The Marriage Act: what is it good for?

30 Jun

vintage_cat_bride_and_groom_wedding_poster-rb775e43b418c4418bb91943fdadaf714_wvg_8byvr_324

 

In 2004, the Howard LNP government amended the Marriage Act of 1961 to read as follows:

Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.

Then federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock introduced the amendment in order to prevent any legal challenges to the concept of marriage as a solely heterosexual institution.

It would be useful if religious organisations opposing marriage equality took note of the origins of this amendment. It did not come from god. It was authored by Philip Ruddock and John Howard.

Then Greens leader Bob Brown described the amendment as “the straight Australia policy.”

There was no plebiscite held on the amendment, and no referendum.

I have yet to be convinced that the state has any role at all to play in the voluntary unions of its citizens, and would prefer to get rid of the Marriage Act altogether rather than just the 2004 amendment.

As it stands, the Act is discriminatory and has no place in a just society. It privileges traditional heterosexual marriage, an institution that functions more in its idealisation than its reality, and whose many and massive failings remain largely unexamined.

We do not need the state to define and control our expressions of love. Of all the situations in which we ought to be able to act with agency and autonomy, this must surely be the most fundamental. All citizens are entitled to enjoy this agency and autonomy, regardless of whom we love.

The fight for marriage equality is also the fight for everyone’s freedom, and our right to live without state intrusion, definition  and control of the most deeply intimate aspects of human life.

Do you really want politicians deciding what marriage is?

 

 

Advertisements

15 Responses to “The Marriage Act: what is it good for?”

  1. Hypo June 30, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    No surprise.Our govt is run by and for religious nutjobs.On both sides they have poisoned our social cohesion, either legislatively, or by factional control and reward thus shaping the makeup of our parliament.Add back door deals and sponsorship etc, and you have the much praised Westminster system.
    We lost the plot after Keating.
    Someone should sue the current Liberals for abusing the word.
    The quality of govt is reflected firstly by their opponents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. doug quixote June 30, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Historically, to regulate property and inheritance rights. The religious mumbo jumbo is designed to make the promises seem more binding and establish that the union sanctioned by mother church.

    It is a legal contract, which must be a matter of law; laws are made by parliament, ie politicians.

    Sad but true.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hypo June 30, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    “The religious mumbo jumbo is designed to make the promises seem more binding and establish that the union sanctioned by mother church,”
    and because there is no separation of church and state they can seconder their minions in govt to spread the fear of god through laws and regulations.

    *God will smite you , so us altruistic law makers are doing this all for you and and your souls.*

    (The religious donations,church tax breaks and nutjob vote loyalties don’t come into it, cough cough)

    Funny how we can kill our youth via illegitimate wars, peddle community hate to win an election, and yet can’t allow people to marry for love.

    “Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
    Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.”

    That ^ completely obliterates the brides of christ concept,innit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote June 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

      But you don’t need a church to marry –

      “Civil celebrants have overseen the majority of marriages since 1999 and the proportion of marriage ceremonies overseen by a civil celebrant increased again to 74.1 per cent of all marriages in 2014. ”

      http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hypo June 30, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

        “But you don’t need a church to marry –”

        You don’t need religion either.
        But it still has more influence on the majority including our govt.They are constitutional wrecking balls.Community dividers.Tax avoiders.Moralising wowser, and as their Royal Commission proved an incubator for molestation and depravity.Every cent they have milked from govt and the public should be reimbursed.

        Like

  4. diannaart June 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    “would prefer to get rid of the Marriage Act altogether”

    Agree

    Next best thing is to eliminate the discrimination that Howard put into the Marriage Act in 2004.

    A particular word stands out in Howard’s amendment:

    “Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; MUST NOT be recognised as a marriage in Australia.”

    “MUST NOT”?

    A simple “not” not good enough?

    Also Howard stipulated “for life”, no doubt most hetero couples hope it will be for life, but the best laid plans and all that… good that he didn’t put an amendment into no fault divorce.

    Quite the authoritarian was John Winston Howard.

    His personal indulgence on the private lives of others is now going to cost us millions, that’s IF the LNP get returned and IF Turnbull stands up to those retrograde nutjobs who hold the reins on the PM – although will still cost IF Turnbull doesn’t stand up to nutters…

    Too many IF’s.

    Then I consider the idea that as a sovereign monetary nation (theory of MMT) we can just print our own money, the plebiscite won’t really cost anything… head starting to build up too much pressure, must go lie down a read a book from favourite genre – dystopia,

    Like

  5. paul walter June 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

    i admit I was alarmed somewhat about the title, altho some women I know do seem at times underwhelmed by it, particularly after a few years.

    But then I see it is about the PARLIAMENTARY marriage act

    I understand much of the issue concerns legal definitions that involve property rights and that Ruddock and co ignore the rhino in room in not understanding that the push comes for the removal of legal hassles re inheritances etc, for couples as much as any probable great love for the institution itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson July 1, 2016 at 7:30 am #

      Mwahahahaha no I wasn’t referring to THAT marriage act.

      We don’t need state sanctioned marriage to take care of property rights: de facto relationships are covered already.

      Like

  6. silkworm July 1, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    Why shouldn’t I be allowed to marry a corporation? Corporations are people too.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: