the last Federal election. Isn’t it a great thing that people are in love and want to get married, to commit to one another and form stable relationships? Apparently not! Gay people in Australia are seeking the right to marry but unfortunately some Australians are still homophobic. Under Australian law and in the eyes of the righteous love between two gay people and love between two heterosexuals is not equal. Many politicians have vocalised their opposition to changing marital laws. In so doing, they have sided with the conservatives in our community and decided not to stop homophobia. Of course they all say they have gay friends and would never discriminate, that they understand the plight of gay people but that now is not the right time to make these legal changes.
When is the right time? Leadership creates the “right time.” The Australian Government recently introduced a carbon tax which many Australians are opposed to but the Government decided it was the right time and it was for the good of the nation and the world at large. I see great parallels here. Isn’t it the right time in a world with much hate and war for there to be expressions of love? Isn’t it the right time for our government and for other governments around the world to be progressive and take a stance against homophobia? Isn’t it the right time to promote a culture of monogamy and strong relationships?
Successive opinion polls have shown that the majority of Australians support allowing same-sex marriage. So why the continued political opposition to same sex marriages? There must be some other rational or calculated reason rather than just a religious one. Are politicians opposed to marriage equality on fiscal grounds because of taxation, superannuation or social security implications? Politicians need to come clean on the real reasons. Even our Prime Minister, who is an atheist, has not supported changes to legislation.
Homosexuality has existed for centuries. You’re not going to stop someone for being gay or lesbian by outlawing it or by persecuting them. Society and, in particular, politicians and the church need to accept diversity and treat people justly, equally and with dignity. I don’t think anyone chooses to be gay – they just are. This issue as it stands is only about marriage between same sex couples. It is not about offspring, surrogacy right etc. These are separate issues to be addressed separately. As a society I think we should agree to gay people being able to be married and we should encourage loyalty, monogamy, and commitment in relationships.
In Queensland our newly elected State Liberal National Party Government has acted to take legislation backwards by repelling the right for State sanctioned ceremonies. Now same sex relationships can only be registered like you would a pet. These changes have caused great anxiety in the gay community. These changes have happened because some people believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman and that gay marriages would destroy the institution of marriage. What destroys the institution of marriage is infidelity, divorce, domestic violence and abuse. Rarely do you hear the same people being outspoken on these issues. I believe it is up to the Church to decide whether they hold gay weddings in their own Churches, but I don’t think it’s up to them to deny gay people to wed with a registered civil celebrant.
I am a straight person with a number of gay friends. They are average people – well actually they’re extraordinary people because they’re my friends!. The sanctity of my marriage was never threatened by them. Its demise was due to unfaithful heterosexuals. Now it’s the time for politicians to stop discriminating and make legislative changes for equality. It’s time to get this issue off the political agenda and move on to more pressing issues like education, immigration, population growth, health care, child abuse, employment, military deployment and economic vision. It is time to say down with hatred and yes to equality in love!
The Definition of Marriage – John Corvino
Wedding Cake – Courtesy Of mentalfloss