Allan Takes Aim Blog

Why not a Gay Marriage Act?

Posted on: 6 December 2011


This is not a Chronicle article but the follow up to an article “An agnostics view of same sex marriage” published in Online Opinion some weeks ago.

Regardless of what pop star philosopher Sir Elton John, some politicians in a few parliaments around the world and some members of Australia’s Labor Party think, marriage has long been understood by the wider society as a contract between a man and a woman whether or not the woman would bear children. Indeed, in centuries past, when obviously the latter would never occur, many marriages took place for business reasons or consolidation of power.

It must be said also that even before men began to put their faith in gods, wise people created what eventually became the institution called marriage to ensure that couples who bore children would also be responsible for them. The couples also became known as father and mother in a system that has served the world well and as it hasn’t broken down, it doesn’t need fixing.

However, supporters of same sex marriage – though gay is the word commonly used – claim that the Marriage Act does not treat them as equals of couples who become mothers and fathers. In Australia the fact that by adding Gay Marriage to its policy platform the Australian Labor Party (ALP) wearing its Utopian cloak, has bowed to one of the world’s silliest pieces of political correctness. In effect it has said that when it comes to marriage, homosexuals and lesbians whose sexual coupling cannot produce children are the same as heterosexuals. It seems to me this proposition lacks credibility a condition not unknown among politicians.

But unfortunate as it might be, no man made law can force nature to make it possible for two male homosexuals or two lesbians to produce children. It is that fact that bears on the Marriage Act fact because the law recognises that same sex couple will never face the physical pain attached to childbearing, the legal responsibilities of mothers and fathers or, for the benefit of society, participate in the continuation of family.

As a non-religious person however let me pose the question: is marriage really a right? This question would make for an interesting televised national debate along competition lines between competing groups of Australian Lawyers and Philosophers. The debate would, I feel sure, rate well. And if viewers were polled a few days later the result might well show whether or not the claim by supporters of Gay Marriage that the majority of Australians support same sex marriage is true.

More to the point, what concerns me about Gay Marriage in multicultural Australia is: what is the opinion of its many non Christians – Jains, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and a whole raft of people who follow other faiths? Does their opinion count for nothing?

The claim by some homosexuals and lesbians that they are fathers or mothers because they have children is spurious. The fact is, the children they have are the product of heterosexual coupling or in-vitro fertilisation.

And Gay people often talk about love as if their love is the same as that experienced by heterosexuals. The love I felt, and still feel for my wife, that led to marriage is clearly not the same as the love experienced by non – heterosexuals because it was driven by a wish for family continuity, not something Gay Couples can claim.

With my niece in Scotland in a civil union, let me add that many homosexuals and lesbians do not want marriage. Why? According to my niece it is because they want to be accepted for what they are: they do not want to hide their difference in the “Marriage Act.” I agree with them.

Recently while discussing Gay Marriage with close friends in Canberra who are homosexual, some said that to try and put Gay Marriage in the same category as marriage between heterosexuals is the equivalent of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ears; others said it was the equivalent of making mountains out of molehills. And yet another suggestion was that a Gay Marriage Act should be enacted because it would ensure equality and recognise the difference.

It seems to me this last suggestion is worth discussing. While some parts of such an Act might follow the Marriage Act it would be different because the responsibilities applying to a heterosexual couple’s married life – particularly if they have children would be different. These responsibilities, so numerous I won’t deign to try and catalogue them, would not be the same as those that would face a Gay couple.

What say you?
dca@netspeed.com.au; web: http://www.donallan.wordpress.com

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