Why is the Prime Minister giving a conscience vote on changes to the Marriage Act (to allow same-sex couples to marry)?
She says it’s so that MPs can vote according to their own values.
Firstly, I don’t see much evidence that many of them HAVE any values: a more ethically-challenged group of people it would be difficult to find.
Secondly, why is the PM herself going to vote against it? She claims to be an atheist and I’ve never heard an argument against the changes that doesn’t bring in religion somewhere or other. Is it just because she doesn’t want to alienate a (small) group of people? The majority of the country is in favour of it, by the way.
And thirdly, nobody is suggesting that the churches should be forced to marry same-sex couples. And marriage celebrants (performing civil marriages) will have the same freedom they have now. They’re independent and can choose not to marry anybody they wish.
The previous Prime Minister, John Howard, was fond of saying that marriage was for the procreation of children so marriage between same-sex couples wasn’t valid. I got married, as do many couples, in the full knowledge that children wouldn’t (and couldn’t) result. I therefore find it particularly offensive that my marriage isn’t considered ‘valid’ by some sections of the community and for our leaders to suggest such a thing is outrageous. On that basis, couples would have to produce “fertility certificates” before they’re allowed to tie the knot (and no woman over the age of about 50 would be deemed suitable wife material).
Get over it, and get on with it. The sky will NOT fall in.