So, in Australia it seems our elected representatives are having trouble accepting that love is love and despite knowing that approximately 70% of Australians support changing the marriage act to include same-sex relationships (otherwise known as Equality) we are being ‘encouraged’ to ‘vote’ in a survey asking the question:
The results of this expensive, farcical insult to humanity will be revealed at 11:30 am on 15 November 2017. The results are non-binding and our elected representatives will get the final say. Read this ABC news article about how this survey works.
For the record: I have marked the Yes box and returned my survey. I am in a ‘traditional’ relationship. We are married.
I want to take this ‘conversation’ further. For the purposes of this discussion, let us take genitals out of the question and focus on the relationship.
I think the ‘who’ is only the first part we need to fix. The WHAT and WHY should also be put under the microscope.
Some very sensible arguments have come forth during this debacle, and it is from those looking beyond the Equality issue and into the meaning and purpose of marriage.4
These are the people that would abolish marriage all together. The history of marriage is a sordid and twisting tale, and whilst romantics and florists would have the focus on the LOVE aspect, there is a purpose to marriage that is beyond love. Marriage is a legal contract, an agreement between two adults to work together financially, to take care of each other as next of kin and sharing responsibility for any children, pets, assets, and debts. The act of getting marriage makes a public statement of this commitment. Many couples choose not to marry, and the act of living together for two or more years is enough to legalise the relationship. This defacto status includes same-sex relationships. Couples can formalise relationships though civil unions or ‘registered relationships’, though these are seen as a second-tier option reserved for same sex couples and are uncommon and not well understood. Marriage is the widely recognised, understood and respected formal relationship. Read the legal benefits of marriage here.
Modern Marriage needs to be extended, not just for Equality, but also economically.
Marriage is Big Business, so it won’t be abolished. So let’s look at the purpose. Couples who are marriage tend to combine their finances. Perhaps couples can have the option of submitting separate tax returns or a joint one. This can have advantages of reducing taxable income, acknowledging the community service stay at home spouses provide and gives better options for couples raising children by acknowledging the important role of parents.
Can you imagine a future where we have Marriage Equality and recognition of the important roles that a stay at home spouse provides?