The Marriage Equality Postal Survey DOES NOT challenge ‘traditional marriage’. What is ‘traditional marriage?’ Marriage has evolved many times over thousands of years and I’m sure even the conservatives are grateful it has.
- ‘Biblical marriage’ over millennium, women married their rapists or the men who enslaved them. Multiple wives (polygamy) was standard.
- ‘Traditionally’ as well as ‘biblically’, women got married by being traded and exchanged for goods or money. Wives were a possession. Some non-western cultures still practice this.
You might be surprised to know that in Australia, the marriage age was not set at 18 until the introduction of the Marriage Act in 1961 (I was 10 years of age when this happened). Previously, it was as low as 12 for girls and 14 for boys! Also from the 1860s, the rights of Aboriginal people to marry were regulated. In 1959, after an Aboriginal woman was denied permission to marry a white man, Prime Minister Robert Menzies promised that this sort of discrimination would never be included in the marriage laws of Australia again. But the Australian government, under the leadership of John Howard, legislated discrimination in 2004 intentionally to block same sex couples getting married. The legislation also ensured that those married overseas would not be recognized in their own country. (Australian timeline HERE)
The Marriage Equality Postal Survey is NOT about religious freedoms. Churches and other religious organisations have always had the legal right to refuse to marry couples, even when they were able to be legally married. That legislation is not being changed. In fact, the present law limits the religious freedoms of some religious organisations, like Quakers, who want to be able to legally marry same-sex couples. Religious organisations and churches already have a range of exemptions under State and Federal anti-discrimination legislation that allow them to discriminate when offering employment and services.
The Marriage Equality Postal Survey is NOT about children. Same sex couples can already use fertility services, adopt, foster, or use a surrogate to have children now. This is covered under State legislation and has been for a number of years. The Postal Survey result will not change that. You’ll hear it said that people oppose marriage equality because children deserve a mother and a father. Really? The vast majority of gay and lesbian couples want to get married to be married not to have children.
The Marriage Equality Postal Survey is NOT about the Safe Schools programme. That anti-bullying programme will be taught in schools if the Federal or State Governments endorse and fund it, regardless of the Survey result. Accurate information about what is contained in that package is available on their website. http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org.au/
The Marriage Equality Postal Survey will NOT affect freedom of speech or anti-discrimination legislation. Anti-vilification and anti-discrimination legislation exist independently of marriage law in Australia.
The Marriage Equality Postal Survey IS about civil (not religious) marriage. A legal undertaking between two people, which affords them a range of legal rights. You are voting to grant the same respect, dignity, legal recognition, and next-of-kin status to same sex couples that opposite sex couples have now. Nothing more than that.
Don’t be fooled by the fear-mongering, smoke screens and sensationalist claims of certain conservative groups and individuals who have their own agendas. Institutions only rise when the feel threatened. When you’re used to privilege, equality feels like discrimination and opposition like bullying.
In this current postal survey, you are voting to grant the same respect, dignity, legal recognition, and next-of-kin status to same sex couples that opposite sex couples have now. You ARE voting for EQUALITY. That’s it.
See what your YES will mean in the future HERE
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