Hey there Dear Reader,
Well, the results are in. Australia has decided!
Yes, yes and yes. Australia has delivered a landmark decision on....what?
If you recall, the Same Sex Marriage Survey was recently completed. It asked the Australian population ‘Should the Law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry’. Seems straight forward yeah. Approximately 61.6% of respondents voted ‘YES’. So there we go, no problem, guys and girls can now get married to whoever they want. As they say, ‘Love is Love’.
Well, it’s not that simple really. Sorry.
The law as it stands is based on the 2004 amended Marriage Act, which states that marriage is ‘the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’. And there’s a bit more from the original 1961 Marriage Act that tells you who else can or can’t get married.
So, as it stands, the following people can’t get married in Australia:
1. Same sex couples
2. Anyone under 18 (special circumstances 16 can be authorised)
3. Siblings (whether by blood or adopted)
4. Ancestors and descendants (I guess they mean living ones)
5. More than two people.
Ok, so if I understand the Law right, I can’t marry a guy, a kid, my brother or sister, my mum or dad, grandma or grandpa, my children or grandchildren, or a group of people. So who can I marry?
Well, I can marry my aunty, cousin, niece and any other adult female I can think of. Well, I can’t really, coz I’m already married!
Ain’t I one lucky fella!
Anyway, as I was saying, the recent survey asked us if we should change the law so that one of those prohibited groups would now be legal. And the Yes Campaign was very loud in proclaiming that ‘Love is Love’, and fair enough I say. What right does the government have to tell me who I can love? Well, you actually already can love same sex (legal de facto), you just can’t get married, but you get the point.
So, here it is. I have to ask the question. What about everyone else?
If we’re happy to shift the line for who can get married in accordance with our new moral norms, what about all the other disenfranchised people?
If we accept that we can’t help who we fall in love with, can we at least accept that the line should be moved even further?
Should I be allowed to marry more than one person? Already, the acceptance of Polyamory (a loving relationship with more than one person) has begun. In Australia, many couples are now proudly describing the benefits of a polyamorous relationship And it seems that this isn’t just sleeping around, but true love between more than two people.
Now there will be a bunch of people I guess who will say that this isn’t love, but a fling. Maybe, but I wonder how many ‘normal’ marriages fit that description as well.
If these people truly love each other, why can’t they get married? In Columbia, it’s already happened...so why not here?
What about those who fall in love with someone under the age of 18? Now don’t blow a gasket ok, in some places this is already legal. And I’m not talking about some crazy, out-there, everything’s allowed country, I’m talking about the USA. Yep, in most of the States in the US, people under 18 can get married as long as their parents or guardian are ok with it. And...there is no minimum age in many of them.
Ok, so now we see that there is already a level of acceptance in the Western World of non-monogamous and under 18 marriages. So are we the ones who are out of step, still hanging on to outdated traditions? Should we move the line to be more accepting of ‘Love is Love’? If not, why not? Why is our Love right and any other form of Love wrong? And please don’t bring up faith or tradition as an answer, because apparently we’ve already decided they are outdated at best and wrong at worst. And the Church? Forget them.
Now let’s go further. What about an adopted sibling? What logical reason can be put forward (other than morals or faith based teachings which we’ve already trashed) for not allowing non-blood related siblings to marry? We already allow blood relative cousins, aunties, nephews to marry, so what’s the problem with adopted siblings?
I hope you can see where I’m going with this. Once we accept that our tradition and religion based morals in regard to Marriage and Love are wrong and have no place in our modern society, who decides where the new line is? Who decides which type of love is to be celebrated and which type of love is outlawed. If Love is Love, when does society have the right to tell me that my type of love is wrong? Remember, homosexuality was still illegal in Tasmania only 20 years ago. And it was only 68 years ago that anal sex was punishable by the death sentence in Victoria (they saw the light in 1949 and downgraded it to only 20 years imprisonment!).
Where is the new line and who will decide it?
And here’s something else to think about. What about those people who don’t identify as male or female? If we agree all male and female adults can marry each other, what about non-binary adults? Where do they fit into this supposed nirvana of free love for all?
Or maybe, just maybe I say, the government should have looked at all these issues before they came up with their ‘survey’ and promised an end to all discrimination. Well, not all discrimination, obviously just the bad discrimination, ‘We can’t just have everyone loving who they want and being happy...obviously’.
So where will our new line be and who will decide it? Us, the public? The vocal minority? The loudest voices and deepest pockets? Or the media and government flunkies? Whoever it is, do they know where we want our society to be? I hope they do, I sincerely hope they do.
Bottom line......Where is the Love, and when will it be Right?