Just Do It!15 March 2012
The storms are brewing in Australia again about marriage between same-sex couples. When John Howard was Prime Minister, he actually inserted into the Marriage Act a clause that stated that the people being married had to be of opposite sexes, in order to make it more difficult for the Act to cover same-sex unions.
One argument that pops up time and again is that “marriage” is a legally defined term (which I suppose it is since JH got that clause inserted) and that we can’t just change historical and social mores. To paraphrase a more eloquent person than I – “Yes We Can”
There is a very interesting and informative article here – Ten Key Moments in the History of Marriage from the BBC website. It’s purely Anglo-Saxon in its content but shows how the ideas of marriage have changed over time.
Last week I told you all about my wedding in an Aboriginal community. I don’t think I mentioned that it was only the 5th wedding to take place there – traditional Aboriginals don’t have marriage ceremonies in the same sense that we do although they do have life-long committed relationships – so the only marriages with a civil celebrant or religious minister in the community had been between non-Aboriginal couples. Different societies at different times in history have different views of what constitutes a marriage.
Some laws are introduced to make changes to society and force people to change their ways. Some are introduced to reflect changes that have already taken place in society. A change to the Marriage Act would I think fall into the latter category. The law already protects homosexual people in Australia in a lot of ways. The majority of Australians either are in favour of a change to the Marriage Act or couldn’t care less.
So let’s stop faffing around and just DO it!