If a homosexual couple desire to make a commitment to each other, fine. But let them call it something else. It is not a marriage.
Don’t confuse being against Same Sex Marriage as being equal to anti-gay, it’s very different.
I’m all for equals being treated equally but consider the following:
Marriage is not about relationships between adults, it’s about families.
The only reason the government regulates marriage is specifically to protect the only institution that brings forth the next generation of children.
Heterosexual unions are the only way families come about, therefore, other unions are just not equal. If they were equal then sure they should be treated equally but they aren’t and therefore they shouldn’t be treated as such.
This is why heterosexual couples living in a defacto relationship are legally classed as married after a period of time whereas gay/lesbian couples are not, because the likelihood of children being involved is high and the children’s rights need protecting… No one else’s.
Saying Same Sex Marriage is equal says that there is absolutely nothing that a woman brings to a family that can’t be equally done by two men. Men and women are different and add different and important qualities to a family. This argument works the other way around for men as well.
Marriage is all about promoting what is best for children, and what is best is a stable low conflict home with both biological parents. Sure others can work but they are not the best that we should promote.
Do children need mothers? Absolutely!
Do children need fathers? Absolutely!
This is what marriage is all about.
It’s not about equal rights of adults, it’s about providing for and protecting children.
The primary purpose of marriage is well served by the historic common law definition now enshrined in the Marriage Act 1961: “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”
The principal elements of this definition are that marriage is:
- a union – that is a socially approved sexual union, not merely a domestic partnership;
- between a man and a woman – because natural conception occurs only in this way;
- exclusive – because the intrusion of an adulterous relationship undermines the marital relationship and endangers the welfare of any children, both through destabilising the marriage and increasing the risk of child abuse;
- voluntary – so that the marriage is based on love and trust and can provide a nurturing environment for raising children;
- intended for life – because children require both a stable home environment while they are maturing and family roots for a healthy sense of identity.
All five of these essential attributes of marriage could be viewed as “discriminatory” but they all provide necessary distinctions. Abandoning any of them would damage marriage.
If the definition were broadened beyond a union, to include domestic partners, flat mates or friends, the essence of marriage would be undermined. Platonic friendships don’t produce children.
Dropping the exclusive requirement for marriage would lead to polygamy (polygyny or polyandry) and the problems of rivalry and jealousy between the women (or men) and suffering for the children.
Removing the requirement that marriage be voluntary would be detrimental to marriage. In some cultures, brides are coerced by others to marry men they do not know or do not like, often leading to great unhappiness. The result is substantial damage to the nature of marriage.
The requirement for marriage to be intended for life is essential to provide the stability needed for children of the marriage. Even in the face of the easy divorce regime imposed on marriage by the Family Law Act 1975, the Marriage Act 1961 preserves the notion that marriage is intended for life. Removal of the enduring intention would make marriage indistinguishable from an affair.
Removing the restriction that marriage is between a man and woman would strike at the primary purpose of marriage. Same-sex relationships cannot naturally result in the conception and bearing of a child. They cannot give a child the sense of identity that comes from knowing his or her parents, grandparents and ancestry. They are unable to provide both male and female role models for children as they are raised.
In addition to these five defining characteristics of marriage, there are other necessary restrictions on who can marry that could also be viewed as “discriminatory”.
- Children cannot marry. This welcome and desirable “discrimination” on the basis of age protects children from exploitation and abuse.
- Close relatives cannot marry. This is an important and socially responsible “discrimination” on the basis of family relationship. In some cultures it is common for first cousins to marry. The sad result is a much higher prevalence of genetic disorders, leading to infant mortality and serious disability. A BBC report discussed Pakistanis in Britain, 55% of whom marry a first cousin. Given the high rate of such marriages, many children come from repeat generations of first-cousin marriages. The report states that these children are 13 times more likely than the general population to produce children with genetic disorders, and one in ten children of first-cousin marriages in Birmingham either dies in infancy or develops a serious disability.
So-called “discrimination” is not the issue. Marriage between a man and a woman has existed for thousands of years. Marriage was celebrated in ancient Egypt over 3,300 years ago, as evidenced by ancient works of art, accompanied by hieroglyphic text, such as those recording the love between Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti.
Marriage is recognised by governments as a pre-existing natural social institution. It is not something governments can presume to define differently.
The changes to legislation are not merely fine-tuning the definition of marriage, but a full-on assault on one of its key elements, namely that it involves the union of a man and a woman.
To change the definition of marriage to encompass a union between any two persons would effectively abolish marriage in Australian law by replacing it with something quite different – something no longer in the best interests of Australian society.