Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality Games

In Australia at the moment we are the closest we have ever been to seeing Marriage Equality introduced. The issue at the moment is that a Bill has been introduced by the Labor Party who allows it's members a conscience vote. However the Liberal Party do not and have decided to drag this issue on. 

Tony Abbott, keeps saying that yes it's an important issue but we won't deal with it until the budget measures are resolved. Personally this is something I find insulting. I know that irrelevant of the situation now, that there is a high chance that by the end of the year Marriage Equality will be law. My issue is that Tony Abbott is really just treating everyone as idiots. Firstly there is no reason that they can't deal with the budget and marriage issue at the same time and secondly it still devalues the issue of equality. 

Ideally Tony Abbott should just allow his party to conscience vote and this could proceed swiftly without issue. His arguments about this needing to be a bipartisan issue is correct but he is the reason it isn't through his inability to deal with it now. By making statements such as he is, he is really just trying to control the issue himself. We all know that Tony Abbott himself doesn't support Marriage Equality but that really is irrelevant and by procrastinating he just makes himself look stupid. 

For me looking at how Marriage Equality in this country has unfolded really means at this point that no matter whether it is introduced soon or not, the Liberal Party and Tony Abbott will go down in history not as the party who made it happen but as the party who dragged it on. Australia should have been at the forefront of this issue and one of the first to introduce it but now Australia is a joke and this is just another reason this country is looking worse and worse in the eyes of the world. 

 

What Motivates Opponents?

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I’m not a therapist so really these views are my opinion. I was thinking the other day about those who oppose Marriage Equality and wondered why? After all, we see the anger or ignorance on the subject from those who oppose it. I cannot find too many calm and articulated arguments out there where I can say, yep that’s fair. It almost seems to me emotive and in most cases angry. 

Well to look at it that way anger is well accepted to be a result of fear and if thats the case what are opponents afraid of? I have thoughts on this and some of my thoughts are as follows:

1)     Fear of Religion - Religious arguments are not really valid in this day and age. Argue that the Bible says no to homosexuality and it can easily be argued that it also says no to blasphemy and a lot of things that so called Christians are guilty of every day, lust is one of the biggest. I actually don’t believe this is the biggest fear for the religious argument. I believe it is about control. Christian movements have taught these things for many years and to change the rule could make them seem like they were wrong and what would that mean. The Bible has been used for many means of control over the years and it seems to be about the belief that the Bible is somewhat literal. 

I am not going to get into this argument but the religious arguments are just more about tradition than anything else. That’s even without going into the issues over the years in the translations of the Bible or the books missing from the Bible and what you will discover if you look into who chose the manuscripts that would make up the current Bible. Don’t misunderstand, I completely support religious organisations in principle. After all it is part of life that people have the right to believe whatever they want and I think everyone needs something to believe in. My issue with religions is when they they try to impose their beliefs on entire countries through condemnation and throwing money at people like politicians which you may claim is a contribution but really in many cases is a form of bribery by trying to influence decision makers. Return to the simplest messages of the Bible such as “Don’t judge others” and “don’t hurt others”. 

2)     We tend to see more men apposed. I see this as maybe a sign that men through their natural make up are more threatened by things that don’t fit with their masculinity. However what we do find more often than not is men who are confident in their own sexuality are more comfortable around gay men. So that would lead me to think that if religious belief is not the reason then maybe those men who are anti-gay maybe not comfortable with their own sexuality and have tendencies in that area themselves. 

After all for anyone who mixes in a variety of circles you will know that sexuality is very much on a scale as Kinsey explained. Maybe a lot more people are within the scale rather than on either end. 

We definitely find that younger generations are more accepting of gay people and that may be because, not growing up with as much anti-gay propaganda they just don’t see the problem. After all the battle for equality is a battle against historical norms and stubbornness. Homosexuality was the norm several thousand years ago but with time and new leaders comes new beliefs. We already know that the argument against Marriage Equality isn’t a great one. We know that ‘marriage' may have grown into a religious tradition but if it was meant to stay that way then every marriage that has taken place (which is the majority) by a non religious celebrant shouldn’t be a marriage. The arguments are weak and marriage started as a means to manage money and property. It has been fluid to some extent evolving with time. I often wonder if countries that have had marriage equality for a while such as Canada are looking at the rest of the world now laughing at the stupidity. 

Opposition to something that doesn’t have an impact on you in any negative way and doesn’t involve hurting anyone just seems odd to me. Hopefully those who are still opposed will realise this one day. 

A Long Way To Go

Sometimes it just amazes me that I feel we as gay men are on the way to equality and then other times I am shocked by how much further there is to go. 

Yesterday I saw a press release from Minister Glen Elmes making the statement "Our Diversity Defines Us" but goes on to talk about cultural diversity and "Difference is everywhere in our society, and none of us should be threatened by it." Interestingly and I'm not taking into account his personal view on marriage equality but rather his party view, I find statements like this hard to take when the LNP is still refusing to support marriage equality. Everytime I hear statements like this I just can't take people seriously. Walk the walk. If the LNP is going to stick by it's stance against marriage equality then they need to be really careful not to make statements that are in contradiction to that. 

On top of this we saw this week the backlash against loving gay couple Kaleb and Kordale who obviously love their kids and show off their lives on Instagram. The backlash from people has been disappointing and if you don't know about this story you can read more HERE

Then we see what is happening across the globe in some African countries and Sochi. Personally I believe that we should have boycotted the games but I do respect people's decision to attend anyway. 

I just see across the globe there is so far to go although I can see how far it has come. My concern is that whilst the western world don't stand unified on this issue it will be very difficult to influence the rest of the world. In this country which should have got it's act together by now it seems strange that when time and time again it has been proven that the majority of Australians support marriage equality, the government still ignores it. 

The only possible reason I can see that the government is ignoring these facts is that there must be money and ego involved. Obviously they are afraid they will lose a significant amount of money and/or they have God complexes and don't care what the people of Australia want. I may be an idealist and believe we should live in a world where people are equal and where people are innately honest but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be the case. Even though the process can be slow a lot of the time I still believe that good and what is right will eventually prevail. 

 

Same Sex Marriage

This country is kind of embarrassing, but I think historically people will look back and think what a bunch of idiots our politicians were. What am I talking about, well simply Marriage Equality. 

As those in Australia know, the A.C.T voted at a state level to introduce Same Sex Marriage. Obviously the Feds didn’t like it and so decided to take the State to court. Now the hearing has been held however they have reserved their decision until Dec12. This means that as of this morning there is a five day window where Same Sex Marriage can occur in that State. So at 12:01am the first Same Sex Marriage took place. Now there is a chance the A.C.T will not win the court battle but if nothing else it will send a clear message that this is going to happen. 

My belief is that no matter which way the case goes, it will make our PM look like a fool. Obviously if the Feds don’t win, they will be frantically needing to bring the Federal law into line, after all you can’t have one state doing one thing and the others doing another. But it will certainly make him look like a fool. 

On the other side if he wins he will look like a homophobe and bigot and will have to tread carefully. He can’t gloat although I wouldn’t be surprised, otherwise it will make him look bad. I’d like to remind my readers at this point that actually the majority of the country is in favour of same sex marriage. So it’s not even the country holding out but rather the politicians, probably because they are scared of the Christian Lobby’s. 

The only way he can come out of this relatively unscathed should the hearing result be in his favour, is if he uses it as a platform to say that he believes that it is a Federal law and move on a conscience vote for all members of parliament. If he does this he will look proactive and it could work for him. Unfortunately to this point he has refused his own party the option of a conscience vote but rather forced them to tow the party line. 

Either way it is interesting and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. In the meantime it is beautiful to see same sex marriages starting to take place and even if it's only for a short time it shows how beautiful life can be. 

Marriage

Something that we all know is that Marriage Equality is inevitable in this country. Now many may think it’s just another step in our relationship and it doesn’t change any of the things that we do now but if you are like me it actually does change things. In some respects we are years behind our straight counterparts when it comes to the reality of marriage and divorce but it is something we are getting closer to. So before you take the plunge there are things that you really need to have discussed and sorted through from children, to future dreams to money. These are things that many couples gay or straight don’t discuss openly but in particular money is and will be a bigger issue in the future. Of course this doesn’t entirely relate to married couples but I think it is an apt reminder about relationships. 

We all know that one of the biggest disputes in families is about money. So it’s important to discuss these things. Every couple works their money differently. There are still couples out there who combine their money and just use the collective pool. However more and more in todays society each couple may just share costs equally or come up with an arrangement that is mutually accepted. In my case we each pay for different things. This just makes it easier rather than splitting every little thing down the middle. Others may have different ideas. 

However if you are serious about marriage or a non-marriage lifetime together you need to consider some other factors. One big one is life insurance. No matter who you are and how old you are it is important to ensure that neither you nor your partner are left in a bad situation should something happen. So even if it’s not a big policy you should consider putting this safety net into play. This is particularly important if you have a mortgage together or simply if you require both incomes to live comfortably. 

Whilst on the topic of insurance you also should ensure both of you cary income protection insurance. The last thing you want is to get sick or have an accident and end up not being able to pay the bills. More than likely one of the couple is not earning as much as the other and it’s easy to place less importance on this but just think about the impact it could have, particularly if you have the added cost of medical bills. 

Being gay we know that when things are tough we are still not entirely accepted and in some places the law has yet to catch up, so ensure you also have a strong Will in place as well as a power of attorney. 

We would like to think things are not going to happen and in the gay world there is this belief that we keep everything separate however when you are with someone for the long haul it’s important to make sure they are looked after. I hear people say things like they are too young and blah blah blah it will never happen, then it does. If you are in a relationship it’s important to sort out all these things now because simply thats part of being a family.