The Marriage Issue Part 1

Yesterday I went and saw “Burlesque” (for the fourth time!) the movie has become an obsession, I think it’s the lights, the music, the dancing, the alcohol, the sex that make it appealing and I can totally escape when I watch it, the session I went to yesterday was quite full and I sat in the back row with my friend, sitting in the row infront of us where about six elderly ladies obviously on a “girls day out” as the movie churned along the characted played by Stanley Tucci an openly, over-flamboyant gay had the girls in constant laughter throughout the movie, as I observed this I had a thought….why are we entertaining straight crowds more specifically the older generation who have no quams with laughing at our humour and wit but are so quick to judge and deny us the honour of same sex marriage. I know this is an issue that is hot on everyone’s lips at the moment and while there are strong cases for both sides it’s high time a decision was made and it can really only go one way. A recent survey shows 60% of Australians support gay marriage in this country yet Parliament are happy to ignore this and PM Julia Gillard stays opposed to passing this law. Centrelink require you to now report if you are living in a same-sex relationship and this can affect your benefits, yet the same Government refuses to recognise us as a couple by state law.

I read on a forum that the main opposition to gay marriage is religion and religious groups and that as society we should challenge the legitimacy of such religions and their relevance in the world today while I myself do not agree with Christianities view of the world, challenging their beliefs and opinions is doing to them exactly what they are doing to us. Christians can keep deluding themselves into the belief that they “invented” marriage as a religious sanctity but the truth of the matter is marriage dates back to before Christianity claimed it as a “civil union” designed to bring two people together not based on love but based on livestock it wasn’t until later that Christians jumped onto the idea. As people who are non-judgemental instead of challenging their beliefs we should live and let live and send them light and love everytime we are opposed.

Meg from Newcastle says she remembers this guy telling a story bout him and his mate lining up at centrelink….they used to go together to lodge forms. One day the person at the desk asked if they were in a relationship because if they were they would have been cheating the system and would get a decrease in their payments……they were just mates so both got their payments… i have to ask….why do they recognise relationships between people of the same sex to cut their payments….but dont let them get married??This is a question that the security of telling Centrelink your sexuality or the “Pink List” as it’s called is a security and privacy breach. Sue-Anne Post a Melbourne based journalist states that In a paper given at a banking and identity conference at RMIT in 2006 it was revealed that in a three-year period from 2003 there were 858 breaches of privacy cases at Centrelink. Investigations resulted in 19 staff being sacked, 92 resigning when confronted with information and a further 346 were either fined or reprimanded. And that’s just one government department.When weighing up the Centrelink benefits when looking at the other side of it here are

1. Tax: same sex couples are able to access tax concessions available to heterosexual couples because they are counted as a family unit.

2. Superannuation: a same sex partner is able to access super benefits of the other partner

3. PBS and medicare safety net: same sex couples are able to be counted as a family when it comes to calculating safety nets

4. Immigration: same sex couples and their children would be counted as a ‘family unit’ for purposes of gaining a visa

5. Citizenship

6. Aged Care

Reviewing this it sounds like we are already identified as a “couple” just without the religious ceremony which calls into question do we really need a marriage certificate and ceremony to validate our relationship. Liz Gilbert in her book “Committed” supports the idea as a “re-invention of marriage” the divorce rate is appalling and it’s kind of amusing that we are letting the “same sex” society who are failing at marriage dictate our rights to follow in their footsteps. The debate about this has been high andissue of the divorce rate, with the quesion of would allowing the same-sex community to “marry” decrease the divorce rate, knowing most stereo-typical same-sex couples in particular gay men including ones I know already cheat in their relationships so why are they pushing for marriage? What do we have to prove with a ceremony and a certificate? Would it not be better to become shining examples of couples by being committed, loving and giving as a unit and having this recognised by your family, friends and immediate environment rather than a piece of paper and a ring?

Part 2 coming soon….


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