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: “..gay 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.”

41 comments on “Gay marriage rights: 4 votes

  1. “…..”marriage” means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”,… for the procreation and upbringing of the children of their union.

  2. As a green voter I applaud the courage of all the Tasmanian law makers on the right side of history on this issue. However, I want PM Julia to leave this issue alone. The PM has her decision and should be aloud to keep that position on this issue. Let the states go their own way on this. Politically taking this direction would not give the conservatives more ammunition to hurt the federal government. Plus this action would put any future Abbott government in the invidious position of trying to pass laws that would annul thousands of marriages, a very bad look indeed. I can just see Tony Abbott trying to stop it… Like a boy puting his finger in the dike whilst other leaks kept on springing up. Perhaps Can-do and O’Farrall will stand at their respective airports with signs trying stop all the gay couples re-entering their states after visiting Tasmania. It would be a farce and wonderful to behold…

  3. Saytr, therefore there would be no problems with gay couples adopting or entering into surrogacy arrangements the same as opposite gender couples can. They would therefore be complying with their “obligation” to procreate and bring up children.

  4. Russell, I believe that it would be political death for Julia Gillard if she went ahead with any High Court challenge..not only earning the contempt (and I do not use this term lightly) of many of her supporters, but it would be against a Labor State.

    Ms Gillard is entitled to her opinion on marriage equality.

    If Tasmania goes ahead with this, as has been stated it will mean a huge boost for the state’s tourism and hospitality industries.

  5. Iain, I was hoping that someone would make a statement similar. 😉

    Marriage is not a federal issue entirely. If you read the link to Austlii which provides The Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) you will find that federal jurisdiction pertains to things such as legal issues such voided marriages, bigamy, who has the right to call themselves an authorised celebrant, the validity of overseas marriages..and that’s about it. It is the States which have juridiction over the REGISTRATION of marriages. Therefore if a State chooses to allow the registration of a marriage of a same sex couple there is no legal impediment.

  6. Iain, good question. My answer would have to be no, the same thing as if there was a referendum to bring back the death penalty.

  7. Not a big of can of worms, that the mining magnate is opening. One that I believe will identify the Crown that out ore belongs to.

    If we look across the world, same gender marriage is going to be a reality, So why not now. What harm can it cause.

  8. If Gay marriage were put to a Referendum or a plebiscite would you accept a resounding “YES” from the people Iain?

  9. The Queensland government will ban single people and same-sex couples from having a child through surrogacy, in a bombshell move announced during a fiery overnight debate on watering down same-sex civil unions.

    And an appropriate response from Alex Greenwich:

    “Removing rights from citizens is one of the most un-Australian actions this government could take.”

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/gays-face-surrogacy-ban-as-lnp-pushes-civil-union-changes-20120621-20q9j.html#ixzz22kHXWIb6

  10. Cu, each State is in charge of it’s own marriages – hence the reason we have to apply to the state for birth, death and marriage certificates. However, alongside states’ legislation we have federal legislation which is The Marriage Act 1961 (Cth).

    Note: when you see Cth after an Act this means that it is federal legislation.

  11. Roswell, you’re testing my memory here but I seem to recall that this is the reason why Howard amended the Act in 2004, so as to stop same-sex marriages in the ACT.

    It seems that the ACT is going to try again..

    The ACT government is keeping a close eye on what happens in Tasmania, as the territory’s Legislative Assembly prepares to debate draft laws for same-sex civil unions later this month.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1678530/ACT-watching-Tas-gay-laws-closely

  12. Dafid, I can’t see anything in either of Iain’s 2 comments which would indicate that. Iain stated that it’s a federal issue and I was able to correct him on that one. He also posed the hypothetical about whether or not I would accept the outcome of a referendum. While stirring is as Iain “normal”, it cannot be concluded that Iain is homophobic. He might be, but then again he may not be..

  13. “marriage” means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.

    If I’m reading that right then every man and woman who enters marriage voluntarily but doesn’t do so for life are breaking the law. So how come divorce is legal?

  14. With 60% of opinion polls continually showing favour for gay marriage then methinks a referendum would come out the other way, so the question should be would the homophobes and Christian Churches accept the outcome if the majority of Australians were for it?

  15. well min it will not be backward in coming forward. I took from the plebiscite comment he was pushing NO….I would suspect, but then lets get the answer, which will be of course no, its in the DNA

  16. Mobius, trust you to pick up on that one. Yes indeed, Howard’s amendment to The Marriage Act would appear make divorce illegal.

  17. Dafid, it’s not an assumption that because a person asks a question that they are on the negative side of that question. Iain, may be or may not be against marriage equality..it will be his decision whether or not to inform us on this.

  18. Mobius, I agree. Any referendum is likely to support marriage equality. However a preference of mine is – that given that Abbott refusal to allow a conscience vote, that the forthcoming bills are like to be defeated – that Tasmania and hopefully the ACT will go it alone. Now that would be a very substantial can or worms because it would mean that people marrying in one state or territory of Australia would not be recognised as “married” when they move or travel to another state. A particularly interesting situation for Canberrans 😯

  19. I’ll take a doe any day. One whack and instant family. No alimony…and move on. I’m a ‘doer”. 😀

  20. Bacchus @ 4:28 pm

    If Gay marriage were put to a Referendum or a plebiscite would you accept a resounding “YES” from the people Iain?

    While I would undoubtedly argue that it was a bad result for the country I would take a watching brief on the matter to see if may expectations would be correct.


    Min @ 4:39 pm

    “Removing rights from citizens is one of the most un-Australian actions this government could take.”

    But don’t forget Min that those so called rights had only been created as a last ditch attempt by Labor to win the pink vote its not like they were at all long standing.


    dafid1 @ 5:23 pm

    So the troll is homophobic as well as all its other anti social phobias

    The only “phobia” that I have is a severe aversion to touching the dead (so you are safe 😉 ). That said why do you assume that disagreeing with the notion that a same sex relationship can be a marriage means that I hate or fear homosexuals?

    Min @ 5:30 pm

    Dafid, I can’t see anything in either of Iain’s 2 comments which would indicate that. Iain stated that it’s a federal issue and I was able to correct him on that one. He also posed the hypothetical about whether or not I would accept the outcome of a referendum. While stirring is as Iain “normal”, it cannot be concluded that Iain is homophobic. He might be, but then again he may not be..

    Of course I am not homophobic Min I think that the important social change in this country is that about their love same sex couples can be entirely open and that in law their relationships have the same status as straight de-facto couples. I just happen to think that wanting to characterise their relationships as a marriage is going too far and may long standing position is to advocate for some form of civil union

    Möbius Ecko @ 6:02 pm

    With 60% of opinion polls continually showing favour for gay marriage then methinks a referendum would come out the other way, so the question should be would the homophobes and Christian Churches accept the outcome if the majority of Australians were for it?

    Win or lose such questions should be put to the people, however I suspect that in a secret ballot that the reslut would npt go the way of those surveys
    dafid1 @ 6:09 pm

    well Min it will not be backward in coming forward. I took from the plebiscite comment he was pushing NO….I would suspect, but then lets get the answer, which will be of course no, its in the DNA

    Ask yourself just what this push is really about. Its not really about marriage at all as far as I can tell its about seeking social affirmation of homosexuality but I tend to think that it won’t achieve that if the activist zealots push too hard.

    Min @ 6:12 pm

    Dafid, it’s not an assumption that because a person asks a question that they are on the negative side of that question. Iain, may be or may not be against marriage equality..it will be his decision whether or not to inform us on this.

    As you will have gathered by now I don’t support the notion of Same sex marriage, However I do fully endorse every consenting adult to form and maintain any relationship that pleases them with any other consenting adult irrespective of their gender.

    dafid1 @ 6:24 pm

    merely going on past history min, the troll has form

    😆
    and you have no form for good manners or good graces


    Min @ 6:35 pm

    Dafid, yes I’ve known Iain for a couple of years.

    Has it been that long Min?
    Cheers!

  21. Iain, it would have to be as it pre-dates the Café and the Café celebrated it’s 2nd birthday in June.

    I just happen to think that wanting to characterise their relationships as a marriage is going too far and may long standing position is to advocate for some form of civil union.

    That is something worth considering, that a person may have a number of gay friends but still believe that the institution of marriage by definition refers to the legal union of a man and a woman only. However, these same gay people might consider themselves relegated to 2nd class citizens purely because the person who they love is of the same gender.

    I believe that only marriage will suffice but there is a clear solution, that being marriage for same gender couples but with the proviso that churches who object on idealogical grounds are exempted from anti-discrimination legislation.

  22. Clearly a contradiction on terms. I wonder if there is anyone left in the Libs of the calibre of Petro Georgiou prepared to cross the floor on this issue..

  23. This from the Liberal website: “In those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy – the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.”

    have to laugh at that.

  24. Migs, that reminds me of the one that Joni put up ages ago. It was an experiment conducted in the US where volunteers were given a gay sex scene to watch. The result was that those who showed the most arousal were those one would class as homophobes.

    BTW, the experiment involved a piece of string and a measuring tape.

  25. As Min has pointed out, on numerous occasions, civil unions (aka marriage has be around for yonks, It must be over ten years since I attended a wedding that was held in a church. I had a civil wedding and expect the separation to be the same.

    If the churches wish to claim the high moral ground (which is their want) that’s fine. They can advertise that this place is a gay free marriage zone, and let the flock flock.

    Still haven’t heard a rational argument against gay marriage (civil union) yet.

    Just the old furphy that marriage has always been between members of the opposite sex. So what!

    Mixed marriages were once a no no. Time for a change.

  26. Rabbit, and Still haven’t heard a rational argument against gay marriage (civil union) yet. Me either. The most common one appears to be “children”, but what about surrogacy. Do not the children born of a surrogate mother and/or IVF have the right to have parents who are able to marry.

  27. Min @ 5:51 pm

    That is something worth considering, that a person may have a number of gay friends but still believe that the institution of marriage by definition refers to the legal union of a man and a woman only. However, these same gay people might consider themselves relegated to 2nd class citizens purely because the person who they love is of the same gender.

    Well that is the way that I feel about it Min and its been my position for many years.

    paulwello @ 6:20 pm

    Tasmania’s Opposition Leader Will Hodgman has ruled out giving Liberal MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

    Just the same as the federal Coalition, what are they afraid of.

    Has it ever occurred to you that they are not acting from fear at all? Instead that they are reflecting their own voters wish to retain the status quo,
    Cuppa @ 6:23 pm

    Have always thought the idea of the Liberals and a “conscience vote” was incongruous.

    Strange that you should say that when the ALP will expel anyone who violates party solidarity!

    Miglo @ 6:30 pm

    What are they afraid of, Paul? They are afraid of gays. Just like Abbott.

    If that were the case then why was there bipartisan support for Rudd’s removal of those 187 instances of discrimination against same sex couples in federal law?

    Min
    August 7, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    Migs, that reminds me of the one that Joni put up ages ago. It was an experiment conducted in the US where volunteers were given a gay sex scene to watch. The result was that those who showed the most arousal were those one would class as homophobes.

    BTW, the experiment involved a piece of string and a measuring tape.

    Min @ 8:07 pm

    Rabbit, and Still haven’t heard a rational argument against gay marriage (civil union) yet. Me either. The most common one appears to be “children”, but what about surrogacy. Do not the children born of a surrogate mother and/or IVF have the right to have parents who are able to marry.

    Well for me its about children Min and the simple fact is that you need both genders to make them and in a same sex couple that means you have to involve a third party who is most likely to be excluded from that child’s life. I don’t thin k that IVF and surrogacy are the panacea that some think that they are.

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