Same Sex Unions/marriages a History of.

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Shantih Shantih Shantih
Joined in 2008
March 3, 2008, 16:38

Kit, my dear fellow, wherever did you get the idea that I consider any form of violence or discrimination less of an injustice than another? Needless-to-say, the less fortunate the circumstance the greater the injustice is (for example, a gay man living in Africa with HIV/AIDS, no medical care and who is also an outspoken political activist is surely worse off than someone who has HIV/AIDS and great medical care in Australia), but within the bounds of fair comparison, I don’t see what I could’ve said to offend your socio-political beliefs so much.

Admittedly, I was being very blunt – but that’s just me, I’m afraid; I don’t beat around the bush when I comes to my opinions, and my opinion regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriages is this: I don’t care. It is simply not my concern whether or not we can get married to people of our own sex, and I’m not going to make it my concern. In my opinion, there are worse injustices in the world.

However, this is not an umbrella opinion on all issues of discrimination against GLBTIQ people. I am perfectly aware that serious infringements on their rights occur on a daily basis. I am also aware that for many of these people in Western society it is not the end of the world, and that when it is put in perspective, and compared to other human rights abuses, they’re oftentimes not so bad. I do not intend to minimise the sufferings, trials and tribulations of people that suffer from such discrimination or from HIV/AIDS – which I know is dear to your heart.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
March 3, 2008, 17:50

Having been very busy and only had time for a quick scan of the comments here i can see that this little discussion has has tapped some triggers and that people have some strong opinions.

let me share a couple of thoughts.

I’ve now performed 3 same sex ceremonies. One lesbian couple and two male last Friday and Saturday.

Were their ceremonies legal? No I’m not licensed.

why did i do them?

Because when two people love each other and they want to make promises of commitment and exclusivity to each other then who are we to say it is wrong, immoral or illegal.

When I do these kinds of ceremonies I wish i could transport every opponent of same sex relationships/marriages to them……..they are moving, profound and especially to the couple making the promises probably the most important day in their relationship except the one when they met.

Joined in 2007
March 3, 2008, 19:37

One should never underestimate the power of symbolism in either giving or denying legitimacy. Otherwise, why did our PM bother giving an apology to indigenous people a couple of weeks ago?

So, while same-sex marriage is not strictly necessary to get on with our lives and relationships or even to get practical equality under the law, it makes a difference to the perception of whether same-sex relationships are ‘real’ relationships. That’s precisely why the OPPONENTS of same-sex marriage care about it. Symbolism. Legitimacy.

As to whether marriage is a human right: well, sorry William, but this country is signed up to international conventions that kind of suggest it is. In fact, it’s in the two most foundational UN documents. Article 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 10 of the International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights both require signatories to protect the establishment of families and allow people to freely enter into marriage.

So, *traditional* marriage is protected. The question becomes… what about those of us who want something different? Do we have a right to start a different kind of relationship? How far does the human right to marry extend?

Shantih Shantih Shantih
Joined in 2008
March 3, 2008, 20:23

[sighs, shrugs] Oh well…if I were used to people agreeing with me my signature wouldn’t be what it is… 😉

Joined in 2007
March 3, 2008, 22:23

I KNOW this is the frequently dumb-assed counter-argument used by conservative Christians and I KNOW that I will get my ass kicked to timbuktu for saying it but, politically, if you extend the line of marriage to include more than a heterosexual couple over the age of 18 then who’s to say where that line ends? People could be petitioning to marry animals or instititionalise peadophilia through marrying underage, polgymy could be reinstituted because who’s to say you should only have one partner?

Eventually, someone, somewhere has to have the authority to draw that line somewhere and the definition of marraige then becomes more vauge leading the way for these developments. I’m not taking a human rights stance or a legal stance. All I am saying is politically same-sex marraige is a nightmare and THAT is why the government is opposing it.

As our abortiion law confirms the government couldn’t care less about Christian ethics, what ites care about is beaurocracy and rule making. One could say that marrying an animal is laughable and no one would ever do it, or polygmy is immoral but who makes those decisions? GLBTIQ people complain that they are fenced in by moralistic Christianity when we all make judgements about what is right and wrong, we all have an ethical base, Christianity is merely informed by the teaching of Christ.

If someone could propose a reasonable argument for why marraige should be extended beyond a heterosexual couple that negates all the above ramifications (and I am pretty certain someone will one day and we will see same sex marriage in Australia in the future) then you are getting somewhere in the same-sex marriage debate.

The impassioned trials of same-sex people who can not access superannuation or don’t get tax benifits are not to be ignored but lets face reality, the government doesn’t care a whole it. Basically a democratic government is untalitarian, that is , it works for the benifit of the most amount of people. Look at the plight of Aboriginies, they need to be able to prove in writing and history that certain land is theirs, the government couldn’t care less if they lived on that land for 50,000 years if they can not prove they did! So too must gay people be able to prove that re-opening the definition of marraige will not have harmful or percieved negative effects on the institution of marraige as whole.

Joined in 2007
March 3, 2008, 23:21

Wow, Sandy, there were SO many things you said in that one post about law and government and morals that, as a public servant with a law degree, I want to respond to…

I’ll just stick with the last one.

I just do not understand how anyone can ‘protect’ the institution of marriage by excluding people who want to be part of it. Surely, the marriage-protectors should be far more worried about the people who want to abolish marriage?

Let me talk about symbolism again.

I don’t know if you’ve ever come across the documentary ‘Blue-Eyed’ or any of its spinoffs, featuring a woman named Jane Elliott.

Elliott has basically proved that people will fulfil your expectations of them, whether those expectations are high or low. If you tell a bunch of kids that they’re no good, lazy, and dumb, that’s what they will be. If you tell the SAME bunch of kids that they’re smart and well-behaved, that’s what they will be.

People regularly claim that same-sex relationships don’t last as long, are less likely to be monogamous, and so forth. In other words, the relationships aren’t valuable.

I say, if society treats the relationships of same-sex couples as valuable, then there’s a much better chance of same-sex couples treating them as valuable as well.

Joined in 2006
March 4, 2008, 09:34

Personally I think its silly to presume that same sex marriage falls into the same catagory as paedophilia and beastiality. Its two consenting adults versus animals who cant speak for themselves and children way too young to speak for themselves. One is a violation of a childs life and the other a human wanting to cohabitate with an animal. As a lesbian I dont feel I fit into the same boat as either of these, I am voilating no-one by being lesbian, I am with someone who is capable of a mature decision or even a decision at all to be with me.

Here I will probably get thrown at me “but the bible says” ……..its only in our recent times (but unfortunately not everywhere) that young girls age 10 cant be married to men in there 30’s but in the Bible the women were married off as young as twelve. It really is irritating that it cant be grasped that my same sex attraction doesnt fit in the same boat as a paedophile or beastiality fanatic, no wonder we get complexes when we are almost put on par with people like that. 😡

Joined in 2007
March 4, 2008, 09:37

Ok… I don’t claim to have any political expertise which I’m assuming you do and if you think I’m wrong then thats fine with me, maybe I am.

The only reason I am, personally, against gay-marriage is because it would insititutionalise a relationship I believe to be wrong. I’m not saying that marriage would bring about more gay relationships only that it would affirm something that, in my opinion, it shouldn’t.

Sure I have studied Elliott actually, she seperated a class into ‘blue eyes’ and ‘other colored eyes’ and treated them differently, then reversed the treatment and the behavior changed dramatically. Of course her findings are substantial. However these kids are just that, kids. There comes a time when as an adult you have to stop blaming other people for things and take some action in your own life. There are countless rags to riches stories of people overcoming childhood traumas and making something of themselves. It’s a very hard thing to do, I am not trying to trivialise the hurts of people. But if you let your past dictate your future who’s fault is that? Maybe the current attitude towards same-sex marriage has contributed to the lack of long-term relationships, but I guess I am not very sympathetic because I don’t think people should be in them in the first place.

You could be right about the validity of same-sex marriage but it is immaterial to me because thats not something I promote anyway. I don’t want the truth of the bible to be factioned off and people who oppose same-sex marriage to be labeled an ‘extremist’ group who don’t value marriage.

Your argument is a good one, there is no denying it, if your gay. But the government doesn’t want to make problems for itself, we learnt from Canada, opening up the definition of marriage is a nightmare.

Joined in 2006
March 4, 2008, 09:39

Thanks Orfeo for providing information from a legal documented perspective. I never knew of such documentation written up by the UN.

Joined in 2007
March 4, 2008, 09:43

My point wasn’t that these things are legitimate maggie, of course they aren’t! My point was there are people out there in the world who think they are and who will fight for their ‘rights’ if we allow them to. What argument is there that there must be only two adults? Why can’t a 16 year old marry when people have done it for hundreds of years in other cultures? What about marrying an ape? Science tells us that they are able to reason almost as well as adults and they are ‘almost human’ anyway.

I agree these things are silly but people talk about opening up the definition of marriage, my argument is what reasoned analysis can one give to close it beyond the point of same-sex marriage that is going to address claims above not on a moral basis because if we use morality then we are right back to the same-sex marriage thing.

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