Gay marriage: ‘irrelevant sideshow’

A stimulating article via Jonathan Adam gives historical overview and although not everything will gain a positive, ‘yes!’

In Australia today, a marriage being “official” is of far lesser importance. The sweeping legal reforms of 2008 granted same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples throughout Commonwealth law. Same-sex relationships are recognised at the state level too. There are relationship registries in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT. There are processes, albeit imperfect ones, for documenting same-sex relationships in the other states.

The only thing missing is that one magic word. Marriage.

“Why are we denying our family and friends the chance to express their love in the most final way to their partners?” asked “not able to understand”, a typical commenter on Wong’s statements at Perth Now.

What, exactly, is being denied?

If two men or two women – or three or more people in whatever combination – want to declare their eternal love and commitment, then declare it. If it’s important to make this declaration in a ceremony with all of your friends as witnesses, or in the sight of God, or in the presence of six sheep and a randy goat, then do so. Dress up. Exchange rings. If there needs to be a raucous party afterwards, then hold that party.

If there are lingering concerns that despite the 2008 reforms there may still be legal problems over property or inheritance, then draw up a contract. Or create a trust fund.

If “the gay and lesbian community” wants to expend energy on real human rights issues, perhaps some attention could be given to those countries where homosexual activity is still punished by long jail terms or even death. Or, closer to home, by supporting the mental health of gay and lesbian youth, where harassment is still rife and suicide not uncommon.

Stilgherrian is an opinionated and irreverent writer, broadcaster and consultant based in Sydney, Australia.

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Gay marriage: ‘irrelevant sideshow’ — 1 Comment

  1. Original article makes for interesting reading. I haven’t seen the research referred to there, but find it hard to believe that any of the mainstream churches would ever have sanctioned – or provided rites for – same sex marriages!

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