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Marriage Equality

In 2013 the High Court of Australia found that the definition of “marriage” in the Constitution includes same-sex unions. This made it clear that the Federal Parliament has the power to enact marriage equality. In 2014, the Howard Government amended the Marriage Act 1961, to include a definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others.
For an argument to be valid and have impact, it must be truthful and persuasive.
Same sex relationships are a reality. I think we all accept that.
If you know me, you will know that I am a Christian, so why on earth would I suggest to anyone to vote Yes in the upcoming national survey on allowing same sex marriage, in Australia?
When I was a child, bigoted persons taught me to detest homosexuals but by the time I was a teenager, I realised that people are people, regardless of race, colour, creed, or sexual orientation and that the bigoted views imposed on me as a young child, were simply unacceptable and inconsistent to Christian belief just as hate and bigotry are unacceptable.
When Jesus said, ‘love one another as I have loved you’ (John 13:34-35), he did not say ‘unless they are gay, or of a different race or colour or religion’.
I have also read Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-5, Psalm 24:1 and Psalm 66:7 which are often quoted by some and saw nothing that objects to the love experienced by same sex couples.
If supporters of a no vote have any real reason other than bigotry and determined discrimination, I am yet to hear it.
You may ask, how is it discrimination. Well, the words same sex marriage are misleading. It is really about human rights and equality.

Here is some of what I have witnessed:
• A same sex couple may be together for many years but when one partner is hospitalised, the other partner has no say whatsoever and may not even be allowed to sit at the bedside, not being a next of kin. Marriage would solve that injustice.
• A man was shunned by his family for over 20 years because he was gay but on his death, that same family claimed his estate & excluded the mans’ grieving partner from the funeral. The surviving partner could not even access the superannuation they had both contributed to because ‘he was not next of kin’. Marriage would have solved that.
• When a female Couple separated after 10 years one was told she had no legal right to the common assets as ‘they were not married’ and because they are of the same sex, a de-facto marriage relationship would not be recognised. A long and arduous court battle will have to occur. A marriage would have simplified the legalities.
• A School principal and his partner adopted a boy who had been rescued from his abusive heterosexual parents. That fine young man later married a charming woman and that couple’s son now spends his weekends with his two grandfathers on their farm just out of Sydney. Equality in Marriage would have meant that his adoptive parents could also have married.
• A local Catholic boy was fearful of telling his parents he was gay, was always accompanied by a female friend at all family functions to conceal his sexuality, and even at his own 21st birthday, his long-term partner sat at another table, also accompanied by a female. Though their relationship is stable and loving for over 10 years, they cannot marry.
• A primary school aged boy sent to a psychiatrist by his religious parents to ‘cure’ him of his homosexuality and the treatments continued through high school. That money might have been better spent on his parents getting counselling on how to love and accept their child (Thank God, he wasn’t around in the 1960s when they used electro-shock therapy).
• There was highly publicised couple in South Australia who had married overseas but as their same-sex marriage was not recognised in Australia, when one of the couple was hospitalised and subsequently died, the bigoted family who had alienated their son because he was homosexual, flew over and dictated his treatment and were later given his body following which they held a funeral to which the grieving partner was not permitted entry and at which the eulogy referred to some of the deceased’ many girlfriends when he was confused teenager, but there was no mention of his marriage. – Marriage acceptance in Australia would have changed all of that injustice.

Now that you have read those examples. How would you react & feel, if this same level of discrimination was applied to you.

  • Here is an interesting argument from Ireland before Ireland made marriage equality legal.
    https://youtu.be/ganRbr-WBiI
  • Anyone in NSW or Victoria has been able to register a legal relationship at the registry of Births, Deaths& Marriages, for some years now but few same sex couples take it up as it is simply a contract, not a public ceremony. Even so, society has not been harmed by its existence.

WHY DO AUSTRALIAN SAME-SEX COUPLES WANT LEGAL MARRIAGE?
• A legal marriage offers equal protection under the law.
• With a legal marriage, you are immediately the next-of-kin.
• A legal marriage offers all the citizenship rights of The Constitution.
• A legal marriage is immediately valid, unlike de facto rights.
• A legal marriage offers immediate joint property and inheritance rights.
• A legal marriage offers undeniable rights to benefits and insurance.
• The rights of a partner in a legal marriage cannot be denied by blood relations.
• A legal marriage is a sworn, binding contract that can only be broken in a court of Family Law.

I have read some of the material and arguments that the Coalition for Marriage and the Australian Christian Lobby have propagated. I have also read the statement by Archbishop Anthony Fisher, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.
In reading and hearing what the Coalition for Marriage and the Australian Christian Lobby, have to say, I found their material was filled with so many inaccuracies, fabrications, and gross exaggerations to the point that I have to admit that I actually laughed out loud at some of the ridiculous, truly absurd, claims and hysterical nonsense. The assertions that “father-daughter, cousins, siblings, transgender man and his grandchild, etc will be able to marry are simply ridiculous, and will most definitely not be allowed if the definition of marriage was reverted to its pre-2014 original wording in the Marriage Act 1961 and was extended to include persons of the same sex who are over 18 as per the 2013 High Court decision.

You may not be aware that people have been able to ‘register’ relationship in NSW and Victoria for years, see application to register a relationship [PDF 150kb] and none of the nonsense claimed by COM and ACL have occurred, or that over 25 countries around the world have already legalised same sex marriage. See http://www.pewforum.org/2017/08/08/gay-marriage-around-the-world-2013/

Put simply, if the same sex couple down the road decided to marry, I know it would not impact in any way on my 40-year heterosexual marriage whatsoever, so how could it impact on any other person’s marriage?

Again, I ask, Do you think that if you wanted to marry the person of your dreams, the person that you love with all your heart, that you should have to ask every Australian permission? Here is an interesting video from Ireland about their referendum undertaken before Ireland made marriage equality legal.
https://youtu.be/ganRbr-WBiI

Here are some more articles of interest.
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/love-is-the-primary-gospel-value-elite-catholic-schools-defy-church-leadership-on-samesex-marriage-20170829-gy66eo.html?btis
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/catholics-defy-church-leadership-to-become-biggest-backers-of-samesex-marriage-poll-20170825-gy49ea.html
Article on Suicide rates among homosexuals.https://theconversation.com/why-do-so-many-gay-and-bisexual-men-die-from-suicide-78587

Thank you

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