Gay marriage rights: 4 votes

No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody ~ Rita Mae Brown, 1982

The above very simple quote, devoid of embellishment to me expresses how a very simple concept can be twisted and turned, until those debating the issue hardly know what is real in the argument, or what is speculation taken from the point of view of emotional aloofness.

My own personal feelings are exactly as the above quote, with the exception of some important issues contained in The Marriage Act 1961 (Cth).

The Mercury reports:

JUST four votes could determine whether Tasmania becomes the same-sex marriage centre of Australia.

With Labor and the Greens set to pass historic same-sex marriage legislation, the real battle will be held in the Upper House, with lobbying of those MPs beginning in earnest.

The Tasmanian director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Mark Brown posed the question:  “Do we want Tasmania to be the gay marriage capital of Australia?”.

The obvious answer to Mr. Brown’s question is:  Yes we do and if not, then why not.

An alternate opinion, and one which is not based so-called moral grounds comes from Small Business Council executive Mr. Robert Mallett, who has stated: “ marriage could be a boost to tourism, saying modelling put the income figure at $100 million if Tasmania”.

The article also notes that there is still possibly dispute over whether the change is constitutionally possible, with a High Court challenge potentially launched if the legislation was passed.

As stated by NSW Labor MP John Murphy: “we should be doing everything to defeat a redefinition of marriage – so do the majority of people I represent. The Tasmanian law would be the thin end of the wedge.”

Mr. Murphy’s statement clearly refers to the definition of a marriage as introduced by the former Howard government as being between person of the opposite gender, however I prefer this definition as expressed by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Unfortunately, to date we are not receiving any leadership from PM Julia Gillard:  Prime Minister Julia Gillard refused to be drawn about the possibility of a federal legal challenge.

This brings us back to my original quote that no government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love, and The Marriage Act (1961) Cth. For those interested in the full text, this can be found via Austlii.

Every Act is preceeded by something called “Interpretation”, a section where definitions of words and phrases are provided. This is all that John Howard did, where the word “marriage” is mentioned this now reads as: “marriage” means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. Just one single sentence, no explanations, no reasons just a mere definition. The anguish and heartbreak that one brief sentence has caused to so many.

I hope that all involved will take heed of the words of Mr. Alex Greenwich, national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, who has said that: (Mr. Gray’s support) “..highlights the central role of mental health arguments in changing hearts and minds on marriage equality. This issue ultimately is about people not politics.”

“Research shows that denying marriage to same-sex couples only serves to increase stigma and a sense of social exclusion among gay and lesbian people, which has a direct negative impact on mental health.”