Equality: What does it mean for you?

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Joined in 2005
April 7, 2012, 11:43

what is the world happened there? sorry guys, I have NO IDEA what I did, to get my post totally out of wack like it is ๐Ÿ™ hope you can still read it or I may have to repost it without the quotes because it seems I haven't got the gist of it yet ๐Ÿ™


Joined in 2009
April 7, 2012, 13:07

I've edited your post to what I think it ought to look like.

Main thing to remember is that when you start with a [ quote ] you need to end with a [ /quote ] (note the slash denoting the end of the quoted text)

Joined in 2005
April 7, 2012, 16:30

hey Chris, I think where I went wrong was that I put

at the end as well, rather than

hopefully, I will remember next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Joined in 2005
April 7, 2012, 16:44


Now when you say

"I was under the impression that civil rights gave GLBT people the same rights as heterosexuals who marry, is that right? anyone know?"

Civil rights is a meaningless term in the context of this debate. What matters are the specific rights under specific legislation.

And as I said we dont have the same rights because there are specific rights in the marriage act – especially to do with children – which do NOT exist in any other legislation.

The example that Ann Maree gave is a prime example of such a right we dont have that married couples do have.

Now you ARE correct that a little while back there was a big push to fix discrimination in legislation. They went through and identified legislation and fixed them so now for example – de facto relationships are now gender non specific. and superannuation legislation was changed so I can leave my benefit to my partner – rather than having to leave it to my estate and then from my estate to my partner.

However – they DIDNT fix one piece of legislation – the marriage act of 1961 …. so all the rights given by marriage – we dont and cant have.

Now as for marraige being between a man and a woman I would challenge that in a number of ways

Firstly – people generally invoke that for historical reasons but historically – marriage was both polygamous (which the church is now dead set against but God doesnt seem to have a problem with as there is a LOT of it in the bible), and with cousins and brothers widows etc – quite a number of practises we frown upon now. So in fact we are continually redefining Marriage ( and often for good reasons such as in breeding)

Secondly – the church has historically married same sex partners and its a more recent thing for them to NOT marry same sex partners (thanks to english politics I have read although Im sure its complicated) .

Here is a post that discusses this VERY issue

So in fact its the ban on Gay marriage that is modern and a change from accepted practise

Finally – there are in fact more Genders than Male and Female. The case of intersexed people

We have long known about about hermaphrodites – people who had male and female genitals. This is now called Intersex. There are a number of ways to be Intersex and many of them are not visible to the Naked eye and require a lab test (extra chromosomes for example)

Now these people are Intersexed – Not male nor female (or both or in fact an alternative) and yet many of these HAVE been married by the church and the state happily IN Ignorance in the past – and this shows what a sham the whole male and female thing is. For example. One study in the USA found a number of people with Male Genitals and Female Brains. What Gender are they ? These are complex questions and I dont know the answer and in fact I dont think anyone does. There is a great documentary about this the ABC had on

Phoebe had undescended testes so they were removed (as they can become cancerous) and she became a woman.

She has a Husband – is he Gay or straight ? Its a question he has asked himself – and then hs said – he loves phoebe and thats all that matters. However my point is = it shows that the line can be blurred – and we dont know how often it is. How many people who are happily married would not pass rigorous tests ???

Where should the line be drawn ? The more we learn – the more we know that we know we are wrong to assume that you can judge by peoples Genitals.

Now Most people tend to talk about marriage equality being a human rights issue – but Ill leave that for others to discuss those (or Google it – theres heaps on that on the web).

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
April 7, 2012, 18:51

Thanks Shadow Boxer for your comments above. Very informative and well put. ๐Ÿ™‚

Brunski, in answer to your question about whether this is a human rights issue, it most definitely is. When a practice or law causes disadvantage to groups in society, such as with the current Australian marriage act disadvantaging LGBTI people, that is a breach in equal rights for those people. Not having a recognised marriage causes grief and hardship as in the case of parents who are denied access and decision-making for their children if their partner dies or is incapacitated.

In the Old Testament, when practices were harsh or no longer relevant for minorities and disadvantaged groups such as widows, the law was changed to better care for them. Mercy and compassion have to win out over some relatively recent traditions. And if ever there was a case for the law to change now, this is it.

Do take a look at the link that Shadow Boxer has included above. I find it fascinating that in times gone by, the union of same sex saints was celebrated in the church and fully recognised.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2005
April 11, 2012, 23:30

oops, sorry shadowboxer, typo error you quoted me as saying

"I was under the impression that civil rights gave GLBT people the same rights as heterosexuals who marry, is that right? anyone know?"

what I meant to say was that, I was under the impression that civil UNIONS gave GLBT the same rights as heterosexuals who marry, NOT civil rights LOL Is that the case?

I came across a survey conducted by sexton marketing back in February 2011, which revealed that only one in seven Australian's are strongly in favour of changing the Marriage Act & although 58% believed that "same-sex couples should have the same rights as opposite sex couples to get married" only 49% supported changing the Marriage Act,

I think a majority of people on a sentimental level don't oppose same-sex marriage on the basis, that they think there is discrimination involved & they don't want to be associated with discrimination or risk being labelled homophobic. I was speaking to some of my gay friends & they were raving on about equality which is certainly worth fighting for, but I wonder if there can ever really be equality in the case of marriage. Homosexual couples are not "equal" to heterosexual couples, any more than a female footballer is "equal" to a male footballer.

Is it really a rights issue or a legal issue because a same-sex union or marriage is not recognised under Australian law. So isn't it more of a legal issue or perhaps a combination of the two.

Certainly the European Court of Human Rights doesn't seem to agree that same-sex marriage is a universal human right, in its March 18, 2012 ruling, the court stated that same-sex marriages are not a human right, following a case involving a lesbian couple in a civil partnership who complained the French Courts would not allow them to adopt a child as a couple.

An article appeared in the Catholic Weekly not long ago, my neighbour still had a copy & was going about how homosexual marriage will lead to destruction … anyway, the article used the findings of a study that showed 76% of Americans could not see any reason not to legalise Polygamy if same-sex marriage was legalised. I guess what they were saying was that, if we grant gay couples the right to marry on a human rights level, then why stop at gay marriage. Going by that same logic, what right do we or the government have to deny those same rights to a man who wishes to have more then one wife or a woman wishing more than one husband? It opens a whole can of worms doesn't it? I know that the argument from a lot of Churches especially, the Catholic Church is that legalising same-sex marriage "will lead to Polygamy" I'm not sure I would go that far, but I can see their argument to some degree. What right would we have to deny someone who wishes to marry more than one partner? Or as farfetched & clearly wrong this is, what right would the government have from denying someone the "right" to have a "loving relationship" with his or her dog or as NSW Christian Democratic Party candidate Peter Madden said, "why stop at same-sex marriage, why not allow adults to marry children?" what right would anyone have to deny a person's "right" to marry a child purely on the basis that people should be allowed the right to a "loving and committed relationship" regardless of their sexuality (race, culture, religion, gender …) can we say same-sex marriage is a right & Polygamy is not a right or bestiality is not a right, if someone seeks to go down that path, regardless of how wrong and perverted it is. Who are we to say it is not their right to do so?

Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
April 12, 2012, 00:09

These 'worse-case scenario possibilities' used by extreme Christian opponents to gay marriage are a bit like "a drowning man grasping at straws". That is, they are so desperate to bulk up their arguments that they resort to the nonsensical.

If you look at the history of other cultural changes (abolition of slavery, giving women the vote, allowing mixed race marriages, etc), you will find that the fundamentalist Christians of that era also used both biblical mistranslations and similar extreme 'end-of-society' arguments to support their opposition. But, as history shows, the world didn't fall in; civilization didn't collapse; life just continued as most people accepted the changes and adapted to them.

We need to see the 'scare campaign' and ridiculous scenarios for what they are. The opponents of gay marriage know they are ultimately going to lose the battle; they are throwing every little argument into the fray – no matter how ridiculous.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
April 12, 2012, 07:56

Thanks forestgrey. Very well put.

As well as that, opponents of gay marriage are quick to forget that polygamy was quite an acceptable practice in biblical cultures and exists in a harmonious way in other cultures today. And as for gay marriage opening the door to child abuse or beastiality, well that's just silly.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2005
April 12, 2012, 09:39

Hi Brunski

My answer is still the same from my previous post.

As I said, we don't have the same rights because there are specific rights in the marriage act โ€“ especially to do with children โ€“ which do NOT exist in any other legislation. The example that Ann Maree gave is a prime example of such a right we don't have that married couples do have.

Now you ARE correct that a little while back there was a big push to fix discrimination in legislation. They went through and fixed some legislation so now de facto relationships are gender non specific. And superannuation legislation was changed so I can leave my benefit to my partner rather than having to leave it to my estate and then to my partner.

However โ€“ they DIDN'T fix one piece of legislation โ€“ the marriage act of 1961 โ€ฆ. so all the rights given by marriage โ€“ we don't have.

Laws are country specific and marriage is a legal institution. The definition of marriage and what rights it gives in one country is different to what rights (and obligations) it gives you in another country.

To call it a human right is complex…. because you would have to define what you mean by marriage. In the context of when you get married in Australia – that is defined by the marriage act of 1961. Therefore that is discriminatory as it gives rights over access to children ( to partners etc) that are not granted elsewhere. If a gay person wants to ensure his children will be looked after by his partner should he be away, in hospital or die, the only LEGAL way to do this is through the marriage act. LGBTIQ people cannot do this.

Laws overseas are likely different and as such the questions are very very different.

Now as for Biblical marriage – the Bible never defines it although Malachi 2:14 says this.

14 You ask, โ€œWhy?โ€ It is because the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. (Verse 16 says Divorce is Violence by the way which we also don't believe and in fact we allow divorce to protect from violence). Most of what we talk about marriage is cultural and historical and many of the laws about marriage or the customs in the bible we now do not allow (for example – the marrying of your brother's widow or polygamy. So in fact Biblical marriage is not something we want to see.

What is marriage? I would say it's an overloaded term – that is – it's a word that actually has multiple meanings – although people probably aren't really aware of that – and how fuzzy those meanings are…. Is marriage the legal act defined by the 1961 Act in Australia? Romans says the authorities ARE established by God, so basically if we are married in law, it is then endorsed by God).

I have a Gay friend married Legally in New Zealand – by the established authority – therefore according to Romans thats endorsed by God – so he IS surely married. Is marriage a ceremony? Does it matter if there is no legal recognition or if a minister of religion blesses me or not? Does it matter which religion? I have a friend who is a wiccan priestess. When she marries people, are they married? If a Unitarian Minister or a Buddhist monk marries someone, are they married? If two heterosexual people have a marriage ceremony in a church and are registered with Births, deaths and marriages, are they married? What if they never have sex ? In some cultures, sex was needed to consummate marriage. What if they can't for some medical reason? (i.e. on the way to the hotel there is an accident) So are they not married as a result?

Some people argue the purpose of marriage is procreation. So if a person knows they are infertile, can they not marry ? These are questions you need to think through and establish a position for yourself…

Me – I think marriage is two consenting adults living together in a long term legal committed relationship. End of story.

If they want a spiritual blessing, then a church should have a right to bless or not bless. However a church shouldn't be able to stop someone having legal rights because they don't belong to that church. So whether the people have or don't have kids, are paralysed, quadraplegic, have an extra chromosome, are intersex, lesbian or gay – it shouldnยดt matter to their legal rights.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
April 12, 2012, 20:23

Hi Shadow Boxer

Thanks for your very thought provoking post. It's true marriage can be defined and experienced in many different ways and this plays a bearing on how it impacts certain people in our society. And you're right – people don't look deeply enough into that. As you say, the main issue is when same sex couples are banned from legally recognised marriage as they are in Australia and other places. It becomes a human rights issue for them and their children because they are disadvantaged, mostly in regards to care of their children as we've both pointed out previously.


Ann Maree

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