The Same Sex Marriage Debate - WTF are we doing?
The whole Same Sex Marriage (SSM) debate has most Australians asking WTF are we doing? Including this Australian.
I’m not gay, nor am I wanting to get married.
But lots of my family and friends fall into one or both of these categories, so I’ve been following all the carry-on here at home with some interest.
Not to mention that I’m completely devoted to equal rights, human rights and general sensibleness, none of which seem to be present in all this.
As of 1 September 2017, SSM is legally recognized in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Uruguay. Taiwan is likely to pass the legislation soon.
Why is it so hard to just do the right thing and afford every single person the same rights to enter into a formal, legally recognised domestic union with the person they love more than anything else?
And now we are wasting tax-payer’s money on a law suit to determine whether the money required to mount a silly idea via a stupid channel is actually legally available to a lily-livered government who is salivating on the tails of the ill-informed, the selfish, the righteous and the judgemental!
Seriously, what are we doing here? Just make it law already!
And why are we being told to step up for the Plebiscite Polka when it’s clear the significant majority of Australians are in support of SSM. Like sensible people in sensible countries, we know that SSM won’t turn our washing grey or infect our children with smallpox or cause our roses to die or invalidate our own marriages, or any number of other ridiculous calamities. In an August 22 Newspoll, 63% of Australians supported same-sex marriage, while only 30% are opposed. The remaining 7% are fence-sitters.
I’ve just returned from 6-weeks’ travelling in Europe and Morocco. I met numerous people from various walks of life and it became apparent that Australia is internationally recognised for two things – our treatment of asylum seekers and our farcical approach to SSM. Not even our sporting achievements can save us from this!
As a country that’s generally lauded around the world as easy-going, non-judgemental and committed to a ‘fair go’, we’re becoming an international joke on this issue. Almost every person we met shared their disbelief at the way we’ve turned what should be a simple issue of equal rights into a nasty, grubby opportunity for the homophobes, conspiracy theorists and Christian loopies to irrationally and unlawfully vilify and discriminate against a group of people based on their sexuality. In effect, breach the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 with impunity.
Oh, but wait, a special little exemption is made for “religious bodies”. Evidently, in this country, a “religious body” is free to pretty much discriminate against anyone they like for just about any reason.
But what “religious bodies”? In the 2016 Census (remember that dog’s breakfast?), when asked to denote their religion, 30.1% of respondents, the most numerous group, ticked the ‘No Religion’ box. Of the remaining respondents, no single religion recorded more than 22.6% participation rates and most recorded lower than 5% participation rate. Christianity has taken the biggest blow, dropping from 88.8% of the population 50 years ago, to around 50% now. We are officially the most religiously diverse country in the world, with Christianity declining faster than any other religious group.
So, does that mean we’re going to enact a bunch of laws to accommodate each of these religions? Laws that will empower and enable them to vilify, abuse and discriminate against other human beings based on things like gender? All while saying they believe in love and compassion and the sanctity of human life?
Of course we can’t.
What we should be doing is revising all our laws to formally and irrevocably separate Church and State once and for all and stop this nonsense of the general public deciding who is more worthy or who has more rights that the next person.
Feels like an episode of ‘Black Mirror’.