- Gender and Relationships
Gay Marriage. Same Sex Marriage Debate
Same Sex Marriage
Same Sex Marriage in Australia- Just this week after a couple of years decades of discrimination same sex or gay couples in Queensland Australia are entitled to have a Civil Union.
At the Labor National Conference held on the 3rd of December 2011 the Federal Labor Party voted to change the Labor Party platform to allow for same sex marriage.
At the same time another ballot" to allow a conscience vote be for changes in Parliament in by Members of Parliament." The ballot was voted down but at is not the end of the matter.. There is now considerable public support to allow same sex marriage in Australia.
This is a huge step it is within my lifetime that homosexual relations were considered criminal acts in various states of Australia right up until the 1990's. So for now to be endorsing the legal marriage of two consenting same sex couples is a big shift for Australian Society to grapple with.
This is despite it being not of any real consequence to most people. More than 2000 people marched on the ALP National Conference in Sydney demanding for change to the Marriage Act; So that same sex couples could marry in a formal legal way.
'The threat to our democracy doesn’t come from conscience votes or from same-sex marriage, it comes from political parties that have ceased to function as representative organisations, and from media that have failed to call them to account for it."
One argument against making changes to policy on the same-sex marriage issue appears to be that it is a low-order issue.
A Labor pollster told me after the last election: “It never came up in our groups.” Another argument seems to be that Muslims will suddenly vote for Opposition on this issue alone. : “This is an issue which will deliver a lot of people towards the Liberals and Nationals and some of the minor parties,” according to the president of the Islamic Friendship Society, says Keysar Trad.
A third argument, made passionately by the churches, is that marriage is about procreation: “Marriage is about man, woman and children, as it has always been,” according to the leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, Cardinal George Pell.
The first objection is curious. To stop something on the grounds of public indifference only makes sense if you intend to run a do-nothing government. The second concern is the most revealing. Labor staffers must be easy to spook if they think the most demonised section of our community will suddenly turn to their political accusers in the Coalition and say “I’m yours”.
The third point is the most interesting. A man who can’t reproduce can marry a woman who can, and they can raise a family with the help of a third party donor without anyone passing judgement. A woman who can’t have a baby of her own can marry a man who can reproduce and they can adopt, or have a child through a surrogate mother and again no one cares. But a gay woman having her own child can’t marry her partner because why, exactly? I say good luck to all of them.
It wasn't that long ago that homosexuality was a crime. Its only in the last ten years that Homosexuality was legalised in Australia state of Tasmania Today the line is being drawn not at what goes on in the bedroom, but whether there is to be a wedding photo on the bedside table.
Retentionists of the status quo argue that the Institution of Marriage is sacrosanct and should not be meddled with .Yes until the 1960's. A married woman, according to the legal system, had no independent existence. Her property became her husband's, she couldn't sign a contract which made it hard to operate in business.
Further she had no right to decide how her children were educated, or what religion they would observe. Needless to say, there was no such thing as rape within marriage, and although he prevaricates a bit, Legal authority Blackstone thought that 'moderate correction… by domestic chastisement' was okay too. Divorce was virtually impossible. It is not until changes were made in the marriage Act that a less discriminatory set of principles were introduced into the Marriage Act.
Change in Public Sentiment
I note that there has been a big public shift in sentiment. It seems to be ahead of any politicians wish to change the status quo. Whether it is the United States or other countries.
Conservative forces seem to be about preventing a change. If there were another issue in which imposed discrimination on such a broad scale you can bet the defenders of the status-quo would be out there themselves demanding change.
Seems though the LNP Liberal-National Federal Coalition Opposition retain the party policy of opposing same sex marriage. Tony Abbott is holding firm in holding a conscience vote at this stage. What will the backbench think of this- Not Happy Tony!