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Gay Marriage. Same Sex Marriage Debate

Updated on October 1, 2013

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."

Sex Discrimination

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!

Do you agree with same sex Marriage?

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    • calpol25 profile image


      9 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Being a gay man, and havng gone through the civil partnership and now sadly the divorce part its great that we have our right to marry and too equality in society, just a shame some people still insist on denying it too us... Great hub and thanks for sharing :)

    • crimsonrose profile image


      9 years ago

      This is such an interesting topic... to one point, society needs to set boundaries. but on the other hand (this especially goes for Christians)... it is our belief that God is to judge us, and that we are just to love each other. I think that it's important we treat every person with respect and leave the judgment to a higher power:)

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia


      Religious fervour seems to be much stronger in the US at least these days. Given that the proponents are priciply seeking a legal definition though not always the religious arguments seem a little more dubious..

      Thanks for your comment.

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia


      Thank you for your insightful comment...


      no the federal govt is responsible for the Marriage Act. The States are able to enact same sex unions if they wish. cal for a consistent approach is need for throughout Australia

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

      Sarah Johnson 

      9 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Very interesting hub. The religious arguments I have heard are more based on the Biblical teachings against homosexuality and then the sacrament of marriage between a man and woman. I have not heard the procreation slant so much, but I am in the US. It is a very controversial issue. We are not to judge each other is my stance.

      Thank you for passing this on. Voted up.

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image


      9 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      ...for some reason, I just assumed Australia had already legalized same sex marriage...congrats to Australia!...nothing to fear...just folks wanting to legally commit!

    • xethonxq profile image


      9 years ago

      Your hub is preaching to the choir with me! I'm an out lesbian and totally believe we should have the right to marry.

      My partner and I also have a child (almost 17 years of age now) who was conceived through artificial insemination. (btw..the child, a girl, is as straight as they come, has a boyfriend, is smart, and is well adjusted with her peer obviously living with two moms didn't have a negative impact on her) [how's that for a run on].

      Anyway, I appreciated your hub barryrutherford! Keep it up!

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Comments encouraged !


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