I’ll start with a disclaimer: I am a straight male, once happily married, now divorced. I had a crack at marriage and it didn’t work out this time. But I was allowed, by the law, to have a go. Nothing about legalising same-sex marriage in Australia affects me personally, apart from the fact that I am not going to stand by while my friends are told that their partnership (successful) is worth less than mine (failed). So here are the arguments I frequently hear against same sex marriage, and why I cannot support those arguments.
Legalising same sex marriage will open the door to paedophilia and bestiality. No it won’t. Marriage under Australian law has always been between two consenting adults. Children under the age of 18 cannot legally give consent. The Act includes the words “voluntarily entered into,” and the exclusions are specific about “mental incapacity,” which prevents animals or inanimate objects from being married.
It is political correctness gone mad. No, it’s not. Ensuring that all citizens have equal access to the protection of the law of the country in which they live is not political correctness. It’s what politicians love to call “The Rule of Law.” Aka that’s how western society is supposed to work.
It’s the Gay Agenda. As far as I can tell (I’m not invited to Gay Committee meetings), the Gay Agenda is that all people should be treated equally under the law. That’s it.
I believe in the traditional definition of marriage. Which one? The one where you can only marry within the same social class? The one where a father must give his permission for a daughter to marry? The one where your daughter can be sold? The one where a conqueror may marry one of his slaves? The one where you can have concubines? The one where you can only marry within your race? The one which is a business arrangement between royal families? The Disney princess?
It’s un-natural. It might be un-natural to you, because, like me, you were born straight and identify as one particular sex. Other people were (naturally) born differently. That doesn’t give you the right to exclude them from access to the law.
The law already protects same-sex defacto partnerships. Why do the gays want marriage too? Go talk to one, everybody has a different reason. You will probably find that the reason is exactly the same as yours.
It’s not what God ordained. First of all, in Australia the separation of church and state is maintained at least in law, if not in practice. The bible goes to great lengths to point out that Christians should submit to the law of the land. This presupposes that you believe in a particular one of the thousands of gods known to humanity, and that you believe that the Bible is His Word. The bible is a collection of stories by men who weren’t witnesses to the events (the actual existence of a man called Moses is a matter of belief rather than a matter of fact), and the contents of which were decided on by politicians over a couple of centuries, beginning at the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325. Having said that, the book of Deuteronomy lays out in great detail the law according to God. Make yourself a checklist of which of these many laws are still observed by Christians today. Spoiler alert: animal sacrifice is not one of them (Chapter 15), nor is releasing debts in the seventh year (Chapter 21). One of the times Jesus mentions marriage is the wedding at Cana in John 2, where he makes no comment on the proceedings but makes sure the party keeps rocking when the wine runs out. Side note: Jesus loves to party hard. It comes up again in John 4, when Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well, who has had a few husbands. This passage is usually read as the establishment of Jesus as the Bridegroom of the church, rather than a comment on legal marriage. If you are a religious person, pray to your God, and ask yourself What Would He Do? If your answer is anything other than “love, and be kind, as I would want people to be kind to me” then let’s talk about that in another forum. If you want to talk about Leviticus 18 and 20, or Romans, then let us talk about the rest of Leviticus, about 2 Samuel (David and Jonathon), and again about Deuteronomy.
Children need a Mother and a Father. Our own Prime Minister was raised by a single father. Children need parents who love them, who can provide food, clothing and shelter, and who participate in their education and socialisation. In many cases, one single parent is able to do this. Two parents is always going to be easier, but then again, it takes a whole village to raise a child.
I don’t believe in gay marriage. Fine, don’t marry a gay.
The people must have a say. The people didn’t have a say in the Marriage Amendment Act of 2004, when the parliament changed the definition to read “between a man and a woman.” Why now?
Freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is good, people should be free to worship the god of their choosing. But to truly guarantee freedom OF religion, you must also guarantee freedom FROM religion. I would add the basic tenet of most religions is love for all people, without judgement.
Freedom of speech. You are free, under the laws of this country, to say what you like about anyone and who they choose to marry. I am equally free to point out to you that your arguments are fallacious, your beliefs engender hate, your judgement of people you have never met is based on fear of the unknown, and you are reacting emotionally to a prejudice which has no foundation in law. You are also free to tell me to go away because you hate me and all that I stand for, but you are not free to put that into legislation, unless I threaten violence.
Won’t somebody think of the children? Question: Which LGBTIQ people that you know have heterosexual parents? Answer: all of them. End of story.
If you disagree, let me know. If you think I have missed something, let me know. Hate can be spread, but only love can be shared.