One of the big issues facing Australia at the moment is whether to legalise same-sex marriage.
If you had asked me to vote on legalising same-sex marriage 20 years ago, I would have said deferentially NO. I considered marriage a sacred institution for the safety of women and children. Now on reflection and a little research, I am ambivalent.
A quick pursual at the history of homosexual laws in Australia, one can see that it is just about 23 years since “sodomy” was considered a criminal offence to now where we are considering legalising same-sex marriage.
In the early years of settlement 1788-1994, Australia followed English law. The same-sex conduct was punishable by death or life imprisonment. It was considered a moral imperative as well as a legal one. In 1994 “sodomy” was still a criminal pursuit but was seldom used. 1951 the law was changed to ensure that “Buggery.” remained a criminal Act. It was then considered a pursuit mainly of men. Gay and Lesbian rights movement were not really organised in Australia until the late 1960’s. June 1970 a group called “CAMP.” started in Sydney and quickly spread across Australia. This was the age of sexual freedom with the introduction of condoms, the pill, and quickie divorce. It was to change the face of Australian law. Forever taking away the rights of the churches to speak only about morals. In 1970’s the Dustin Labour Government of South Australia introduced the consenting adult’s act and was the first state to do so. It was followed by the Commonwealth in 1994 who de-criminalised same-sex relationships between consenting adults. 2002 WA followed the other States.
Another significant shift in the way we perceived marriage was the change in the Family Law act of 1975. The Government established the principle of the no fault divorce. This meant that a couple only needs to express irretrievable breakdown of the marriage by a 12-month separation. This gave rise to a new phenomenon of the single parent family. It is the offspring of those parents that question the authenticity of marriage. As the divorce rate climbed, young people saw that the institution of marriage had been in decline for some time. It was obsolete so why marry at all? Is it assumed that if same-sex couples once gaining the right to marry will remain more faithful than heterosexual couples?
One could say the purpose of marriage is a commitment to each other for life. It offers stability, a psychological adjustment to adulthood, a gaining of economic attainment such as joining forces to get a house and for the raising of children in a stable environment. It could be said it is where boys learn to be men and girls learn to be women. But is that enough?
In December 2016 Australian Law recognised de-facto relationships as equal to marriage. Couples needed to have lived together for 2 years or less if there is a child. Thus the question of marriage is now not a social one but a moral one.
Here we see that Christian churches are divided. Anglican Churches openly hold services for same-sex couples. Whereas the Catholic church will never agree with homosexuality. That does not mean you can’t be homosexual you just have to abstain from intimacy. It is the same as a divorced person who has married in the Catholic Church they cannot have another relationship and remain faithful in the Church.
With 52% of Australians claiming to be Christian I think It may take a few more years to adjust to the notion of same sex marriage.

2 thoughts on “Same-sex marriage

  1. I’m not familiar with Juncture , but i will look into it. The more i learn about you , the more i want to learn about you. An interesting and kind woman is what you are to me. I look forward to the day when i can call you friend .

    Like

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